OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested and charged with first-degree assault last week after allegedly stomping a local homeless man on the Boardwalk and stealing his bottle of vodka.
Around 7:15 p.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a residence on North Division Street for a reported theft that had already occurred. The officer arrived and met with the victim, a local homeless individual who had recently fallen into ill health and was physically disabled.
The victim told police he was lying on the ground and covered with a blanket due to the extreme cold near the comfort station on the Boardwalk at Caroline Street. The victim told police there was a plastic bottle of vodka on the ground next to him, according to police reports. The victim told police while he was lying under the blanket, he was approached by Walter Everett, 57, of Ocean City. OCPD officers are familiar with Everett from numerous run-ins on assault cases.
The victim told police he poked his head out from under the blanket and observed the man he knew only as “Walt.” According to police reports, Everett told the victim “give me that [expletive deleted] bottle” and angrily kicked an aluminum can at the victim, striking him. According to police reports, the victim told Everett to leave him alone and that he only wanted to sleep.
The victim reportedly told police Everett kicked him in the left side of his face three times. When the victim looked out from under the blanket, Everett was reportedly walking north on the Boardwalk carrying the plastic bottle of vodka. Officers examined the victim and found his pupils were uneven and dilated. Ocean City EMS responded to the scene to evaluate the victim.
Ocean City EMS determined the victim needed to be transported to Atlantic General Hospital for further evaluation because his injuries were severe and feared nerve damage or a brain bleed. However, the victim refused any EMS treatment.
Meanwhile, the OCPD officer located Everett crossing Philadelphia Avenue between 15th and 16th streets carrying a plastic bottle of vodka. According to police reports, Everett admitted taking the bottle from the victim, but denied any physical altercation. Based on the evidence, Everett was arrested and charged with first-degree assault and other charges related to the incident.
A couple of hours later, the same homeless man called 911 complaining of chest pains. The officer responded and met with the victim, who told police he could not see out of his left eye. The victim was transported to PRMC.