OCEAN CITY — Three Delaware men were arrested on robbery and assault charges last weekend after allegedly attacking three juveniles on a side street off the Boardwalk.
Around 1:20 a.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on mounted patrol at 2nd Street and the beach observed a crowd of people on a concrete pad at the Boardwalk. The officer was approached by a juvenile who had injuries to his nose and upper lip who told police “these guys just jumped my friends and I down there,” pointing south on the Boardwalk, according to police reports.
There were three victims altogether, two of whom showed visible signs of injury. The victims reportedly told police they had been walking south on the Boardwalk when they were approached by Hassan Elabbadi, 20, of New Castle, Del., and Jacob Watson, Jr., 22; and Jason Gilbert, 22, both of Millsboro, Del.
The victims told police the three suspects approached them and began to yell at them and pretend as if they were going to hit them. The victims reportedly told police they then walked down a side street toward Baltimore Avenue to get away from the three suspects. The victims then walked around the block and headed east on Talbot Street toward the Boardwalk.
The victims told police at that point they were attacked by the three suspects from behind as they were walking back toward the Boardwalk. One victim told police Gilbert allegedly punched him in the face and attempted to take his iPhone and other items. He was also missing an Apple AirPod which had been in his ear, but he was uncertain if it had been stolen or had fallen out of his ear during the alleged attack.
A second victim told police Gilbert allegedly punched him the head and tackled him to the ground before taking his headphones. The third juvenile victim said someone in the attacking group grabbed him from behind, pinned his arms against his sides and slammed him to the ground. When he got back to his feet, he was shoved into a bush. That victim told police Gilbert allegedly told him to hand over his wallet, but each time he reached for his wallet, Gilbert punched him in the face, according to police reports. The victim said he was punched at least four times.
Meanwhile, a large group of people on balconies overlooking Talbot Street witnessed the attack and yelled at the three suspects, causing them to stop assailing the victims.
While police were interviewing the victims, one of the victims observed the suspects in the area of 2nd Street and called out “that’s them right there,” according to police reports. The suspects then ran into a hotel parking lot, dropping clothing and other items along the way. The victims and a group of bystanders gave chase and the OCPD officers advised them not to, but they did anyway, according to police reports.
Witnesses reported the three suspects ran into a Boardwalk hotel at 2nd Street and officers heard yelling from a room on the third floor. Officers located the suspects and they were taken into custody. A search of the area turned up much of the victims’ stolen property along with over evidence including a ski mask worn by one of the suspects. A search of the hotel room turned up a bookbag including other stolen property belonging to the victims.
Each of the suspects was arrested and charged with robbery, assault and theft. Gilbert was ordered to be held without bond. Elabbadi and Watson were released on recognizance.