OCEAN CITY — Over the course of several hours last weekend, the Boardwalk and downtown area was embroiled with several large altercations and smaller skirmishes breaking out.
Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers and their allied law enforcement partners had their hands full last weekend during which 129 arrests were made, but the window from late Friday night and into early Saturday morning saw the most serious altercations. The following are some of the incidents.
Around 9:45 p.m. last Friday, OCPD officers responded to the area of 5th Street for a large fight and were making arrests when a suspect, later identified as Tamier Bennett, 18, of York, Pa., walked into the middle of the arrest scene. Bennett was advised to walk back and stay out of the area, but he reportedly told the officers he could walk wherever he wanted, according to police reports.
Bennett allegedly shouted expletives and racial slurs at the officer and approached the officer in a fighting stance with his hands balled into fists. The officer pointed his Taser at Bennett and ordered him to get on the ground. He reportedly continued to shout at the officers on the scene as he was being taken into custody and told an officer to “take off that badge and fight me because I can box,” according to police reports. Bennett was arrested and charged with assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Around 11:40 p.m. last Friday, OCPD officers were dispatched to another fight in progress on the Boardwalk at North Division Street. The officers arrived and saw two suspects identified as Skakwan Kaskins, 21, of Baltimore, and Donta Oakley, 22, of Baltimore, assaulting an unidentified man with closed fists.
According to police reports, the officer observed Oakley grab a metal pole from the Boardwalk and swing it at the victim. Oakley missed the victim with the pole and dropped it when the officer approached, according to police reports. A large crowd had gathered and could heard yelling “leave him alone,” and “somebody stop them,” according to police reports. Kaskins and Oakley were both arrested for assault.
Kaskins earned additional assault charges when he allegedly elbowed the officer and resisted arrest. Officers attempted to check on the welfare of the victim, but he had fled the area on foot during the arrest of Oakley and Kaskins.
Around 12:20 a.m. last Saturday, an OCPD officer was attempting to write a citation for smoking for a suspect, identified as Deionja Johnson, 22, of Baltimore. According to police reports, Johnson was walking around the Boardwalk while smoking a cigar and took exception to the OCPD officer writing him a citation for violating the town’s smoking ordinance. Johnson began screaming and shouting and inciting the crowd that had gathered to do the same.
According to police reports, Johnson continued shouting at the police and the crowd that had swelled was feeding off that energy. Johnson was later arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
During the same incident, an OCPD officer was attempting to break up the potential riot scene when he was surrounded by a large group of individuals who were screaming and yelling expletives and slurs at the officer. Another officer approached the scene and observed one suspect, later identified as Jamal Coates, 26, of Baltimore, was yelling the loudest and was attempting to incite a riot. According to police reports, the louder Coates yelled, the larger and more energized the crowd became.
At that point, an officer grabbed Coates by the arm and informed him he was under arrest. Coates allegedly pulled away and resisted to the point the officer had to utilize pepper spray to neutralize him. Coates was placed in handcuffs and was escorted away from the large crowd that had gathered.
A search of Coates revealed four bags of marijuana in a shoulder bag. Just prior to seizing the marijuana, OCPD officers had formed a perimeter near the ramp off the Boardwalk at Dorchester Street. While officers were making arrests, a suspect identified as Andreal Hendricks, 31, of Dover, Del., attempted to push by the officers. Hendricks refused orders to stop and was ultimately arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Around 1:20 a.m. on Saturday, an OCPD officer on patrol around 5th Street observed three individuals later identified as Roshoun Howes, 18, of Mount Holly, N.J.; Zaire Frisby-Felder, 20, of Seaford, Del.; and Jaquan Darling, 21, of Seaford, engaged in a verbal argument and physical confrontation. As the officer approached, Darling fled on foot but was quickly apprehended and placed in handcuffs.
Meanwhile, the officer reportedly observed Frisby-Felder punch Howes in the head multiple times. That fight spilled over to a Boardwalk bench where Howes attempted to block his face while Frisby-Felder continued to punch him. All three men were eventually subdued and were charged with assault.