OC Police Make Arrests In Three Separate Stabbing Incidents

OC Police Make Arrests In Three Separate Stabbing Incidents
Photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY – Resort police charged several individuals last weekend as a result of three separate stabbing incidents.

Details of the individual incidents follow:

  • A Pennsylvania man was jailed on first-degree assault charges after allegedly stabbing another man multiple times at a midtown hotel June 26.

Around 5:30 a.m. last Friday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a midtown hotel for a reported stabbing incident. Upon arrival, officers located a male victim who had two stab wounds, one to his abdomen and one to his face, which were bleeding profusely, according to police reports. The victim was transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in stable condition, but needed surgery to repair the injuries.

OCPD officers located the suspect, identified as Dalton Rowles, 23, of Sherman’s Dale, Pa., in the hotel parking lot. Rowles had attempted to flee, but was detained by first-arriving officers. According to police reports, Rowles had blood on his clothing and body and also had a cut on his hand and scrapes on his arm.


Dalton Rowles

The investigation revealed the victim and his girlfriend were sharing the motel room with Rowles and his girlfriend. The victim and his girlfriend were reportedly in a verbal argument in the bathroom when Rowles became angry and began banging on the bathroom door. According to police reports, Rowles then took a fixed-blade hunting knife from his bag and began stabbing and kicking the bathroom door in an attempt to enter, according to police reports.

When the victim exited the bathroom, Rowles reportedly stabbed him in the abdomen and face. The two men continued to fight until a third couple, which was outside the hotel room, entered and separated the two men. Rowles reportedly fled the scene, but was detained by first-arriving OCPD officers.

Rowles was arrested and charged with first-degree assault. During a subsequent interview, Rowles reportedly told police he and the victim had been arguing off and on for a number of days. Rowles told police when he was banging on the bathroom door in an attempt to get the couple to come out, he had threatened to kill the victim and admitted that he stabbed the victim when he exited the bathroom.

Rowles was charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Following a bail review hearing on Monday, Rowles was ordered to be held without bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for July 27.

  • A Pennsylvania man was arrested on first-degree assault charges June 28 after allegedly stabbing another man on the porch of a downtown residence.

Around 2:50 a.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers arrived and found a male victim with a towel covered in blood wrapped around his right forearm. The victim told police he had been standing on the corner of Sunset Avenue when he was approached by an unknown assailant with a knife who attempted to take his wallet.

OCPD officers canvassed the area for a possible suspect and additional evidence, but the search was fruitless. According to police reports, OCPD officers began to believe the story the victim told was not matching up with the evidence and sequence of events. OCPD officers returned to the residence on Sunset Avenue where they had first interviewed the victim and identified the victim’s mother and girlfriend, according to police reports.

At the residence, OCPD officers observed fresh drops of blood on the floor of the porch and more blood smeared on the siding and the door of the unit. The officers asked for and was granted permission to enter the unit to talk with the victim’s mother and girlfriend. Once inside, the officer observed more blood droplets on the floor throughout the unit, according to police reports.

OCPD officers interviewed the victim’s girlfriend, who appeared to want to tell police something but was reluctant to do so with others within earshot in the condo. The victim’s girlfriend ultimately told police “Shay,” or a suspect later identified as Shaki Byrum-El, 40, of Scranton, Pa., had allegedly stabbed the victim. The victim’s girlfriend identified Byrum-El as the man who was passed out on a couch. Byrum-El was awakened and was placed under arrest for first-degree assault.

OCPD officers interviewed the victim’s mother, who provided an account of the events leading up to the alleged stabbing. The witness said Byrum-El grabbed a knife from the kitchen and went to the front porch where the victim was with his girlfriend. The witness told police Byrum-El and the victim were arguing on the porch as she watched through the open front door.

The witness told police she heard the victim say, “Shay, if you’re going to stab me, stab me,” according to police reports. The witness told police she then lost sight of the two men through a front door, but a short time later the victim ran inside bleeding from a stab wound on his arm.

  • A Pennsylvania woman was arrested and charged with first-degree assault following a domestic incident when she stabbed her boyfriend, who was also charged for his role in the fight.

Last Sunday morning, a man identified as Derek Andrews, 36, of Duquesne, Pa., arrived at Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) headquarters at the Public Safety Building and reported his girlfriend, identified as Jennifer Vargas, 33, of Brownsville, Pa., had stabbed him during a domestic incident that had just occurred. Andrews told police he and Vargas were in Ocean City on vacation and were staying at a midtown condo.

Andrews told police he had been in an argument with Vargas over a missing cell phone when Vargas pulled a kitchen knife out of a drawer and told Andrews, “I’m going to stab you,” according to police reports. Vargas reportedly continued to shout that she was going to stab Andrews and held the knife pointed directly at him within an arm’s length, or about three feet, away from him.

Andrews told police he believed Vargas was going to stab him and feared for his life. Andrews reportedly told police he attempted to wrest the knife away from Vargas during which he received cuts on his fingers and the palm of his hand. Andrews was able to get the knife away from Vargas, but she continued to fight with him as he attempted to get his car keys so he could leave the area.

Andrews told police at that point he had to grab Vargas around the shoulders and neck area in an attempt to keep her from attacking him, according to police reports. During that portion of the incident, Vargas reportedly bit Andrews on his left wrist and right triceps.

Andrews was able to find his car keys and leave the condo and traveled to the Public Safety Building to report the incident to police. OCPD officers located Vargas to get her version of the story. According to police reports, Vargas told the officers the couple had been arguing about a missing cell phone and that Andrews had pushed her.

Vargas reportedly told police her friends had told her in the past to get a weapon if Andrews threatened her. She admitted getting a kitchen knife during the argument and threatened to stab Andrews before the couple scuffled and Andrews was able to get the knife away from her.

Vargas reportedly told police Andrews then grabbed her neck and the officer observed fresh bruising on her neck consistent with her story. Vargas told police Andrews pushed her to the ground several times and then left the area. All in all, Vargas was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault. Andrews was also charged with second-degree assault for continuing to fight with Vargas when he had an opportunity to leave the area.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.