Man Faces Serious Charges After Parking Lot Assault

OCEAN CITY — A Beltsville, Md. faces numerous serious charges, including first-degree assault, after allegedly attacking a woman at a downtown convenience store parking lot.

Around 5 p.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a convenience store parking lot on North Division Street for a reported assault. OCPD officers made contact with a female victim who was bleeding profusely from the nose area of her face, according to police reports. The victim provided a description of the suspect, later identified as Demonte Johnson, 18.

The victim was sitting next to a vehicle with its door open and the engine running and she told police the vehicle belonged to Johnson. The victim told police Johnson had allegedly grabbed her by the head, pulled her across the vehicle and started punching her. She told police Johnson had also thrown a bottle at her which hit her in the back, according to police reports.

EMS arrived on the scene and treated the victim, who had suffered a fractured bridge of her nose and a laceration to her left eyelid. The victim was ultimately transported to AGH for further treatment.

Because an odor of burnt marijuana was detected, a search of the vehicle was conducted, which turned up a grinder with marijuana residue in the center console and an assisted-opening knife in the trunk. According to police reports, there was a group of individuals in the area that had witnessed the incident, but none of them were cooperative.

Officers searched the area for Johnson, based on his Motor Vehicle Administration license photo and the description of his clothing provided by the victim. Another OCPD officer advised the investigating officers an individual matching the description had just left Ocean City via the Route 50 Bridge in a different vehicle. A short time later, officers observed the vehicle coming back into Ocean City across the bridge and conducted a traffic stop, according to police reports.

When Johnson was being removed from the vehicle, he reportedly said, “I didn’t do nothing to that girl,” without being advised the police were investigating the assault at North Division Street. When Johnson was being detained in handcuffs, he reportedly said “Am I under arrest for sexual assault?,” according to police reports.

A probable cause search of the vehicle located a large machete on the rear driver’s side floorboard, which was positioned within arm’s reach of Johnson while he was sitting in the driver’s seat. Johnson was arrested at that point and charged with driving on a suspended and revoked license. According to police reports, Johnson’s shoes appeared to have fresh blood on them.

OCPD investigators went to AGH to interview the witness. The victim reportedly told police she was staying in Ocean City with a group of people including Johnson. The victim told police she was sleeping earlier that morning when she was awakened by Johnson attempting to sexually assault her. The victim resisted Johnson’s alleged advances and later told another friend about the incident.

That friend confronted Johnson about what had allegedly occurred, which only incensed Johnson, according to police reports. The victim told police Johnson approached her, ripped her cell phone and credit cards from her and threatened her, according to police reports. Later in the day, all parties in the group went to the convenience store at North Division Street where the alleged assault occurred.

The victim told police she approached Johnson and his vehicle in an effort to retrieve the phone and credit card he had taken. When she reached into the vehicle to retrieve her belongings, Johnson reportedly grabbed her by the hair, pulled her out of the vehicle and punched her at least three times. Johnson also reportedly threw a full liquor bottle at the victim. Injuries observed on the victim appeared to corroborate her version of the assault.

Next, OCPD officers interviewed Johnson while he was in custody. Johnson reportedly told police the victim had unfairly accused him of sexual assault and told their friends, so he got mad and took her phone and credit card. Johnson said when the group was at the convenience store, the victim got in one side of his vehicle and crawled out the other side and that he had never touched her.

Johnson said he left the area with another female in the group and when they drove back past the scene, he saw police had arrived. He told police he had left the area because he knew there were issues with his license and he didn’t want any trouble. Johnson said he drove out of Ocean City across the bridge and then turned around and came back, which is when he was pulled over and arrested.

Based on the evidence, Johnson was charged with first-degree assault, robbery, theft, sex offenses, concealing a deadly weapon and numerous traffic violations. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered to be held without bond.

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.