OCEAN CITY — A Baltimore man was arrested on various charges last week after first allegedly stealing money from the sand sculpture’s tip bucket and wielding a knife and threatening witnesses.
Around 12:15 a.m. last Wednesday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to the area of 2nd Street and the Boardwalk for a reported theft that had just occurred. The officers met with a witness who reportedly told police she was sitting on the front porch of her Boardwalk hotel when she observed Kevin Womack, Jr., 32, of Baltimore, wielding a kitchen knife and walking toward the biblical sand sculptures on the beach.
By way of background, the local artist has been creating the popular sand sculptures, often with biblical or religious themes, on the beach in the same location since 1981 and his works represent a long history of tradition for generations of residents and visitors. There are typically two five-gallon buckets near the sculptures, one that contains pamphlets with spiritual and uplifting themes, and another for tips. The tip bucket has a slit in it for admirers of the sculptures to show their appreciation.
According to police reports, the witness saw Womack walk toward the sculptures with the knife in his hand and allegedly stab the tip bucket multiple times to create a hole large enough for to stick his hand inside. Womack reportedly inflicted enough damage to the bucket that he was able to put both of his hands inside and retrieve the money inside.
After the alleged theft, Womack reportedly walked toward seven different individuals on the Boardwalk while still carrying the knife in his hand. According to police reports, Womack then put the knife in his pocket and approached one of the male individuals, assuming a fighting stance as if encouraging the witness to do something about the theft.
Womack reportedly yelled and threatened the male witness before grabbing his nine-year-old son and walking west away from the Boardwalk. The female witness on the hotel porch showed officers a cell phone video of the incident, which corroborated her version of the events.
OCPD officers located Womack running on 3rd Street while still wielding the knife and carrying his child, according to police reports. Womack reportedly threw the knife into the street, and when OCPD officers detained him, he still had the cash he had allegedly stolen from the tip bucket in his hand.
Womack, who was reportedly intoxicated to the point he posed a danger to himself, his son and others while wielding the knife, was arrested at that point. He was charged with 17 total counts from theft and second-degree assault to reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. While he was being detained, he reportedly yelled things such as “It’s free money,” and “Yeah, I had a weapon, but it ain’t no thing,” and “I had to throw it before you guys shot me,” according to police reports. For that behavior, Womack was also charged with a noise violation.