Arrest Made After Downtown Attack

OCEAN CITY — A Harper’s Ferry, West Va. man was arrested on first-degree assault charges last weekend after allegedly striking a female in the head with a metal flashlight during an altercation in the parking lot of a Boardwalk bar.

Last Friday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to the area of a Boardwalk bar for a reported assault in progress. Officers detained the involved parties and observed Paul McDaniel, 47, of Harper’s Ferry, West Va., in possession of the top half of a metal detector, according to police reports.

An officer met with a female victim who was reportedly bleeding severely from her forehead and the top of her head. The victim told police she had been struck in the head with an unknown cylindrical object. The victim reportedly told police she had left the bar with two friends, and as they were leaving, they observed McDaniel and his wife arguing with other citizens in the area.

The victim told police she heard someone yell a racial slur and that her friend attempted to intervene, but was attacked by a female. The victim’s friend was reportedly punched so hard that her knees buckled and she fell to the ground. The victim told police she reached down to attempt to help her friend get up when she was struck in the head from behind by an unknown object.

Officers observed four individuals fleeing from the scene on foot through a nearby alleyway. Among those fleeing the scene was McDaniel, according to police reports. In a parking lot behind the bar, OCPD officers located several parts to a metal detector scattered about. OCPD officers also located a green metal flashlight on the ground near where the victim had been lying. A light brown hair matching the hair color of the victim was located on the flashlight.

Officers interviewed McDaniel, who reportedly told police his wife was being attacked during the incident and was attempting to defend her. The victim was brought over to attempt to identify her attacker among the four individuals being detained, but could not say with certainty if McDaniel had been the one who struck her.

However, a third member of the victim’s group was reportedly sober and witnessed the entire incident. That witness told police he was positive it was McDaniel who had hit the victim in the head from behind.

The victim was transported to the hospital for treatment of the injuries to her head. McDaniel was released after posting a $10,000 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.