Loaded Gun Leads To Assault Charges

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on first-degree assault and other charges last week after waving a loaded handgun at victims during a fight over car keys at a downtown condo.

Around 4:15 p.m. last Thursday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to a condo on St. Louis Avenue for a reported disorderly individual. Upon arrival, the officer met with a female who told police there was a male suspect inside the unit waving a gun around. The suspect was later identified as Collin Petry, 23, of Hanover, Pa.

The female witness told the officers just before their arrival, Petry was intoxicated and was trying to take a set of car keys away from another man in the unit. The female witness said at one point, Petry retrieved a small handgun with a red laser on it and was waving it around. The witness reportedly told police Petry and the male victim were pushing each other and the handgun was pressed against the victim. The witness told police she feared the handgun was going to go off and she ran out of the unit in fear for her life, according to police reports.

Two other female witnesses in the unit corroborated the first witness’s story about Petry waving the handgun around and fighting with the male victim, according to police reports. One witness reported Petry was waving a laser around the unit during the fight with the victim and she did not immediately recognize it as a handgun. After she realized it was a handgun, she believed she and others in the room could have been injured.

Another witness reportedly told police she knew Petry had a handgun, but did not believe he had it on his person during the fight. That witness told police during the fight, Petry and the victim knocked over a table that had injured her knee.

According to police reports, OCPD officers located a loaded Ruger .38 caliber handgun in the living room and determined it was equipped with a red laser. Petry was located sitting on a couch in the living room near where the handgun was located. Based on the evidence and testimony, Petry was arrested and charged with four counts each of first- and second-degree assault and one count of reckless endangerment. He was held without bond initially, but was later released on recognizance on Tuesday.

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.