Man Jailed Over April Gun Threat

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man, arrested in May on first-degree assault and other charges after pointing a loaded handgun at his girlfriend during a domestic dispute in April, pleaded guilty this month to possession of a handgun by a minor and was sentenced to five years, all but 18 months of which were suspended.

In May, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a residence on 12th Street to investigate a reported domestic incident involving a handgun that had allegedly taken place weeks earlier. The officer met with a female victim who reported she had been living in the unit for about four months and that she previously lived there with her ex-boyfriend, identified as Nathan Smith II, 20, of Ocean City.

According to police reports, the victim told the officer that during the month of April, she had been spending several days at a time with her aunt outside of town rather than in town with Smith. On April 17, the victim returned to the 12th Street unit and Smith reportedly became irate about the situation with the victim spending so much time away, according to police reports.

While the victim was standing in a hallway, Smith went into a bedroom and emerged holding a black handgun. Smith reportedly manipulated the slide of the handgun, chambered a round and pointed the gun at the victim from a close distance. Shortly thereafter, Smith put the gun away and apologized to the victim.

The victim then left the unit and stayed with her aunt for several weeks before returning. When she returned to the Ocean City unit, the victim kicked Smith out and told him he was no longer welcome to stay there, according to police reports.

The victim told the officer she was afraid to report the April 17 incident to the police. When she finally told her family about the incident, they encouraged her to report the incident involving the handgun. In the meantime, Smith had been sending text messages to the victim telling her he had the handgun hidden in a closet in the bedroom and that he wanted to come back to the unit to retrieve it.

The officer went with the victim to the closet in the bedroom and on the floor found a handgun wrapped in foil on the floor. The victim reportedly told the officer it was same gun Smith had pointed at her during the incident back on April 17.

Smith was located near an uptown shopping center and was taken into custody without incident. He was charged with first- and second-degree assault and numerous weapons counts. He pleaded guilty this month to possession of a handgun by a minor and was sentenced to five years, all but 18 months of which were suspended. He was placed on supervised probation for three years upon his release.

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.