Politics Debate Leads To Stabbing

OCEAN CITY — An ongoing political debate last weekend at a midtown restaurant boiled over into two victims being stabbed.

Around 6:35 p.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a restaurant on 56th Street for a report of an assault on multiple victims involving a knife. Responding officers met with a female and male victim who were assaulted with a knife. They identified the suspect as Timothy Fugate, 59, of Ocean City.

The victims explained about a week prior they were at the same restaurant when Fugate allegedly became enraged with them over presidential debates and other political disagreements. According to police reports, Fugate allegedly called the female victim a “Pelosi” fan and threatened to call his “boys.”

Last Saturday, tempers allegedly flared again between the couple and Fugate when verbal debates and disagreements escalated into a physical confrontation. Fugate allegedly stood up and tried to punch the male victim, but was restrained by other individuals in the bar. The two victims and Fugate exited the bar and were outside the front entrance when the fight escalated.

The female victim reportedly told police Fugate turned to face her and grabbed her upper body with both hands. The female victim told police she was able to briefly get Fugate in a headlock. During the altercation, the female victim sustained a three- to four-inch laceration on her inner thigh, slicing her skin open to expose muscle and tissue in the area of her femoral artery, according to police reports.

The female victim also sustained a second laceration of roughly one inch on her left hand during the altercation. The male victim told police he intervened and attempted to separate Fugate and the female victim. The male victim told police he allegedly saw Fugate waving a box cutter and witnessed the suspect slashing the female victim with the knife.

During the altercation, Fugate allegedly sliced open a three- to four-inch laceration on the male victim’s arm above the elbow, according to police reports. Fugate then fled the scene in a gray Jeep Wrangler, but returned to the scene a short time later and yelled more obscenities at the victims, who were being treated by Ocean City EMS.

The male victim was able to take a picture of the Jeep’s license plate. Ocean City Communications checked the registration and confirmed it belonged to Fugate and that he lived on Bering Road. OCPD officers responded to the address and observed the Jeep’s lights turn from on to off with Fugate sitting in the driver’s seat. Fugate exited the vehicle with the keys in his hand, according to police reports.

The female victim was brought to the residence and positively identified the suspect. Fugate, who exhibited signs of intoxication, admitted a physical altercation had occurred, but could not provide detailed answers, according to police reports. His speech was slurred and mumbled to the point the investigating officers could not understand his responses, according to police reports.

At that point, Fugate was arrested on two counts each of first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and driving under the influence. He refused to submit to field sobriety tests at the time of his arrest and later refused to a submit to an alcohol concentration test. A background check revealed at least four prior alcohol-related driving offenses and multiple alcohol restrictions on his driver’s license.

Fugate was held initially without bond. However, he was later released on recognizance following  a bail review hearing 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.