Cops & Courts – February 5, 2021

Cops & Courts – February 5, 2021

Restaurant Assault

OCEAN CITY — A local man was arrested on assault charges last week after allegedly punching a north-end restaurant employee.

Around 8:45 p.m. last Tuesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a restaurant at 131st Street for a reported assault. The officer met with the alleged victim, an employee of the establishment, who reportedly said he had a confrontation with the suspect, later identified as Anthony Amedori, 30, of Ocean City.

The victim told police Amedori allegedly punched on the right side of his face with a closed fist, according to police reports. The officer later confirmed Amedori’s identity via his name on a receipt from the establishment. The victim reportedly told police Amedori had been acting strangely at the bar and talking to himself, according to police reports.

When the victim told Amedori it was time to leave, he reportedly starting shouting profanities and allegedly punched the victim in the side of his face with a closed fist. The victim called the police and watched Amedori leave the bar in a vehicle. The victim provided police with a description of the vehicle and the suspect.

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The victim reportedly had red marks on the side of his face corroborating his version of the events, but refused EMS treatment, according to police reports. The victim attempted to show officers video surveillance footage of the incident, but could not get the security cameras to work. However, when shown Amedori’s driver’s license photo, the victim was able to positively identify the victim.

OCPD officers located the suspect’s vehicle on South Ocean Drive. When they knocked on the door of the residence, no one answered, but they could hear someone inside, according to police reports. OCPD officers were ultimately able to detain Amedori and he was arrested and charged with second-degree assault.

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Boardwalk Assault Plea

SNOW HILL — One of four suspects charged with armed robbery and assault for their roles in a gunpoint robbery on the Boardwalk in August pleaded guilty this week to one count of second-degree assault and pre-sentence investigation was ordered.

Joshua Benitez, 17, of Lorton, Va., pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of second-degree assault for his role in the Aug. 26 incident. Sentencing was deferred until May 17. James Watson, 17, of Alexandria, Va., last month pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree assault in the incident and was sentenced to 12 years, all but five of which were suspended.

Another suspect, Alexis Cabrera, 17, of Lorton, Va., in January had all the charges against him placed on the stet, or inactive, docket. A fourth suspect, Micah Younger, 18, of Manassas, Va., had the most serious charges against him of armed robbery and first-degree assault dismissed, but still faces three counts of second-degree assault pending with a court date set for Feb. 17.

Around 2:15 a.m. on Aug. 26, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on bicycle patrol was dispatched to the area of 12th Street and the Boardwalk for a reported assault with gun. As the bicycle officer made his way to the scene, the officer observed a suspect matching the description provided by Ocean City Communications running west toward Baltimore Avenue. The officer detained the suspect, later identified Watson.

OCPD officers viewed the City Watch video footage of the incident and observed Watson walking down the Boardwalk carrying a shotgun. The officer who first detained Watson reported never seeing Watson in possession of the shotgun, but witnesses told police Watson handed the weapon to a friend, who went back to their vehicle.

OCPD officers interviewed the female victim, who reportedly told police Watson had robbed her and her 10-year-old niece. The victim told police Watson held her 10-year-old niece at gunpoint and demanded her cell phone, according to police reports. The victim told police she grabbed the cell phone from her niece and told the child to run away, according to police reports.

The victim reportedly told officers she attempted to call the police, but Watson’s friend, later identified as Benitez, grabbed the phone from her and physically assaulted her. The victim told police Watson handed the shotgun to another friend, later identified as Cabrera. The witness told police Watson then attempted to rob her of her wallet, but she was able to get away.

According to City Watch footage, Watson enters the screen frame carrying the black shotgun by his side and physically assaulted a male victim by striking him in the face, according to police reports. Watson then allegedly handed the shotgun to Cabrera and continued to argue with the victim. The footage also revealed Benitez assaulting the female victim and taking the cell phone.

According to witnesses, Cabrera, Benitez and Younger left the area with the shotgun in a silver Honda. A short time later, Maryland State Police located the suspect vehicle in West Ocean City and initiated a traffic stop. Inside the vehicle were Cabrera, Younger and Benitez. The MSP trooper also observed the shotgun in plain view in the vehicle.

OCPD officers brought one of the victims to the traffic stop and the victim positively identified Younger, Cabrera and Benitez. In summary, the initial officer learned Watson, Cabrera, Benitez and Younger were all involved in the armed robbery and the various assaults during the incident captured on City Watch. The investigation revealed the shotgun was held by each of the suspects as they passed it around during the incident, according to police reports. The investigation revealed all four suspects were allegedly engaged actively in the various assaults and armed robbery.

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Suspended Sentence For Shattered Door

OCEAN CITY — A North Carolina woman, arrested in November after allegedly smashing a glass door at a residence during a domestic altercation, pleaded guilty this week to malicious destruction of property and was sentenced to 60 days, all of which was suspended.

Around 12:30 a.m. last Nov. 30, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to the Seabreeze Drive area for a reported domestic dispute. While responding to the scene, the officer was advised by communications the male victim who called in the incident was still being actively assaulted.

Upon arrival, the officer observed the male victim actively attempting to exit the residence by climbing out of a shattered front door glass storm door, according to police reports. The officer reportedly observed the glass storm door to be completely shattered with shards of glass all over the front porch and inside the home.

The victim advised the officer the female inside the residence, later identified as Nikki Hardin, 23, of Fayetteville, N.C. was having a “freak out,” according to police reports. The officer reportedly observed the victim’s clothes to be disheveled and the victim had fresh scratch marks in his neck.

The victim reportedly told police he and Hardin had been having an argument when she became more aggressive and began striking her with closed fists. The victim reportedly told police he pushed Hardin away, but she approached him again and continued to strike him with closed fists.

According to police reports, Hardin then exited the house and began throwing flower pots around on the front porch. The victim reportedly told police Hardin then began banging on the glass storm door in a fit of rage because she believed she was locked out of the house.

That’s when the glass storm door shattered. According to police reports, Hardin openly admitted to punching the glass door and breaking it with her fist. On Monday, Hardin pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property and was sentenced to 60 days, all of which was then suspended, and she was placed on probation for one year. The second-degree assault charge was placed on the stet, or inactive, docket.