First-Degree Assault Charge Filed For Downtown OC Beating

OCEAN CITY — A Philadelphia man was charged with first-degree assault last weekend after allegedly attacking and threatening to kill his girlfriend at a downtown residence during an argument over his alleged gang affiliation.

Around 2 a.m. last Friday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to an area of St. Louis Avenue for a reported stabbing incident. Upon arrival, OCPD officers met with an individual, later identified as Luis Berrios, 37, of Philadelphia, who was bleeding profusely from his left arm. The OCPD officer rendered aid to Berrios until Ocean City EMS arrived and provided further medical attention.

According to police reports, Berrios told police he had been drinking at a downtown bar with a female friend when an unidentified male accused him of being in a gang. Berrios reportedly told police he denied any gang affiliation, but his female friend got angry because she believed he was lying.

Berrios told police the female went to the bathroom, and when she returned, the couple began to argue. Berrios reportedly told police the couple walked back to their rental condo where the argument escalated. Berrios told police the female got so angry with him, she stabbed him with a kitchen knife, according to police reports. Berrios told police he then went outside and called 911.

The female was interviewed and told a different version of the events. The female reportedly told police she went with Berrios to a Boardwalk bar. Berrios began to drink heavily and became intoxicated to the point he was attempting to fight people in the bar, according to police reports.

The female reportedly told police she advised Berrios it was time to leave the bar, which only made him angrier. The female told police she and Berrios walked back to their rental unit, at which time the argument escalated. The female victim told police she attempted to lock Berrios out of the unit, but let him back in out of fear he was going to break the door in.

The victim told police once Berrios was back in, he became more enraged and punched her multiple times in the face with a closed fist, according to police reports. The victim reportedly grabbed a beer bottle and attempted to pour it out so Berrios would stop drinking. According to police reports, Berrios snatched the empty beer bottle from the victim and swung it at her, nearly hitting her in the head.

The victim reportedly told the police at that point, she reached back to the kitchen counter and grabbed a utensil she believed at the time was a fork. According to police reports, the victim slashed at Berrios in a defensive manner and cut him with what turned out to be a kitchen knife.

At that point, Berrios threatened to kill the victim, grabbed her and pinned her against the refrigerator and continuous punched her in the face and pulled her hair, according to police reports. The victim reportedly told police the beating continued for about a half a minute and she told police she feared for her life.

The victim reportedly told police she was able to break free from Berrios, grabbed the beer bottle, gathered her children and retreated upstairs to call 911. According to police reports, OCPD officer interviewed nine children at the scene, each of whom corroborated the victim’s version of the incident.

Berrios was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault. He was held initially without bond, but was later released on Monday after posting a $5,000 bond. The female who slashed Berrios was not charged in the incident.

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.