Man Charged With Stealing Truck, Running Over Victim

OCEAN CITY — A Dundalk, Md. man is being held without bond this week after allegedly stealing a rented box truck and running over the vehicle’s driver.

Shortly before 1 a.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the downtown area was dispatched to a food market on South Baltimore Avenue for a reported stolen vehicle. As the officer arrived on the scene, three males walked out of the market and pointed south on Baltimore Avenue while frantically yelling “That is the truck,” and “That is the stolen truck,” according to police reports.

The officer reportedly observed a white box truck with Ryder written on the side. The officer observed the vehicle turn west onto Somerset Street and activated the patrol vehicle’s emergency lights and siren in an attempt to make a traffic stop.

The officer followed and observed the allegedly stolen box truck turn north onto Philadelphia Avenue in an area that is one-way southbound. The stolen truck continued driving directly at oncoming traffic on Philadelphia Avenue. At one point, the stolen truck drove north between two southbound vehicles, nearly colliding head-on with both, according to police reports.

The driver of the stolen truck, later identified as William Hotaling, 52, of Dundalk, Md., reportedly continued to swerve between multiple lanes of traffic and showed complete disregard for the safety of any people or property in the area. Hotaling’s driving was extremely negligent and reckless, according to police reports, and the officer believed he was driving while impaired or intoxicated.

The stolen truck finally stopped on Philadelphia Avenue and North Division Street. The officer had to give at least three orders for Hotaling to exit the truck before he complied. He reportedly stumbled and had trouble maintaining his balance when he did exit the truck, according to police reports.

OCPD officers met with the renter of the truck, who provided a description of the man who had taken it, a description that matched Hotaling. OCPD officers interviewed four individuals at the store from whence the truck had been stolen. One of the men had been in the rear cargo area of the truck when it was taken. Initially, the males inside the store did not realize someone was stealing the truck. They assumed someone from their group was driving it when it started moving until they realized each of them were still there and accounted for, according to police reports.

The man who was in the cargo area of the truck reportedly told police once he realized the truck was being stolen, he jumped out of the back of the truck and injured his wrist in the process. The man who had rented the truck reportedly told police he observed it drive around the block from Caroline Street to Philadelphia Avenue to Wicomico Street, where he ran and confronted Hotaling.

The victim told police he opened the door and confronted Hotaling, but Hotaling shoved the victim back, causing him to fall on the ground. The victim said while he was on the ground, Hotaling allegedly put the vehicle in reverse and backed over his legs with the truck. Hotaling did not stop and proceeded north on Baltimore Avenue, which is when the initial officer arrived on the scene.

The victim whose legs were run over was taken to Atlantic General Hospital with serious, but not life-threatening, injuries. The other victim who leaped from the stolen truck was also taken to AGH for treatment for his wrist. The stolen truck was valued at around $50,000.

Hotaling was arrested and charged with unlawful motor vehicle taking, theft from $25,000 to under $100,000, reckless endangerment and second-degree assault. He also faces 22 traffic violations.

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.