Violent Suspect Facing Multiple Assault Counts

OCEAN CITY — A Baltimore man is being held on multiple charges this week after an alleged violent stretch that began with a fight on the public sidewalk around 57th Street on Monday.

Around 1:55 a.m. on Monday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the midtown area observed three men engaged in a fight on the public sidewalk at 57th Street. OCPD officers identified the primary aggressor as Zachary Graves, 22, of Baltimore. The officers asked the other two combatants, identified as Stansberry Bea, 21, of Essex, Md., and Gabriel Melgar, 24, of Baltimore, to sit on the curb near a police cruiser, to which they complied.

However, Graves started to walk away from the scene and OCPD officers ordered him to stop. When Graves started running, an OCPD officer gave chase and tackled him to the ground. Graves reportedly resisted and refused to put his hands behind his back to allow officers to handcuff him, according to police reports.

Meanwhile, Bea and Melgar reportedly ran to the scene and prevented OCPD officers from detaining Graves. With the help of his fellow combatants in the initial fight, Graves was able to break free again and ran from police. One OCPD officer was able to grab Graves, but he reportedly struck the officer in the ear and face with a close fist.

An OCPD officer deployed a conducted electrical weapon, or taser, on Graves and he fell to the ground. According to police reports, even after he had been tased and handcuffed, he continued to resist. He was ultimately placed in a violent prisoner restraining device and it reportedly took eight officers to move him to a transport vehicle because of his violence and aggression.

At the Public Safety Building for processing, Graves was placed in a temporary holding cell, which is monitored through video surveillance. According to police reports, Graves assaulted another detainee in the holding cell, pushing him to the ground and repeatedly punching him in the head with a closed fist.

Because of his violence, Graves was moved to a different area of the booking section, but even then, his aggression continued, according to police reports. He reportedly screamed and spit in the face of a female booking officer. Graves was charged with multiple counts of assault on the initial combatants Bea and Melgar, who were also charged with assault and obstructing an investigation.

Graves was also charged with assaulting officers, resisting arrest and fleeing and eluding. He is being held on a $7,500 bond.

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.