First Degree Assault for Pistol Whipping Incident

OCEAN CITY- A Berlin was arrested and charged with first-degree assault and other counts last weekend after allegedly pistol-whipping and beating a male victim during an altercation in the downtown area.

Around 10:20 p.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a residence on Robin Drive in the 28th Street area for a reported first-degree assault that had already occurred. The 911 caller advised a victim had been pistol-whipped and the suspects fled west on Robin Drive in a gray SUV, according to police reports.

Minutes later, OCPD officers observed a gray SUV traveling east on Bayshore Drive before turning south on Philadelphia Avenue. As OCPD officers followed, the vehicle turned into a hotel parking lot at 25th Street before crashing into a parked vehicle in an adjacent parking space, according to police reports.

OCPD officers conducted a high-risk traffic stop because the 911 caller mentioned a handgun in the commission of the alleged first-degree assault. The front seat passenger was detained and identified as Dale Brown, Jr., 22, of Berlin. Officers detected the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle and conducted a search. During the search, officers located a box of .32-caliber ammunition in the vehicle, according to police reports.

OCPD officers interviewed the driver, who advised a male had punched the front passenger side window of the vehicle he was driving. The driver reportedly told police Brown exited the vehicle and began punching a male victim in the face. The driver told police he got out of the vehicle and pulled Brown off of the victim, who was now on the ground. The driver reportedly told police he and Brown then both got back into the vehicle and drove away, which is when officers arrived and conducted a traffic stop a few blocks away, according to police reports.

OCPD officers located the victim sitting on the sidewalk near a miniature golf course at Robin Drive. The victim had suffered a significant laceration to the back of his head as well as abrasions to his jaw, nose, elbow and hands, according to police reports. Next to the victim on the ground, OCPD officers located the upper half of a revolver and two .32-caliber cartridges. OCPD officers determined the ammunition was the exact make and model as the ammo found in the vehicle.

OCPD officers interviewed the victim who advised he had exited a nearby bar and was confronted by two male suspects, at least one of whom had assaulted him. The victim told officers he remembered being struck in the back of the head and getting punched in the ribs repeatedly, according to police reports. The victim said he observed the upper half of a revolver on the ground next to him when police arrived, but before then was unaware he had been struck with a blunt object, according to police reports.

OCPD officers interviewed the witness who had called 911. The witness was brought to the area of the traffic stop for a show-up and identification of the suspects and said he was 95% sure the driver was involved in the incident but had not been the suspect who had pistol-whipped and beaten the victim. The witness then told officers he was 95% sure it was Brown who had pistol-whipped the victim. The witness also positively identified the gray SUV as the suspects’ vehicle when they fled the scene, according to police reports.

Based on the evidence, officers determined Brown had exited the vehicle and struck the victim with a pistol, causing a significant laceration to the back of his head. Brown was arrested and charged with first-and second-degree assault and possession of ammunition in the commission of a felony. Following a bail review hearing on Monday, Brown was ordered to be held without 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.