Two incidents over the weekend in Ocean City saw hostile crowds accosting Ocean City Police officers, police officials said.
On Saturday, July 23 at approximately 9:45 p.m. Ocean City police witnessed a male, later identified as Kevin D. Rusten, 26 of Silver Spring, kick a public trash can and push it to the ground, said Lindsay Richard, spokesperson for the Ocean City Police Department.
Rusten then kicked the trash can into the center of the crowded Boardwalk in the area of 1st Street and Atlantic Avenue, Richard stated in a release.
Officers approached Rusten to place him under arrest and Rusten became aggressive toward the officers. During that time, a large, hostile crowd began to form and numerous suspects assaulted the officers when they attempted to disperse the crowd.
Five arrests were made during this incident. There were no injuries.
Later in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 24, at approximately 12:40 a.m., officers observed a large disorderly crowd of over 200 people at 7th Street and the Boardwalk. Individuals in the crowd were yelling profanities and some began throwing bottles and other objects, Richard said.
The crowd was aggressively hostile toward officers attempting to disperse the crowd. Officers at the site requested assistance. Dozens of police officers responded to the scene, including officers from the Maryland State Police Berlin Barrack V and Worcester County Sheriff’s Office.
A total of seven arrests were made during this incident. There were no injuries.
These incidents took place barely a month after Ocean City police were granted the power to make arrests instead of issuing citations to repeat offenders of municipal ordinances. The new powers allow officers to arrest individuals who refuse to comply with an officer’s order to cease and desist in any criminal activity.
With this new ordinance, the police will likely be able to make a noticeable difference on the boardwalk, Richard said in late June.
“It gives it a little more teeth, if you will,” Richard said. “Rather than just giving a citation, an arrest is a lot more serious. I think it can really help in making sure that our ordinances are followed.”
The nature of the recent weekend’s incidents echoes that of a June 11 fight in the beach town, in which police had to threaten to use Tasers to break up a fight involving 100 individuals who were resisting officers’ attempts to disperse the crowd.
Despite the June and July incidents, a report released in mid-June showed there has been a 19.2 percent decrease for officer calls for service, a 9.2 percent decrease in citizen calls for service, 300 less traffic stops recorded for the month of May compared to the previous year and a total downward trend for crime in general, Chief Ross Buzzuro said at the June 15 commission meeting.
In addition, use of Tasers in arrests has dropped from 21 incidents in May 2015, to eight in May of this year, with only two resulting in deployment.
During the first incident on Saturday night, these five individuals were arrested:
Charles J. Mapp, 21 of Accomac, was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing and hindering a police officer. He was released on personal recognizance.
Jiare C. Darden, 20 of Baltimore, was charged with interfering with an arrest, obstructing and hindering a police officer and disorderly conduct. He was released on $3,000 unsecured bond.
Ogni J. Assimaidou, 20 Potomac, Maryland, was charged with interfering with an arrest and second degree assault to a police officer. She was released on personal recognizance.
Kevin D. Rusten, 26 of Silver Spring, was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, two counts of second degree assault on an officer, failure to obey and reckless endangerment. He was transferred to the Worcester County Jail on $5,000 bond.
Antwan D. English, 21 of Baltimore, was charged with obstructing and hindering a police officer, resisting arrest, second degree assault on a police officer and disorderly conduct. He was released after posting $3,000 bond.
Later in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 24, at approximately 12:40 a.m. officers observed a large disorderly crowd of over 200 people at 7th Street and the Boardwalk. Individuals in the crowd were yelling profanities and some began throwing bottles and other objects. The crowd was very hostile and aggressive towards officers attempting to disperse the crowd. Dozens of police officers responded to the scene, including officers from the Maryland State Police and Worcester County Sheriff’s Office.