… is appalling. Keep in mind while reading this short chronicle of the last few days that the city has itself to blame for the escalating violence. (It’s sheer dumb luck no guns have been involved; but that luck will certainly run out.) It has done little to make the place unattractive to violent people. No curfews; plenty of late-night bars with cheap booze; insufficient police patrols.

Boardwalk violence used to be about crowds of drunk frat boys (see my posts about OC sister-city Myrtle Beach); but while that of course still goes on, the really scary stuff now is about gangs.

Around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 7, the OCPD responded to a fight involving multiple people on the Boardwalk between 6th Street and 7th Street. During that incident, one unnamed individual was stabbed and was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. The victim’s status in unknown.

Last Tuesday, OCPD officers responded to two simultaneous serious assaults on the Boardwalk, one at 11th Street and another at 15th Street. Around 11:20 p.m., OCPD officers responded to a reported stabbing that had just occurred. The victim was transported to PRMC for treatment and severity of the victim’s injuries are not known.

Just after midnight last Wednesday, the three-day spree reached a crescendo when a fight broke out on the Boardwalk between large groups of young adults. At least one young man was punched repeatedly in the face while sitting on a Boardwalk bench to the point it appeared he fell unconscious. Other skirmishes broke out during the larger altercation which carried over to the beach area. A video of the incident captured by a witness and posted on social media went viral and left many in the community with more questions than answers…

Just after 5 p.m. last Thursday, two individuals entered a West Ocean City restaurant and were asked by employees to leave because they were not wearing masks or face coverings in violation of state COVID-19 directives. The individuals did leave as directed, but returned a short time later with a third individual and allegedly confronted employees and threw bottles and other items around the restaurant before fleeing on foot. One individual, identified as Roger Ja’Mil Brown, 19, of Severn, Md., was arrested a short time later and was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace.

Around the same time last Thursday, another man was reportedly attacked randomly while shopping at the outlets in West Ocean City. The victim and his girlfriend were allegedly attacked from behind by five unknown assailants in broad daylight. The victim reportedly suffered multiple facial fractures including a broken cheek and a broken eye socket.

Back in Ocean City, the violence erupted again on Friday night with multiple altercations up and down the Boardwalk throughout the night. The situation reached a crescendo on Friday when law enforcement was forced to deploy pepper spray or a tear gas-like substance to break up the crowds.

On Sunday around 2 a.m., police broke up a fight among a group and apprehended at last two suspects on the Boardwalk.

On Sunday afternoon, the Alaska Stand on 9th Street announced on social media it was closing its doors early due to customer problems. Additionally, some other downtown businesses, such as the Crabcake Factory Poolside, did not even open Sunday due to concerns over safety.

In its social media message, the Alaska Stand wrote, “We are closed! … we have had more than enough this weekend dealing with a whole new level of disrespect to our staff, our business and our town and we are tired of being the brunt of undeserved verbal abuse by the public when ordering and picking up … we will regroup and try again … get it together OC … we apologize to our beloved and well mannered customers, we cherish and appreciate you to no end.”

*****************

By some measures, Ocean City has for some time been the most dangerous place to live in Maryland. Fixing the problem will make the place feel even less carefree and vacation-like: Extreme police presence; curfews; huge numbers of new rules; a general air of suspicion and threat. It’s sort of like what has happened to soccer (feast your eyes) in certain European countries: Organized gangs were allowed to proliferate, and now the game setting is one hundred percent male (women and families have abandoned the arenas; it’s only police and young male fans now) and way violent. Ocean City is getting there.

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3 Responses to “The fate of Ocean City, Maryland, where UD’s family has had a business presence for over a hundred years…”

  1. Ravi Narasimhan Says:

    “Boardwalk violence used to be about crowds of drunk frat boys …the really scary stuff now is about gangs.”

    That’s a gang of violent thugs to be avoided, just like any other. That it was never stopped in the past indicates that the double standard, unlike many individuals, is alive and well.

  2. theprofessor Says:

    Skill in selectively-applied elision is a very important part of the contemporary journalist’s toolkit, as the article above shows.

    We’ve had five murders locally in the past three weeks or so, along with numerous non-fatal shootings, stabbings, and serious assaults (this in a city that has averaged 15-20 annually). Now, in one of those murders, despite 40-50 people being present, nobody noticed anything about the perp except that he ran through a crowd of people and shot the victim point-blank. In two of the others (happened at the same time), only about five people were around. Nobody saw anything, of course, although some video from the gas station has provided some leads and a description of the perps. In the other two murders, there are apparently descriptions, but our local media ain’t a-tellin’ for some reason. Given that all five of the victims were black, you would think that “Silence = Violence” would apply, wouldn’t you?

    In the midst of all this chaos, our extremely progressive city council chairman has identified the real villains: landlords who don’t get the blood and gore cleaned up quickly after shootings, stabbings, and assaults. They also need to sweep up the fragments of crack and meth pipes and syringes with which tenants litter their properties. He also excoriated drug users and dealers, and bitterly criticized people protecting murderers.

    OK, I totally made that last sentence up. No way that he’s going there.

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    tp: Ocean City’s violence is race-blind. Today’s shooting in the middle of downtown was committed by a guy who looks like Jesus with a side of psychosis.

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