Seven assault suspects recently pleaded guilty to second degree assault in Worcester County Circuit Court to charges that stem from two incidents that occurred on the Ocean City, Maryland boardwalk in June 2020. The Ocean City Police Department has noted that the suspects received lengthy prison terms for their involvement.
Multiple investigative techniques were used to identify and arrest the suspects including surveillance images and video obtained from the City Watch Cameras System that were released to the public through social media and local media outlets. Officers also received cell phone videos of the assaults that were used to help identify the suspects.
Although much of the nation was shut down because of the coronavirus, serious crime in the seaside Maryland town spiked in 2020 after years of dropping to historic lows. Eight million people visit Ocean City, Maryland annually and 7,000 live in the resort city year-round.
The increase in crime reversed a trend showing a steady decline in serious crime over the last five years. For example, serious crime in Ocean City during 2018 dipped to a 28-year low.
The police department released an annual report that showed crime rates in most categories rose significantly in 2020 despite the town essentially being closed for several months last spring because of the pandemic. Serious crimes, such as assaults, robberies, rapes and burglaries increased by 21%.
According to the annual report, Part 1 offenses were up 21% from 1,509 in 2019 to 1,825 in 2020. Forcible rapes were up 200%, increasing from six in 2019 to 18 in 2020. Aggravated assaults were up 76%, increasing from 66 in 2019 to 116 in 2020. Robberies were up 67% from 18 in 2019 to 30 in 2020.
And June 2020 was one of the worse months ever seen for alleged criminal activity in Ocean City. Police reported more than 1,000 calls for disorderly conduct that month, a 50% increase over June 2019. Calls for assaults jumped 40% from June 2019 to June 2020.
Violent crime was an especially problematic issue in 2020, especially in June. Many of the serious crime incidents, especially the violent crimes, happened in June. For example, there were 494 Part 1 crimes in June, compared to 383 in July and 253 in August.
Ocean City police report issuing 41 citations for smoking on the boardwalk in June 2019. In June 2020, they issued 241 citations, nearly a 500% increase.
Assaults on police officers were also up during 2020. There were 165 reported assaults on officers last year, compared to 110 in 2019 and 74 in 2018.
A police official said there were many reasons for the increase, including pent-up frustration related to the COVID pandemic and civil unrest around the country.
An Ocean City, Maryland criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are facing charges. Maronick Law, LLC is open during the pandemic and will continue to meet your Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh criminal defense attorney needs. The consultation is free.
We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410-881-4022 or through the website for a free consultation.