Ocean City Better Prepared, H2Oi Crowds Remain Unruly & Disorderly

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H2Oi vehicle being tagged and dragged by OCPD / Photo courtesy Roland Hubbard
Sitting in H2Oi Traffic / Image courtesy Mike Bradley

Because of the large and unruly crowds as well as the bumper to bumper traffic, Ocean City Police urge residents to stay at home until the pop-up car rally people leave the resort. The area of 30th Street was a flashpoint last night for large crowds of people which police helped to quell. WGMD has an unconfirmed report that a Maryland State Trooper went down while making an arrest trying to disperse a crowd of 500 or so at 71st Street around 11pm. This follows another assault on a police officer Friday night in the area of 31st Street and Baltimore Avenue.

H2Oiers waiting to recover towed cars / Image courtesy
Mike Bradley

Many businesses in the resort are modifying their hours for the weekend to keep their customers and staff safe. Over just Thursday and Friday over 200 vehicles were towed, nearly 90 people were arrested, and police made 415 traffic stops.

Ocean City Police released this early Sunday morning: More than one hundred participants of the weekend pop-up rally were arrested and charged with various criminal and traffic offenses.  Despite experiencing minor issues during the day, hundreds of participants became unruly and destructive in the evening hours.

Incidents throughout town progressed from social gatherings to unruly and violent behavior among the large crowds, specifically in the downtown area. At approximately 11:50 p.m., Ocean City Police made the request for the second wave of allied law enforcement assistance. Assistance arrived from across the eastern shore to help with crowds, disorderly conduct and assaults.

“This is not a car show and the majority of these visitors are not car enthusiasts,” stated Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro.  “They are here to disrupt, destroy and disrespect our community and our law enforcement officers. Our policing philosophy is to be friendly, fair and firm. Unfortunately, the disorderly behavior and unruly crowds left no choice but to shift our philosophy and take additional steps to protect our officers and our community.”

At the time of this release, OCPD officers were still on the scene of several incidents. Additional information will be released at a later time.

Maryland State Police released this update Sunday afternoon:

A Maryland State Police trooper was injured last night while attempting to arrest a fleeing suspect in Ocean City, Md.

The suspect is identified as Jonathan Bello, 23, of Norfolk, Va.  He is charged with resisting arrest, reckless endangerment, escape, and disorderly conduct.  He is currently awaiting an initial appearance before a court commissioner.

Shortly before 11:00 p.m. yesterday, troopers responded to the area of 71st Street in Ocean City to assist members of the Ocean City Police Department who were dealing with a disorderly crowd, estimated to include hundreds of people.  An Ocean City officer was attempting to arrest a man who resisted arrest and fled on foot.

A Maryland state trooper pursued the suspect on foot.  Upon reaching the suspect, both fell to the ground, with the suspect falling on top of the trooper.

The trooper was knocked unconscious and sustained a laceration to his head.  Other law enforcement officers took the suspect into custody and responded to assist the trooper.  They determined the trooper was not breathing and immediately attempted lifesaving measures.

Due to the situation at the scene, troopers and officers evacuated the injured trooper from the area in a patrol car and met an ambulance nearby.  The trooper was transported by ambulance to the Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury where he was treated for his injuries.  Following treatment, he was released from the hospital this morning and is recuperating at home.

Another H2Oi Tow / Image courtesy Mike Bradley