Two Arrested After Striking Police Officers In Ocean City

October 1, 2017

MD State Police
October 1, 2017 (OCEAN CITY, MD)

Maryland State Police are investigating an overnight police involved shooting in Worcester County that occurred after two police officers were struck by a driver trying to run them down to avoid arrest.

One law enforcement officer struck is a supervisor with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and is assigned to the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team task force. The other is a police officer with the Ocean City Police Department. Both officers struck by the vehicle were transported to an area hospital where they were treated and released.

The driver of the vehicle is identified as Antonio Ambrosino, 18, of Seaford, DE. He is charged with two counts each of attempted first degree murder, attempted second degree murder, attempted manslaughter, first degree assault and second degree assault, as well as one count each of reckless endangerment, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

The passenger in the vehicle driven by Ambrosino is also under arrest. He is identified as Arkad Espinal, 20, of Shillington, PA. He is charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

Neither suspect was hit when police fired at them as they struck the officers. Both are awaiting their initial appearance before a court commissioner.

The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit is conducting the investigation into the police-involved shooting, at the request of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and the Ocean City Police Department. Investigators have been in contact with the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office overnight and will ultimately present their completed investigation to that office for review.

The preliminary investigation indicates that just after 11:00 p.m. yesterday, the deputy sheriff was working an assignment in Ocean City and pulled into the back of a shopping center lot between 33rd and 34th streets on the ocean side of Coastal Highway. The deputy saw a Chevrolet Malibu parked in the lot with two men inside. He notified dispatch that he would be checking on the vehicle and an Ocean City Police Department patrol unit with three officers responded to assist.

According to the preliminary investigation, the deputy and an Ocean City officer approached the car on opposite sides, while two officers positioned themselves near the rear of the vehicle. As the deputy walked up, he saw the two men in the car weighing and bagging marijuana.

When the suspects saw the officers approaching, they immediately attempted to hide the marijuana in the car. The deputy gave commands to the suspects, but they were ignored and the driver started the car and put it into reverse.

The driver, later identified as Ambrosino, quickly accelerated and turned the vehicle to the right, striking the deputy. After striking the deputy, Ambrosino put the car into drive and accelerated forward. He then steered to the left and drove directly at an Ocean City officer, striking him. The force of the impact catapulted the officer over the hood, windshield, and onto the roof of the car. The driver continued to accelerate away and the officer was thrown onto the hood of a vehicle parked nearby.

The preliminary investigation indicates the Ocean City police officer who was struck fired at the driver after being hit and another Ocean City police officer fired at the driver as he was striking the officer. Neither suspect was struck by the rounds fired by officers.

After fleeing the parking lot, the suspect vehicle ended up at a dead end on 41st Street on the bay side. Police took Espinal into custody at the car. Ambrosino jumped into the bay, but was later arrested about eight blocks north of that location.

Investigators have learned that during the incident, Ambrosino stated he would rather die than go to jail. The car driven by Ambrosino was impounded by State Police investigators. A search warrant is being obtained for the car.

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