Ocean City Today

Attempted murder charges filed after driver hits police

By Katie Tabeling | Oct 05, 2017
Courtesy of: Maryland State Police

(Oct. 6, 2017) For the first time in seven years, Ocean City Police fired their weapons in the line of duty, as a Delaware teenager struck two officers with his car as he attempted to avoid arrest.

A 2010 Chevrolet Malibu operated by Antonio Ambrosino, 18, of Seaford, Delaware, struck an unidentified Ocean City Police officer and an unnamed supervisor at the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office late Sunday, according to police.

Both officers were taken to a nearby hospital and treated for minor injuries.

Around 11:10 p.m., police spotted Ambrosino and Arkad Espinal, 20, of Shillington, Pennsylvania sitting in the parked car behind the shopping center on 33rd Street.

After the deputy radioed to other police his intent to check, three Ocean City police officers came to assist.

The deputy and an officer approached the car from opposite sides, while two other officers remained near the rear of the car.

As the deputy approached the driver’s side, he reported seeing a bag of marijuana on Ambrosino’s lap, according to charging documents.

When Ambrosino and Espinal saw police approaching, they attempted to hide the marijuana, according to a press release.

Ambrosino reportedly ignored commands to roll down the driver’s window, instead choosing to put the car into reverse.

Ambrosino allegedly accelerated, pinning the deputy to another car. Then he put the car into drive and accelerated forward, driving directly at an Ocean City officer, who had already drawn his gun.

Before the car struck the officer, he reportedly fired one shot toward the Chevrolet’s windshield, according to charging documents.

The car struck the officer, sending him flying over the hood and onto the roof of the car.

Ambrosino then continued to drive to 34th Street, throwing the officer onto the hood of a vehicle parked nearby, as a second officer fired a shot at the suspects.

Neither Ambrosino or Espinal were hit by the rounds fired by the officers.

After fleeing the parking lot, the Chevrolet reportedly stopped at the dead end on 41st Street bayside. Espinal ran, but was caught by police.

Ambrosino left the car and ran into the marsh leading into Isle of Wight Bay.Natural Resources Police officers on land used night-vision goggles to find Ambrosino about 400 feet from shore and guided a patrol boat to the suspect.

The state police’s helicopter, Trooper 4, was also called in to assist.

When Natural Resources Police officers found Ambrosino in the water, he claimed he would rather die than go to jail, according a press release. He was brought on board the patrol boat and placed under arrest.

Espinal later told investigators that he was sharing a half-pound of marijuana with Ambrosino, according to charging documents.

Maryland State Police are investigating the shooting. On Tuesday, troopers executed a search warrant on the car and found a BB pistol, a bag of suspected hallucinogenic mushrooms, about a half-pound of suspected marijuana, several baggies, a knife and a notebook containing a log of apparent drug transactions.

State Police Media Communications Director Greg Shipley said the contraband would be forwarded to the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division laboratory for analysis.

Ambrosino has been 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.

Espinal is charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

“Additional charges are possible, pending further consultation with the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office,” Shipley said.

Both men were transferred to the Worcester County Jail, where Ambrosino is being held without bond. Espinal is out on a $3,000 bond.

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