(March 22, 2019) Joshua Thomas James Petersen faced a lifetime ban from a downtown Ocean City bar after a night of drinking on March 16.

The 23-year-old Berlin resident couldn’t accept that. Now, he faces nearly 25 years in prison and more than $11,000 in fines, according to a police report, for assaulting two police officers attempting to arrest him late that evening after Petersen was twice escorted out of the bar.

Two officers intervened after Petersen’s third attempt to reenter the bar. While instructing Petersen to place his hands behind his back, the report said, “Petersen turned away from me and assumed a bladed fighting stance.” Petersen attempted to strike two officers, which led to him being taken down to the ground. Petersen continued to resist arrest until an officer was able to place the handcuffs on him.

Petersen was evaluated by Ocean City Emergency Medical Services personnel at the public safety building. An hour later, according to the report, Petersen sustained self-inflicted injuries to his head and mouth after hitting his head against the cell wall and punching himself in the face, which led to him being transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury for treatment. While en route to the hospital, Petersen began to unbuckle the safety straps on the stretcher, and violently tried to keep medical personnel and an officer from restraining him.

“While I was doing so,” an officer wrote, “Petersen began to spit and tried to bite my hand. Petersen was ultimately restrained without further incident.” But not before making comments about moving to California before his court date, which is set for April 26 at 9 a.m. at Worcester County District Court in Ocean City. 

He faces five misdemeanor counts — including two for second-degree assault, which carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $5,000 in fines apiece — and one apiece for disorderly conduct, resisting/interfering with arrest, and trespassing on private property. He was released March 17 after posting a $2,500 unsecured personal bond after waiving his right to an attorney at his initial court appearance.

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