Michael Taxacher

Michael Taxacher

A Pennsylvania man faces charges after pointing a handgun at another man and then pistol-whipping him in the face, according to police.

Michael R. Taxacher, 29, of Connellsville, Pennsylvania was arrested by Ocean City Police at 12:38 a.m. on July 17 near Second Street and charged with possession of a loaded handgun, first- and second-degree assault, and using a firearm in a violent crime.

Police said video surveillance captured an altercation between two groups of people that included a sequence showing Taxacher holding a Sig Sauer 365 9 mm handgun in his hand and pointing it toward Andrew Deets of Pennsylvania while his hands were raised in the air with what looked to be a black shoe.

Taxacher then walked up to Deets and pistol whipped him in the face before he fell to the ground. Taxacher walked away from Deets and carried the gun by his side, according to court documents.

Police said Deets was taken to Atlantic General Hospital and treated for his injuries, but just before leaving, Deets told police he was involved in a fight with Taxacher and others. 

Deets admitted to pulling out a knife during the fight to defend himself, police said, and that he feared for his life.

After being read his Miranda Rights, Taxacher told police he was walking home from a bar with his friends when he encountered Deets, who was sitting on the second-floor porch of a rental.

Deets started exchanging fighting words with Taxacher, police were told by the latter, when Deets came down from the porch.

Taxacher told police Deets pulled out a pocketknife, at which point Taxacher walked to his car that was parked 50 feet away and pulled out his firearm from the center console. 

“I should [have] shot his ass,” Taxacher told police, adding that the gun was loaded but he did not keep a round in the chamber. “I’m scared to take someone’s life, but dude had a knife.”

Taxacher admitted that his gun was drawn on Deets, and after he hit him, he walked back to the car, removed the magazine, and put his gun away.

Police noted that Taxacher could not remember whether he struck Deets with the gun or his fist.

When officers retrieved the gun from the car, there was blood splattered on the side of the pistol as well as human tissue, according to police.

This story appears in the print version of Ocean City Today on July 23, 2021.

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