Jamal Malik Gambrel

Jamal Malik Gambrel Mug Shot

A man wearing a pirate shirt attempted to steal a dog before leading police on a chase that ended with liquor bottles being smashed on the floor of a liquor store downtown.

Jamal Malik Gambrel was arrested by Ocean City Police at 5:30 p.m. last Saturday near 33rd Street and charged with two counts of theft, four counts of malicious destruction of property, two counts of disorderly conduct, and failing to obey the orders of law enforcement.

Police said numerous people called to report that a black man wearing a pirate shirt, sweatpants, and a black backpack attempted to steal a dog. As officers were getting a description of the culprit, one officer saw a man matching the description walking on the sidewalk near 30th Street. The officer stopped the patrol car and ordered the man, later identified as Gambrel, to stop.

The officer got out of the car and told Gambrel to stop again, but instead, Gambrel waved his hand in a downward motion and continued walking, according to the police report. Two of the people who reported the attempted theft started yelling to the officer that the man in the pirate shirt, Gambrel, was the person they were looking for.

Gambrel was told to stop once again by the officer, but he continued to walk before pausing, pointing his finger at the officer, and allegedly saying, “No, you stop.”

Police said Gambrel threw his backpack down and started running down Philadelphia Avenue, taking off his clothes in the process and causing several cars to slam their brakes to avoid hitting him.

The chase continued for several blocks until Gambrel ran into a liquor store where he was eventually detained.

When police entered the liquor store, they saw several broken bottles of booze on the floor. Employees inside the store told police Gambrel ran in and immediately started breaking the bottles. In total, 18 bottles were broken, costing approximately $450-$550.

As for the dog, the owner said it was worth $1,000. The owner said Gambrel ran up to them and grabbed the dog by the harness, yelling, “It’s a free animal. Let her go,” as he tried to unleash it.

The owner said he pushed Gambrel away, but that he tried to steal the dog again, which is when the owner admitted to police that he pulled a knife on Gambrel and told him to go away. Police said Gambrel reportedly fled to another store nearby, where he destroyed several bottles of wine and attempted to steale various items.

Employees in the store locked themselves in the bathroom because they were scared, according to police.

A car owner also reported that Gambrel threw a rock at a window of the vehicle and broke it. The cost to replace the windshield was estimated between $700-$1,000.

This story appears in the print version of Ocean City Today on April 22, 2022.

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