(June 27, 2014) Video footage of a violent Senior Week confrontation between drunk teenagers and motel security, recently posted to YouTube, has put the spotlight on what, if any, standards private guards are held to.
In the footage – which can be found at http://youtu.be/sqts-XcW9gA – a clearly intoxicated young man refuses to leave the front lot of the Suntan Motel on Second Street and Baltimore Avenue, where he was apparently not staying.
It is common practice during June for lodging establishments, particularly downtown, to hire security to prevent anyone who is not registered at the establishment from coming on the property to party.
The intoxicated young man in the footage has been identified as Jacob D. Little, 19, of New Cumberland, PA, according to a report from the Ocean City Police Department.
However, the OCPD report picks up after the events of the YouTube footage, when officers finally arrived at the scene of the fight after having been alerted by a third party. Little allegedly fled officers and was apprehended after a foot chase. The incident took place June 8, 2014.
In the video, several of Little’s female friends advise him to leave, but he appears unwilling or unable, given his clear level of drunkenness, to do so, and gets into a face-to-face verbal altercation with a security guard.
Little is then confronted by a second guard, who rhetorically asks “do you live here?” and then says “you have to move right now.”
Despite several stern orders from the guards, Little appears to head toward the motel’s front door, where he is then physically blocked by the two guards. Several onlookers tell the guards to “call the cops on him.”
However, the second guard – who has a heavy West Indian or African accent – says “I not calling cops on you, I take you out of here right now.”
Little, however, continues to walk north, although it is unclear if he is heading toward the motel’s entrance or is trying to get around the guards in order to head out of the parking lot.
The first guard then hoists Little up over his shoulder, apparently intent on physically moving him off the property. But instead, the guard stops partway through the parking lot and violently slams Little, from shoulder-height, down onto the pavement, and begins striking him in the face.
Several onlookers scream “stop” and “he was trying to leave.”
After a few seconds, the guard allows Little to get up. But the young man then tries to take a drunken, retaliatory swing at the guard’s face, prompting a full-scale fracas.
Although camera footage is unclear for several seconds thereafter, the arm of a security guard can clearly be seen throwing a young blonde woman in a bikini up against a brick pillar, after which she falls down and appears unable to get up, although the video cuts out soon thereafter.
OCPD Public Information Officer Lindsay O’Neal said the department is currently investigating what went on prior to officers’ arrival, and is aware of the video footage.
According to the OCPD report, a security guard named Timothy Randolph identified Little as having struck him during the fight. It is unknown if any of the guards seen in the video are Randolph.
Little has been charged with second-degree assault, affray, and disorderly Conduct.
No formal representative of the Suntan Motel was available for comment – but a source at the establishment confirmed that they were aware of the video.
“We just hire them for senior week,” the source said. “This coming week will probably be the last one for it. We’ve had no incidents since that night.”
It was their understanding, the source said, that the young woman injured in the fight was Little’s sister.
“I was told [the guard] pushed her into the pillar because she had jumped on his back and was punching him in the head,” the source said. “It was her brother. You kind of understand the emotions involved, but the guards are trying to defend themselves the best they can.”
“When kids start drinking, they get a whole different mindset.”
Any physical altercations between security and guests are supposed to be reported immediately to police, O’Neal said. However, the OCPD does not directly regulate private security, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Maryland State Police.
The MSP was unable to comment as of press time.