A 34-year-old Cambridge, Md., man was being held by Ocean View police on Wednesday morning, July 22, after a pre-dawn struggle with a South Bethany police officer he had led on a foot chase through a cemetery and allegedly threatened to shoot.
Alfred Sylvester Floyd, 34, of Cambridge was charged with driving under the influence, resisting arrest, attempting to remove a law enforcement officer’s fire arm, criminal impersonation/giving an officer a fake name, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
There will be additional traffic charges and possibly an assault-by-motor-vehicle charge, Ocean View Police Chief Kenneth McLaughlin told the Coastal Point on Wednesday morning. Police were in the process of obtaining a search warrant for Floyd’s car, McLaughlin said.
He said the incident began after a South Bethany police officer, whose name McLaughlin did not release, visited Royal Farms on Route 26 in Ocean View around 2 a.m. Wednesday. That officer noticed a man at the gas pump exhibiting what he classified as bizarre behavior, walked up to him and asked if he was all right. The man told the officer his name and the officer ran a background check, determining there were several warrants for his arrest.
When the officer attempted to take him into custody, the suspect resisted arrest, fought with the officer and fled on foot, crossing Route 26 and running into the cemetery near Ocean View Presbyterian Church on Central Avenue.
“A pretty violent struggle ensued there. The suspect told the officer he was going to shoot him, and he tried to disarm the officer and take his gun out of his holster. The officer was able to retain his gun,” McLaughlin said.
A second chase began, with the suspect running back to his car to flee again. He got into the car, turned left onto Route 26, westbound, against traffic and collided with an Ocean View Police cruiser that was responding to the incident, McLaughlin said.
“He ran into the Ocean View police car coming to assist the South Bethany officer, and he totaled the cruiser. He smashed into the front end. He bounced off that car and ran into a phone pole,” McLaughlin said.
The South Bethany officer suffered minor injuries, but no one else was hurt, McLaughlin said.
“He was using methamphetamine last night,” the police chief noted. “People who do that, it’s like PCP” (phenylcyclohexyl piperidine, also known as angel dust). “They see stuff that is not there in most cases. It’s bad. It’s like, maybe you look at the officer and you see the devil — those kinds of things. It’s scary stuff. Why anybody would do that, I don’t know.
“The South Bethany officer was out there by himself for a couple minutes. He’s in a cemetery at 2 in the morning, rolling around by himself. This guy is telling him he was going to shoot him. He didn’t know if the guy had a gun. There was some confusion. This gentleman was saying, ‘I’m going to shoot you. I’m going to shoot you.’ Some officers responding were under impression shots had been fired. But nothing was fired except a Taser gun, and that didn’t hit the suspect,” McLaughlin said.
South Bethany and Ocean View police were assisted by agencies including the South Bethany, Fenwick Island, Dewey Beach and Selbyville police departments, Delaware State Police Troop 7 in Lewes, Delaware State Police Troop 4 in Georgetown, the Delaware State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit, Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company’s fire police, Millville Volunteer Fire Company EMS and the Delaware Department of Transportation.
A portion of Route 26 to West Road was closed for a couple of hours, and reopened by around 5 a.m., McLaughlin said.