OCEAN CITY — In the wake of arguably the worst motorized special event weekend ever, Ocean City’s elected this week promised bold action and perhaps painful solutions to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
While the official H2O International (H2Oi) car show held for years at Fort Whaley west of Berlin was cancelled two weeks ago, thousands of the enthusiasts came anyway as planned last weekend. To be sure, there was a percentage of attendees that obeyed the town’s laws and ordinances and respected their host community, but many came on a mission of racing up and down the streets, snarling traffic, littering and instigating the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers and their allied partners attempting to maintain some semblance of order. The chaos reached a crescendo on Saturday night when a vehicle intentionally drove into two police officers, forcing the officers to fire their service weapons at the suspects, before the driver was ultimately caught swimming in the bay.
On Monday afternoon, OCPD Chief Ross Buzzuro issued a statement calling the behavior of some of the weekend event’s participants appalling. On Monday night, the Mayor and Council had the opportunity to weigh in echoed the chief’s sentiments. The town’s elected officials for years have struggled with how best to handle the motorized special events so prevalent in the shoulder seasons and the solution has always been an increased police presence with the OCPD and its allied law enforcement agencies from around the region.