Ocean City Police Appear To Punch Man During Vaping Arrest

Ocean City Police Appear To Punch Man During Vaping Arrest
Ocean City Police Appear To Punch Man During Vaping Arrest

Title: Ocean City Police Appear to Punch Man During Vaping Arrest


Vaping has become a controversial topic in recent years, with debates raging about its health risks and its impact on public spaces. In a shocking incident in Ocean City, Maryland, a man was arrested for vaping on the boardwalk, and the arrest took a violent turn.

The incident occurred on July 6th, just before 1 a.m., near 10th Street. Denzel Elam Ruff, a 34-year-old man from Lexington Park, Maryland, was approached by Ocean City Police officers after allegedly vaping in front of them. What began as a routine encounter quickly spiraled into a struggle between Ruff and multiple officers.

Video footage of the incident, which was uploaded to YouTube and shared on Ruff’s Instagram, shows several officers pinning Ruff to the ground while he is prone. Disturbingly, one of the officers appears to punch Ruff in the face. The apparent use of force depicted in the video has raised concerns about police conduct.

According to the police’s statement of probable cause, Ruff approached the officers to inquire about the Ocean City Boardwalk smoking ordinance. The officers claim to have warned Ruff about the ordinance and potential fines. However, they allege that Ruff ignored their commands and continued to walk away while smoking his vape. The officers attempted to issue him a citation and detain him, but Ruff resisted, leading to the escalation of the situation.

The video evidence contradicts the police statement, as it shows Ruff’s friends and witnesses audibly protesting the apparent punch. Ruff’s mother, Patricia Elam-Walker, a Washington D.C. attorney, expressed her disbelief at the use of such force during an arrest for vaping.

The Ocean City Police Department released a statement in response to the incident, asserting that their officers are permitted to use force to overcome resistance as per their training. They also mentioned that all uses of force undergo a review process, and this specific incident will be examined on multiple levels.

Following this incident, Ruff faces multiple misdemeanor charges, including disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, failure to provide proper identification, and second-degree assault of an officer. These charges highlight the severity of the situation, as well as the potential consequences Ruff could face.

This altercation is not an isolated event, as previous summers have seen similar clashes between Ocean City Police and individuals vaping or smoking on the boardwalk. These incidents have drawn heavy criticism and protests from civil rights groups, raising questions about the police’s approach to enforcing smoking regulations.

Ruff’s family is currently exploring their legal options, including the possibility of filing a class-action lawsuit. With the increasing scrutiny surrounding vaping in public spaces and the use of force by law enforcement, this case could have broader implications for both vaping regulations and police conduct.

Overall, the Ocean City incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing controversy surrounding vaping and the need for a thoughtful and measured approach when enforcing smoking regulations. It also underscores the importance of examining police conduct and ensuring that force is used appropriately and responsibly in such situations.



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