Officer and Suspect Injured during DUI Arrest
Ocean City, MD- (June 6, 2022): On Monday, June 6, 2022, an officer with the Ocean City Police Department was on marked patrol in the area of 26th Street and Philadelphia Ave when they observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed on the northbound side of the highway. The officer estimated the vehicle to be traveling 70 mph in a 35 mph zone.
The officer attempted to stop the vehicle at approximately 1:48 a.m. in the area of 28th Street and Philadelphia Ave. As the driver continued to drive at a high rate of speed, the officer observed the vehicle swerving in and out of its designated lane several times, failing to stop for the officer who had activated their emergency lights and sirens.
The vehicle eventually stopped at 38th Street and Coastal Highway and officers detected a strong odor of alcohol when they approached. Officers identified the driver as Erik Rucker II through his driver’s license and learned his Nevada driver’s license was suspended. When officers attempted to complete standardized field sobriety tests on Rucker, he became uncooperative. Officers placed Rucker under arrest for driving under the influence, fleeing and eluding, and disorderly conduct.
While seated in the backseat of the patrol vehicle, officers heard Rucker attempting to make a phone call on his smartwatch. For the safety of the suspect and the officer, arrestees aren’t permitted to make phone calls on the scene while in custody. Rucker was informed by officers he could make a phone call at the Public Safety Building.
When officers attempted to remove the watch, Rucker became aggressive toward officers and began thrashing his body around to prevent the removal of the watch. Rucker repeatedly kicked the arresting officer in the face, chest, and arms. A second officer was kicked multiple times while trying to gain control of Rucker in the backseat. When Officers attempted to remove Rucker from the patrol vehicle, Rucker continued to thrash his body around causing him to fall onto the sidewalk.
Ocean City EMS was requested to the scene for both Rucker and the arresting officer. Rucker was transported to Atlantic General Hospital by police for minor injuries. Upon his release from the hospital, Rucker was transported to the Ocean City Police Department. The arresting officer was transported by ambulance to Atlantic General Hospital and was later released.
- Erik Rucker 2nd, 40, Mount Vernon, NY: Second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer (2 counts), second-degree assault, disorderly conduct, obstructing and hindering, driving while under the influence, driving a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, driving a vehicle while so far impaired by drugs and alcohol cannot drive safely, driving a vehicle while impaired by CDS, driver changing lanes when unsafe, driver failure to obey properly placed traffic control device instructions, reckless driving, negligent driving, driving a vehicle in excess of reasonable speed, driver failure to obey designated lane directions, attempt by the driver to elude police by failing to stop, driving on suspended out of state license, driving a motor vehicle while license suspended in another state for failure to appear/failure to pay, failure of the driver to drive to curb upon signal by an emergency police vehicle, failure to display registration card, and aggressive driving.
Rucker was seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and held without bail. Rucker has been transferred to the Worcester County Jail.