Youths arrested after disturbance, guns displayed

Man shot by unknown assailant
CAMBRIDGE — The city was roiled Thursday evening by street violence, damage to property and the display of a rifle. In an incident later in the day, a 19-year-old man was shot by an unknown assailant.

A statement from the Cambridge Police Department released about 10:30 a.m. on Friday said at approximately 6:06 p.m. Thursday, police responded to the 900 block of Washington Street in reference to a large crowd. Before officers arrived on scene, they received further information that it had become a large fight.

Upon arrival, officers noticed a large group of juveniles. Investigation revealed that an earlier incident that occurred in the day sparked the large crowd.
One male juvenile is suspected of causing damage to a residence in the 900 block of Washington Street. That juvenile was in the crowd. He refused to listen to officers and fled on foot, the statement said.

Officers pursued the juvenile. He was caught and placed under arrest for failure to obey and malicious destruction of property. Officers also learned that another juvenile had pointed a rifle prior to police arrival at the large crowd.
Officers identified the juvenile and the weapon pointed at the crowd. They placed that male juvenile under arrest and charged him with 1st and 2nd degree assault, possession of a firearm and reckless endangerment.
The juvenile is currently being held at the Lower Eastern Shore Children’s Center in Salisbury. The weapon was also recovered by officers.

Additionally, while officers were on scene, another group of juveniles on bikes rode through and were cursing and yelling at officers and bystanders, causing a disturbance. When officers attempted to approach the group to speak to them, one subject again began cursing the officers and then threw a rock at the officer. The juvenile then fled the area.

Operations Commander Justin Todd said in a prepared statement, “We as a community have to understand that juveniles riding bikes is one thing, we can educate them on the rules of the road, how to be safe when on the roadway etc. However, when you have juveniles terrorizing residents of our city by damaging property, waving guns, and assaulting police officers by throwing rocks, that is when it becomes unacceptable, not to mention dangerous, for the citizens and the police. It will not be tolerated.”

Man shot
Trouble continued through the evening in Cambridge. At approximately 7:32 p.m., police responded to the 600 block of Moore’s Avenue in reference to a subject shot. Upon arrival, officers located shell casings lying in the 600 block. The victim was taken to the hospital by family members.
The 19-year-old male victim suffered a gunshot wound to the torso area. He was treated at the hospital and later released.
According to a statement from city police, the victim said he has no idea who shot him. This investigation is continuing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Cambridge Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division.

Calls for involvement
Rising rates of aggravated assaults, including recent fatal incidents, have resulted in longer, busier shifts for officers of the Cambridge Police Department. Capt. Justin Todd said Oct. 30 that officers had begun working 12-hour shifts.
While acknowledging that the change will be tough for all, it will be temporary. It is also expected to yield benefits in public safety.
“Putting one or two more officers on the street will help,” Capt. Todd said.
Shootings and stabbings in Cambridge had already exceeded the total from 2019, leading to concerns among citizens. “I wanted people to know,” about the police department’s response, Capt. Todd said.

The CPD has been short staffed for years. Five positions were approved to be filled at the City Council’s meeting on Oct. 26, in response to the recent incidents. Those five, with two recruits and one individual in the academy, will bring the force up to 46, the department’s authorized strength.
In the meantime, officers have been answering around 4,000 calls a month, Capt. Todd said. With 25 uniformed police on patrol, that means a lot to do — but his officers can still meet their responsibilities, Capt. Todd said.
Still, it’s a lot, and the 12-hour shifts will put more uniforms on patrol, and an additional criminal investigator on duty in the evenings, bringing the total on duty at any one time from four or five to eight or nine.

Anyone will information related to crime in the city is asked to call the CPD’s anonymous tip line, 410-228-3784. The department has also begun posting to its own YouTube channel, which can be viewed at cambridgemarylandcommunitypolicing.