Senator Mary Beth Carozza will continue to work with Ocean City officials, law enforcement, her colleagues in the legislature and the Hogan Administration to take additional preventative and enforcement actions aimed at those H2Oi participants and visitors coming to Ocean City to wreak havoc, violence and destruction to Maryland's beach town.

 “I join with thousands of local residents and business operators to express deep, heartfelt and sincere appreciation and prayers of thanks for all that law enforcement, fire, emergency management, dispatchers, public works and city employees have been doing to keep Ocean City and our home community safe,” Senator Carozza said. “This has been a very difficult week for Ocean City. As Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro stated, ‘...the majority of these visitors are NOT car enthusiasts. They are here to disrupt, destroy and disrespect our community and our law enforcement.’”

More than one hundred participants of the weekend pop-up rally were arrested and charged with various criminal and traffic offenses under this year’s special events zone law (Senate Bill 878), which was requested by law enforcement and local leaders and passed during the abbreviated 2020 legislative session.

Senate Bill 878—Worcester County— Special Event Zones – Prohibitions is an emergency local public safety bill that prohibits a person from engaging in “exhibition driving” within a special event zone in Worcester County. Senate Bill 878 strengthens the current special event zone law that passed in 2018 which only covered speeding by defining and increasing the penalties for exhibition driving, such as negligent driving, racing, or skidding in a special event zone. Senate Bill 878 went into effect on May 8, 2020.

“From my conversations with the leadership of the OCPD and allied law enforcement command, I expect to hear their future public safety recommendations. I believe we need to allow our professional law enforcement leaders to assess the weekend, conduct their after action review, and hear their specific recommendations for the future with the input and support of the public.”

“I will continue to do all I can to support law enforcement and make public safety my top priority, especially at a time when the Maryland General Assembly has been holding anti-police hearings in Annapolis and considering legislation that would weaken law enforcement.”

Senator Carozza also supports Delegate Wayne Hartman’s efforts to introduce legislation that would classify attacks against law enforcement officers as a hate crime, and is working with her colleagues on the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to advance additional resources and protections for first responders. 

Mary Beth Carozza for State Senate