OCEAN CITY — An apparent dispute over $10 at a north-end convenience store last Thursday afternoon has left one local man fighting for his life and another in jail facing attempted first-degree murder charges.
Around 12:20 p.m. last Thursday, Ocean City Police responded to a reported fight at the 7-Eleven convenience store on 139th Street. The investigation revealed the driver of a 2004 Cadillac Escalade, identified as Richard L. Edwards, 64, of Ocean City, had first backed over a store employee, identified as Michael Curry, of Ocean City, and then intentionally drove forward over the employee at a high rate of speed before fleeing the scene and heading south toward his residence.
According to witnesses, the altercation began inside the store during a dispute over money. One source said Edwards claimed he gave the store clerk a $20 bill, while the clerk insisted Edwards had given him a $10 bill. According to a witness in the store, Edwards punched Curry inside the store and walked outside.
Curry followed while calling 911 in an attempt to get Richards’ tag number, when Richards allegedly put his vehicle in reverse and backed into Curry, knocking him to the ground. Edwards, now facing south in the parking lot, placed the Escalade in drive and proceeded to drive over top of Curry, according to police reports.
Edwards then drove out of the parking lot and headed south on Coastal Highway toward his residence on 122nd Street, fleeing the scene and failing to render aid to Curry, who was critically injured. Curry was treated at the scene by Ocean City EMS for life-threatening injuries. Curry was transported first to PRMC in Salisbury where he was listed in critical condition before being transferred to Shock Trauma in Baltimore.
Curry suffered a broken leg in two places, nine broken ribs, a broken vertebrae and a collapsed lung along with numerous cuts and abrasions. As of late yesterday, he remained in Shock Trauma in critical condition, and although his condition has improved somewhat over the last few days, he is still “very, very critical,” according to a source close to the situation.
OCPD detectives interviewed Edwards’ female passenger, who admitted Edwards had been in a fight with Curry. Some witnesses on the scene told police both Edwards and Curry were engaged in the fight, hitting each other with closed fists at different times. The female passenger said she saw Curry in front of the Escalade as Edwards drove forward and over the victim.
The female passenger told police she could feel the vehicle’s wheels, both front and rear, traverse over top of Curry, according to police reports. The passenger said Edwards was angry and he left the scene and drove directly toward his home on 122nd Street. According to the passenger, Edwards “knew what he had done, but didn’t care,” according to police reports.
Edwards was located a short time later and was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder. At a bail review hearing last Friday, he was ordered held without bond and remains behind bars. A preliminary trial date has been set for July 8.
In the meantime, co-workers and friends have set up two funds at area Taylor Bank locations for Curry, the popular long-time clerk of the convenience store. One of the funds is dedicated to helping his parents with medical expenses during what will likely be a long recovery period. The second account will be held for Curry to help him pay bills and continue to live his life when he is recovered. In addition, a donation jar has been placed on the counter at the 7-Eleven where Curry worked.