Two men charged in Christmas morning assault in Rehoboth

(Left to Right) : Joshua Daniels, 25, of Lincoln, DE – Malik Rothwell, 24, of Ellendale, DE – Delaware State Police Dept.

Two men were arrested after police say they attacked two people early Christmas morning outside the Big Chill Surf Cantina in Rehoboth.

According to Delaware State Police, the incident occurred around 1 a.m., Saturday, December 25 as troopers were dispatched to the Big Chill Surf Cantina on Coastal Highway for reports of a fight in progress.

Police say initial reports indicated that two individuals were struck in the face with a pistol and one suspect fired a weapon.

The suspects reportedly fled the scene in a red Mitsubishi Outback SUV before troopers arrived, according to police.

As a trooper was traveling southbound on Coastal Highway, the suspect’s vehicle was spotted turning onto Coastal Highway as they left the parking lot of the Big Chill Surf Cantina. Troopers initiated a traffic stop and a strong odor of marijuana was detected.

As trooper’s approached the vehicle, the front seat passenger, 25-year-old Joshua Daniels, of Lincoln, exited the vehicle. When police tried to take him into custody, he tried to flee and reportedly resisted arrest.

Daniels was taken into custody and searched, at which time police say they located a 9mm bullet.

At the same time, the rear passenger, 24-year-old Malik Rothwell, of Ellendale, exited the vehicle and was unsuccessful in trying to flee the scene, according to police. He was apprehended and placed under arrest.

Once the suspects were in custody, a search of the vehicle was conducted and police located a Ruger EC9S 9mm semiautomatic handgun with 8 9mm rounds in the gun’s magazine, approximately 6.02 grams of marijuana, a Colt Detective Special .38 special revolver containing 5 loaded .38 special rounds, a .38 special casing, and 0.077 grams of Heroin.

Police launched an immediate investigation which they say discovered that a 23-year-old female and 23-year-old male were leaving the Big Chill Surf Cantina when they were confronted by Daniels and Rothwell. An argument ensued, which resulted in Daniels striking the male victim in the head with a closed fist multiple times.

As the female victim tried to break up the fight, Daniels began physically assaulting the female before Daniels and Rothwell brandished firearms, at which point police say they pointed it at them and threatened to kill them, according to police.

Daniels then allegedly struck the victims in the face with the handgun. During the fight, police say Rothwell pointed a gun in the air and fired one round before the suspects fled the scene in the red SUV, which police later stopped.

Daniels was charged with three counts- Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony (Felony), Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited (Felony), two counts- Assault Second Degree (Felony), two counts- Aggravated Menacing (Felony), Conspiracy First Degree (Felony), Terroristic Threatening, Resisting Arrest, and Possession of Marijuana- Civil Violation. He was arraigned and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $84,100 secured bond.

Rothwell was charged with three counts- Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony (Felony), Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited (Felony), two counts- Reckless Endangering First Degree (Felony), two counts- Aggravated Menacing (Felony), Conspiracy First Degree (Felony), Terroristic Threatening, Resisting Arrest, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was arraigned and committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution on a $107,200 secured bond.

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