OCEAN CITY — A Westminster man was arrested on assault and malicious destruction of property charges this week after allegedly punching an Ocean City municipal bus driver and kicking out a door before fleeing the scene.
Around 11:45 p.m. on Monday, Ocean City Police were dispatched to a reported assault involving a bus driver in the area of 66th Street. Officers arrived and met with the victim, an elderly male bus driver, who was bleeding from wounds on his face. The victim told police a tall male around six feet tall with dark hair and a white T-shirt had punched him in the face before kicking out the front door of the bus.
The victim was bleeding from an apparent broken nose and the door of the bus was shattered. The driver declined EMS treatment. A witness followed the suspect, later identified as Gary Radford, 20, of Westminster, to the area of 59th Street.
OCPD officers located Radford near a convenience store and took him into custody. The bus driver was brought to the scene to positively identify the suspect. Radford was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and malicious destruction of property.
Vehicle Break-In Probed
OCEAN CITY — Ocean City police this week are looking for a suspect who broke into a vehicle in the 45th Street area and stole a purse before using the victim’s credit card a short time later at a nearby ATM machine.
Last Sunday, Ocean City police responded to the 45th Street area for a reported theft from a vehicle. The unknown suspect got into the Mazda van by breaking the front passenger side window and stole a purse containing credit cards, a debit card and a checkbook. A short time later, Ocean City police obtained surveillance video of the suspect using the victim’s debit card at an ATM machine on 47th Street.
Police are asking anyone with information about the theft or the suspect to contact the OCPD at 410-723-6604.
Passed Out Behind Wheel
BERLIN — An Ocean Pines woman was arrested on drunk driving and drug charges last week after allegedly driving several miles on a flat tire before falling asleep behind the wheel.
Around 8:45 a.m. last Wednesday, Maryland State Police responded to a disabled vehicle on Route 50 in the area of Riddle Lane. Troopers found the driver, later identified as Maggie Michelle Devlin, 20, of Ocean Pines, passed out behind the wheel. Troopers were able to wake up Devlin and detected a strong odor of alcohol.
Devlin allegedly told police she had driven from Ocean City at around 4 a.m., or over three hours earlier. Troopers noticed the front passenger tire was completely destroyed, indicating Devlin had driven several miles on only a bare rim.
Devlin was administered field sobriety tests and performed poorly, resulting in her arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence. A search of Devlin’s purse revealed suspected heroin and drug paraphernalia and additional charges were tacked on. She was taken before a District Court Commissioner and ordered held on a $10,000 bond.
American Legion Ruckus
BERLIN — A Berlin man was arrested on assault and other charges last weekend after first helping himself to drinks at the American Legion before starting a fight.
Around 11:35 p.m. last Friday, Berlin Police responded to the Duncan-Showell American Legion Post in Berlin for a reported large fight inside the facility. Police began to disburse the large crowd and investigate the incident when they learned a suspect, later identified as Glenn Otho “Weezy” White, Jr., 24, of Berlin, had gone behind the bar and started serving himself drinks.
When an employee asked White to get out from behind the bar, he refused. A supervisor then attempted to remove White from behind the bar, which was damaged during the altercation. White then allegedly assaulted the supervisor, and when staff tried to get White out of the building, the fighting escalated to included several others.
White was arrested and charged with two counts of assault, disorderly conduct, and malicious destruction of property. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected, according to Berlin police.
First-Degree Burglary Plea
SNOW HILL — The second of two Berlin residents arrested last September for involvement in a two-state burglary spree pleaded guilty last week in Circuit Court to first-degree burglary and now awaits his fate pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.
Around 10 a.m. last Sept. 28, Selbyville Police stopped a Dodge Caravan on Polly Branch Rd. for a seatbelt violation. The Selbyville Police officers had been advised to be on the lookout for the vehicle after receiving information it had been involved in a burglary that had just occurred in Ocean Pines.
The Selbyville officers confirmed with law enforcement agencies in Maryland the Dodge Caravan was the same vehicle that had fled the scene of the burglary in Ocean Pines and held the occupants, identified as James Cloyd, 63, and Patricia Celmer, 25, both of Berlin, until officers from Ocean Pines and the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) arrived.
A search of the vehicle revealed several thousand dollars’ worth of stolen property, drug paraphernalia and 40 pills of a controlled dangerous substance. The stolen property has been linked to reported burglaries in West Ocean City, Ocean Pines and Long Neck, Del.
Cloyd and Celmer were both arrested and charged with six counts each of receiving stolen property, possession of burglary tools, possession of CDS, possession of paraphernalia, maintaining a vehicle for drug distribution and traffic violations.
Last week in Worcester County Circuit Court, Cloyd pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered. The first-degree burglary conviction carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. In April, Celmer also pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered in that case. Celmer is scheduled to be sentenced next week.
Charges Dropped Over Discharge
SNOW HILL — An Ocean City man arrested in January on assault and weapons charges after allegedly firing a handgun at his resort residence during a domestic dispute with his wife had the charges against him dropped last week in Circuit Court.
Around 3 p.m. on January 7, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) responded to a residence on 120th Street for a reported domestic dispute during which the victim advised gunshots had been fired. OCPD officers arrived on the scene and located a white male, identified as Charles Kenneth Grusholt, 77, of Ocean City. OCPD officers also located Grusholt’s wife, who was found unharmed.
During the on-scene investigation, OCPD officers determined the couple had been involved in a domestic argument. During the argument, the victim claimed to have been assaulted by Grusholt and left the room. While in a different part of the residence, the victim heard what she described as a gunshot.
During the investigation, OCPD officers recovered a .22 caliber handgun. The investigation revealed Grusholt discharged the weapon during the argument. Grusholt was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault and discharging a firearm within the corporate limits of Ocean City. Last week in Circuit Court, the charges against Grusholt were nolle prossed, or not prosecuted.
WEST OCEAN CITY — Maryland State Police this week is looking for the suspect or suspects who vandalized a private school in West Ocean City sometime last weekend.
Maryland State Police troopers responded to the Seaside Christian Academy to investigate a reported malicious destruction of property case. The investigation revealed a suspect or suspects had spray painted graffiti on a shed near the back of the school sometime between Friday and early Tuesday morning.
Video surveillance of the area is being processed in the hopes of learning more about the suspects. Anyone with information regarding the incident is urges to contact the MSP Berlin barrack at 410-641-3101.
Threatened To Shoot Trooper
WEST OCEAN CITY — A Dundalk man was arrested on disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges last weekend after first passing out on Route 50 near Herring Creek and then allegedly threatening to shoot a Maryland State Police trooper in the back.
Around 12:30 a.m. last Friday, MSP troopers responded to the area of Route 50 and the Herring Creek bridge for an individual reported lying in the roadway. When troopers arrived, they observed the suspect, later identified as Charles William Mitchell, 36, of Dundalk, sitting on the guardrail. According to police reports, Mitchell was extremely intoxicated and disorderly. EMS crews were also on the scene.
According to police reports, Mitchell began yelling profanities at the troopers and EMS crew and failed to comply with orders. Mitchell’s continued ranting and raving began to draw a crowd, which is when he allegedly threatened to “shoot the trooper in the back,” according to police reports.
Mitchell was arrested after brief struggle and was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. A background check revealed he was wanted in North Carolina for fraud. North Carolina would not extradite Mitchell on the charges.
Two Critically Injured In Crash
WILLARDS — Two local young people are in critical condition this week after a single-vehicle accident on Bethel Rd. in Willards last Friday afternoon.
Around 4:30 p.m. last Friday, Wicomico County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a reported single-vehicle accident on Bethel Rd. in Willards. The investigation revealed a small Chevy pick-up truck had collided with a concrete bridge abutment, causing significant damage to the vehicle. Fire and Rescue personnel had to use equipment to forcefully open the vehicle in order to extract its occupants, the 17-year-old juvenile driver and his passenger, 18-year-old Sarah Morris.
Morris was transported to PRMC via helicopter, while the juvenile driver was taken by ambulance. Upon reaching PRMC, a determination was made to transport the juvenile driver via helicopter to Shock Trauma in Baltimore. Both victims were listed in critical condition as of mid-week. The investigation is ongoing, but the preliminary results revealed speed may have been a factor in the crash.
SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on threat of arson charges this week after allegedly threatening to burn down the residence during an argument.
Around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Salisbury Police were in the area of Van Buren Street when they were approached by an individual who told them a suspect, later identified as Paul Michael Latour, 25, of Salisbury, was causing damage to a residence a short distance away. The victim told police during an argument, Latour had threatened to burn the residence and then retrieved a gas can.
The victim was able to stop Latour from burning the residence and then notified police of his intent. Salisbury Police located Latour a short time later at a nearby residence and arrested him without incident. He has been charged with threat of arson.
Aggressive Driving Targeted
BERLIN — The Berlin Police Department, in partnership with other local law enforcement agencies during Maryland’s Law Enforcement Challenge, is stepping up enforcement of aggressive driving and seat belt laws.
The Law Enforcement Challenge started in March and goes through the end of the year. The challenge includes law enforcement agencies promoting greater public awareness of seat belt safety usage and aggressive driving. Currently, Maryland has an impressive rate of seat belt usage of 94.7 percent, the fifth highest percentage in the U.S. For 2011, Maryland law enforcement agencies are seeking to raise that rate to 95.5 percent.
The Smooth Operators campaign targets aggressive driving on roadways throughout Worcester and Wicomico Counties and across Maryland and occurs several times throughout the year. The Berlin Police Department, along with other local law enforcement agencies, will be on the lookout for aggressive drivers during the campaign. Aggressive driving, including speeding, accounts for more than 1,000 deaths in Maryland annually.