Ultimate Fighting Leads To Assault Arrest
OCEAN CITY - A Boonsboro, Md. man was arrested for assault and resisting arrest last week after a scuffle with an Ocean City Police officer who was breaking up a drunken Ultimate Fighting-style match between the victim and his buddy.
OCPD Officer John McIlroy was on routine bike patrol last Saturday night when he observed two men fighting underneath the overhang at the Spinnaker Hotel on 18th Street. A large crowd had gathered and many more people watched the fight from their balconies.
In the middle of the large group watching the fight, the officer saw a man later identified as Gary Breeden, Jr., 29, choking another man identified as Joshua Stonesifer. Breeden was on top of Stonesifer and had him in a choke hold and it appeared to the officer Stonesifer was trying to get away.
The officer jumped off his bike, identified himself as a police officer and told the men to stop fighting, but Breeden did not let go of the victim's neck. The officer then grabbed Breeden, pushed him to the ground and issued verbal commands for him to stop. At that point, Breeden's wife, who was holding a baby, knelt down beside the officer and her husband, who continued to struggle, and told the officer to let him go.
The officer told the woman to get back several times, but she refused and kept coming back. Meanwhile, some in the group that had gathered yelled 'police brutality' while others urged Breeden to lie down and cooperate. Other officers arrived and Breeden was ultimately subdued.
He later apologized to the initial officer and told him he and Stonesifer were friends and had been drinking most of the day before they started wrestling 'like the people on Ultimate Fighters,' according to the police report. Stonesifer corroborated the story, but Breeden was arrested anyway and charged with resisting arrest, second-degree assault and disorderly conduct.
Pines Girl Arrested In Knife Attack
BERLIN - A 16-year-old Ocean Pines juvenile was arrested at a Berlin shopping center last Friday and charged with first-degree assault and other charges after attempting to slash an adult family member with a knife during a domestic argument.
Around 6:20 p.m. last Friday, Berlin Police units were dispatched to the Berlin Shopping Center for a reported fight in progress with a knife involved. When police arrived, the fight was still going on and all persons involved were separated so the officers could investigate the incident. The investigation revealed a 16-year-old juvenile from Ocean Pines became involved in a verbal argument with a family member.
The juvenile then kicked and damaged the family vehicle before brandishing a knife and slashed about toward an adult family member. The juvenile was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and malicious destruction of property. Because of the severity of the charges, the juvenile was automatically waived to adult status. She was remanded to the Worcester County Jail in lieu of a $10,000 bond.
Probable Cause Ruled Out
OCEAN CITY - An Ocean City man who represented himself in District Court this week in the case against him for alleged disorderly conduct from an incident last month was cleared of the charges when a visiting judge ruled anomalies in the written case report and the testimony at the trial created some doubt about probable cause.
Troy Middleton, 36, of Ocean City, was in District Court on Monday facing disorderly conduct charges from an incident at a downtown bar back on April 20. Ocean City Police arrested Middleton after he became combative and argued with police including a racial comments and the liberal use of the 'n' word.
When OCPD officers responded to a fight at the Harbor Inn downtown, they found Middleton in the middle of it. Middleton was taken outside and handcuffed while resort police sorted out what happened and it was only after he was handcuffed that he became admittedly combative.
Middleton represented himself in court on Monday and cross-examined the arresting officer, asking him when he became unruly. Middleton also called the bar owner to the stand, who testified Middleton was trying to break up the fight and was not part of the original altercation.
Middleton said he became irate later when he was handcuffed outside the bar. 'I got angry when they locked me up,' he said. 'I admit that, but I wasn't doing anything wrong before that. I never acted up before they put the cuffs on me.'
Visiting District Court Judge Lloyd O. Whitehead said there was some confusion in the report and the testimony about whether Middleton's disorderly conduct occurred inside the bar, or outside the bar after the altercation inside was broken up. Uncertain about the conflicting testimony, Whitehead dropped the case against Middleton.
Car Thief Gets Six Months
OCEAN CITY - A North Carolina woman extradited to Worcester County to face car theft charges from an incident dating back to June 2005 was found guilty this week in District Court and sentenced to six months in jail, with the start of the sentence dated back to March 12 when she was returned to the area and incarcerated.
Jael Reynolds, 21, of Engelhard, N.C., was in District Court in Ocean City on Monday facing auto theft charges from an incident dating back to June 2005. Reynolds was living in Ocean City at the time and was reportedly seeking a ride from someone to Virginia Beach before taking a vehicle belonging to a girl she had met the day before.
The victim was at a party at Reynolds' apartment and Reynolds took the keys to her car and headed south. Reynolds was later arrested at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel with the stolen vehicle. Because the vehicle was ultimately returned unharmed and because there was at least the appearance that Reynolds intended to return the car, visiting Judge Lloyd Whitehead reluctantly agreed to reduce the charge against her from a felony to a misdemeanor, which still carried a minimum sentence of six months in jail and a maximum sentence of four years.
'This sounds to me like more of an out and out car theft,' the judge said.
Whitehead dismissed the motion by Reynolds public defender for a probation before judgment ruling.
'It's hard to think of a PBJ when you're dealing with a car thief,' he said. 'I think it's generous to think she was ever going to return the car. She drove through this state and another and was on her way to a third. I don't think you're going to see a PBJ here.'
With that, Whitehead sentenced Reynolds to six months in jail, retroactive to March 12 when her incarceration began after extradition to Worcester County.
Man Gets One Year For Suspended License Charge
OCEAN CITY - An Ocean City man arrested in April for driving on a suspended license was sentenced to a year in jail this week after he could not convince a District Court judge his extensive criminal history was behind him.
John Grahe, 44, of Ocean City, was in District Court on Monday facing a myriad of traffic-related offenses including driving on a suspended license.
Grahe, who has an extensive record of similar offenses, including as many as five suspended license charges in the past, told Judge Lloyd Whitehead he knew he was driving on a suspended license when he drove a truck from West Ocean City to his residence in downtown Ocean City, but that he had little choice because the vehicle was going to be towed.
Grahe was pulled over for driving erratically and after a run on the plates revealed the tags had been stolen. The vehicle was not registered nor did Grahe have a valid driver's license. Grahe told the judge he did have an extensive record in the past and that he had a newborn child and was attempting to get his life back together.
Nonetheless, the judge could not overlook the extensive record and sentenced Grahe to one year in jail with the opportunity for work release granted.
Felony Reduced In Wrong Door Case
OCEAN CITY - A Bowie man who kicked in the wrong door at a downtown Ocean City apartment building last month while attempting to find out who 'threatened his girl' had third-degree burglary charges against him reduced to a misdemeanor charge and a new court date was laid in for later this summer.
On April 21, resort police responded to a reported fight in progress at the Kitchen Apartments on Wicomico Street to find two women engaged in a fight with a large crowd gathered. While sorting out the incident, police interviewed an apartment complex resident who reported hearing a loud bang at a neighboring unit and heard somebody yell 'you better give me my [expletive deleted] money.'
The investigation revealed the two girls had bought drugs from Room 201 at the apartment complex, but the deal had gone bad and the dealer had threatened the two girls. The boyfriend of one of the girls, Charles Harding, 21, of Bowie, had gone to what he thought was the unit in question to straighten the incident out, but he actually kicked in the front door of Room 202, which had been recently vacated. According to police, the door and frame were completely destroyed and there was a footprint on the door matching the shoes Harding was wearing. There were also footprints in the unit matching Harding's shoes.
Judge Lloyd Whitehead asked the prosecution if there was enough evidence Harding broke into the unit with the intention of committing a crime and the prosecutor said she believed the 'threatening statements combined with the forced entry' warranted the third-degree burglary charge.
Unconvinced, Whitehead reduced the charge against Harding to a misdemeanor and a court date was set for District Court in July.
Police Urge Caution After Vehicle Break-Ins
OCEAN CITY - Two juveniles were arrested last week for breaking into as many as nine vehicles in north Ocean City, resulting in resort police urging citizens to keep their cars locked, especially during the summer season.
OCPD officers were called to several thefts from vehicles last week. On one evening, officers responded to the area of 126th Street and Assawoman Drive for a report of suspicious persons looking into vehicles. Two officers searched the area on foot and discovered a vehicle with its door open that appeared to be ransacked.
A few minutes later, the officers saw two young men walking in the area. After a brief interview, it was determined the boys, both juveniles, were in possession of property taken from the vehicle. They subsequently admitted to three different car break-ins and were immediately arrested. When the officers searched the area, they discovered nine other vehicles that had been entered, all of which were unlocked.
Resort police are taking the opportunity to remind citizens to keep their vehicles locked, even if they don't keep anything of value in them. OCPD officials are quick to point out most of the thefts in Ocean City were from vehicles that were unlocked
Man Arrested Twice In A Week For Drugs
OCEAN CITY - A Millsboro, Del. man was arrested on drug charges for the second time in less than a week in Ocean City, the second coming after he made up a false story about being robbed by his 'customers.'
Last Friday, Ocean City Police officers were called to the Riviera Motel on 25th Street for a reported robbery. The officers met with the 'victim,' Justin Vickers, 20, of Millsboro, who told them he was robbed at the motel when he asked a group of men for a cigarette. After a three-hour investigation, police discovered Vickers had made the robbery story up.
Investigators learned Vickers was attempting to sell drugs to the group of men when they assaulted him and took the baggie of Oxycontin and Percocet he was attempting to sell. When a police K-9 unit scanned Vickers' car, marijuana was located in the glove box. Vickers told police he made up the story because he was angry his drugs were taken. He was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana.
Vickers' arrest in that incident last Friday was his second in less than a week. On May 12, he was arrested at the municipal parking lot on Worcester Street when police noticed the strong odor of burning marijuana coming from his vehicle. In that incident, resort police seized marijuana, Trazadone, Oxycodone, Oxycontin and drug paraphernalia from Vickers.
Beer Can Launcher Arrested For Cop Assault
OCEAN CITY - A Quarryville, Pa. man was arrested last week on second-degree assault charges after throwing a full can of beer at an Ocean City Police officer investigating the aforementioned drug arrest at the Riviera Motel.
OCPD Corporal Frank Wrench was on routine patrol early last Saturday morning when he was flagged down around the Riviera Motel on 15th Street by a pedestrian who said a person of interest in a drug case was seen on the property of the motel. The officer located and detained the suspect at the scene, but while he was interviewing the suspect, he noticed a group of people on the third-floor balcony above yelling assorted comments at the suspect and the officer.
The officer then observed one man in the group, later identified as Eric W. Childs, 19, of Quarryville, Pa., standing at the railing on the third floor with a can of Coors Light beer. Childs then threw the beer can in the direction of the officer, missing him by around two feet. The can had been full and splattered beer on the officer's shoes and pants.
The officer went to the third floor to a motel room where he had seen Childs attempt to gain access. The officer then saw Childs peering out at him through a window before quickly closing the curtains. The officer knocked on the door and an unidentified man answered. The officer then saw Childs climb out a window on the other side of the unit and vault from the third floor to an alleyway behind the hotel.
A description of Childs was broadcast and he was picked up by another officer a short time later about 10 blocks from the Riviera. Childs was taken into custody and later charged with second-degree assault on Officer Wrench.
Traffic Stop Lead To Weapons Arrest
OCEAN CITY - An Oxford, Pa. man was arrested for concealing deadly weapons and driving while impaired last week after a cutting off an OCPD patrol car in Ocean City.
Around 7:30 p.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police officer was driving on Coastal Highway around 26th Street when a red 2003 Honda Civic swerved in front of him, going from the center lane to make a right turn onto 26th Street. The driver, later identified as Brandon Kirk Buchanan, 22, of Oxford, Pa., was pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving and the suspicions were confirmed when the officers found Buchanan's smelled of alcohol, his speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot and glassy.
Buchanan told police he had had a few beers and that he was buzzed. He was arrested for driving under the influence. The officer searched Buchanan incident to the arrest and discovered a large, spring-loaded switchblade in his pocket. Another officer searched the vehicle and discovered silver, metal knuckles in the vehicle's center console.
Buchanan submitted to a breath test, which registered .18. He was arrested for driving under the influence and carrying concealed deadly weapons.
Blood Trail Leads To Window Breaker
OCEAN CITY - A local man was arrested for malicious destruction of property last week after a trail of blood from a broken plate glass window at the downtown pharmacy led connected him to the crime.
On Wednesday, May 16, Ocean City Police officers responded to a reported malicious destruction of property at Bailey's Pharmacy on Philadelphia Ave. near 8th Street. A witness at the scene told police she walked by the window around 4:30 a.m. or 5:30 a.m. and the window was not broken, but when she came back by around 6 a.m. it was broken.
The officers observed a newspaper vending machine in front of the window and it appeared that the vending machine had been pushed into the window causing it to shatter. The officers noticed blood on the broken window and blood on a shelf inside the store near the window. They also observed a cigarette butt at the scene with blood on the filter end and followed a trail of blood until it ended in the parking lot of the nearby Jocelyn Manner apartments.
Meanwhile, police contacted the Baltimore Sun delivery driver to try to determine when the window was broken. The driver told police he had made his delivery around 5 a.m. and that the window was already broken.
Around 8:15 a.m., the officers were still on the scene when they were approached by a man later identified as Brandon Lee Peeples, who appeared to have blood splattered on his shirt and jeans. Peeples went inside the store and purchased a soda, and when he came out he struck up a conversation with the officers, thanking them for all they do, especially things like the broken window they were investigating.
When questioned, Peeples, 26, of Ocean City, said he lived on 4th Street, but he walked across to an apartment at Jocelyn Manner. Police followed him and questioned why he was there if he lived on 4th Street, but Peeples said he was visiting friends. At this point, the officers noticed blood on the ground near Peeples and also noticed a large laceration on his hand and a considerable amount of blood on his clothes.
When questioned about the cut on his hand, Peeple told police he had cut it the day before while working on his friend's car and that he had gone to AGH to get stitches. An occupant of the house told police Peeples had been allowed to spend the night but did not have a cut on his hand as of 2:30 a.m. when he went to bed. The occupant told police he was awakened around 5:30 a.m. by Peeples, who was bleeding all over the place from a cut on his hand.
Peeple was taken into custody and charged with malicious destruction of property.
DUI Suspect Caught After Beating Up Boyfriend
BERLIN - A West Virginia woman was arrested for driving under the influence this week after her boyfriend called 911 to report she had 'split his head open.'
Early Wednesday morning, Maryland State Troopers at the Berlin Barrack received a 911 call from a man who said his 'head was split open' by his girlfriend. MSP troopers responded to the scene and met with the caller, Scott Huntsberry, who was bleeding from a cut on the bridge of his nose. Ocean City EMS responded but Huntsberry said he did not wish to press charges and that he had just fallen.
A lookout was posted for the victim's girlfriend who was driving a blue Saturn with West Virginia tags and had left the scene. A short time later, an MSP trooper spotted the vehicle and pulled it over. A license check revealed the vehicle was driven by Hannah Marie Slater, 29, of Harper's Ferry, W.Va. The trooper noticed the strong odor of alcohol coming from Slater and conducted field sobriety tests. She was the arrested for DUI.
Slater was taken to the Berlin Barrack where it was learned she was revoked in Maryland. She was taken before a District Court Commissioner and held on a $3,000 bond.