Boating Hit-and-Run Probed
OCEAN CITY - Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) is investigating an incident in the bay on Monday night when one boat collided with another and briefly ejected its passengers before picking them up and fleeing the scene.
Around 11 p.m. on Memorial Day, a 1993, 25-foot inboard-outboard speed boat with four people on board, including the male driver and three female passengers, was heading east in the Assawoman Bay in the area of 49th Street when it was struck by a second vessel heading north. When the first boat collided with the second boat, it went airborne over the second boat and two of the passengers in the first boat were ejected into the water.
The driver of the first boat, which was operating without headlights, stopped long enough to collects his passengers before fleeing the scene. The people on the boat that was struck described the occupants of the boat that collided with them as two white males and one white female, all believed to be in their 40s.
The fleeing vehicle is described as a center console, about 16-20 feet long with a white hull and a dark-colored outboard. No injuries were reported for the occupants of the vessel that was struck, but it remains uncertain if there were any injuries to the occupants of the other vessel. NRP officials are still seeking the vessel and/or its occupants. Anyone with information is urged to call the NRP lower Eastern Shore region office at 410-548-7070.
Man Robbed By Females
OCEAN CITY - A Frostburg, Md. man was accosted and robbed by four females on a resort street last weekend, but it remains uncertain if he knew his assailants.
Around 3:30 a.m. last Sunday, OCPD Pfc. Vance Row was on routine patrol in the area of 13th Street and Baltimore Ave. when he was flagged down by a man later identified as Milton Jones, 23, of Frostburg, Md., who told the officer he had just been robbed by four females. Jones told police he had just witnessed the females being accosted by two men nearby on Washington Lane.
When Jones went to check on the welfare of the women, they asked him if he knew two men who had just assaulted them. When Jones said he did not know the men, the four females grabbed Jones, kicked him and assaulted him before going through his pockets and stealing around $400 and his cell phone.
OCPD Cpl. Brian Mongelli arrived on the scene and was attempting to get a more detailed account of the attack from Jones when he was approached by two Hispanic women who tried to take Jones away from the officer. The females told police they were friends of Jones and had his wallet, but Jones denied knowing the women.
Mongelli detained the two women before arresting one of them, Jeannie Mesa, 19, of Falls Church, Va., and charging her with robbery, theft over $500 and second-degree assault. The investigation continues this week while police attempt to identify the other three attackers.
Motorcycle Crasher Found
OCEAN CITY - Ocean City police last weekend found the driver of the motorcycle that crashed into the median on Route 50 and broke a sign before fleeing the scene.
Last Friday evening, an OCPD officer was dispatched to investigate a report of a motor vehicle accident with injuries on Route 50. A witness at the scene told police he had seen the driver of the motorcycle, later identified as Bruce Redpath, 44, of Stevensville, Md., crash into the median and knock over a sign. The witness said he helped Redpath move the motorcycle out of the road before Redpath fled on foot behind some buildings on Philadelphia Ave.
The witness described the driver as a white male with a mustache wearing a short-sleeved shirt and a helmet. The witness also told police the suspect would have abrasions on his right side. In the area of First Street and the bay, an OCPD officer observed a man matching Redpath's description exiting a portable toilet. The officer observed Redpath shielding his right side from the officer's view, but the officer was ultimately able to identify abrasions on the suspect's right arm and leg.
When the officer asked Redpath what had happened to his arm and leg, the suspect admitted he had crashed the motorcycle. He was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving unattended property and other offenses. A check of his license revealed he did not have a valid motorcycle endorsement and the vehicle's registration had expired in 2005.
Fight Leads To Knife Attack
OCEAN CITY - A fight at an Ocean City apartment complex last Thursday that apparently began over the use of a racial slur resulted in one of the combatants attacking another with a knife.
Last Thursday, OCPD officers responded to an apartment complex on 21st Street for a report of a disorderly crowd. A witness at the scene told police a man later identified as John C. Talley, 19, of Salisbury, had come into his apartment and attacked his roommate, later identified as William Scott Mathews, because the latter allegedly called him the 'n' word. The witness said he and his friends had attempted to break up the fight.
Mathews told police Talley was in his apartment when he said 'I see you guys want to jump me like that. I'll be right back.' Talley allegedly returned a short time later with a folding knife with the blade open and began swinging the knife at Mathews, missing him by just a couple of feet on several occasions. Talley was allegedly holding the knife over his head and shouting he was going to kill Mathews.
Investigators found Talley in his apartment and questioned the suspect. At first, Talley refused to answer any questions, but later told police he had gotten into a fight with Mathews over a racial slur and had gone back to his apartment before returning to Mathews' apartment.
Talley was then arrested and charged with carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, reckless endangerment and first- and second-degree assault.
OCEAN CITY - A Virginia man who came to the aid of a man from North Dakota who was being accosted by an 18-year-old Bear, Del. man and a juvenile on a resort bus stop was then assaulted and robbed by the two suspects.
Last Sunday, Shaun Cox of Woodbridge, Va. witnessed Theophil Hollis, 18, of Bear, Del., and a 16-year-old juvenile from Newark, Del. attempting to start a fight with a man from North Dakota on a bus stop near 32nd Street. When Cox attempted to break up the confrontation, the pair turned on him and assaulted him and ordered him to give them the contents of his pockets.
The suspects grabbed Cox, ripping his shirt, before taking his money, keys and a hat. An Ocean City bus driver observed the attack and radioed resort police for help, forcing the suspects to flee into the nearby Ocean Voyager Motel. While police were on the scene, the juvenile returned and brought back the stolen hat. The juvenile refused to cooperate with police and was placed under arrest for his part in the robbery and assault. The juvenile suspect then attempted to flee from police, triggering a brief foot chase down Coastal Highway before he was taken into custody. The officers then returned to the motel where they found the other suspect, Hollis, hiding. Hollis was taken into custody without incident and charged with second-degree assault, robbery, theft and malicious destruction of property.
Vehicle Theft Suspect Arrested
OCEAN CITY - A Pittsville man was arrested in Ocean City last week for breaking into and stealing items from several vehicles in the resort.
Last Wednesday, OCPD officers were in the area of 112th Street investigating reported vehicle break-ins when they were flagged down by one of the victims. The victim pointed to a man walking south on the sidewalk carrying a backpack. The victim told police the backpack had just been stolen from her vehicle.
The officers then detained the suspect, later identified as Joseph John Genco. The victim was brought over and identified the backpack and several items inside as belonging to her. Police also found items stolen from the other break-ins in the backpack. Victims in the other break-ins were brought to the scene and were able to identify their stolen property. Genco was then arrested and charged with theft under $500 and rogue and vagabond.
Months-Long Probe Yields Drug Bust
OCEAN CITY - Following an investigation that began in January, an Ocean City man was arrested last week and charged with two counts of felony distribution of a controlled dangerous substance after making one last sale to an undercover narcotics officer.
Last Thursday, the OCPD narcotics/vice unit arrested Ronald Ashton Erbe, 59, of Ocean City, when he sold a resort undercover officer Fentanyl Transdermal System patches, which are strong prescription time-release pain killers applied to the skin that dish out a measured dose of the potent narcotic Fentanyl. Erbe made his first sale of the pain killers to resort detectives back in January and continued to sell the narcotics to the undercover officer in a similar pattern repeated several times over the last few months as detectives built their case against the suspect.
In the last sale last Thursday, the narcotics officer met Erbe at the parking lot of the 10th Street Medical Center for a pre-arranged sale. When the transaction was complete, Erbe was arrested and charged with two counts of felony CDS distribution.
Sister Gives Up Sister
OCEAN CITY - Two sisters from Pennsylvania appeared in District Court in Ocean City on Wednesday to face charges of possession of marijuana in a trial that included a humorous exchange involving one ratting out the other.
Kimberly Wade, 19, and Jennifer Wade, 20, appeared in District Court in Ocean City on Wednesday to face possession of marijuana charges from an incident in March during which the two girls and others were caught with pot in a resort hotel room. Each of the Wade sisters decided to represent themselves at trial on Wednesday.
Each of the girls testified a third girl was supposed to appear in court to take responsibility for ownership of the marijuana in question, but when the unknown third suspect was called at the door, she failed to materialize.
The two Wade girls then proceeded to represent themselves in the trials and when Judge Daniel Mumford asked Kimberly Wade who was smoking the pot, she responded, 'We all were,' which elicited chuckles throughout the courtroom. Mumford then turned to Jennifer Wade and asked her if Kimberly Wade was her sister. When she responded that she was, Mumford said, 'Well, your sister just convicted you,' which aroused more laughter from the crowd in the courtroom.
Both of the girls said they did not own the marijuana, nor did they ever touch it, which prompted another humorous quip from the judge. 'You say you never touched it, but somehow, you both smoked it,' he said.
Mumford offered each girl a sentence of probation before judgment, but both of them declined, opting instead for a guilty conviction, which they will have 30 days to appeal. Each of the girls was fined $500 for the convictions.
Fighting Couple Not Guilty
OCEAN CITY - A Bowie, Md. couple arrested for assault during a domestic disturbance in Ocean City in April were each found not guilty this week in District Court, but not before an admonition from the judge to leave their disputes behind when they come to the resort.
Around 1 a.m. on April 30, resort police on routine patrol observed a couple fighting near 72nd Street and Coastal Highway. The officers saw the male suspect, later identified as Mark Harrington, push the female suspect, later identified as Corey Harris, into a flower box near the roadway. The officers interceded and found Harrington had a black eye and scratches on his neck, which he claimed were caused by Harris, who had punched him three times before he finally retaliated and pushed her into the flower box. Both had been drinking and fighting all night, according to their testimony.
Harris told the court she was the instigator in the fight and had punched Harrington three times. Harrington, meanwhile, testified he had given permission to Harris to strike him. 'I told her •€˜if you're going to hit me, then go ahead and hit me,' and she then punched me three times really hard in the face,' he said, which elicited laughter throughout the courtroom.
Judge Daniel Mumford ultimately found the couple not guilty, only after issuing a stern warning to the pair.
'Coming to Ocean City is supposed to be a relaxing, peaceful time,' he said. 'Next time you come to Ocean City, leave all that fighting and punching at home.'
•€˜Damn Fool' To Pay Restitution For Prank
OCEAN CITY - An Ocean City man who sprayed his friends with a fire extinguisher back in April was found guilty this week of malicious destruction of property and was ordered to pay for the extinguisher and the damage he caused.
William Doyle, 19, of Ocean City, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to malicious destruction of property after hosing his friends down with a fire extinguisher in April and was ordered to pay $130 for the spent extinguisher and the damage he caused to the building on 9th Street where the incident occurred. Judge Daniel Mumford chastised Doyle after finding him guilty.
'What would make you do a damn fool thing like that?' he said. 'Ocean City is a nice place and we want you to come here, but we don't want you to act like a fool while you're here.'
Probable Cause Found
OCEAN CITY - A Virginia man arrested in Ocean City in April for drug possession and weapons charges after a routine seat belt ticket stop appeared in District Court on Wednesday and had his case forwarded to Circuit Court, but not before an interesting discussion about personal use of marijuana versus the intent to distribute it.
Kendrick Palmer, 20, of Horntown, Va., was in District Court on Wednesday facing a variety of charges including possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a baton in a vehicle. On April 29, an OCPD officer working routine patrol in the downtown area observed Palmer driving a vehicle without his seatbelt on in the area of Worcester Street. The officer stopped Palmer and when he asked for his license and identification, Palmer told him he had no license and the vehicle belonged to a friend.
The officer then detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and also noticed a large wooden club behind the passenger seat. Palmer was asked to step out of the car and wait on the curb.
A search of the vehicle turned up a marijuana cigarette and a bowl in the glove box with marijuana residue. Palmer was then taken into custody. A search of his person incidental to his arrest revealed a large baggie with nine smaller baggies of marijuana in one pocket and another bag of marijuana and some cash in another pocket.
After considerable discussion with the officer over what amount of marijuana constituted intent to distribute and a debate over how the marijuana was packaged and how many grams were in an ounce, Palmer's public defender questioned whether there was probable cause for the distribution charges.
'If one gram equals one joint, and he had nine grams in the one bag, then nine grams equals nine joints, right?' the public defender asked the police officer. 'Following that logic, isn't it possible the marijuana he had on him was for personal use?'
'I guess that would depend on how big you roll your joints,' the officer responded, which elicited chuckles throughout the courtroom.
After considerable debate, Judge Daniel Mumford agreed there was probable cause to forward the case against Kendrick to Circuit Court.
Probation In Phony Weapons Case
OCEAN CITY - A Baltimore man caught riding around Ocean City with replica weapons in his vehicle was given probation before judgment this week, only after the judge warned him about his choice of toys.
Brandon Olup, 18, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to possession of replica weapons charges and was granted probation before judgment. On April 21, resort police pulled over Olup because his car stereo was too loud. When they encountered Olup in his vehicle, they discovered replica weapons that looked like the real thing including a sawed-off shotgun.
Olup told police they were fakes and that he had come down from Baltimore to participate in a game that involved the phony weapons. Olup said he intended to leave the fake weapons where he was staying but hadn't taken them out of his car yet.
Judge Daniel Mumford granted Olup probation before judgment in the replica weapons case after warning him of the potential dangers of riding around with phony guns. 'Aren't you a little old to be playing with toys?' he said. 'Say you were driving around in downtown Baltimore with replica weapons in your car. You'd likely get killed.'
ASSATEAGUE - Two weeks ago in the 'Cops and Courts' section of The Dispatch, a story ran that said several teens were arrested on Assateague Island for underage drinking charges after Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) entered their campsite for noise and disorderly conduct complaints.
The teens were not arrested as reported, but merely given citations for the underage charges. The Dispatch regrets the error. What the story should have said is that given citations for underage drinking in the state park were: Scott Schratwieger, 18, on Massapeque, NY; Patrick Smith, 18, of Huntingston, NY; Kirsten Tannen, of Fire Island, NY; Benjamin Long, 19, of Narragansett, RI,; Jess Aga, 20, of Galesville, Md.; Julie Maenner, 19, of Forest Hill, Md.; Jennifer Meisel, 18, of Bel Air, Md.; Daniel Ervin, 18, of Gaithersburg, Md.; Nicholas Motter, 19, of Gaithersburg; and Kara Montesano, 19, of Wading River, NY.