Resort Stabber Convicted
SNOW HILL - One of two brothers charged with attempted murder and assault in August after a fight during which they allegedly stabbed two other men pleaded guilty last week in Worcester County Circuit Court to second-degree assault, but will not be sentenced until February when the victim can be present to address the court.
Christopher Lee Hill, 29, of Jessup, Md., was in Circuit Court last week facing attempted murder and assault charges for his part in a fight in Ocean City in August during which two men were stabbed. Hill pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, a charge carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail, and will be sentenced in February when his brother, Joseph Hill, appears to face the same charges.
Around 2:15 a.m. on Aug. 20, an Ocean City Police officer on routine patrol was flagged down by two security officers at the Princess Bayside Hotel in reference to two stabbing victims lying on the pavement near the facility's front door. Upon arrival on the scene, the officer observed to two stabbed men and identified them as Walter Ostrowski, 21, of Baltimore, and Steven Hutchins, 26, of Dundalk. Ostrowski was sitting and Hutchins was lying on the ground. Hutchins' shorts and shirt were covered in blood and it was obvious he was suffering from a stab wound to the chest.
Ostrowski had been stabbed four times in the back with one of the stab wounds over his spinal cord. The officer put out a description of the suspects provided by witnesses and they were apprehended a short time later walking through the parking lot at 45th Street Village. The suspects were identified as the Hill brothers. Also with the suspects was their sister, Stephanie Hill.
The investigation revealed the Hills had approached a group of people at a nearby bus stop and asked for a cigarette before a fight broke out between the two brothers and Hutchins and Ostrowski, who were both stabbed in the altercation.
Indecent Exposer Sentenced
SNOW HILL - A Laurel, Del. man found guilty in October of exposing himself to a 9-year-old girl in an Ocean Pines park last summer was sentenced this week to three years in jail with all but just under three months suspended.
Charles Passero, 40, of Laurel, Del., in October entered an Alford plea to an indecent exposure charge from last summer and a pre-sentence investigation, including a psychological examination, was ordered. Back in Circuit Court this week, Passero was sentenced to three years in jail with all but two months and 29 days suspended. He was also fined $1,000 and placed on five-years of supervised probation.
On June 30, Ocean Pines Police received a call about a reported indecent exposure in the Manklin Tennis Complex playground. The caller told police a male suspect had exposed himself to her daughter in the playground. When she confronted the suspect, he fled in a white pick-up truck, but she followed in an attempt to get a tag number while she called 911.
An OCPD officer located the suspect's truck while talking to the caller and pulled it over. In the meantime, another officer responded to the mother's residence to interview her about what had happened. The mother told the police her daughter was playing when she came to her and said a man was talking to her and exposed himself to her.
The young victim told police the suspect, later identified as Passero, approached her in the playground, sat beside her, informed her he had been swimming, pulled aside his swimming suit and introduced his private part by name.
Police took the victim and her mother to the site where Passero had been pulled over and they both positively identified the suspect.
Five Years For Copper Thief
SNOW HILL - A Seaford, Del. man convicted of theft charges in August after an arrest for stealing copper wire from several construction sites in Ocean City last winter was sentenced to five years in jail this week in Worcester County Circuit Court.
In August, Troy T. Holmes, 33, of Seaford, pleaded guilty to theft over $500 for his part in a string of construction site burglaries last winter and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered. Back in Circuit Court this week, Holmes was sentenced to five years in jail for the conviction.
Holmes, along with another suspect, Aaron W. Meyers, 19, of Seaford, were arrested last January after resort police were able to connect the pair to the burglary spree. The suspects specifically targeted construction sites with spools of copper wiring, which they stole and melted down to recycle the copper. The copper was taken to a private recycling center in Delaware where it was sold for about $2 per pound. The two were charged with 11 counts including burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property.
Meyers and Holmes stole from construction sites in Ocean City including locations on 2nd Street, 42nd Street and 46th Street. Loss from theft and damage from the locations totaled just under $10,000. During the investigation, it was learned Meyers and Holmes are awaiting trial in Delaware for similar offenses.
Holmes was served with a warrant for his arrest for the burglary spree in December and was ordered held on a $30,000 bond.
Knife Was For 'Crazies'
OCEAN CITY - A Crisfield man arrested last week on a concealed weapon charge and driving on a suspended license told police the knife he carried in his car was for 'crazies' on the corners.
Around 7:45 p.m. last Friday, an OCPD officer in routine patrol in the 127th Street area noticed a Ford truck with its tag light not illuminated. When the officer ran the tags, he found the license plate numbers were registered to a Dodge, not a Ford. The officer then pulled over the vehicle and approached the driver, identified as Charles Lee Fraites, 38, of Crisfield.
Fraites admitted his license was suspended and the vehicle's registration was not correct. He also told police he was going to get the Ford registered and that he put the Dodge's plates on it temporarily. While he was talking with Fraites, the officer noticed a knife handle between the two front seats. He asked Fraites to put his hands on the wheel and not to touch the knife.
When Fraites exited the vehicle, the officer pulled out a roughly 10-inch knife with a black handle. In the meantime, the check on Fraites confirmed his license was suspended, and the officer arrested him for driving while suspended and carrying a concealed deadly weapon. When the officer asked Fraites why he was carrying the knife in his car, he responded, 'Well you know, when you come through Richmond, you never know if there are crazies on the corner.'
Stolen Handgun Recovered
OCEAN CITY - A routine traffic stop on Monday afternoon in Ocean City yielded a loaded handgun in the center console that had been reported stolen in Wicomico County.
Around 2 p.m. on Monday, OCPD Cpl. Richard Wawrzeniak stopped a vehicle on Baltimore Ave. at 20th Street for a license plate violation. Upon contacting the vehicle's driver, Vincent Rascona, 21, of Salisbury, and his passenger, Ryan Brawner, 22, also of Salisbury, the officer noticed the strong odor of marijuana.
While searching the vehicle, the officer discovered a Taurus .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol in the center console. The gun had been reported stolen in Wicomico. Officers also located a plastic bag with a significant amount of marijuana along with a box of sandwich-size baggies and a digital scale.
Brawner was charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, misdemeanor theft, and possession of a handgun in a drug trafficking scheme. Rascona was charged with possession of marijuana. The investigation revealed Brawner owned the vehicle but Rascona was driving because Brawner's license was suspended.
Razor Attacker Sentenced
SNOW HILL - A Norristown, Pa. man arrested last February after cutting his girlfriend's face with a razor during a domestic dispute was found guilty of second-degree assault this week in Circuit Court and will serve roughly three months in jail.
Phillip Todd Mullin, 22, of Norristown, Pa., appeared in Circuit Court this week to face several serious charges including first-degree assault, reckless endangerment and carrying a concealed deadly weapon. Mullin pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to two years, nine months and one day in jail with all but two months and 29 days suspended.
In February, OCPD Officer Charles Kelley was dispatched to the Dunes Manor Hotel on Baltimore Avenue in response to a domestic assault. Upon arrival, he met up with OCPD Officer Lesa Breneman and paramedics who were treating a victim for multiple lacerations to the face. According to Breneman, the victim told her that her boyfriend, later identified as Mullin, and her had gotten into an argument and he had accused her of cheating on him.
Kelley spoke with Mullin, who was shaking and covered in blood, and asked what had happened. Mullin said he 'had a reflex and reacted to her.' When asked what that meant, he said he had swung a razorblade at her and was doing so in defense.
The victim was transported to Atlantic General Hospital for further medical treatment and Mullin was placed under arrest for domestic assault. However, according to police records, after being placed under arrest Mullin was unwilling to cooperate when he was asked to get into the patrol car.
Not only did he thrash about when being placed in the car, but continued to do so inside the car, managing to get his seatbelt off and his hands in front of himself. After refusing to exit the car in order to be further restrained, officers had to pull him out as he continued to kick and thrash about and place him in a violent prisoner restraint.
Officers later spoke with the victim after she was treated at AGH to obtain permission to enter their room in order to find the razor that was used. She consented and also stated that during the argument, Mullin held her in front of a mirror and asked, 'Do you want me to kill you?' She then said he began to choke her in front of the mirror and cut her face with the razor stating, 'You want me to end your life?' Officers later searched the hotel room and found the blade as well as three small Baggies of marijuana.
Pain Meds Thief Gets Probation
SNOW HILL - An Ocean City condominium maintenance man arrested in July and charged with burglary and possession of marijuana after getting caught stealing prescription medicine from an 82-year-old man was found guilty this week on a fourth-degree burglary charge and was sentenced to one year in jail, all of which was suspended in favor of probation.
In July, Ocean City detectives investigated a burglary complaint at the Antigua condominium on 85th Street. The complainant, an 82-year-old man, told the officers he believed someone had been entering his unit and stealing his prescription medicine. On the morning of July 12, the detectives met with the victim in his unit. Around 8 a.m., the victim pretended to leave for the day while the detectives hid in a spare bedroom in the unit.
Less than 10 minutes after the victim left, the officers heard someone enter the unit. The officers than confronted the suspect, identified as David Edwards, 22, of Pittsville, who turned out to be a maintenance man for the condominium.
After interviewing the suspect, Edwards admitted breaking into the victim's unit on two prior occasions and stealing Percocet from the victim's medicine bottle. Police also discovered marijuana on Edwards' person. He was charged with burglary, possession of marijuana and misdemeanor theft.
Five Years For Cocaine
BERLIN - A Pocomoke man was sentenced to five years in federal prison last week after pleading guilty last May to distribution of cocaine in U.S. District Court.
Lester C. Dickerson, 36, of Pocomoke, entered into a plea agreement last may in federal court including a conviction on a distribution of cocaine charge. Last Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Dickerson to 70 months in jail followed by four years of supervised probation.
From January 2006 to March 2006, Dickerson engaged in a series of sales of cocaine base undercover police officers and a confidential informant. For example, on Jan. 6, 2006, Dickerson sold nearly three grams of cocaine base to an undercover officer for $100. In one of his largest sales, Dickerson, on March 30, 2006, sold roughly 23 grams of cocaine base to an informant for $860.
He was finally arrested on an indictment in March 2007 following a long pattern of narcotics sales. In May, Dickerson pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of cocaine and was sentenced last week to over five years in jail. The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case was investigated by the federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives bureau and the Worcester County Drug Task Force.
Gift Card Scam
OCEAN PINES - An Ocean Pines grocery store employee was arrested late last month on theft charges after an investigation revealed she was involved in a gift card scam.
On Dec. 22, a Maryland State Police trooper responded to the Food Lion grocery store in Ocean Pines to investigate a theft. The investigation revealed a suspect, later identified as Mary Katherine Dick, 51, of Girdletree, had been charging store customers for gift cards they did not purchase. Dick would then use the gift cards for her personal use.
The value of the phony gift cards totaled $190. Dick was charged with two counts of theft under $500 and theft scheme under $500. Food Lion has reimbursed the victims in the case. The loss prevention unit of Food Lion assisted in the investigation. Dick was served with a criminal summons and released on her own recognizance.
Route 113 Accident
BISHOPVILLE - A two-car collision on Route 113 near Bishopville last Friday night sent three people to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Around 9:30 p.m. last Friday, a 2006 Jeep Wrangler traveling eastbound crossing Route 113 collided with a 2002 Dodge pick-up traveling westbound on Bishopville Rd. The driver of the Jeep, identified as Matthew Busan, 26, of Bishopville, and his passenger, identified as Jeremy Vincent, 26, of an unknown address, were flown by helicopter to PRMC in Salisbury. The driver of the Dodge, identified as Orville Latherbury, 22, of Dagsboro, was taken to PRMC by ambulance. Charges in the accident are still pending.
Jail Time For Cocaine Bust
SNOW HILL - A Columbia, Md. man, who refused to cooperate with Ocean City Police after a downtown fight last summer, was found guilty of possession of cocaine last week in Worcester Circuit Court and sentenced to 60 days in jail with all but two days suspended.
Desean Jones, 18, of Columbia, Md., was arrested after OCPD officers were dispatched to a fight downtown last summer. Upon arrival, the officers separated the combatants and told them to sit on the curb while they sorted out what happened. Jones refused, however, and walked around behind a pick-up truck before returning to the curb.
Witnesses told police Jones dropped something when he went behind the truck and an investigation revealed a baggie containing 1.7 grams of cocaine. Last week, Jones was found guilty of possession and sentenced to 60 days in jail with all but two days suspended. He was also placed on 18 months probation and fined $470.
Armed Robbery In Pocomoke
POCOMOKE - A Salisbury man is in custody this week after robbing a Pocomoke convenience store and holding the clerk against her will at gunpoint.
Around 11 p.m. last Saturday, the clerk at the Duck In convenience store in Pocomoke was conducting routine closing procedures when an unidentified man confronted her with a gun, forced her at gunpoint to go behind the counter and open the cash register before fleeing with the paper currency. Store surveillance cameras captured good clothing and overall size descriptions of the suspect, a black male, while another employee reported a suspicious dark-colored Jaguar in the parking lot prior to the crime. The vehicle was captured by surveillance cameras leaving the store just after the armed robbery.
Police searched the area and discovered an abandoned Jaguar at the old Seahawk Sports Center. A check of the plates revealed the car had been reported stolen in Salisbury on Jan. 1. While waiting for crime technicians to process the stolen car, police decided to check nearby motels for any late-night guests arriving on foot. Their search revealed a suspect, later identified as Tyrone Dale, 45, of Salisbury, had just checked into the Pocomoke Inn.
When police encountered Dale in the room, his clothing and size matched the description of the armed robber. Under questioning, Dale appeared nervous and changed his story several times. A wanted check revealed Dale was being sought by the MSP Berlin barrack for forgery and uttering.
A search of the area revealed the stolen money and clothes matching the description provided by the surveillance tapes in a nearby trashcan. Dale was then arrested and charged with armed robbery, first-degree assault and kidnapping.