Phony Police Car
BERLIN - The juvenile driver of a retired police car still equipped with lights and sirens was arrested last week after driving aggressively and attempting to stop other motorists.
Last Wednesday evening, Maryland State Police were cooperating with Berlin police in an effort to locate a gray Ford Crown Victoria with dark tinted windows reported to be driving aggressively and attempting to pull over other motorists along eastbound Route 50. Berlin police observed the suspect vehicle going 81 mph in a 55 mph zone and attempted to pull it over.
The vehicle pulled behind a business on Route 50 in an effort to elude police and the suspects fled on foot but were quickly apprehended. The driver, a 17-year-old juvenile, was arrested for attempting to elude police. During a search incident to the arrest, blue police lights were located in the trunk and the vehicle was equipped with a blue grill light and working audible siren.
The vehicle, a former police car also equipped with a driver's side spot lamp, was impounded. Anybody having similar encounters with a vehicle matching the description in encouraged to call the MSP at 410-641-3101 or Berlin Police at 410-641-1333.
Getting Rough With Cops
OCEAN CITY - An intoxicated Finksburg, Md. man claiming to be a U.S. Marines Military Police officer (MP) was arrested on assault charges last week after scuffling with resort police trying to help him find his way home.
Around 12:37 a.m. last Thursday, Ocean City police officers were dispatched to the area of 19th Street and the Boardwalk to check on the welfare of a man who was allegedly extremely intoxicated and falling down. Upon arrival, the officer located a man, later identified as John Leonard Hale, 26, of Finksburg, Md., leaning against a payphone. According to police reports, Hale had extremely slurred speech and could not stand up without the support of the payphone.
Hale was unable to tell police where he was staying, but was able to tell the officers he was in Ocean City with his parents. The officers found Hale's cell phone on the ground next to his sweatshirt and were able to use it to contact his mother, who was told to come get her intoxicated son.
Meanwhile, the officers advised Hale to sit on the grass while waiting for his mother so he wouldn't fall down again, but he refused, unleashing a string of profanities at the officers, according to police reports. Hale told the officers he was in the Marine Corps, and when asked what he did in the Marines, Hale allegedly responded 'MP, [expletive deleted] Military Police.
The officers told Hale he was not being arrested and that his mother was on the way, but he continued to be belligerent, according to reports. Again, the officers told Hale they were just trying to make sure he got home safely, but he didn't want any part of it. He asked the officers if either of them had ever been in Iraq and then answered for them, calling them '[expletive deleted] army cops.'
Hale then told the officers if they touched him he would '[expletive deleted] them up' and 'kick their [expletive deleted].' The officers tried to calm Hale down and told them they did not want to arrest him, but he became more and more aggressive. At one point, he made a move toward one of the officers, who pushed him back sending him stumbling back into the payphone.
Then Hale took a large step forward and grabbed one of the officers by the upper body with his arms and he was taken down to the ground. However, he still did not give up the fight. He was finally subdued and handcuffed after a continued scuffle with the officers. Hale was charged with two counts of second-degree assault and resisting arrest.
Pennsylvania Rape Suspect Nabbed
BERLIN - Last Thursday, a man wanted on rape and other charges in Pennsylvania as well as other warrants in Maryland was arrested in Berlin after local police received a tip the suspect was living in the town.
Last week, Berlin police were tipped off a fugitive wanted on rape and forgery charges in Pennsylvania and theft and forgery charges in several counties in Maryland was possibly residing in Berlin. A description of the suspect, later identified as Scott Allan Joy, 46, of Berlin, and his vehicle was distributed to patrol officers in town.
Minutes later, an officer spotted Joy operating the described vehicle within town limits and Berlin Police conducted a high-risk stop on it and took the suspect into custody without incident. Joy was processed and transported to the commissioner's office where he was ordered held at the county jail without bail pending extradition to Pennsylvania.
OC Resident Injured In Fire
OCEAN CITY - A local man had to be flown by helicopter to PRMC in Salisbury last Saturday after suffering burns while attempting to extinguish a fire in Ocean City.
Around 9:44 a.m. last Saturday, the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company and Emergency Services Fire/EMS Division were dispatched to a reported fire on Nautical Lane. First arriving firefighters reported a shed on fire near the rear of the building, which was threatening to spread. Several neighbors and the owner of the shed were attempting to extinguish the fire with garden hoses when firefighters arrived.
The fire was brought under control a few minutes later. One male citizen suffered second-degree burns to his head and arms as well as associated respiratory problems due to his involvement in attempting to extinguish the fire. He was transported by on-scene paramedics via Maryland State Police Med-Evac helicopter to PRMC where he is listed in stable condition. The cause of the fire has been listed as undetermined by investigators with the Ocean City Fire Marshal's Office.
Brit Busted With Pot
BERLIN - A British man was arrested on marijuana and paraphernalia possession charges last week after a routine traffic stop on Route 90 at Route 50.
Around 5:30 p.m. last Saturday, a Maryland State Police trooper stopped a Honda Accord on Route 90 at Route 50 because the driver was not wearing a seatbelt. While initiating the traffic stop, the trooper observed the back seat passenger, later identified as Kyle Martin Smith, 20, of Maldon, England, throw a plastic baggie of suspected marijuana out of the passenger side window.
Smith was arrested for possession, and during a search incident to his arrest, a glass smoking device was found in his backpack and a pill bottle containing marijuana was found in the glove box. Smith told police all of the illegal drugs discovered were his. He was charged with possession and released on his own recognizance.
Woman Convicted Of Assault
SNOW HILL - An Ocean City woman arrested in December for assaulting the off-duty Ocean City police officer who had arrested her three months earlier pleaded guilty last week to an assault charge amended to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to three days in jail, all of which was suspended.
On Dec. 16, Ocean City Police Pfc. Chris Snyder was at Seacrets in Ocean City in an off-duty capacity when he was approached by a woman later identified as Catherine Rose Paschal, 22, of Ocean City. Paschal approached Snyder and asked him if his name was Chris, to which he replied yes. Paschal then told Snyder he was the officer who had arrested her back in September and kneed him in the groin area and hit him in the chest.
When Snyder began to walk away, Paschal dumped her drink over his head and proceeded to kick him in his backside. An on-duty OCPD officer responded to the scene and began his investigation by reviewing security tapes of the incident. Later that day, Snyder reviewed recent cases during which he arrested a female and identified Paschal from her mug shot.
The officer was able to get a phone number for Paschal from her arrest report in September and when he called it, he got the girl's father on the line. The girl's father gave police a contact number for her. Paschal's father then called her and told her to call police.
Paschal called the police that night and told them she had been at Seacrets the night before and that she was celebrating her roommate's graduation and had too much to drink. Paschal told police she did not remember striking Snyder although she did remember throwing a cup of ice at him. Based on the information, Paschal was charged with second-degree assault.
Last week in Circuit Court, Paschal pleaded guilty to an amended count of disorderly conduct and was sentenced to three days in jail, all of which was suspended. She was also fined $500 and placed on supervised probation for 18 months.
Incidentally, the offense Snyder arrested Paschal for in September was obstructing and hindering, a charge for which she received probation before judgment.
Bicycle Stops Lead To Arrests
SNOW HILL - A Snow Hill man and his girlfriend were arrested on various charges this week after getting stopped while riding their bicycles in Snow Hill.
Around 5 p.m. on Monday, Maryland State Police troopers assigned to the Shore Criminal Observation Uniform Team (SCOUT) stopped two people on bicycles on Market Street in Snow Hill for traffic violations. Background checks on the suspects revealed one of them, Kenneth Foreman, 18, of Snow Hill, was wanted by the Somerset County Circuit Court and he was taken into custody.
Meanwhile, Foreman's 15-year-old girlfriend began screaming profanities and refused to obey police orders to stay away from the prisoner. The girl was ultimately arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a lawful order and hindering before being released to the custody of her mother. Foreman was held on the circuit court bench warrant from Somerset and was transported to that county's jail.
Local Trespasser Found Guilty
OCEAN CITY - An Ocean City man faced trespassing and open container charges in District Court this week, following an incident in early February.
On Feb. 1, Ocean City police responded to West Biscayne Avenue for reports of a suspicious male in the area. Upon arrival, Officer Sara Dorsey observed Jason Thomas McDonough, 26, walking along the street, holding a partially consumed bottle of Mad Dog. According to police reports, McDonough saw the police officer and attempted to climb the stairs of a residence and open the front door.
Dorsey then called McDonough over to her to question him. The owners of the property were also contacted and questioned and it was revealed that McDonough did not live at the residence, nor did he have permission to be there. As a result, McDonough was arrested.
McDonough pleaded guilty to trespassing on private property and open container this week and was found guilty on both counts. He was sentenced to 11 days in jail, with credit for the 11 days already served, as well as a $57.50 fine.
Berlin Man Faces String of Charges
OCEAN CITY - Joseph R. Myers, 22, of Berlin, appeared in District Court again this week, this time to face charges of failure to obey a police officer. Myers was in District Court two weeks ago, facing charges of second-degree assault and noise violation.
On April 3, Ocean City Police responded to Fager's Island for a reported fight in progress. As they approached the scene, Myers reportedly approached the officers, swinging his arms at them and yelling, 'I'm a Marine, let me back in there,' and 'my dad's a lawyer.' After failing to comply with the officers, Myers was placed under arrest.
Myers pleaded guilty to the charge this week in District Court, admitting that he was not a marine and also admitting that his father is not a lawyer. He was found guilty and fined $357.50.
Myers was found guilty two weeks ago as well when he was charged with noise violation and second-degree assault.
On March 17, Myers was placed under arrest for a noise violation after yelling a variety of threats at police officers and a K-9 unit outside a local bar. After being placed under arrest, Myers reportedly spit at his arresting officer, missing him by just a few inches. Although Myers pleaded not guilty to the charges, claiming he never spit at the officer, he was found guilty of both charges, receiving fines totaling $657.50.
Myers also faces an upcoming court date for a May 3 arrest for theft less than $100.
Shoplifter Found Guilty
OCEAN CITY - An 18-year-old alleged shoplifter had her day in court this week, after being arrested early last month for stealing a variety of items from a store in the Gold Coast Mall.
On April 3, at approximately 1:44 p.m., Ocean City Police Officer Eric Hutchinson responded to a store in the Gold Coast Mall for a reported shoplifter in custody. Upon arrival, the store manager informed Hutchinson two females had entered the store earlier.
One of the females, Christina S. Heaphy, 18, of Bishopville, was wearing a white jacket. As they were shopping, the manager noticed a bulge in Heaphy's jacket and stopped her before leaving the store. A belt, pair of shorts and a couple of swimsuits was revealed, prompting the manager to call the police.
Hutchinson pointed out that Heaphy had a credit card in her possession and could have easily paid for the items. Heaphy reportedly told the officer that the credit card was her grandmother's, and was to be used for emergencies only.
Heaphy pleaded guilty to theft under $500 this week. She was found guilty, receiving a $557.50 fine.
Possession Charges Stick
OCEAN CITY - Andrew W. Joiner, 31, of Westminster, Md., appeared in District Court this week, pleading guilty to possession of Oxycodone.
On Sept. 2, 2007, Ocean City police responded to a residence on 103rd Street and Coastal Highway for a citizen complaint. After being directed to the room, and allowed entry by consent, officers found Joiner and another individual as well as a rolled up dollar bill they believed to be in use for cocaine.
Officers asked Joiner if they could search the room and he consented. A baggie containing Oxycodone pills was found, and Joiner was placed under arrest. In District Court this week, Joiner's attorney argued that the pills belonged to his client's mother, who has been using the prescribed pills.
Joiner was found guilty and granted probation before judgment with one year of unsupervised probation and a $357.50 fine.
Roommate Scuffle Ends In Jail Time
OCEAN CITY - A local man was found guilty of second-degree assault this week in District Court, following his arrest for a fight with his roommate.
Robert G. Adams, 47, pleaded guilty to the charges this week, disputing several aspects of the police report.
Officer Carl Perry reported that on March 21, at 11:27 p.m., he responded 79th Street for an alleged assault that had already occurred. Upon arrival, Perry met Adams, who claimed to have been assaulted by his roommate. Perry reported that Adams was extremely intoxicated and that his story was inconsistent.
The officer was able to speak with James Ireland, Adams's roommate, who told police that he and Adams were arguing when Adams punched him in the face two times. During the ensuing scuffle, Adams allegedly grabbed a pole and attempted to spear Ireland with it, but Ireland was able to fight off Adams and leave.
Although Adams admitted to engaging in the fight with Ireland, he denied ever attacking him with the pole. Adams was found guilty of second-degree assault and sentenced to 35 days in jail with credit for time served for all 35 days.
2003 Bar Incident Resolved
OCEAN CITY - A 2003 bar incident surfaced in District Court this week, with the appearance of a Fenwick Island man facing theft charges.
Corporal Freddie Howard reported that on Oct. 24, 2003, he was dispatched to Pickles Pub for a theft of services. Upon arrival, bartenders and witnesses informed Howard that Patrick James Sparks, now age 30, had failed to pay his tab. When confronted about it, Sparks reportedly hit the female bartender and another employee in the face in an attempt to flee the bar. Sparks was stopped a few blocks away and placed under arrest.
Sparks pleaded guilty to the charges this week, but told a different story. According to Sparks, he had been frequenting the establishment for about a week before the night of the incident and had enjoyed the service provided. On Oct. 24 however, Sparks claims the bartenders were being rude and a disagreement ensued, causing Sparks to walk away without paying.
Sparks denied hitting anyone outright, claiming he shoved a $20 bill in the bartender's face on his way out and as a result was hit from behind by another individual. 'I did hit a couple of people but I was protecting myself,' said Sparks.
Sparks explained that due to the charges, he was found guilty of a violation of probation in Delaware, and as a result, spent three years in jail. Judge Daniel Mumford found Sparks guilty, giving him credit for the three years of time served, adding a $557.50 fine.
Not Guilty Of Theft
OCEAN CITY - A local man was found not guilty of theft less than $500 this week in District Court, despite witness testimony that he failed to pay for medical services.
The witness, Marie Miller, a medical receptionist for 10th Street Medical Center, testified that on Dec. 21, 2006, she dealt with the defendant, Charles Anthony Frasier, now 45. Miller testified that the medical center is a fee-for-services establishment, meaning a patient must pay, via cash, check or credit card, that day in order to be treated. After explaining this to Frasier, Miller said he informed her that his employer would be paying for the bill. Miller then contacted the employer but was unable to confirm that it would be covering Frasier's costs. At that time, Frasier reportedly told her he would pay himself and was taken back to see the doctor.
After being treated, Frasier once again claimed her employer would be taking care of the bill and gave Miller a number and person to contact. After speaking with the individual, Miller was told they would not be paying for the bill and she once again asked Frasier to pay. Frasier said he would return with a check, signing an agreement, leaving and never returning with payment. As a result, 10th Street Medical called the police.
Frasier's attorney argued that the prosecution had no evidence of the agreement signed or any paper evidence proving that Frasier had even been treated.
Judge Daniel Mumford pointed out that discrepancies remained in the case, finding Frasier not guilty.
Not Guilty Plea Upheld
OCEAN CITY - A Berlin man was found not guilty of two counts of violation of a protective order this week, after a confusing mix of he-said-she-said testimony from a former couple.
James Gregg Chafin, 45, of Berlin, appeared in District Court this week for allegedly violating a protective order against him, an order that prevents him from having any contact with his ex-girlfriend, Mary Ann Smith.
Smith testified that on Dec. 14, 15 and 26, Chafin contacted her by calling her current boyfriend's cell phone. Smith claimed that she answered the phone and recognized the voice as Chafin's, with whom she had a relationship with for six years. Chafin reportedly said, 'the war is not over, sleep tight,' and then hung up the phone.
On Dec. 26, Smith claimed he called again, this time making odd noises before hanging up. Smith testified that the calls came from two local Ocean City numbers that she did not recognize.
Chafin testified that he did not make the calls, pointing out that he was in Dundalk from October through January, and could not have used a local phone. Chafin also claimed that Smith had been the one contacting him. Chafin was found not guilty.