OCEAN CITY – A known sex offender wanted for failing to comply with mandatory registration requirements was located in Ocean City this week and was arrested without incident.
The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit announced on Monday the arrest of Michael Allen Woroniecki, 49, of no fixed address, in Ocean City. Woroniecki was being sought for failing to comply with mandated sex offender registry requirements.
Woroniecki, formerly of Stevenson Lane in Berlin, who had at one time an address listed on Ocean Parkway in Ocean Pines, was arrested in Ocean City on Monday. Woroniecki was convicted in 2001 on child abuse-parent, third- and fourth-degree sex offenses against a minor and assault charges and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. He was required to register with the sex offender registry for life.
There are currently 77 registered sex offenders being monitored by the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office SVU including 16 in the 21842 zip code, which includes Ocean City and much of West Ocean City, and 19 in the 21811 zip code, which includes Berlin and Ocean Pines. For additional information about registered sex offenders living in their neighborhoods, local residents can access the on-line registry at www.worcestersheriff.com.
Man Cleared Of Charges
OCEAN CITY – A Pocomoke man, arrested in Ocean City in December during a search and seizure carried out by resort detectives in a downtown apartment building, was cleared of all charges on March 7 in District Court.
Michael John Murphy, 52, of Pocomoke, was arrested on Dec. 15 in Ocean City on charges of possession of controlled dangerous substance- not marijuana and possession of paraphernalia following the service of a search and seizure warrant at an apartment on Philadelphia Ave. On March 7, Murphy was cleared of the charges when the state did not prosecute the case against him.
On Dec. 15, resort police detectives arrived with a search and seizure warrant at the residence to find Murphy, along with Mark Anthony Holland, 44, and Patricia Joan Alimo, 36, both of Ocean City, in a common area of the building. All three individuals were listed on the warrant.
During the search, police located a smoking device containing suspected crack cocaine, a cigarette pack containing a small amount of crack cocaine, suspected powder cocaine on a counter top and several items used to ingest crack cocaine. All three were taken into custody and charged with various drug-related offenses.
When police searched Murphy, they allegedly found a piece of foil containing a single pill, which was later identified as trazodone, a prescription anti-depressant. Murphy later told police Alimo gave him the pill to calm his nerves, according to the police report on the incident. Murphy was cleared of all charges on March 7 in District Court.
Apartment Fire Arrest
OCEAN CITY – A Perryville, Md. man was arrested last Friday for starting a fire at the Burgundy Inn in Ocean City back on March 10.
Last Friday, March 23, the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office obtained an arrest warrant for David Boyd Amoto, 37, of Perryville, Md., for charges of attempting to burn property, malicious destruction of property, second-degree malicious burning and four counts of reckless endangerment for a fire that occurred in unit 4A of the Burgundy Inn on Philadelphia Ave. on March 10.
The fire occurred at approximately 2:30 a.m. An investigation conducted by the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office concluded the fire was incendiary in cause. Ocean City Police Department officers on the scene were able to extinguish the fire and damages were limited to contents inside the unit. The building was occupied at the time of the fire, although no injuries were reported.
Blood Smears Cause Alarm, Lead To Arrest
OCEAN CITY – A local man was arrested last Tuesday night when he barricaded himself inside his residence and later became aggressive with officers when they arrived to investigate a disturbance on 8th Street.
It was approximately 10 p.m. when OCPD Officer Sara Dorsey and Officer Michael Richardson were dispatched to the Jocelyn Manor on 8th Street regarding a domestic dispute call. Upon arrival, officers spoke with one of the security guards at Jocelyn Manor who said he had received a phone call about a loud argument taking place in one of the units.
According to police reports, the guard approached the unit to see what the problem was and noticed a male yelling and throwing clothes off the balcony. The guard believed the man to be intoxicated and called the police, however when they arrived, the man slammed his door shut.
Officers tried for approximately 15 minutes to contact someone within the apartment but were unsuccessful. Officers then spoke with neighboring residents who heard the shouting earlier and said at one point the male had shouted profanity and derogatory comments about the female. Another resident said a man and woman both live in the unit in question and said he beats her regularly and that she herself had to call police because of screaming coming from the unit just days prior.
Further investigation of the area revealed there was blood near the door knob of the unit, as well as blood on a nearby railing and the clothes the man had thrown off the balcony. It was then that the officers requested a key from the security guard to make entry to the unit and to ensure the safety of its occupants.
According to police records, OCPD Officer Scott Harner approached the unit and announced the OCPD was about to enter. As he began to unlock the door and open it, Dorsey saw someone inside kick it shut, soon followed by man inside who yelled, “You’re not [expletive deleted] coming in here!” The man then began to beat around the frame of the door with what was later found to be an aluminum baseball bat.
It was at this point that the officers stepped back to assess the situation when the man, identified as Richard Allen Lehman Sr., 41, of Ocean City, exited the unit with his 14-year-old son.
Officers noted Lehman had a laceration on his hand, which was later determined as the source of all the blood and not from another injured person. After EMS treated Lehman for his injury, officers placed him under arrest and put him in the back of a patrol car where he immediately began to thrash about, banging his head on the glass of the door.
Officers told Lehman to calm down, however he resumed banging his head and cursing at the officers, calling them derogatory names. Eventually Lehman was placed in a violent persons restraining device and taken away in a transport wagon, something that also proved a challenge as two officers went to the ground in an attempt to subdue him.
Lehman was later charged with disorderly conduct, malicious destruction of private property, second-degree assault and other minor charges.
Bench Warrant Served On Westminster Man
OCEAN CITY – A 50-year-old Westminster, Md., man found himself between an OCPD K-9 and a hard place last Wednesday when officers closed in on him as he tried to hide from police.
Around 9:45 p.m. that night, OCPD Officer Earl Campbell responded to Sunset Drive to assist with Officer Lesa Breneman in locating a fugitive of Carroll County by the name of Douglas Paul Grimes.
According to police records, Breneman had received information that Grimes was hiding in the back of the Subway restaurant. According to the manager, no one had permission to be on the property and Breneman was sure Grimes was still there since it was his girlfriend who called police and told them Grimes was hiding there but wanted to turn himself in at a different location.
Officers gave orders for Grimes to come out but received no response, even after Campbell ordered his K-9 partner Charlie to let his presence known by barking. Since Grimes wasn’t coming to them, officers went to him, soon finding him hiding behind a heating and air-conditioning ventilation system.
According to police records, Charlie tried to get to Grimes but was unable to, however the thought of having a K-9 after him made him think twice about staying hid and soon showed his hands to police. Officers then tried to place Grimes under arrest but he resisted.
Further use of force, pepper spray and threats of deploying K-9 Charlie made Grimes eventually comply, allowing officers to restrain him. A total of nine officers were used to handle the incident and the manager of the Subway was unsure how Grimes had gained entry since no signs of forced entry were found.
Grimes was charged with fourth-degree burglary because of his unlawful entry into the establishment as well as resisting arrest.
Local Man Pleads Guilty To Drug Charge
OCEAN CITY – Some say an honest man is hard to come by these days but that wasn’t the case with a local man who was straightforward with an OCPD officer earlier in the year.
Back on Jan. 20, at approximately 1 a.m., OCPD Officers Jennifer Smithhart and James Rodriguez were dispatched to a residence on 76th Street concerning a report of an individual using a controlled dangerous substance (CDS).
According to police records, Smithhart soon met with a man identified as Julian Francis Minor, 46, who allowed the officers into his room. While speaking with Minor, officers saw a metal rod with burn marks on the ends lying on the floor, an object commonly used to smoke crack cocaine.
Smithhart then asked Minor if he had any crack cocaine on him. Minor said he only had marijuana on him and then proceeded to pull a plastic baggie containing the substance from his pocket and gave it to Smithhart.
Minor was then placed under arrest.
At District Court Monday morning, Minor plead guilty to possession of marijuana and Judge Daniel R. Mumford fined him $500.
Paybacks Ordered In Beach Week Thefts
SNOW HILL – A Pennsylvania man, convicted in November on first-, second- and fourth-degree burglary charges after financing his Senior Week trip in Ocean City last summer by stealing money and other personal property was granted two years probation last week and ordered to pay his victims back.
William Anthony Packer, 19, of Glen Rock, Pa., was in Worcester County Circuit Court last week facing a sentencing hearing for convictions on charges related to a crime spree in Ocean City in June during Senior Week.
According to the police report, OCPD Officer Earl Campbell responded to the Hitch Apartments in Ocean City after other officers reportedly heard screaming coming from inside one of the building’s units. When the officer arrived, he met with the victim who said a man later identified as Packer had gone into her room without permission and was going through her personal belongings.
Several witnesses told police they entered the room and found Packer standing in the kitchen with a purse that didn’t belong to him. According to charging documents, Packer appeared drunk and earlier attempted to pay the victim to not call the police.
Later, a witness told police that Packer had come to Ocean City with no money, but somehow bought $300 worth of clothes days later and told his friends that all the newfound money was wired to him from his mother. During the investigation, several other victims approached the officer and reported missing money. A search of Packer revealed several bundles of cash matching reported denominations, according to charging documents.
Packer was convicted on the burglary and theft charges in November and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered. Back in Circuit Court last week, Packer was placed on two years probation for the convictions and was ordered to pay $220 in restitution to one of the victims and $150 in restitution to another.
Drug Bust At State Trooper Barrack
BERLIN – A Seaford, Del. man, who went to the Maryland State Police Berlin Barrack last Friday to retrieve thousands of dollars seized during a drug bust, was arrested on marijuana and ecstasy possession charges and forfeited even more money.
Ernest Evans, 18, of Seaford, went to the MSP Berlin Barrack last Friday hoping to get back $8,000 seized during an earlier drug bust, but he only got himself in more trouble. The duty officer smelled marijuana on Evans’ person and a subsequent search of his vehicle revealed the strong odor of burnt marijuana.
A search of Evans’ vehicle turned up over 12 grams of marijuana and a search of his person turned up 1.14 grams of ecstasy. Evans was also forced to surrender $8,190 in addition to the $8,000 he was hoping to retrieve in the first place. Evans was arrested on possession of marijuana and ecstasy charges.
Police Testing This Weekend
OCEAN CITY – Testing for Ocean City Police Department seasonal officers, lateral police officers, full-time police officers and public safety aides will be held this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, at Ocean City Elementary.
The testing process will include a written examination and physical ability tests on Saturday. Those who successfully complete the physical tests and written exam will be invited back on Sunday for an oral interview.
The applicants are required to be at OCES no later than 7:45 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, March 31, and the oral exams on Sunday will be scheduled based on the results of Saturday’s tests.