SNOW HILL – A Whaleyville man accused of sexually abusing his granddaughter 14 years ago pleaded guilty last week in Worcester County Circuit Court to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 10 years in jail.
James Henry Tyre, 69, of Whaleyville, was in Worcester County Circuit Court last week facing several charges including child abuse, third- and fourth-degree sex offense and assault for an incident involving his granddaughter. According to court documents, sometime in the fall of 1993, the victim, then four years old, was staying with her grandparents when she was sexually assaulted by her grandfather, Tyre.
According to the victim, when her grandmother went to bed, Tyre went to get the victim a blanket because she was sleeping on a couch. When he returned with the blanket, Tyre allegedly sexually assaulted her.
According to court reports, Tyre told the victim, “Don’t tell anyone because Pop Pop will get in trouble.” The victim said in her testimony the sexual assault only occurred once. Last May, almost 14 years later, the victim filed a formal complaint.
Developer Sentenced In Pay Check Fraud Case
SNOW HILL – An Ocean City developer involved in several major projects up and down the Eastern Shore including a major residential project on a coastal area of Deal Island was sentenced this week in Worcester County Circuit Court to six months in jail, all but 19 days of which were suspended, for writing a bad payroll check to an employee.
Paul Palitti V, 44, of Ocean City pleaded guilty in June to one count of writing a bad check to an employee for back wages dating back several weeks in 2006 totaling over $13,000. Back in court this week, Palitti was sentenced to six months in jail with all but 19 days suspended. The 19 days are equal to the time he already served in jail resulting in no net jail time.
Palitti, whose most recent project was a failed attempt to develop a waterfront resort community in the coastal town of Wenona on Deal Island, allegedly did not pay at least one employee thousands of dollars owed to her during the time he was trying to complete the deal. According to court documents, he continued to promise to pay the employee, an Ocean City resident, when he settled one of his land deals.
After several more weeks passed, Palitti, the sole owner of Waves Development Group, wrote the employee a check for over $13,000, but when she attempted to cash it at the bank, she was informed the account was closed because of insufficient funds. Palitti allegedly continued to promise the funds to the employee, who eventually became frustrated and filed a complaint against him leading to criminal charges.
In June, Palitti pleaded guilty to one count of writing a bad check for an employee and sentencing was deferred pending the outcome of some of his current land deals. Last week in Circuit Court, he was sentenced to six months in jail, all of which was suspended or credited for time served.
Fire In Street Leads To Drug, Booze Charges
BERLIN – Maryland Natural Resources Police responding to a fire in the middle of the street near Carey Rd. in northern Worcester County made four arrests on drug and alcohol charges last Saturday.
Around 9:30 p.m. last Saturday, Maryland Natural Resources Police on routine patrol noticed a large fire in the middle of the roadway at Nelson and Swamp roads. About 15 people consuming alcoholic beverages were gathered around three parked vehicles blocking the roadway near the fire in the street.
Further investigation at the scene, utilizing a K-9 unit from Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, revealed numerous positive hits for a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) inside one of the vehicles. A subsequent search of that vehicle recovered suspected marijuana and a large amount of alcohol.
NRP officers then arrested a Delaware man and three juveniles from Delaware on drug and alcohol-related charges. Christopher A. Shumate, 18, of Millsboro, a 16-year-old girl from Felton and two juveniles from Selbyville, ages 15 and 16, were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of alcohol by a person under 21.
Shumate was taken before a court commissioner and released on his own recognizance. The three juveniles were referred to the Department of Social Services.
Bike Week Stats
OCEAN CITY – A review of the OCPD statistics for Bike Week last weekend revealed resort cops were busy as expected but no major incidents were reported.
On Thursday, Sept. 13, the OCPD responded to 287 calls for service and made six total arrests including five criminal arrests. Resort cops issued 14 traffic citations and 10 motorcycle citations and doled out 41 warnings.
The figures spiked up on Friday, Sept. 14 with the OCPD responding to 409 total calls. Resort officers made 18 total arrests including eight criminal arrests and 10 traffic arrests. On Friday, the OCPD issued 58 traffic citations, 21 motorcycle citations and issued 58 warnings.
Saturday, Sept. 15 was more of the same with the OCPD responding to 410 total calls for service. Fourteen total arrests were made on Saturday including six criminal arrests and four traffic arrests. Resort cops handed out 54 traffic citations and 24 motorcycle citations on Saturday. They also issued 46 warnings.
Sunday, Sept. 16 was much calmer with just 37 calls for service reported. No arrests were made and just 20 combined citations were issued. Resort police also handed out 17 warnings on Sunday.
The grand totals for the entire four-day weekend were as follows: 1,143 total calls for service, 38 total arrests, 19 criminal arrests and 15 traffic arrests. A total of 139 traffic citations were issued as well as 62 motorcycle citations. All in all, 160 warnings were issued over the four-day stretch.
Two Arrested After Disclosing Pot
BERLIN – Maryland State Police arrested two Pennsylvania men last week after a routine traffic stop after the driver admitted to having marijuana in the vehicle.
Shortly before 3 p.m. last Thursday, Maryland State Police made a routine stop for a minor traffic violation near Berlin. While the trooper was filling out the paperwork for the citation, the driver advised the officer he had a marijuana pipe in the vehicle. The officer then searched the car and the driver and arrested the two men, Chad Ryan White, 19, of Royersford, Pa., and Adam Mitchell Shubert, 18, of Collegeville, Pa. The pair were taken before a court commissioner and released on their own recognizance.
Alford Plea In Alleged Rape Case
SNOW HILL – A Baltimore man arrested in April for allegedly raping a woman in an Ocean City motel room entered an Alford Plea to second-degree assault last week in Worcester County Circuit Court and was placed on probation for 18 months.
Ernest Wesley Smith, 53, of Baltimore, was in Circuit Court last week facing charges of attempted rape, assault, sex offenses and breaking and entering after allegedly attacking his former girlfriend at the Days Inn in Ocean City on April 14. Smith entered an Alford Plea to second-degree assault and was placed on probation for 18 months.
An Alford Plea is a plea during which a defendant acknowledges the prosecution has enough evidence to proceed with the case but does not enter a guilty plea. The remaining charges against Smith were not prosecuted.
According to the statement of charges, Ocean City police officers were called to the motel on April 14 for a reported sexual assault. The officers met with the alleged victim who told them her ex-boyfriend with whom she had an on again, off again relationship first physically assaulted her in front of her motel room in front of her young niece.
Smith then allegedly forced the victim into her room, threw her on the bed and pulled her pants off before taking his own pants off. The victim allegedly resisted the assault, but Smith punched her in the legs until she relented. When the victim realized she might be seriously hurt, she stopped resisting and Smith allegedly sexually assaulted her for several minutes.
In the meantime, the niece who witnessed the initial attack called other friends who came to the motel, but Smith had gone. Smith was known to be staying at another resort hotel and police were able to get a description of his vehicle and tag number. A description was broadcast and Smith was found and arrested a short time later.
OC Burglar Gets More Jail Time
OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man with an extensive record for breaking and entering in the resort was found guilty last week in Worcester County Circuit Court of violating his probation from a prior offense and was sentenced to an additional six months in jail.
Jermaine Hill, 21, of Ocean City, earlier this year pleaded guilty to fourth-degree burglary for one of two cases of breaking and entering he was charged with in the resort dating back to 2006. In the first case, Hill was accused of breaking into a resort hotel closed up for the winter and stealing a bottle of wine, some bottles of Gatorade and some crackers and later hosting a party in one of the hotel’s vacant rooms.
In the second case, Hill was connected to another break-in at the T-Shirt Factory on 6th Street and the Boardwalk. In February, Hill was found guilty of second-degree burglary in the former case and sentenced to six months in jail. In April, Hill was reported as violating the terms of his probation because of a new arrest. Last week in Circuit Court, he was found guilty of violating his probation and was sentenced to another six months in jail.
Alleged Car Thief Cleared
SNOW HILL – A Bowie, Md. man arrested last winter for allegedly stealing his friend’s car in May of 2006 was cleared of the charges last week in Worcester County Circuit Court.
Michael J. Pistorio, 21, was arrested last December for allegedly stealing his friend’s car in May 2006. He was charged with auto theft and other offenses at the time, but last week in Worcester County Circuit Court he was cleared of the charges. On May 30, 2006, OCPD officers responded to the Thunderbird Motel for a reported car theft.
The officers spoke with the victim who reported Pistorio, who was staying with him at the motel, took his car and disappeared. The victim said he and Pistorio had been walking on the Boardwalk earlier that day when they were confronted by a man who said Pistorio owed him $4,000. The victim said the clearly agitated Pistorio fled the Boardwalk and did not return to pick up the victim in his own car.
The victim said he returned to motel thinking Pistorio would have gone back there with his car, but he never returned. Pistorio was arrested on a warrant more than six months later and charged with the theft of a motor vehicle. Last week in Circuit Court, he was cleared of the charges.
OCEAN CITY – A Baltimore woman appeared in District Court Monday morning to face charges of disorderly conduct and resisting/interfering with an arrest that stemmed from an incident last month.
Melanie Ann Geisler, 44, of Baltimore, pleaded not guilty to both charges Monday, representing herself and remaining adamant that she had done nothing wrong.
Officer Frank Soscia testified that on Aug. 15, he was on patrol around 2 a.m. when he noticed a bus stopped on 16th Street with its overhead flashing strobe-light on, which Soscia explained indicates a problem. According to Soscia, Geisler was identified as being in the back of the bus trying to start a fight with people. Soscia cleared everyone off the bus and asked for Geisler’s identification, which she refused at first.
Soscia was then forced to leave Geisler to handle another incident that had escalated nearby. He told Geisler not to leave, however when he returned minutes later, she was gone. Soscia testified that a woman approached him and told him that Geisler was now down the street causing more problems.
Two more men then pointed her out and told Soscia she was flailing her arms and yelling in a man’s face. As Soscia approached, Geisler reportedly walked away from him, at which point he attempted to arrest her. She resisted, telling him several times that she was not under arrest, forcing Soscia to put her on the ground and handcuff her.
After Geisler was arrested, she told police that the male she was yelling at had sexually assaulted her daughter on the bus. The man denied the allegation and denied being on the bus. A search of the man revealed no bus pass and nothing to indicate that he had been on the bus.
Geisler testified that the officer’s statements were incorrect and attempted to tell her side of the story. According to Geisler, she was returning from the Boardwalk with her son, nieces and nephews. She testified that there were drunken men on the bus behaving inappropriately and that she was trying to get off of the bus. She also testified that she walked away because she wanted to get her children away from the fighting that had ensued outside of the bus.
After walking away, Geisler said a bloodied man approached her and asked for a lighter. She refused and, according to Geisler, was knocked down by Soscia and arrested. She claimed that she did not resist arrest but did ask repeatedly why she was being arrested. She also claimed that she had never identified that man as the one who had sexually assaulted her niece on the bus.
Geisler called her 13-year-old son and nephew to the stand to corroborate her statements.
Despite the story presented by Geisler, Judge Daniel Mumford was unconvinced that she had not acted in a disorderly manner or resisted arrest. Due to the officer’s testimony as well as eye witnesses noted in the police report, Mumford found her guilty of both charges, sentencing her to a $100 fine for disorderly conduct and a $400 fine for resisting/interfering arrest.
Possession Charges Stick
OCEAN CITY – A Laurel man came before the District Court Monday, pleading guilty to possession of marijuana.
Erdem Cemal Mustafa, 22, appeared in District Court Monday morning, pleading guilty to possession of marijuana and reassuring the court that he had been working hard since the arrest to turn his life around.
On May 25, slightly after 1 a.m., officers spotted Mustafa in the Seacrets parking lot on 49th Street. Mustafa was reportedly acting in a disorderly manner, calling the attention of people nearby as well as officers. Upon searching Mustafa, officers found .1 grams of marijuana and placed him under arrest for possession of marijuana.
Mustafa listed the numerous efforts he was making to correct his life, noting volunteer work and school among other things. Judge Daniel Mumford listened to the claims but pointed out that Mustafa had been in trouble for possession of marijuana before, as well as a DUI charge. “You didn’t learn,” Mumford said, finding Mustafa guilty and fining him $557.50.
Assault, Robbery Charges
OCEAN CITY – Two Russian students living in Ocean City for the summer appeared in District Court Monday morning for a related case, with one pleading guilty and the other facing a preliminary hearing.
Denis Mukhin, 19, came before the District Court Monday to face charges of robbery, second-degree assault, and theft less than $500. Radik Mukminov, 22, appeared to face the same charges, but with an agreement to plead guilty to second-degree assault.
Officer Patrick Flynn testified that on Aug. 19, around midnight, he approached a bus stopped on 33rd Street with its overhead emergency light on. Flynn found a male victim along with two witnesses to the robbery and assault, and two Russian men, Mukhin and Mukminov. The victim told Flynn he had been walking north on the sidewalk when two men, Mukhin and Mukminov, who were on bikes, approached him.
They reportedly approached the victim and said, “Give me all your stuff.” When the victim refused, they pushed him into a fence. The victim reportedly swung and missed and was then punched in the face and pushed into the street. Mukhin reportedly jumped on the victim, hitting and kicking him, ripping his gold necklace off and taking it.
Flynn testified the bus had approached and stopped due to the fight. The bus driver told Flynn that she had seen Mukhin push the victim into the street and pull off the gold necklace. A 16-year-old on the bus jumped off and broke up the fight and reportedly retrieved the necklace from Mukhin and returned it to the victim. After questioning the victim and the two witnesses and having little luck getting a statement out of the two Russians, who spoke very little English, Flynn placed them under arrest.
Mukhin’s public defender questioned the legitimacy of the 16-year-old witness. He also pointed out that the victim was highly intoxicated or “two sheets to the wind.” Flynn agreed that the victim was drunk. The public defender maintained that the evidence was shaky, pointing out that Mukhin had not run once he ripped the necklace off and had made no attempt to take any more of the victim’s belongings, asking the court to dismiss the robbery charge.
“I’ve got my doubts as to whether this robbery occurred,” said Judge Daniel Mumford, pointing out that despite his doubts he still found probable cause to move the case to Circuit Court.
Mukminov’s case was called next, with Mukminov pleading guilty to the charge of second-degree assault. His lawyer explained that they were proceeding today due to Mukminov’s plans to leave on Oct. 4. His attorney pointed out that the witness statement had identified Mukminov as not being as involved with the fight.
Mukminov’s employers from Macky’s Bayside Bar & Grill and Bonita Beach Hotel were present, speaking on behalf of Mukminov. They both maintained that Mukminov was a loyal employee with excellent character. His Bonita Beach employer pointed out that Mukminov was around people’s belongings all day and that they had never had a single complaint. Mukminov was found guilty of second-degree assault and was fined $557.50.
Fire Calls for August Reported
OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company reported a busy August with over 200 calls for service during the month.
During the month of August, the OCVFC responded to seven structure fires, 46 vehicle accidents, 75 automatic alarms, 19 landing zones, six reports of electric hazard, five smoke investigations and 54 other calls for various reasons. The year-to-date total number of calls handled by the company through the end of August is 1,123.