BERLIN – A Mardela Springs man was taken to PRMC with serious but not life-threatening injuries Tuesday night after his vehicle left the roadway on Route 50 just west of Berlin and collided with trees in the median.
Shortly before 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Maryland State Troopers at the Berlin Barrack received a call from a private citizen reporting a Ford SUV had just left the roadway on Route 50 just east of Hall Rd. near Whaleyville and collided with trees in the median before turning over. The call reported observing the vehicle driving erratically and swerving in and out of lanes before leaving the roadway and striking the trees and turning over it its driver’s side.
Troopers arrived on the scene a short time later and made contact with the driver, identified as Steve Wilson Dunn, 45, of Mardela Springs, who was pinned under the vehicle’s steering wheel. The troopers detected the strong odor of alcohol coming from Dunn and the vehicle.
Personnel from the Berlin Fire Department arrived on the scene and were able to extract Dunn from the vehicle. He was transported to PRMC by ambulance where he was admitted with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. Further investigation revealed the vehicle was owned by Marion Dunn, and Steve Dunn did not have permission to use it. He was charged with reckless driving, driving under the influence and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Travel Agency Fraud
BERLIN – A Berlin woman was served with a summons last week after it was revealed she had been involved in a theft scheme from her employer, a travel agency, dating back almost a full year.
In July, the Maryland State Police initiated an investigation into a theft scheme that was occurring at Lisa’s Discount Travel in Berlin. The investigation, later turned over to the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation, revealed the accused, Kelly Lynn Leaberry Douglas, 41, of Berlin, who was employed by the travel agency, had been allegedly stealing commission money from her employer since February 2007.
Douglas is accused of changing the booking agency to her own agency and keeping all of the commission money instead of just her own percentage. The investigation revealed several individual incidences with the sum of money allegedly stolen totaling over $1,300. Douglas has been charged with seven counts of theft and one count of felony theft scheme.
OC Narcs Make Big Arrest
OCEAN CITY – A five-month investigation by the Ocean City Police Department’s narcotics division resulted last week in the arrest of a Berlin woman on distribution charges at her place of employment in the resort.
Leigh Ann Wimbrow, 19, of Berlin, was arrested last Saturday while working at Bahama Mama’s Crab House in Ocean City. During the five months leading up to her arrest, OCPD undercover narcotics agents purchased marijuana from Wimbrow several times from the seafood market while she was working.
In the early afternoon hours last Saturday, Wimbrow was arrested by narcotics officers at her place of employment. At the time of her arrest, she was in possession of marijuana, a digital scale and around $300 in cash. Wimbrow is being charged with six counts of drug distribution and related offenses. She is being held at the Worcester County Jail on a $25,000 bond.
Citizen Helps Nab Burglars
WEST OCEAN CITY – Two local men were arrested for attempting to break into a West Ocean City business last week after an alert citizen who witnessed their failed operation were able to provide a description of the suspects to police.
On Oct. 8, two suspects, later identified as James Michael Naurot of Berlin and Jeffery Seidenspinner of West Ocean City, attempted to break into Sunset Lagoon in West Ocean City with a pry bar. A private citizen observed the pair attempting to break into the business and took down a good description of the suspects and their vehicle and provided it to the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office.
A lookout for the suspect vehicle was then broadcast over police radio and a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy located the vehicle and the suspects a short time later and placed them under arrest. Located in Naurot’s car were items believed to have been stolen from other businesses in the area. Naurot and Seidenspinner were placed under arrest and charged with attempted burglary and malicious destruction of property.
The WCBI is currently expanding the investigation to determine if the suspects were involved in any other thefts in the area. Anyone with information regarding burglaries in the area is encouraged to call 410-352-3476.
DUI, Pot Arrest Near Assateague After Chase
ASSATEAGUE – Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) arrested an Oxford, Md. man last week on traffic and drug charges after the suspect led them on a brief high-speed chase before fleeing the vehicle and trying to escape on foot.
Last Thursday, an NRP officer traveling north on South Point Rd. observed a Volvo station wagon traveling south on the road at a high rate of speed, cross the center line and then swerve nearly off the road. The officer made a U-turn and began to chase the suspect, later identified as Norris Edward Shannahan, 23, of Oxford, at a high rate of speed.
The chase continued until Shannahan reached the dead end of South Point Rd., made a quick U-turn passing the officer’s vehicle and turned into a private driveway where it struck a pole and a parked car. Shannahan then abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot toward the water, but he was apprehended a short time later. He was charged with several traffic-related crimes including driving under the influence and attempting to elude an officer, as well as possession of marijuana. He was also found to be wanted on a warrant from Talbot County. Shannahan was held on a $5,000 bond.
Steak Theft Results In Assault Charge
BERLIN – An 18-year-old Willards woman is facing assault and theft charges after stealing steaks from the Food Lion in Berlin and attempting to run over the witness who reported the theft.
On Sept. 22, Berlin Police responded to the Food Lion near Route 113 for a reported theft. While en route to the grocery store, the police were advised the complainant had just been struck by the victim’s car. The investigation revealed the suspect, later identified as Breonna Bowen, 18, of Willards, had stolen four New York strip steaks from the store valued at over $60, and when she was confronted, Bowen left the store. A store employee followed Bowen outside while police were called. The witness put a shopping cart in front of Bowen’s car in an effort to keep her there and was doing the same at the rear of the vehicle when Bowen abruptly backed up and struck the victim.
Responding police observed a vehicle matching the description on Graham Ave. and detained Bowen, while another officer responded to the Food Lion. The victim was brought to Graham Ave. and positively identified Bowen and the vehicle. Bowen was charged with first- and second-degree assault and theft under $100. She was held on a $10,000 bond.
Burglar Arrested In OC
OCEAN CITY – Resort police last week arrested a 22-year-old man on theft and burglary charges after he was seen breaking into a downtown apartment.
A little after 1 a.m. on Oct 6, OCPD officers responded to a residence on Baltimore Ave. near 6th Street for a reported burglary in progress. Upon arrival, the officer contacted two witnesses, who reported observing a white male, later identified as Andrei Betrovich Sheshka, 22, of no fixed address, walk up the rear steps of the building and attempt to break into the unit through the door. When his attempt failed, Sheska climbed over the roof of the building and gained access through a second-story window.
A K-9 unit responded and the officer found Sheska inside the unit. The responding officer asked if anyone was supposed to be in the unit and was told everybody on the lease was gone by September 21. Sheska was arrested and charged with fourth-degree burglary.
Probable Cause Found In Assault Case
OCEAN CITY – The preliminary hearing for an assault case came before the District Court Monday morning and resulted in probable cause to forward the case to Circuit Court.
Gregory Irvin Sturgis, 26, of Dagsboro, Del., appeared before Judge Daniel Mumford Monday morning to face charges of first- and second-degree assault.
Officer Bruce Stender testified that on June 24 he responded to the area of Ripley’s Believe It or Not on the Boardwalk after hearing reports of a fight. He arrived to find a large crowd of people and a white male with a blood soaked towel on his head. After hearing reports from witnesses of the description of the assailants, a call was put out for two black males. Shortly after that, two males who matched the descriptions were detained, one of which was identified as Sturgis.
Stender testified that he interviewed three witnesses separately who all gave identical accounts of the events. According to the witnesses, a verbal confrontation broke out, resulting in Sturgis punching the victim several times and knocking him down. Witnesses said that a crowd had formed around the victim after Sturgis had retreated but that Sturgis returned one more time, at which point he broke through the crowd and “violently stomped the white male in the head.”
Stender reported that one of the witnesses had followed Sturgis and the other black male while the police were being called. Another witness was brought down to the area where Sturgis had been detained, and also positively identified Sturgis as the assailant. The witness pointed out that Sturgis had changed his shirt from a black to gray shirt in what must have been an attempt to disguise himself.
The victim was transported to the hospital where he received stitches and sustained a swollen upper lip and a black eye.
According to Stender, Sturgis was not originally charged or arrested, due to orders from his supervisor. Stender pursued the case on his own however, getting permission from the commissioner to charge and arrest Sturgis.
Mumford agreed that the arrest was warranted and found probable cause to move the case to Circuit Court.
Possession Charges Stick
OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania woman was found guilty of possession of marijuana in District Court Monday morning, but was also reprimanded for her decision to smoke marijuana while her three children were in the car.
On Aug. 5, officers were on bicycle patrol near 2nd Street and Philadelphia Ave. when they spotted a passenger of a vehicle holding a blunt cigar. The passenger, Lisa Marie Schriver, 27, of York Haven, Pa., was approached and the blunt cigar was later found to have .18 grams of marijuana in it. Schriver was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana.
Judge Daniel Mumford questioned why a mother of three young children would be smoking marijuana. Schriver explained that the kids were in the car with her at the time of the arrest but that they were unaware that she smokes marijuana. Schriver told Mumford that she tells her children that she is smoking a tobacco cigar.
Mumford noted that lying to her children did not make the situation right, warning Schriver that she could have her kids taken away by social services for that type of activity. Schriver was found guilty of the charges.
Virginia Man Found Not Guilty Of Theft
OCEAN CITY – A Virginia man was found not guilty of theft less than $100 this week in District Court after the prosecution failed to present the court with enough evidence and witnesses.
William Warren Taylor III, 26, of Portsmouth, Va., pleaded not guilty to the charges, which date back to May 22, 2006.
Richard Beringson, of Beringson Realty in Ocean City testified that in May 2006 he noticed a check and its stub missing from his checkbook. Beringson stated that he and his wife are the only two people who use the checkbook and that neither of them had taken the check. As a result, he had the bank stop payment on the check.
Beringson testified that he was notified that the check had been located on May 22. A copy of the check was submitted to the court, which was made out to a William Taylor and had what appeared to be Beringson’s signature on the bottom. Beringson testified that he did not sign the check and that he did not know whom the defendant was.
The public defender argued that there was no one present from the bank to testify about the check or a handwriting expert to evaluate the writing on the check.
Judge Daniel Mumford agreed that without testimony from the bank or proof that the William Taylor that the check was made out to was the same William Taylor as the defendant, that there was no case. Taylor was found not guilty of the charges.
Pair Arrested On Drug Charges
OCEAN CITY – A pair of Ocean City men were arrested on drug charges last week after police observed them riding tandem on a moped and running a red light in the downtown area.
Around 6:30 p.m. last Thursday, an OCPD officer on patrol around 8th Street observed a man, later identified as James Rechterman, 43, of Ocean City, walking down the middle of Baltimore Ave. The officer circled around and saw Rechterman now on the back of a moped being driven by Joshua Marlowe, 48, of Ocean City.
The officer observed the moped with the two men aboard run a red light at 8th Street and initiated a traffic stop. The officer told them why they were stopped. Marlowe told the officer he just decided to go through the red light. While Marlowe was searching his pockets for his driver’s license, the officer observed a bulge in his pants pocket. When asked what the square bulge was, Marlowe told the officer it was his pack of cigarettes, but later produced a small wooden box known as a “one-hitter” with marijuana residue in it. When asked if he had any other narcotics on him, Marlowe said he was in possession of some pain killers. The painkillers were identified as oxycodone and vicoden. Marlowe was arrested for possession of marijuana and illegal pain killers.
Meanwhile, Rechterman had been told he could leave when a background check came back negative, but when the drugs were found on Marlowe, Rechterman was brought back for further questioning.
Rechterman agreed to a search of his person, and the officer located some of the same illegal pain killers found on Marlowe. Rechterman was also arrested and charged with possession of illegal pain killers.
BERLIN – The Office of the State’s Attorney will host an informational town meeting on Oct. 27, from 10 a.m.-noon at the Ocean Pines Library. The meeting will address criminal justice issues within Worcester County’s Berlin community and surrounding areas.
Sponsored by the Office of the State’s Attorney, this informal town meeting marks the fourth of several meetings scheduled throughout Worcester County.
Joel J. Todd, State’s Attorney for Worcester County, Ocean Pines Police Chief, David Massey, Worcester County Sheriff, Charles Martin, Maryland State Police Berlin Barrack, Commander, Earl W. Starner, Ocean Pines Association Manager, Tom Olson, Members of the Ocean Pines Board of Directors and Worcester County Commissioners Judy Boggs and Linda Busick will be on hand to answer any questions or concerns.
The public is encouraged to attend.