Alleged Drunk Driver Crashes Tractor-Trailer

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BISHOPVILLE – A Norfolk, Va. man was issued several traffic citations by both Maryland and Delaware officials this week after crashing the tractor-trailer he was driving on Route 113 near the state line on Monday morning.

A Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy on Monday morning observed a tractor-trailer northbound on Route 113 near Route 589 traveling at an estimated 80 mph in a 55 mph zone. The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle as it approached the Maryland-Delaware line when the driver, later identified as Renaldo D. Long, of Norfolk, lost control of the tractor-trailer, struck a sign in the median and overturned before coming to rest in Delaware.

No injuries were reported in the accident. The Worcester County deputy issued several traffic citations including speeding and reckless driving while Selbyville, Del. police charged Long with driving under the influence of alcohol.

It was not reported what the truck was carrying, but later Monday morning, a hazardous material truck was seen in the area apparently performing some mitigation.

Three Guests Arrested For Burglary, Possession

OCEAN CITY – Three Selbyville, Del. residents were arrested and charged with burglary and drug possession charges last weekend after they were discovered using an Ocean City condo they weren’t supposed to be in.

A little after 11 p.m. last Friday, OCPD officers responded to a residence at the Ocean High condominium on Penguin Drive for a reported breaking and entering in progress. The responding officers were met at the scene by a witness later identified as the property manager of the condominium. The property manager told police she had received a phone call from a family that was supposed to be staying at a unit in the Ocean High condo, but when they arrived, it appeared to be already occupied.

The property manager drove to the unit with a friend to see what was going on, and when they inspected the unit, they found it did appear to be occupied with clothing, video games, toothbrushes, prescription medicines, what appeared to loose marijuana, beer and other personal affects visible throughout the unit. After the property manager and the other witness inspected the unit, they decided to leave because they felt the uninvited guests might come back at any time for their belongings.

As the witnesses were leaving, they saw a white Chevrolet Cavalier with Delaware tags pull up and quickly left the area to avoid arousing suspicion. The property manager wrote down the tag number and then called the police immediately. While police were interviewing the property manager, a group of about six adults approached the officers and told them they were the family that was supposed to be in the unit and that the uninvited intruders were in a Chevy Cavalier.

OCPD officers detained the occupants of the Cavalier, identified as John Thomas Johnson, 21, Antonica Johnson, 18, and Clyde Campbell, 18, all of Selbyville, for questioning while other officers inspected the interior of the unit. Inside they found numerous personal items such as clothing, toothbrushes, prescription drugs and toiletries. They also found a Tony Hawk video game, beer, loose and bagged marijuana, blunt cigars and paraphernalia.

In the meantime, other OCPD officers searched the three suspects’ vehicle after a K-9 dog alerted on it. Inside the vehicle the officers found marijuana, a home-made smoking device fashioned out of an empty beer can, prescription pill bottles with Antonica Johnson’s name on them, and a white plastic shopping bag with the Tony Hawk video game box matching the description of the game found in the condo. Based on the evidence, OCPD officers were able to make the connection between the occupants of the vehicle and the burglarized condo unit.

Each of the three suspects was arrested and charged with third- and fourth-degree burglary, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

Juvenile Charged With Malicious Destruction

OCEAN PINES – A local juvenile was arrested on Sunday night and charged with malicious destruction of property after attempting to steal Ipod headphones from a pharmacy in Ocean Pines.

Around 6:25 p.m. on Sunday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to the Happy Harry’s store in the Manklin Creek Shopping Center for a reported theft. Upon arrival, store employees informed the troopers a juvenile had attempted to steal headphones for an Ipod. One employee told police she observed the suspect rip open a plastic box and take the headphones out.

The employee confronted the youth and told him to drop the item, but the juvenile fled the store. He was detained by Ocean Pines Police a short time later about a block from the store. The employees were able to positively identify the juvenile and troopers placed the 15-year-old under arrest and took him to the Berlin barrack for processing. He was charged with malicious destruction of property under $500 and released to a parent.

Pa. Man In Court For Assault, Imprisonment

OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania man arrested in October and charged with assault and false imprisonment after a bizarre incident that included holding his girlfriend against her will, assaulting her and implicating her in a theft scheme from a local department store had a bail review hearing on Monday in District Court and was ordered held on a $5,000 bond.

Alfred R. Ward, 37, of Middletown, Pa., remains behind bars this week after being held on a $5,000 bond during a bond review on Monday. Ward is charged with second-degree assault, false imprisonment, reckless endangerment and theft after a incident on Oct. 21 during which he held his girlfriend against her will at a downtown Ocean City motel.

Shortly before 5:30 a.m. on Oct. 21, OCPD Officer Earl Campbell was in the 9th Street area near the Madison Beach Motel when he was approached by a man who told him he could hear a female screaming at a male and begging him to let her out of the room. The officer got out of his vehicle and observed a woman trying to exit a unit in the motel from a small window. The officer than saw a male, later identified as Alfred R. Ward, 37, of Middletown, Pa., grab the female, force her back inside and close the shutters on the window.

Campbell then rushed to the motel unit and banged on the door, As he was walking up the steps, he could hear a woman scream “stop.” When the officer banged on the door, Ward answered and said “sir, we were just having an argument.” Campbell pushed the door open to see where the female victim was and Ward said, “Nothing is wrong, see, we were just having an argument,” according to police reports.

The officer observed the victim sitting on the end of the bed and when he asked her if everything was okay, she nodded indicating yes. Campbell noticed the victim responded in that way only when Ward was looking right at her. Campbell asked Ward to step outside so he could talk to the victim alone.

When Ward was gone, the victim looked directly at the officer and whispered with her lips only “Please don’t leave me, he beat me and he won’t let me leave here,” as she lowered the towel to reveal where Ward had punched her two times in the face and neck.

Ward was taken into custody while Campbell could sort out what had happened. The victim told the officer she was on a pay phone when an irate Ward grabbed the phone to see who she was talking to. He then slammed the phone down and ordered the victim back to the motel unit. Ward then went back into the motel unit, opened a window and yelled to her to come get her things or he was going to do what he did last week.

The victim told police a week earlier, Ward had destroyed her clothes and other belongings, and punched her in the nose and right eye. Fearful of what Ward might do, the victim said she hung up with her sister and returned to the room, where Ward allegedly grabbed her by the hair, threw her on the floor and punched her several times before trying to suffocate her.

The victim briefly got away and was attempting to get out of a small bathroom window when the witness heard the yelling and alerted the nearby Campbell. Ward was arrested at that point, and he began trying to cover his tracks by turning the tables on the victim. Ward told police the victim had stolen several items from local businesses, including a flat screen television from Rose’s department store.

Ward told police the stolen television was in a van belonging to a neighbor, who agreed to hide it for the victim and Campbell found it where he was told it would be. When questioned, the neighbor told police he bought the television from Ward and the victim for $65 because he knew they needed money. The neighbor said he didn’t know the television was stolen.

When questioned about the stolen television, the victim told quite a different story the Ward’s. She said she went with Ward to Rose’s not intending to steal anything when Ward came up to her with the flat screen television in a cart. The victim said Ward told her he was going to steal the TV but needed her to create a diversion. Concerned about what Ward might do to her if she didn’t cooperate, the victim went to the customer service counter and asked for an employment application while Ward darted out the door with the television. A surveillance tape from Rose’s corroborated the victim’s story.

Traffic Stop Leads To Counterfeit Goods, Drugs

BERLIN – A New York man is in custody this week after a routine traffic stop in the south end of Worcester County led to the discovery of thousands of dollars worth of pirated music CDs and DVDs, counterfeit shoes and handbags and marijuana.

Around 8:45 a.m. on Saturday, a Maryland State Police trooper from the Berlin barrack stopped a vehicle bearing New York tags on Route 13 near Pocomoke for various traffic violations. The sole occupant of the vehicle, later identified as Willie A. Mitchell, 31, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was found to be driving on a suspended and revoked privilege in N.Y. During the interaction, the trooper noticed the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and a probable cause search revealed nearly five grams of pot in the vehicle.

Also located in the vehicle were 262 pirated music CDs, 321 pirated movie DVDs, 31 pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes, three pairs of counterfeit Timberland boots and several counterfeit handbags bearing Dooney and Bourke, Gucci and Coach logos. Mitchell was charged with possession of marijuana, felony possession of trademarked counterfeit goods and misdemeanor possession of trademarked counterfeit goods and is being held on a $5,000 bond.

Representatives from the Recording Industry Association of America, the Motion Picture Association of America and the affected clothing companies have been contacted for further information. It is estimated the sale of counterfeit products is a $250 billion a year industry.

Traffic Fatality in Pocomoke

POCOMOKE – A Pocomoke man was killed in a single-vehicle accident last Sunday afternoon after losing control of his car and overturning.

Around 5 p.m. last Sunday, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a single-vehicle accident on Boston Rd. near Pocomoke. The officers arrived and found a Ford pick-up truck on its side on the shoulder of the road. The investigation revealed the vehicle, driven by Brandon Lambertson, 31, of Pocomoke, was traveling northbound on Boston Rd. at a speed greater than what is reasonable for the road when Lambertson lost control, left the roadway and overturned, partially ejecting the driver.

Lambertson was transported to PRMC in Salisbury and subsequently died from his injuries. Police are saying alcohol consumption was a factor in the accident.

Police Offer Holiday Warning

BERLIN – The “season of opportunity” has begun early this year, according to the Berlin Police Department, who is reminding residents simple tasks such as always locking car doors and taking in packages and electronics can go a long way in preventing theft during the holiday season and all year long.

Ocean City police issued a similar warning, urging residents when holiday shopping to stay alert and be aware of their surroundings. The OCPD warned shoppers to change directions if approached by suspicious persons, and to park in a well lit area and have their keys ready as they approach their vehicle.

Shoppers are also warned not to carry an excess amount of cash and take only the credit cards they will be using. When returning to their cars, shoppers are warned not to be overloaded with packages to the point they cannot safely evaluate their surroundings. Another safety reminder is to always lock packages in the trunk.

The holiday safety messages applied to resident’s homes as well. For example, the OCPD warned local residents to turn on lights and leave a television on when they leave their homes. If traveling, local residents are being urged to ask a neighbor to keep an eye on their homes. Also, residents are warned not to display gifts where they can be seen from outside and try to avoid leaving boxes that contained expensive gifts on the curb waiting for trash pick-up.

Finally, the OCPD warned local residents it would be aggressively enforcing DWI laws and urge revelers to use a designated driver or call a taxi.

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