OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man stopped by an OCPD officer last week after it was determined he was wanted on an outstanding warrant in Worcester County first assaulted the officer and then fled on foot before crashing through the door of a downtown motel room before finally being apprehended.
Around 10:15 p.m. last Wednesday, Ocean City Police Officer Joseph Melena was on patrol in an unmarked car in the area of 12th Street and Philadelphia Ave. when he observed a man he knew well as Darryl Lee Whaley, 50, of Ocean City, riding north on a bicycle. Melena knew Whaley was wanted on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in Worcester County Circuit Court a week earlier for an attempted theft charge.
Melena made a U-turn, activated his emergency lights and began to follow Whaley. The officer pulled along side the suspect and ordered him to stop, but Whaley pulled his hood over his head to conceal his face and kept riding his bicycle. After failed attempts to get Whaley to stop, Melena pulled his car in front of the suspect to prevent him from moving forward, got out of the vehicle and ordered the suspect to sit down on the curb.
Whaley refused and continued to argue with the officer as he walked around in circles saying he did not do anything wrong. Finally, Melena grabbed Whaley and told him to put his hands behind his back in an attempt to cuff the suspect, but Whaley shoved the officer with both hands, causing him to trip over the curb and nearly fall. Whaley then fled north on Wilmington Lane.
The officer chased Whaley for several blocks as the suspect ran straight at unit 132 of the Buckingham Hotel, lowered his shoulder and crashed through the door. He ran inside and Melena observed him try to stash something in a towel in the bathroom.
The officer then grabbed Whaley and threw him to the floor in the living room. At this point, two plainclothes officers arrived on the scene and attempted to help Melena take the suspect into custody. Whaley continued to resist and struggled with the officers, forcing Melena to spray him twice in the face with pepper spray, after which he was subdued.
With Whaley in custody, Melena went to the bathroom to see what the suspect had tried to conceal. In the towel, he discovered a baggie of crack cocaine. In his report, Melena said he knew from experience Whaley was a habitual crack cocaine user and had personally arrested him for possession of the substance.
Whaley was arrested on the original warrant and also charged with second-degree assault on an officer, possession of CDS and resisting and interfering with arrest. He was taken to jail and held on a $5,000 bond. He was later charged with two other offenses police were able to connect him two this month prior to the incident last Wednesday including a theft charge on Nov. 17 and a malicious destruction of property charge from an incident the day before.
The episode last week was just the latest in a long string of crimes carried out by Whaley in the resort area over the last several years. In January 2006, Whaley was implicated in a theft scheme in Ocean City carried out by several individuals working on punch list items for new condominiums, during which expensive televisions and electronics were stolen.
In the summer of 2006, Whaley, along with another man, fell from a second-story balcony in Ocean City when a railing collapsed and the subsequent investigation revealed a plethora of illegal drugs in the unit from which they fell. In another case in 2006, Whaley was arrested for possession of cocaine after resort police picked him up for a simple jaywalking offense.