Guilty Plea in Knife Assault

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OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man arrested earlier this month after holding his girlfriend against her will at knifepoint and threatening to kill her during a domestic argument pleaded guilty last week to second-degree assault and now awaits his fate pending the completion of a pre-sentence investigation.

Chaka Ato Shabazz Brown, 30, of Ocean City, appeared in District Court last Thursday to face charges of first- and second-degree assault, false imprisonment and carrying a deadly weapon with intent to injure after holding his girlfriend hostage with a knife at a residence on Philadelphia Ave. Brown pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered.

On Nov. 1, an OCPD officer on patrol was flagged down in the area of 6th Street and Philadelphia Ave. by a citizen who told the officer a man in a nearby apartment was threatening a woman with a knife. As the officer went to the residence in question, a man, later identified as Brown, approached the officer, turned away, put his hands behind his back and told the officer to handcuff him.

The investigation revealed earlier in the evening Brown and his girlfriend, identified as Martha Angela Jordon, had been involved in an argument, during which Brown allegedly became enraged and threatened to kill Jordon while wielding a large kitchen knife in a bedroom.

Jordon told police Brown wouldn’t let her leave the apartment and held her against her will with the knife. She was eventually able to get a text message to a friend instructing the friend to get help, according to police reports.

Police did recover two knives at the apartment and Brown was charged with first- and second-degree assault, false imprisonment and carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to injure.

Car Shot With BBs

OCEAN PINES – The Maryland State Police are looking for a suspect or suspects who shot a passing vehicle with a BB gun on Route 90 just east of Route 589 last Friday evening.

Shortly before 5 p.m. last Friday, an Ocean City woman was driving in her 2005 Toyota Camry on Route 90 approaching Route 589 when she heard an unknown object strike the side of her car. The victim later inspected her vehicle for damages and found an impression on the driver’s side door that appeared to be caused by a BB fired from an air rifle.

MSP troopers have stepped up patrols in the area and the investigation in continuing this week. Police urge anyone with information regarding the case to contact them at 410-641-3101.

Uncle Threatens Nephew With Knife

BERLIN – A Millsboro, Del. man faces first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment charges after pulling a knife on his nephew during an argument in Berlin last month.

On Nov. 16, Berlin Police responded to a reported domestic fight involving Luis Rivera, 35, of Millsboro, Del., and his nephew. The investigation revealed Rivera was arguing with his nephew when he brandished a knife and threatened his nephew. Several witnesses observed the altercation and directed police to Rivera.

Rivera appeared to be intoxicated, according to police reports, and was taken into custody without incident. He has been charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. He was released on a $15,000 bond and his preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 13.

Handgun Stolen During Burglary

OCEAN CITY – Resort police this week are investigating a burglary at a north-end condominium in early November during which a loaded handgun was stolen from the residence.

OCPD officers met with the victim who lives on 130th Street in Ocean City. The victim told police someone broke into his condo on Friday, Nov. 9, between midnight and 6 a.m. The officers observed the suspect had cut the window screen by the front door to the unit. The victim reported several items were missing including currency, an X-box entertainment system and a handgun. The handgun has been described as a Colt .38 special, blue in color with walnut grips. It was reported loaded at the time it was stolen and has been entered into the National Crime Information Center.

Police are asking anyone with information about the case to contact the OCPD Criminal Investigation Division at 410-723-6604.

Jail Time For Dealer

SNOW HILL – One of three Delaware men arrested in July on possession with intent to distribute narcotics after setting up shop in front of a resort convenience store was found guilty this week in Circuit Court and was sentenced to four years in jail with all but one suspended.

On July 11, two OCPD officers working a plainclothes alcohol enforcement detail were patrolling near the 7-Eleven convenience store on 26th Street when they observed a car pull up to the store. The occupants opened the trunk of the vehicle and began to set up a small display. As the officers drew closer, they saw three men, later identified as Alfonso Rivera, 22, and Amir Tamar, 20, both of Wilmington, Del., along with Ruben Cruzado, 20, of New Castle, Del., attempting to sell illegal music compact discs.

After uniformed officers arrived on the scene, the undercover officers walked around the outside of the car when they noticed a small plastic bag of suspected cocaine in the door handle. The three men were detained as officers began to search the interior of the car.

Inside they found nine individually wrapped bags of cocaine, clear bags of marijuana, 23 small bags of packaged marijuana, a small vial of PCP and a large baggie containing an estimated 100 grams of marijuana in the trunk. Each of the three men were arrested and charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana. Police also seized $135 in cash as well as the vehicle, a 1995 Dodge Intrepid.

This week in Circuit Court, Rivera was found guilty of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He was sentenced to four years in jail with all but one year suspended. He was also fined $300 and placed on supervised probation for two years upon his release. Tamar is awaiting a Jan. 8 court date and Cruzado had the charges against him dropped at the District Court level.

Stole Goods For Drugs

SNOW HILL – A Berlin man arrested in July for making another man, a confessed drug addict, steal steaks and booze to pay for his narcotics, had the charges against him put on the stet, or inactive, docket this week in Circuit Court.

Zander Baker, 48, of Berlin, was in Circuit Court this week facing theft and theft scheme charges for his role in a series of robberies carried out through his creative financing plan for a confessed drug addict. Baker provided narcotics to his buyer, Kendra Gaynor, who did not have the money to pay for his habit. Instead, Baker told the man to steal various items from stores around West Ocean City and Berlin to provide as payment for the drugs.

In one example, on July 5, Gaynor stole steaks from Food Lion and beer from the Wine Rack in West Ocean City and a bottle of Remy Martin cognac from the county liquor store in Berlin. All of the stolen merchandise was later located behind Baker’s residence on Flower Street in Berlin along with a Dodge Caravan owned by Baker which witnesses placed at the scene of the thefts.

For example, a witness saw Gaynor steal the beer from Wine Rack and flee in the Dodge Caravan. It was later discovered the vehicle was registered in Baker’s name and that Baker had provided Gaynor with the keys to carry out his theft scheme.

Gaynor was later arrested and admitted the thefts, but told police he was asked to steal the goods in exchange for narcotics. Gaynor admitted he has a severe drug problem but often doesn’t have the money to pay. Instead, Baker would have him steal the items he wanted in exchange for drugs, in this case an undetermined amount of cocaine.

This week in Circuit Court, Baker had the charges against him put on the stet, or inactive, docket.

Probable Cause Found In Stabbing

OCEAN CITY – A local man appeared in District Court this week for a preliminary hearing regarding an alleged stabbing in early November.

Dean Louis Waters, 30, of Ocean City, has been charged with first- and second-degree assault, possession of a dangerous weapon with the intent to injure and reckless endangerment.

Officer Chris Snyder testified that on Nov. 5 he was on routine patrol in the area of Dorchester Street when he heard loud yelling. He drove toward the location where the commotion was coming from and saw several people walking down the steps from an apartment atop Fat Daddy’s.

The officer then observed a female, later identified as Barbara Powers, screaming hysterically into the phone. Snyder later learned that she was on the phone with the 911 center in Snow Hill.

As Snyder approached the scene, Curtis Severe, 47, approached him. Severe had a 16-inch cut along his back with fresh blood on him. The cut ended with a small, half-inch puncture wound. Curtis told paramedics that he had been stabbed.

Snyder entered the apartment and found Waters intoxicated.

After talking to Powers, the officer learned that Waters and Severe had started fighting when Waters came home and woke up Severe, who was asleep on the couch. The verbal fight then escalated into a physical fight that resulted in Waters chasing Severe with a knife.

Powers is the mother of Waters and the girlfriend of Severe. The three had recently started living together. Two other witnesses told the officer that they observed Waters chasing Severe with a knife. Officers found the knife, a four-inch steak knife, outside of the apartment and arrested Waters. Judge Daniel Mumford found probable cause to forward the case to Circuit Court.

Probation Ordered For Harassment, Stalking

SNOW HILL – A Salisbury man charged with assault, burglary, false imprisonment, stalking, harassment and other charges after a long pattern of abuse of his victim, an Ocean Pines woman, was found guilty of second-degree assault this week in Circuit Court and was granted probation before judgment with the stipulation he avoid the victim and her family.

Kevin Wilson Phillips, 28, of Salisbury, was in Circuit Court this week facing a slew of charges from a long pattern of physical and mental abuse against his female victim. The victim had a protective order against Phillips, who continued his behavior despite the restraining order against him.

In June, an Ocean Pines Police officer met with the victim who said Phillips had not relented in his behavior and continued to call her, email her, and show up at her home and place of employment. The victim said Phillips had hacked into computer accounts to gain access to her cell phone records. He made physical threats against her and her family and even threatened to cut the throat of her ex-husband in one example.

The victim told police Phillips told her he had protective orders against him from at least five other people and he didn’t care because they were just pieces of paper. In one instance, Phillips went to the victim’s house to return tools and she told him to leave the tools and get off the property. When she was sure he had gone, the victim went onto the porch to get the tools and he emerged from the shadows and grabbed her by the arms and knocked her to the ground.

On another occasion, Phillips told the victim he had broken into her house, and when she doubted him, he told her details about personal items that no one who hadn’t been in the house could know. This week, Phillips was found guilty of second-degree assault but was granted probation before judgment under the condition he make no contact with the victim or her family.

Possession Charges Stick For Pa. Man

OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania man appeared in District Court this week to face possession of marijuana charges that stemmed from a traffic stop in September.

Zachary James Cool, 24, of Gettysburg, Pa., pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana Monday morning, after being arrested for the offense earlier this fall.

On Sept. 28, around 7:30 pm, a police officer was in the area of 33rd Street and Baltimore Ave. when he heard a loud stereo, beyond 50 feet, coming from a vehicle. The officer pulled over the vehicle for excessive noise and found the driver, Cool, smoking a hand rolled cigarette, which was emitting the smell of marijuana. As a result, Cool was arrested for possession of marijuana. Tests later confirmed that the cigarette contained 1.1 grams of marijuana.

Cool was found guilty and sentenced to probation before judgment with one year of unsupervised probation and a $357.50 fine.

Guilty Sentence For Third Time DWI Offender

OCEAN CITY – An Emmitsburg, Md. man appeared in District Court this week to face his third driving while impaired offense, resulting in a sentence of 60 days to the County Jail.

Asa William Brown, 29, of Emmitsburg, Md., pleaded guilty to the charges of driving while impaired by alcohol Monday morning after being arrested for the offense in September.

On Sept. 24, a police officer was parked in the Jolly Roger parking lot around 3 a.m. when he observed a car traveling south along Coastal Highway with a woman’s head sticking out the window. The officer noticed that the woman was vomiting out of the passenger side window of the moving vehicle. A stop was conducted and the officer noticed alcohol on the driver’s breath. The driver, Brown, was asked to perform various field sobriety tests, which he failed. Brown was arrested and refused to submit to alcohol concentration tests when he arrived at the station.

Judge Daniel Mumford pointed out that this was Brown’s third alcohol and driving offense and sentenced him to 60 days in the County jail.

Officer Honored By MADD

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City Police Department officer involved in over 70 drunk driving arrests in the resort thus far in 2007 was honored last week by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Chesapeake Region for his enforcement efforts.

OCPD Officer Patrick Flynn was recognized by MADD last Friday at the organization’s annual Eastern Shore Law Enforcement Recognition Breakfast in Salisbury for his outstanding effort in keeping the highways of Maryland safe from impaired drivers. Flynn has been a member of the OCPD since May 2002 when he began as a cadet.

Flynn also served as a seasonal officer in 2003 and 2004 before becoming a full-time member of the department in January 2005. He was recognized last week by MADD as a front line member of their national “Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving” due to his involvement in over 70 DUI arrests in 2007.

Flynn, who led the department in DUI arrests, was humbled by his recognition from the organization.

“It’s an honor,” he said. “I am just out there doing my job. It’s nice to be recognized for something that I do every day to help my community.”

Chief Named To Violence Against Women Panel

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino has been chosen as one of 23 law enforcement executives from around the country to participate in a National Law Enforcement Leadership institute on violence against women, which will be hosted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) later this month.

During the three-day institute, which will be held in Washington, D.C., the participants will explore innovative approaches for investigating crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking. In an effort to help law enforcement agencies enhance their response to crimes against women, the institute will focus on planning and methods for effective resource allocation to help crime victims and hold perpetrators accountable.

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