SNOW HILL – An Ocean City man arrested on the Fourth of July this year after a bizarre sequence of events that started with an alleged break-in at an uptown residence where frozen food was stolen from a freezer and ended with a hit-and-run accident after which the suspect fled on foot had the burglary charges against him dropped this week in Circuit Court, but still faces a slew of other charges in a separate trial slated for early next year.
Curtis Eugene Severe, 47, of Ocean City, cleared the first hurdle in the mountain of charges against him on Tuesday when the burglary charges connected to the July 4 incidents were dropped. However, Severe still faces other serious charges including assaulting an officer, fleeing and eluding and driving while impaired, among others, which will be heard in District Court on January 28.
The sequence of events began to unfold around 1:30 p.m. on July 4 when OCPD officers responded to a hit-and-run accident at 129th Street and Assawoman Drive. A passenger in the car that was struck told police her husband was chasing the hit-and-run driver, later identified as Severe, who left his truck at the scene and fled on foot. A short time later, another officer reported he had Severe in custody. Severe was arrested after the victims positively identified him as the driver in the hit-and-run accident.
About 45 minutes later, OCPD Officer Jordan Braniff, who had arrested Severe in the hit-and-run case, responded to a reported burglary on Peach Tree Rd. The victim told Braniff someone had broken into his home and stole frozen food from his freezer. The victim’s neighbor was able to provide a description of the burglar, and when the victim heard the description of the suspect, he recognized the suspect as a man who had lived in the residence previously.
The burglary victim then showed Braniff where the suspect now lived and the officer immediately realized it was the same location where he had arrested Severe earlier for the hit-and-run accident. Braniff then drove to the OCPD’s impound lot and discovered the victim’s frozen food still in Severe’s vehicle. Severe was charged with hit-and-run, driving under the influence, driving while suspended, and assault on a police officer for the first incident. He was charged with burglary and theft for the second incident.
Severe is certainly no stranger to local law enforcement agencies or the legal system with dozens of crimes against him either closed or pending. His latest brush with the law came just last month when he was arrested for assault during a fight in which he was stabbed in the back.