OCEAN CITY – A Snow Hill man who this week entered an Ocean City hotel room claiming to be a security guard was arrested a short time later and charged with burglary and possession of crack cocaine.
Early Tuesday morning, OCPD officers responded to the Seabonnay Motel on 27th Street for a reported burglary of a motel room. Upon arrival, police interviewed a witness who told them a man claiming to be a hotel security guard awakened her while she was sleeping and claimed to be a security guard.
When the victim questioned the suspect, later identified as Robert Louis Coston III, 27, of Snow Hill, he left the room and fled from the motel. The victim contacted the motel management who assured her Coston did not work for the motel. A description of Coston, who was wearing a white tank-top and jeans at the time of the incident, was broadcast and he was picked up a short time later sitting in a car near 12th Street and Wilmington Lane.
Coston was positively identified as the man who entered the room at the Seabonnay and he was taken into custody. At the time of his initial contact with police, Coston gave a fake name, but his driver’s license was recovered during a search, as was an amount of crack cocaine in sufficient quantity to indicate intent to distribute.
Coston was charged with first-, third- and fourth-degree burglary as well as associated felony and misdemeanor drug charges and theft. He was seen by a court commissioner and ordered held on a $100,000 bond.
Graffiti Artists Busted
OCEAN CITY – Two Pennsylvania men were arrested early Tuesday morning in connection with a graffiti spree in the downtown Ocean City area including gang references and derogatory depictions of resort police.
Around 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday, two OCPD officers working plainclothes in the downtown area observed two teens spraying a dumpster belonging to the Decatur House on 12th Street. Uniformed officers responded to the scene and took the two men, identified as Lewis Galli, 18, and Joseph Klein, also 18, of Lebanon, Pa., into custody. Police discovered graffiti damage throughout the area in more than a dozen locations including buildings, dumpsters, electrical boxes and the seawall.
The two suspects had painted “SPADE,” “LHM” and “DGAF” on the various sites. According to the suspects, “LHM” stands for Lion’s Head Mafia, while “DGAF” stands for Don’t Give A [expletive deleted]. The suspects also used a stencil to paint a pig’s head wearing a police hat that said “OCPD” and also said “Pig [expletive deleted]” over the picture.
Both Galli and Klein were charged with 14 counts of misdemeanor malicious destruction of property and one count of felony malicious destruction scheme. Each was being held on a $3,500 bond as of mid-week.
Brother’s Locates Brother’s Surfboard
BERLIN – A Princess Anne man was arrested on theft charges last week after the victim’s brother noticed a stolen surfboard on top of his car while driving on Route 50.
Around 2:45 p.m. last Monday, Maryland State Police responded to an area along Route 50 near Holly Grove Rd. for a reported theft. The investigation revealed that on the night before, a surfboard was stolen from atop a vehicle at Ocean Downs between 9 and 10 p.m. from Chris Shanahan of Ocean City.
The next day, Shanahan’s brother Tim Shanahan was driving on Route 50 when he noticed the board, a 12-foot Perfection stand-up paddle board, stolen from his brother at the racetrack the night before on top of a Mercury Sable heading east on Route 50. Tim Shanahan was able to wave the Mercury over to the side of Route 50 and called police.
It turns out the driver of the Mercury, identified as William J. Dubrel, 18, of Princess Anne, worked at the racetrack. Upon questioning, Dubrel admitted stealing the surfboard from a vehicle at the track the night before. He was taken into custody and charged with theft greater than $500.
Airbag Thefts Reported
OCEAN CITY – Ocean City police this week are looking for the suspect or suspects in a rash of thefts of airbags from numerous vehicles parked at hotels and condominiums throughout the resort.
OCPD officers on Tuesday took seven reports for thefts of airbags from vehicles throughout Ocean City. The thefts occurred at various locations including the Holiday Inn on 67th Street, the Century I, the Clarion and the Plaza condominium. In every case, the suspect or suspects broke a rear window with some type of tool to gain entry to the vehicle. The thieves stole only the vehicle’s airbags, leaving other valuables behind.
In every case, the victim’s cars were General Motors vehicles and all of the cars were parked in the various buildings’ parking lots. As odd as it sounds, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reports over 50,000 airbags are stolen annually, resulting in a loss exceeding $50 million. The replacement cost to consumers usually runs between $500 and $1,200. Anyone with information about the thefts is urged to contact the OCPD Criminal Investigation Division at 410-723-6604.
Boardwalk Beat Down
OCEAN CITY – A Boyds, Md. man is in custody this week facing first-degree assault and other charges after allegedly attacking another man on the Boardwalk and kicking him in the head several times while he was down.
Shortly before 11 p.m. last Sunday, OCPD officers responded to a reported fight on the Boardwalk near 1st Street. When they arrived, the officers found a victim unconscious and lying on the Boardwalk. Several witnesses called out a description of the assailant, later identified as Arthur Melikyan, 32, of Boyds, Md., and that he had taken his shirt off and was hiding at Paul Revere’s Smorgasbord. The officers went to Paul Revere’s and found Melikyan hiding there with no shirt on and out of breath.
The officers spoke with several witnesses who said the victim and Melikyan were engaged in an argument that escalated into a fistfight. At some point, an unidentified third man entered the fight and grabbed the victim in a headlock and punched him several times, knocking him to the ground. The witnesses said once the victim was on the ground, Melikyan came over and kicked him in the head repeatedly until someone yelled the police are coming, at which time he fled.
All of the witnesses identified Melikyan as the man who kicked the victim in the head while he was unconscious. According to police reports, the victim was unconscious for over five minutes. Police tried to interview the victim before he was taken to the hospital, but he had no recollection of the assault. Melikyan has been charged with first- and second-degree assault.
OCEAN CITY – An Alexandria, Va. man is in custody this week after first hitting his girlfriend several times after a domestic dispute and later pulling a knife on and threatening to kill another man who came to her assistance.
Around 2:20 a.m. last Saturday, OCPD officers were dispatched to the Rodeway Inn on 29th Street for a reported domestic assault involving a knife. The officers interviewed a female victim who said she had been punched several times during an argument that began earlier on the Boardwalk. According to the victim, her boyfriend, later identified as Alexander Steven McDowell, 21, of Alexandria, Va., was upset with her because she was not paying attention to him. When the couple arrived back at their motel, McDowell fell asleep but the victim woke him after about 30 minutes and he became angry and punched her several times in the forehead.
The victim fled to the beach where she ran into a group of men who offered to come to her aid when she told them what had happened. A short time later, McDowell arrived and asked what the men were doing talking to his girlfriend. When they told him they were trying to help her, McDowell pulled out a switchblade knife and threatened to kill one of the men. He also threatened to cut one of the other men.
A short time later, an OCPD officer located McDowell near the motel and held him for questioning. When asked if he had a knife on him, McDowell said he did and produced a pocketknife with a hooked blade about three inches long. The male victim threatened with the knife was brought over and identified McDowell as the man who threatened him.
McDowell was then taken into custody and when the officer explained the charges against him, he allegedly admitted pulling the knife but denied hitting his girlfriend, stating, “I’ll take that charge, but I didn’t hit no girl.” He was charged with second-degree assault and carrying a deadly weapon with intent to injure.
Head Butted, Stole Gold Chain
OCEAN CITY – Three Coatesville, Pa. residents were arrested last week on various charges including armed robbery, assault and drug charges after head-butting a man to steal his gold chain and later getting found with drugs in their vehicle.
Around 4:20 a.m. last Thursday, OCPD officers responded to the McDonalds on 32nd Street for a reported strong-arm robbery that had just taken place. The officers met with a victim who was bleeding from the mouth and had blood all over his face. The victim told police he was walking in the restaurant parking lot when he was approached by a man who head-butted him in the face.
The victim said the man who head-butted him, later identified as Anthony Wayne Shaw, 20, was joined by another man, identified as Zachary Clyde Swisher, 19, and that the pair began punching him in the face in an attempt to steal the gold chain from around his neck. Shaw also allegedly threatened the suspect with a rock.
The two suspects were able to rip the gold chain from the victim’s neck before fleeing the scene in a vehicle driven by a white female. OCPD officers broadcast a description of the suspect vehicle and it was soon pulled over on Coastal Highway at 78th Street. The victim was brought to the traffic stop and identified Shaw and Swisher as his attackers and the two men were taken into custody.
The driver of the vehicle, Kirstan Nichole Leyda, 18, was detained but was not arrested. However, an assisting officer noticed marijuana in the vehicle and began a more thorough search, which revealed a significant amount of pot throughout the vehicle and in Leyda’s purse. Also discovered in the vehicle was a black book bag with more marijuana and paraphernalia inside. Inside the book bag was a sock containing more marijuana and small pills identified as oxycodone.
Shaw was charged with armed robbery, assault, theft, malicious destruction and various drug charges. Swisher was charged with armed robbery, assault, theft and malicious destruction of property, while Leyda was charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.
Dropped Pot At Cop’s Feet
OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City woman was arrested for possession of marijuana this week after inadvertently dropping a bag of pot at the feet of a uniformed officer in a resort liquor store.
On Monday evening, an OCPD officer was in the Liquor Mart on 18th Street investigating a theft when he observed a female standing at the counter paying for her purchase.
When the female customer, identified as Allison Naughton, 22, of Ocean City, pulled out her wallet to take out her driver’s license, a small bag of marijuana fell out of the wallet and onto the floor. Naughton was arrested and charged with possession and has been released.
Alleged Drug Dealer Nabbed After Phone Theft
OCEAN CITY – A New York man was arrested on assault and theft charges along with various drug charges last week after stealing another man’s cell phone on the Boardwalk and attempting to make the victim pay to get it back.
Around 2:15 a.m. last Wednesday, a man walking on the Boardwalk with friends tripped and fell causing his cell phone to fall out of his pocket. Another man, later identified as Jamal Lamar Anderton, 21, of Montgomery, N.Y., picked up the phone and refused to give it back. When the victim asked for the phone, Anderton allegedly punched him in the face. When the victim’s friends tried to intercede, Anderton fled. The victim approached Anderton and asked for his phone back, but Anderton told him it would cost him $5. The victim told Anderton he would give him $3 for it, but the suspect refused and continued to flee the scene.
OCPD officers located Anderton a short time later and took him into custody. The victim was brought over to identify the suspect, who produced a cell phone matching the description of the one stolen. The victim provided police with his cell phone number and when they called it, the phone in Anderton’s possession rang.
During a search of the suspect, police found a substantial amount of marijuana on his person. Three witnesses came forward and told police Anderton had attempted to sell them drugs on the Boardwalk about an hour before the incident with the stolen cell phone. Anderton was charged with assault, theft, possession and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
Wallet Swiped In Store Leads To Heroin Arrests
WEST OCEAN CITY – Two Selbyville, Del. residents are in custody this week after one of them swiped a wallet from an unattended shopping cart in a West Ocean City grocery store and fled before getting pulled over on Route 50.
Shortly before 4 p.m. last Sunday, Maryland State Police troopers received a call about a vehicle fleeing the Superfresh grocery store in West Ocean City with a suspect inside who attempted to take a woman’s wallet from a purse in an unattended shopping cart. The suspect, later identified as Michael Patrick Bray, 24, of Selbyville, was observed taking the wallet, panicked and dropped the wallet on the floor before fleeing in a vehicle.
MSP troopers responding to the incident observed a vehicle matching the description traveling west on Route 50 near Berlin. The vehicle was stopped and while Bray was being arrested for attempting to steal the wallet, troopers found the female driver, identified as Kara Noel Rhyner, 22, also of Selbyville, in possession of two cooking spoons with heroin residue on them as well as two needles with heroin residue. Bray was charged with misdemeanor theft and possession of heroin, while Rhyner was charged with possession of heroin.
Assault Case Moves Forward To Circuit Court
OCEAN CITY – Danielle Nicole Byrd, 25, of Lanham, Md., appeared in District Court this week to face assault charges. After hearing the facts of the case, Judge Daniel Mumford found probable cause to forward the case to Circuit Court.
According to police reports, on April 27, at approximately 12:53 p.m., Ocean City police responded to the area of 1st Street and Baltimore Avenue for a reported fight in progress. Upon arrival, officers found the victim with three teeth knocked out, four loose teeth and a variety of bruises on his body.
Two individuals were arrested for assault, however a nearby witness told police that Byrd was also involved in the assault. According to the witness, Byrd was watching the fight while holding her baby when she put the baby down, walked over to the victim, who was lying on the ground, and kicked him in the face. Judge Mumford found probable cause to forward the first-degree assault case to Circuit Court.
Medicinal Marijuana Claim
OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania woman appeared in District Court this week to face possession of marijuana charges, explaining to the court that the drug helps her to control her ongoing battle with lupus.
On April 12, Ocean City police officers arrived at the Commander Hotel after receiving complaints about the odor of marijuana emanating from a room on the fifth floor. Officers quickly identified the room, where they encountered Shelly Dawn Singer, 43, or Windber, Pa., with a small amount of marijuana. Singer explained to police that the marijuana was to help her with lupus, an autoimmune disease, but was placed under arrest anyway.
Singer explained to the court this week that while she is aware that marijuana is illegal in Maryland, even for medicinal purposes, it is one of the few drugs that helps her control the disease. Singer noted that most of the prescribed medicines she takes do not help her, adding that she has been healthier since she began using marijuana.
Judge Daniel Mumford found Singer guilty, sentencing her to probation before judgment with one year of unsupervised probation and a $157.50 fine, advising Singer, “be more discreet about it next time.”
‘Trying To Have Some Fun’
OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania man faced disorderly conduct charges this week in District Court after dropping his drawers in front of numerous witnesses on Baltimore Avenue last month.
On May 16, around 11:30 p.m., an OCPD officer on routine patrol observed a man, later identified as Robert C. Stewart, 21, of Connellsville, Pa., standing on a public sidewalk wearing only green boxer shorts with tassels and bells on them which he pulled down below his knees. The officer witnessed Stewart yelling at traffic with his private parts exposed in front of numerous witnesses including two people on the same sidewalk, several other people in the driveway of a nearby hotel and a group of four to six people across the street. Stewart was then placed under arrest and charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct.
Stewart pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct through a plea agreement this week in District Court, explaining that he was, “down here on vacation, trying to have some fun.” Stewart also noted that he was completely sober at the time of the incident. Stewart was found guilty and sentenced to probation before judgment with a $357.50 fine.
DUI Bust Attracts Attention
WEST OCEAN CITY – A Berlin woman was arrested on disorderly conduct charges last weekend after causing a disturbance near a West Ocean City neighborhood while the driver of the car she was riding in was being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Around 1:38 a.m. last Saturday, Maryland State Police troopers were conducting a routine DUI arrest on Old Bridge Rd. just west of Route 611 when the female passenger in the car, later identified as Krista C. Smith, 36, of Berlin, began to raise her voice and draw attention to herself as she stood by the vehicle. According to police reports, Smith went on a profanity-laced tirade directed at the troopers which caused several lights to come on at the nearby South Point Village neighborhood.
As a result, Smith was arrested for disorderly conduct, but her rants did not end there. According to police reports, she continued her tirade when taken to the MSP barrack in Berlin for processing. She was later released on her own recognizance.