Two Cops Injured In Crash

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OCEAN CITY – Two OCPD officers were injured last weekend when one of their marked police cruisers was struck from behind by an alleged drunk driver, forcing the vehicle into another cop car in front of it.

Around 2:40 a.m. last Saturday, two marked OCPD cars were stopped one behind the other in the turn lane on the northbound side of Coastal Highway at 48th Street when an Infiniti G37 driven by Ferris Edmund Hickey IV, 34, of Cary, N.C., failed to stop and ran into the back of the police car in front of it. The force of the collision caused the struck police car to crash into the back of the other police car in front of it.

OCPD Officers Leon Lacy and Justin Hoban, who were operating the struck police cars, immediately got out of their vehicles to check on Hickey, who had just struck them. OCPD Traffic Safety Units responded to the scene and Lacy and Hoban were transported to AGH where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

OCPD traffic safety officers suspected Hickey may have been intoxicated and administered several field sobriety tests, which the suspect failed to complete successfully. Hickey agreed to take a breath test, which resulted in a blood-alcohol content of .16, or twice the legal limit in Maryland.

As a result, Hickey was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, DUI per se, driving while impaired, failure to control speed to avoid a collision, and negligent driving. He was taken before an Ocean City District Court Commissioner and held on a $3,500 bond.

Wife Sets Husband’s Harley On Fire

OCEAN CITY – A Tennessee woman faces arson and other serious charges this week after purposely setting her husband’s Harley Davidson motorcycle on fire last weekend.

Shortly after 8 p.m. last Saturday, OCPD officers responded to the 7th Street area for a reported motorcycle on fire. The officers arrived and found the bike’s owner, later identified as Joseph Lawrence Waskey, 40, of Ocean City, attempting to put out the fire with a garden hose. The officers were able to control the blaze with fire extinguishers.

Ocean City Deputy Fire Marshal Cliff Christello determined the fire had been set deliberately. The investigation revealed the victim’s wife, Barbara Waskey, 43, of Rodgersville, Tenn., had left the area at the time of the fire. Barbara Waskey soon returned to the scene and spoke with OCPD officers and Fire Marshal’s Office personnel, who questioned her about her role in the blaze. There was no reason given in police reports as to why she took this action.

The investigation revealed Barbara Waskey had removed the motorcycle’s gas cap, stuffed a towel in the open gas tank and set the towel on fire before leaving the scene. Investigators recovered the bike’s gas cap from Barbara Waskey’s car when she returned to the scene. Christello then placed her under arrest for second-degree arson, malicious burning and reckless endangerment. She was taken before an Ocean City District Court commissioner and ordered held on a $50,000 bond.

Checkpoint Nets Nine Arrests

BERLIN – Nine people were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs last weekend during a multi-agency sobriety checkpoint conducted on Route 50 just outside the resort area.

The sobriety checkpoint, a cooperative effort between the Maryland State Police, Worcester County Sheriff’s Department, the OCPD, Berlin Police, Snow Hill Police and Maryland Natural Resources Police, was conducted on Route 50 west of Hall Rd. last Friday. The checkpoint was conducted between the hours of 11 p.m. and 3 a.m.

During the checkpoint, a total of 833 vehicles were checked and 15 motorists were pulled to the side for additional field sobriety testing. Of those 15, nine drivers were arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. The MSP Berlin Barrack also had two additional troopers on saturation patrol, resulting in one additional DUI arrest, making the total 10 for the night.

Broken Glass For ‘Intimidation’

OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania man was arrested on a weapons charge and malicious destruction of property after approaching another man with a large shard of broken glass during a fight over body boards.

Last Saturday, an OCPD officer on routine bicycle patrol in the downtown area responded to the Sea Scape Motel for a reported assault that had already occurred. When the officer arrived on the scene, he observed a man, later identified as Juan Rivas III, 21, of Bethlehem, Pa., with a sharp broken piece of glass in his hand heading toward a group of hotel patrons.

The officer noted in his report Rivas was bleeding from multiple lacerations on his body and face, and as he attempted to approach the other group, the officer detained him and called for EMS. Rivas told the officer he had to use the piece of glass because “he had no other choice.”

Witnesses in the area told police Rivas had become confrontational after a dispute over body boards. According to witnesses, Rivas then got in a physical fight with another man, identified as Lloyd Waller, punching him in the head. During the altercation, Rivas allegedly broke a window on a hallway door at the motel, than punched through the glass window at room 227.

At that point, Rivas grabbed a large shard of broken glass and went back toward Waller and the group, which is when the police arrived. When asked why he had a jagged piece of glass in his hand, Rivas allegedly told the officer, “that guy is a lot bigger than me, I needed to make sure he was intimidated.”

Rivas was then placed under arrest for wielding a deadly weapon with intent to injure and malicious destruction of property for the two broken windows

Shoplifter Found Guilty

OCEAN CITY – An 18-year-old Delaware woman was found guilty of theft less than $100 this week in District Court, despite pleading not guilty to the charge and claiming she had full intentions of purchasing the item in question.

Maegan Rose Elwood, of Middletown, Del., pleaded not guilty to theft less than $100 this week in District Court, testifying that she was going to purchase a pair of shorts from a Boardwalk establishment, not steal them.

An employee of the store recalled the events differently however, testifying that on June 4, Elwood entered the store with a shopping bag and began looking at clothes. She testified that she observed Elwood place a pair of shorts into her bag and was about to place another pair in the bag when she asked her what she was doing.

The employee claimed that Elwood then tried to leave the store, at which point she grabbed hold of Elwood’s arm and called her manager, dragging Elwood back into the store.

The store manager also testified to the events, explaining that at the time of the alleged incident she was in her office, watching the events unfold on the surveillance camera.

The manager testified that while she could not see Elwood place the shorts in her bag, she did see her bending over her bag, sparking her suspicions that she might be shoplifting. The manager also testified that once confronted, Elwood became angry and uncooperative.

Elwood told a different story however, claiming she was going to pay for the shorts. Elwood testified that she was simply looking at another pair of shorts and had placed the first pair of shorts on her bag so she wouldn’t have to put them on the floor, when the employee approached and accused her of stealing.

Despite Elwood’s claims, she was found guilty and sentenced to probation before judgment with one year of supervised probation and a $250 fine.

Resisting Arrest Yields Jail Time

OCEAN CITY – Dylan Ridgley Thomas, 20, of Arbutus, Md. was found guilty of resisting or interfering with an arrest this week in District Court, resulting in a 60-day jail sentence.

According to police reports, on July 22 at approximately 6:44 p.m., officers were dispatched to a downtown hotel for reports of a male pushing a female. Upon arrival, officers observed Thomas shoving a female, later revealed to be his girlfriend.

Officers then approached and asked Thomas if he would speak with them, away from the female. Thomas was immediately uncooperative with the officers and was reportedly highly intoxicated. Thomas initially gave officers a false name, but they were able to obtain his real name from his girlfriend, which was confirmed by his initials, tattooed on his forearm.

Thomas reportedly continued to be uncooperative, resisting his arrest and hitting one of the police officers at one point. Police were forced to use several knee and palm strikes and eventually pepper spray to subdue Thomas and place him under arrest.

Thomas was found guilty of the charge this week in District Court, and was sentenced to 60 days in jail, with credit for time served for 33 days.

Sodomy Case Moves Forward To Circuit Court

OCEAN CITY – A 31-year old autistic man faced a preliminary hearing in District Court this week for charges of sodomy and second-degree assault, after one of his counselors allegedly observed him sexually assaulting another resident.

Detective James Rodriguez testified that on June 4 the Ocean City police were contacted regarding a sexual assault at an uptown residence. A director of residential services for an assisted living facility informed police that she was in town with a group of mentally challenged adults from their facility in Clarksburg. She relayed to police that one of their counselors had observed Daniel C. Graham sexually assault another male resident.

Rodriguez testified that Graham is autistic, but highly functioning and lives at the assisted home in Clarksburg. According to Rodriguez, one of the counselors passed by the room of the victim, a male resident, when he witnessed Graham and the victim with their pants pulled down and Graham forcing himself on the victim, at which point the counselor immediately pulled Graham from the room.

Rodriguez reportedly spoke with Graham that day, at which point Graham admitted to having anal sex with the victim, also admitting that he knew it was wrong. Rodriguez also spoke with the victim, whom he described as a 28-year-old male who spoke as if he was eight or nine years old, adding that the victim was extremely upset. The victim reportedly told Rodriquez that he repeatedly asked Graham to stop. The victim was later taken to Atlantic General Hospital.

After hearing the details of the case, probable cause was found to forward the case to Circuit Court.

Guilty Of DUI, Not Weapons Charges

OCEAN CITY – An Oxford, Pa. man arrested in May for carrying a concealed deadly weapon after being found with a large knife and brass knuckles following a DUI stop was found guilty of the latter but cleared of the former in Circuit Court last week.

Around 7:30 p.m. on May 18, an Ocean City police officer was driving on Coastal Highway around 26th Street when a red 2003 Honda Civic swerved in front of him, going from the center lane to make a right turn onto 26th Street. The driver, later identified as Brandon Kirk Buchanan, 22, of Oxford, Pa., was pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving and the suspicions were confirmed when the officers found Buchanan’s smelled of alcohol, his speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot and glassy.

Buchanan told police he had a few beers and that he was buzzed. He was arrested for driving under the influence. The officer searched Buchanan incident to the arrest and discovered a large, spring-loaded switchblade in his pocket. Another officer searched the vehicle and discovered silver, metal knuckles in the vehicle’s center console.

Buchanan submitted to a breath test, which registered a blood alcohol level of .18. He was arrested for driving under the influence and carrying concealed deadly weapons. Last week in Circuit Court, Buchanan pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, all of which was suspended, and was fined $500 and placed on probation for 18 months. The weapons charges against him were not prosecuted.

Jail Time For Pines Assaulter

SNOW HILL – An Ocean City man arrested last February for an alleged brutal assault on another man at an Ocean Pines shopping center parking lot was found guilty earlier this month in Worcester County Circuit Court of second-degree assault and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

According to court records, on Feb. 15, a suspect later identified as Jeffery Mayhle, 37, of Ocean City allegedly beat a man in the parking lot of the Pines Plaza on Cathell Rd. for an undisclosed reason. According to the victim’s statement to police, Mayhle struck him with his fist in the right eye and hit him in the face several times.

Mayhle allegedly then kicked the victim in the right knee causing him to fall to the ground. While the victim was on the ground, Mayhle continued to beat him about the head and face and then stomped on his left knee three times. The victim was ultimately transported by ambulance to Atlantic General Hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

The victim suffered two broken kneecaps in the attack, both of which required surgery and rehabilitation in addition to his other injuries. In written court records, a doctor testified the injuries sustained by the victim were consistent with the details of the attack laid out by the victim.

Based on the victim’s statement, Mayhle was later arrested and charged with second-degree assault. On Aug. 5 in Circuit Court, Mayhle pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. He was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim, the amount of which will be determined at a later date.

Drug Dealer Convicted

SNOW HILL – A Berlin man arrested last February after being identified as a drug dealer during an investigation by an undercover Ocean City Police narcotics agent pleaded guilty last week to distribution of cocaine and was sentenced to three years in jail, with all but eight days suspended.

On Jan. 8, an OCPD narcotics officer initiated an investigation into the illegal drug activities of John Barnard Pasquariello, 25, whose official residence is listed as Berlin in court documents but who was allegedly operating a drug dealing operation out of a residence on 11th Street in Ocean City. On Jan. 16, the OCPD undercover officer talked to Pasquariello about buying cocaine, but the suspect told the officer he was on his way to Salisbury to purchase more cocaine.

However, Pasquariello allegedly told the officer he had a gram of cocaine he could sell him in the meantime for $60. The undercover officer agreed to meet Pasquariello in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven on 26th Street and the deal was completed a short time later. After the investigation revealed Pasquariello was allegedly operating out of a residence on 11th Street in Ocean City, the undercover officer obtained a search and seizure warrant for the suspect, his residence and his vehicle on Feb. 13.

Later on that day, the undercover officer contacted Pasquariello about purchasing an ounce of powder cocaine. On Feb. 14, the two spoke again and Pasquariello allegedly told the undercover OCPD officer to meet him at the residence on 11th Street to consummate the deal at around 11 p.m.

At the appointed time and place, the undercover detected responded to the unit on 11th Street with the OCPD Quick Response Unit, which is local equivalent of a SWAT team. The unit, armed with the search and seizure warrant, entered the residence and secured it. The detective entered the house after the unit had secured it and took Pasquariello into custody.

A search of the apartment turned up various amounts of powder cocaine in various locations throughout the unit including several ounces. Pasquariello later told the detective one of the pre-packaged ounces of cocaine was set aside for him for purchase that night. A search of the vehicle revealed other controlled dangerous substances in various amounts and containers.

Last week in Circuit Court, Pasquariello pleaded guilty to distribution of cocaine and was sentenced to three years in jail with all but eight days suspended. He was then given credit for the eight days he already served in the case. He was also fined $500 and placed on supervised probation for two years.

Convicted For Pot, Not Assault

SNOW HILL – A Millsboro, Del. man arrested in Ocean City in January on pot charges after being stopped for having three outstanding warrants on him for unrelated cases pleaded guilty last week to a possession of marijuana charge, but had the more serious assault charge against him dropped.

On Jan. 23, an OCPD officer on patrol saw he man he recognized as Lemston Reed, 31, of Millsboro, leave a downtown Ocean City hotel and get into a waiting taxi. The officer knew Reed was wanted on three outstanding warrants from other cases and followed the taxi. The officer requested OCPD detectives stop the taxi and detain Reed, which they did a short time later.

Reed was place under arrest for the warrants, and a search of the taxi revealed a bag of marijuana on the floor where the suspect was sitting. He was charged with possession of marijuana in addition to the three warrants, one of which stemmed from an assault at a West Ocean City restaurant in January 2007 during which Reed allegedly helped beat a man, including kicking him in the face while he was down, causing him to lose four teeth.

Last week in Circuit Court, Reed pleaded guilty to the possession of marijuana charge and was sentenced to six months in jail. The other charges, including the assault from January 2007 were not prosecuted.

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