Rape Reward Anted Up

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OCEAN CITY – With the approval of the Ocean City Mayor and Council last week, resort police this week continued to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect in a violent rape in May.

The $5,000 reward was first offered earlier this summer, but the authorization for it from town officials was set to expire. Last week, the Mayor and Council agreed to continue to offer the reward for the perpetrator in the violent attack on May 24.

The attack and rape occurred around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 24. OCPD detectives are searching for a dark or olive-skinned male in his mid 20s. The suspect had short dark hair, around 5’7” to 6’ tall with an average build and possibly some facial hair. The suspect may have bruises or scars on both hands. At the time of the attack, he was wearing a light colored shirt with blue horizontal stripes, jeans and possibly sneakers.

The suspect was seen on 49th Street just prior to the attack and fled to the beach area after several citizens attempted to detain him. Several citizens reported seeing the suspect on 49th Street and later on the beach. The attack touched off a massive manhunt including helicopters, but the suspect has eluded capture and remains at large.

Anyone with information about the attack and/or the suspect’s identity or whereabouts is encouraged to contact the OCPD’s Criminal Investigation Division at 410-723-6604, Detective First-Class Shawn Jones at 410-723-6661, or the OCPD front desk at 410-723-6610. Quite often, citizen hunches turn out to be valuable information for the police department. Anyone with information about the crime is also encouraged to call or leave an email at OCPD@ococean.com.

Fine For Harley Burner

OCEAN CITY – A Tennessee woman arrested in Ocean City in August for purposely setting her husband’s Harley Davidson motorcycle on fire pleaded guilty this week in District Court to second-degree malicious burning and was fined $500 plus court costs.

Shortly after 8 p.m. on Aug. 24, 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.

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.

This week in District Court, Waskey pleaded guilty to second-degree malicious burning and was fined $500. The reckless endangerment and second-degree arson charges were dropped as a result of the plea arrangement.

Traffic Stop Yields Bench Warrant, Pot Bust

BERLIN – A Bishopville man wanted on an outstanding warrant was found in the back seat of a vehicle during a traffic stop last week and a search led to the discovery of a significant amount of marijuana.

Around 6:45 p.m. last Thursday, members of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office criminal enforcement team conducted a traffic stop during which they identified the back seat passenger as Tarron Felix Rounds of Bishopville. An investigation led to the discovery Rounds was wanted on an outstanding warrant in Worcester County for failure to appear for a violation of probation hearing.

Rounds was taken into custody and a search of the vehicle incident to his arrest revealed a clear, plastic bag with eight smaller bags of marijuana inside. The marijuana was packaged in such a way to suggest it was meant for sale and distribution. It was found where Rounds was seated in the vehicle.

In addition to being arrested on the outstanding warrant, Rounds was also charged with possession of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute. He is being held pending trial.

Fight At School

SNOW HILL – A fight on the parking lot after school at Snow Hill High last week has led to charges of second-degree assault against the combatants.

Last Monday, an altercation broke out in the parking lot at Snow Hill High School involving five male students following dismissal. The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office school resource officer responded to the scene and other police officers arrived and dispersed the combatants without further incident. The Sheriff’s Office and the Snow Hill Police Department investigated the incident and charges of second-degree assault and disturbing the educational process have been filed against some or all of those involved. The school has also taken the appropriate disciplinary action.

WOC Murder Trial Postponed

SNOW HILL – The trial for accused murderer Roberto Antonio Murillo, who remains behind bars after being charged in the stabbing death of Cecilia Dea Parker in her West Ocean City home in April, was moved back to early next year as the court continues to sort out a variety of pre-trial motions.

Murillo’s trial dates this week were moved back to Jan. 12-13 of next year. Murillo was quickly identified as a suspect in the murder on April 20 and was taken into custody the next day and charged with first-degree murder. During an interview after being taken into custody, Murillo essentially confessed to the crime and provided detectives with a detailed account of the hours leading up to the murder.

Murillo told police Parker had hired him to do some landscaping work around her home at 27 Deep Channel Drive and had made payments to him throughout the project. Last Sunday afternoon, Murillo finished the landscaping project while Parker was at work, and when she arrived home from work at around 4:30 p.m., she saw Murillo standing outside his residence at 20 Deep Channel Drive and waved him over to her house so she could make the final payment, according to Murillo’s statement.

Murillo then went over to Parker’s house where he obtained a check from the victim for the rest of the work and returned to his own residence. According to Murillo’s statement, he was lying in bed around 8:30 p.m. that night when he pulled the check from his pocket and realized it had not been signed by Parker.

He later went back to Parker’s residence to have her sign the check, according to police reports, but it appears something happened between that seemingly innocent exchange and what occurred next. A physical altercation broke out between Parker and Murillo, according to police reports, and at some point, Murillo produced a knife and stabbed the victim in the side. The fight continued for several minutes with the victim ultimately succumbing to multiple stab wounds to her front and back, according to the statement of charges.

During an interview with investigators before being taken into custody, Murillo essentially confessed to the crime and provided detectives with a detailed account of his version of the hours leading up to the murder.

In August, Murillo’s defense attorneys filed a motion to disqualify the state’s attorney’s office from prosecuting the case because a Spanish-speaking member of the office acted as interpreter during the initial interrogation. However, a Worcester Circuit Court judge last week ruled against the motion.

However, it came to light last week there are significant problems with the accuracy of the transcripts of a second interview of Murillo including sections of the audio transcripts that did not match up with the written transcripts, or sections of the audio transcripts that appear to be missing altogether.

Because of the irregularities in the two transcripts, the prosecution team was sent back to the drawing board to correct the problems and come forward with an accurate set of audio and written transcripts. For that reason, the judge continued the defense’s motion to suppress the alleged confession and moved the hearing date on the motion back to Oct. 1. This week, the trial dates were moved back after the first of the year with the two-day trial set in for Jan. 12-13.

Probation For Cop Battlers

OCEAN CITY – A pair of New York women who battled with police after being pulled over for a routine traffic violation before marijuana was found in their car last spring each pleaded guilty to various drug charges late last month in District Court and were fined $500 and placed on two years probation.

Around 11:30 p.m. on April 26, an OCPD officer pulled over a Toyota 4runner for making a left turn onto to 58th Street from the center lane on Coastal Highway. As the officer approached the vehicle, he saw its occupants suspiciously shifting around inside. When the officer asked the driver, later identified as Jacqueline F. Denise, 20, of Ithica, N.Y., for her license and registration, she failed to produce the documents.

When asked where she was going, Denise told police she and her passenger were going to the beach to go to the bathroom. There is no public bathroom on 58th Street, nor is there any hotel or other public place to relieve one’s self in the area. Denise and her passenger then told police they had arrived in town and wanted to see the beach. The pair also told conflicting stories about where they were staying while in Ocean City.

While police were questioning Denise and her passenger, identified as Kristen Rodriguez, 22, of Burke, Va., they noticed a glass marijuana smoking device in plain view on the back seat. A search of vehicle turned up a baggie of suspected marijuana in the passenger side door panel.

Two OCPD officers then attempted to place the two suspects under arrest for possession. One officer was able to get Rodriguez into handcuffs, but the other officer had difficulty getting Denise into custody, getting her left hand into one cuff but struggling to cuff her other hand. Denise yanked her right arm away and attempted to flee, but the officers restrained her.

The officers affected an arm take down move on the suspect, but she was again able to break free and swing her arms wildly at the officers, according to police reports. The officers then delivered several knee strikes to the suspect’s midsection, but the knee strikes did not affect her. One of the officers then pulled out his pepper spray and sprayed Denise in the face for about two seconds at close range, but that did not affect her and she continued to struggle with police.

Finally, Denise relented and allowed herself to be handcuffed. According to police reports, Denise showed no adverse signs of being sprayed with pepper spray, nor was she out of breath after her long scuffle with police. When asked if she was hurt or needed medical assistance, she replied “No, I’m fine.”

A continued search of the vehicle revealed a baggie of cocaine and three Percocet pills in a cellophane wrapper. Denise was charged with possession of marijuana and other CDS, possession of paraphernalia, and resisting arrest. Rodriguez was charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia and resisting or interfering with an arrest.

In District Court recently, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and was placed on probation for two years and fined $500. Denise pleaded guilty to possession of CDS, not marijuana, and received the same sentence.

against the combatants.

Charges Dropped Against  Alleged Purse Snatchers

SNOW HILL – A pair of Ocean City residents arrested in May on drug charges after a search for a stolen purse turned up a significant amount of marijuana in their home had the charges against them dropped during motions hearings in Circuit Court last week.

On May 25, OCPD officers executed a search warrant on the residence of Michael Frank Savage, 25, and Marilyn A. Savage, 23, both of 7th Street in Ocean City, related to a reported stolen purse. The pair was identified as suspects in the theft of a $400 Dooney and Bourke purse and investigators got a District Court judge to release a search warrant on their premises.

When the OCPD officers searched the 7th Street residence, they did find the stolen purse tucked under a stand-up shelf, but the investigation also found a significant amount of marijuana throughout the unit. Because the search warrant included relatively small items easy to conceal such as a driver’s license, credit card, sunglasses, etc., the investigation focused on drawers, cabinets and other discreet areas.

During the search, police found three dime bags of marijuana in a chest of drawers in the master bedroom, as well as a ceramic smoking device, and a heart-shaped tin containing more marijuana. Also found in the same drawer was a small purse consistent in description with the one mentioned in the search warrant. Otherwise, the chest of drawers contained primarily female clothes and personal items, according to police reports.

Last week in Circuit Court, the two had the charges against them “nolle prossed,” or not prosecuted.

Big Cocaine Bust Case Moved to Circuit Court

SNOW HILL – A Virginia man arrested by Berlin police late last month with a large amount of cocaine had a preliminary hearing in District Court in Snow Hill and had his case forwarded to the Worcester County Circuit Court.

Berlin police late last month made a significant cocaine bust when they observed a suspicious vehicle around a business while it was closed, and were able to connect the suspect to drug activity in Norfolk, Va. Shortly after midnight on Aug. 24, a Berlin police officer observed a suspicious vehicle near a business in town.

The officer approached the vehicle and identified the suspect as Angel Chirinos, 30, of Norfolk. A background check revealed Chirinos was driving on a suspended license and he was arrested. A search incident to the arrest turned up just over three pounds, or 1.3 kilograms, of cocaine. The uncut cocaine had a street value of over $40,000. As a result of information gathered during the Berlin arrest, other agencies were able to open cases and execute search and seizure warrants on Chirinos in the Norfolk, Va. area.

Chirinos has been charged with cocaine possession, importing cocaine into the state, possession with intent to distribute and driving while suspended. The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI), the Maryland State Police and the DEA assisted Berlin Police with the investigation.

Chirinos was released on August 26 after posting a $25,000 bond. He appeared for a preliminary hearing in District Court on Monday and had his case forwarded to the Circuit Court. No new trial date has been established.

Fish Poaching Near Assateague

OCEAN CITY – A Virginia man was charged with several fishing violations late last month after getting caught with dozens of undersized fish while fishing from his boat in the Sinepuxent Bay near Assateague.

On Aug. 28, Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) observed a man later identified as Long Nguyen, 45, of Vienna, Va., fishing from his boat in the Sinepuxent Bay. After watching Nguyen for awhile, NRP officers boarded his boat and examined his catch. The officers found 70 undersized black sea bass and three undersized croakers.

Nguyen was issued citations for possessing undersized black sea bass and croakers and was released on his signature. A court date of October 24 has been set for Nguyen in Worcester County District Court.

Drunk Driver Gets Jail Time

SNOW HILL – A Berlin man arrested on drunk driving and malicious destruction of property charges in March after driving over several lawns in the Holiday Harbor community pleaded guilty this week to driving while impaired and was sentenced to a year in jail with all but three months suspended.

Phillip Cooper Entwistle, 21, of Berlin, appeared in Circuit Court this week to face a variety of charges stemming from an incident in March. He pleaded guilty to driving while impaired and was sentenced to a year in jail, all of which but three months was suspended, placed on probation for two years and fined $500. He was also ordered to pay $250 in restitution to a victim.

Around 2:45 a.m. on March 30, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to Holiday Harbor for a report of a suspicious vehicle. A deputy located the suspicious vehicle on West Dixie Drive and determined the driver, identified as Entwistle appeared intoxicated.

Further investigation revealed Entwistle had driven his vehicle across several yards, cutting ruts in the grass and damaging other property. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, negligent driving, driving on a suspended or revoked license and two counts of malicious destruction of property.

Campground Pot Party

ASSATEAGUE – Two Baltimore men were arrested on marijuana and paraphernalia possession charges last weekend after being found with pot and a bowl in the Assateague State Park.

Around 12:20 a.m. last Sunday, Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) entered a campsite in the Assateague State Park to investigate a quiet hour noise violation and observed marijuana and a smoking pipe in plain view on a picnic table. NRP officers then arrested the campsite’s two occupants, later identified as Stephen W. Hadel, 45, of Halethorpe, and Ronald L. Fravel, 39, of Baltimore, and charged each with possession of marijuana and possession of CDS paraphernalia. Both men were taken before a Worcester County District Court Commissioner and released on their own recognizance.   

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