Looking to Fight Cops

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Looking To Fight Cops

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man was arrested on assault and disorderly conduct this week after threatening to fight two OCPD officers who woke him from sleeping on a Boardwalk bench.

Shortly before 8 p.m. last Saturday, an OCPD officer was dispatched to the area of 3rd Street and the Boardwalk to check on the welfare of an individual lying on a bench. There had been several calls to police about an alleged intoxicated man, yelling and cursing at passersby and the man the OCPD officer discovered on the bench, later identified as Jeffrey S. Taylor, 47, of Ocean City, matched the description.

When the officer arrived, he found Taylor sleeping on the bench, and when he woke him, he observed Taylor to have unsteady balance even while sitting, slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. As the officer spoke to Taylor to get his personal information, the suspect repeatedly acted in a hostile manner toward the officer, yelling and cursing and drawing the attention of people walking by on the Boardwalk.

At one point, Taylor stood up and assumed a martial arts stance in front of the officer, who warned him to sit back down or he would be arrested. In the meantime, another officer arrived on the scene and Taylor began to speak aggressively toward the officer. According to police reports, Taylor asked the second officer, “Do you want a piece of this?” The second officer asked Taylor if what he meant by that was did he want to fight the officer, to which Taylor allegedly said, “I don’t want to fight you, but I will if I have to.”

Taylor then stood up and took a fighting stance toward the second officer, and when the officer asked what he thought he was doing, Taylor reportedly said, “I’m gonna beat your [expletive deleted].”

At that point, the first officer escorted Taylor to the ground using an arm-bar takedown maneuver to prevent any more shenanigans. Taylor was handcuffed and arrested for disorderly conduct and assault. The officers noticed Taylor had small abrasions to his hand and nose that were bleeding and they called for a transport vehicle and EMS to treat his injuries.

EMS arrived and did treat Taylor’s injuries, but he refused transport to the hospital. Another officer arrived and took photographs of Taylor’s injuries for the record, and the suspect was ultimately taken to the public safety building for processing.

Alleged Dealer Busted In OC

OCEAN CITY – A Berlin man who made several illegal drug transactions with an undercover Ocean City police officer was arrested this week on several charges including possession and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

On Sept. 18, an OCPD undercover narcotics officer made contact with a suspected dealer, later identified as Christopher David Smith, 20, of Berlin, about purchasing a gram of powder cocaine. Smith agreed and told the officer the purchase would cost him $65. The officer agreed to meet Smith at a location near 12th Street in Ocean City to complete the transaction. Smith arrived a short time later and parked his car at the corner of 12th Street and Wilmington Lane.

The officer approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and made contact with Smith. He also noticed an unidentified white male in the passenger seat. The officer completed the transaction with Smith, securing the gram of cocaine in exchange for the $65.

On Sept. 26, the officer contacted Smith again, this time asking him how much cocaine he could buy for $400. Smith allegedly told the officer he could sell him a gram for $400, to which the officer agreed and set up a meeting at the same spot as before. Prior to the meeting, the officer contacted Smith again and was able to negotiate the price for the gram down to $350.

Smith arrived at the appointed place and time and the officer approached the vehicle, this time noting there was a Hispanic female in the passenger seat. Smith and the officer completed the transaction and Smith drove away from the area.

The narcotics officer then contacted a uniformed OCPD officer who stopped Smith’s car about two blocks from where the transaction took place. Smith was arrested and charged with several counts including possession and possession with intent to distribute cocaine among others. 

Burglary Suspects Sought

BERLIN – Local police this week are looking for the suspect or suspects involved in the burglary of Eastern Shore Gas in Berlin.

Last Tuesday, Berlin Police officers responded to the Eastern Shore Gas facility on Old Ocean City Blvd. in Berlin for a reported burglary. The investigation revealed during the overnight hours on Sept. 22 a suspect or suspects broke into the facility and stole three lap-top computers having a total value of roughly $5,000.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to call the Berlin Police Department at 410-641-1333.

Alleged Sodomy Case

Moves To Circuit Court

OCEAN CITY – A 31-year-old autistic man charged with sodomy and second-degree assault after one of his counselors allegedly observed him sexually assaulting another resident had his case forwarded to Worcester County Circuit Court this week.

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.

Traffic Stop Leads To Pot

BERLIN – A Forest Hill, Md. man was arrested on drug possession charges this week after pot was discovered in his vehicle after a routine traffic stop.

Last Saturday, a Maryland State Police trooper on routine patrol stopped a Chevrolet truck for a traffic violation. The trooper suspected the driver, later identified as George Richard Friend, 55, of Forest Hill, may have been intoxicated, and after some field tests Friend was taken into custody for driving under the influence of alcohol. A search of the vehicle revealed an amount of marijuana and a smoking device.

In addition to the DUI charge, Friend was also charged with possession of CDS-marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. He was later released on his own recognizance.

Alleged Rapist

Remains Behind Bars

BERLIN – A Pittsville man was arrested on first-degree rape and other charges in September after allegedly offering a ride to a woman on a Berlin bus stop, driving her to a secluded area and sexually assaulting her appeared in court for the bail review hearing this week and was ordered held without bond pending his trial.

Between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 2, a 30-year-old woman was waiting for the Worcester County Ride on a bus stop in the Berlin area when she was approached by a white male, later identified as Darrell Wayne McDaniel, 47, of Pittsville, who offered the woman a ride.

Once the victim was in his vehicle, McDaniel allegedly drove her to a secluded location off Route 50 in Berlin and sexually assaulted her. The victim then fled from the car after allegedly being raped. Quick thinking allowed her to remember the Maryland registration number on McDaniel’s vehicle, which she supplied to the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI).

Using the tag number, WCBI detectives were able to quickly identify the vehicle and establish McDaniel as the suspect in the sexual assault. WCBI detectives later arrested McDaniel at his place of employment in Salisbury. He has been charged with first- and second-degree rape, second-degree assault, a third- and fourth-degree sex offense, kidnapping, false imprisonment and reckless endangerment.

Hefty Fine, But No Jail Time

OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania man arrested in July on disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and several counts of assaulting an officer pleaded guilty this week in District Court to second-degree assault and was sentenced to six months in jail, all of which was suspended in favor of a hefty fine and probation.

Around 7:30 p.m. on July 13, an OCPD officer on patrol in the area of 45th Street observed a man later identified Gracey, walking along Coastal Highway yelling at passing cars. While the officer was watching Gracey, the suspect took off his shirt and began walking in the middle lane of Coastal Highway, causing vehicles to swerve to avoid hitting him.

Gracey also ran toward and yelled at two people on bicycles, almost causing them to wreck. At one point, Gracey stood in front of an Ocean City Public Works truck, forcing it to stop to avoid hitting him and giving the town workers inside the finger. Other officers responded and told the initial officer they had been in contact with Gracey earlier in the day when he exhibited similar antics.

At that point, the officer decided to arrest Gracey given his intoxicated state and the disorderly conduct he exhibited. While being taken into custody, Gracey resisted arrest and had to be restrained. During his arrest, Gracey kicked one officer and spit on two others. While on the ground and in custody, Gracey repeatedly banged his head on the pavement causing his head to bleed. He was ultimately subdued and charged with three counts of assaulting an officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

This week in District Court, Gracey pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault and was sentenced to six months in jail, which was then suspended. He was also fined $1,000 and placed on probation for a year.

Probation for Shoe Attack

SNOW HILL – An Ocean City woman arrested in August on assault and disorderly conduct charges after hitting a West Ocean City restaurant employee in the face with a shoe pleaded guilty this week to disorderly conduct and was fined $200 and placed on probation for a year.

On Aug. 26, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Pirate’s Cove restaurant in West Ocean City for a reported fight in progress. The investigation revealed a woman later identified as Ruthann Marie Hrechkavizi, 38, of Ocean City, struck a restaurant employee with a shoe, causing injuries to his face and creating a disturbance with another employee of the establishment. She was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct.

Sleeping With Pot, Weapon

OCEAN CITY – A Seaford man arrested on drug and weapons charges in May after resort police found him sleeping in his car near the beach at 36th Street pleaded guilty this week in District Court to possession of marijuana and was fined $500.

Around 6 a.m. on June 2, an Ocean City police officer on routine patrol observed a parked silver Ford Mustang with a male suspect slumped over in the driver’s seat. Upon closer inspection, the officer noticed the driver, identified as Shawn R. Hickman, 28, of Seaford, was asleep in his car in violation of a municipal ordinance.

As the officer looked in the vehicle, he observed in plain view several buds on marijuana on the passenger seat and flakes of marijuana all over Hickman’s shirt. The officer woke Hickman and arrested him on possession charges. During a search of the vehicle incident to the arrest, the officer discovered a two-bladed fighting style knife in the interior pocket of the driver’s side door and possession of a fighting knife charge was tacked on.

This week in District Court, Hickman pleaded guilty to the possession charges as well as sleeping in his car, which is a violation of a city ordinance, and was fined $500. The weapons charge was not prosecuted as a result of the plea agreement.

OCPD Chief Honored

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette A. DiPino was recently sworn in as the first female president in the 47-year history of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association.

DiPino has been a member of the MCPA since 2003.  She held the office of 1st Vice President and was previously seated in several leadership roles throughout the past five years.  DiPino was installed as president during a ceremony that was held at The Clarion Hotel on Sept. 10.

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