Pedestrian Hit, Charged

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Pedestrian Hit, Charged

OCEAN PINES – A pedestrian struck by a Berlin juvenile on Route 589 in Ocean Pines last week has been charged with failing to yield to a vehicle while unsafely crossing the roadway.

Around 8:30 p.m. last Tuesday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a reported accident on Route 589 just south of Manklin Creek Rd. The investigation revealed a pedestrian, later identified as Kam Yeung, 70, of Ocean Pines, who was illegally in the roadway and wearing dark clothing, was struck by a 1998 Ford Taurus driven by a Berlin teenager.

The teen swerved to avoid Yeung, but struck him with his passenger side rear view mirror. The pedestrian sustained minor injuries and was transported to AGH by the Ocean Pines Fire Department. Yeung was charged with failing to yield to a vehicle while unsafely crossing the roadway.

Bloody Finger Prints,

Shoe Print Doom Burglar

SNOW HILL – A Pennsylvania man arrested last spring on several counts of burglary and malicious destruction of property after bloody finger prints and a shoe print on one victim’s door connected him to a pair of downtown break-ins pleaded guilty last week to third-degree burglary and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, all but six months and 15 days of which were suspended.

On April 12, OCPD officers responded to Caroline Street for a burglary reported by a property owner who had just returned to his residence for the first time since Easter. The victim told police it appeared his residence had been broken into and walked inside, closed an open refrigerator and put away some disheveled items before realizing a perpetrator could still be inside. The victim then immediately exited the premises and called police.

The investigation revealed a window inside a screened-in porch had been broken and the front door stood open. The officers went inside and found a television on and a refrigerator opened with some of the contents strewn around the house. Officers also discovered a black duffle bag and a black backpack in the unit that did not belong to the owner.

The officers also noticed what appeared to be blood smeared at different locations around the house where the suspect had apparently been looking for valuables. After securing the residence on Caroline Street, the officers went next door where similar evidence of a break-in was revealed.

At that residence, officers noticed a clear shoe print near the doorknob of the front door, which was standing open. Inside, officers found the residence had been clearly rummaged through although the property owner, who was contacted and brought to the scene, said it did not appear anything was missing.

With bloody fingerprints at one crime scene and a clear shoe print at the other, OCPD detectives brought in the forensic unit to begin processing the evidence. Meanwhile, the initial officers went through the backpack and duffle bag found in the first burglarized apartment and found DVDs, currency and other items belonging to the first victim.

A short time later, OCPD Communications received a call from a Jeffery E. Hughes who wanted to make a report of stolen property. The officers on scene at Caroline Street had found a resume in the black backpack with the name Jeffery Hughes on it and began to put the evidence together.

Another officer responded to North Division Street to handle Hughes’ theft report and was joined by one of the officers from the nearby Caroline Street crime scenes. Hughes told police he had gone in a store to buy a six-pack of beer and when he came out, his property had been stolen by a couple of guys.

However, while police were taking Hughes’ report, they noticed he did not have any beer on him. They also noticed he had dried blood on his hand and wrist, and when they questioned him about it to see if he was okay, he revealed a fresh wound on his wrist. As they continued to question Hughes, police noticed fresh tears on his jacket in the area of his waistline.

According to police reports, when Hughes was first questioned, he was polite and cooperative, but when the officers asked him about the cut and the tears to his jacket, he became quiet and uncooperative. Based on the cut and tears to his clothing consistent with the broken window at the Caroline Street crime scene, and the fact that his belongings were found in one of the burglarized residences, Hughes was arrested and taken into custody.

After the arrest, officers matched Hughes’ shoes to the shoe print on the door of the second burglarized unit. He was charged with several counts of burglary, malicious destruction and making a false statement to an officer. Last week, he pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, with all but six months and 15 days suspended. He was then given credit for the 208 days he spent in jail awaiting trial, resulting in no new jail time.

Road Rager Convicted

SNOW HILL – An Ocean City woman arrested on disorderly conduct and malicious destruction charges last April after a road-rage incident on the Route 50 Bridge was found guilty last week on the first charge and was sentenced to 10 days in jail, nine of which were suspended, and she was given credit for the one day she already spent in jail.

Morna Katherine Hemmer, 43, of Ocean City, was arrested last April after an altercation with another driver about a close call while merging to cross the Route 50 Bridge, two lanes of which were closed due to a resurfacing project. An OCPD detective starting to cross the bridge into Ocean City observed a Mercury Cougar and a Dodge Neon nearly collide as they entered the narrow lane of the bridge still open while the span was under construction. The officer followed the two vehicles across the bridge until all three vehicles came to a red traffic signal at the foot of the bridge.

The officer observed the driver of the Mercury, later identified as Hemmer, get out of her car and approach the driver of the Dodge, which was in front of her at the light, in an aggressive manner. According to police reports, Hemmer screamed at the driver of the Dodge, who had three young children in the car, and violently kicked the door of the Dodge.

In the meantime, the light had changed to green and other vehicles attempted to pass the two cars involved in the road rage incident. The officer pulled both cars over and later arrested Hemmer, charging her with disorderly conduct and malicious destruction of property. While being taken into custody, Hemmer allegedly screamed she was “going to [expletive deleted] kill the other driver,” and that she “was going to find out where she lived.”

Busted Stealing State’s Gas

BERLIN – A Salisbury woman employed by the Worcester County Health Department was arrested on embezzlement and theft charges last week after a witness observed her filling her privately owned vehicle with gas from the State Highway Administration’s facility in Berlin.

Shortly after 1 p.m. last Wednesday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to SHA’s facility in Berlin for a reported theft of gasoline. A witness told police Tasha Lynette Reed, an employee of the Worcester County Health Department, had been seen filling her privately owned vehicle from the state’s gas pumps.

The investigation revealed Reed had stolen around 12 gallons of gasoline valued at $29.14. She was charged with embezzlement and theft under $100. Reed was taken before a District Court Commissioner who ordered her held on a $5,000 bond.

More Gas Theft

OCEAN PINES – Two Ocean Pines teens were arrested on theft and other charges last week after a Berlin man caught them trying to siphon gas from his vehicle at the Food Lion Shopping Center in the Pines.

Shortly before 2 p.m. last Tuesday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to the shopping center in Ocean Pines to investigate an attempted theft of gasoline from a vehicle. The car’s owner observed two juveniles attempting to siphon gas from his vehicle. The witness was able to provide police with a description of the juveniles’ car and it was located a short time later in Ocean Pines.

The investigation revealed both teens attempted to siphon gas from the victim’s vehicle. As such, both were charged with theft under $100, rogue and vagabond and tampering with a vehicle without the owner’s consent. They were turned over to the Department of Juvenile Services.

Driver Cleared of All Charges

OCEAN CITY – A Baltimore man arrested in June for leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries and other serious charges after allegedly crashing his vehicle into a telephone poll, fleeing the scene to a nearby apartment and coming back a short time later for his unconscious female passenger was found not guilty of all charges last week in District Court.

Shortly after midnight on June 30, OCPD Pfc. Aaron Morgan responded to a reported motor vehicle accident involving injuries on Baltimore Ave. around 5th Street. While en route to the scene, Morgan was advised by other OCPD officers the driver had fled the scene. When he arrived, the officer observed a Mazda passenger car had struck a telephone poll, but the driver was nowhere to be found.

Several witnesses in the area told police the driver had fled the scene and entered a nearby residence. The witnesses also told police the female passenger had been dragged out of the crashed vehicle and into the residence.

Fearing for the safety of those inside, the officers entered the unit through the locked door. Inside they found the alleged driver of the vehicle, identified as Timur Aflitunov, 20, of Baltimore, in a bathroom trying to clean blood from his face. A short time later, police found the female victim in an upstairs bedroom. She had abrasions on her neck and shoulder consistent with those often caused by a seatbelt during a collision. EMS responded and treated the girl for her injuries.

Meanwhile, Morgan went back to the accident scene and observed the vehicle’s windshield had a facial impression in it including the distinguishable marks of a forehead, nose and mouth. The impressions in the windshield were consistent with the injuries sustained by Aflitunov. The officers appeared to have plenty of evidence connecting Aflitunov and the female victim to the accident, but they still did not have a clear picture of what had happened.

Witnesses told police the vehicle began revving its engine at the corner of 5th Street and Baltimore Ave. and accelerated rapidly causing the driver, Aflitunov, to lose control and crash into the utility pole. Other witnesses said after the crash Aflitunov got out and ran into the house on 5th Street. A short time later, Aflitunov and a friend returned to the scene, and Aflitunov allegedly got something out of the trunk while the other man dragged the unconscious female out of the car.

Aflitunov was charged with 11 serious traffic violations including failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving bodily injury. Last week in District Court, however, Aflitunov was cleared of all of the charges.

Big Brawl Suspects In Court

SNOW HILL – Several of the suspects arrested during a large scale melee in the parking lot of a mid-town night club involving several hundred people went to court for trial this week with varied results.

On May 4, 10 people were arrested, four Ocean City police officers were injured and three suspects were transported to an area hospital early last Saturday during a fight involving several hundred people in the parking lot of a mid-town resort nightclub. Shortly after 2 a.m., Ocean City police were called en masse to the parking lot of Seacrets on 49th Street for a large fight in progress. When they arrived on the scene, local law enforcement officers observed several hundred people involved in the large altercation.

More than 23 officers from the OCPD, including three K-9 teams, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and the Maryland State Police were called in to help disburse the crowd. The team of local law enforcement officers was joined in the fray by Seacrets security personnel. During the large incident, an OCPD K-9 handler was assaulted by one of the suspects and a K-9 dog bit one of the combative, resistant suspects.

Four officers received minor injuries during the incident and three suspects were transported by Ocean City EMS to AGH where they were treated for minor injuries and released. When the dust settled, 10 arrests were made for a wide variety of offenses from assault to failure to obey a lawful order and from obstructing and hindering to resisting arrest. A handful of those arrested appeared in Circuit Court in Snow Hill this week for trial, including Tanisha Baine, 25, of Berlin, who pleaded guilty to failure to obey a lawful order and was sentenced to two months in jail, all of which was suspended. Baine was fined $500 and placed on probation for two years.

In addition, Taronn Rounds, 27, of Berlin, pleaded guilty to failure to obey a lawful order and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, all of which was suspended in favor of probation and a $500 fine. Similarly, Glenn White, 21, of Berlin, pleaded to the same charge and was sentenced to 30 days, all of which was suspended, and was fined $100 and placed on probation for six months.

Among those arrested on the most serious charges during the fight was Bruce Planter, 25, of Berlin, who was charged with two counts of second-degree assault on a police officer, malicious destruction of property, possession of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and failure to obey a lawful police order. Planter is scheduled for trial in December.

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