Fight Leads to Cop Assault

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OCEAN CITY – A Baltimore woman involved in a fight in downtown Ocean City was arrested for assaulting an officer attempting to help her after she claimed she had been “raped and murdered” earlier that night.

Around 12:40 a.m. on Sunday, an OCPD officer on patrol responded to assist other officers with a fight in the area of 15th Street and the Boardwalk. Upon arrival, the female officer came in contact with a female subject who identified herself verbally as Amanda Merritt. Merritt had been reportedly crying and repeatedly shouted “help me” and told police she was having pains in her stomach as a result of the fight, but the officers on the scene had not been able to get any identification documents from her.

The officer told Merritt she was trying to help her but needed to see some identification so police would know who she was. The officer then touched the exterior of the woman’s pants pockets and determined there was nothing contained in them in the way of identification. The officer then attempted to search the woman’s coat pockets for a wallet or any form of identification, but found nothing.

According to police reports, while the officer was attempting to find some form of identification on Merritt, she continued to yell “help me,” and when the officer went to look in her coat pocket, she screamed “don’t [expletive deleted] hurt me,” and sat up rapidly while swinging her arm at the officer.

The officer backed up and held up her hands with palms facing out in an effort to indicate she was not a threat and merely wanted to help the woman, later officially identified as Amanda Marie Merritt, 22, of Dundalk, but Merritt kicked the officer in the abdomen with her right foot. Merritt was taken into custody and handcuffed, and she continued to scream and cry, saying “you don’t even know. You won’t help me. I was raped and killed tonight and you don’t care.

While the officer was obtaining Merritt’s name and date of birth, she allegedly became angry again and spit a large quantity of saliva and mucus on the officer’s cheek. Merritt was later provided with the necessary medical treatment and discharged from AGH before being taken to the Public Safety Building for processing. She has been charged with two counts of second-degree assault on an officer. Meanwhile, any incidence of rape or sexual assault to which Merritt may have been subjected is currently being investigated by the OCPD.

Five-Month Probe

Nets Two Arrests

OCEAN CITY – Two Delaware men were arrested on drug distribution charges this week after selling cocaine and painkillers to undercover resort narcotics officers during a five-month investigation.

The OCPD narcotics unit this week concluded a five-month investigation with the arrest of Garrison Thomas Duncan, Jr., 25, of Frankford, Del. Duncan was charged with three counts of distribution of CDS after selling powder cocaine and oxycodone pills to an undercover detective on separate occasions starting in August 2008. During the course of the investigation, OCPD detectives learned Duncan also had two outstanding warrants for his arrest through the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department for unrelated CDS charges.

As a result of the investigation, OCPD detectives seized powder cocaine, oxycodone pills, a vehicle and $579 in currency. In addition, another suspect, Kaaron Mumford, 30, of Frankford, was also arrested and charged with possession and conspiracy to distribute CDS in relation to the same investigation.

Both Mumford and Duncan were taken before a District Court Commissioner. Duncan was released on his own recognizance in reference to the Ocean City charges, but was ordered held on the outstanding warrants from Worcester County. Mumford was released after posting a $7,500 bond.

Hammer Used In Assault

NEWARK – A Newark man and a juvenile were both arrested on assault charges following a fight on Monday during which the latter struck the former in the head with a hammer.

Shortly after 2 p.m. on Monday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a residence in Newark in reference to an assault. The investigation revealed a male suspect, identified as Bobby Joe Ingram, 44, of Newark, and a 16-year-old juvenile had been involved in an altercation. According to police reports, Ingram choked the juvenile, who responded by hitting Ingram in the head with a hammer.

Both were taken into custody for assault. During the investigation, troopers also seized trace amounts of CDS and paraphernalia from the residence. Ingram was charged with assault, child abuse and CDS violations and was ordered held on a $10,000 bond. The juvenile was referred to the Department of Juvenile Services for his role in the altercation.

ATM Machine Swiped

WEST OCEAN CITY – Local law enforcement officials this week are looking for the suspect or suspects who broke into a West Ocean City restaurant last weekend and stole an ATM machine containing an undisclosed amount of cash.

Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies last Saturday responded to the Happy Chinese Restaurant on Route 611 in West Ocean City for a reported burglary and theft. The investigation revealed sometime during the overnight or early morning hours on Jan. 10, an unknown suspect or suspects forcibly entered the restaurant and stole an ATM machine containing an undetermined amount of cash.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to call the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation at 410-352-3476, of the Sheriff’s Office at 410-632-1111.

Murder Trial Delay

Could Cost Plea Bargain

SNOW HILL – A Pittsville man accused of murdering an elderly man in his home in Pocomoke last March was successful this week in getting a postponement for his trial on first-degree murder and other charges, but the delay could cost him a chance at a plea bargain that would eliminate a life sentence.

Charles Robert Phillips, 28, of Pittsville, has been charged with first-degree murder and other charges in the stabbing death of William Nibblett, 77, in his Pocomoke home in March. Around 5 p.m. on March 6, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office responded to Nibblett’s home in Pocomoke in reference to a death investigation. Nibblett’s daughters had gone to his home to check on him after not hearing from him that day and found him stabbed to death on the floor in the living room. He was last seen the day before around 4 p.m. After the investigation pointed to Phillips as a suspect, he was arrested and charged with the murder.

In December, prosecutors filed notice they would seek a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for Phillips when he came to trial scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. However, some time between the filing of that notice and the trial date this week, a plea arrangement was tentatively reached in which Phillips would plead guilty to first-degree murder, but the possibility of life without parole would be taken off the table.

On Tuesday, however, Phillips appeared for trial and asked for a postponement, citing the need to retain private counsel. Prosecutors told the judge and the defendant if a postponement was granted, the plea bargain including the guilty plea to first-degree murder and the withdraw of the notice to seek life imprisonment without parole would taken off the table. Phillips agreed to the stipulation and the trial, set in for two days this week, was postponed.

Stet Docket For Attempted Murder

SNOW HILL – A Berlin woman arrested on attempted murder charges in June after allegedly stabbing a man with whom she had an on-again, off-again relationship had the charges against her placed on the stet, or inactive, docket last week in Circuit Court.

April Jackson, 28, of Berlin, appeared in Circuit Court last Thursday to face several serious charges including attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment after being arrested following in incident in June. Jackson had the charges against her placed on the stet, or inactive, docket.

Around 11:30 p.m. on June 2, Berlin Police responded to a residence on Bay Street for a reported stabbing incident. The initial investigation revealed there had been a dispute between April Jackson, 27, of Berlin, and Raymond Raheim Johnson, 20, also of Berlin, during which Jackson used a knife to stab Johnson in the upper left shoulder.

According to police reports, the stab wound to Johnson’s shoulder was deep enough into his torso that it penetrated and punctured his left lung. Two witnesses in the area transported Johnson first to nearby Atlantic General Hospital and he was later flown to PRMC in Salisbury after the puncture wound caused his lung to collapse. His condition is not known.

Both the victim and the two witnesses identified Jackson as the suspect who used a knife to stab Johnson during the altercation. Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) Detectives arriving on the scene observed a large amount of blood on the to apartment B-6 at Bay Street as well as a trail of blood drops leading to the parking lot area, however, Jackson had fled the scene.

A warrant was sworn out for her arrest and she was taken into custody early the next morning by the Berlin Police Department. Jackson has been charged with attempted second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

‘Nazi’ Pleads Guilty

SNOW HILL – A Cambridge man who abandoned his vehicle in the middle of Coastal Highway in July and later told police he was a Nazi and threatened to killed them when he was released pleaded guilty this week to driving under the influence of alcohol and was sentenced to a year in jail with all but 45 days suspended.

The bizarre story unfolded shortly after 3 a.m. on July 26 when an Ocean City police officer on traffic patrol spotted a shirtless man running from a vehicle left abandoned in the middle of the turn lane on Coastal Highway at 62nd Street. The vehicle was sitting stationary in the turn lane on a green turn signal with other cars backed up behind it. Three witnesses on the sidewalk pointed the officer in the direction of the suspect, later identified as Nelson M. Hoover, 47, of East New Market, Md.

The officer turned around and observed Hoover now on Route 90 climbing over the concrete divider between the east and westbound lanes. By now, Hoover had entered the marsh on the south side of the bridge. Police learned the vehicle may have been involved in a hit-and-run accident earlier and a perimeter was set up around the marsh area where Hoover was hiding.

Hoover refused to exit the marsh area and several officers were forced to go in and attempt to remove him. The officers were eventually able to remove Hoover from the marsh with the help of a K-9 unit. The initial officer made contact with Hoover, who appeared and smelled as if he was intoxicated. He allegedly admitted he had been drinking and that he couldn’t safely drive back to Cambridge and he was taken into custody.

The investigation revealed Hoover had a suspended and revoked driver’s license from Delaware. At that point, Hoover began to get violent, according to police reports, and told one of the officers he would punch him in the throat if he took the handcuffs off him. Hoover allegedly told the officers he was a member of an outlaw biker gang and asked them, “you ever put a bullet in a man? I have.”

Hoover then told police he was a Nazi and he has the power. He also said if they took the handcuffs off of him, he would show them who had the power, according to police reports.

According to police reports, Hoover told the booking officer he was going to remember his face and when he got out of jail, he was going to cut the officer’s throat. Hoover then told all of the officers in the area he was going to cut their throats when he got out, and stared at their faces and the nametags to remember them. Finally, Hoover had to be forcibly put into a cell.

Later, OCPD officers learned the vehicle Hoover had abandoned in the middle of Coastal Highway had been reported stolen from Cambridge and police there requested OCPD charge him with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in addition to the charges resort police had compiled against him.

This week, Hoover pleaded guilty to DUI and the other charges against him were not prosecuted. He was sentenced to one year in jail with all but 45 days suspended, which he will begin serving tonight at 5 p.m.

Boardwalk Burglary

Suspects In Court

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man arrested in July for his role in a Boardwalk burglary pleaded guilty this week in Circuit Court to felony theft over $500 and was sentenced to the 176 days he has already served in jail awaiting trial.

On July 7, OCPD officers responded to Boardwalk Joe’s for a reported burglary. Officers observed forced entry through a window to the kitchen and reported a stolen safe, containing $400, four tickets to an Orioles baseball game, a deposit bag and various other items.

The owner of the establishment informed police Gregory Robertson, 18, of Ocean City, a former disgruntled employee, was likely involved in the theft. A citizen later that day found a deposit bag in West Ocean City and returned the bag to Taylor Bank, where it was identified as the bag stolen from Boardwalk Joe’s. The bag was found in front of Robertson’s residence.

Robertson was eventually brought in for questioning, at which point he told detectives that he and another man, later identified as Richard L. Huffman, discussed breaking in to Boardwalk Joe’s. Robertson reportedly told detectives he stood as a lookout for Huffman while he entered the establishment through the window.

Robertson appeared in Circuit Court this week and pleaded guilty to theft over $500. He was sentenced to the 176 days he has already served. Meanwhile, Huffman has not gone to trial yet for his role in the July 7 break-in, but he did appear in Circuit Court last week to face similar charges from an incident two days later on July 9.

Back on July 9, OCPD officers responded to a report of an unsecured door at the 9th Street Market a short distance from the Boardwalk. The investigation revealed the business had been burglarized. Two days into the investigation, police were able to identify two suspects, Huffman and Jermaine Hill, 22, of Berlin.

Both were arrested and charged with second-degree burglary, theft under $300, and malicious destruction of property. Hill and Huffman both have extensive records of theft, burglary and other charges in the resort area. During the investigation, police were able to recover about $260 of the $400 stolen during the burglary as well as some unique property belonging to the victim.

Last week, Huffman pleaded guilty to theft and was sentenced to three months in jail. He was also ordered by pay a combined $650 in restitution to the victims. In December, Hill pleaded guilty to theft and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, all of which was suspended in favor of probation.

Two Days For Cop Assault

OCEAN CITY – A Canadian woman arrested on several counts of assaulting a police officer in July after going on an expletive-filled rampage during which she hit one officer, kicked another and spit on at least two more was found guilty last week on one count of second-degree assault and was sentenced to two days in jail, which she promptly served.

Kara Elizabeth Pratt, 19, of Ontario, Canada, appeared in Circuit Court last week to face several charges from an incident in July during which she assaulted several resort police officers. Pratt entered an Alford Plea to one count of second-degree assault and was sentence to two days in jail, which she served starting the same day. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not plead guilty, but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to prosecute the case.

Shortly before 8:30 p.m. on July 12, OCPD officers responded to a fight in progress in the 5th Street area. Upon arrival, an OCPD officer noticed a woman, later identified as Kara Elizabeth Pratt, 19, of Ontario, Canada, walking in a distressed state away from the fight. The officer stopped Pratt and told her to sit on the curb while he sorted out what had happened, but she pushed her way past and told the officer to “get the [expletive deleted] out of my way, I need to go find my boyfriend,” according to police reports.

When the officer told Pratt again to sit down on the curb, she struck him in the chest with a sandal she was carrying and then hit him several times with both hands. With the assistance of another officer, the initial officer got Pratt on the ground and restrained her, but she kicked another officer in the leg while on the ground.

Pratt was taken into custody and charged with second-degree assault, but she continued to resist arrest and fought with officers, saying at one point, “[expletive deleted] you and your horse.” She continued to flail out of control at the officers even after being placed in a violent person restraint device. While being carried to a transport wagon, Pratt allegedly spit on two other OCPD officers. Meanwhile, a crowd of about 50 people witnessed the altercation from their nearby porches and lawns.

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