Shots Fired In Berlin

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BERLIN – About an hour after Berlin Police responded to a large fight at the Masonic Lodge during which shots were heard early last Saturday morning, a routine traffic stop yielded a suspect with a loaded handgun in his vehicle.

Around 2:15 a.m. last Saturday, Berlin Police stopped a 1995 Cadillac at the intersection of Main and West Streets in Berlin. After contacting the driver, later identified as Laslo Michael Lee Jarmon, 22, of Berlin, police learned the suspect and his two passengers were coming from the Masonic Lodge on Trappe Rd. About an hour earlier, officers from the Berlin Police Department, the Maryland State Police and the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office had responded to the Masonic Lodge for reports of a large fight.

While on the scene at Trappe Rd., police reported hearing several gunshots in close proximity to their location, but because of the large number of people in the area, they were unable to locate any suspects, according to police reports. Police stopped Jarmon and his passengers on Main Street at West Street. A background check revealed Jarmon was driving on a suspended license and he was taken into custody.

The officers were conducting a search of Jarmon’s person when they observed the front seat passenger making furtive movements. A search of the vehicle revealed a loaded handgun in the center console. The investigation revealed the handgun belonged to Jarmon and both passengers were released. Jarmon was charged with driving on a suspended license and carrying a handgun in a vehicle. He was taken before a court commissioner who ordered him held on a $3,500 bond. It is uncertain if the gun has been connected to the alleged incident earlier that night.

Traffic Stop Nets Drug Busts

BERLIN – Two Berlin men were arrested on various drug possession charges last weekend after a routine traffic stop.

Around 11:30 p.m. last Friday, a Maryland State Police trooper pulled over a 2002 Pontiac for a traffic violation on Germantown Rd. near Trappe Rd. in Berlin. When the trooper approached the vehicle, he smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from the driver, later identified as Matthew Kee, 35, of Berlin. When Kee was asked to step out of the vehicle to perform field sobriety tests, a standard pat down for potential weapons revealed a bag of powder cocaine on Kee’s person. During the subsequent investigation, it was also learned there was a bench warrant on Kee for failing to appear in court for a previous drug arrest.

The passenger of the vehicle, identified as Austin Purnell, 20, of Berlin, was ordered out of the car so it could be searched. Upon exiting the vehicle, Purnell allegedly threw a bag of marijuana on the ground. Purnell was also arrested on possession charges. A search of the vehicle and the suspects revealed additional controlled dangerous substances and prescription drugs. Both Kee and Purnell were taken before a District Court Commissioner and each was ordered held on a $3,000 bond.

Ruckus At Convenience Store

OCEAN CITY – A Willards woman was arrested on assault and disorderly conduct charges last weekend after allegedly raising a ruckus at a north end Ocean City convenience store after being involved in a fight.

Around 2:46 a.m. last Saturday, an OCPD officer responded to a reported fight in progress at the Wawa store on 120th Street. Upon arrival, the officer discovered no fight in progress, but did come into contact with one of the altercation’s alleged combatants, later identified as Jodi Zlotorzynski, 27, of Willards. While the officer was talking with the suspect, she began yelling and cursing at the other party involved in the fight, screaming “shut the [expletive deleted] up,” and “what the [expletvie deleted] are you laughing at.”

She allegedly continued her profanity-laced tirade as customers entered and left the store, many of whom had looks of disgust on their faces, according to police reports. The officers on scene told Zlotorzynski to stop yelling and told her to sit in her car while they sorted out what had happened. When she refused to comply with the officers’ demands and continued her yelling and screaming, Zlotorzynski was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct.

Meanwhile, the investigation revealed what had happened prior to the officers’ arrival. Apparently, the altercation began inside the store when words were exchanged between two customers and pushing and shoving ensued inside the store. The two people involved in the altercation went outside, at which point Zlotorzynski got out of her vehicle and got involved. According to reports, she punched one of the persons involved in the argument in the face.

Zlotoryznski later admitted punching the victim in the face and told police she would have done it again if they hadn’t arrived when they did. The victim had a small cut on his lip and stated he had been punched by Zlotoryznski. Based on the evidence, she was also charged with second-degree assault.

Chase Ends In Major Drug Arrest

BERLIN – A Berlin man was arrested on drug distribution charges and numerous traffic offenses this week after leading Maryland State Police troopers on an extensive chase that ended with the suspect fleeing on foot through a cornfield.

Shortly after 4 p.m. on Tuesday, an MSP trooper stopped a vehicle on Route 50 at Dale Rd. in Whaleyville for a traffic violation. Upon contact with the driver, later identified as Jerrell Lamont Harmon, 24, of Berlin, the officer noticed a hand-rolled marijuana cigarette in the center console of the vehicle. A back-up trooper arrived on the scene and attempt to take Harmon into custody was made, but Harmon took off in his vehicle and turned on Dale Rd. with the MSP troopers in pursuit.

As Harmon continued in his vehicle down Dale Rd., he failed to stop for a school bus with red flashing lights that was discharging school children. Harmon continued down Dale Rd. until it came to an end, at which point he continued on in his vehicle into a cornfield. Harmon eventually abandoned his vehicle in the field and continued on foot with troopers chasing him.

At one point, the officers saw him allegedly throw a gallon-size clear plastic bag full of marijuana into the woods nearby. Harmon was eventually taken into custody without further incident. A search turned up over 440 grams of marijuana and 2.1 grams of crack cocaine. Harmon was charged with possession of crack cocaine and marijuana and possession with intent to distribute CDS along with numerous traffic violations. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and ordered held on a $5,000 bond.

Avoids Deer, Not Pond

POCOMOKE – A motorist traveling on Route 113 just north of Pocomoke last weekend swerved to avoid a deer but ended up crashing through the icy surface of a pond.

Around 1:47 a.m. last Saturday, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies along with the Pocomoke Fire Company and Pocomoke EMS responded to a single-vehicle accident on Route 113 just north of its intersection with Route 13. The investigation revealed a 2003 GMC Envoy swerved to avoid hitting a deer in the roadway, drove off the road and over a guardrail before ending up in Pilchard’s Pond.

The vehicle crashed through the surface of the pond, which was covered with ice about two inches thick, and became completely submerged. The occupants of the vehicle escaped with minor injuries although the driver was transported to PRMC in Salisbury with minor injuries. There are no charges pending in the accident.

Why Show Drawings?

OCEAN CITY – A West Virginia man was arrested on drug charges last week when he offered to show his drawings to the police officer who had just cleared him of suspicion of driving under the influence.

Around 2:45 a.m. last Thursday, an OCPD officer on unmarked vehicle patrol observed a car with its rear tag light not illuminated. The officer pulled over the vehicle, driven by Joshua Gregory Riffle, 26, of Fairmount, W.Va., and informed him of the reason for the stop. While he was asking for the driver’s license and registration, the officer detected an odor of alcohol coming from Riffle and asked him to step out of the vehicle.

The officer then had Riffle perform a series of field sobriety tests, which the suspect completed to the officer’s satisfaction, and he instructed Riffle to have a seat in his vehicle. While Riffle was in the vehicle, he asked the officer if he would like to see some of his drawings, to which the officer responded it didn’t matter to him. Riffle then took a drawing from the passenger seat of his vehicle and began describing it to the officer.

Meanwhile, another officer had arrived to assist and was looking in the passenger window during the drawing display and noticed a bag of suspected marijuana on the floor of the vehicle in plain view from the outside of the car. The second officer informed the original officer about the pot, and Riffle was asked to step out of the vehicle and was taken into custody.

A search of the vehicle turned up another bag of marijuana in the center console of the vehicle and a glass smoking device in the ashtray. Riffle was arrested and taken to the Public Safety Building for processing, during which another bag of pot was found in the front pocket of his sweatshirt.

Around 4:37 a.m., the officer was dispatched to police headquarters for a report of a fire alarm. When the officer arrived on the scene, he was informed the sprinkler head in the man’s cell had been damaged and water was coming from where the sprinkler head should have been. It was later discovered Riffle had broken the sprinkler in his cell, which had triggered the fire alarm.

The Ocean City Fire Department had to respond to police headquarters to contain the damage Riffle had caused. The damage to the sprinkler head is estimated at around $200 and malicious destruction of property charges were tacked on to Riffle’s marijuana and paraphernalia possession charges.

Stranded Boater Charged

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man earlier this month was charged with negligent operation of a vessel after Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) found him wading in waist-deep, icy water not far from his boat stuck on a sandbar.

On Jan. 5, NRP officers responded to an area in the Isle of Wight Bay near 7th Street for a report of a possible stranded boater. NRP officers observed a single white light coming from a vessel that had run aground on a sandbar well outside the marked navigation channel. The officer then directed the spotlight from his patrol boat in the direction of the stranded vessel and observed a man, later identified as David H. Thomas III, 45, of Ocean City, wading in waist-deep water about 50 yards east of his boat.

According to NRP reports, Thomas was carrying a life preserver used for a pet dog and was walking in the direction of the deep water channel off the 4th Street bulkhead. NRP transported Thomas to the U.S. Coast Guard Station where he was met by Ocean City paramedics, who transported him to Atlantic General Hospital for observation.

NRP has charged Thomas with negligent operation of a vessel. A tentative court date is set for Feb. 20 in District Court.

Jail Time For Fleeing Police

OCEAN CITY – A Powellville man arrested in May on an open warrant following a brief foot chase by resort police after which he was found hiding under a bathroom sink pleaded guilty this week to eluding police and was sentenced to six months in jail.

In May, an OCPD officer on routine patrol in an unmarked car around 4th Street observed a Chevy Cavalier with a man behind the wheel he knew as Edward J. Zisk, 40, of Powellville. The officer knew Zisk was wanted on outstanding warrants and also knew that his license was suspended and revoked.

The officer tailed Zisk around the block before pulling in front of his vehicle and activating the emergency lights. Zisk then fled on foot between two houses. The officer drove around the block in an attempt to head off Zisk, but did not see the suspect. The officer than called for back-up for the search and additional officers arrived including a K-9 unit.

The initial officer contacted the property manager for the nearby apartments and gained permission to search the vacant units. The officers were able to find Zisk in one of the units hiding under a bathroom vanity. He was taken into custody without further incident and was held on the bench warrant. He was also charged with attempting to flee and elude police as well as traffic violations related to his suspended and revoked driver’s license.

 This week in Circuit Court, Zisk pleaded guilty to eluding police and was sentenced to six months in jail. He was given credit for the 145 days he already served while awaiting trial.

Suspended Sentence For Pot

SNOW HILL – A Glen Burnie man arrested in May when resort police seized a large amount of marijuana from his Boardwalk motel room pleaded guilty last week in Circuit Court and was sentenced to 45 days in jail, all of which was suspended but the two days he already served.

Around 10:30 p.m. on May 25, Ocean City police responded to the Majestic Hotel after receiving complaints about the strong odor of marijuana coming from, ironically, Room 420. Officers approached the room, also smelling the odor of burnt or burning marijuana and knocked on the door. The occupants of the room, identified as Sean Michael Locklear, 20, of Curtis Bay, and Gary Herget, 19, of Glen Burnie, were asked about the marijuana, to which they replied, “We smoked it all.” The pair then gave the officers the go ahead to search the room.

A search of the hotel room revealed two large bags of marijuana, along with seven individually wrapped small bags of marijuana, a digital scale, 183 empty plastic bags similar to the ones containing marijuana and a pre-paid cell phone. Roughly 83 of the bags had the image of an eight-ball displayed on them. Thirteen more bags containing marijuana were found when the officers placed the pair under arrest, five of which were branded with a black scorpion design.

A search of Locklear’s vehicle revealed nine more bags of marijuana, as well as boxes containing over 200 empty plastic bags in the center console. Both were charged with possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute and possession of paraphernalia.

In Circuit Court last week, Herget pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and was sentenced to 45 days with all but the two he already served suspended. He was also fined $500 and placed on probation for two years. Locklear received the same sentence at his trial late last year.

Stet Docket For Beating

SNOW HILL – A Boyds, Md. man arrested in June on assault charges after allegedly attacking another man on the Boardwalk and kicking him in the head several times while he was down had the charges against him placed on the stet, or inactive, docket last week.

In June, OCPD officers responded to a reported fight on the Boardwalk near 1st Street. When they arrived, the officers found a victim unconscious and lying on the Boardwalk. Several witnesses called out a description of the assailant, later identified as Arthur Melikyan, 32, of Boyds, Md., and that he had taken his shirt off and was hiding at Paul Revere’s Smorgasbord. The officers went to Paul Revere’s and found Melikyan hiding there with no shirt on and out of breath.

The officers spoke with several witnesses who said the victim and Melikyan were engaged in an argument that escalated into a fistfight. At some point, an unidentified third man entered the fight and grabbed the victim in a headlock and punched him several times, knocking him to the ground. The witnesses said once the victim was on the ground, Melikyan came over and kicked him in the head repeatedly until someone yelled the police are coming, at which time he fled.

All of the witnesses identified Melikyan as the man who kicked the victim in the head while he was unconscious. According to police reports, the victim was unconscious for over five minutes. Police tried to interview the victim before he was taken to the hospital, but he had no recollection of the assault. Melikyan was charged with first- and second-degree assault. Last week in Circuit Court, Melikyan had the charges against him placed on the stet doc

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