Pines Man Arrested On Assault, Drug Charges

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OCEAN PINES – An Ocean Pines man was arrested last week on assault and drug charges following a domestic dispute in the north end of the community.

Last Monday, Ocean Pines Police responded to a reported domestic dispute at a north Ocean Pines residence. As a result of the investigation, Ocean Pines Police arrested Peter Paul Demarie, 29, of Ocean Pines, and charged him with first-degree assault and possession of marijuana and other CDS, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. Demarie was taken before a District Court Commissioner and ordered held on a $35,000 bond.

Six Years For PCP Possession

SNOW HILL – A Brooklyn, Md. man arrested in May and charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute PCP and marijuana this week pleaded guilty to possession of PCP and was sentenced to six years in jail.

Shortly before midnight on May 27, Maryland State Troopers assigned to the Shore Criminal Observation Uniform Team (SCOUT) observed a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of Raceway Citgo in Berlin after normal business hours. The SCOUT officers questioned the lone occupant of the vehicle, later identified as Charles Frederick Keyser, 35.

According to police reports, Keyser’s speech was slow and slurred and his response to questions was delayed. While speaking with Keyser, troopers observed an amber-colored glass vile in the driver’s side door panel. When asked what was in the vile, Keyser responded it was cologne. However, when the officers opened the vile, they detected the distinct odor of phencyclidine, or PCP.

A further investigation of the vehicle turned up five additional glass bottles containing PCP. Keyser was arrested and charged with possession of CDS, possession of CDS with intent to distribute and possession of PCP with intent to distribute. This week, Keyser pleaded guilty to the PCP possession charge and was sentenced to six years in jail.

Stet Docket For Beating

SNOW HILL – The third of three teens arrested in June after striking and robbing a man on the Boardwalk had the charges against him placed on the stet, or inactive, docket in Circuit Court this week.

Around 1 a.m. on June 13, OCPD officers responded to a reported robbery in progress on the Boardwalk around 23rd Street. The officers arrived to find the victim chasing three suspects. The officers gave chase on foot and eventually caught the three suspects and took them into custody.

The victim told police he was walking on the Boardwalk when one of the suspects approached him and asked if he wanted to buy drugs. The victim refused and walked away, but moments later, he was struck from behind and the three men grabbed his wallet and ran. OCPD officers caught the three suspects, identified as Duncan Spence, 18, of Annapolis; Jamar Patterson, 18, of Arnold; and Mitchell Matheson, 18, of Cordova.

Each of the suspects was been charged with robbery, second-degree assault and misdemeanor theft. Matheson was also charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon after police found a butterfly knife in his pants pocket. This week in Circuit Court, Patterson had the charges against him placed on the stet docket. Late last year, Spence pleaded guilty to theft and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, while Matheson pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed deadly weapon and was fined $500 and placed on probation for two years.

Charges Dropped In Robbery

SNOW HILL – A Gaithersburg man arrested in June and charged with assault for his role in a brutal attack of another man on the Boardwalk had the charges against him dropped this week in Circuit Court.

Shortly before midnight on June 10, Ocean City police officers were called to 22nd Street and the Boardwalk to meet with a robbery victim. The victim told officers he was walking along the Boardwalk when he was approached by four males. One of the men stuck the victim in the head, knocking him to the ground. Another man demanded money. The victim surrendered his cash and one of the men stole his baseball cap as well, police said.

Two of the suspects were located and arrested a short time later at 24th Street and Baltimore Avenue. They were still in possession of the victim’s hat and money. Police arrested Brandon Fairchild, 19, of Gaithersburg, and Clifton Budd, 18, of Silver Spring. Fairchild was charged with robbery and misdemeanor theft. Budd was charged with robbery and second-degree assault.

This week, Fairchild had the charges against him dropped following a hearing in Circuit Court. In December, Budd pleaded guilty to second-degree assault for his role in the attack and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $500.

Pot Dealer Guilty

SNOW HILL – One of two men arrested in July and charged with numerous offenses after police observed him involved in a drug deal that began on the Boardwalk and consummated under a parking garage at a downtown condominium pleaded guilty this week to possession with intent to distribute marijuana and was sentenced to a year in jail, all of which was suspended but the time he already served in jail.

Ironically around 4:20 p.m. on July 22, an OCPD officer on foot patrol in the downtown area observed two men, later identified as Caleb R. Dixon, 22, of Crownsville, Md., and Jason Paul Mallory, 21, of Odenton, Md., approach two men sitting on a bench near Surf Ave. After a brief conversation, one of the men on the bench followed Mallory to the center of the Boardwalk where Mallory displayed something in his hand and quickly put it back in his pocket.

The group then left the Boardwalk and went under a parking garage in the area of Surf Ave. When they emerged, one of the men was observed counting money. OCPD officers responded to the scene of the apparent drug deal and Mallory and Dixon began to walk away quickly.

Dixon was detained and a search of his person revealed a small baggie of marijuana. Mallory, meanwhile, was sitting on the curb while police talked to Dixon and he suddenly stood up and made a dash for it. The officers chased Mallory and eventually caught him, tackling him to the ground, but Mallory refused to go quietly and fought with the officers. At one point, he made a motion to grab for one of the officers’ belt in the area of his weapon.

Fearing Mallory may be armed, or was attempting to grab a weapon from the officer, officers physically wrestled him to the ground and were eventually able to subdue him after a violent struggle. Mallory at one point reached inside his shorts and a large Baggie with 23 individually wrapped Baggies of marijuana fell out.

Mallory was charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, resisting arrest, second-degree assault on an officer and making a false statement to an officer. Dixon was charged with possession of marijuana, paraphernalia and possession with intent to distribute. 

This week in Circuit Court, Dixon pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana and was sentenced to a year in jail, all of which was suspended but the 98 days he already served while awaiting trial. He was also fined $500 and placed on probation for two years. In December, Mallory pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute and received a similar sentence, with a year in jail suspended but the time he served awaiting trial.

Shed Fire In Pines

OCEAN PINES – Hot ashes from a woodstove are being blamed this week for a shed fire last week in Ocean Pines.

Shortly before 8 p.m. on Jan. 24, the Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department was alerted to an outside fire in the north section of the community. Units were upgraded while responding when it was reported the outside fire had extended to a shed. At that time, the Showell Volunteer Fire Department was added to the call.

Arriving units reported a roughly 8-foot by 10-foot shed well involved. The fire was quickly brought under control and no injuries were reported. The owners of the property were not at home when the fire started, but arrived home during suppression operations. An investigation revealed the fire was caused by the dumping of hot ashes from a wood stove in close proximity to the shed. The cause of the fire is listed as accidental.

Fake Security Guard Sought

SNOW HILL – A Snow Hill man arrested in June in Ocean City after he entered a hotel room claiming to be a security guard and was later found to be in possession of crack cocaine had a warrant sworn out for him this week along with an order to hold without bond after failing to appear for trial in Worcester County Circuit Court.

In the early morning hours on June 23, OCPD officers responded to the Seabonnay Motel on 27th Street for a reported burglary of a motel room. Upon arrival, police interviewed a witness who told them a man claiming to be a hotel security guard awakened her while she was sleeping and claimed to be a security guard.

When the victim questioned the suspect, later identified as Robert Louis Costen III, 27, of Snow Hill, he left the room and fled from the motel. The victim contacted the motel management who assured her Costen did not work for the motel. A description of Costen, who was wearing a white tank-top and jeans at the time of the incident, was broadcast and he was picked up a short time later sitting in a car near 12th Street and Wilmington Lane.

Costen was positively identified as the man who entered the room at the Seabonnay and he was taken into custody. At the time of his initial contact with police, Costen gave a fake name, but his driver’s license was recovered during a search, as was an amount of crack cocaine in sufficient quantity to indicate intent to distribute.

Costen was charged with first-, third- and fourth-degree burglary as well as associated felony and misdemeanor drug charges and theft. After several postponements, Costen was scheduled to appear in Circuit Court on Wednesday for trial, but failed to appear when called at the door. His bond was revoked and a warrant was sworn out for his arrest along with an order to hold with bail.

Fire Spreads To Residence

SNOW HILL – The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office this week reported a bicycle that was intentionally set on fire in Snow Hill spread to a residence.

Around 6 p.m. on Jan. 25, the Snow Hill Police Department contacted the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office to assist with the investigation of an outside fire at a residence on Covington Street. Upon arrival, fire investigators determined a bicycle was intentionally set on fire in the area of the front tire and fender, which was leaning up against a dwelling. The fire caused damage to the bicycle before being extinguished by the occupant of the home. Snow Hill Police handled the criminal aspects of the case, while the Fire Marshal’s Office handled the cause and origin investigation.

Probation, Fine For Assault

SNOW HILL – A Berlin man arrested in December and charged with assault following a domestic incident in Ocean Pines this week pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was placed on probation and fined.

On Dec. 21, Ocean Pines police responded to a reported domestic incident in the community and later charged Benjamin Coleman-Rammer, 24, of Berlin, with second-degree assault. This week in District Court, Coleman-Rammer pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was placed on probation for one year and fined $500.

Charges Against Boater Dropped

OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania man arrested in October for allegedly operating a vessel under the influence after Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) discovered his boat had run aground had the charges against him dropped last week in District Court.

Around 7:15 p.m. on Oct. 11, NRP officers responded to an area in the Isle of Wight Bay after getting a report about a vessel that had run aground. Once in the area, the officers made contact with the boat’s operator, identified as William J. Connolly, 58, of Schwenksville, Pa., and after brief investigation determined Connolly was operating the vessel under the influence.

Connolly was transported to the Maryland State Police Barrack in Berlin where he was charged with operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol, operating a vessel while impaired and negligent operation of a vessel. This week in District Court, however, the charges against Connolly were nolle prossed, or not prosecuted.

Warrant Issued For No-Show

SNOW HILL – A Snow Hill man arrested in September along with his juvenile girlfriend for causing a disturbance while riding bicycles failed to answer the call at the door for his trial in Circuit Court this week and had a warrant sworn out for his arrest with a $20,000 bond attached.

Around 5 p.m. on Sept. 24, Maryland State Police troopers assigned to the Shore Criminal Observation Uniform Team (SCOUT) stopped two people on bicycles on Market Street in Snow Hill for traffic violations. Background checks on the suspects revealed one of them, Kenneth Foreman, 18, of Snow Hill, was wanted by the Somerset County Circuit Court and he was taken into custody. Foreman was charged in Worcester with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failure to obey a lawful order.

Meanwhile, Foreman’s 15-year-old girlfriend began screaming profanities and refused to obey police orders to stay away from the prisoner. The girl was ultimately arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a lawful order and hindering before being released to the custody of her mother. Foreman was scheduled to appear in Circuit Court in Worcester for trial on Wednesday but did not show up. A warrant was sworn out for his arrest with a $20,000 bond attached. The disposition of the juvenile’s case is not known.

Pines Burglar Headed To Circuit

SNOW HILL – An Ocean Pines teenager arrested last month on 11 charges after police were able to connect him to a string of burglaries in the community dating back to last November had a preliminary hearing in District Court last week which resulted in his case being forwarded to Circuit Court.

Ocean Pines Police this month arrested Mark Anthony Scaniffe, 17, of Ocean Pines, after connecting him to four burglaries, which occurred in the south section of the community in November. Scaniffe has been charged with four counts of first-degree burglary, three counts of theft over $500, one count of theft under $500, two counts of malicious destruction of property and one count of theft scheme over $500.

Because of the severity of the charges, Scaniffe has been charged as an adult. Following a preliminary hearing last week, Scaniffe’s case was forwarded to Circuit Court.

Alert Siren Test Tomorrow

SNOW HILL – Tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 7, residents across Worcester will again be hearing the emergency alert signals from their local fire sirens as county emergency services test an additional means to warn communities about imminent danger and the need to tune into radio, television or the Internet for information in the event of an emergency.

The sirens are tested the first Saturday of each month. Residents and visitors in the area will hear a steady alert tone beginning at 10 a.m. and lasting for about one minute. Since the end of the Cold War, the most serious threats to Worcester County and the Eastern Shore have been weather related, but the emergency alert sirens have gone largely unused.

However, emergency alert sirens such as the ones being tested tomorrow continue to be deployed in other areas of the country prone to tornados and other natural disasters. The re-institution of the emergency alert system in Worcester is viewed as another means by which county officials can warn residents and visitors of pending emergencies.

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