Son Threatens To Burn Down Dad’s House

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BERLIN – A Hebron man was arrested on the threat of arson charges this week after threatening to burn down his father’s Berlin home after a domestic dispute on Sunday.

Around 10 p.m. on Sunday, John Cialkowski IV, 18, of Hebron, reportedly contacted his father, John Cialkowski III, at his residence on Dolly Circle in Berlin by telephone and advised him “he was going to burn his house to the ground,” according to police reports. The threat reportedly came after a domestic dispute over a child custody issue.

Maryland State Police troopers from both the Berlin and Salisbury barracks responded to several locations in Wicomico County and ultimately found the suspect. After he was read his rights, Cialkowski IV gave a voluntary statement confessing the above threat of arson.

He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and ordered held on a $7,500 bond. The threat of arson is a misdemeanor punishable with a sentence up to 10 years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Traffic Stop Nets Drug Bust

BERLIN – A Newark man was arrested on drug possession charges this week after a routine traffic for an equipment violation on Sinepuxent Rd. in Berlin.

Around 1:15 a.m. on Monday, Maryland State Police troopers stopped a 1993 Geo for an equipment violation on Sinepuxent Rd. and Route 376. Upon contact with the driver, later identified as Lanard Lee Hill, 38, of Newark, troopers noticed an odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. Hill was subsequently asked to exit the vehicle at which time troopers conducted a search of his person, which revealed drug paraphernalia containing burnt cocaine residue.

A search of the vehicle turned up no other controlled dangerous substances. Hill was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine and paraphernalia. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and released on his own recognizance.

Four-Vehicle Accident Reported

WEST OCEAN CITY – Two local people were sent to area hospitals last week after an accident involving four vehicles at the intersection of Routes 50 and 611 in West Ocean City.

Shortly before 5:30 p.m. last Wednesday, a 2004 Ford F-150 driven by Richard Allen Hatfield, 35, of Ocean City, allegedly failed to stop at a red light while attempting to make a left turn from Route 50 onto Route 611. The Ford F-150 collided with a 2007 Ford Econoline van driven by Herbert Ewing, 44, of Ocean City, who was proceeding through the intersection in the eastbound lanes of Route 50.

The force of the collision caused the van to collide with a 2006 Chevy Equinox, driven by William Venable, 66, of Bishopville, which was sitting idle at the red light waiting to turn left onto Route 50 from Route 611. The Chevy Equinox was then forced into a 2001 Chevy Suburban driven by Deborah Dashiell, 56, of Ocean City, who was also waiting at the light on Route 611.

As a result, the driver of the van, Ewing, was transported to PRMC in Salisbury with non-life threatening injuries, while the driver of the Equinox, Venable, was transported to AGH in Berlin with non-life threatening injuries. Ocean City EMS transported the injured drivers to their destinations. The driver of the Ford F-150, Hatfield, was charged with failing to remain stopped at a red left-turn arrow.

Cigarette Smugglers Busted

BERLIN – Two New York individuals were arrested on possession of untaxed cigarette charges last weekend after a Maryland State Police trooper pulled their vehicle over for speeding in the south end of Worcester County.

Shortly before 1:30 p.m. last Saturday, a Maryland State Police trooper pulled over a Mitsubishi passenger car with New York tags for speeding along Route 113 near Pocomoke. The vehicle, driven by Monique Waters, 37, of the Bronx, N.Y., was going 62 miles per hours in a 55 mph zone.

While talking to Waters and her passenger, identified as James Lewis, 48, also of the Bronx, the officer noticed several brown bags containing numerous cartons of cigarettes on the back seat. When questioned about the cartons, Lewis told the trooper the pair had bought the cigarettes in Virginia just a few miles back. A search of the vehicle revealed more cartons of cigarettes in the trunk. Altogether, police found 73 cartons of cigarettes in the vehicle.

When asked who purchased the cigarettes, Lewis told police it was Waters. When asked about the cartons of cigarettes, Waters refused to answer any questions about who purchased them and where they were going. Waters was then arrested and charged with possession of untaxed cigarettes.

Meanwhile, a search of Lewis’ wallet turned up nearly $1,400 in cash and a business card, on the back of which was written a shopping list for cartons of cigarettes. Lewis was also arrested and charged with possession of untaxed cigarettes. Both were taken before a court commissioner and ordered held on $15,000 bonds.

Jail Time For Gun In Car

BERLIN – A Berlin man arrested in January for having a handgun in his car a short time after shots were reported fired at a party nearby was found guilty this week on a handgun charge and was sentenced to one year in jail, all of which was suspended but one month.

About an hour after Berlin Police responded to a large fight at the Masonic Lodge on January 17 during which shots were heard, a routine traffic stop yielded a suspect with a loaded handgun in his vehicle. Around 2:15 a.m. on Jan. 17, 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. J

armon was charged with driving on a suspended license and carrying a handgun in a vehicle. On Tuesday, Jarmon appeared in District Court in Snow Hill and was found guilty of carrying a handgun in a vehicle. He was sentenced to one year in jail, with all but one month suspended, and was also fined $300. It is uncertain if the gun has been connected to the alleged incident earlier that night.

90 Days For Swiping Beer

BERLIN – A Berlin man arrested on theft charges in November after attempting to steal a 12-pack of beer from a convenience store before being detained by employees until police arrived pleaded guilty this week in District Court to theft under $100 and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Shortly before 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 18, Berlin Police officers responded to Your Store on Old Ocean City Blvd. for a reported theft in progress. While en route, the officers learned the suspect was in the parking lot area and involved in an altercation with store employees. Upon arrival, the officers identified the suspect as Kenneth Ondra Gaynor, 46, of Berlin. Gaynor was arrested for attempting to steal a 12-pack of beer.

Gaynor this week pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft under $100 and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. He was also fined $200.

Probation For Garage Ruckus

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City woman arrested in December for making a scene in a downtown parking garage where her boyfriend was being arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving pleaded guilty this week to disorderly conduct and was placed on probation and fined.

Around 1:20 a.m. on Dec. 28, an OCPD officer on routine patrol observed a dark-colored Ford truck turn left from Coastal Highway onto 33rd Street, which is a one-way street heading in the opposite direction. The vehicle stopped, and the officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the truck the continued in the wrong direction toward the beach before turning into a motel parking garage.

As the officer approached the vehicle, the driver, later identified as Christopher Eschenberg, 28, of Berlin, opened the door, slid out and started to walk away. The officer ordered Eschenberg to get back in the vehicle and told him he was stopping him for driving the wrong way on a one-way street. The suspect did return to his vehicle, but got out again to retrieve his license from his wallet. When asked why he didn’t stop initially, Eschenberg told police he did not hear the siren, despite the fact it was echoing through the parking garage.

Eschenberg was ultimately arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving after police detected an odor of alcohol on his person and he later failed field sobriety tests. During a search of his vehicle, a small amount of marijuana was found and possession charges were tacked on. The disposition of his cases is unknown.

While the situation with Eschenberg unfolded, his female passenger was getting into trouble of her own. The officer approached the passenger side of the vehicle and asked the female passenger, later identified as Cassie Stuart, 22, of Ocean City, for identification. While the officer was checking Stuart’s license, she allegedly exited the vehicle and began screaming “What the [expletive deleted] are you doing to him? He didn’t do anything wrong. I just want to hold him.”

Stuart was ordered to get back in the vehicle, which she initially refused to do. When she had calmed down, the officers allowed her to remain outside the vehicle while Eschenberg was questioned. She eventually got back in the vehicle, but once Eschenberg was placed under arrest, she got out again and began to yell and scream at the top of her lungs, according to police reports. She allegedly continued her tirade as she attempted to push her way to Eschenberg, who was being taken into custody.

By now, a crowd of 20-30 people had gathered on nearby hotel balconies and they were watching the scene unfold. Stuart continued to yell as she was taken into custody and charged with hindering an arrest and disturbing the peace. According to police reports, someone in the crowd yelled, “It’s about time she shut up. I would have thought she would have been arrested sooner.”

Last week in District Court, Stuart was found guilty of disorderly conduct and was granted probation before judgment. She was placed on unsupervised probation for one year and fined $500.

Bomb Threat Suspect

Pleads Not Guilty

SNOW HILL – A former AGH employee arrested in November for allegedly calling in a bomb threat to the hospital last week pleaded not guilty to the charge in District Court and requested a jury trial in Circuit Court.

On Nov. 11, a Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) detective was called to investigate a bomb threat at AGH. The hospital had received a telephone call from an unknown suspect advising there was a bomb in the hospital and that it was set to explode that night.

As a result of the investigation, Jo Ann Matthias, 46, of Georgetown, Del., was identified as the suspect in the bomb threat case. Matthias had been an employee at the hospital but had recently been terminated. She was arrested two weeks later and charged with making a false statement about a destructive device.

Matthias was initially taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered held on a $10,000 bond, but was later released after posting bail. At a preliminary hearing in District Court last week, Matthias pleaded not guilty and requested a jury trial, forwarding the case to Circuit Court. A trial date has been set for April 7.

Speeding Stop Yields

County Wanted Man

BERLIN – A Millsboro, Del. man wanted in Worcester County on theft charges from an incident in early 2008 was arrested last week after the vehicle he was a passenger in got pulled over for speeding near Berlin.

Around 4:30 a.m. last Thursday, a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy pulled over a car on Route 113 near Berlin for going 69 mph in a 55 mph zone. During the traffic stop, the deputy learned a passenger in the car, identified as Michael Pritchett, 19, of Millsboro, was wanted on an outstanding warrant in Worcester County for failing to appear in District Court on theft charges dating back to June 2008.

Pritchett was taken into custody without incident. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner who ordered him held on a $10,000 bond.

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