Two Arrested After Convenience Store Fracas

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WEST OCEAN CITY – Two local men were arrested on assault and disorderly conduct charges after a melee involving dozens at a West Ocean City convenience store early Monday morning.

Around 2:15 a.m. on Monday, Maryland State Police troopers and Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Wawa on Route 50 in West Ocean City for a reported disorderly crowd of an estimated 75 people. While attempting to clear the crowd, troopers observed two men, later identified as Keith Aaron Walker, 19, of Selbyville, and Jordan Jamar Criner, 22, of Berlin, fighting in the parking lot.

Walker and Criner were arrested and each was charged with second-degree assault, disorderly conduct and affray. Meanwhile, the crowd remained disorderly and additional manpower was requested from the Ocean City Police Department including the mounted unit. OCPD mounted officers gained a reputation for dispersing crowds after a handful of similar events in the resort this summer.

After about 20 minutes, the combined forces of the MSP troopers, sheriff’s deputies and OCPD units were able to disperse the unruly crowd. Walker and Criner were processed at the MSP barrack in Berlin before being taken to a District Court Commissioner, who released both on their own recognizance pending trial.

Bridal Shower Invitations Swiped

WEST OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man was arrested on theft and drug possession charges this week after police found him in possession of items stolen from vehicles at a West Ocean City trailer park.

Around 4:20 on Sunday, Maryland State Police troopers and Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Delmarva Trailer Park on Golf Course Rd. for a reported suspicious individual seen looking into vehicles. Upon arrival, MSP troopers located a man, later identified as Robert Michael Leach, Jr., 38, of Ocean City, exiting the trailer park and stopped him for questioning.

A routine computer check revealed Leach was wanted on an outstanding bench warrant for violation of probation. Leach was taken into custody for the VOP warrant, and a search incident to the arrest revealed a metallic smoking device with marijuana residue as well as a small plastic bag of marijuana.

In addition, a large amount of coins were found on Leach’s person, which he admitted stealing from a vehicle in the trailer park. He also was found in possession of invitations to a bridal shower with the victim’s return address on them. Leach was charged with theft, trespassing, rogue and vagabond, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and ordered held on a $5,000 bond.

Adult, Children Injured In Crash

SNOW HILL – An adult and two young children were seriously injured this week when their vehicle left the roadway on Whitesburg Rd. in Snow Hill and entered the woods before striking a tree.

Around 7:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a single vehicle accident on Whitesburg Rd. just south of Oak Hill Rd. in Snow Hill. The investigation revealed a 2001 Toyota Sienna driven by Uyen Buu veered across the northbound lanes, left the roadway and entered the woods on the left side and hit a tree. According to police reports, Buu was driving too fast for the conditions and lost control of the vehicle.

Buu was transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Two passengers in the vehicle, a five-year-old juvenile and a six-year-old juvenile were taken first to PRMC and later flown to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore with non-life threatening injuries.

One Month In Jail

For Hitting Pedestrian

OCEAN CITY – An Essex, Md. teen arrested in June after striking a pedestrian on Coastal Highway while driving drunk pleaded guilty last week in District Court to driving under the influence and was sentenced to a year in jail, all but one month of was later suspended.

Around 2:25 a.m. on June 7, a 2008 Nissan Altima, driven by then-18-year-old Russell Charles Maas, Jr., of Essex, was traveling southbound on Coastal Highway at 60th Street when it struck a 44-year-old pedestrian who was attempting to cross the highway from east to west. The pedestrian, who was not identified, was not in a crosswalk and alcohol may have been a factor.

The pedestrian suffered severe head injuries and was transferred to PRMC in Salisbury for treatment. Neither the pedestrian’s identity or his medical outcome is known. Maas was brought in for a mandatory breath test required in accidents involving bodily injury, the results of which showed he was over the legal limit. He was charged with driving under the influence, driving while impaired and failure to stop immediately at an accident involving bodily injury.

Last Friday, Maas pleaded guilty to driving while impaired and was sentenced to one year in jail, all of which was suspended but one month, which he began serving immediately. He was placed on supervised probation upon his release and was fined over $1,000.

Guilty Plea In Business Break-ins

SNOW HILL – A Snow Hill man arrested on several counts of burglary and theft in June, after investigators were able to tie him to a series of break-ins at businesses in the county seat, pleaded guilty this week to one count of second-degree burglary and was sentenced to five years in jail, all of which was suspended by the roughly three months he spent in jail awaiting trial.

Between April 29 and May 29, the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) and the Snow Hill Police Department worked jointly on the investigations of several burglaries and thefts from two Snow Hill businesses. The investigation revealed a suspect, Maurice Isaac Blake, 40, of Snow Hill, had entered a warehouse of the Helena Snow Hill Grain Company during the time in question. The investigation revealed several gallons of Max Round-Up herbicide was stolen from Helena Grain at an estimated value of $1,500.

Several other burglaries had occurred at the Paul M. Jones Lumber Company in Snow Hill during the same time frame. Items stolen from Paul Jones Lumber included several vehicle batteries, oil and tools. The Snow Hill Police Department obtained an arrest warrant for Blake charging him with second-degree burglary and theft under $500.

On June 1, WCBI detectives were alerted Blake had been seen driving a vehicle in Snow Hill around 9:10 a.m. A short time later, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies stopped Blake and took him into custody. A further investigation led to a confession from Blake for the burglaries at Snow Hill Grain and Paul M. Jones Lumber Company. Blake was charged with three counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of theft over $500 and one count of theft under $500.

This week in Circuit Court, Blake pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree burglary and was sentenced to five years in jail, all of which was suspended but the roughly three months he was incarcerated while awaiting trial. He was also placed on supervised probation for three years and ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution to Helena Snow Hill Grain and $608 in restitution to the Paul Jones Lumber Company.

First of Two Dealers Sentenced

OCEAN CITY – One of two men arrested in May by Ocean City police working undercover on the Boardwalk pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana last week in Circuit Court and was placed on probation for two years and fined.

On May 30, two OCPD detectives were working undercover on the Boardwalk in the area of 8th Street attempting to purchase illegal drugs from individuals. Around 10:20 p.m., the officers met with two males, later identified as Ryan Allen Phillips, 28, and Christopher McCoy, 19, both of Mt. Airy, and inquired about purchasing illegal drugs. As the two suspects passed the officers, one of the officers said, “ya’ll got some bud?” to which McCoy allegedly replied “how much ya’ll want?”

The officers told McCoy and Phillips they were looking for a gram or an eighth of an ounce. Phillips allegedly told the officers they could do an ounce, but not right then. Phillips then asked if the undercover officers could hook them up with any ecstasy, but the officers told the suspects they didn’t have any.

McCoy then told the officers he could supply them with a “20,” slang for $20 worth of marijuana right then. McCoy and Phillips then directed the undercover officers to walk over in the direction of a soda machine in the area at which point McCoy reached in his shoe and produced a baggie of suspected marijuana. The officers gave McCoy the $20 and McCoy completed the transaction, handing the officers a small quantity of marijuana, according to police reports.

The undercover officers then contacted nearby OCPD detectives and advised them to arrest McCoy and Phillips. The officers located on McCoy the $20 bill used in the illegal drug transaction. OCPD often photocopies currency used in drug buys to help firmly identify the suspects.

Last Friday, McCoy pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana and received probation before judgment. He was placed on probation for two years and was fined $500. Phillips is scheduled to appear in court for his part in the sale of illegal narcotics on Oct. 22.

Probation For Choking Incident

SNOW HILL – An Ocean City man arrested in March for allegedly attacking his girlfriend by choking her was found guilty of second-degree assault last week and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, all of which was suspended in favor of probation, a fine and restitution to the victim.

Around 11:30 p.m. on March 26, an OCPD officer was dispatched to the area of 4th Street and St. Louis Ave. for a reported assault in progress. The complainant alerted police to the incident said she had just spoken to her mother who lived in the area and that a person known only at the time as Jimmy was assaulting her mother. The officer responding to the scene knew from previous encounters the alleged victim dated a man named James D. Marx, 46, of Ocean City.

Upon arrival in the 4th Street area, the officer heard a woman’s screams and the yelling of “get off me” and determined the screaming was coming from a nearby apartment. As the officer approached the apartment, he could see clearly through a window in the door and observed Marx on top of the victim with his right hand over the victim’s mouth and his left hand around her neck.

The officer noted in his report Marx was holding the victim down on the couch and appeared to be choking her. The officer also noted the victim struggling with Marx and appeared to be trying to fight him off of her. The officer banged on the door several times before Marx opened hit. He was immediately handcuffed and taken into custody. The officer noted in his report the situation did not meet the criteria for a domestic assault because Marx was not living with the victim.

Marx was ultimately charged with second-degree assault. According to police reports, the victim said Marx had been assaulting her for several minutes before the officer arrived. She also said Marx was choking her and she thought he might kill her.

Last week, Marx was found guilty of second-degree assault and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. The sentence was suspended and Marx was placed on probation for two years. He was also fined $500 and ordered to pay $781 in restitution to the victim.

Warrant Sworn For Alleged Dealer

OCEAN CITY – An Odenton, Md. man arrested in May after selling pot to undercover Ocean City police officers on the Boardwalk failed to appear for trial this week and had a warrant sworn out for his arrest.

On May 23, two OCPD undercover officers were working on the Boardwalk attempting to purchase controlled dangerous substances from individuals. While walking on the Boardwalk in the area of 4th Street at around 11:20 p.m., the officers heard a man, later identified as Ontavius White, 20, of Odenton, asking another man if he was looking for “trees,” a widely known slang term for marijuana. At the time, White was sitting next to another man later identified as Cory Ridolfi, 19, of Glen Burnie.

The officer approached White and Ridolfi and asked them if they had any “tree.” According to police reports, White looked at Ridolfi and said, “Yeah, we can hook you up all day, everyday,” and Ridolfi said “it’s in the whip.”

White told the two undercover officers to follow him to his car and they began to walk with him north on the Boardwalk toward 5th Street. During the walk, the officers engaged in a conversation with White about CDS. Ridolfi and White asked the officers how much pot they were looking to buy and the officers responded they would take a gram or whatever they could get. They ultimately agreed to purchase a gram for $15.

At that point, an unidentified man joined the group, and White and Ridolfi ran across Baltimore Ave. before the officers could safely cross. They headed north on Wilmington Ave. The officers followed and White and Ridoli emerged from Wilmington Lane a short time later. The deal was consummated with the officers handing over $15 in cash from the OCPD confidential funds, which had been photocopied earlier to record the serial numbers. Uniformed officers then arrived on the scene and arrested Ridolfi and White for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

This week, White failed to appear for trial in District Court and had a warrant sworn out for his arrest. Meanwhile, Ridolfi has since had his case forwarded to Circuit Court, but failed to show up for trial in July and had a bench warrant sworn out for his arrest.

No Citation This Time

OCEAN CITY – A Baltimore man arrested in May on marijuana possession charges after asking police to just write him a ticket for the infraction pleaded guilty last week to possession of paraphernalia and was placed on probation and fined.

Around 11:30 p.m. on May 23, an OCPD officer on bike patrol in the downtown area observed a man, later identified as Kyle Vincent Brown, 23, of Baltimore, sitting in the grass near an alley in the area of Wilmington Ave. and 2nd Street. The officer observed Brown taking a drag from a marijuana cigarette. The officer approached Brown and ordered him to place the marijuana cigarette on the ground and the suspect complied. He was then handcuffed and placed under arrest for possession of marijuana.

Brown was read his rights and told police he understood them. The officer asked Brown if he had any other marijuana or drugs on him and he replied he did not. Brown then said “I’m leaving tomorrow, can’t I just get a ticket for this? I’ll pay the ticket,” according to police reports. He was informed he could not get a ticket and was arrested and charged with possession.

Last week in District Court, Brown pleaded guilty to possession of paraphernalia and was placed on probation for one year. He was also fined $400.

OC Police Sergeant

Wins Shooting Honors

OCEAN CITY – Long-time Ocean City Police Sgt. Mark Paddack recently added a few new feathers in his cap with a strong showing at a regional sharp-shooting competition in Alabama.

On Aug. 7, 2009, Paddack traveled to Tuscaloosa, Ala. to participate in the Alabama Police Pistol Association’s “Dixie” regional competition. In the Sharpshooter Class, Paddack placed first in the Distinguished Revolver and third in the distinguished semi-automatic pistol. In addition, he placed second overall in the 1,500 revolver match and aggregate with three different revolvers in the Sharpshooter Class.

Perhaps the highlight of the competition for Paddack was finishing second highest among non-distinguished shooters, which earned him additional NRA (National Riffle Association) points toward the National Distinguished Revolver Ribbon. A shooter can only obtain NRA points at a sanctioned NRA regional or national competition, and beginning of this year, points can now be earned at state championships.

Paddack is hoping he will earn his points from regional competitions up and down the east coast, and is hoping to earn national recognition by the end of the year.

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