OCEAN CITY – A Bear, Del. man was arrested on assault and other serious charges this week after allegedly brandishing a knife and threatening to cut a group of individuals in an attempt to buy cocaine at an uptown Ocean City hotel parking lot.
Around 1:45 a.m. on Tuesday, an OCPD officer was dispatched to the parking lot of the Carousel Hotel for a reported assault. The officer met with three individuals who reported they were in the hotel parking lot when they were approached by a man in a grayish Honda Civic who asked him where he could “get some powder” and threatened to cut them with a knife.
One of the men informed the suspect, later identified as David R. Knauer, 31, that they did not have any and told him to leave them alone. According to police reports, Knauer then became agitated and got out of his vehicle and put his arm around one of the male victims’ shoulders and pulled him closer to him. The male victim then pushed Knauer away from at which point Knauer told the victim, “I will cut your face off.” Knauer then allegedly showed the group a knife he was carrying and began walking closer to the group.
The three victims all described the weapon as a fixed-blade knife with a black handle and a silver blade. When asked if they feared for their safety, the victims told police they truly thought Knauer was going to stab or cut them with the knife. The female victim told police she thought somebody was going to get stabbed and started to cry hysterically, according to police reports. The female victim told police she was extremely scared of getting hurt, stabbed or killed and was also afraid for her friends’ safety.
The victims all described Knauer as a white male about 6’ to 6’3” tall, with light brown hair and a husky build about 210 to 225 pounds wearing a black golf shirt. They also described his vehicle as a grayish Honda Civic. One of the witnesses told police there was a female in the Honda slumped over the center console. The witness said the woman was not responsive and appeared to be in distress or extremely intoxicated.
Roughly 10 minutes after their arrival on the scene and the subsequent interview with the witnesses, Ocean City police officers located a gray Honda Civic matching the description nearby in the Carousel parking lot. Standing next to the vehicle was a man matching the description provided by the victims, later identified as Knauer.
Knauer was with a female, also matching the description provided by the witnesses, who was now lying on the ground in a semi-conscious state. Knauer and the semi-conscious woman were located in the nearby parking garage about 100 yards away from where the incident occurred. Each of the victims was brought over separately and all identified Knauer as the man who asked them for “powder” before threatening them with the knife.
During a search of the vehicle in an attempt to find the knife, the OCPD officer located in the center console a drinking straw that had been cut down in length for the alleged purpose of snorting powder cocaine. The straw had white powder residue on one end believed to be powder cocaine. Based on the witness testimony and the discovery of the straw with the white powder residue, Knauer was read his rights and taken into custody.
When questioned about the alleged incident with the three victims, Knauer said he was never in that area of the parking lot and never had any contact with any other people recently. While the officer continued to question Knauer, he reportedly said “Oh, you going to listen to those smart [expletives deleted].” He then refused to speak to the officer any further and repeatedly told the officer to either arrest him or let him go.
Knauer was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, attempted first-degree assault, carrying a deadly weapon with intent to injure, possession of cocaine and possession of paraphernalia. He was taken before a court commissioner and released after posting a $5,000 bond.
Shoplifting Spree Ends Ugly
BERLIN – A Berlin man was arrested on several serious charges last week after an alleged shoplifting spree at several drug stores across lower Delaware.
According to police reports, Eric G. Moore, 30, of Berlin, was observed shoplifting from three Happy Harry drug stores in West Fenwick Island, Fenwick Island and Bethany Beach in nearby Delaware. When witnesses confronted Moore, an altercation ensued and the suspect allegedly told his confronters he had a knife. He was later arrested after a brief foot chase in Bethany.
Moore has been charged with robbery, aggravated menacing, resisting arrest, third-degree assault, terroristic threatening, shoplifting, offensive touching and criminal mischief. He was ordered held on a $27,000 bond and incarcerated in the Sussex Correctional Institute.
More Boardwalk Rioters Sentenced
OCEAN CITY – Several of the 16 people arrested during a major altercation on the Boardwalk in June started making their way through the court system last week with varying results.
On June 6, Ocean City police made 16 arrests during a fight that started to simmer at a downtown underage nightclub and escalated throughout the evening before finally ending hours later a couple of blocks down the Boardwalk from where it first started. Around 10:20 p.m. that night, OCPD officers responded to Worcester Street in response to a reported fight inside the underage club. Upon arrival, OCPD officers observed two females, 18-year-old Tanee Dudley and a 17-year-old juvenile, fighting outside the club.
Both were arrested on disorderly conduct charges, and police also arrested two other females involved in the fight, Jasmine Loshae Waters and Makia Shaute Sturgis-Davis, also of Dover. Due to the large crowd at the underage club and the incident that had already occurred, an OCPD officer remained at the location until the club closed around midnight. When the club closed, many of those in attendance including several connected to the earlier fight relocated to the Boardwalk near Worcester Street where trouble started brewing again.
At around 1:30 a.m., another fight broke out in the area of Worcester Street and the Boardwalk, but OCPD officers were on hand and quickly arrested six more involved in the fracas, bringing the total number of arrests related to the initial incident to 10. Among those arrested during the second wave of the fight were Lemarvis Trotter, 22, of Delmar, and John Wesley Mosley, 19, of Bridgeville, Del.
OCPD officers attempted to break up the large crowd using additional police personnel, including a mounted patrol officer, which had been very effective in the riot on the Boardwalk two weeks earlier. The crowd was dispersed somewhat, but a large portion started moving north on the Boardwalk when another fight broke out in the area of Somerset Street. OCPD officers continued to break up the fight, but an OCPD officer was attempting to make an arrest when a male suspect attacked the officer from behind by jumping on his back. This provoked additional suspects to become involved and the incident flared up again. When the dust settled, six more suspects were arrested on various charges, bringing the total to 16 arrests.
Last week, three of the 16 arrested on related to the incident appeared in District Court and pleaded guilty to various charges with similar outcomes. Waters pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and was fined $500 and placed on probation for one year. Trotter pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and was fined $400 and placed on probation for one year, while Mosley pleaded guilty to failure to obey a lawful order and was fined $500 and placed on probation for one year. Many of the others arrested have already had their day in court with similar outcomes, while a handful of others have not yet appeared for trial.
Terror Threat Vigilance Urged
OCEAN CITY – With the heightened alert about possible terrorist activities around the country over the last month, Ocean City police this week urged residents and visitors to be ever vigilant for suspicious activity in and around the resort area.
Over the last month, U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials along with various law enforcement groups throughout the nation have concluded investigations and arrested several persons who are suspected of plotting acts of terrorism that would have taken place in this country. To that end, OCPD officials this week released a reminder to local residents and visitors to remain alert and aware of any suspicious activity.
“Since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, our nation has undergone a drastic chance in its perception of our vulnerability,” the statement reads. “While there have been no specific terrorist threats involving the town of Ocean City, the Ocean City Police Department would like to remind citizens to be vigilant for suspicious activity and/or persons in their community.”
The OCPD statement goes on to urge locals and residents to report suspicious activity regardless if they think it is serious or not.
“Citizens often think they are bothering law enforcement, but you’re not,” the release reads. “Trust your instincts. Suspicious activities and circumstances are worth checking out.”
The release goes on to remind citizens of the types of locations usually targeted by terrorists, and while most don’t apply in Ocean City, a few are worth noting. Among the typical terrorist targets listed in the OCPD release are major events, resorts, landmarks, international airports and large cities.
“We are a transient community and there are a lot of activities and people moving through our neighborhoods and attractions,” the release reads. “Report suspicious packages or unattended bags, unattended vehicles that have been left parked for long periods of time. Keep informed of activities in our community and monitor and report unusual occurrences.”
Reserve Officer Mourned
OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Police Department and the entire resort community this week is mourning the passing of a long-time OCPD reserve officer Jack Doran.
The OCPD this week reported with great sadness Doran passed away on Friday, September 18. Doran was a reserve officer for the department for five years from 2000 to 2004. He was named Reserve Officer of the Year in 2002 after volunteering 775 hours that year. During his five years as a reserve officer, Doran logged well over 2,200 hours in voluntary service for the department.
According to the release, Doran served his community with distinction, integrity and honor. “His singularly distinctive accomplishments as an Ocean City Police reserve officer reflect great credit upon himself and the reserve officer program,” the OCPD statement reads. “Jack will be missed by all who knew him and loved him.”
The Reserve Officer Program began in 1999 with seven civilians. The reserve officers volunteer their time to assist the OCPD with various public safety functions and are a invaluable part of the OCPD operational structure. Since the inception of the program, the reserve officers have saved the citizens of Ocean City over a million dollars of police salary money.
K-9 “Indy” Retires
OCEAN CITY – Long-time member of the Ocean City Police Department’s K-9 unit “Indy” retired last week after five years of dedicated service to the community.
“Indy,” a member of the OCPD’s Patrol/Narcotics Division, came to the department from Holland in 2004 at which time he became to Corporal Ronnie Townsend. Five years later, the special K-9 has retired from police work.
“Indy has been the most loyal, hard-working and dedicated partner I could ask for,” said Townsend. “He loved his job and he loved serving the Ocean City community and it showed through his hard work.”
Indy has dedicated hundreds of devoted hours to police training and has assisted in dozens of narcotics arrests. In addition, Indy has had close to 500 deployments in over the course of his career. In one incident, Indy found a kilo of cocaine and has alerted on an estimated $15,000 in U.S. currency involved in narcotics deals.
When Indy was not working on the road, he often participated in demonstrations for local schools, summer camps and the Ocean City community. He also enjoyed being involved in the town of Ocean City’s Bonfires on the Beach and July 4th Jamboree programs. Indy’s love for his job and his commitment to his community will be remembered by many and his hard work and loyalty to his colleagues and citizens will not soon be forgotten.
After his service to the Ocean City Police Department, Indy will spend his retirement at the home of his long-time partner, Townsend, and his family.
OCEAN CITY – With big crowds in town for Sunfest last weekend, Ocean City police were kept busy with dozens of arrests for all manner of crimes from the serious to the not so severe.
Arrests for individuals suspected of driving under the influence again topped the list with 13, but there were several other arrests made during the period for which no other information was provided other than the usual brief reference in the weekly incident report provided by the OCPD. For example, there were five arrests made for second-degree assault, five burglary arrests, three disorderly conducts, two thefts, two malicious destruction of property, two resisting arrest, two indecent exposures along with several drug arrests.
Emergency Alert Test Tomorrow
BERLIN – Tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 3, Worcester County residents will again be hearing the emergency alert signals from their local fire sirens. Worcester County has taken this step to provide additional means to warn the surrounding communities of imminent danger and the need to tune to either radio, television or the internet for information in the event of emergencies.
Sirens are tested the first Saturday of each month. Residents will hear a steady alert tone sound at 10 a.m. for approximately one minute. Since the end of the Cold War, most serious threats to areas of the Eastern Shore have been weather related, and the emergency alert sirens have gone unused.
However, emergency alert sirens continue to be employed in tornado-prone areas of the country where they are used to warn residents that a tornado has been spotted and to take cover. The reinstitution of the emergency alert siren in Worcester County can be viewed as an additional form of early warning system to protect area residents in the event of a disaster.