Assaulted Mom On Christmas

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BERLIN – A Pittsville, Md. man was arrested in Berlin on Christmas Eve after allegedly holding his mother at knifepoint earlier in the evening.

Last Thursday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a residence in Pittsville to investigate a reported assault and malicious destruction of property in progress. Troopers met with a woman who told police her brother, identified as George Burkley Ruark, 26, of Pittsville, had been destroying everything in the house.

The investigation revealed Ruark had taken his mother at knifepoint to her car and forced her to take him to either Salisbury or Ocean City. Detectives alerted law enforcement agencies in neighboring jurisdictions to be on the lookout for Ruark and his vehicle. A short time later, Berlin Police located the described vehicle in their jurisdiction and took Ruark into custody without further incident and turned him over to the Maryland State Police. Ruark has been charged with first- and second-degree assault, kidnapping, possession of a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, malicious destruction of property and reckless endangerment. At a bail review hearing on Monday, Ruark was ordered held on a $75,000 bond.

Pair Busted With Cocaine

During Routine Traffic Stop

OCEAN CITY – Two Delaware men were arrested on drug distribution charges last week after a routine traffic stop in Ocean City.

Around 2:15 a.m. last Wednesday, an Ocean City police officer on routine patrol conducted a traffic stop in the area of 8th Street and Coastal Highway. During the stop, the officer observed the occupants, later identified as Michael Eugene Parker, 41, of Clarksville, Del., and Dale Elliott, Jr., 30, of Frankford, Del., acting suspiciously.

The officer noticed several empty and partially full alcoholic beverage containers in the passenger compartment of the vehicle. During the traffic stop, OCPD officers located a clear plastic bag of suspected cocaine. A further inspection revealed a quantity of cocaine and U.S. currency. Based on the items recovered from the suspects’ vehicle, Parker and Elliott were taken into custody.

Parker was charged with possession of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine along with possession of paraphernalia. Elliott was saddled with the same charges, but was also charged with one count of a driver consuming alcohol in the passenger compartment of a vehicle. Both were taken before a District Court Commissioner and later released after posting $25,000 bonds

Copped A Squat In Sink

OCEAN CITY – An Ijamsville, Md. man, arrested in August after defecating in the bathroom sink of a Boardwalk art gallery, pleaded guilty last week in District Court to malicious destruction of property and was fined and placed on probation.

Around 4 p.m. on Aug. 17, an employee at Ocean Gallery on the Boardwalk entered a private bathroom in the store and observed a man later identified as Dexter Jordan White, 19, standing by the sink with his pants down. The employee quickly closed the door and left the area, and White exited the private restroom a short time later.

Store employees did not know at first what White had done in the bathroom, but when an employee went back into the facility, it was learned the suspect had defecated in the bathroom sink. Store employees including the owner ran down the Boardwalk looking for the suspect, who along with two others had ducked off the Boardwalk in case they were being followed.

However, the suspect and his companions came back on the Boardwalk at North Division St. Meanwhile, store employees told police what had happened and provided a description of the suspect. White was later arrested at Somerset Street and the Boardwalk and charged with malicious destruction of property.

On Dec. 11, White pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property and was fined $500 and placed on supervised probation for one year. He was also ordered to perform 40 hours of community service. During the trial, White explained to Judge Daniel Mumford that he wanted to join the Army, but the judge said what White had done was absurd and that the Army would not take him as long as he was on probation.

Probation, Fine In Knife Assault

OCEAN CITY – A Bear, Del. man arrested in September on assault and other serious charges, after brandishing a knife and threatening to cut a group of individuals during a failed attempt to buy cocaine at an uptown hotel parking lot, pleaded guilty this week in District Court to possession of cocaine and carrying a concealed deadly weapon with intent to injure and was fined and placed on probation.

Around 1:45 a.m. on Sept. 29, 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. This week in District Court, Knauer pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and the deadly weapon count and was fined $300 and placed on probation for one year.

Two Escape Christmas Fire

SNOW HILL – Two people escaped without injury a fire at a residence in Snow Hill on Christmas morning. The cause of the fire was later connected to the ventilation of a wood stove in the home.

Around 6 a.m. on Dec. 25, firefighters from Snow Hill, Newark and Girdletree responded to a reported fire at a residence on S. Washington Street in Snow Hill. First arriving units reported fire extending from the three-story residential structure. The occupants of the residence were able to escape without injury.

Firefighters remained on the scene for approximately one hour. The investigation revealed the fire originated in the living room of the residence and was caused by the venting of a wood stove. The cause of the fire has been listed as accidental. Anyone with information about the fire is urged to call the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office at 410-632-5666.

Alleged Drug Dealing

Case Forwarded To Circuit

OCEAN CITY – A Selbyville man arrested in October on drug possession and distribution charges after a two-month investigation by Ocean City police narcotics officers appeared for a preliminary hearing in District Court last week and had some charges dropped while others were forwarded to Circuit Court.

On Oct. 1, narcotics agents secured a search and seizure warrant for Deshawn Cornelius Handy, 26, of Selbyville, after an undercover OCPD detective was able to purchase crack cocaine from the suspect on two separate occasions during a two-month investigation. OCPD detectives served the warrant on Handy and the vehicle he was occupying, and he was taken into custody without incident. The vehicle was seized during the investigation and is pending forfeiture.

Also in the vehicle was another suspect, identified as Benny Marion Mullins, Jr., 31, also of Selbyville, who was also arrested. Handy was charged with two counts each of felony crack cocaine distribution and crack cocaine possession, along with one count of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance. Mullins was charged with felony conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.

Last week in District Court, a handful of the charges against Handy were not prosecuted, while two of the more serious charges – possession and distribution of narcotics – were forwarded to Circuit Court.

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