False Rape Report Leads To Robbery Charges

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OCEAN CITY – One local man is in custody and Ocean City police are looking for two others this week for their involvement in a falsely reported rape case that led to robbery and assault charges in an odd case where it appears the alleged suspect was actually the victim.

Around 1 a.m. last Monday, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) responded to a residence on Baltimore Ave. for a reported rape. Upon arrival, OCPD officers met with a man later identified as Jerry Adkins, 54, of Ocean City, who told police his step-daughter, Keisha Towns, 23, of Fruitland, had been sexually assaulted. Also present at the residence was Towns’ mother, identified as Mary Adkins, 44, of Ocean City, along with an unidentified man who was unconscious when police arrived.

In their initial statements, Jerry and Mary Adkins told police they arrived at the residence after receiving a phone call from Towns claiming she had been raped. However, during the course of the investigation, which went on for the next several days, detectives began to notice several inconsistencies in the stories provided by the alleged victim, Towns, and her parents.

The stories got even fishier when the male victim, who was unconscious at the time police arrived at the residence, explained his own version of the events. After being taken to Atlantic General Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries and released, the victim told OCPD detectives he did not rape Towns. Instead, he told police he had been assaulted and robbed by Towns and Jerry Adkins.

The victim told police another man, later identified as Tony Adrian Garrison, 40, of Fruitland, was involved in the robbery and assault. After investigating further, OCPD detectives determined Towns, Jerry Adkins and Garrison allegedly assaulted the victim and stole $127 from his wallet.

As a result, Towns and Jerry Adkins have each been charged with robbery, second-degree assault, theft under $1,000 and making a false report. Garrison has been charged with robbery, second-degree assault, and theft under $1,000, while Mary Adkins has been charged with making a false report.

Jerry Adkins was taken into custody last Friday and is being held in the Worcester County Jail on a $25,000 bond. A criminal summons has been issued for Mary Adkins, while Towns and Garrison remain at large and are still wanted by Ocean City Police.

West Ocean City Fire

WEST OCEAN CITY – The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office this week is investigating the cause of a fire on Keyser Point Rd. late last Sunday night.

Around 11:30 p.m. last Sunday, Ocean City firefighters responded to a reported fire at a residence on Keyser Point Rd. A neighbor reported the fire. First-arriving units reported heavy fire showing from the rear of the single-story dwelling. The fire was quickly extinguished with no injuries reported. The Berlin Volunteer Fire Company also responded to assist.

The residence was unoccupied at the time of the blaze. As of mid-week, the cause of the fire was listed as undetermined and the investigation is continuing. Anyone with additional information is urged to call the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office at 410-632-5666, ext. 2, or email Chief Deputy Fire Marshall Matt Owens at mowens@wcfmo.org.

Boardwalk Rifle Assault

Nets 6-Month Sentence

OCEAN CITY – A Delmar man arrested in February after threatening a man with a rifle on the Boardwalk pleaded guilty last week in District Court to reckless endangerment and was sentenced to six months in jail.

Around 11 p.m. on Feb. 26, Ocean City police responded to the area of 17th Street and the Boardwalk for a report of a man armed with a gun threatening people. Responding officers met with the victim, who told police that prior to their arrival, he had gotten into a verbal argument with the suspect who threatened to shoot him. According to the victim, the suspect displayed a rifle, which he was concealing under his clothing.

The victim provided police with a description of the suspect, who was then located on the street near the scene of the original incident. The suspect was later identified as Jamel Anthony Jones, 18, of Delmar, Del. The victim positively identified Jones as the person who had threatened him with a gun.

A search revealed Jones was in possession of .22 caliber ammunition. OCPD officers were then able to locate an unloaded .22 caliber rifle a block away at 18th Street and the Boardwalk and the victim positively identified the weapon as the gun Jones flashed during the incident.

Last week in District Court, Jones pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and was sentenced to six months in jail. He was given credit for 62 spent in custody while awaiting trial.

Six Years For Wal-Mart Lot Robbery

BERLIN – A Snow Hill man was arrested on armed robbery and other serious charges in December after first robbing a woman at gunpoint in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart in Pocomoke and then attempting to cash the victim’s checks at a bank in Fruitland the next day pleaded guilty last week in Circuit Court to robbery and was sentenced to six years in prison.

Around 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 6, 2009, the female victim had just finished loading her groceries into her vehicle and was attempting to open the driver’s door when she was approached by the suspect, later identified as Anthony Rashawn Schoolfield, 26, of Snow Hill, who asked her for change for a dollar.

When the victim would not give Schoolfied the change, he allegedly produced a handgun and ordered her to get into her vehicle. The victim refused to get in the vehicle, at which point Schoolfield allegedly forcefully stole the victim’s pocketbook from her shoulder and fled the scene.

The next day, the manager of the Fruitland branch of the First Shore Federal Bank called Fruitland Police to report a suspicious suspect attempting to cash the victim’s checks. Fruitland Police arrived and detained Schoolfield until a detective from the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) arrived and interviewed the suspect.

During the interview, Schoolfield allegedly admitted robbing the victim the previous day. Schoolfield was arrested and charged with armed robbery, robbery, using a handgun in the commission of a felony, second-degree assault, theft under $100 and reckless endangerment. Last week in Circuit Court, Schoolfield pleaded guilty to robbery and was sentenced to six years in jail.

Five Years For Marina Burglaries

SNOW HILL – One of two brothers convicted of robbery for a spree of downtown Ocean City marina burglaries in September 2008 was back in court last week to face a violation of probation hearing and was sentenced to five years in jail.

Frank William Sickler, 37, of Prince William County, Va., was convicted on a second-degree burglary charge last May and was sentenced to seven years in jail with all but 18 months suspended. However, Sickler has since violated the terms of his probation and was hauled back into Circuit Court last week for a violation of probation hearing. This time, Sickler was found guilty again and sentenced to five years in jail.

Frank Sickler and his brother, Robert James Sickler, of Ocean City, were arrested in October 2008 after ocean City Police were able to connect the pair to a string of break-ins at downtown marina businesses including the Angler Restaurant, M.R. Ducks and Bahama Mama’s

In early September of 2008, OCPD detectives began investigating three commercial burglaries and one attempted burglary at waterfront businesses in the marina area between Talbot and Wicomico streets. According to police reports, the outside bar at the Angler Restaurant and the deck bar at M.R. Ducks, both on the water at the foot of Talbot Street, along with the outside bar at Bahama Mama’s on Wicomico Street, were all burglarized between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Sept. 8.

While investigating the thefts at the Angler and M.R. Ducks, detectives discovered the suspect or suspects had also attempted to break into the Marina Deck restaurant next door but were unsuccessful. According to police reports, the cash registers at all three burglarized businesses had been pried open in a similar manner although it is uncertain how much money was removed.

OCPD detectives were able to recover video surveillance tapes from the Angler showing the two suspects enter the business and go behind the outside bar. According to police reports, the turning point in the investigation occurred when several local news media outlets showed the recovered surveillance video of the two suspects committing the burglaries and police received information from local citizens about the possible suspects, later identified as Robert and Frank Sickler.

Investigators were able to locate Robert Strickler in the resort and he was taken into custody. Frank Sickler was later picked up on a warrant in Virginia and returned to Worcester County. Frank Sickler was convicted and sentenced to seven years in jail, all of which was suspended but 18 months. Frank Sickler violated the terms of his probation and was re-sentenced last week to five years in jail. Robert Sickler also pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and was sentenced to two years in jail with all but six months suspended. Both were ordered to pay nearly $2,000 in restitution to the victims.

Probation For Cop-Kicker

OCEAN CITY – A Dagsboro woman arrested in January on assault and drug charges after kicking an Ocean City police officer following a traffic stop was granted probation before judgment this week in District Court on a marijuana possession charge and was placed on probation for one year and fined $250.

Around 2:20 a.m. on Jan. 7, an Ocean City police officer on marked vehicle patrol in the area of 127th Street observed a vehicle leaving the North Bay Shopping Center drive over a curb and onto a concrete island before getting back in the travel lane of the parking lot. The officer noted in his report the vehicle nearly hit other parked cars.

The officer stopped the Honda and called for a K-9 unit to do a narcotics sweep on the vehicle. A short time later, the K-9 unit arrived and performed an exterior scan of the vehicle, which resulted in a positive alert for controlled dangerous substances. A physical search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of a rock of suspected crack cocaine wrapped in a paper receipt in a purse in the front passenger seat area. A wallet in the same purse included several pieces of identification for Kristen M. Rogers, 28, who was a passenger in the car.

Rogers was placed under arrest for suspicion of possession of crack cocaine. Once she had been placed in handcuffs, she allegedly kicked the OCPD officer standing behind her in a forceful way and second-degree assault charges were tacked on. Another officer transported Rogers to police headquarters in an unmarked car for processing.

After removing Rogers, the officer inspected his vehicle and discovered a plastic bag containing a burnt cigarette and suspected marijuana. The officer noted in his report the baggie was not there at the start of his shift and Rogers was the only other person to be transported in his vehicle. Additional charges of possession of marijuana were then added to the assault and crack cocaine possession charges.

Handgun Threat Charges Dropped

SNOW HILL – A West Ocean City man arrested on assault charges in October after allegedly threatening his neighbors with a handgun had the charges against him dropped this week in Circuit Court.

Around 3 a.m. on Oct. 7, 2009, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence on West Torquay Rd. in West Ocean City for a reported incident involving a gun. The investigation revealed the suspect, later identified as Jordan Barrett Kennell, 27, of West Ocean City, allegedly pointed a handgun at four of his neighbors and threatened them before returning to his residence.

Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the residence, but were unable to get anyone to come to the door. The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) was contacted and obtained a search and seizure warrant for Kennell’s residence. During the search, Kennell was found inside and was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree assault. Kennel appeared in Circuit Court on Wednesday for a motions hearing and had the charges against him nolle prossed, or not prosecuted.

Bishopville Fire Accidental

BISHOPVILLE – A faulty electric circuit is being blamed for a residential fire at a home in Bishopville last Sunday.

Around 1 p.m. last Sunday, firefighters from Bishopville, Showell and Selbyville responded to a reported fire on Old Stage Rd. in Bishopville. First-arriving units reported heavy fire showing from two sides of the two-story residential dwelling. Firefighters remained on the scene for about two hours before getting the blaze under control. The home was unoccupied at the time and no injuries were reported.

The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office investigated the cause of the fire and determined it was accidental. The cause of the fire is being blamed on a faulty electrical circuit. The Red Cross responded to assist the displaced residents. Anyone with additional information is urged to contact Chief Deputy Fire Marshal Matt Owens at 410-632-5666.

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