OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man was arrested on first-degree burglary and other charges last week after allegedly breaking into an apartment and stealing a flat-screen television.
Around 4 p.m. last Wednesday, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) was in the area of 76th Street when they observed a suspect, later identified as Mark Allen Meekins, Jr., 29, of Ocean City, break into an apartment and come out with a 42-inch flat screen television. Meekins was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary and theft over $1,000 to $10,000.
During the arrest, it was learned Meekins was wanted in Delaware for burglary and he was held on a fugitive warrant. Meekins was taken before a District Court Commissioner in Ocean City and was ordered held on a $50,000. He was then transferred to the Worcester County Jail.
Child Abuse Alleged
POCOMOKE – A Pocomoke man was arrested on child abuse and assault charges last week after allegedly striking his 11-year-old son with a tree limb multiple times.
Around 4:30 p.m. last Thursday, police responded to a residence in Pocomoke for a reported child abuse incident. The investigation revealed a man, later identified as Joseph Michael Waters, 30, of Pocomoke, had been in an argument with his 11-year-old son when he obtained a two-foot long tree limb and struck the victim over the back, causing injuries to the child’s back.
Statements from witnesses at the scene indicated Waters had also struck the victim in the face, causing a black eye. During an interview subsequent to his arrest, Waters allegedly admitted striking the child with the tree limb, but denied having any involvement with the victim’s black eye. Waters was charged with second-degree child abuse and second-degree assault. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and released after posting a $15,000 bond.
Overturned Car Bursts Into Flames
BERLIN – An Ocean City woman was apparently lucky to escape with her life after her car left the roadway, flipped over in a field and burst into flames early last Saturday morning in an alleged drunk-driving accident.
Around 3:20 a.m. last Saturday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a reported single-vehicle accident on Route 610 near Shavox Rd. The investigation revealed the vehicle, a 2004 Honda, left the roadway, entered a ditch and flipped over in a farm field. As a result of the collision, the vehicle caught fire and became fully engulfed in flames.
The driver, identified as Kristina Lynn Wenger, 40, was able to free herself from the burning vehicle. She was transported to PRMC in Salisbury via State Police helicopter due to injuries sustained in the collision and was listed in stable condition after the accident.
The Showell Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the vehicle fire and the roadway was closed while police conducted their investigation. Wenger was charged with driving under the influence, negligent driving and other related traffic offenses.
Serious Accident On Route 113
BERLIN – A local woman was critically injured and her 7-year-old passenger was also injured when a tractor-trailer crossed the centerline and struck a mini-van on Route 113 near Newark early last Friday evening.
Around 4:45 p.m. on Sept. 24, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a reported motor vehicle collision on Route 113 just north of Downs Rd. near Newark. The investigation revealed a 1996 International truck heading northbound on Route 113 driven by Mark T. Brittingham, 46, of Milton, Del., crossed the double yellow line in the middle of the roadway and collided head-on with a 2002 Dodge Caravan mini-van driven by Emily Timmons, 33, or Newark, Md.
As a result of the collision, Timmons was flown from the scene aboard a Maryland State Police helicopter to PRMC in Salisbury with injuries deemed to be life threatening. An update on Timmons’ condition was not made available as of press time, although she was still listed in critical condition as of mid-week. A seven-year-old passenger in the mini-van was also transported to PRMC via Newark Fire/EMS ambulance for injuries not believed to be life threatening.
The driver of the truck, Brittingham, was treated at the scene and released. He has been charged with negligent driving.
Probation, Fine For Bus Fight
OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania woman, arrested in August on first-degree assault and other charges after attacking a woman and choking her during an altercation on an Ocean City bus, pleaded guilty last week in District Court to second-degree assault and was placed on probation and fined.
Around 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 14, an OCPD officer was dispatched to a reported fight on a bus on Coastal Highway at 127th Street. The officer arrived and met with the bus driver, who told police a woman, later identified as Nicole Amber Myers, 23, of York, Pa. along with two male companions had been asked to get off the bus. As the three individuals were getting off the bus, another woman said something to set Myers off, and she allegedly spun around and grabbed the woman by the throat and began punching her until the victim’s friends interceded.
The bus driver said Myers had been choking the victim and punching her for about a minute before the victim’s friends were able to pull her off. The OCPD officer then met with the victim, who had red marks on both sides of her neck consistent with hand and finger marks. The victim and her friends provided descriptions of Myers and her female companions. The victim told police she had said some things to Myers to initiate the attack, but couldn’t remember exactly what she said because she had “consumed a lot of alcoholic beverages.”
The victim’s female friend told a similar account of what had happened. She told police words were said when Myers and her two male companions got off the bus and Myers turned around and lunged at the victim, grabbing her by the throat, and did not let go until others broke up the altercation. The victim’s female friend also suffered lacerations to her jaw and chest as a result of trying to pull Myers off of the victim.
Myers and her companions were located a short time later on 127th Street near Wight Street. Last week in District Court, Myers pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was placed on probation for one year and fined $500.
Warrants Out For Shoplifters
SNOW HILL – Two Russian girls, arrested on theft charges in August after allegedly shoplifting at a West Ocean City department store, failed to show up for trial last week in District Court and had warrants sworn out for their arrest.
Shortly before 9 p.m. on Aug. 7, Maryland State Police troopers responded to the Marshall’s department store in West Ocean City for a reported shoplifting. Upon arrival, the troopers met with store staff members who reported the two suspects, identified as Anna Ratushnaya, 19, and Danis Tefkilevich, 21, both of Russia, had left the store without paying for items they had stuffed in a backpack. One of the suspects also shoved a shirt in his pants without paying for it. The two suspects were arrested and charged with theft over $100.
Ratushnaya and Tefkilevich were scheduled to appear for trial last week in District Court but did not show up and had warrants sworn out for their arrest.
Jail Time For Arson Threat
BERLIN – A Berlin man, arrested in August on threat of arson charges after threatening to burn down his parents’ home with them in it just weeks after being released from jail for his role in a stabbing incident earlier this year, pleaded guilty this week in District Court in Wicomico County to obscene misuse of a telephone and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.
Around 6 p.m. on Aug. 1, Maryland State Police troopers from the Salisbury barrack met with a couple in Salisbury who reported their son had threatened to kill them and burn their house down. According to the complainants, their son, Nathaniel Irving Schneider, 21, of Berlin, had recently been kicked out of the family home over domestic-related issues.
According to police reports, for a period of about one week, Schneider allegedly made numerous threats to his mother that he was going to burn their house down with his parents in it and then kill himself. Schneider was reportedly living with another family member in Worcester County when he made the threats.
Maryland State Police troopers from the Berlin barrack, along with Natural Resources Police (NRP), located Schneider, who was hiding in the Worcester home. Schneider was taken into custody and transported back to Wicomico where the treats occurred and was charged with threat of arson and obscene telephone misuse. This week in District Court, Schneider pleaded guilty to the latter charge and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.
At the time of the arson threats, Schneider had been recently released from jail after serving about two months of a six-month sentence for a pair of second-degree assault convictions from a stabbing incident in West Ocean City on New Year’s Eve. Shortly before 9 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2009, police responded to the Royal Farms store on Route 50 in West Ocean City for a reported stabbing.
The investigation revealed the reported attack had taken place at a nearby residence on Old Bridge Rd. MSP troopers identified one victim had been stabbed in the throat and upper left arm, while a juvenile had been hit over the head with a beer bottle.
The victims both identified Schneider as the attacker in the incident and he was arrested and charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree assault. In May, Schneider entered an Alford Plea to two counts of second-degree assault and was sentenced to three years in jail with all but six months suspended.
Schneider was then given credit for the 125 days he spent in jail awaiting trial, making his release date sometime in July, just weeks before his alleged threat to burn down his parents’ house in Salisbury.
Possession Case On To Circuit
SNOW HILL – A Berlin man, arrested on marijuana possession charges in June after police first observed him walking down the street with an open beer, had his cace forwarded to Circuit Court last week after asking for a jury trial.
Around 11:15 p.m. on June 18, Berlin Police officers on routine patrol observed a man later identified as Tyrone Briddell, 41, of Berlin, walking down Flower Street with an open can of beer, a municipal infraction. The officers stopped Briddell and after a background check informed the suspect he had an open warrant for failure to pay a fine on an earlier case.
Berlin Police arrested Briddell on the outstanding warrant, and a search subsequent to the arrest revealed a bag of marijuana in the suspect’s right shoe and possession charges were tacked on. Briddell appeared in District Court last week for trial, but asked for a jury trial and had his case forwarded to Circuit Court. No new date has been set.
Naked Disorderly Charge Dropped
SNOW HILL – An Annapolis woman, arrested in July on disorderly conduct and other charges after allegedly throwing the furniture out of her West Ocean City motel room and standing in the doorway naked while yelling at other guests, had the charges against her dropped last week in District Court.
A little after 3 a.m. on July 29, Maryland State Police troopers responded to the Francis Scott Key Motel in West Ocean City for a reported disturbance. Upon arrival, the troopers learned the suspect, later identified as Kelley Maureen Queen, 45, of Annapolis, had thrown all of the furniture from her motel room out into the hallway. Queen was then observed standing in the doorway of her room naked and yelling in full view of several motel guests. She was subsequently arrested for disorderly conduct.
Queen appeared in District Court last week for trial and had the charges against her nolle prossed, or not prosecuted.
Fire At Facility Accidental
OCEAN PINES – A fire at an Ocean Pines wastewater treatment facility early last Thursday morning has been listed as accidental.
Around 7 a.m. last Thursday, the Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Company (OPVFC) responded to a reported fire at a wastewater treatment facility on Ocean Parkway. First-arriving units discovered heavy black smoke showing from the 20’ by 20’ building. The OP VFC made an aggressive attack on the interior area of the building where the fire originated and quickly brought the blaze under control, although firefighters remained on the scene for about an hour.
The OPVFC was assisted by fire companies from Berlin and Showell. The building involved was a pumping station for Worcester County Public Works and the fire damage was contained to a vacuum pump. The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office investigated and determined the cause of the fire was accidental.
Cops On Roof Top Exceeds Goal
OCEAN CITY – The latest Ocean City Police fundraiser, “Cops on Roof Tops,” held last weekend was a huge success with nearly $9,000 raised for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics of Maryland in a 24-hour time period, exceeding the goal of $5,000 set before the event.
The “Cops on Roof Tops” event was part of a national fundraising effort for Special Olympics. Several OCPD officers including Chief Bernadette DiPino volunteered to spend the day on the roof of the Dunkin’ Donuts store on 119th Street to collect pledges from the public. In addition, Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan and several council members, along with other local politicians and candidates, noteworthy celebrities and media personalities spent time on the roof of the store over the 24-hour period from Saturday to Sunday.
“The Ocean City Police Department is thrilled with the success of the Cops on Rooftops event,” said DiPino. “Not only did we have the support of Ocean City Police officers as well as the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police, but we had an overwhelming support of the businesses, residents, civic organizations, our local television and radio stations, town of Ocean City employees and neighboring law enforcement agencies. This extraordinary event was another example of how the Ocean City community works together to focus on what is truly important in life, helping others and supporting our community.”