OCEAN CITY — With the arrival of the summer season, the Ocean City Police Department this week is reminding businesses that the distribution of flyers or stickers as a form of advertisement is unlawful.
Business distributing advertisements, such as flyers and handbills, are in violation of town codes. The OCPD will be strictly enforcing mass flyer distribution violations throughout the summer. Ocean City residents and who receive advertisements in their doorways, on their vehicles or in their porches or yards are encouraged to contact the OCPD at 410-723-6600.
First-Degree Murder Conviction
SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was convicted on first-degree murder charges last week following an incident last August during which he shot and killed his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself and now faces life in prison.
A Wicomico County jury last Wednesday found Kenneth Lee Burke, Jr., 32, guilty of first-degree murder and four other charges for the shooting death of Taheerah Sabor at an apartment on Wicomico Street last Aug 20. Burke now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and sentencing is expected within the next 30 days.
Salisbury Police last August responded to a residence on Wicomico Street after receiving an inaudible 911 call from Burke. Arriving officers found Burke suffering from wounds on his chin, mouth and forehead. Police found the victim’s body in the kitchen of the residence along with a 9 mm handgun. Burke allegedly shot the victim, who told family members she was breaking up with the suspect, before turning the gun on himself, according to police reports.
Passed Out Behind Wheel
OCEAN PINES — A Montgomery County man was arrested on drunk driving charges last weekend after police allegedly observed him slumped over the steering wheel in the parking lot of a convenience store in Ocean Pines.
Around 11:30 p.m. last Sunday, Maryland State Police responded to the 7-Eleven on Route 589 for a reported individual possibly operating a vehicle while under the influence. The troopers arrived and located the reported Dodge passenger vehicle with the driver, later identified as Joseph Rory Wolf, 30, of Olney, Md., slumped over the wheel with the car running.
Troopers banged on the window of the vehicle and Wolf allegedly woke up and was disoriented. Wolf was administered a series of field sobriety tests, which he did not pass satisfactorily. He was arrested and transported to the MSP Berlin barrack and was charged with numerous violations including driving under the influence.
Child Found In Neighborhood
OCEAN PINES — Ocean Pines Police and the Worcester County Department of Social Services this week are investigating the circumstances of a small child found wandering in the area of Birds Nest Drive on Wednesday morning.
Around 9:40 a.m. on Wednesday, Pines Police responded to the area of Birds Nest Drive for a report of a small child wandering in the neighborhood unattended. During an initial search of the area, police were unable to locate the parents of the child, who was otherwise in good health and unharmed.
Around 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Pines Police received a call from the child’s parents, who were not identified in a release. As of late Wednesday, the child was in the custody of the Worcester County Department of Social Services pending further investigation.
Attempted Assault On Officer
SALISBURY — A Salisbury woman was arrested on assault charges last weekend after allegedly trying to punch a Wicomico County Sheriff’s deputy in the face during a large altercation on Catherine Street.
Around 11:45 p.m. last Friday, Wicomico County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Catherine Street for a report of a large, disorderly crowd. Upon arriving on the scene, one of the deputies observed two females engaged in a physical altercation. When the deputy attempted to break up the combatants, one of them, later identified as Antoinette T. Williams, 21, turned on the officer and attempted to punch him in the face as many as three times.
The deputy managed to avoid being struck and was able to place Williams under arrest. She has been charged with second-degree assault on an officer and disorderly conduct. After an initial appearance in District Court, Williams was ordered held on a $30,000 bond.
Boardwalk Nine Indicted
OCEAN CITY — Nine Delaware men arrested in April on first-degree assault and other charges after an alleged unprovoked and “vicious” attack on three men on the Boardwalk were formally indicted on participation in gang activity charges this week and will have their cases heard in Worcester County Circuit Court.
Around 1:15 a.m. on April 24, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) was dispatched to a reported fight in progress on the Boardwalk at Somerset Street. Upon arrival, an OCPD officer made contact with a male victim whose shirt was stretched and ripped at the collar and whose face was visibly bruised and swollen along with cuts and abrasions on its left side. The victim told police he and his three cousins were “jumped and assaulted” on the Boardwalk five minutes before OCPD officers arrived.
The officer noted the victim’s entire face was swollen, particularly in the area of his eyes. His right ear was extremely swollen and cut open with extensive bleeding. The victim was also trying to bend his eyeglasses back into shape at the time. The victim told police he was walking on the Boardwalk with his cousins in the area of Somerset Street when they were approached by a large group of males.
One of the males in the group allegedly said to the victims “hey, what are you looking at?” and when the victims tried to ignore the query, the suspects repeated the question. The victim told police he tried to ignore the group, but soon found himself surrounded by as many as 15 assailants. The victim said the next thing he knew, he was under attack by the large group.
Two of the victims were able to flee, but two were not able to get away because of the physical attack they were enduring from the large group. One of the victims told police he was tackled by the large group, who continuously punched him rapidly with closed fists and began kicking him in the head, face, abdomen and back while he was “helplessly lying on the ground trying unsuccessfully to block some of the vicious blows he was receiving,” according to police reports. The victim told police he felt he was on the ground for a significant amount of time as he was being battered.
One of the two victims told police he felt one of his assailants going through his pockets while he was being beaten, but could not identify the thief because of the vicious attack. The suspect took from the victim a wallet containing about $90 in cash and a cell phone valued at around $200.
The other victim told police two male suspects from the large group ran up to him and started punching him in the face with closed fists until he was knocked to the ground. The victim’s glasses were knocked from his face during the attack. The second victim told police he attempted to fight back to protect himself when other members of the group joined in and “viciously and intentionally beat him in the face.” At one point, the second victim said his attackers left him alone and joined the group attacking his cousin.
The victims told police once the group finished their attack, they fled the area on foot. The victims were able to provide physical descriptions of their attackers, but told police they were more concerned with protecting themselves if the group returned and started beating them again. The victims told police they didn’t do anything to provoke the beatings. In fact, the victims told police they “felt as if they just did it for fun,” according to police reports.
A description of the vehicles in which the assailants were traveling was broadcast and the two vehicles were located a short time later in the area of 54th Street. The victims were brought to the area to identify the attackers and positively identified six members of the group including Robert Hill, 20, of Camden, Del.; Jamera Fisher, 19, of Dover; Julian Freeman, 22, of Dover; D’Andrew Chandler, 18, of Dover; Duante Morrison, 18, of Magnolia; and Craig Powell, 25, of Dover.
Around two hours later, at 3:39 a.m., police were able to locate a third vehicle containing three more suspects in the attack in the area of 21st Street. Again, the victims were brought to the scene to identify the suspects, including Randall Harris, 18, of Dover; Keontre Hynson, 18, of Dover; and Zamale Bull, 19, of Harrington.
Bomb Scare In Salisbury
SALISBURY — A Salisbury elementary school was placed on lockdown on Monday when public works employees discovered a suspicious device with explosive contents in a storm drain nearby.
Around 10:45 a.m. on Monday, Salisbury Public Works Department employees were conducting street cleaning operations in the area of West College Ave. and Evergreen Ave. in a storm drain and quickly notified emergency services. The Office of the State Fire Marshal’s bomb technicians arrived on the scene and determined the device had explosive contents and undertook procedures to render the device safe.
The remains of the device were collected for forensic analysis and the origin of the remains under investigation by State Fire Marshal’s Office. Nearby Pinehurst Elementary School was placed on temporary lockdown immediately following the discovery of the device and remained under a “code red” condition for about an hour during the investigation. Around 11:45 a.m., the alert was lowered to a “code orange,” which allowed normal activities within the school building but restricted some activities around the facility’s exterior.
Theft Suspect Sold Stolen Camera
SALISBURY — A Salisbury woman was arrested on theft charges last week after allegedly selling a camera she stole from a residence to an individual who reported the purchase to police.
Last Thursday, Wicomico County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Olde Fruitland Rd. to investigate the theft of jewelry and a camera from a residence. During the investigation, the victim identified Erin Lynn Griffin, 22, of Salisbury as a possible suspect. The victim told police Griffin had been in the house earlier.
A Wicomico County Sheriff’s deputy was able to locate an unidentified witness who told police Griffin had sold her a camera matching the description of the one stolen from the residence for $25. Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Griffin last Sunday and charged her with theft. She is being held in the Detention Center on a $15,000 bond. The camera was recovered and returned to the victim.
School Assault Alleged
SALISBURY — A Salisbury juvenile was arrested on first-degree assault charges last week after allegedly attacking a fellow middle school student with a belt.
Around 6 p.m. last Friday, a Wicomico County Sheriff’s deputy began an investigation into an assault that had occurred earlier in the day at Wicomico Middle School. During the incident, a 12-year-old female allegedly struck a 12-year-old male using a belt. According to police reports, the belt left signs of injury on the victim. The attack took place outside on the track during physical education class.
Once the juvenile female was identified as the alleged attacker, she was placed under arrest and charged with first-degree assault. The Department of Juvenile Services committed the suspect into the Lower Shore Children’s Center pending formal court action.