Man Dies In Bicycle Fall

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OCEAN CITY — A popular local man died last week after reportedly hitting his head during a fall from his bicycle on Coastal Highway.

Around 7:50 p.m. last Thursday, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) responded to the area of 116th Street and Coastal Highway for a welfare check on an individual observed lying on the ground near a bicycle. When officers arrived, they located a man, later identified as Paul Christopher Day, 54, of Ocean City, on the ground and unresponsive.

OCPD officer began administering CPR on Day until the Ocean City paramedics arrived at the scene. Day was subsequently transported to Atlantic General Hospital. The investigation revealed Day had fallen from his bicycle and struck his head. Early the next morning, OCPD officers were advised Day had not recovered from his injuries and had been declared deceased.

Attempted Murder Charges

POCOMOKE — A local man was arrested on attempted first-degree murder and other serious charges last week after allegedly shooting another man in downtown Pocomoke.

Around 4 p.m. last Thursday, Pocomoke Police responded to a reported shooting in the area of 9th Street. First-arriving officers located a juvenile victim who had been shot in the right leg. Pocomoke Police requested assistance from the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI), which arrived on the scene a short time later and began collecting evidence and taking witness interviews.

Eventually, a photo line-up was used to develop a suspect in the shooting incident, later identified as Darius Tyrell Cotton, 18, of Pocomoke. A search and seizure warrant and an arrest warrant were issued for Cotton. Around 3 p.m. the next day, Dec. 23, Pocomoke Police, with assistance from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland State Police and WCBI executed the search and seizure warrant at Cotton’s residence and he was taken into custody without further incident.

Cotton was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, and first- and second-degree assault. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered held without bond. Meanwhile, the victim was treated at the scene before being transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center. The victim has since been released from the hospital.

Armed Robbery Arrests

SALISBURY — Two Salisbury men were arrested on armed robbery and assault charges last week after allegedly stealing a cell phone from another man at gunpoint.

Shortly after 7 p.m. last Thursday, Salisbury Police responded to the area of East College Ave. for a reported armed robbery. The investigation determined a victim was walking alone on John Street near Carrolton Ave. when he was accosted by several suspects, one of whom produced a handgun. The suspects stole a cell phone from the victim before fleeing the area.

The Wicomico Bureau of Investigation (WBI) responded and was able to identify Deyamah Onkae Fisher, 18, of Salisbury, as a person of interest. Around 1:20 a.m. the next day, Dec. 23, Fisher was arrested on an unrelated incident and during a search of his person, officers located the stolen cell phone on his person. Further investigation revealed Fisher was present during the armed robbery along with several other unidentified individuals.

Fisher was arrested and charged with armed robbery, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and the use of a handgun in a crime of violence. Later on Dec. 23, detectives arrested a second suspect, a 15-year-old juvenile, who was charged with the same offenses. The investigation is ongoing. The remaining suspects are described only as African-American males roughly 14-16 years old. Anyone with information is urged to contact Salisbury Police at 410-548-3165, or Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776.

Not Guilty Of Assault Charges

SNOW HILL — An Ocean City man arrested on first-degree assault in July after allegedly attempting to strangle his girlfriend was found not guilty of the charges against him in Circuit Court last week.

Around 1:30 a.m. on July 13, an OCPD officer was dispatched to a residence on Lark Lane for a reported domestic dispute in progress. The officer approached the residence and was able to see through the open blinds at a window next to the front door. The officer was able to observe what was going on because the front door was slightly ajar.

After observing the argument for a short time, the female involved attempted to leave the residence when the male combatant, later identified as Daniel Robert Hagel, 21, of Jacobus, Pa., grabbed her shoulder. When the girl allegedly yelled “Get away from me,” and “don’t touch me,” Hagel allegedly scooped her up in a bear hug and carried her toward a couch in the living room.

Hagel then allegedly tackled the victim onto the couch and climbed on top of her before moving his hands up toward her face, according to police reports. The victim allegedly continued to scream for Hagel to get off of her and yelled “I can’t breathe,” according to police reports. At that point, the officer intervened and entered the apartment, fearing for the girl’s safety.

He was able to pull Hagel off the victim and the suspect did not resist as he was handcuffed. The victim allegedly told police “I’m so glad you guys came.” When asked where Hagel’s hands were, the victim told police “they were around my neck. He did try I guess to choke me, that is the one thing that scared the [expletive deleted] out of me.”

The victim complained of neck pain and EMS was called, but the victim refused to go to the hospital. Based on the evidence observed and the victim’s statements and actions, Hagel was charged with first- and second-degree assault. However, last week in Circuit Court Hagel was cleared of the charges against him.

Jail Sex Charges Dropped

SNOW HILL — A Worcester County Jail inmate charged in September with a sex offense and perverted practice after allegedly sexually offending a “pod” mate at the correctional facility had the charges against him dropped last week in District Court.

On Sept. 6, a Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) detective began investigating an alleged sexual assault at the County Jail. The investigation revealed the suspect, Dajuan Anthony Porter, 27, of Harrisburg, Pa., sexually assaulted a male victim with whom he is housed in a work release section of the jail who share the same pod with two other inmates.

The investigation revealed the victim awoke around 4 a.m. on Sept. 6 with Porter sexually assaulting him. Based on the evidence, an arrest warrant was obtained and served on Porter, charging him with a fourth-degree sex offense, perverted practice and second degree assault. Porter had been sentenced in July to six months in the jail for a fourth-degree burglary conviction. Porter appeared in District Court last week and had the jail sex offense charges against him “nolle prossed,” or not prosecuted.

Sex Offenders Sentenced

OCEAN CITY — A pair of convicted sex offenders nabbed in Ocean City last month after failing to register with the state’s sex offender registry each appeared in court last week and were sentenced to additional jail time, most of which was suspended.

In November, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office announced it was seeking Andrew David Harris, 45, of Ocean City, for failing to re-register as a sex offender within three days of moving to a new location. Harris, a Tier 2 sex offender, was also wanted in Delaware for numerous unrelated matters. When Harris failed to re-register within the appointed time, a warrant was sworn out for his arrest.

Around 7:25 p.m. on Nov. 3, an off-duty OCPD officer received information Harris might be in Ocean City. The off-duty officer then contacted the on-duty OCPD shift supervisor and relayed the tip about Harris’ possible whereabouts after verifying Harris was wanted on an outstanding warrant and failing to register as a sex offender following his release from jail in April

Harris was then located by the OCPD at a residence on Philadelphia Ave. near 5th Street and was taken into custody without incident. Last week in District Court, Harris was found guilty of failing to register as a sex offender and was sentenced to 18 months, all but one month of which was suspended.

Also in November, the county sheriff’s office announced it was searching for another local man, Delmar Cubbage, 21, of Ocean City, for failing to register as a sex offender. OCPD officers located Cubbage at a residence on Philadelphia Ave. near 8th Street and he was taken into custody without incident. In September, Cubbage was found guilty of failing to register as a sex offender and was sentenced to a year in jail, all but 64 days of which were then suspended. Cubbage was then given credit for the 64 days he spent in jail awaiting trial.

Last week in District Court, Cubbage was also found guilty of failing to re-register as a sex offender and was sentenced to 31 days in jail, but was given credit for the 31 days he spent in jail awaiting trial, resulting in no new jail time.

Stand-off Case To Circuit

OCEAN CITY — A Stockton man arrested in Ocean City in October after an armed standoff paralyzed a several-block area downtown had his case forwarded to Circuit Court last week after probable cause was found to move the case to the higher court.

A vast section of the downtown area was paralyzed for several hours on October 31 while the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) mobilized nearly all of its resources to nab an armed fugitive hiding under a handicap ramp at an apartment complex.

Earlier in the day, the OCPD received information from the Maryland State Police that a wanted individual who was possibly armed may be heading to Ocean City or may be in the resort. A lookout for the suspect, identified as Dennis John Cross, 19, of Stockton, was broadcast and OCPD investigators began searching for the suspect.

Cross was wanted on outstanding warrants from both the Worcester and Wicomico County Sheriff’s Offices. In Worcester, Cross was arrested in June 2010 in connection with a series of car thefts in the south end of the county and was later sentenced to three years in jail with all but one year suspended. When he violated the terms of his probation in that case, his bond was revoked and a warrant was sworn out for his arrest.

OCPD detectives learned from Chincoteague Police that Cross was the primary suspect in the theft of a shotgun and should be considered armed and dangerous. With the information provided, the OCPD began an extensive search for Cross in the downtown area. At one point on Monday afternoon, OCPD officers showed pictures of Cross to residents in the downtown area in hopes of finding information on his whereabouts, according to a witness at the scene.

Based on all of the information developed during the investigation, OCPD detectives and patrol officers focused their search efforts on a vast area roughly between 8th and 9th streets and from Philadelphia Ave. to St. Louis Ave. Around 4 p.m., OCPD officers discovered Cross had barricaded himself under the decking of a wheelchair ramp attached to the Beach Bum Apartments between 8th and 9th streets on the west side of Philadelphia Ave. and incident changed from a search to a stand-off situation.

The OCPD established a perimeter around the scene from 9th Street south to 8th Street and from Philadelphia Ave. to St. Louis Ave. Mounted Police units were stationed at different points around the perimeter, preventing vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians from entering the stand-off area. In one instance, a young mother with a child in a stroller was prevented from going back into the area where she lived, according to a witness at the scene.

Meanwhile, the OCPD mobilizied uniformed and tactical officers all around the perimeter, including the Quick Response Team (QRT), which was decked out in full SWAT-style regalia including vests, helmets and assault rifles. QRT officers were stationed at various positions in and around the apartment building where Cross had barricaded himself and trained their assault rifles on the suspect’s location.

Finally, sometime after 6:30 p.m., OCPD tactical officers were able to take Cross into custody without further incident. At the time of his arrest, Cross was found in possession of a modified shotgun, which was loaded. Cross was also found in possession of an unknown amount of prescription narcotics, and during the standoff, officers observed Cross ingesting an unknown quantity of pills.

Following a preliminary hearing in District Court last week, enough evidence was presented to forward Cross’ case to Circuit Court. He is scheduled to be arraigned on January 18.

Grinch Active In Salisbury

SALISBURY — Christmas gift-stealing burglars were active in the Salisbury area late last week with a handful of unrelated cases still unsolved.

Around 3:20 p.m. last Friday, a Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to a residence on Brookdale Drive in Salisbury for a reported residential burglary. The deputy met with a resident, who reported returning home and discovering a window open that was not previously left open. The victim told police he cautiously entered his residence and discovered an unknown suspect or suspects had broken in and stolen numerous items including jewelry, household electronics and Christmas presents.

Around 11:15 p.m. on Dec. 24, a Wicomico County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a reported burglary on Price Rd. in Salisbury. The investigation revealed the homeowner had returned a short time earlier to discover a rear sliding glass door had been smashed out, allowing suspects to enter the residence.

The unknown suspect or suspects then proceeded to unwrap Christmas presents while looking for items to steal. Among the items stolen was a watch set intended to be a Christmas present, along with jewelry and cash from elsewhere in the residence. Anyone with information about either case is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 410-548-4890, or Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776.

Sexual Solicitation Alleged

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on sexual solicitation of a minor and false imprisonment charges last week after allegedly luring a young girl into his vehicle and making advances toward her before eventually letting her go.

On Dec. 15, Salisbury Police responded to a residence on Carrolton Ave. for reported suspicious activity. The investigation revealed a suspect, later identified as Paul Andrew Dowling, 31, of Salisbury, had lured a 15-year-old girl whom he knew into his vehicle under false pretenses and proceeded to lock the doors.

Dowling allegedly made sexual advances to the girl as he drove around before finally complying with the victim’s requests to let her out. Dowling was arrested last Wednesday and was charges with sexual solicitation of a minor, false imprisonment and contributing to conditions of a child.

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