SALISBURY — Four Salisbury University students were arrested on various charges this week after a donnybrook at an off-campus housing complex last Saturday morning involving roughly 1,500 participants.
Around 11 a.m. last Saturday, Salisbury Police responded to the Cedar Crossing housing area for a reported large and disorderly crowd. Upon arrival, Salisbury Police officers observed approximately 1,500 college-age individuals within the confines of the housing area. According to police reports, a disc jockey was playing on a temporarily erected stage in the housing complex.
When the officers began videotaping portions of the crowd for documentation, the crowd began to throw bottles and cans at the marked patrol vehicle. The supervisor on the scene requested additional assistance and Maryland State Police troopers, deputies from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office and Fruitland Police officers all responded to the scene. Off-duty Salisbury Police officers were also contacted and asked to report for duty. In addition, “Safe Ride” was also contacted and provided several transport vans to take students away who wanted to leave. Salisbury EMS was also requested in case any injuries were to occur.
The allied law enforcement officers then began to attempt to disburse the crowd by moving toward them and requesting they leave the area. As the officers moved in on the assembled throng, the crowd began to curse and throw bottles and cans toward the police. At that point, officers advised the crowd pepper spray would be utilized if they did not disburse.
After a deputy was struck in the arm with what appeared to be a full can of beer, the officers then utilized pepper spray in an attempt to move the riotous crowd from the area. According to police reports, several threats were also made towards a police sergeant on the scene.
The crowd continued their rant towards the uniformed officers and refused to move out of the area. The crowd continued to pelt the uniformed officers with bottles and cans. The crowd eventually moved out of the area as the riot broke up. However, allied law enforcement agencies continued to patrol the entire complex throughout the rest of the day and into the evening.
As a result of the fracas, four individuals were arrested and charged with various offenses. Joshua Troy Sanoske, 22, of Salisbury, was charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a lawful order, and disturbing the peace. Benjamin Price McGuirk, 19, of Bel Air, was charged with trespassing. Justin Arora, 21, of Germantown, Md., was charged with trespassing and failure to obey a lawful order. Ashton Jacqueline Wheatley, 19, of Fruitland, was charged with disturbing the peace, failure to obey a lawful order, disorderly conduct and obstructing and hindering. Each of the arrestees were taken to Central Booking and were later released after posting $15,000 bonds.
The party was reportedly part of a larger celebration around the Salisbury University campus surrounding the traditional War on the Shore lacrosse game against rival Washington College. In addition, Salisbury hosted the annual Pork in the Park festival last weekend. According to a social media campaign, some students have called for a repeat performance this weekend. Salisbury Police officials were scheduled to meet this week with SU officials to discuss increased security around the campus.
Pocomoke Woman Charged
With Embezzling $400K
POCOMOKE — A Pocomoke woman was charged this week with theft scheme over $400,000 after a five-month investigation revealed she allegedly absconded with over $400,000 from three businesses.
On Tuesday, Julie Holland, 39, was charged with a single count of theft scheme over $100,000 for the alleged embezzlement. Holland had been employed at Nock’s Tire Service in Pocomoke for 15 years before her employment with the company ended last November. The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) conducted a five-month investigation into missing funds at Nock’s Tire Service along with two other businesses in Pocomoke including Mason Quality Homes and Mason Trucking, each of which are owned by Carlton Mason.
WCBI detectives were asked to investigate the funds missing from the three businesses and were provided with extensive amounts of documentation from the general manager at Nock’s Tire Service. Based on the evidence, WCBI Detective Robert Trautman interviewed Holland, who at first denied any involvement with the missing funds.
However, once confronted with bank records and credit card documents showing unauthorized transfers of money to her personal account from Nock’s Tire Service’s business checking account, Holland admitted to taking the funds. She later provided a written statement acknowledging that she had taken over $400,000 from her former employer. Holland told detectives she had suffered some financial hardship, but could not explain where all of the money had gone, according to police reports. The case is scheduled for a May 2012 court date in Worcester County Circuit Court.
Traffic Stop Nets Pot Bust
OCEAN CITY — A Delmar man was arrested on marijuana charges last week after a routine traffic stop in Ocean City.
Around 10:50 p.m. last Friday, an OCPD officer on marked patrol observed a vehicle with a headlight out and initiated a traffic stop. Following the traffic stop, the OCPD officer requested a K-9 exterior of the vehicle, which resulted in a positive alert for the presence of a controlled dangerous substance within. A search of the vehicle turned up a container on the floorboard on the front passenger side containing a multi-color glass smoking device and a metal smoking device.
Also located in the same container was a metal grinder containing suspected marijuana. The officer spoke with three occupants of the vehicle separately. One of the occupants seated on the rear driver’s side, identified as Dylan Sedgewick, 18, admitted he had smoked marijuana in the vehicle about an hour earlier. Sedgewick was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana.
Burglary Charge Dropped
SNOW HILL — A Dundalk man, one of four people arrested on various charges after a fight outside a West Ocean City motel in March, who allegedly attacked a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy and had to be Tazed to be brought under control had the first-degree burglary charges against him dropped last week in Circuit Court, but still faces a slew of charges related to the incident.
Around 6:30 a.m. on March 18, a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to the Alamo Motel in West Ocean City in reference to several disorderly individuals fighting out front. Upon arrival, the deputy observed three individuals fighting in the parking lot, including one suspect later identified as Isreal Christopher Haggerty, 19, of Dundalk. While the deputy was talking with Haggerty, he was approached by a juvenile female who said she had been assaulted.
The juvenile female then became disorderly, according to police reports, and when an attempt was made to take her into custody, the juvenile allegedly assaulted the officer. While the juvenile female was being taken into custody, Haggerty allegedly began attacking the deputy and the deputy had to deploy his Tazer to subdue the attacker.
However, that was not the end of the fracas. The juvenile female then began to fight with another individual along with two other suspects later identified as Brent Monroe, 19, of Baltimore, and Stephen Stark, 44, of Ocean City. The investigation revealed had broken into a room at the motel, which triggered the fight in the first place.
Haggerty was charged with assaulting a police officer, disorderly conduct and first- and third-degree burglary and was ordered held on a $50,000 bond. Monroe was charged with disorderly conduct and first- and third-degree burglary and was committed on a $25,000 bond. Stark was charged with disorderly conduct and was later released. The juvenile was charged with assaulting an officer, second-degree assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and is being held by the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Last week, Haggerty had the first-degree burglary charge against him dropped, but still faces second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, third-degree burglary and obstructing and hindering. Meanwhile, the charges against Monroe are moving forward, as is the disorderly conduct charge against Stark, which is set for trial on May 18.
Coach Guilty Of Minor Abuse
SALISBURY — A Wicomico High School teacher and coach arrested in January after allegedly sexually abusing a female student both on and off school grounds during a two-year pattern dating back to 2008 pleaded guilty this week in Wicomico County Circuit Court to sexual abuse of a minor and was sentenced to four years in jail.
Steven Kiggins, 43, of Hebron, a Wicomico High School teacher and head varsity volleyball coach, was arrested in January and charged with assault and sex offenses after investigation revealed he allegedly had sexual contact with a female student for a period of two years dating back to December 2008. Charging documents indicated the victim told detectives she had been assaulted in a classroom about once a week over the two-year period when she was 16 and 17 years old.
On Monday, Kiggins appeared in Wicomico County Circuit Court and pleaded guilty to one count of sexually abusing a minor. He was then sentenced to nine years, all but four of which were suspended. Upon his release from jail, Kiggins will have to register as a Tier 3, or high risk, sex offender.
Mallards Get Pre-Prom Message
BERLIN — With prom season right around the corner, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) last week met with upper school students at Worcester Prep last week to discuss making smart choices during the annual events.
OCPD Sergeant Dennis Eade last Thursday spoke to a room full of upper school students at Worcester Preparatory School about a number of precautions they can take to ensure that they are safe during prom weekend. The presentation included a variety of subjects, including how students can avoid getting arrested, how to prevent dangerous and tragic situations and how making the right choices will result in a weekend full of wonderful memories instead of a troubled or disastrous situation.
“I am thankful to Worcester Preparatory School for inviting me here,” said Eade. “Not only does it give me the opportunity to discuss prom safety and tips about how to avoid drinking and drugs, but it also allows me to discuss the importance of their future and how the decisions they make today will affect them tomorrow. If I am able to get that message through to at least one student, then I think the presentation is worthwhile.”
In addition to impaired driving information, the OCPD discussed distracted driving with Worcester Preparatory students.
“The under-20 age group has the greatest proportion of distracted drivers,” said Eade. “Of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes, 16 percent were reported to have been distracted while driving. This is a problem and I am hoping that Worcester students will help be part of the solution.”
As part of National Distracted Driving Prevention Month, nearly 100 students from Worcester Prep Upper School signed the OCPD pledge to drive phone free.
“By signing the pledge, these students are not only setting an example amongst their peers but they are being leaders of the fight to end distracted driving,” Eade continued. “They are protecting lives and making our community safer by never texting or talking on the phone while driving.”