Pedestrians Struck Intentionally In Berlin

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BERLIN — A Bridgeville, Del. man was arrested on first-degree assault and other charges last weekend after intentionally trying to run over a man and a woman after an altercation at a Masonic Lodge party in Berlin.

Shortly before 11 p.m. last Saturday, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the area of the Masonic Lodge on Trappe Rd. in Berlin for a report of pedestrians that had been struck by a vehicle. Berlin Police and Maryland State Police also responded and assisted with the investigation.

A general description of the vehicle, a silver Toyota Tacoma, was broadcast and Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) were able to stop the vehicle on Trappe Rd. a short time later. A witness to the collision was brought to the scene of the stop and identified the vehicle and one of its passengers, Cedrick Lamar Fooks, 20, of Bridgeville, who was allegedly driving at the time of the collision with the pedestrians. The witness told police Fooks swerved into the victims, striking them intentionally.

Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Fooks and charged him with first- and second-degree assault and driving without a license. Worcester County Bureau of Investigations (WCBI) detectives interviewed Fooks and learned the suspect had traveled with three companions to attend a party at the Masonic Lodge in Berlin. Fooks got into a physical altercation with another man at the party, who was later one of the victims of the vehicle collision.

After the altercation, Fooks got into the truck and began driving up and down the road until he observed the male victim he had fought with moments earlier. Fooks then directed the truck at the man and his female companion, striking both. The two victims suffered injuries not believed to be life threatening and were transported to PRMC in Salisbury for treatment. Fooks was charged with first-degree assault and was ordered to be held on a $250,000 bond following an appearance before a District Court Commissioner.

Pot Found After Traffic Stop

BERLIN — Two Virginia residents were arrested on marijuana possession charges last weekend after a routine traffic stop in Berlin.

Around 10:50 p.m. last Saturday, a Berlin Police officer pulled over a vehicle for speeding on Route 113 near Franklin Ave. When the officer made contact with the occupants, he detected the strong odor of marijuana coming from the passenger compartment. A probable cause search of the vehicle revealed two separate plastic baggies that contained small amounts of marijuana.

The two suspects, Ronald Alston Lafond, 35, and Daphne Jo Lafond, 33, both of Newport News, Va., were charged with possession of marijuana and were released on criminal citations.

Purse Snatcher Sought

SALISBURY — The Wicomico Sheriff’s Office this week is seeking the public’s help in identifying a suspect wanted in connection with a purse snatching on New Year’s Eve.

Around 4:15 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Main Street area in Hebron for a reported theft. The officers met with a female victim who told police she had just been robbed of her purse and wallet. The victim told police her vehicle had been bumped in the rear by another vehicle. The unidentified suspect then approached the victim in what she believed was an attempt to exchange information about the accident.

However, the suspect grabbed the victim’s purse and wallet and attempted to flee. The victim attempted to hold onto her property, but the suspect was ultimately able to wrest the purse and wallet from her. The suspect then returned to his vehicle and fled the scene.

The suspect is described as a tall white male wearing a hoodie-type sweatshirt at the time of the theft. The vehicle is described as a black pick-up truck, possibly a Toyota, that might have spots of gray primer on it. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office at 410-548-4890. Information can also be provided anonymously to Crime Solvers. Information provided that leads to an arrest in the case could result in a cash reward from Crime Solvers, which can be reached at 410-548-1776.

Robbery Suspect Convicted

SNOW HILL — A Harrisburg Pa. man, one of four arrested in June after Ocean City police witnessed an assault and robbery taking place in the downtown area, was found guilty this week on multiple charges and was sentenced to a net three months in jail.

Around 12:30 a.m. on June 19, OCPD officers on bicycle patrol in the area of 1st Street and Philadelphia Ave. witnessed four suspects including a juvenile involved in a robbery and assault. The four suspects, including Vaughn Jones, 19, Averee Robinson, 18, Larry Rascoe, 18, and a juvenile, all from Harrisburg, Pa., fled the area when they saw the OCPD officers approaching the scene.

After a brief pursuit, each of the suspects were located and placed under arrest for robbery, second-degree assault, theft and disorderly conduct. This week, Rascoe was found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery and second-degree assault and was sentenced to 18 months on each conviction, all but three months of which were suspended. Rascoe was also found guilty of disturbing the peace and hindering free passage and was sentenced to 60 days in jail on that count. Rascoe was also fined $500.

Last fall, Robinson and Jones each pleaded guilty to robbery and each was sentenced to 18 months in jail with all but one month suspended. Each was placed on probation for three years upon release. The juvenile’s case is being handled by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Holiday Drive A Success

OCEAN CITY — The Ocean City Police Department’s annual Christmas Food and Toy Drive was once again a great success with dozens of families including hundreds of children receiving the benefits of the resort community’s generosity.

The OCPD Christmas Food and Toy Drive proved to be a blessing to many local families this holiday season. With a volunteer crew of more than 40 people, former Chief Bernadette DiPino and her staff tended to more than 75 families, including almost 200 children, last Saturday at the Public Safety Building.

The annual OCPD Christmas Food and Toy Drive was started by DiPino, who got the idea from her grandfather while he was a member of the Baltimore Police Department many years ago. The tradition was continued by her father in Baltimore and later by Chief DiPino in Ocean City. Acting OCPD Chief Kevin Kirstein was very pleased with the event.

“We hope to continue this annual event, as it helps families in need,” he said. “Every year, the Ocean City community generously comes together to help provide for those less fortunate families. It’s extraordinary to witness the charity of our citizens.”

Several Ocean City businesses and organizations contributed to the success of this year’s Food and Toy Drive, including the Ocean City Elks Lodge and Elks Ladies Auxiliary who donated $4,000. Also making large contributions were the Delmarva Condominium Managers Association (DCMA), who stopped by the Public Safety Building with a truck load of toys and a cash donation of $1,000 and Atlantic Physical Therapy who donated 15 bicycles. Other significant contributions came from the Ocean City Parrottheads, Fager’s Island, the original Greene Turtle, the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, the OC Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary, Paul Smith of the Photographers Studio, Caine Woods Association and the First State Detachment Marine Corps League. In addition, numerous toys, gifts and monetary donations were donated by several community members as well.

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