OCEAN CITY – The resort’s police department saw increases in activity across the board in the month of May, however the total number of crime incident in Ocean City so far this year remains lower than the previous year.
At Friday’s Police Commission meeting, Police Chief Ross Buzzuro reported May’s total calls for service, including traffic stops, business checks and assistance to citizens, totaled 9,065, a 2.4-percent increase from May 2013 when there were 8,856 calls for service. Out of that total, 6,644 were officer initiated, which is a 1.5-percent increase from May 2013, and 2,421 were citizen initiated, which is a 4.7-percent increase from May 2013.
The total number of calls for service, excluding traffic stops, business checks and assisting citizens, totaled 5,353, a 4.9-percent increase from May 2013 when there were 5,101 calls for service. Out of the total, 3,059 were officer initiated, which is a 4-percent increase from May 2013, and 2,294 were citizen initiated, which is a 6.2-percent increase from May 2013.
Out of the top 25 calls for service, the majority of categories increased in May, starting with city ordinance violations inflated to 577 calls compared to 395 in May of 2013; assists to citizen increased to 455 from 398 last year; 911 hang up calls increased to 344 from 231 last year; alcohol violations increased to 248 from 207 last year; collisions increased to 181 from 180 last year; theft already occurred increased to 114 from 95 last year; CDS violations increased to 112 from 109 last year; noise complaints or violations increased to 103 from 90 last year; assault already occurred increased to 77 from 50 last year; domestic assault/dispute increased to 74 from 73 last year; DWI investigate and/or arrest increased to 53 from 50 last year; tow impound police increased to 52 from 40 last year; malicious destruction of property increased to 50 from 46 last year; warrant attempt or arrest increased to 41 from 30 last year; breaking and entering increased to 33 from 14 last year; report of a fight increase to 26 from 24 last year; and forgery of any kind increased to 19 from 15 last year.
Coded calls for service that decreased are disorderly decreased to 598 from 613 last year; suspicious person or activity decreased to 163 from 188 last year; assist to OC EMS decreased to 135 from 157 last year; parking complaints/violations decreased to 116 from 185 last year; assist to motorists decreased to 108 from 122 last year; civil dispute decreased to 85 from 88 last year; assist to the fire company to 65 from 82 last year; and trespassing to 62 from 74 last year.
There were 327 arrests made in May and 111 criminal citations issued. There were 79 drug arrests made and 78 drug citations. There were 61 DUI arrests made and 16 weapon arrests, according to OCPD data.
Five months into the year, a weekly breakdown reflects a 2.6-percent decrease in total crime this year compared to last year.
Under Part 1 Crimes there have been no homicides compared to one this time last year; no shootings in both May of 2013 and 2014; seven forcible rapes so far this year compared to four this time last year; two robberies in both years; 18 aggravated assaults compared to 12 this time last year; burglaries increased to 120 in May this year from 65 last year; larceny decreased to 185 from 235 last year; seven auto thefts compared to 11 last year; and there were no cases of arson in both May of 2013 and 2014.
Buzzuro furthered there have been 177 common assaults so far this year compared to 202 this time last year and 14 minor sex offenses so far this year compared to 12 last year, resulting in an overall total of 530 crimes at of the end of May this year compared to 544 at the end of May in 2013.
For comparison, the weekly average population estimates in Ocean City in May produced by Demoflush was 142,976 this year, which is a 4.8-percent decrease from last year.
Included in the monthly reports were four incidents in May where a Controlled Electronic Weapon (CEW), also known as a Taser, was involved.
On Saturday, May 17, an officer had to utilize a Taser to stop a suspect from continuing to assault another after police had ordered both individuals to hit the ground. The victim complied, by falling to his knees, but proceeded to curl up into a ball, as the suspect kicked him in the head. The officer immediately targeted the suspect with his CEW, which gained immediate compliance.
On Saturday, May 17, after observing multiple suspects punching a male, the officer targeted the most aggressive suspect, who refused police orders, with his CEW and pulled the suspect to the ground. The primary suspect was subsequently placed under arrest, and there were no injuries to anyone involved.
On Monday, May 26, an officer observed a large intoxicated male threatening to fight another subject, who was much smaller than the aggressor. When the officer approached the aggressive suspect, he targeted the suspect with his CEW, which gained immediate compliance from the suspect.
On Tuesday, May 27, an officer saw a man shouting at vehicles in the roadway. When the officer shouted for the male to stop, the suspect fled on foot. The suspect tripped and fell to the ground, which is when an officer attempted to handcuff him, but the suspect tensed up. The primary officer produced a warning arc with his CEW, which gained immediate compliance