Fatal Accident

Social Issues & Government

BERLIN — An Ocean Pines woman injured in a two-vehicle accident on Route 113 near Showell last Tuesday afternoon perished from her injuries three days later at PRMC.

Around 2:40 p.m. last Tuesday, Maryland State Police troopers were dispatched to a reported motor vehicle accident with injuries on Route 113 at Route 575 near Showell. The investigation revealed a vehicle driven by Virginia Balascio, of Ocean Pines, had attempted to make a left turn from northbound Route 113 onto Route 575. Balascio failed to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle driven by Aubrie Baker, of Berlin, which was traveling southbound on Route 575.

Balascio was flown to PRMC by Maryland State Police Aviation, while Baker refused medical attention on the scene. Last Friday, Balascio perished from injuries sustained in the accident. The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Maryland State Police in the incident and the MSP is handling the investigation of the collision.


Attempted First-Degree

Murder Charges

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on seven counts of attempted first-degree murder and 18 counts of first-degree assault and other charges this week after first threatening to shoot two individuals and later returning to attempt to burn down their apartment building.

Around 1:40 a.m. last Sunday, Salisbury Police responded to a residence on Fairground Drive for a reported disturbance. The investigation revealed a suspect later identified as Brandon Corey Jackson, 34, of Salisbury, had threatened to shoot two juveniles before leaving in a vehicle. About an hour later, the complainants notified police Jackson had returned to the apartment complex.

Salisbury Police went back and found Jackson in the parking lot and hiding an unknown object. Officers found a bottle of lighter fluid in Jackson’s waistband and a lighter on the ground. The investigation revealed Jackson had poured a trail of lighter fluid through the stairwells of the building and onto door mats in front of two apartments. The trail of lighter fluid then exited the building.

There were 18 residents inside the apartment building, but no one was injured. The Salisbury Fire Department responded and cleaned up the areas contaminated with lighter fluid. Jackson was arrested and charged with seven counts of attempted first-degree murder, 18 counts of first-degree assault, seven counts of reckless endangerment and one count of burning with intent to defraud.


DUI, Hit-And Run

OCEAN PINES — An Ocean Pines woman was arrested on drunk-driving and leaving the scene of an accident charges last week after allegedly striking a vehicle in a parking lot and later returning the to the scene.

Around 3:30 p.m. last Thursday, a Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to the Food Lion parking lot in Ocean Pines for a reported hit-and-run accident. The deputy learned through the investigation a driver, later identified as Melissa Renner, 24, of Berlin, was driving erratically and struck another unattended vehicle while parking. The damage to the other vehicle was minor, according to police reports.

While the deputy was interviewing witnesses, Renner returned to the scene and admitted driving the vehicle involved. The deputy allegedly noticed an odor of alcoholic beverage on Renner’s breath and person. In addition, Renner’s eyes were allegedly bloodshot and glassy.

When the deputy asked Renner for her license, Renner allegedly handed the officer narcotic prescription pills from her pocket for which she did not have a prescription. Renner admitted drinking alcohol and the deputy observed bottles of alcohol within the vehicle she was operating.

Renner was asked to perform a series of field sobriety tests on which she performed unsatisfactorily. She was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, leaving the scene of an accident and possession of CDS-not marijuana. She was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was released pending trial.


Stiff Sentences

For Weapons Arrests

SNOW HILL — Two Virginia men, arrested on Ocean City on multiple weapons charges after loaded guns, several knives and a tomahawk were recovered in their vehicle following a routine traffic stop, were sentenced this week to two years and 45 days respectively.

Around 2 p.m. last Sept. 5, 2013, an OCPD officer working patrol in the downtown area stopped a vehicle near 3rd Street and Baltimore Ave. for a seatbelt violation. While approaching the vehicle, the officer observed numerous used shotgun shell casings throughout the inside of the vehicle and a large folding knife attached to the driver’s pocket. In addition, the smell of burnt marijuana also emanated from inside the vehicle.

The officer spoke to the driver, later identified as Charles Michael Reynolds, 22, of Bristow, Va., who told police there was a loaded semi-automatic .45 caliber handgun in the vehicle and that he did not have a handgun permit for the state of Maryland. The officer then requested Reynolds and the passenger, identified as Ryan Zachary Pritchard, 21, also of Bristow, exit the vehicle to allow police to search it.

During the search, officers located the loaded hand gun Reynolds had mentioned, along with loaded magazines, two other large fixed-blade knives and metal throwing tomahawk. Reynolds and Pritchard were charged with two counts each of possession of a concealed deadly weapon, two counts of possession of a handgun in a vehicle and possession of a handgun on one’s person.

In March, each was found guilty and pre-sentence investigations were ordered. Back in court on Tuesday, Reynolds was sentenced to two years for wearing or carrying a handgun in a vehicle and 60 days for possession of martial arts weapons. Pritchard was sentenced to 45 days for possession of martial arts weapons.


Probation, Fine For

Window Smasher

SNOW HILL — A West Ocean City man, arrested in December on malicious destruction of property and other charges after allegedly throwing a rock through the windshield of a vehicle at the Park-and-Ride, pleaded guilty last week in District Court and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, all of which was suspended in favor of a fine and probation.

Around 5:50 p.m. on December 29, a Maryland State Police trooper was dispatched to the Park-and-Ride in West Ocean City for a reported white male suspect wearing a Baltimore Ravens jacket who had thrown a rock through the window of a van in the lot. While en route, the trooper observed a suspect matching the description in the parking lot of the nearby Royal Farms convenience store.

The suspect was identified by the boyfriend of the vehicle’s owner, who had witnessed him throwing the rock through the window. The suspect, identified as Donald Anthony Collins, 55, of West Ocean City, was arrested and charged with malicious destruction of property and trespassing. Last Friday, Collins pleaded guilty to rogue and vagabond and was sentenced to 18 months. The sentence was then suspended and Collins was placed on probation and fined $200.



Tried To Eat Weed

BERLIN- A Millsboro man was arrested on marijuana possession charges this week after putting weed into his mouth during a traffic stop on Route 113 near Berlin. Around 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday, a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy on routine traffic patrol observed a vehicle traveling 78 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone on Route 113 near Jarvis Rd. … Continue reading

Man Charged With Assault

BERLIN — A Snow Hill man was arrested on first-degree assault and other charges this week after allegedly dragging a woman across a road in Berlin before picking her up and carrying her into a residence. Around 11:45 a.m. on Monday, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the area of Libertytown Rd. in Berlin for a reported assault in progress. … Continue reading

Credit Card Theft Arrest

BERLIN — An Ocean City man was arrested on multiple counts of felony theft last weekend after the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office was able to connect him to the fraudulent use of stolen credit card. Last Saturday, a Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy arrested Curtis James Adkins, 28, for multiple counts of felony theft. Adkins had been the lead suspect in … Continue reading

West OC Burglary

WEST OCEAN CITY — A West Ocean City man was arrested on burglary and other charges last weekend after first allegedly breaking into the home of his ex-girlfriend and later fleeing the scene on foot. Around 11:30 p.m. last Friday, Maryland State Police troopers were dispatched to a residence on Salisbury Rd. in West Ocean City for a reported burglary … Continue reading

New Use For Ambulance

OCEAN PINES — The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office last week proudly accepted the keys to a 2000 ambulance from the Ocean Pines Fire Department that was recently taken out of service. The Sheriff’s Office will be transitioning the retired ambulance into a Mobile Incident Command Vehicle. The vehicle will be used at accident scenes, searches and rescues, large events around … Continue reading

Son, Mother Arrested

POCOMOKE- – A Pocomoke man was arrested on rape charges and his mother was also arrested for attempting to hide him from police last week. Around 9 p.m. on March 9, Worcester County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested David Dwayne Dickerson, 22, on a Worcester County Circuit Court warrant charging him with second-degree rape and a sex offense. Dickerson was taken … Continue reading

15 Days For Sex Assault

SNOW HILL — A Gaithersburg man, arrested in July on multiple sex offenses following an investigation into a sexual assault in Ocean City in June, was found guilty this week of fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault and was sentenced to 18 months with all but 15 days suspended. During the week of June 10, 2013, Ocean City Police detectives … Continue reading

Large Cocaine Bust

SNOW HILL — Two men were arrested on drug distribution and other charges last weekend after a large quantity of cocaine was found in the engine compartment of their vehicle following a routine traffic stop for a seatbelt violation in the Pocomoke area. Around 1:45 p.m. last Sunday, a Maryland State Police trooper was patrolling in the area of Route … Continue reading