Fight Leads To Weapons

OCEAN CITY – Two Pennsylvania men were arrested on weapons charges last Saturday after resort police observed them attempting to retaliate for an earlier fight.

Ocean City police officers working plainclothes in the downtown area last Saturday witnessed two groups of people yelling at each other at a house on 8th Street and St. Louis Ave. The officers observed one of the groups leave the area and walk north on St. Louis Ave. There were five men in the group and one of them was extremely agitated. He was still yelling and punching objects with his fists as he walked with the group.

As the group of men got into a car at 9th Street, the officers heard the agitated man state he was going to go back and “finish this.” The plainclothes officers, followed by uniformed officers, stopped the car immediately. All of the occupants were removed from the vehicle while police searched it.

The officers discovered several weapons in the area of the driver’s seat including an aluminum baseball bat, a triple-bladed, fist-held stabbing/slashing weapon and a curved fighting knife. The driver, Alvin Johnson, 18, of Lancaster, Pa., was arrested and charged with weapons violations.

Police also discovered another baseball bat by the front passenger’s seat and that occupant, Anthony Williams-Villega, 19, of Lancaster, Pa., was also charged with a weapons violation.

A. Ocean City Police’s Doug Smith holds some of the weapons confiscated last Saturday after officers intervened in a potential altercation. Photo by OCPD

Flat Screens Stolen From Dockside Bar

OCEAN CITY – Resort police this week are investigating the theft of four flat-screen televisions from M.R. Ducks sometime early last Sunday morning.

The suspects entered the outdoor, gazebo-style bar sometime between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Sunday, July 1. The four televisions were mounted to the ceiling of the bar, and the suspects were able to remove each of the televisions from their mounting brackets. They are described as Sharp Aquos 32-inch flat panel televisions and are valued at $750 each or $3,000 for all four.

OCPD detectives are currently following up on several leads, including information about someone trying to move stolen televisions. If anyone has knowledge of the case or the location of the televisions, they are encouraged to contact Dfc. Shawn Jones of the OCPD Criminal Investigation Division at 410-723-6661.

Checkpoint Nets Five Arrests

BERLIN – A cooperative effort between the Maryland State Police, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, and the Berlin, Ocean City and Ocean Pines Police Departments last weekend resulted in the arrest of five suspected impaired drivers.

The sobriety checkpoint was conducted at Route 50 and Hall Rd. between 10:43 p.m. and 3:06 a.m. last weekend. A total of 840 vehicles were checked during the operation. During the checkpoint, 14 motorists were pulled over to the side for additional sobriety field testing. Of those, five were arrested and charged with driving while impaired. In addition, one was also charged with a CDS violation and another subject was arrested for an outstanding warrant.

Indecent In Berlin 

BERLIN – An Ocean City man was arrested for indecent exposure this week after a witness reported him peeing in the parking lot of a Berlin shopping center.

Shortly after 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Berlin police responded to the Brittingham Square shopping plaza for a reported indecent exposure incident. The witness told police an unidentified man had exposed himself in the parking lot. When the police arrived, they observed Bradley Lohmeyer, 51, of Ocean City, exposing himself while urinating in the parking lot near the Food Lion grocery store.

There were approximately 20 people in the shopping plaza observing the incident, according to police reports. Lohmeyer was arrested and charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct. He was later released on his own recognizance by a court commissioner.

Guns Found During Traffic Stop

OCEAN CITY – A Pittsburgh man was arrested on weapons charges this week after a traffic stop revealed he had two handguns in his vehicle.

On Monday, OCPD Officer Frank Soscia responded to a call from two other resort officers requesting assistance because they noticed a gun in the glove compartment of a vehicle they had stopped for a traffic violation. The first officers pulled over Alexander Demos, 38, of Pittsburgh, when he failed to yield the right-of-way to an ambulance responding to an incident on 71st Street.

The officers informed Soscia they had observed a handgun in the glove box while Demos was retrieving his vehicle registration. Soscia retrieved the gun, an FNH (5.7) model handgun with a 20-round magazine and made it safe by removing the magazine and the bullet that was in the chamber.

The officer asked Demos if he had a permit and Demos told him he did have a valid Pennsylvania Firearms carry permit. Demos also told the officer there was a second gun, a Beretta Storm, in the vehicle located next to the passenger seat. The second gun was then retrieved between the passenger seat and the center console. The second gun was unloaded.

A check of the Pennsylvania permit revealed it was not valid in Maryland and Demos was arrested and charged with carrying a handgun in his vehicle.

Men Found With Drugs, Guns

OCEAN CITY – Two Pennsylvania men, one of them paralyzed from the waist down, were arrested on a variety of weapons, drugs and alcohol charges last week after an off-duty Ocean City firefighter noticed one of them drinking an alcoholic beverage while in the drive-through line at a resort bank.

Shortly before 1:30 p.m. last Saturday, an off-duty Ocean City firefighter reported seeing the passenger of a vehicle consuming an alcoholic beverage while in the drive-through of the Bank of America on 48th Street. OCPD officers responded and approached the driver, later identified as Ronald Carter, 23, of Aston, Pa. The officer asked Carter if he was reaching around and under the seats of the vehicle because he was hiding alcohol or alcohol and drugs, and Carter responded it was just champagne and handed the officer a round bottle of Chambord.

While speaking with Carter, the officers noticed the distinct odor of marijuana emanating from the passenger compartment of the vehicle. The passenger, Corey Hypolite, 20, also of Aston, Pa., was asked to exit the vehicle. Police found out Carter was paralyzed from the waist down and used a wheelchair, so he was not immediately asked to exit the vehicle.

The officers then began to search the vehicle for drugs and discovered a small amount of marijuana in the center console. Hypolite was then placed under arrest for suspicion of possession. Hypolite later asked OCPD Cpl. Dennis Eade why he was being arrested and charged with possessing the pot, and Eade explained he was in the vehicle and knew the marijuana was in the vehicle and had control of it, to which Hypolite said “right,” and shook his head up and down as if the affirm he knew about it.

Meanwhile, the officers searching the vehicle observed an HK handgun box on the rear seat. They opened the box and discovered a Beretta 9-mm semi-automatic handgun inside, which contained a magazine but did not have any ammunition in it. The officers asked Carter if he had any ammunition in the vehicle and Carter told them he had some in the glove box.

When they searched the glove box, the officers found another gun, a .40 caliber Glock 23 with a laser sight, inside. The Glock was loaded, but there wasn’t a round in the chamber. The officers also discovered a full, 28-round Glock magazine in the driver’s door.

Carter freely admitted the two guns and the marijuana were his and that he did not want Hypolite arrested. Carter told police he owns both guns and has a concealed weapon permit in Pennsylvania, but he was not able to produce the permit. Hypolite was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. Carter was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of a handgun in a vehicle and failure to attach registration plates on the front and rear of the vehicle.

Rogue And Vagabond Sticks

OCEAN CITY – A Pittsville man pleaded guilty to charges of rogue and vagabond in court Monday morning after apologizing for and explaining his actions.

Joseph John Genco, 19, of Pittsville, Md., was charged with rogue and vagabond after taking a woman’s backpack on May 23. Genco, who has two prior convictions for possession of marijuana, apologized to the court and to the victim, who was present in the courtroom.

According to Genco’s lawyer, Genco was under the stress of financial struggles and was deeply depressed at the time of the incident. He informed the court that Genco had been fired from his job that day and thrown out of the house by his wife.

Genco’s lawyer also reported that the victim stated that Genco did indeed look depressed and disoriented before taking her bag. The victim also stated that all of her items had been returned.

Genco apologized, claiming that he had no idea why he had done such a thing. Judge Gerald Purnell found Genco guilty, sentencing him to 10 days in the local detention center with suspension of all 10 days upon the completion of two years of unsupervised probation and the payment of $322.50 in fines.

Possession Charges Dismissed

OCEAN CITY – Possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia charges were dismissed in court Monday after the state failed to prove that police had the right to search a Virginia man’s bag.

Laver Isaiah Crawford, 21, of Norfolk, Va., came before the District Court Monday to plead not guilty to charges of possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

On March 10, police responded to a 7-Eleven in response to a report of stolen items. The clerk told police that a male and a female had entered the store and failed to pay for a bottle of Colt 45. A description of the male and female was put out and the two were spotted on 60th Street at the Best Western Hotel.

Officer Charles Kelley testified that upon entering Crawford’s room he found a bottle of Colt 45 lying on the floor. Crawford told police that he thought that his girlfriend had paid for the alcohol. Kelley proceeded to take Crawford outside of the room and arrest him. Kelley then returned to the room to search the area near the Colt 45 bottle, including Crawford’s bag.

The public defender objected to the search, questioning its legality.

Kelley said police was not sure what items had been stolen and that it is standard procedure to search the surrounding area. The state’s attorney agreed that the officer was doing good police work.

After further arguments from the public defender that the police had no right to search the bag, Judge Gerald Purnell agreed that there was not probable cause to search the bag. As a result, the state dismissed all charges.

Holes Found In Robbery, Assault Case

OCEAN CITY – An armed robbery and assault case was sent to the Circuit Court after a preliminary hearing in District Court Monday, but not before questions were raised as to the validity of the case.

Gerrel Brandon Kess, 17, of Glen Bernie, Md., came before the court Monday morning for charges of armed robbery, first- and second- degree assault and misdemeanor theft.

Detective Todd Speigel testified that on June 17 officers found Daniel Connelly, 26, of Brooklawn, N.J., passed out on the sidewalk on the corner of Rusty Anchor Rd. and Bradley Rd. with dried blood covering his face. After waking Connelly, they discovered that he was highly intoxicated.

Connelly told officers that he had met three men at a bar and had made arrangements to purchase powder cocaine from them. The men then took him to an ATM, where Connelly took out money to purchase the cocaine. Connelly then agreed to join the men at a party.

According to Speigel, the men took Connelly to the 94th Street area where more men were waiting. Two men then reportedly pulled switchblade knives. Connelly tried to escape but was stopped, beaten, and robbed.

Speigel testified that after finding Connelly, officers searched the area and detained four men a few blocks away. Connelly identified Kess as one of the men who held him at knifepoint. Officers arrested Kess and another individual, Tyrone Mann.

Donald Daneman, Kess’ lawyer, pointed out several holes in the story. Connelly reportedly claimed that the men stole his money and his cell phone. Upon questioning, Speigel testified that after police found the cell phone, Connelly admitted that he might have lost it earlier in the evening.

Daneman also referred to the description that Connelly gave of the men who attacked him and the vehicle that they were in. Connelly was unable to give a description of all the men who robbed him, yet he identified Kess as one of the men. Connelly also claimed they had been in an Escalade, but Kess was not found in an Escalade when police arrested him.

Daneman also mentioned the highly intoxicated state of Connelly, who admitted to police that he had consumed at least 14 drinks that night.

Connelly reportedly told police initially that the men attacked him because he refused to buy cocaine from them, but later admitted that he had indeed agreed to purchase cocaine from them.

Judge Gerald Purnell asked Speigel whether anything had been found on Kess to link him to the crime. The detective said that no knife was found on Kess but that he did have nearly $500 on him, which Kess claimed was spending money for vacation.

The judge decided to move the case to Circuit Court, but not before voicing his opinion on the case.

“The state’s going to have an uphill battle,” Purnell said in reference to the highly intoxicated state of Connelly. Purnell also stated that he felt it was a weak case so far, with little evidence connecting Kess to the crime.

Attempted Murderer Charge Dropped

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City woman arrested in February and charged with attempted murder and assault after allegedly trying to run over her boyfriend with his truck during a domestic dispute had the charges against her dropped this week in Worcester County Circuit Court.

Around 10:45 a.m. on Feb. 11, Ocean City Police officers responded to a reported domestic dispute in progress on Channel Buoy Rd. When they arrived, the officers noticed two individuals, later identified as Ronald Alimo and Julliette Nicole Jarin, 33, both of Ocean City. When approached by the officers, the couple said no one had been assaulted and they were just having an argument. They then left the area, driving off in a Dodge truck.

Less than an hour later at approximately 11:30 a.m., one of the officers was dispatched to a 911 call at 135th Street. According to police records, the officer met with Alimo again, who claimed Jarin had just assaulted him by scratching his face after an argument over her infidelity. Bleeding from the mouth and covered with scratches on his face, Alimo went on to say that Jarin had tried to run over him three times back at the vacant lot prior to police arriving the first time. He also showed Brown where Jarin had kicked another one of his trucks, leaving a dent and threw a rock at a window scratching it.

The officer then spoke with Jarin, who was nearby at an intersection and said she had only scratched Alimo because he had come at her. However, witnesses of the dispute said Jarin had lunged at Alimo instead. Jarin also denied trying to run over her boyfriend but did admit that she had accidentally run over one of his air compressors.

Jarin was then placed under arrest and charged with attempted second-degree murder, first-and second-degree assault and the malicious destruction of property.

This week in Circuit Court, the charges against Jarin were “nolle prossed” or not prosecuted.

50 Days For Trespassing

OCEAN CITY – A local homeless man, arrested in March on trespassing and burglary charges after being found in a vacant apartment in Ocean City, was found guilty this week of trespassing and was sentenced to 50 days in jail.

On March 29, resort police were called to an apartment building on St. Louis Ave. after a resident reported suspicious activity including hearing footsteps in an apartment that was supposed to be empty. A K-9 unit performed a sweep of the unit in question and located Robert Lee Sitler, 54, of no fixed address, crouching in a closet holding a beer can.

According to police, Sitler had been warned earlier this year to stay away from the apartments, after he was caught inside a unit. Sitler told the officers he had been living in a shed nearby and was just looking for a place to sleep. Sitler was arrested and charged with fourth-degree burglary and trespassing. This week in Circuit Court he was found guilty on the trespassing charge and sentenced to 50 days in jail.