OCEAN CITY – Resort police got a Fourth of July two-for-one arrest on Wednesday afternoon when the suspect apprehended in a hit-and-run accident was later found to be the perpetrator of a burglary at an uptown residence where frozen food was stolen from a freezer.
The bizarre sequence of events began to unfold around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday when OCPD officers responded to a hit-and-run accident at 129th Street and Assawoman Drive. A passenger in the car that was struck told police her husband was chasing the hit-and-run driver, later identified as Curtis Severe, 46, of Ocean City, who left his truck at the scene and fled on foot.
A radio broadcast was issued and a short time later another officer reported he had Severe in custody. Severe was arrested after the victims positively identified.
About 45 minutes later, OCPD Officer Jordan Braniff, who had arrested Severe in the hit-and-run case, responded to a reported burglary on Peach Tree Rd. The victim told Braniff someone had broken into his home and stolen frozen food from his freezer. The victim’s neighbor was able to provide a description of the burglar, and when the victim heard the description of the suspect, he recognized the suspect as a man who had lived in the residence previously.
The burglary victim then showed Braniff where the suspect now lived and the officer immediately realized it was the same location where he had arrested Severe earlier for the hit-and-run accident. Braniff then drove to the impound lot and discovered the frozen food still in Severe’s vehicle.
Severe was charged with hit-and-run, driving under the influence, driving while suspended, and assault on a police officer for the first incident. He was charged with burglary and misdemeanor theft for the second incident.
Severe is certainly no stranger to the OCPD or the local court system. In February 2006, he was arrested on assault charges after punching his girlfriend in the eye on a resort bus stop. He was later sentenced to six years in jail, all of which was suspended but one year. In October 2005, Severe was convicted for disorderly conduct and sentenced to 60 days in jail.