Cop Attacker Draws A Crowd

OCEAN CITY – An incident that began with the discovery of two men sleeping in their car on Edgewater Ave. last weekend led to the discovery one of them was wanted on an arrest warrant from Baltimore City and ended with the suspect attacking Ocean City police officers in front of a large crowd of onlookers before he was subdued.

Around 8:15 a.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City police bike officer was on routine patrol in the downtown area when he noticed a silver Lexus parked on Edgewater Ave near 4th Street with two men sleeping inside. The officer approached the vehicle and asked the two men inside for identification, which neither had, but the officer was able to get their names. A warrant check the passenger of the vehicle, Gerald Rios, 20, of Baltimore, was wanted on assault charges in Baltimore City.

Rios was talking on his cell phone during the time the OCPD officer was questioning him and the officer told him to put it down and stop yelling or he would be arrested for disorderly conduct. Meanwhile, several citizens had come out of their residences nearby to witness the incident.

When the officer asked Rios to sit on the curb while he continued his investigation, Rios suddenly stood up and bolted straight at the officer and pushed him backward. Rios was able to break away from the officer’s grip and ran toward another officer who was assisting with the incident. The second officer was able to tackle Rios to the ground, but Rios bent his badge and ripped the officer’s shirt in the process.

Rios broke free again, this time running about five feet before the two officers were able to get him on the ground. Rios continued to resist arrest and assault the officers despite taking repeated knee kicks to the rib cage. At one point, Rios told the officers, “you hit me one more time and I’m really going to fight.” He continued on an expletive-laced tirade as the officers struggled to get him under control.

Finally, a third OCPD officer arrived on the scene and pepper-sprayed Rios, but he continued to fight with police. After a second dose of pepper spray, he was finally cuffed but continued to fight until leg restraints were put on him. After all that, the warrant check confirmed Rios was the man wanted in Baltimore. He was taken into custody and charged with a wide variety of offenses ranging from assault on an officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, escape and malicious destruction of property.

Car Thief Joy Rider Gets Seven Years

SNOW HILL – A Pennsylvania man who last fall broke into a downtown Ocean City apartment and trashed the place before taking a set of keys and stealing a vehicle was sentenced to seven years in jail this week in Worcester County Circuit Court.

Christopher Enright, 26, of Toby Farms, Pa., was in Circuit Court for a sentencing hearing after pleading guilty to first-degree burglary in April. Last October, Enright broke into a resort apartment and stole keys to a vehicle and took it on a joy ride before being apprehended by police.

On Oct. 9, around 4:30 a.m., OCPD Officer Frank Soscia stopped a Mitsubishi Eclipse because the driver, Enright, was acting suspiciously and the vehicle’s headlights were off. The officer initiated a traffic stop and made contact with Enright, who was found to be wanted on active, extraditable probation violation warrants from Pennsylvania. Soscia arrested him on the active warrants and began questioning him about the vehicle.

According to court documents, Enright told the officer several different stories and appeared to be lying about whom the car actually belonged to. The officer then contacted the vehicle’s owner and determined that the car had been reported stolen.

Through the investigation, Soscia learned Enright was involved in a house burglary earlier in the night where the keys had been lifted. Assisting officers responded to the residence, which appeared to be turned upside down, according to police testimony. Several clues at the scene led police back to Enright and he was arrested on a handful of charges including first-degree burglary, to which he pleaded guilty in April.

At the time, sentencing was deferred pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation including a psychological examination. Back in court on Monday, Enright was sentenced to seven years in jail.

Three Arrested In Downtown Melee

OCEAN CITY – Three Laurel, Md. residents were arrested and charged with assault, assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and several other charges last weekend after a downtown donnybrook involving the suspects, police officers and others.

Shortly before 3 a.m. last Sunday, OCPD Cpl. Richard Wawrzeniak was on routine patrol in the downtown area around Dorchester Street and Philadelphia Ave. when he heard the continuous sound of a woman screaming. The officer followed the sound until several people on balconies in the area pointed him in the direction of Dorchester Street and Baltimore Ave.

As the officer approached the area, he noticed a group of people standing on the sidewalk next to a well-lit parking lot. As he approached the group, the officer’s attention was drawn to a man later identified as Shaun Michael Reeves, 27, of Laurel, Md., who was shouting at a Hispanic man later identified as Rocel Sanchez and appeared to be baiting Sanchez to fight.

As the officer approached the situation, Shaun Reeves’ brother, Ryan Reeves, 24, also of Laurel, intercepted the officer in an apparent attempt to stop the officer from getting to his brother. Several of Reeves’ companions gathered around the officer to explain what had happened. Meanwhile, Sanchez motioned to the officer that he had been hit in the face.

The situation escalated when Lindsey Reeves and Katie Young, also of Laurel, began screaming loudly and uncontrollably, according to police reports, and the officer noticed the screaming matched the screaming he heard earlier at the outset of the incident. Meanwhile, a crowd had gathered at the scene and several other police officers had arrived for back-up.

At the height of the melee, Ryan Reeves approached Wawrzeniak and swung his fist at his head, but the officer was able to avoid a direct hit and was struck in the back of the head and neck. The two wrestled to the ground as an additional officer arrived to assist. Young then jumped on top of Ryan Reeves who was now lying on the ground and attempted to block the assisting officer from getting to him. Wawrzeniak, the initial officer on the scene, pulled Young away, ripping her shirt in the process, but was unable to handcuff her because Shaun Reeves had come to her rescue and encountered the officer.

More officers were brought to the scene, including Maryland State Troopers from the Berlin Barrack, and all of the combatants were ultimately restrained and arrested. The investigation revealed Lindsey Reeves had a fight earlier in the night with her brother Shaun Reeves and went for a walk with her friend Katie Young. A short time later, Lindsey Reeves called her irate brother with a cell phone belonging to Sanchez and Shaun Reeves responded to the scene and attacked Sanchez, hitting him in the face.

All of that happened just before police arrived on the scene and the situation escalated. Ryan Reeves was charged with felony assault on an officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Shaun Reeves was charged with assault and resisting arrest and Katie Young was charged with assault, resisting arrest and obstructing and hindering.

Contractor Fraud Suspect Arrested

BISHOPVILLE – A local man suspected of posing as a contractor without a license while working on several projects at a residence in Whaleyville was arrested last week and charged with felony theft and several other offenses.

On Tuesday, June 26, the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) received a complaint from resident in Whaleyville about a person posing as a contractor without a license. The resident told detectives a man later identified as Thomas Anthony Lloyd of TLC Construction acted as a contractor and began working on the victim’s home.

Lloyd was working on several projects at the victim’s home, but there were no blueprints or permits for the construction project. The victim had paid Lloyd over $100,000 for the work. Last Friday, Lloyd was arrested by WCBI with assistance from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office.

He was charged with felony theft, theft scheme, operating without a contractor’s license and failure to perform on a contract. He was held at the Worcester County Detention Center on a $5,000 bond.

Traffic Stop Leads To Pot

BERLIN – A routine traffic stop on Route 113 in Berlin last weekend led to the arrest of a Pocomoke man on drug possession charges.

On July 7, a Berlin police officer observed a Ford Contour heading south on Route 113 with a non-functioning taillight. The officer initiated a traffic stop and noticed the strong odor of burnt marijuana emanating from the vehicle. A search of the driver, later identified as Vincent Lavette Stoudmire, 47, of Pocomoke, turned up a wooden pipe with marijuana residue.

While searching the vehicle, the officer discovered two Baggies of marijuana stuffed into the radio tape deck. Stoudmire was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Charges Filed In Alleged Sexual Assault On Boat

BERLIN – A Berlin man faces assault and sex offense charges this week after allegedly molesting a female victim aboard a shuttle boat in the bay near a mid-town restaurant and nightclub back in June.

On Friday, July 6, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) served Mark David Brady, 52, of Berlin, with a criminal summons charging him with second-degree assault and fourth-degree sex offense. The charges stem from an incident on June 23, aboard a shuttle boat in the Isle of Wight Bay.

Brady is charged with allegedly pulling up the victim’s top and touching her inappropriately. As the victim cried out for help another shuttle boat patron struck Brady, knocking him back into his seat and away from the victim. Brady and his associates disembarked the shuttle boat onto a private boat and left the area.

Brady is scheduled to appear in Worcester County District Court on July 27 for a preliminary inquiry.

Accident Knocks Out Berlin Power

BERLIN – Power was out throughout much of Berlin last week when a car collided with a utility pole on Broad Street.

On July 5, Berlin Police responded to a traffic accident on Broad Street near Ann Drive. A vehicle collided with an electric pole, knocking out power to much of Berlin. The accident was cleared and the Berlin Electric Company had the power restored a short time later.

Two Nabbed For BUI On Fourth

OCEAN PINES – Two Delaware men were arrested on the Fourth of July and charged with operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs after they could not find the entrance to the public boat ramp in north Ocean Pines.

On July 4, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) charged two Delaware men with operating their vessels while intoxicated on the St. Martin River near Ocean Pines. Around 11:15 p.m., NRP observed two vessels traveling together in the area of Club House Canal. The second vessel was not displaying the proper navigational lights. NRP approached both vessels as they headed north, observed both operators and stopped the vessel without proper navigational lights. The first vessel continued in a northerly direction.

The operator of the stopped boat, Thomas M. Bennett, 48, of Bridgeville, Del., was exhibiting signs of intoxication. NRP determined that Bennett would have to be escorted into port for further testing, as heavy sea conditions did not allow for officers to attempt towing the vessel. Sea conditions for that night were three- to three-foot waves with winds gusting at 30 knots.

Phone contact was made by NRP with the operator of the first vessel, James Kirk Evans, 41, of Lewes, Del., to ascertain where Bennett needed to take his vessel, as Bennett was unfamiliar with the north Ocean Pines area. Evans allegedly advised NRP that he continued on because he too was intoxicated and should not have been operating his boat. Both individuals were en route to the public boat ramps at the north end of Ocean Pines.

Bennett was escorted into the boat ramps by NRP. Ocean Pines Police Department was requested by NRP for assistance at the boat ramps prior to their arrival. After taking field sobriety tests, Bennett and Evans were placed under arrest and transported to the Ocean City Police Department for a breath test.

Bennett took a breath test, which showed a blood alcohol concentration of .16 percent. He was charged with operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol; operating a vessel while impaired by alcohol; operating a vessel while impaired by drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol; and operating a vessel between the hours of sunset and sunrise without proper navigation lights.

Evans took a breath test, which showed a blood alcohol concentration of .09 percent. He was charged with operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol; operating a vessel while impaired by alcohol; and operating a vessel while impaired by drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol. A court date of September 14 has been scheduled for both men in Worcester County District Court.

Five Rescued From Disabled Fishing Boat

ASSATEAGUE – Five fishermen were rescued by the Coast Guard on Tuesday just off the coast of Chincoteague after their vessel became disabled and began taking on water.

The crew aboard the “Two Aces” was fishing off the coast Tuesday morning when the vessel experienced engine trouble and began taking on water shortly after 10 a.m. A Coast Guard rescue crew aboard a 47-foot lifeboat, returning from a different incident, responded and assisted in dewatering the vessel and towing it to a harbor in Chincoteague.

The Coast Guard also safely removed the crew aboard the disabled vessel including Wally and Katie Isenberg of Salford, Pa.; John and Margaret Morton of Chincoteague; and Cody Dillman of Quakertown, Pa.

Marijuana Charges Stick

OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty to charges of possession of marijuana in court Monday, after being arrested in April.

Joseph Laverne Meckley, 19, of York, Pa., was arrested on April 20 for possession of marijuana. Police arrived at the Holiday Inn on 66th Street in response to a report that the smell of marijuana was coming from one of the rooms. Officer Earl Campbell arrived at the room in question and upon smelling marijuana asked to enter the room. Campbell found Meckley, along with marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia. Meckley admitted it was his and was placed under arrest.

In District Court Monday, Meckley pleaded guilty to the charges, receiving probation before judgment with an additional $357.50 in fines. Before dismissing Meckley Judge Daniel Mumford addressed the issue.

“You’ve started your adult life off on the wrong foot,” he told Meckley, explaining the negative outcomes of marijuana usage. “This is your last break.”

Woman Found Guilty For Fleeing Scene of Accident

OCEAN CITY – A Virginia woman came before a District Court judge on Monday morning to plead guilty to charges of failure to return and remain at the scene of an accident involving attended vehicle damage and property damage.

Karen Lynn Price, 25, of Chantilly, Va., was arrested on May 4 after she left the scene of an accident. Price reportedly was the driver of the vehicle that caused damage to another vehicle and to the Bonfire Restaurant.

Price’s attorney said that she simply “wandered away,” and that she had no intentions of fleeing the scene. Her attorney explained to the court that Price was attempting to retrieve the man who was in the car with her and who had left the scene of the accident. Price and the passenger were picked up a half a block away.

Nonetheless, Price was found guilty and fined $357.50.

Malicious Destruction

OCEAN CITY – A Preston, Md. man was found guilty in District Court Monday for the destruction of two vehicle tires.

Kevin Christopher Thomas, 29, of Preston Md., was charged with malicious destruction of property on May 28, after he was witnessed destroying two car tires. The officer’s report described the destruction as a tire “slashing”, but Thomas disagreed, saying he didn’t slash any tires but that he let the air out of them. 

Judge Daniel Mumford still classified it as a “despicable act”. Mumford asked Thomas why he would do such a thing and Thomas said it was for “personal reasons.”

Thomas was ordered to pay $298.03 in restitution to the vehicle’s owner and received $557.50 in fines. Thomas was also sentenced to 30 days in the county jail, with all 30 days suspended upon payment of the restitution.

Loud Outburst Results In Guilty Sentence

OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania man came before the District Court Monday to plead not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct.

Ryan Joseph Ifkovits, 20, of Laurys Station, Pa., choose to defend himself in court Monday. Officer Carl Perry testified to the events leading up to Ifkovits’s arrest.

According to Perry’s testimony, on May 28, Perry and Officer Joseph Melena were on the Boardwalk discussing an arrest that Melena had just made in response to a noise violation. As they were talking, a male, identified as Ifkovits, approached and began questioning Melena about the arrest. Perry said that Ifkovits became angry and stormed off the Boardwalk yelling, “it’s a good thing you have that [expletive deleted] badge.” Perry said that it was loud enough to draw the attention of several people in the area.

In court this week, Ifkovits also took the stand to explain his side of the story. According to Ifkovits, Melena had just arrested two of his friends for a noise violation. Ifkovits claimed that he followed Melena so that he could find out his name. Ifkovits explained that he was upset with how Melena had treated his friends and wanted to know his name so that he could file a complaint.

Ifkovits testified that Melena was not cooperative in their conversation, leading Ifkovits to become angry and to yell.

Ifkovits apologized for what he did but maintained that he and his friends had been treated unfairly. He also added that he had exercised his right to freedom of speech.

Judge Daniel Mumford found Ifkovits guilty, explaining that freedom of speech applies to political speech. He also said that it was Ifkovits’s loudness that got him arrested.

Ifkovtis was sentenced to probation before judgment with one year unsupervised probation and $357.50 in fines.