Shots Fired In Berlin Community

BERLIN – A Berlin man faces first-degree assault and other charges this week after firing a shot during an altercation in the Decatur Farms community last weekend.

Last Saturday, Berlin Police officers responded to Decatur Farms in the area of Schooner Lane for a report of shots fired. The investigation revealed Joseph Milo, DeAndre Gordon and a juvenile male were involved in an altercation in the area when Gordon, a former football and wrestling standout at Stephen Decatur High School, allegedly brandished a firearm at Milo and later fired a shot.

Gordon, 18, of Berlin, was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. He is being held at the Worcester County Detention Center on a $10,000 bond. The incident is still under investigation by the Berlin Police Department and the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation.

Route 90 Accident Snarls Traffic

OCEAN CITY – A two-car accident on the Route 90 bridge mid-morning on Tuesday snarled traffic in both directions for nearly an hour, causing back-ups in both directions.

Donald Walker, of Kearneysville, West Va., was traveling westbound on Route 90 in his 2007 Chrysler Aspen when he stopped because of construction on the roadway. Tyler Collins of Ocean City was also traveling westbound on Route 90 in his 2000 Ford Ranger, but failed to stop when Walker’s vehicle halted for construction resulting in a rear-end collision.

Westbound traffic on Route 90 was halted for about 30 minutes as a result of the accident. Collins’ vehicle was towed from the crash scene. Both Walker and Collins refused treatment from Ocean City EMS at the scene. Collins was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision.

OC Burglar Gets Jail Time

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man with an extensive record for breaking and entering in the resort this week pleaded guilty last week in Worcester County Circuit Court to fourth-degree burglary in one of two incidents in the resort to which he was connected this spring and was sentenced to six months in jail.

Jermaine Hill, 21, of Ocean City, was in Circuit Court for a motions hearing last week on two separate burglary cases dating back to April. In the first case, Hill was accused of breaking into the office of a resort hotel closed up for the winter and taking a bottle of wine, some bottles of Gatorade and some crackers and later hosting a party in one of the hotel’s rooms.

Hill and other suspects pushed a window air conditioning unit into the office and climbed in through the open window. One of the other suspects in the break-in told police he admitted going to the party at the motel room after the break-in, but had nothing to do with the burglary itself. Another suspect in the case told police Hill had told him he had broken into the office.

In the second case, Hill was connected to another break-in at the T-Shirt Factory on 6th Street and the Boardwalk. In that case, dating back to March 26, OCPD detectives were called to the store when workers opening the store found a dollar bill on the floor near the cash register and that the cash register had been “z’d out” or opened in the early morning hours. One worker testified the door to the store had been secured with a chain and lock, but that the chain was not cut, suggesting the perpetrators gained access with some help from the inside.

Detectives linked the crime to Hill, who admitted being connected to it after an interrogation by OCPD Detective Vickie Martin. Hill allegedly told the detective before he admitted being connected to the crime, “I’m tired of lying to police and I’m tired of all the games.”

Last week in Circuit Court, Hill pleaded guilty to fourth-degree burglary in the second incident and was sentenced to six months in jail.

GlenRiddle Community

Center Burglarized

BERLIN – The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) is looking for two unidentified men wanted in connection with a burglary at the Glen Riddle Community Cnter this week.

WCBI is currently investigating a break-in at the community center during which a flat-screen television was stolen. The investigation revealed the break-in occurred around 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning when two unidentified suspects entered the community center. The suspects are described as an unknown male wearing a light-colored hooded jacket and jeans; and a unknown male wearing a dark-colored long sleeve shirt and jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to contact WCBI at 410-352-3476, or the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office at 410-632-1111.

Traffic Accident Leads

To Drug Arrest

BERLIN – Berlin Police arrested a Newark man for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol following an accident last week, only to find out he was in possession of 16 grams of crack cocaine.

Last Thursday, Berlin Police were dispatched to the intersection of Pitts and William streets for a motor vehicle collision. After responding, the officers noticed the strong odor of alcohol coming from one of the drivers, Keishawn Antonio Fisher, 31, of Newark. Fisher was asked to submit to several field sobriety tests, but refused the tests by failing to follow the officer’s instructions.

Fisher was then arrested on suspicion of DUI and handcuffed. When the officer attempted to search Fisher, he began to resist and attempted to escape, but he was subdued after a brief chase. When officers finally searched Fisher, they found him in possession of 16 grams of crack cocaine.

He was charged criminally with possession, possession with intent to distribute, escape and resisting arrest. He was also charged with several traffic violations including driving while intoxicated and driving while impaired along with several charged related to the initial accident. He is being held without bond.

Wanted Carjacker Arrested

OCEAN CITY – A man wanted for armed carjacking in Baltimore was arrested in Ocean City last week after punching another man in the face during an altercation in the downtown area.

On Aug. 8, an OCPD officer working routine patrol in the area of Caroline Street observed a man later identified as Dwight Jojo Rosado, 27, of no fixed address, walking briskly away from a group of people with blood on his hand and forearm. The officer was then approached by another man, who said Rosado had just punched him in the nose. The officer observed a large gash on the bridge of the victim’s nose.

Rosado fled the scene, but was apprehended by two other OCPD officers nearby a short time later. The two officers were injured while attempting to take Rosado into custody. Once they had Rosado in handcuffs, police discovered a knife in his pocket with the tip broken off. They also found a baggie of suspected marijuana.

Rosado was taken to the police station on 65th Street while the victim was taken to the hospital for a broken nose and cuts. A short time later, the initial officer received a call stating Rosado had ripped a phone off the wall in his holding cell, which was held in place by four two-inch plus bolts.

A background check on Rosado revealed he was wanted in Baltimore City for an armed carjacking. He was held in Ocean City and charged with assault, possession of marijuana and malicious destruction of property.

Pepper Spray For Open

Container Violation

OCEAN CITY – A Pocomoke man, stopped initially for an open container violation in Ocean City, had to be subdued with pepper spray last week when he refused to cooperate with police.

Around 8:30 p.m. last Saturday, resort police responded to the 8th Street area for a reported drunk and disorderly man. Upon arrival, the responding officers observed a man, later identified as Ronnie Collins, 48, of Pocomoke, concealing a liquor bottle under his tank top. Collins was hostile and uncooperative, according to police reports, but a warrant check on him came back negative. As the officer was advising him of the open container law, Collins got in his vehicle and turned up the stereo to the point the officer could not be heard and a disturbance was created in the area.

The officer advised Collins to turn down the radio, but Collins refused and left the scene on foot, visibly angry as he walked, according to police reports. About an hour later, the officer saw Collins again on 8th Street, drinking from a liquor bottle with his feet on the dashboard of his car and the music turned up very loud.

The officer waited for back-up units before approaching Collins’ vehicle. He asked Collins to get out of the car, which he did begrudgingly, but when the officer attempted to handcuff Collins, he refused to cooperate. The officer told Collins to cooperate several times before threatening him with pepper spray. According to the police report, Collins then said, “spray me,” which the officer did, but the suspect turned away and most of the spray dissipated in the wind.

When other officers arrived, Collins did allow himself to be handcuffed, but he did not give up the fight. He resisted getting into the paddy wagon and complied only after a knee strike to his thigh. After all that, he was charged with an open container violation.

Dancing In A Car

Leads To Drug Bust

OCEAN CITY – A Pittsburgh woman was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana and other drugs last week after dancing around in a vehicle with another girl while next to an unmarked OCPD vehicle.

Last Wednesday, two OCPD officers in an unmarked vehicle pulled up to a traffic signal next to a vehicle with two girls dancing around inside. The two girls were passing a blunt, or a cigar filled with marijuana, back and forth, and when they exhaled, the strong odor of marijuana came out of the vehicle’s open windows.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Amanda Rose Parks, 18, of Pittsburgh, and the passenger was a juvenile. The juvenile was heard yelling, “We don’t need to go to the bar, we got a party in here.” The juvenile then yelled, “we got some weed, if you couldn’t smell it,” according to police reports. When the juvenile said that, she held up the blunt and showed it to the officers.

When the light turned green, the vehicle headed south on Philadelphia Ave. The officers called for assistance from uniformed officers and pulled the vehicle over. Inside, they found a hand-rolled blunt with marijuana, several roaches with burnt marijuana residue and other partially smoked hand-rolled cigars in the ashtray.

A search of Marks revealed a baggie or marijuana and a small tin box with several pills identified as prescription painkillers. The officers asked Marks if the pot and pills were hers and she replied they were. They also asked her if she bought them in Ocean City or brought them with her and she responded she had brought them with her.

Trying To Get Straightened Out

OCEAN CITY – A Forest Hill man was arrested in the resort last week for possession of controlled dangerous substance and traffic-related charges after telling police, “I’m trying to get straightened out.”

Last Wednesday, resort police were patrolling in the area of 33rd Street when they observed a vehicle speeding and cutting off other traffic. The officer pulled over the Volkswagen, driven by Joshua Vecchiolla, 20, of Forest Hill, and found him to be driving in violation of a restriction on his license for a prior DUI conviction. A search of the vehicle revealed a small amount of marijuana and some pills identified as Oxycodone, which the suspect said he had bought at a concert.

When asked how much he had to drink, Vecchiolla told police he had one drink earlier, but there were beer cans and bottles strewn throughout the vehicle. When asked if thought he was okay to drive, Vecchiolla responded, “I had a little to drink, but believe me, I’m not drunk, I don’t want another DUI, I’m trying to get straightened out.”

Vecchiolla then refused to take a field breath-alcohol test, saying, “I think I’ll probably be okay now, but I don’t want to chance it because I don’t want to be like a .02.” He was arrested and charged with possession of controlled dangerous substance and several traffic violations.

Trash Can Bandit

Receives Guilty Sentence

OCEAN CITY – A Baltimore man came before the District Court Monday morning to face charges of possession of marijuana that stemmed from an arrest in June.

Luke Adam Otterbein, 18, of Baltimore, was arrested on June 5 for possession of marijuana after officers stopped him and another individual for purposely knocking over trashcans.

On June 5, officers responded to the area of 132nd Street in response to reports of two disorderly individuals. After identifying Otterbein as one of the disorderly individuals knocking trashcans over, police searched Otterbein, finding 3.1 grams of marijuana in his possession.

“What do you have against our trashcans,” Judge Daniel Mumford asked, adding, “It’s also not real smart to carry around marijuana.”

Otterbein pleaded guilty to the charges, receiving probation before judgment with one year of unsupervised probation and $357.50 in fines.

Possession Charges Stick

OCEAN CITY – A Newark, Del. woman appeared in District Court Monday, pleading guilty to charges of possession of marijuana but claiming that the marijuana was not hers but instead belonged to her dead fiancé.

Karen Elizabeth Mercer, 47, of Newark, Del., pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana but attempted to explain the circumstances, without the aid of an attorney, to Judge Daniel Mumford.

On June 3, officers responded to the Clarion Hotel after receiving an EMS call that two individuals were fighting. Police found that Mercer and another woman had been in an altercation. Mercer was arrested and upon searching her, police found a pipe with .8 grams of marijuana in it in her bag.

Mercer explained to the judge that she had come to Ocean City to help her sister, who was having problems with her husband. She claimed that her sister became out of control, resulting in the fight.

As for the marijuana, Mercer said that she had no idea that she was in possession of it. Mercer explained that her fiancé died in a motorcycle accident months earlier and that it was his marijuana. According to Mercer, they used to ride his motorcycle together and he would place his marijuana in the knapsack. Mercer hadn’t used the bag since his death and claimed that she was not aware it was in there.

Judge Mumford did not find the explanation to be very plausible. “That’s really skeptical, maybe it’s true maybe it’s not, but I wasn’t born yesterday,” Judge Mumford said.

Mercer was sentenced to probation before judgment with one year of unsupervised probation and $557.50 in fines.

Guilty Sentence For Dope

OCEAN CITY – A Dundalk man pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana in District Court on Monday.

Jesse Harrah, 18, faced charges of possession of marijuana after being arrested in June. On June 2, police noticed the odor of marijuana coming from an apartment on Atlantic Avenue. After approaching the apartment and receiving permission to enter, police searched the apartment.

Officers found Harrah in the bathroom trying to flush marijuana down the toilet.  Harrah was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana.

Harrah’s attorney explained that Harrah was in town for Senior Week and that he had no prior convictions or incidents such as this one.

“Why don’t you smoke dope in your own home? Why do you have to do it down here?,” Judge Daniel Mumford asked. Harrah simply responded, “I was on vacation.”

Mumford did not agree with the excuse, warning Harrah that had he been on vacation in Pakistan or Malaysia, he would be facing much more severe charges, possibly even death. Harrah was sentenced to probation before judgment with one year of unsupervised probation and $357.50 in fines.

Theft Charges Reduced

OCEAN CITY – Charges of theft resulted in a sentence of one year of supervised probation for a 19-year-old who pleaded guilty to the charges in District Court on Monday.

Marc Caputo, 19, of Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty to theft less than $500 value, escaping previous and more serious charges of burglary in the first, second, and fourth degree.

On June 15, police entered an apartment where a number of individuals were involved in an assault on the individuals staying at the apartment. Arrests were made, but at that time, Caputo was not arrested. Police found out that Caputo stole poker chips, cell phones, and a wallet off of a table. Caputo returned the items to the police station the next day.

According to Caputo’s lawyer, Caputo was with a group of friends and acquaintances on the night in question. Apparently a member of that group had been beaten up earlier in the night and everyone decided to go the apartment to pick a fight and seek revenge. Caputo’s lawyer maintained that Caputo was simply tagging along and stood back while the fighting took place.

Despite his inactivity in the fight, Caputo was not entirely innocent, taking the poker chips, wallet and cell phones before leaving.

Caputo’s lawyer explained that Caputo was entering his second year of college and that he now understood the severity of his actions.

“What if they’d had a gun? They could have shot you to death,” Judge Daniel Mumford asked, warning Caputo of how badly the situation could have ended.

Caputo received a sentence of probation before judgment with one year of supervised probation and $557.50 in fines.

Possession Charges

After Erratic Driving

OCEAN CITY – A Mexican citizen facing charges of possession of marijuana after attempting to drive a vehicle with hydraulics came before the District Court Monday morning.

Israel Beltran, 28, residing in Newark, Del., pleaded guilty to charges of possession of marijuana Monday after being arrested in April.

On April 24, police spotted a car driving down Coastal Highway, bouncing up and down erratically as a result of hydraulics. Police stopped the vehicle, driven by Beltran, and found that he did not have a United States driver’s license, only a Mexico driver’s license. Beltran was placed under arrest for driving without a license. Police searched Beltran and found marijuana in his possession.

Beltran’s lawyer explained that Beltran was driving his cousin’s girlfriend’s car and that he was not familiar with how to operate it.

Beltran was sentenced to probation before judgment with 11 months of unsupervised probation and $357.50 in fines.