Golf Club Trumps Knife in Fight

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man, who brought a knife to a golf club fight, first found his head on the business end of the driver and was later arrested for assault, reckless endangerment and weapons charges last weekend.

A little before 6 p.m. last Saturday, OCPD officers responded to a call for an assault in progress involving a knife and somebody bleeding at an apartment building on 43rd Street. The responding officer was directed by neighbors to an apartment on the west side of the building and the officer observed a trail of blood on the ground in front of and inside the unit. The officer also noticed a blood-stained golf club in the threshold of the unit.

The officer spoke with a hysterical woman who said her boyfriend, later identified as Kenneth D. Reed, 51, of Ocean City, was hurt and that he was in the bathroom of the unit. The officer asked Reed’s girlfriend who had hurt him, but she was unable to respond. The officer later learned the girlfriend was deaf.

While the officer was speaking to the girlfriend, he was approached by a couple from another unit, including Gregory Jones, who said he was the one who injured Reed. Jones was taken into custody while police sorted out what had happened.

The first officer then went to the apartment in question and found Reed in the bathroom. The front of Reed’s clothing was covered in blood and he was holding two blood-soaked rags to his scalp. The investigation revealed Reed had two lacerations on his scalp and he was taken to the hospital.

OCPD detectives arrived on the scene and questioned Jones about what had happened. Jones said Reed blamed him for an incident with the landlord and asked him to fight. Jones said his wife told him not to go outside, but he heard somebody coming up the stairs and thought it might have been his daughter coming home from work.

When Jones opened his door, he saw Reed with a knife in his hand. Jones then told his wife to call 911 and attempted to close the door, but Reed tried to enter his residence. Jones told police he grabbed a golf club to force Reed back away from the door as Reed moved toward him with the knife.

When Reed continued to come toward Jones and threatened to stab him, Jones first hit Reed on the shoulder with the golf club. Reed did not relent and continued to come after Jones with the knife, and this time, Jones reportedly struck Reed in the head with the golf club. He then ran back into his residence.

After Reed was treated and released from the hospital, he was taken into custody and transported to the Public Safety Building on 65th Street. Another officer returned to Reed’s residence on 43rd Street and found a black folding knife with a 3- to 4-inch blade with blood on it in a dresser. The officer also recovered a wooden driver-style golf club in Reed’s unit.

Upon questioning, Reed relayed his own version of the events. Reed said he was at his mailbox in front of the apartment building when he yelled at Jones about a dispute between Reed’s girlfriend and the landlord at which time Jones told him to come up and meet him. Reed said he opened his knife and ran up to the third floor, but Jones met him on the stairs and the two fought.

Reed told the detectives he did go upstairs to confront Jones with the knife, but never intended to stab him nor did he ever attempt to enter his apartment. Reed did tell police he brought out the knife to scare Jones and may have threatened to kill him in his fit of rage, but never intended to stab Jones. Based on the physical evidence collected and the testimony of the combatants, Reed was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and carrying a deadly weapon with intent to injure.

Car Chase Around Track At Ocean Downs

BERLIN – A Texas man, in the resort area for a car show last weekend, was arrested on a variety of charges this week after speeding around the dirt practice track at Ocean Downs several times and fleeing through a crowded parking lot and hitting at least one vehicle trailer, before escaping to Route 50 where a blown tire ultimately led to his capture.

Shortly after 5 p.m. last Sunday, a Maryland State Police trooper assigned to the auto show event at Ocean Downs observed a vehicle speeding around the dirt practice track at the facility. The trooper activated his emergency equipment and drove his cruiser onto the track in an effort to catch the Audi and its driver, Cort Bennett Sikes, 24, of Austin, Texas, but Sikes was able to keep ahead of the police cruiser.

Sikes then veered the Audi off the racetrack and through a crowded parking lot, causing show enthusiasts to scatter to avoid being hit. At one point, Sikes collided with a large trailer, but was able to keep going and found his way to Route 50 with the police still in pursuit.

Sikes headed west on Route 50 when a blown left tire forced him to abandon the escape attempt and settle in the median. Sikes was taken into custody and failed a series of roadside sobriety tests and refused to take a breathalyzer. He was charged with driving under the influence, aggressive and reckless driving, attempting to elude police and failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving property damage. As of mid-week, he was being held on $5,000 bond.

Pines Burglar Sentenced

SNOW HILL – An Ocean Pines man, arrested last January along with his juvenile brother after getting nabbed in a string of burglaries in their neighborhood, was sentenced this week in Circuit Court to three years in jail, all of which was suspended but the 27 days he already served.

Mitchell Boyer, 18, of Ocean Pines, was found guilty on two counts of third-degree burglary last month for his part in a string of break-ins in Ocean Pines last January. On Monday, Boyer was sentenced to three years in jail, all of which was suspended but the 27 days he already served, and he was ordered to pay restitution to two of his victims in the amounts of $180 and $496.

On Jan. 19, Ocean Pines Police responded to the area of Pinehurst and Sandyhook roads for a report of two suspicious males with hoods over their heads running behind houses. The officer observed two suspects matching the description running down the street and one of them had a backpack which was open and appeared to be leaking soda cans.

The officer exited his vehicle and pursued the two boys, later identified as Mitchell Boyer and his juvenile brother, on foot, but they ran into a nearby residence. The officer followed the boys into the residence and found a black bag in the kitchen with a camcorder and a bong smoking device inside.

The boys told the officer it was their residence. Another officer retrieved what had fallen out of the backpack on the street including cans of soda and an owner’s manual for the camcorder. When the boys’ mother returned, the police showed her the goods and she said it did not belong to her sons. When told they were investigating a series of break-ins in the neighborhood, the mother allowed the officer to question the boys and they admitted the burglaries.

In one instance, the boys broke into a residence on Pinehurst and stole the camcorder and the cans of soda. In another burglary, the boys broke into a home on Bramblewood Dr. and stole $10 in change. In yet another case, Boyer and his brother admitted going into a house on Sandyhook through an unlocked door in the garage and stealing $80 from a jar, but when they heard the owner returning, they kicked out a rear window and fled on foot.

Two Arrested In Raid Convicted

SNOW HILL – Two Ocean City residents arrested in a drug raid in the resort in May were in Circuit Court this week in separate trials and each was found guilty and received weighty sentences.

After a months-long investigation last spring, the OCPD’s Quick Response Team (QRT), along with resort narcotics officers, executed a search and seizure warrant at a residence on Baltimore Ave. near 12th Street last May. Once inside, resort police discovered roughly one half-ounce of powder cocaine, three bags of marijuana, multiple items of paraphernalia, a digital scale and nearly $700 in currency.

Gary Vincent Botto, 52, and Debra Lynn Joiner, 42, both of Ocean City, were taken into custody and charged with possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute.

In her trial this week, Joyner was found guilty of possession of both cocaine and marijuana and was sentenced to a total of five years in jail all of which was suspended. In a separate trial, Botto was found guilty of possession of cocaine and was sentenced to four years in jail with all but 18 months suspended.

Trash Can Fire

OCEAN CITY – A fire in a trash can along Coastal Highway early last Saturday morning led to damage to a bus stop shelter and a car parked nearby.

Around 1:30 a.m. last Saturday, Ocean City firefighters were dispatched to a reported fire in a trashcan or recycling receptacle along Coastal Highway near 100th Street in front of the Clarion Hotel. Investigators from the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office determined the fire originated in the trash/recycling receptacle and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Damage was contained to the trash/recycling receptacle, a bus stop shelter and a vehicle parked nearby. There were no reported fire-related injuries. Anyone with information regarding the fire is encouraged to contact the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office at 410-289-8780 or the Arson Tip Line at 1-800-492-7529.

Wrong Door Kicker Sentenced

OCEAN CITY – A Bowie man who kicked in the wrong door at a downtown Ocean City apartment building in April while attempting to find out who “threatened his girl” plead guilty this week to malicious destruction of property and received a suspended two-month jail sentence and was placed on probation.

On April 21, resort police responded to a reported fight in progress at the Kitchen Apartments on Wicomico Street to find two women engaged in a fight with a large crowd gathered. While sorting out the incident, police interviewed a resident of the apartment complex who told them he heard a loud bang at a neighboring unit and heard somebody yell “you better give me my [expletive deleted] money.”

The investigation revealed the two girls had bought drugs from a room at the apartment complex, but the deal had gone bad and the dealer had threatened the two girls. The boyfriend of one of the girls, Charles Harding, 21, of Bowie, had gone to what he thought was the unit in question to straighten the incident out, but he actually kicked in the front door of a different room, which had been recently vacated.

According to police, the door and frame were completely destroyed and there was a footprint on the door matching the shoes Harding was wearing. There were also footprints in the unit matching Harding’s shoes.

Harding was arrested and charged with third-degree burglary and malicious destruction of property. On Monday, Harding pleaded guilty to the malicious destruction charge and was sentenced to two months in jail, all of which was suspended. He was then placed on probation for 18 months and ordered to pay $400 in restitution to the property owner.

Charter Captain Found Guilty

SNOW HILL – A veteran Ocean City charter fishing captain, who got in a scrap with Maryland Natural Resources Police in August over alleged illegal fish on board his boat, was found guilty last week in Worcester County District Court of second-degree assault, obstructing and hindering, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct and was fined $500.

On Aug. 25, the NRP, working with the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement officers, were conducting a joint enforcement agreement patrol at the Talbot Street Pier in Ocean City in an effort to find and deter fisheries violations. The officers boarded the charter boat “Lisa,” captained by Stuart Lloyd Windsor, 65, of Ocean City, to check the daily catch and discovered three fish that required a federal permit to possess.

When the officers asked Windsor for his permit, he became uncooperative, picked up the three fish and walked off the vessel away from the officers. He refused to comply with the officers’ orders and had to be forcefully restrained.

Windsor was charged with second-degree assault, failure to obey the lawful order of a police officer, resisting arrest, and obstructing and hindering. Last week in District Court, Windsor was fined $500 and received one year of unsupervised probation.

Defendant Nabbed After Missing Court Date

SNOW HILL – An Ocean City man who missed his court date in Circuit Court on Tuesday for assault charges from an incident in June was picked up on a detainer the very next day in the resort.

Ryan Simms, 21, of Ocean City, was supposed to appear in Circuit Court on Tuesday to face two charges of an assault from an incident in June, but failed to appear and a warrant was sworn out for his arrest. Less than 24 hours later, Ocean City Police arrested Simms in his residence on Herring Way in the resort.

On June 19, OCPD officers responded to a reported assault on Trimper Ave. The female victim said she had been in an argument with her roommate, Simms, who pushed her over a coffee table injuring her knee. A male friend of the victim attempted to intercede and restrain Simms, but he too was assaulted in the process.

Simms left the residence, but was picked up a short time later near 37th Street and charged with two counts of second-degree assault.

Assault Charges Dropped

SNOW HILL – An Ocean City man arrested in April for allegedly attacking his pregnant girlfriend had the charges against him dropped this week in Circuit Court after the victim refused to testify against him.

On April 3, OCPD officers responded to a reported domestic assault on St. Louis Ave. and found the female victim on a pay phone still talking to the dispatcher. The victim told police she had been assaulted by her live-in boyfriend, Christopher Griffith, 21, of Ocean City. According to reports on the incident, Griffith came home intoxicated and the victim became agitated because he was so late and was still talking to his ex-girlfriend. Griffith had brought a pizza home, and when the victim asked for a plate, he allegedly threw it at her, hitting her in the hip. Griffith then called his ex-girlfriend, causing the victim to take the cell phone from his hands and destroy it, according to police reports.

Griffith allegedly became enraged, threw the victim on a bed and punched her several times in the head and once in the stomach, despite the fact she was nearly three months pregnant. The victim escaped and ran outside to call police on a pay phone. Griffith later told police there had been a fight and several objects had been thrown and broken. He was arrested for second-degree assault.

This week in Circuit Court, the charges against him were dropped when the victim invoked her marital/spouse privilege and refused to testify against him.

Reward For Stolen Statue Doubled

FENWICK – Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement officials this week doubled the reward being offered in the connection with the theft of a memorial statue ripped from its base at Mulberry Landing in the Assawoman State Wildlife Area near Fenwick.

Wildlife staff found the bronze statue of an eagle spreading its wings missing on the morning of September 26. The three-foot statue, which had been ripped from its base, was dedicated in May 2006 in memory of longtime Fish and Wildlife employee Harry Schellenger by Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and other state officials along with family and friends.

In September 2003, Schellenger was with co-workers covering duck blinds for hunting season when their boat started to drift away. He took off his boots and jumped in the water in an attempt to retrieve the boat and never resurfaced. The memorial statue was dedicated in his name three years later. Delaware wildlife officials first set the reward for information about the theft at $1,000, but doubled it this week to $2,000. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement at (302) 739-9913, or Joanna Wilson at Public Affairs at (302) 739-9902. All information will be kept confidential.

Two Fire Calls

OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office has determined a fire at the Broadripple Apartments on Baltimore Ave. at 13th Street last week was caused by a cigarette discarded by the occupant of the unit.

On Sunday, Sept. 20, the Ocean City Volunteer Fire Company and the Fire/EMS Division were dispatched to the Broadripple Apartments for a reported fire.

First-arriving units located a small fire under a bathroom sink that had self-extinguished after burning through a plastic water pipe. On-scene management had also completed putting out the fire prior to the arrival of the fire company. Firefighters remained on the scene to assist with overhaul and ventilation functions. The Fire Marshal’s Office has listed the cause of the fire as accidental and officials believe it was caused by a discarded cigarette.

In an unrelated incident, on Sept. 19, the OCVFC responded to a reported fire at the Surfside 8 condominiums after a civilian struggling with a language barrier reported something was burning. Firefighters and emergency personnel responded to the alarm and found the unit in question full of smoke. However, the investigation revealed the smoke was caused by pair of socks drying on a light bulb.