Car Stolen From Iraq Soldier Recovered in OC
OCEAN CITY – A Gaithersburg, Md. man is in custody this week after his arrest in Ocean City late last week for stealing a car and other property from a female soldier serving in Iraq.
Last Thursday, Ocean City Police were contacted by several motel clerks throughout the resort complaining a suspicious man was entering the properties and asking for a free room. The last call the OCPD received came from the Hilton on 32nd Street, and when police responded, they observed a man sitting in a 2003 Mitsubishi Gallant in the hotel parking lot.
When officers approached the vehicle, the driver attempted to flee the area in the car when OCPD Ofc. Mark Wolinsky yelled to the driver to stop the car, which he did. The driver, Thomas Taylor, 43, was extremely intoxicated and became very uncooperative. When the OCPD ran a computer check on Taylor and the vehicle, it was determined that the suspect’s driver’s license was revoked and the vehicle had been reported stolen from the Washington, D.C. area.
Wolinsky then spoke with the owner’s boyfriend, who told the officer his girlfriend was in the military serving in Iraq. The victim told police their home in the Washington, D.C. area was recently burglarized and the suspect stole jewelry and the keys to the car, which was also taken.
The officer then located the stolen jewelry in the car and the vehicle was impounded for safekeeping. Once Taylor was arrested, he began fighting with the booking officers at police headquarters. He was charged with auto theft, felony theft, second-degree assault, DUI and driving while revoked. He is being held on a $75,000 bond.
Stranger In the Night Convicted
SNOW HILL – A foreign exchange student from Columbia, who, in July, climbed in bed with a woman in her Ocean City apartment and sexually assaulted her, was found guilty of a fourth-degree sex offense this week in Circuit Court and was sentenced to roughly five months in jail.
Sergio Luis Fernandez Rubio, 22, a foreign exchange student who had been living in Virginia, appeared in Circuit Court on Monday to face several charges including a third- and fourth-degree sex offense, burglary and assault after slipping into an Ocean City apartment and assaulting a sleeping girl in July. Rubio pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree sex offense and was sentenced to 364 days in jail, with 202 days suspended, netting him 162 days.
On July 1, Ocean City Police responded to the Sea Bay Hotel around 6:30 a.m. in response to a reported sex offense. The victim reported she had gone to her room shortly after 5 a.m. to go to bed, but left the door slightly ajar so that others she shared the room with could enter without disturbing her.
The victim reportedly awoke to find someone in bed with her, who she originally thought was a friend, but upon awakening, the victim realized the man was touching her and that he was a stranger, and asked the man, later identified as Rubio, to leave. Rubio got out of bed and went to the bathroom before eventually leaving.
Rubio was located a short time later and the victim identified him as the man who had assaulted her. Rubio told police he had been drinking all night and returned to what he believed was his room. He initially denied having any contact with the victim, but later admitted being in bed with her, explaining that he was drunk and couldn’t remember the details.
Drug Dealer Gets Hefty Sentence
SNOW HILL – A Berlin man charged with possession with intent to distribute a large amount of crack cocaine and other drugs was found guilty this week in Circuit Court and was sentenced to 20 years in jail, half of which was suspended.
Julius Darnell Duffy, 25, of Berlin, was in Circuit Court on Monday facing numerous charges stemming from a raid on his Holly Grove Rd. home last May. On May 1, police officers executed two search and seizure warrants on Duffy’s residence and his vehicle, a 2000 Lincoln Navigator, and turned up a cache of illegal drugs.
Upon entering the residence, the officers located a baggie containing 99 grams of crack cocaine, six bags of powder cocaine totaling 14 grams, a shopping bag containing 261 grams of marijuana and two digital scales, all of which was found in Duffy’s bedroom. Also found in the bathroom was another bag of powder cocaine and boxes of rubber gloves and baggies. Duffy admitted all of the narcotics found in the residence belonged to him and he was arrested and charged with several drug-related offenses.
Came Back For Car With Stolen Goods
SNOW HILL – A Berlin man arrested last May and charged with a slew of offenses after breaking into an unoccupied home in Ocean City pleaded guilty this week to third-degree burglary and was sentenced to six months in jail with all but 14 days suspended.
Douglas Lawrence Ransley, 20, of Berlin, was arrested in May after OCPD detectives were able to connect him to a robbery at a vacant north Ocean City home after he showed up at police headquarters the next day looking for his car, which had been impounded and was found with stolen goods inside. An Ocean City police officer was patrolling the area of North Heron Drive last Sunday looking for a reported burglary suspect when he noticed a home with the garage door open and the window to the door broken.
The officer noticed liquor bottles strewn across the floor of the garage and an interior door to the residence standing open. An investigation revealed the house was vacant, but there was substantial evidence it had been ransacked. Two 42-inch plasma televisions, one in the living room and one in the master bedroom, had been damaged and appeared to have been pulled from their wall mountings. Several drawers and cabinets throughout the house were left standing open with their contents strewn about the floor.
An investigation outside the residence turned up empty liquor bottles and beer bottles lying in the grass which were consistent with the bottles found in the garage. In addition, two surfboards were found concealed in a grove of trees across the street from the residence. A search of the garage revealed empty wall-mounted surfboard racks.
The officers had plenty of evidence a robbery had taken place, but they still did not have a suspect. A further investigation led police to a parked Ford Crown Victoria parked on the opposite side of the street from the residence that had been burglarized. Inside the vehicle were several cases of beer and more liquor bottles consistent with what was found in the garage. Police were able to ascertain the vehicle belonged to Ransley, although the suspect was nowhere in sight.
The vehicle was then impounded so crime scene detectives could further investigate it. Around 11 a.m. the next morning, Ransley came to police headquarters to inquire about the whereabouts of his car. He told police he left in the area of the 7-Eleven on 120th Street and went to a friend’s house. He had spent the night at a different friend’s house on 84th Street and walked back in the morning to get his car, only to find it had been towed. Although he was a suspect in the robbery, Ransley was allowed to leave at that time.
Ransley’s friend, known only as Leon, said he was with Ransley and others drinking beer at the tennis courts behind the Food Lion on 120th Street the night before, but that he had left while the others were still there. Leon also told police he had been in Ransley’s car the night before and there were no cases of beer, liquor or a boogie board in the vehicle.
Officer Injured In Collision
OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City Police detective was injured last Thursday in a motor vehicle accident on Coastal Highway when he pulled out of police headquarters.
Around 12:40 p.m. last Thursday, OCPD Detective James Rodriguez entered the intersection of Coastal Highway and 65th Street in his unmarked police car when he was struck by a Chevrolet Tahoe, driven by Randolph Taylor, 42, of Salisbury, who was heading south on Coastal Highway. According to witnesses, Taylor failed to stop at a red light and hit Rodriguez broadside.
Rodriguez was transported by Ocean City EMS to Atlantic General Hospital where he was treated for neck injuries. He was released from the hospital on Friday and returned to work on Monday. Taylor was not injured, but he was issued a traffic citation for failure to obey a traffic control device.
Smoked Windows Lead To Drug Busts
OCEAN CITY – Three Delaware men were arrested last Sunday after a routine traffic stop regarding tinting on a vehicle’s window that was admittedly too dark.
Around 2:30 a.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police officer on routine patrol in the downtown area observed a vehicle with window tinting so dark he could not see the driver. When the officer pulled the vehicle over, the front seat passenger, later identified as Andre Dwayne Dismuke, 31, of Frankford, Del., reportedly said, “Yeah, the tint is real dark, huh? I had a hard time seeing out of it.”
The officer then asked the driver of the vehicle for his license and registration, but he could not produce the former, stating he had left it in his motel room. When asked his name, the driver told the officer it was Alfonso J. Johnson, but when the officer ran the information, there was no record of the name. A short time later, the driver told police his real name, Earl Deshawn Garrison, 26, of Frankford, and it was determined his license was revoked in Delaware.
Garrison was then arrested for driving while revoked and a search of the vehicle turned up a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) smoking device fashioned out of a beer can. A further search revealed a small rock of suspected crack cocaine and, as a result, Dismuke was also taken into custody and charged with possession.
While booking both Garrison and Dismuke, the arresting officers learned they were staying at a downtown hotel, and after the suspects were transported to the public safety building, they responded to the Americana Hotel for a follow-up investigation.
The officers went to the specified unit of the hotel where the suspects were staying and interviewed a third man from Delaware, Charles Richard Hensley, 35, of Laurel. After a search consent was granted, the officers discovered another beer can fashioned into a CDS smoking device, a glass pipe with residue, a baggie with residue of a white, powdery substance and a rolled-up dollar bill, all found on the nightstand next to the bed where Hensley was sleeping. Hensley admitted giving Garrison the keys to his vehicle so he could drive around. Hensley was also placed under arrest for possession of CDS, netting the OCPD three arrests on the same tinted window stop.
OCEAN CITY – A Tall Timbers, Md. man was arrested on second-degree assault charges last weekend after allegedly beating up his girlfriend during a domestic dispute at a downtown residence.
Around 1 a.m. last Sunday, resort police were dispatched to a reported domestic dispute in progress on Atlantic Ave. When the officer arrived, she heard a male voice coming from inside yelling, “It’s the [expletive deleted] police, don’t say a [expletive deleted] word.” The officer spoke to the victim, who said her boyfriend of two years, Douglas Harry Hallgren, 47, pushed her down the stairs, grabbed her by the hair on the back of her head and threw her on a bed.
The victim told police she was so scared of Hallgren that she locked herself in a bedroom, but he kicked the door in and threw her on a bed, holding her against her will. All of the events allegedly occurred when they had returned home from a bar. The victim had red marks on her wrist and upper arm and bruises on both hips caused by the fall down the stairs. Hallgren was arrested and charged with second-degree assault.
Jail For Crack Possession
SNOW HILL – A Newark man arrested in Berlin in August for possession of crack cocaine following an accident pleaded guilty last week in Worcester County Circuit Court and was sentenced to three years in jail, all of which but one year was suspended, and was sentenced to one year for a driving while impaired conviction, which he will serve concurrently.
On Aug. 10, Berlin police responded to Pitts and William streets for a motor vehicle collision. Upon arrival, the officers noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from one of the drivers involved, Keishawn Fisher, 31, of Newark. Fisher was asked to submit to field sobriety tests, but he refused and was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired.
When an officer attempted to search Fisher, he resisted and attempted to escape, but was subdued after a brief chase. When officers finally did search Fisher, they found him in possession of 16 grams of crack cocaine.
Last week in Circuit Court, Fisher pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and was sentenced to three years in jail with all but one year suspended. He was also sentenced to one year in jail for the DUI charge, which he will serve concurrently with the possession sentence.
Industrial Park Vandalized
BISHOPVILLE – An industrial park in Bishopville was vandalized sometime this week with the suspect or suspects shooting out security lights on the rear of the buildings.
On Monday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to the St. Martin’s Commons industrial park in Bishopville for a reported malicious destruction of property. The park’s owner, Jeffrey Mathias, told police four security lights mounted on the rear of the buildings had been broken. The victim told police he believes the incident took place sometime between Saturday and Monday and that it appeared the lights had been shot out with a BB gun or other firearm.
The case is currently under investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the state police Berlin barrack at 410-641-3101.
Resort Man Picked Up On Virginia Warrant
OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man wanted on an outstanding warrant in Virginia was arrested by state police this week at his resort residence and is being held pending extradition to that state.
Around 2:19 p.m. on Monday, MSP troopers from the Berlin barrack responded to a residence on Clam Shell Drive in Ocean City for a warrant service. Upon arrival, the troopers made contact with and arrested James Patrick Smith, who was wanted on a Circuit Court warrant from Bath County, Va., where he had violated the terms of his probation. Smith is being held in the Worcester County Jail without bond pending extradition to Virginia.
Jail Time For Use Of Counterfeit Money
OCEAN CITY – A two-year-old case centering on the use of counterfeit money appeared in District Court this week, resulting in a 60-day jail sentence.
Mark Anthony Davis, 47, of Upper Darby, Pa., appeared in District Court Monday to plead guilty to charges of possession of forged currency.
On Aug. 28, 2005, Davis reportedly was drinking at a local establishment when the incident occurred. Davis ordered four drinks from the bar, giving the bartender a $100 bill and telling her to keep the change. The bartender identified the bill as counterfeit and notified police. A pile of money was found in the area where Davis had been standing and contained ten $100 bills, all counterfeit and all with identical serial numbers.
In District Court Monday, Davis was found guilty and sentenced to 60 days in jail, with time served for the past 43 days that he has spent in jail. Costs and fines were waived.
Possession Charges Stick For Pa. Woman
OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania woman appeared in District Court this week to face possession of marijuana charges stemming from an incident in October.
Dana Marie Taddei, 27, of Centerport, Pa., pleaded guilty to the charges Monday morning. On Oct. 1, an employee of Seacrets reported a stolen wallet. After reviewing the Seacrets security tapes, police saw a woman, matching the description of Taddei, pick-up the wallet. After searching Taddei, police found a trace amount of marijuana in her possession. Taddei was found guilty and was fined $557.50.
Credit Card Fraud Case Resurfaces
OCEAN CITY – A 1999 credit card misuse case was resolved in District Court this week, bringing the 8-year-old case that spanned across Delaware and Maryland to a close.
Denise Ann Harant, 47, of Selbyville, Del., pleaded guilty to charges of stealing another’s credit card, explaining that she had already faced similar charges in Delaware.
According to police reports, in 1999 Fenwick Island Police contacted Ocean City Detective Brett Case over a case involving Harant and credit card forgery. Fenwick police explained that Harant had been charged with multiple counts of credit card forgery in Delaware, but that one purchase had taken place in Worcester County, at an uptown 7-Eleven. Harant had used a stolen credit card to purchase items from the 7-Eleven in the amount of $33.47.
Harant explained that she had already been sentenced in Delaware for the offense. Judge Daniel Mumford found Harant guilty and fined her $357.50.
Stole Goods for Drugs
SNOW HILL – A Berlin man arrested in July for making another man steal steaks and booze to pay for his narcotics, had the charges against him put on the stet, or inactive, docket this week in Circuit Court.
Zander Baker, 48, of Berlin, was in Circuit Court this week facing theft and theft scheme charges for his role in a series of robberies carried out through his creative financing plan for a confessed drug addict. Baker provided narcotics to his buyer, Kenneth Ondra Gaynor, who did not have the money to pay for his habit. Instead, Baker told the man to steal various items from stores around West Ocean City and Berlin which he provided as payment for the drugs.
In one example, on July 5, Gaynor stole steaks from Food Lion and beer from the Wine Rack in West Ocean City and a bottle of Remy Martin cognac from the county liquor store in Berlin. All of the stolen merchandize was later located behind Baker’s residence on Flower Street in Berlin along with a Dodge Caravan owned by Baker which witnesses placed at the scene of the thefts.
For example, a witness saw Gaynor steal the beer from Wine Rack and flee in the Dodge Caravan. It was later discovered the vehicle was registered in Baker’s name and that Baker had provided Gaynor with the keys to carry out his theft scheme.
Gaynor was later arrested and admitted the thefts, but told police he was asked to steal the goods in exchange for narcotics. Gaynor admitted he has a severe drug problem but often doesn’t have the money to pay. Instead, Baker would have him steal the items he wanted in exchange for drugs- in this case an undetermined amount of cocaine.
Editor’s Note: This last entry in the Cops and Courts report was published last week, but regrettably, the second suspect was identified as Kendra Gaynor, and not Kenneth Ondra Gaynor as it should have been. We regret the error.