Hit-And-Run Suspect Flees, Breaks Into Resort Home

OCEAN CITY – A Wilmington man sought by resort police for a hit-and-run accident on Coastal Highway last weekend had burglary, eluding police and other charges tacked on after running into a nearby residence and telling police he was not the driver of the vehicle involved.

Around 2:30 a.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City police officer responded to the area of 72nd Street and Coastal Highway for a reported accident that had just occurred. The officer arrived on the scene and observed a blue Dodge Magnum had struck a white Chevy Silverado pick-up truck. The force of the collision propelled the pick-up truck across all lanes of the highway and into a building at 73rd Street causing significant damage to the structure. The driver of the pick-up was not injured.

The officer observed the front end of the Dodge was completely crushed in, suggesting it was traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the collision. As soon as the officer arrived on the scene, he saw a male suspect wearing a black T-shirt staggering away from the Dodge. The officer watched the suspect, later identified as Gary Hoey, 33, of Wilmington, run around to the rear of a building on 72nd Street.

The officer pursued Hoey, and when he got around the building, he saw the suspect at the top of the stairs of the building. Hoey then opened the door and went into the residence with now two OCPD officers in pursuit. When the officers went into the unit, several of its occupants said Hoey ran into the living room. The officers went into the living room and found Hoey, who told them, “he ran outside,” indicating the man they were looking for had just run out of the unit in a failed attempt to avoid getting caught.

Meanwhile, the occupants of the apartment said it was Hoey who was driving the Dodge that ran into the pick-up causing the accident. The unit’s owner told police Hoey had just broken into his apartment and that he was the suspect they were looking for in the hit-and-run case. The OCPD officer then pushed Hoey out the door and tried to push his hands behind his back to handcuff him, but Hoey would not cooperate. He was ordered to get on the ground and put his hands behind his back, but Hoey still refused to comply. He was eventually subdued when police delivered knee strikes and forcefully got him to the ground.

During the officer’s interaction with Hoey, he noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from his person and that his eyes were bloodshot and his speech was slurred, according to police reports. After being arrested, Hoey allegedly told police, “I wasn’t driving. Someone else took the car.” During a search of Hoey incident to his arrest, the officer discovered the key to the Dodge in his pants pocket. Meanwhile, several witnesses to the collision positively identified Hoey as the driver of the Dodge when it crashed into the pick-up truck and told police they watched him flee the scene on foot.

During processing, Hoey consented to a breath-alcohol test, which revealed his BAC was .19, or more than twice the legal limit in Maryland. Hoey was charged with driving under the influence and driving while impaired, third- and fourth-degree burglary, resisting arrest, failure to stop after an accident involving property damage and failure to stop after an accident involving attended vehicle damage.