Child Abuse Alleged

Child Abuse Alleged

Child Abuse Alleged

Bishopville woman was arrested on child abuse and assault charges last week
after she allegedly abused a child in her care in an Ocean Pines residence.

Last Friday, Ocean Pines
Police charged Carleigh Renee Kufchak, 19, of Bishopville, with first- and
second-degree child abuse, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment
after an investigation revealed a child she had been caring for in an Ocean
Pines residence had been abused. Kufchak was taken before a District Court
Commissioner and was later released pending trial after posting a $25,000
unsecured bond.

Counterfeiters Nabbed

Delaware women were arrested on counterfeiting charges last week after
allegedly passing phony $20 bills at a Boardwalk store.

Around 8:40 p.m. last
Thursday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) responded to a downtown Boardwalk
business that had received four suspected counterfeit $20 bills. After
establishing the bills were indeed bogus, OCPD officers were able to determine
two possible suspects identified as Bianca Marie DeSimone, 32, and Nicole
Aynette Branham, 27, both of Dover, Del.

During the
investigation, DeSimone and Branham were located in a different business
attempting to pass additional counterfeit bills. The pair was arrested and
charged with four counts each of intent to issue counterfeit U.S. currency.
After the arrests, OCPD investigators served a search and seizure warrant at a
downtown hotel where DeSimone and Branham were staying. During a search of the
hotel room, OCPD officers found additional counterfeit bills in the wallet of a
third suspect. Charges have not yet been filed for the third suspect. However,
Ocean City Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

Meanwhile, the OCPD is
asking citizens and businesses to inspect suspicious looking U.S. currency,
particularly $20 bills with the serial number IA20912843A. The OCPD is also
advising real U.S. currency has several security features. The three main
security features on $20 bills include shifting inks on the number 20, security
threads that display the denomination of the currency imbedded in the bill, and
the watermark of the main image on the face of the bill located on the right
side of the note.

Anyone who has
information, or thinks he or she has counterfeit money, is urged to contact the
local police department. Anyone with further information regarding this
specific case is urged to contact the OCPD at 410-723-6610.

Convention Center Fire

OCEAN CITY – The Ocean
City Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating a fire at the Roland E. Powell
Convention Center.

Around 10 a.m. on July
1, the Ocean City Fire Department was dispatched to a reported fire at the
convention center. First arriving units located the remnants of a fire in
bathroom on the second floor, which had been extinguished by the building’s
fire sprinkler system.

Occupants of the
Convention Center at the time were alerted by the building’s fire alarm system.
There were no fire-related injuries reported. The cause of the fire is
currently under investigation by the Office of the Fire Marshal.

High Speed Chase

OCEAN CITY – A Fallston
man, arrested on Memorial Day weekend on drunk driving, drugs and weapons
charges after a wild chase that ended with a crash in the downtown area,
pleaded guilty last week to driving while impaired and possession of controlled
dangerous substance and was placed on probation and fined.

Around 12:15 a.m. on May
29, an OCPD officer initiated a traffic stop in the area of 47th
Street after witnessing a Pontiac GTO spinning wheels on Coastal Highway. As
the officer approached the vehicle, the driver, later identified as Joshua Mark
Hammond, 20, of Fallston, put the vehicle in reverse, nearly hitting the OCPD
cruiser before fleeing.

Hammond continued to flee
police, traveling south on Coastal Highway at a high rate of speed. The Pontiac
struck the curb crossed over to the east side of Coastal Highway while
continuing to head south and struck the curb before speeding southbound in the
northbound lanes of the highway.

Hammond nearly struck
three northbound vehicles head on as he headed south on the wrong side of the
highway before crossing back over to the southbound lanes at 45th
Street, according to police reports.

OCPD officers continued
to pursue Hammond at a high rate of speed as he continued to travel south on
Coastal Highway, running several red lights along the way according to police
reports. After Hammond ran his final red light at 8th Street, he
lost control of the vehicle and struck two unoccupied vehicles on Philadelphia

Hammond was taken into
custody following the crash. A search of the vehicle revealed suspected
marijuana, cocaine and an ASP police baton. Hammond was transported to Atlantic
General Hospital where he was treated for back pain and later released. There
were two passengers traveling with Hammond, a juvenile and an unidentified
19-year-old man, both of whom were issued traffic citations.

Hammond was charged with
driving while intoxicated and under the influence of alcohol, possession of
controlled dangerous substances including marijuana and cocaine, reckless
endangerment, possession of a deadly weapon and multiple traffic violations related
to the incident.

Last week in District
Court, Hammond pleaded guilty to driving while impaired and was granted
probation before judgment and fined $250. He also pleaded guilty to possession
of CDS-not marijuana and was placed on probation for one year.

Car Theft Suspect At

SNOW HILL – Two suspects
are in custody and a third is still being sought in a month-long auto theft
scheme in Worcester County dating back to May.

Worcester County Bureau
of Investigation (WCBI) detectives have identified three suspects wanted in
connection several motor vehicle thefts and burglaries in the Snow Hill area
dating back to May. One of the suspects, a juvenile, was located in Atlanta in
possession of one of the stolen motor vehicles. WCBI detectives flew to Atlanta
to question the juvenile and arrest him.

Through the
investigation, WCBI detectives identified Jacob Derr, 19, of Snow Hill, and
Dennis John Cross, 18, of Greenbackville, Va., as suspects. Derr was arrested
and charged with one count each of first-degree burglary, malicious destruction
of property and theft under $1,000. He is currently incarcerated in the
Worcester County Detention Center.

According to police
reports, Cross fled the area on foot when the juvenile involved in the case was
apprehended in Atlanta. He has not been located, although WCBI detectives
believe he is still in the area or perhaps the Eastern Shore of Virginia. A
warrant has been obtained for Cross, charging him with three counts of motor
vehicle theft, two counts of theft under $100,000, one count of theft under
$10,000, three counts of first-degree burglary and three counts of
fourth-degree burglary. The juvenile has been charged with one count of motor
vehicle theft and one count of first-degree burglary.

Anyone with information
on the whereabouts of Cross is urged to call WCBI at (410) 352-3476.

Attempted Murder Suspect

SNOW HILL – A Berlin man
arrested on attempted murder charges after a shooting incident outside an
American Legion in town in March was released from jail pending trial after a
preliminary hearing in District Court last week.

Gary Lee Dupont, Jr.,
20, of Berlin, was released from incarceration last Wednesday following a
preliminary hearing on charges of attempted second-degree murder, assault and
reckless endangerment. Dupont had been held in the Worcester County Jail since
he was ordered held without bail in early June.

On March 26, Dupont
allegedly fired two shots from a handgun at an unknown victim outside the
American Legion on Showell Street in Berlin. On April 2, Berlin Police
officers, assisted by the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, executed a search
and seizure warrant on a residence at the Homes of Berlin I apartments. The
search focused on a firearm used in an incident outside the American Legion
back on March 26, but Dupont was not located at the time.

Warrants for Dupont’s
arrest were filed, charging him with attempted second-degree murder, first- and
second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and the use of a handgun in the
commission of a felony, but he remained at large and was considered armed and
dangerous by police until he was arrested in early June in Wicomico County
after a brief chase near Powellville.

A Wicomico County
sheriff’s deputy attempted to pull over a scooter for speeding on Mt. Hermon
Rd. near Powellville. When the scooter slowed down, the driver, later
identified as Dupont, jumped off the moving vehicle and fled on foot. The
Wicomico Sheriff’s Deputy, not certain why the scooter driver would flee a
speeding stop, pursued Dupont on foot and apprehended him after a brief chase
of about 150 yards.

Initially, Dupont provided
the deputy with false information about his identity. However, upon further
questioning, the deputy was able to ascertain the suspect was Dupont. A search
of Dupont’s real name and record revealed he was wanted in Worcester County on
an outstanding warrant for attempted murder and other serious charges.

Disorderly Conduct
Charges Dropped

Parsonsburg man arrested in April for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest
had the charges against him dropped last week in District Court.

Around 1 a.m. on April
25, an OCPD officer working in the area of the Paddock nightclub observed
security staff escorting several males from the property. Two of the
individuals were yelling at each other and one, later identified as Trey Colby
Cantwell, 23, of Parsonsburg, allegedly said to the other, “I’ll [expletive
deleted] kill you. I don’t care. I’ll [expletive deleted] go to jail.”

Meanwhile, a crowd had
gathered and began to back away from the two combatants. OCPD officers told
Cantwell and the other man the fight was over and that they should just leave
and go home. One officer walked in one direction with Cantwell, while another
officer walked in a different direction with the other individual involved.

At some point, Cantwell
broke free of the officer and ran toward the other individual, who was still
with another OCPD officer, and thrust his chest into the other man, knocking
him backward. At that point, OCPD officers attempted to take Cantwell into custody,
but he resisted arrest. The officers attempted arm bar takedowns, but were
restricted by poles on the sidewalk in the area.

They then attempted
several knee strikes to bring Cantwell under control, but the suspect allegedly
continued to battle with the officers. Cantwell was eventually subdued and was
taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
However, last week in District Court, the charges against Cantwell were nolle
prossed, or not prosecuted.

McGruff Turns 30 In OC

OCEAN CITY – Fans of the
famous McGruff the Crime Dog will have the opportunity to help the Ocean City
Police Department celebrate the 30th birthday of one of the most
recognizable crime prevention characters in the country next week with a
special party on the Boardwalk.

McGruff is famous as
much for his proactive approach to crime prevention as he is his well-known
“Let’s Take a Bite Out of Crime” catchphrase. Next Wednesday, July 14, the OCPD
will celebrate the 30 years in which McGruff taught people across the country
how they can prevent crime. The party, which will take place on the Boardwalk
at North Division Street from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., will not only feature an
appearance by McGruff, but will also focus on crime prevention and safety
issues that affect visitors and residents in Ocean City.

In conjunction with the
OCPD’s “Walk with Wisdom, Bike with Brains” campaign, McGruff will be
disseminating information of bicycle and pedestrian safety in the resort. OCPD
Chief Bernadette DiPino said this week the department is inviting the public to
join in the birthday celebration for the popular crime prevention character.

“McGruff has been an
icon for crime prevention for 30 years,” she said. “We could not think of a
better way to celebrate his accomplishments and continue his crime prevention
efforts than throwing him a birthday party on the Boardwalk. It’s time for McGruff
to take a bite out of birthday cake.”

Cops Busy On Holiday

hundreds of thousands of people in the resort for the Fourth of July weekend
last week, the Ocean City Police Department was busy with hundreds of arrests
from the simple alcohol, drunk driving and noise related arrests associated
with a holiday weekend to the dozens of drug arrests and from thefts and
burglaries to serious assaults.

The following is a
sample of some of the more serious arrests for which no more information was
provided than a line of type on the standard daily log report: first-degree
assault, one; second-degree assault, 18; drug-related arrests, 62; first-degree
burglary, one; disorderly conduct, 14; theft, nine; deadly weapons, five;
malicious destruction of property, six; affray, eight; resisting arrest, eight;
indecent exposure, one; and perverted practice, one.