OCPD Seeks Public’s Help

OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) is asking for the public’s help in locating a Chestertown, Md. man wanted on charges including fraud and failure to perform a contract.

Christopher Allen Tingen, 33, is wanted by five different law enforcement agencies in Maryland as well as the Delaware State Police. He was recently living in the Ocean City area, but OCPD officials believe he might have recently relocated to his former address in Chestertown.

Ocean City Police are asking anyone with knowledge of Tingen’s whereabouts to contact the OCPD at 410-723-6610.

Sex Offender Arrested On Porch

BERLIN – A Rockville, Md. man, a convicted sex offender, was arrested by Berlin Police last week after repeatedly trespassing and allegedly peering in the windows of a local resident and his family.

Around 2:20 a.m. last Thursday, Berlin Police were contacted about an unknown suspect climbing on the roof of the Buckingham Presbyterian Church on Main Street. While en route to the scene, Berlin Police learned the suspect, later identified as Eric Evans Eschenberg, 44, had gotten off the roof and was heading toward a residence on Main Street.

Berlin Police made contact with the caller, who said he awakened to the sound of his dogs barking and observed Eschenberg on the back porch of the property. Earlier, Berlin Police had made contact with Eschenberg at the same residence and issued the suspect a warning about trespassing. According to sources, Eschenberg previously had family that resided in the house.

However, the victim told police the incident marked the third time either he or his wife had to deal with Eschenberg allegedly being on their porch and looking into their residence. The victim told police he feared for the safety of his family and that he was concerned due to Eschenberg being a convicted sex offender.

Eschenberg was then taken into custody and charged with trespassing and harassment. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and ordered held without bond.

High Speed Chase Ends In Crash

BERLIN – A Snow Hill man was charged this week with possession with intent to distribute marijuana after allegedly throwing a large bag of pot out of a window during a high-speed chase into Delaware that ended with a crash and a foot pursuit.

Around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Maryland State Police troopers attempted a traffic stop on a 2008 Nissan passenger car on eastbound Route 50 at Route 346 in Berlin for speeding and a window tint violation. The vehicle failed to stop and a high-speed chase ensued heading north on Route 113 toward Delaware. The Maryland State Police continued in pursuit until the vehicle crossed the Delaware line, at which point the Selbyville Police Department picked up the chase.

The chase ended when the vehicle’s driver, later identified as Donnell Lovette Johnson, 25, of Snow Hill, crashed the Nissan into a tree in front of a residence in Selbyville. Johnson was not injured in the crash and fled the scene on foot until he was apprehended a short time later by Selbyville Police. Johnson was charged in Delaware with criminal mischief, trespassing, possession of paraphernalia, resisting arrest, disregarding a police signal and numerous traffic violations.

However, during the pursuit on the Worcester County side of the Delaware line, Johnson allegedly threw a bag from the vehicle, which was later recovered by Maryland State Police along the side of Route 113 just north of Route 610. Inside the bag, MSP troopers discovered nearly 121 grams of marijuana wrapped in 14 clear plastic baggies. An arrest warrant has been obtained in Worcester County charging Johnson with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, fleeing and eluding police and numerous traffic violations. Johnson is currently being held in the Sussex Correctional Institute on an $11,460 cash bond.

Assault Charges Alleged

BERLIN – A Virginia man was arrested on assault and other charges last week after first allegedly assaulting a female victim and later spitting on a Berlin Police officer.

Shortly after 11 a.m. on Jan. 12, Berlin Police responded to a residence on Main Street for a report of an individual unwilling to leave the apartment at the request of the tenant. Berlin Police met with the female caller, who told officers the suspect, later identified as Daniel Payne Horseman, Jr., 34, of Quantico, Va., had stayed the night with her and was refusing to leave.

The investigation revealed Horseman had been living with the female victim for an extended period of time. Further investigation revealed a day earlier, Horseman had allegedly thrown the victim to the ground and punched her in the head. Berlin Police observed injuries on the victim and arrested Horseman on a second-degree assault charge.

After being transported to the Berlin Police Department for processing, Horseman caused damage to a wall in the processing area and allegedly spit on a Berlin Police officer. He was then charged with an additional count of second-degree assault along with malicious destruction of property. Horseman was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered held on a $5,000 bond.

Underage Party Yields Arrests

WEST OCEAN CITY – A West Ocean City man was arrested along with two juveniles after Maryland State Police troopers busted up a party in West Ocean City last weekend attended by several under-age individuals.

Shortly before 2 a.m. last Saturday, Maryland State Police troopers received a call regarding a party going on at a residence on Golf Course Rd. in West Ocean City. Witness told police they grew increasingly concerned after observing a 14-year-old girl being extremely intoxicated. MSP troopers responded to the residence and observed several individuals consuming alcoholic beverages in the front yard of the residence.

Two of the individuals were detained and were found to be 17 years of age. One of the 17-year-olds was given an alcohol citation and was allowed to leave with a parent. The other 17-year-old, however, allegedly became uncooperative and disorderly and was arrested for disorderly conduct and consuming alcoholic beverages.

In the meantime, troopers searched the residence for the 14-year-old girl reportedly intoxicated but did not immediately locate the teen. Through further investigation, troopers were able to learn the individual’s name and found out she was actually 15 years of age. She was located about three hours later and charged with consumption of alcoholic beverages underage.

All three juveniles taken into custody were given preliminary breath tests, each of which resulted in a blood-alcohol content in the .06 to .07 range. Meanwhile, further investigation revealed the residence’s tenant, Roger Vincent Welton, 22, of West Ocean City, has frequent parties at his home and allegedly is not concerned with the age of the attendees, according to police reports.

As a result, Welton was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, furnishing alcoholic beverages to a minor and maintaining a disorderly house. According to police reports, there were roughly 20 people attending the party, most of whom were adults. Welton was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered held on a $7,500 bond.

Due to the parents being unaware of the children’s whereabouts, Social Services and Child Protective Services were contacted in reference to the intoxicated 15-year-old female and an additional female accompanying her. A separate investigation into the welfare of the children is being conducted. The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and Ocean City Police assisted with the incident.

Probation Violator Nabbed

BERLIN – A Berlin man was taken into custody for violating the terms of his probation last week after showing up at the Worcester County Parole and Probation Office.

Around 12:30 p.m. last Thursday, Berlin Police received information a man identified as Matthew Donald Gardner, 34, had failed to appear in Circuit Court earlier in the day for a violation of probation hearing and that a bench warrant had been issued for his arrest. Berlin Police learned Gardner had been at the Worcester County Parole and Probation Office earlier for a meeting with his probation officer.

A Berlin Police officer went to the probation office and attempted to verify the warrant through the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. While the officer was waiting for the verification, Gardner allegedly left the scene. After the bench warrant was verified, Gardner was located a short time later still in the general area of the Parole and Probation Office.

He was taken into custody on the bench warrant and transported to the District Court Commissioner in Snow Hill where he was ordered held on a $50,000 bond. Gardner was on probation for a driving while impaired conviction for which he was sentenced to two months in jail, all of which was suspended in favor of two years of probation.

Cleared Of Malicious Destruction

OCEAN CITY – The second of two men arrested in September on malicious destruction of property and reckless endangerment charges after allegedly bombing Coastal Highway with paint cans, deck furniture and beer bottles from the ninth floor of a north-end condominium had the charges against him dropped this week in District Court.

Around 3:15 a.m. on Sept. 1, OCPD officers were dispatched to the area of the Capri condominiums at 110th Street for a reported malicious destruction of property that had just occurred. Upon arrival, the officers observed numerous cans of white paint had been spilled in the northbound lanes of Coastal Highway.

Police made contact with a resort taxi driver, who said he was driving north on Coastal Highway moments earlier when he observed a can of paint strike the roadway not far from his vehicle. The cab driver stopped his cab on nearby Channel Buoy Rd. and watched the Capri condominium building. A short time later, he saw several more paint cans strike Coastal Highway was able to determine from which unit the paint cans had been thrown.

The witness pointed to a unit on the 9th floor of the condo, one of which had its storm shutter nearly closed. The cabbie told police the paint had been thrown from the unit directly adjacent to the condo with the partially closed storm shutters. The officer went to unit 902 and questioned the occupants, some of which were standing in the living room area.

However, two occupants, later identified as Cody Alan Miller, 19, of Bishopville, and Daniel Joseph Hicken, 21, of Brattleboro, Vermont, were still on the unit’s balcony facing the parking lot area and Coastal Highway. From the balcony, directly below where Miller and Hicken were standing, the officer observed the damage to Coastal Highway.

According to police reports, white paint covered all four northbound lanes on Coastal Highway and included an area about 100 feet long. The officer also observed white paint on the sidewalk below. In addition, the officer observed a broken glass bottle on the roof of a car in the parking lot, along with two broken chairs that had been removed from Coastal Highway earlier in the evening.

The cab driver was brought to the unit and was able to identify Miller as one of two individuals he observed on the balcony earlier. Based on the evidence and the witness testimony, Hicken and Miller were then arrested and charged with three counts each of malicious destruction of property and reckless endangerment.

According to police reports, all four northbound lanes of Coastal Highway were covered in white paint and no less than six OCPD units were dispatched to help with traffic, which had to be rerouted through the left turn lane in order to keep vehicles moving northbound on the highway.

The officer spoke again with Hicken, who gave a written confession of his involvement in the incident. Hicken told police he threw four or five cans of paint, two chairs, two full cans of beer and full bottle of beer from the balcony. Hicken also wrote in his statement Miller had laughed and cheered as he threw the items onto Coastal Highway.

During the follow-up investigation, the officer found pictures of the paint-covered Coastal Highway in Miller’s cell phone and in Hicken’s cell phone he found a video of the damage during which the two suspects could clearly be heard laughing about the damage they had caused, according to police reports.

This week in District Court, the charges against Miller were “nolle prossed,” or not prosecuted. In November, Hicken pleaded guilty to one count of malicious destruction of property and was placed on probation for one year, fined $500 and ordered to pay $1,089 in restitution.