Hit-and-Run Probed

SNOW HILL — Maryland State Police is looking for the suspect involved in a hit-and-run accident on southbound Route 113 last Friday that injured a 71-year-old wheelchair-bound Vietnam veteran and killed his dog.

Around 3 p.m. last Saturday, a 71-year-old Pocomoke man was walking his dog on southbound Route 113 near Smitty’s Garage when he was struck by a black SUV. The victim, a disabled Vietnam veteran confined to a wheelchair, was knocked out of his chair and his dog was killed.

Unknown individuals assisted the victim back into his wheelchair, placed his deceased dog in his lap and left the area. The victim was transported to PRMC in Salisbury for treatment. Anyone with information about the hit-and-run incident is urged to contact the MSP Berlin barrack at 410-641-3101.

Video Nabs Alleged Purse Thief

WEST OCEAN CITY — A Virginia man was arrested on theft charges last weekend after allegedly swiping a woman’s purse at a West Ocean City restaurant.

Around 1:45 a.m. last Sunday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a reported theft at Harborside Bar and Grill in West Ocean City. Troopers contacted the victim who said her purse had been stolen from the bar area. The establishment’s employees reviewed video surveillance and were able to observe a male suspect taking the purse. The bar employees were also able to identify two women seen with the suspect.

MSP troopers responded to the women’s residence in Berlin where they located the male suspect, identified as Craig Fletcher Linton, 44, of Temperanceville, Va. The troopers were able to identify Linton as the same suspect in the bar’s surveillance video. Linton was arrested on theft charges although he denied any involvement in the incident. The purse was recovered in the bar’s parking lot. However, roughly $200 in cash was missing.

Stolen Vehicle Crashed

BERLIN — Local law enforcement agencies this week are looking for a suspect who stole a vehicle from a residence in West Ocean City and crashed it in Millsboro, Del., before fleeing the scene.

Around 7:30 a.m. last Friday, a Maryland State Police trooper from the Berlin barrack responded to the Millsboro area to assist Delaware State Police in finding the registered owner of a vehicle involved in an accident. At the time of the accident, the driver, identified as a white male wearing black clothing, fled the scene on foot.

Police were able to identify the owner of the vehicle involved in the accident through its registration. The MSP trooper then responded to the owner’s residence in Snug Harbor in West Ocean City and learned the vehicle had been stolen overnight. No suspect has been identified and the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information about the incident or the suspect is urged to call the MSP Berlin barrack at 410-641-3101.

Hit-and-Run Knocks Down Sign

BERLIN — A Berlin man was arrested on drunk driving and drug charges last weekend after allegedly plowing over a sign on Main Street.

Shortly after midnight last Sunday, Berlin Police were called to a hit-and-run accident on Main Street near Worcester Prep. Officers arrived and observed a vehicle had knocked down a sign. Berlin Police were able to recover a front license plate at the scene and located the suspect’s vehicle several miles away.

Berlin Police made contact with the driver, identified as Dennis Carpenter, 46, of Berlin, and detected a strong odor of alcohol emanating from his person. Also located on the suspect was a socket with the burnt residue of crack cocaine in his pocket. Carpenter was transported to PRMC for head injuries sustained in the accident. Carpenter was charged with hit-and-run and various drunk driving and drug possession-related charges.

Guilty Plea For Heroin Dealer

SNOW HILL — A Baltimore man, one of three suspects arrested last June for selling heroin and cocaine to undercover Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) narcotics officers, pleaded guilty this week in Circuit Court to conspiracy to distribute heroin and was sentenced to 10 years in jail, all but 18 months of which were suspended.

Throughout the summer, undercover OCPD officers conducted buy-sell operations in the downtown area including the Boardwalk to target illegal drug dealing. On June 10, three men, one of whom had sold heroin and cocaine to an undercover officer on different occasions in the week prior, were arrested on various charges after consummating a deal with an OCPD detective in a vehicle in the 10th Street area.

Around 3:45 p.m., the undercover officer made contact via cell phone with a dealer he had been tracking since May seeking to buy $100 worth of heroin and $50 worth of crack cocaine. The suspected dealer, identified as Ricky Comegys, 39, of Baltimore, told the undercover officer he was leaving Salisbury and would contact him when he got to Ocean City.

Around 5:30 p.m., Comegys called the officer and told him he would meet him in the area of 10th Street shortly. When Comegys arrived, he had two other individuals in the vehicle with him, later identified as Donya Irish Dewitt, 39, of Baltimore, and Reginald Lamar Jenkins, Jr., 29, of Salisbury.

The undercover officer had targeted Comegys since May and had arranged similar drug buys on June 4 and June 5, 2010. Following his arrest last Thursday, Comegys was charged with possession and distribution of cocaine and heroin. Jenkins and Dewitt were both charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin.

On Tuesday in Circuit Court, Dewitt pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and was sentenced to 10 years in jail. All but 18 months of the sentence was suspended and Dewitt was placed on probation for three years upon his release and fined $500. Comegys and Jenkins were each sentenced to full eight-year sentences in prior trials.

Jail Time For Scissors Assault

BERLIN — A Berlin woman arrested last November after assaulting her former boyfriend with a pair of scissors before attempting to get out of a police car was sentenced last week to 30 days in jail, all but two of which were suspended in favor of probation and a fine.

Around noon on Nov. 15, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a reported assault in progress at a residence in the Glen Riddle community. Upon arrival, deputies made contact with the suspect, later identified as Terra Nicole Rygh, 30, of Berlin, who had allegedly assaulted her former boyfriend with a pair of scissors.

While in transport after her arrest, Rygh allegedly became very agitated and tried to release herself from her seatbelt, according to police reports. She was then secured in a car with a prisoner shield and transported to the sheriff’s office for processing. Rygh was charged with first- and second-degree assault, two counts of disorderly conduct and four counts of reckless endangerment.

Last week in Circuit Court, Rygh entered an Alford Plea to second-degree assault. In an Alford Plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to prosecute the case. Rygh was sentenced to 30 days in jail with all but two suspended. She was also placed on probation for 18 months and fined $300.

Hefty Fine For Graffiti Spree

OCEAN CITY — A La Plata, Md. man arrested last November after a graffiti spree in downtown Ocean City on Thanksgiving pleaded guilty this week in District Court to malicious destruction of property and was hit with a $1,000 fine.

Shortly before 2 p.m. on Nov. 25, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on routine patrol in the area of North Division Street observed a man, later identified as Benjamin Keyton, 22, of La Plata, pull a white marker from his pocket and write the number “237” on a black dumpster owned by the town of Ocean City. The officer continued to observe Keyton as he placed a sticker on a green electrical box on North Division Street before continuing to walk toward the Boardwalk with another man.

The officer caught up to Keyton at the Boardwalk and observed the white marker on the right side of the suspect’s pants. At that point, Keyton was placed under arrest for malicious destruction of property. When the officer told Keyton he observed him “tag” the dumpster, tag is slang for writing graffiti, the suspect said, “Yes sir, I know,” and “I will show you the other places that I tagged,” and “I’m sorry sir, can I go,” according to police reports.

The officer placed Keyton in his patrol car and the suspect showed the officer the other places he had either marked with graffiti or placed a sticker on town property. Heading north on Baltimore Ave., the suspect identified 10 different locations including dumpsters, electric boxes and bus stop benches. The initial estimate of the damage came in over $500 and almost every case, the property belonged to the town of Ocean City. This week in District Court, Keyton pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property and was fined $1,000.

Six Months for Pot Dealing

SNOW HILL — One of two Pocomoke men arrested last November on drug and assault charges after getting busted with a significant amount of marijuana pleaded guilty to two counts last week and was sentenced to six months in jail.

On Nov. 18, 2010, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Enforcement Team, along with the department’s canine and patrol divisions, conducted an aggressive criminal enforcement initiative in Pocomoke. Targeted during the initiative were various apartment complexes in the area known for drug distribution operations after recent intelligence information was obtained.

While working as part of the initiative, two Worcester County detectives conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for an equipment violation. While obtaining identification information from the driver, the detectives observed the front seat passenger, identified as Jarrell Roberts, 24, of Pocomoke, and a rear seat passenger, identified as Roderick Collier, moving furtively in the vehicle.

An additional K-9 unit was brought to the scene to conduct a scan of the vehicle and its occupants. As Roberts exited the vehicle, a Worcester County detective patted him down and discovered a gallon-size plastic freezer bag hidden in the front of his pants containing 20 individually wrapped clear plastic baggies of suspected marijuana along with a digital scale.

During his subsequent arrest, Roberts allegedly resisted and assaulted the arresting officer. A pat down of the remaining occupants was conducted and a K-9 scan of the vehicle resulted in a positive alert for the presence of additional controlled dangerous substances. During the search, Collier allegedly yelled to the arresting officers that the marijuana found on Roberts belonged to him.

Collier was then arrested and a search revealed a plastic bag containing 17 individual wrapped bags of marijuana on his person. Collier was also found to be in possession of a digital scale containing marijuana and cocaine residue.

Last week in Circuit Court, Roberts pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana and second-degree assault. For the first charge, he was sentenced to two years in jail, all but four months of which were suspended. For the latter, Roberts was sentenced to two months in jail, netting him a total of six months. Collier still awaits trial for his charges.

Tugboat Assault

SALISBURY — A Virginia man was arrested on assault charges last week after allegedly striking another man on the head with a metal pipe during an argument on a tugboat on the Wicomico River.

Shortly after midnight last Wednesday, Maryland Natural Resources Police officers responded to a reported assault on a tugboat in the Wicomico River just south of the port of Salisbury. NRP officers met with the victim, a 57-year-old Newport News, Va. man, who told them the tugboat’s captain, identified as William Daniel Ailsworth II, 46, of Deltaville, Va., the captain of the vessel, had struck him over the head with a metal pipe during an argument.

Ailsworth was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault. He was taken to the Wicomico County Detention Center where he was held pending a bond hearing. Meanwhile, Salisbury Emergency Medical Services treated the victim at the scene.

St. Pat’s Safety Urged

OCEAN CITY — With Ocean City’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade scheduled tomorrow, followed by numerous other events leading up to the actual holiday next Thursday, the OCPD this week issued a stern warning for those considering drinking and driving.

Unfortunately, due to the large number of drunk drivers, the holiday has become a very dangerous time on the roadways, according to OCPD this week. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSTA), 37 percent of drivers and motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes last year had a blood-alcohol content above the legal limit. In addition, NHSTA statistics show there were 103 crash fatalities across the country on St. Patrick’s Day last year.

To that end, OCPD reminds residents and visitors of a few common sense ways to avoid becoming part of the statistics. For example, the department is urging revelers to plan a safe way home before the festivities begin. The OCPD is also urging residents and visitors to designate a sober driver and leave their keys at home.

Residents who become impaired are urged to use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or take the bus to ensure they get home safely. In addition, the OCPD is urging citizens to contact their local law enforcement agency if they see a drunk driver on the road or see an impaired citizen getting ready to drive.

“St. Patrick’s Day is a wonderful time to celebrate in Ocean City,” said OCPD Chief Bernadette DiPino. “However, before you choose where you will go for your celebration, you should choose a designated sober driver.”