Accident Yields Pot Bust

WEST OCEAN CITY — A Delaware man was arrested on marijuana possession charges last week after an accident at a busy West Ocean City intersection.

Around 4 p.m. last Thursday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a reported motor vehicle collision with injuries at the intersection of Routes 50 and 611 in West Ocean City. When the troopers arrived, the two vehicles involved had pulled into a shopping center parking lot.

A Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) officer was on the scene and noticed a silver smoking device with a trace amount of marijuana in it lying on the ground near one of the vehicles involved in the accident.

The investigation revealed the driver of one of the vehicles, later identified as Michael Roye Bellerby, Jr., 19, of Ocean View, Del., had placed the smoking device on the ground in the fear of getting into trouble. Bellerby, Jr. was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

More Weed Charges

BERLIN — Two Pennsylvania people were arrested on drug charges last week during a routine traffic stop on Route 113 in Berlin.

Around 10 p.m. last Saturday, a Berlin police officer initiated a traffic stop on Route 113 near Franklin Ave. in Berlin. As the officer approached the vehicle, he detected a strong odor of marijuana and as he got closer, he noticed the entire passenger compartment filled with smoke.

A probable cause search revealed three separate plastic baggies of marijuana and a glass smoking device. The vehicle’s occupants, Derek Bartholomew, 20, and Kristy Conklin, 20, both of Emmaus, Pa., were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

Armed Robbery Suspect Sought

SALISBURY — Salisbury Police this week are searching for a suspect who held up a convenience store at gunpoint last Saturday night.

Around 11:25 p.m. last Saturday, Salisbury Police responded to the Shore Stop convenience store on Mt. Hermon Rd. for a reported armed robbery. The investigation revealed a lone suspect entered the store and produced a handgun, pointing it first at a customer before turning it on the store clerk. The suspect then took an undetermined amount of cash from the register and fled the store on foot, heading west on Mt. Hermon Rd.

No one was injured during the hold-up. The suspect is described as an African-American male, roughly 6’2” and 200 pounds with a braided hairstyle. At the time of the incident, the suspect was wearing a white, one-piece hooded suit and a black ski mask. The weapon is described as a black semi-automatic handgun.

Anyone with information is urged to call Salisbury Police at 410-548-3165, or Crime Stoppers at 410-548-1776.

Stabbing Suspect Sought

SALISBURY — The Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office this week is looking for a suspect wanted in connection with a stabbing incident in Delmar last week.

Shortly after 5 p.m. last Friday, Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a reported stabbing incident on Walnut Street in Delmar. The investigation revealed a female victim was walking in the street when she was confronted by another female. During the encounter, the second woman accused the victim of texting her boyfriend.

As the altercation escalated, the suspect retrieved a knife from her vehicle and came after the victim, slashing her on the forearm, according to police reports. The victim was taken to PRMC for treatment. Meanwhile, the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Department is still looking for the suspect this week.

She is described as a black female in her late 20s, roughly 5’4” tall and around 250 pounds. At the time of the incident, she was reportedly wearing a black shirt and black pants. She was also driving a green sedan, possibly a Ford Taurus or a Mercury Sable with Maryland registration.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office at 410-548-4891, or Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776.

West OC House Fire

WEST OCEAN CITY — No injuries were reported during a residential fire in a West Ocean City neighborhood early Monday morning.

Around 5:30 a.m. on Monday, a fire was reported at a single-family residence on Riggin Ridge Rd. in West Ocean City. The Ocean City Fire Company responded, as did volunteer fire companies from Berlin, Ocean Pines and Showell, and the blaze was brought under control in about an hour.

The residence was occupied at the time by two parents and their four children, but all escaped unharmed and no injuries were reported. The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office investigated the fire and discovered it originated on a rear exterior deck and extended into the dwelling. The cause of the fire is listed as accident and originated from a bonfire pit located on the rear deck.

Single Car Crash Claims One

SALISBURY — The Wicomico County Sheriff’s Department this week is investigating a single-vehicle accident in Delmar early Tuesday morning that claimed the life of a Mardela Springs man.

Shortly after midnight on Tuesday, Wicomico County deputies responded to a single vehicle accident on Norris Twilley Rd. in Delmar. The investigation revealed the driver, identified as Milton Gary Shiles, 58, of Mardela Springs, lost control of the vehicle on a curve, left the roadway and overturned in a field. Shiles was ejected from the vehicle during the crash.

Paramedics transported Shiles to PRMC where he was pronounced dead a short time later. There were no other passengers in the vehicle. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or might have additional information is urged to call the Wicomico Sheriff’s Office at (410) 548-4891.

Peeping Tom Pleads Guilty

SNOW HILL — A Rockville, Md. man arrested in January for trespassing and peering in the window of the Berlin residence was found guilty on two charges last week in District Court, but faces no new jail time.

Around 2:20 a.m. on Jan. 20, 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, of Rockville, 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.

However, the victim told police the incident was the third in two days during which 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.

In District Court last Friday, Eschenberg pleaded guilty to peeping Tom and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, a sentence for which he was given credit for the 30 days he spent in jail awaiting trial. He also pleaded guilty to trespassing and was sentenced to 90 days, but that sentence was then suspended.

West Ocean City Theft

WEST OCEAN CITY — Maryland State Police troopers this week are looking for the suspect or suspects who stole gardening equipment and tools from a West Ocean City residence.

Around 9:20 p.m. on Tuesday, MSP troopers responded to a residence on Pine Street in West Ocean City for a reported theft. The investigation revealed an unknown suspect or suspects stole two Stihl leaf blowers, an Echo hedge trimmer, a gas can, two rakes and a shovel. The stolen items were left unsecured on a trailer parked on the street.

The theft occurred sometime between 10 p.m. on Monday and 9:20 a.m. on Tuesday. Anyone with information about the theft is urged to contact the Maryland State Police Berlin barrack at 410-641-3101.

Two Held On Theft, Assault Charges

SALISBURY — Two local women were arrested on assault and theft charges this week after first allegedly stealing items from a Salisbury department store before attempting to run over police officer.

Around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Salisbury Police responded to a reported theft at the K-Mart in Salisbury. While en route, officers learned the two suspects had fled in a Green Honda Civic and located the suspect vehicle at the intersection of Mt. Hermon Rd. and N. Main Street. When the officers attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver, identified as Tracy Purnell, 39, of Salisbury, nearly ran over one officer before continuing on.

The vehicle eventually stopped on Delaware Ave. where a foot chase ensued before Purnell and her passenger, Michelle Crosland, 47, of Berlin, were apprehended. A search of the vehicle turned up the items reported stolen from K-Mart. It was later learned Purnell had assaulted an employee at the store who was trying to detain her and Crosland. Purnell was charged with first- and second-degree assault, theft and reckless endangerment, while Crosland was charged with theft and conspiracy to commit theft.

Underage Party Nets 10-Day Sentence

SNOW HILL — A West Ocean City man arrested on January along with two juveniles after Maryland State Police busted up a party attended by several underage individuals pleaded guilty last week in District Court to disorderly house and was sentenced to 10 days in jail.

Shortly before 2 a.m. on Jan.y 22, 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.

Last week in District Court, Welton pleaded guilty to maintaining a disorderly house and was sentenced to 10 days in jail. He was also fined $200. The disposition of the cases involving the juveniles arrested during the incident are not known.

Smoke Alarm Awakens Resident

OCEAN CITY — Ocean City Fire Department officials this week are crediting a working smoking alarm for potentially saving the occupant of a north-end condominium during an early morning fire on Sunday.

Shortly after 3:30 a.m. last Sunday, the Ocean City Fire Department was dispatched to the Ocean Walk East condominium building on Wight Street near 118th Street for a reported fire in a third-floor unit. The sole occupant of the unit was awakened by an audible smoke alarm and was able to evacuate the structure without incident. Firefighters arrived shortly thereafter and quickly extinguished a couch fire in the living room of the unit.

The fire in an occupied dwelling proved how critical the early warning capability of a working smoke alarm is for survival in the event of a fire. With the beginning of daylight savings time last week, the Ocean City Fire Department is encouraging residents to take the time change as a reminder to change batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Working smoke alarms have proven to save lives and should be included as an important part of a home fire escape plan. For more information, contact the Ocean City Fire Department at 410-289-8421.