OCPD Seeks Missing Teen

OCEAN CITY — The Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) is asking for the public’s help in locating a California teen reported missing in the resort in late June.

Tabitha Williams, 15, was reported missing to authorities on June 28. She resides in California, but was in Ocean City for a vacation. Police believe she may be attempting to travel back to California.

Williams was reported missing by her foster mother. She has black, shoulder-length hair, hazel eyes and was last seen wearing a yellow-colored tank top with denim shorts.

Police are asking anyone with information about Williams’ location to contact Detective Nick Simpson with the OCPD Criminal Investigation Division at 410-520-5349.

Sex Offense Arrest

WEST OCEAN CITY — A Laurel, Md. man, who admitted to being in the U.S. illegally, is behind bars this week after allegedly sexually assaulting a teenage girl at a West Ocean City campground.

Around 9:30 a.m. last Sunday, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Frontier Town campground in West Ocean City for a reported sexual assault. The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) also responded and assumed the investigation. Police interviewed the 15-year-old female victim, who said a suspect had entered the camper where she was sleeping at around 4 a.m. and had inappropriately touched her against her will and refused to stop.

Police then interviewed the suspect, identified as Felix N. Perez, 25. Perez told police he was extremely intoxicated and only remembered touching the victim’s rear end. Perez was arrested and charged with a third- and fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault.

During a subsequent interview, Perez told police he was in the U.S. illegally. The Department of Homeland Security was notified of the suspect’s arrest. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered held on a $25,000 unsecured bond.

First-Degree Assault Charge In Dispute

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on first-degree assault and other charges this week after allegedly attempting to strangle his girlfriend in a downtown residence.

Around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, an OCPD officer was dispatched to a residence on Lark Lane for a reported domestic dispute in progress. The officer approached the residence and was able to see through the open blinds at a window next to the front door. The officer was able to observe what was going on because the front door was slightly ajar.

After observing the argument for a short time, the female involved attempted to leave the residence when the male combatant, later identified as Daniel Robert Hagel, 21, of Jacobus, Pa., grabbed her shoulder. When the girl allegedly yelled “Get away from me,” and “don’t touch me,” Hagel allegedly scooped her up in a bear hug and carried her toward a couch in the living room.

Hagel then tackled the victim onto the couch and climbed on top of her before moving his hands up toward her face, according to police reports. The victim continued to scream for Hagel to get off of her and yelled “I can’t breathe,” according to police reports. At that point, the officer intervened and entered the apartment, fearing for the girl’s safety.

He was able to pull Hagel off the victim and the suspect did not resist as he was handcuffed. The victim allegedly told police “I’m so glad you guys came.” When asked where Hagel’s hands were, the victim told police “they were around my neck. He did try I guess to choke me, that is the one thing that scared the [expletive deleted] out of me.”

The victim complained of neck pain and EMS was called, but the victim refused to go to the hospital. Based on the evidence observed and the victim’s statements and actions, Hagel was charged with first- and second-degree assault.

Knife Assault Over Pizza Coupon

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on first-degree assault charges this week after allegedly holding a knife to another man’s neck during a dispute over a pizza parlor coupon.

Around 3:49 a.m. on Wednesday, OCPD officers were dispatched to a reported stabbing at a residence on Philadelphia Ave. The officers met with a victim, who had a deep cut on his right hand. The victim told police he lived in the same building with a man identified as William Whitehurst, 20, of Baltimore. Whitehurst had allegedly requested a Pizza Tugos coupon from the victim, and when the victim refused to give up the coupon, the two men got into a fight.

According to police reports, the fight was broken up and the two men went their separate ways. A short time later, the victim was sitting in a common area in the residence when Whitehurst approached him from the rear. When the victim turned around, Whitehurst allegedly held the blade side of a knife to his neck. Fearing for his life, the victim grabbed the blade to pull it away from his neck and was slashed on the hand. Several witnesses corroborated the story.

Whitehurst was located on the Boardwalk at 22nd Street a short time later and was taken into custody. He has been charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Four Arrested In Fracas

OCEAN CITY — Four men were arrested, one on first-degree assault charges, last weekend after a fight in the downtown area.

Around 1:30 a.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police responded to the area of the 7-Eleven store on N. Division Street for a reported fight in progress. As officers arrived, they observed two groups of four that appeared to have been fighting or were about to fight on Baltimore Ave. The two groups were shouting obscenities and threats at each other, causing a crowd of onlookers to form on the sidewalk and on the balconies or nearby motels and condos.

Police approached the first group and had them sit against the wall of a nearby building while they sorted out what had happened. When officers approached the second group, they observed a suspect, later identified as Joshua Carlos Pratt, 21, of Reading, Pa., waving an expandable baton in the air and taunting the first group with “come get me.” When Pratt saw the police officers, he attempted to collapse the baton before walking behind a row of parked cars and re-emerging without the weapon.

As the officers approached the second group, which also included James Wells, 20, of Wyomissing, Pa., John Robles, 21, of Reading, Pa., and Michael Burton, 20, of Reading, Pa., they saw the group continue to urge the first group to fight and yell and gesture despite the presence of the police officers.

One OCPD officer asked Pratt where he threw the baton, to which he allegedly said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Another officer then found the weapon behind a tire of a parked car. OCPD officers then began to pat down the other members of the group to see if they had any more weapons. When they got to Burton, the suspect warned them he had a fixed-blade knife in his pocket, which was then recovered.

When the officers questioned the first group, one of the victims told police Pratt had struck him in the back of the head with the baton. The officer observed injuries on the victim consistent with the story. Pratt then told the officer he wished to speak with him. When the officer told Pratt he was lucky he didn’t seriously injure the victim, Prat allegedly said “I know I could have hurt him, but can’t you drop the assault charge and just give me disorderly?”

The plea fell on deaf ears as Pratt was charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and carrying a deadly weapon. Burton was also charged with disorderly conduct and carrying a deadly weapon, while Wells and Robles were charged with disorderly conduct.

Two Arrested In Drug Raid

OCEAN CITY — Two local people were arrested on drug possession and distribution charges last week after a Quick Response Team (QRT) raid on their Trimper Ave. residence.

During the month of July, OCPD detectives initiated an investigation into the drug-dealing activities of Jason Thomas Kincaid, 36, of Ocean City.

Last Thursday, detectives obtained a search and seizure warrant for Kincaid’s residence on Trimper Ave. Around 9:45 p.m. last Thursday, OCPD detectives observed Kincaid and a female, later identified as Maureen Gray, 34, also of Ocean City, enter Kincaid’s residence.

The QRT then entered the residence armed with the search and seizure warrant and found Kincaid and Gray in a bedroom. During a search of Kincaid’s room, OCPD detectives found 24 individually wrapped paper bags containing suspected heroin. Stamped on the bags was the image of an assault rifle and the word “Taliban.” Also found in Kincaid’s room were seven plastic baggies containing crack cocaine and two oxycodone pills, a digital scale, a box of plastic Baggies and other paraphernalia.

During the search, police located Gray’s purse on the floor in the bedroom and found three plastic bags containing heroin marked in the same way as the other bags with the assault rifle image and the word “Taliban.” Kincaid was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin and crack cocaine, while Gray was charged with possession of heroin and crack cocaine.

Double Hit-and-Run

OCEAN CITY — A Baltimore woman wanted in Pennsylvania and Baltimore County was arrested on numerous charges this week after running into a town of Ocean City street sweeper and a parked car while allegedly driving drunk on Monday morning.

Around 10:40 a.m. on Monday, an OCPD officer was dispatched to the area of 22nd Street and Baltimore Ave. for a reported hit-and-run. The officer met with a town of Ocean City street sweeper driver, who said a black Toyota Camry had backed up into his vehicle causing damage before fleeing the scene. The town employee got the vehicle’s tag number and a description was broadcast.

Police communications responded a vehicle matching the description and tag number had just struck a parked car in the area of 14th Street and left the scene, the second of two hit-and-runs minutes apart. The OCPD officer searched several side streets in the area before locating the suspect vehicle in the parking lot of a motel on 25th Street.

The officer noticed the vehicle had incurred damage consistent with the hit-and-run reports. Inside was a female driver, later identified as Sara Terry, 24, of Baltimore, along with a male passenger. The officer asked Terry for a driver’s license, but she could not produce identification. The officer detected an odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from Terry, who said she had consumed alcohol the night before, but not that day.

Terry was asked to perform field sobriety tests, which she could not complete to the officer’s satisfaction. She also refused to submit to a breath-alcohol test. Terry was arrested and charged with numerous traffic violations from driving under the influence and driving while impaired to fleeing the scene of an accident to reckless driving. 

A background check revealed Terry’s license had been suspended for over a year. It also revealed she was wanted on a fugitive warrant in Pennsylvania and a bench warrant in Baltimore County.