Four Arrested For First-Degree Burglary

OCEAN CITY — Four people, including two juveniles, were arrested on first-degree burglary charges last weekend after allegedly taking up residence at a vacant West Ocean City home.

Last Sunday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a residence on Village Lane in West Ocean City for a reported burglary in progress. The troopers met with the victim who said he had returned to his residence and found four strangers in the home. One of the suspects fled and was taken into custody a short time later by a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy in the area.

The other three suspects were located still inside the residence when troopers arrived. The suspects had concealed property belonging to the victim in their own travel bags. The investigation revealed the four suspects, including Mary Elizabeth Besnoka, 19, of Edgewood, Md.; Shane Cohill, 18, of Baltimore; and two 17-year-old juveniles, had forced entry into the residence sometime between Saturday and Sunday.

Once inside, the four suspects used the victim’s residence as a temporary place to stay in order to remain in the Ocean City area. All four were arrested and charged with first-degree burglary. Besnoka and Cohill were taken before a District Court Commissioner, while the two juveniles were released to their parents per a recommendation from the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice.

First-Degree Assault For Kick To Head

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on first-degree assault charges last weekend after allegedly kicking a man in the head while he was dazed or unconscious following a fight in a nightclub that spilled out to the street.

Around 1:15 a.m. last Saturday, Ocean City police reported to the area of 17th Street for a reported assault. Multiple witnesses said a fight started in the Paddock Nightclub and spilled out onto the street. Police spoke to one victim who said he had been punched in the face inside the club by two males, one of whom was later identified as Bradley Keesecker, 23, of Munhall, Pa.

A second witness told police they saw Keesecker strike the victim in the face with a closed fist multiple times. During the altercation, Keesecker allegedly punched another victim in the face. Once outside the bar, Keesecker allegedly punched the second victim again in the head, causing the victim to fall to the ground, according to police reports.

After police spoke with several witnesses outside, it was determined the victim was either dazed or unconscious on the ground and offered no defense or resistance of any kind. Keesecker then allegedly came up to the victim and kicked him in the head, attempting to cause serious injury to the victim.

Witnesses described the kick Keesecker delivered to the victim as a “field goal kick” or a kick delivered as if Keesecker was kicking a football. According to police reports, the kick caused the victim to sustain significant head trauma and was delivered to a vital part of the victim’s body and had the potential to cause serious injury or death. Keesecker was arrested and charged with first-degree assault.

Two Arrested For Jewelry Theft

WEST OCEAN CITY — Two local men, one of whom has a history with the area criminal justice system, were arrested on first-degree burglary and theft charges this week resulting from an investigation into a theft of jewelry from a West Ocean City home back in June.

Back on June 17, a Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy took an initial report of a burglary at a residence on Gray’s Corner Rd. The victim reported roughly $2,000 in jewelry had been stolen from her home. Through the course of the investigation, detectives learned the jewelry had been sold to a local pawn shop. With the cooperation of the pawn shop management, detectives were able to identify Stavros D. Kominos, 24, of West Ocean City, and Ryan Scheidegger, 22, of Willards, as the suspects.

Upon further investigation and interviews with the suspects, Kominos and Scheidegger were arrested this week and charged with first-degree burglary and theft under $10,000. Kominos is being held on a bond at the Worcester County Jail, while Scheidegger was released on personal recognizance pending trial.

For Kominos, the burglary arrest comes after the suspect was charged with and later found guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary in 2008. In March 2008, OCPD officer responded to a reported break-in at the Isle of Wight trailer park and soon learned the investigation wasn’t about a single burglary but a string of burglaries.

Kominos was identified as a suspect and was later located in Florida and extradited to Worcester County. Last September, Kominos was found guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary and was placed on probation. His arrest last week for the most recent burglary on Gray’s Corner Rd. triggered a violation of that probation and a probation violation hearing has been set for Aug. 5.

Mooner Busted

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on indecent exposure charges last week after allegedly dropping his drawers in a downtown convenience store parking lot in front of several people.

Last Monday, an Ocean City police officer on bicycle patrol was inside the 7-Eleven store on N. Division Street when he observed a man, later identified as Benjamin Blyth, 21, of Ocean City, standing in the middle of the parking lot. The officer watched as Blyth allegedly dropped his shorts and underwear to his ankles and “mooned” a taxicab full of passengers.

The officer also observed a family sitting in a mini-van in the parking lot in close proximity to Blyth’s actions. Blyth then pulled up his pants and started to walk across N. Division Street toward the public park and fountain. The officer detained Blyth and placed him under arrest for indecent exposure.

Attempted First-Degree Murder Conviction

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was convicted of attempted first-degree murder this week for the shooting of a woman in November and now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

On Tuesday, a Wicomico County jury convicted Cory Jamal Jones, 26, of Salisbury, of attempted first-degree murder and seven other related charges stemming from the shooting of a female victim on East Church Street back on Nov. 5, 2010. The victim received multiple gunshot wounds during the attack.

Jones faces a maximum penalty of life in prison for the attempted first-degree murder charge along with additional periods of incarceration for the related convictions. Sentencing is expected with 30 days. Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello commended the Salisbury Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division for their work in the investigation and prosecution of the case.

Two Busted In Parking Lot

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania couple was arrested on drug charges last week after police observed their suspicious activity in a vehicle in a downtown parking lot.

Shortly after 10 p.m. last Thursday, an OCPD officer on bicycle patrol in the area of Dayton Lane observed a couple acting suspiciously in a parked car with the dome light on. As the officer approached, one of the suspects, later identified as Shannon Wanstall, 23, of West Chester, Pa., saying “cops, cops” to the other suspect, identified as Nicholas Papaphristos, 23, also of West Chester.

The officer observed Papaphristos reach down to the driver’s side floorboard and put something in the center console. According to police reports, Papaphristos then put something in his pocket before acting as if he was stretching and getting out of the car. Papaphristos was asked to empty his pockets and did so reluctantly after Wanstall allegedly told him to just cooperate and that “he only had four, right?”

Papaphristos then produced a purple pill bottle allegedly containing a large amount of oxycodone pills. A search of the vehicle also turned up a straw cut down to a smaller size and a DVD case with blue powder on it, which was allegedly a crushed Percocet pill. Also found in the vehicle was a baggie of marijuana. A search of Wanstall’s purse revealed more prescription pills, two razor blades and eight cut-up straws with powder residue on them.

Wanstall and Papaphristos were arrested and charged with possession of narcotics and paraphernalia. Papaphristos was also charged with possession with intent to distribute.

Hit-And-Runner Pleads Guilty

WEST OCEAN CITY — A West Ocean City man arrested twice within the span of three months last winter for attempting to run over another individual with a vehicle pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in both cases last week and awaits his fate pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation and a psychological examination.

Around 2:10 a.m. on Feb. 28, Maryland State Police (MSP) responded to a 911 call reporting a suspect that had hit two parked cars at the Lake Haven Trailer Park on Gray’s Corner Rd. MSP troopers learned through the investigation a suspect, later identified as Alan Phillip Flynn, 32, of West Ocean City, got into an altercation with the victim.

According to police reports, Flynn then began ramming cars in an attempt to run over the victim. Flynn was located a short time later at his West Ocean City residence. When MSP troopers and an assisting Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy attempted to take Flynn into custody, he allegedly resisted arrest before being detained.

Flynn was charged with first- and second-degree assault, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment and malicious destruction of property. There were no injuries to the victim or police officers during the incident. Flynn later told police the altercation began when he attempted to purchase crack cocaine from the victim.

For Flynn, the February incident came on the heels of a similar incident last November during which he allegedly plowed his vehicle into a pedestrian in front of a downtown Ocean City bar before striking a tree and fleeing the scene.

Around 9 p.m. last Nov. 21, Ocean City police responded to Pickles Pub on 8th Street and Philadelphia Ave. for a reported hit-and-run collision involving a pedestrian with injuries. Ocean City police officers determined the suspect, later Flynn, allegedly became intoxicated in the pub and was asked by the establishment’s management to leave the premises.

According to police reports, while Flynn was leaving, he allegedly spat on a bar employee and another individual. The bar employee and the other individual followed Flynn outside where Flynn got into a vehicle parked across the street. At that point, Flynn intentionally drove his vehicle toward the two individuals, striking one of them. The vehicle also hit a tree before Flynn fled the area, according to police reports.

The OCPD broadcast a description of Flynn and the vehicle, which was found a short time later unoccupied in West Ocean City by a Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy. While OCPD officers were still back at Pickles Pub conducting witness and victim statements about the alleged hit-and-run incident that had just occurred, Flynn returned to the scene in a taxicab.

When Flynn saw the police gathered at the establishment, he attempted to flee the scene in a taxi, but the cab stopped about a half a block away. Flynn then jumped out of the cab and attempted to flee on foot. After a short pursuit, Flynn attempted to hide in a crawl space under an apartment building on 8th Street. With the assistance of the Maryland State Police and the Berlin Police K-9 officers, OCPD officers were able to get Flynn to come out from under the building and he surrendered. The victim was transported to AGH for treatment of injuries and was later released.

Flynn was charged with 17 total counts including first- and second-degree assault along with numerous traffic-related charges. Last week, Flynn pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in both cases and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered along with a psychological exam. Sentencing has been set for Sept. 16.