Police Seek Dangerous WOC Sex Offender

WEST OCEAN CITY — Police are looking for a known West Ocean City sex offender wanted for failing to re-register after moving and for failing to appear for trial in August on multiple charges related to an incident last fall when he allegedly assaulted a Maryland State Police trooper and pulled a replica handgun during the altercation.

The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office announced yesterday it was actively seeking Joshua Aaron Baker, 32, whose last known address was on Swordfish Drive in West Ocean City. Baker is wanted for failing to re-register as a Tier 3 sex offender, the highest level in Maryland required to register for life. The sheriff’s office on Thursday obtained a new arrest warrant for Baker, who failed to re-register within three days of moving his residence.

Baker is also wanted on arrest warrants for failing to appear for trial in August for charges stemming from an incident last November when he allegedly pulled a replica handgun on a Maryland State Police trooper during an altercation that began with a traffic stop on Old Bridge Rd. Around 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 28, 2010, a Maryland State Police trooper observed a man later identified as Baker, sitting on a moped in the middle of Old Ocean City Rd., or Route 707, without its lights on. The trooper made an attempt to stop Baker for questioning at which point the suspect attempted to flee the scene.

The trooper was eventually able to detain Baker, but while approaching the suspect, the officer observed Baker to be in possession of what appeared to be a semi-automatic pistol in his hand. However, further investigation revealed the weapon was a black, plastic replica or toy gun with a brown handle. The trooper was close enough to Baker to believe the gun was real and a scuffle ensued with the suspect. No one was injured during the altercation nor were any shots fired from what later turned out to be a replica gun.

Baker was ultimately arrested and charged with first-degree assault and assault on a police officer. A search incident to the arrest revealed Baker was in possession of a controlled dangerous substance and paraphernalia and additional charges were tacked on.

During Baker’s arrest, numerous patrons of the nearby 707 Sports Bar exited the establishment to witness what was going on and were confronted by Baker, who was yelling racial slurs and profanity at the gathering crowd in the predominantly residential West Ocean City neighborhood. In the end, Baker was charged additionally with reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and driving on a suspended or revoked license.

Baker is certainly no stranger to local law enforcement or the court system. He is currently a registered sex offender in Worcester County with a shaky record of compliance. For example, in June 2008, he was found guilty of failing to register as a sex offender and was sentenced to three years in jail with all but two months suspended. More recently, Baker was found guilty last July of failing to notify authorities of an address change and was sentenced to 18 months, most of which was suspended.

As of late yesterday, local law enforcement was asking for the public’s help in identifying Baker’s whereabouts. Anyone with information is urged to contact the sheriff’s office at 410-632-1111. Tips may also be provided to Maryland Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776.