Former Priest Charged With Child Sex Offense

OCEAN CITY — Ocean City Police this week formally charged a Salisbury resident and former priest with child sex abuse after an investigation into an alleged incident in the resort dating back over 30 years.

Police last month concluded a child sexual assault investigation stemming from an alleged incident in August 1981. As a result of the investigation, OCPD detectives have charged Bruno Michael Tucci, 70, of Salisbury, with a fourth-degree sex offense and child abuse by a custodian.

Tucci is believed to have brought a child into an Ocean City motel room in August 1981. While in the motel, the alleged illegal sexual acts occurred. Tucci is a former priest in Allentown, Pa. from 1971 until 2007. The OCPD is asking anyone with information about Tucci to contact Detective Brett Case at 410-723-6632.

Grinches Nabbed

POCOMOKE — Three Virginia men were arrested on burglary and theft charges just days before Christmas after a failed attempt to swipe presents from a residence in Pocomoke.

Around 10 a.m. on Dec. 21, a Worcester County resident returned to his home in Pocomoke to find an unfamiliar vehicle in his backyard and the back door of the house standing open and immediately contacted the authorities. Deputies from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Officer immediately responded, as did the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation.

The first deputies on the scene determined the suspects were no longer in the residence and had just recently fled the scene when the victim returned home. Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies, with assistance from the Pocomoke Police Department, the Maryland State Police and Maryland Natural Resources Police quickly formed a perimeter and began a search for the suspects while the WCBI detectives began to process the scene.

It was determined the suspects had kicked in the back door to the home. The entire house was ransacked and the suspects took firearms, computers, televisions, and jewelry. Many of the items taken were to be given as Christmas presents. Detectives later discovered the stolen property in the trunk of the vehicle still parked in the victim’s backyard.

Two suspects, identified as Shaquille Gaskins, 19, of Belle Haven, Va., and Antwan Dawson, 23, of Eastville, Va., were subsequently apprehended, while a third suspect, identified as Antonio Austin, 26, of Onley, Va., was able to flee the scene and return to Virginia. Dawson and Gaskins were both charged with first- and third-degree burglary, theft from $10,000 to under $100,000 and malicious destruction of property. Both were remanded to the Worcester County Jail on $6,000 bonds. An arrest warrant was obtained for Austin, who was quickly apprehended by police in Virginia. Austin is being held in Virginia pending extradition to Worcester County.

Speeding With Dope

BERLIN — A New Jersey man was arrested on marijuana distribution charges after getting pulled over for speeding in Berlin last Sunday.

Around 2:30 p.m. last Sunday, a Maryland State Police trooper pulled over a vehicle for excessive speeding on southbound Route 113 near Route 575. While approaching the vehicle, the trooper detected a strong odor of raw marijuana. A subsequent probable cause search revealed nearly 239 grams of marijuana along with over $10,000 in cash in a white and red duffle bag located in the trunk of the vehicle.

The front right passenger, identified as William J. Schooley, Jr., 29, of Williamstown, N.J., claimed sole ownership of the marijuana and the cash. He was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute and possession of paraphernalia.

Probation For Loaded Gun

BERLIN — A North Carolina man arrested in August after a loaded handgun was found in his vehicle during a routine traffic stop pleaded guilty last week and was placed on probation and fined $500.

Shortly before 10 p.m. on Aug. 23, a Berlin Police officer on routine patrol stopped a vehicle on Route 50 at Old Ocean City Blvd. During a search of the vehicle, officers located a loaded Ruger .38 semi-automatic handgun hidden under the front seat. The investigation revealed the vehicle’s operator, Eric G. Clayton, 24, of Creedmoor, N.C., did not possess a concealed carry handgun permit. Clayton was arrested and charged with handgun violations.

Suspect Grabs Cop’s Gun

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on first-degree assault and other serious charges last week after first threatening to shoot a group of victims at their home and later attempting to disarm a police officer arresting him.

Shortly before 7 p.m. on Dec. 26, Salisbury Police responded to a residence on Oak Hill Ave. for a reported assault with a firearm. The investigation revealed the victims arrived at the residence to pick up an item and knocked on the door. Moments later, the victims were confronted by a suspect, later identified as Daryl James Sinclair, 34, of Salisbury, who allegedly displayed a handgun and threatened to shoot them.

The victims left the area and notified police, who responded and took Sinclair into custody. While in custody, Sinclair allegedly resisted arrest and grabbed an officer’s holstered weapon and attempted to disarm him. Sinclair then fled on foot but was apprehended a short time later. Sinclair was taken to PRMC for treatment of facial injuries and was released. He has been charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, wearing or carrying a firearm, obstructing and hindering, attempting to disarm a police officer and other charges.

Assault Suspect Sought

SALISBURY — Salisbury Police this week are seeking the public’s help in identifying a suspect wanted in connection with a sexual assault on Christmas morning.

Shortly after midnight on Dec. 25, Salisbury Police responded to the area of North Blvd. for a reported sexual assault. The investigation revealed the victim was walking in the area of Route 13 and North Blvd. when she was approached by an unknown male suspect. The victim and the suspect struck up a conversation and began walking together in the area of North Blvd. and Smith Street.

At that point, the suspect grabbed the victim, pulled her into a side yard of a residence and sexually assaulted her. During the incident, the victim struggled with the suspect and may have caused an injury to his face. The suspect is described as a dark-skinned African-American male, roughly 5’8” tall and 180 pounds with a goatee and wearing dark clothes with a possible abrasion on his face. Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776. Crime Solvers will pay up to $1,000 for tips that lead to an arrest.

Attempted Hammer Assault

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on first-degree assault and other charges last week after allegedly threatening his stepson with a hammer.

Around 1:50 p.m. last Thursday, Salisbury Police responded to a residence on Church Street for a reported assault. The investigation revealed a suspect, later identified as Calvin Lee Johnson, 69, of Salisbury, got into a verbal argument with his stepson and during the argument attempted to strike the victim with a hammer. Johnson was arrested and charged with first-degree assault, reckless endangerment and the use of dangerous weapon with intent to injure.