Former OC Cop Facing Assault Weapon Charges

SALISBURY — A former Ocean City Police officer and Worcester County Sheriff candidate was charged with assault weapons violations this week after a joint investigation by law enforcement in Worcester and Wicomico counties allegedly connected him to an attempted illegal sale of an AK-47 in Salisbury.

In late June, investigators from the Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force and the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team received information about an illegal sale of an AK-47 assault rifle. Detectives were able to determine the person attempting to sell the illegal assault weapon was David Catrino, 45, of West Ocean City, according to police reports.

After identifying Catrino as the person allegedly attempting to sell the firearm, an operation was initiated by the joint investigation teams in Worcester and Wicomico. As the completion of the operation, investigators obtained an arrest warrant charging Catrino with the illegal sale of a firearm. Catrino was arrested on Monday without incident by the Maryland State Police Gang Enforcement Unit at his place of employment in Salisbury.

Catrino has been charged with the unlawful sale or transfer of a regulated firearm and four counts of assault weapons violations. He was transported to the Wicomico Detention Center where he was held on a $50,000 bond.

In 2009, Catrino filed suit in U.S. District Court against the Ocean City Police Department and the town seeking injunctive relief and an undisclosed amount of compensatory and punitive damages for wrongly denying him a reasonable accommodation to which he believes he was entitled under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Catrino, who had been diagnosed with Type II diabetes, claimed he was wrongly dismissed in July 2007 when he left his post to eat to meet the needs of his condition before his scheduled shift was set to expire. The case came to trial in late 2011 and a federal jury found in favor of Ocean City and its police department, essentially ruling Catrino had not been successful in proving his diabetic condition was at the heart of his alleged wrongful termination.

After deliberating, the jury never had to go beyond the first question after answering in the negative. It read, “has the plaintiff proven by a preponderance of the evidence that on July 21, 2007, he suffered from a disability in accord with the definition set forth under the ADA?”