Rape, Burglary Charges

Romer Ortuno

Romer Ortuno

OCEAN CITY — A Virginia man faces rape and burglary charges this week after allegedly climbing through a hotel window and sexually assaulting a sleeping female he had met at a resort nightclub earlier.

On May 25, Ocean City Police detectives responded to Atlantic General Hospital and met with the victim of an alleged sexual assault. Through the investigation, detectives learned the victim and a group of friends were at an Ocean City nightclub earlier where they ran into acquaintances from their hometown in Virginia.

Eventually, the group along with their newfound acquaintances returned to a hotel room together where they continued to consume alcoholic beverages and became intoxicated. In the early morning hours, members of the group including the suspect, identified as Romer Ortuno, 29, of Springfield, Va. left the hotel room while the victim was asleep.

However, Ortuno allegedly returned to the hotel and entered the room through an unlocked window and reportedly raped the victim. Ocean City detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Ortuno, charging him with first-degree rape and first-degree burglary. On May 27, Ortuno was arrested at his home in Virginia by local authorities.

First Degree Assault

Charge For Head Kick

OCEAN CITY — A Chesapeake City man was arrested on first-degree assault and other charges this week after allegedly kicking another man in the head to the point the victim nearly lost consciousness.

Around 2:25 a.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police were dispatched to the McDonalds on 32nd Street to assist with an unconscious individual who had been involved in a fight. When OCPD officers arrived, restaurant employees pointed out a vehicle where the victim had been seen. The officers spoke with the victim, who said he had been involved in a fight with another man about an incident that had occurred earlier in the evening.

While speaking with police, the victim fell in and out of consciousness and as he leaned against the car, he fell to the ground in a seated position and started to nod off as EMS arrived, according to police reports. OCPD officers spoke with the victim’s sister, who said a suspect, later identified as Craig Meredith, 20, of Chesapeake City, had kicked her brother in the head during the fight.

Meanwhile, the officer noticed another vehicle parked nearby with the occupants paying close attention to the investigation. The officers questioned the driver, who said Meredith had been in her vehicle, but she made him get out after he assaulted the victim.

Another OCPD officer had remembered when arriving on the scene observing an individual walking away from the area that matched Meredith’s description. Most notably, Meredith was wearing black socks with marijuana leaves on them. A description of the suspect was broadcast and several other officers canvassed the area looking for Meredith.

Around 3:10 p.m., an OCPD officer observed a suspect matching Meredith’s description walking on Baltimore Ave. in the area of 31st Street. The officer detained Meredith and questioned him about his involvement in the fight. After acknowledging his rights, Meredith agreed to speak with the officers. He said he had been in an argument with the victim about going back to Baltimore. The argument escalated with the two pushing and shoving each other. Meredith said the victim punched him in the face, at which time Meredith and the victim ended up on the ground. Meredith admitted kicking the victim, but said it was an accident. “I ain’t gonna lie. I kicked him,” he told the officers, according to police reports. Meredith said the kicking was an accident and told police he felt like he was getting jumped.

Meanwhile, back on the scene, the victim was slipping in and out of consciousness. EMS treated his wounds sustained when falling to the ground, but the victim refused to be transported to the hospital to have his head injury checked out further. The McDonalds employee told police he called 911 because he was seriously concerned about the victim’s health.

During a search incident to the arrest, a small plastic baggie of marijuana and a grinder were discovered on Meredith. He was charged with first- and second-degree assault, disorderly conduct, reckless endangerment, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

Child Injured In ATV Accident

BISHOPVILLE — An 8-year-old was seriously injured last weekend after the all-terrain vehicle he was operating with his grandfather as a passenger failed to make it up a steep embankment and fell back on the two victims.

Around 4:30 p.m. last Friday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to the area of Old Stage Rd. in Bishopville for a reported ATV accident involving a rollover. The investigation revealed the driver of the ATV, the juvenile, was traveling on and around the property with his grandfather, who was the passenger. The juvenile attempted to drive up a steep embankment when the ATV flipped over onto both the child and the grandfather.

The minor suffered head injuries and was transported via MSP Trooper 4 helicopter to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. The grandfather also suffered injuries, but refused medical treatment at the scene.

Arrest For Swiping iPad

WEST OCEAN CITY — Two foreigners were arrested last weekend after allegedly breaking into a West Ocean City residence and stealing an iPad tablet.

Around 6:30 p.m. last Friday, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a residence on Swordfish Drive in West Ocean City for a reported burglary. Upon arrival, the deputies met with the victim, who stated two suspects had broken into his home through a closed window and took an iPad tablet valued at $400. The deputies conducted an investigation and identified Victor Neaga, 22, and Anatolie Stratila, 22, both of Moldova, as the suspects.

The next day, deputies obtained arrest warrants for Neaga and Stratila for first-degree burglary and theft under $1,000. Within minutes of the issuance of the warrants, Ocean City Police located Stratila with the help of a witness and arrested him on the felony warrant. Stratila is being held on a bond at the Worcester County Jail. On Sunday, Ocean City Police located Neaga, who was arrested on the felony warrant and is also being held at the Worcester County Jail.

Brothers Arrested

After Downtown Attack

OCEAN CITY — Two brothers were arrested on first-degree assault and theft charges late last month after allegedly beating a friend and stealing his property in downtown Ocean City.

Around 3:20 a.m. on May 25, Ocean City Police responded to a reported fight in progress in the area of 8th Street and Philadelphia Ave. Upon arrival, OCPD officers met with the victim of an assault who had been beaten. The victim told police the suspects, who were his friends, assaulted him and stole numerous items from his pockets.

OCPD officers on the scene realized they had seen a suspect matching the description provided by the victim getting into a nearby cab. Through an investigation, the officers were able to locate and arrest one of the suspects, identified as Damon Middleton, 21, of Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, other officers were assisted by witnesses in locating the other suspect, later identified as Charles A. Middleton, 24, of New York, N.Y. Charles Middleton was eventually located and arrested in a nearby vehicle attempting to hide from police.

Items stolen from the victim were located and returned. Ocean City Police charged by Damon and Charles Middleton with multiple assault and theft counts. Damon Middleton was also charged with possession of an assisted opening knife. Bother were taken before a District Court Commissioner and each was released after posting $50,000 bonds.

First-Degree Burglary Arrest

OCEAN CITY — An Alexandria man was arrested on first-degree burglary and other charges this week after allegedly getting caught in a midtown apartment attempting to steal electronic devices and other property, although the suspect maintains he was merely using the facilities.

Around 2:30 a.m. on Monday, an OCPD officer responded to the Maui Apartments on 49th Street for a reported burglary that had just occurred. The officer met with two witnesses, who told police they had rented units 101 and 102 for themselves and their friends. The witnesses said they were staying in 102 and their friends, who were not yet home, were staying in 101.

The witnesses told police when they looked outside for a pizza delivery, they saw an unidentified man standing in the doorway of the sliding glass door to unit 101. When the witnesses yelled to the man, the suspect jumped over the balcony to the patio and fled on foot. One witness told police the suspect was holding a pair of sunglasses belonging to his friend, but dropped the sunglasses and walked away through the parking lot.

Another witness heard the yelling and walked to the neighboring unit to find a different suspect, identified later as Tomas Camara, 25, of Alexandria, Va., holding a blue tooth speaker in his hand. The witness yelled to Camara, who allegedly told the witness he had merely entered the open unit to use the bathroom, although he stated it in slightly more colorful terms.

Camara was told to leave and walked across the parking lot in the same direction as the first suspect. The witnesses said they saw a white Ford Mustang leaving the area where the suspects had last been seen. A description of the vehicle was broadcast and it was stopped in the area of 114th Street about 10 minutes later. The witnesses were brought to 114th Street to identify the suspects, but the occupants of the Mustang did not match the description of the suspects.

Meanwhile, two individuals, including Camara, were seen walking by on the sidewalk in the area where the Mustang was stopped. Camara was detained and read his rights before agreeing to speak with the officers. Camara said he had left a bar and was invited to come up to a second-floor unit at the Maui Apartments, but had not been allowed inside.

Camara said he was walking back downstairs when he saw the open unit 101 and realized he had to use the facilities, so he went inside. He told police he did enter unit 101, but only to use the bathroom. He said he did not attempt to take anything. Camara also said he was friends with the occupants of the Mustang, but did not ride with them and instead walked from 49th Street to 114th Street. Camara was ultimately arrested and charged with first- and fourth-degree burglary and theft under $100.

Assault Arrest

SNOW HILL — An elderly Snow Hill man was arrested on weapons and assault charges last week after Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies received a complaint.

Last Thursday, a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy received a weapons complaint involving Curtis Edward Shockley, 84, of Snow Hill. The deputy located and arrested Shockley on charges of first-degree assault, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and wearing, carrying or transporting a handgun in a vehicle. Shockley was taken into custody and was later released on a $30,000 unsecured bond.

Weed Found In Traffic Stop

WEST OCEAN CITY — Three suspects were arrested on marijuana charges last weekend after a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy spotted their vehicle, for which a lookout had been posted, speeding in West Ocean City.

Around 12:45 a.m. last Sunday, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies were on the lookout for a reported silver Honda Accord possibly involved in drug activity. A deputy spotted the suspect vehicle on Stephen Decatur Highway in the area of Old Bridge Rd. going an estimated 60 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone. The deputy also noted the registration plates were not properly affixed to the vehicle.

The deputy stopped the vehicle, and while talking with the occupants detected the odor of marijuana coming from inside. A search of the vehicle resulted in the recovery of marijuana and all three were arrested. DeAndre Lovelace-Asson, 18, of Bowie, was charged with possession of marijuana. Isayah Ike Johnson, 18, of Laurel, Md., was charged with possession and a 17-year-old juvenile from Mitchellville, Md. was also charged with possession. Lovelace-Asson and Johnson were released on criminal citations, while the juvenile was referred to the Department of Juvenile Services.