Assault Victim Found Lying On Highway

OCEAN CITY — A Laurel, Del. man was arrested on first-degree assault charges this week after allegedly striking his ex-girlfriend, who was found lying on the median in Coastal Highway, during a dispute inside a vehicle.

Around 12:35 a.m. on Monday, Ocean City Police were patrolling in the area of 48th Street when they saw a female lying on the median. Police officers and the victim’s friends were able to get the injured woman off the median and onto the parking lot of a nearby hotel to determine what had happened to her. The victim told police her ex-boyfriend, later identified as Dwayne Daniels, 38, of Laurel, had struck her with a bottle in the head and hand, which she had been holding to her head in defense.

The assault allegedly occurred inside a vehicle on Coastal Highway. OCPD officers obtained a description of Daniels and with the help of a hotel security guard were able to locate him a short time later walking north near Middleway Drive and Coastal Highway. Daniels was placed under arrest for first-degree assault while police continued their investigation into the incident.

Around 2 a.m., an OCPD officer went to AGH to interview the victim further. The victim was still crying and visibly upset and in extreme pain in her hand and head. The victim said she came to Ocean City with Daniels and two of her friends and was riding in the front seat of a mini-van with Daniels behind her. The victim said Daniels was upset because she no longer wanted to have a relationship with him.

Daniels allegedly grew angrier and ultimately struck the victim with a wine bottle. The victim had her hand to her head when she was struck from behind with the bottle. The victim told police “everything went black. My ears rung and I was dazed,” according to police reports. The victim told police she did not even know she had been struck until a few seconds after and tried to open her eyes but it hurt too badly.

The victim told police she had been seriously abused by Daniels before and knew she needed to get away from him. While the vehicle was stopped, she opened the door and tried to get out, but Daniels grabbed her around the throat and waist and choked her. The victim said she believed if she didn’t resist, Daniels would ease his grip on her and she would be able to get away. The victim told police she feared for her life and felt Daniels was capable of killing her at that moment.

The other individuals in the vehicle corroborated the victim’s story. One witness said he saw Daniels strike the victim with the bottle and Daniels tried to hit her again but the witness stopped him. The other witness said she saw the victim attempt to get out of the van and saw Daniels grab her from behind by the throat. Daniels was charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

First-Degree Assault

Over Rent Dispute

OCEAN CITY — A Newark, Del. man was charged with first-degree assault this week after an investigation into an incident in May during which he allegedly threatened a former roommate with a knife over past-due rent.

On May 14, Ocean City Police interviewed a victim of an assault that had already occurred at a downtown apartment. The victim told police he had left the apartment he shared with the suspect, identified a Mahir Kelifa, of Newark, a week earlier due to Kelifa’s excessive drinking and propensity to cause trouble, according to police reports. The victim told police Kelifa said he would kill him if given the chance.

The victim said on May 12, Kelifa and another man entered his apartment while he was sleeping and he heard Kelifa say to the other man, “where is that knife? I’m going to stab that guy.” The victim told police Kelifa then began choking him and punching him with closed fists. The other man then broke up the altercation and the two left the apartment on 8th Street.

When investigators asked the victim why he didn’t call police at the time of the assault, the victim said he was convinced by his other friends to handle the situation internally. While police were interviewing the victim at a Boardwalk store, the other man who was at the apartment with Kelifa at the time of the assault came by on a skateboard and investigators questioned him. The witness said he was in the apartment and saw Kelifa put the victim in a headlock and choke him.

Investigator then went to another Boardwalk location and found Kelifa, who said he shared the apartment with the victim, who moved out without paying his share of the rent. Kelifa told police he was at a downtown pub on May 14when he ran into another roommate of the victim. The other man invited Kelifa to the apartment on 8th Street and Kelifa went there and had an argument with the victim over the unpaid rent, but when the argument began to escalate, he left and returned to the pub. Kelifa denied ever physically assaulting the victim and told police he had no intention of interacting with the victim in the future. Nonetheless, based on the testimony of the victim and the victim’s injuries consistent with his account of the attack, Ocean City Police this week charged Kelifa with first-degree assault.

Grand Jury Indicts

Murder Suspect

SALISBURY — The Maryland State Police this week announced a suspect has been arrested in connection with the murder of a Wicomico County man and the assault of his housemate during a home invasion in Salisbury in April.

The accused is identified as Paul A. Tatem, 35, of Quantico. A Wicomico County grand jury issued an indictment charging Tatem with first- and second-degree murder, two counts of armed robbery, two counts of robbery, first- and second-degree assault, attempted first- and second-degree murder, first-degree burglary, theft, wearing and carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment ordered Tatem to be held without bond in the Wicomico County Detention Center.

The indictment was served on Tatem on Tuesday at the detention center by MSP Homicide Unit investigators. Tatem was originally arrested in the Salisbury area by members of the Maryland State Apprehension Team on July 1 on a parole retake warrant and a theft warrant. He has been held without bond since that time.

Tatem is charged with the murder of Donald G. Mariner, 72, who was found dead in his home on Pemberton Drive early on the morning of April 16. Mariner and his housemate, a 50-year-old man, had both been assaulted when the suspect or suspects entered the home during an apparent home invasion. Mariner was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy determined Mariner was murdered and died from blunt force injuries. The younger victim survived the attack.

The MSP Homicide Unit developed evidence and information that was presented to the Wicomico grand jury implicating Tatem with the assistance of the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office. The grand jury then issued the indictment charging Tatem with Mariner’s murder and the assault of the other victim. The investigation of the murder is ongoing and additional arrests are possible.

Driver Leaves Road,

Plows Over Sign

BERLIN — An Ocean City man was charged with driving under the influence early Tuesday morning after his vehicle left the roadway on the Route 589 ramp off Route 90, knocked over a sign and entered a wooded area before rolling over.

Around 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Maryland State Police responded to a single-vehicle accident on the off ramp to Route 589 from Route 90. The investigation revealed Vinicius Carniero, 33, of Ocean City, was traveling west on Route 90 in a 2004 Chevy truck when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a sign for Ocean Pines and the Casino at Ocean Downs. The vehicle then collided with a tree line, causing it to roll over.

Carniero refused medical treatment, but exhibited signs of being impaired. He the failed standardized field sobriety tests and was subsequently arrested. Carniero was transported to the MSP barrack in Berlin but refused to submit to a breath test. He was then charged with DUI and traffic offenses related to the collision.

Price Tag Swap Arrest

BERLIN — A Berlin woman was charged with theft and drug possession charges last week after allegedly swapping price tags on high-end items with cheaper ones before being found with heroin and paraphernalia.

Around 4:30 p.m. last Thursday, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Wal-Mart on Route 50 for a reported theft. Through the investigation, deputies learned the suspect, identified as Stacy Jester, 30, of Berlin, had allegedly switched price tags on an item, swapping a $198.96 tag for a tag for 97 cents. Jester then attempted to return the item for a full cash refund.

Deputies arrested Jester and charged her with theft under $1,000. During a search subsequent to the arrest, deputies found heroin and drug paraphernalia and possession charges were tacked on. Jester was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was released pending trial.

Three Injured In Route 113 Accident

SNOW HILL — Three people were injured during a collision involving a Worcester County Public Works vehicle on Route 113 at Route 12 last Friday afternoon.

Around 3:15 p.m. last Friday, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies and Snow Hill Police responded to a reported motor vehicle collision on Route 113 at Route 12. The investigation revealed a Worcester County Public Works vehicle was traveling south on Route 113 and attempted to turn onto Route 12 when it crossed into the path of a vehicle from Virginia heading north on Route 113.

The driver of the Worcester County vehicle, along with the driver and passenger of the other vehicle were transported by Snow Hill EMS to PRMC for treatment of injuries not believed to be life-threatening. The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office this week continued to investigate the collision.

Skateboarding Violations Spike

OCEAN CITY — The Ocean City Police Department this week is reminding citizens of the skateboarding rules in the resort after an increasing number of ordinance violations in recent weeks.

Citizens are reminded that skateboarding on public property is prohibited in Ocean City between April 1 and Oct. 1. However, skateboarding is allowed on the Boardwalk between 2 a.m. and 11 a.m. each day during the summer season. In addition, the Ocean Bowl Skate Park, located at 3rd Street and St. Louis Ave., is also available to enjoy daily from 9:30 a.m. until dark for a small fee.

In October 2012, Ocean City Mayor and City Council approved an amendment to the town’s skateboarding ordinance which gave skateboarders the ability to ride on the Boardwalk during the same time that bicycles were allowed. This gave skateboarders a place to ride other than the skate park in the summer. During the winter months, October through March, the ordinance is relaxed and skateboarding is permitted throughout the city.