Route 90 Accident

BERLIN — A Bishopville man was charged with driving under the influence after his vehicle left the roadway on Route 90 near Ocean Parkway early Saturday morning and struck a guardrail and then a tree.

Around 2 a.m. last Saturday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a single-vehicle accident on Route 90 at Ocean Parkway. The preliminary investigation revealed a driver identified as Nicholas Thompson-Riviere, 26, of Bishopville, was traveling west on Route 90 near Ocean Parkway when he lost control of his vehicle, traveled off the right side, struck a guardrail and then collided with a tree.

The vehicle was destroyed and the driver was trapped inside and had to be extricated by Ocean Pines Fire and Rescue. Upon contact with Thompson-Riviere, the investigating trooper detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. He was taken by ambulance to PRMC in Salisbury with injuries not considered life-threatening. There were no other passengers or vehicles involved in the collision. Thompson-Riviere was subsequently charged with driving under the influence.

Seven Charged In

Apartment Break-In

OCEAN CITY — Seven local homeless people were arrested on burglary charges last week after allegedly setting up housekeeping in a vacant apartment in the downtown Ocean City area.

Around 7 p.m. last Friday, Ocean City Police responded to home in the area of 2nd Street and Philadelphia Ave. for a reported burglary in progress. As officers attempted to enter the residence, several individuals exited with their hands in the air. The investigation revealed all seven suspects were homeless and were finding shelter in the unoccupied home.

The residence had been winterized and closed for the winter when the seven individuals broke in. OCPD officers arrested the seven individuals and charged them each with fourth-degree burglary. Among those charged were Russell D. Jester, 57; Philip A Weigel, 56; Scott Bryant, 58; Mark Martin, 54; Vernon Rinehart, 69; and Derrick Perciful, 47, all of Ocean City. Also charged was Charles Boone, 52, of Dagsboro. All seven were taken before a District Court Commissioner and each was transferred to the Worcester County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

Punched Granny

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on second-degree assault charges last weekend after allegedly punching his grandmother during a domestic disturbance.

Around 5 p.m. last Saturday, a Wicomico County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a residence on Toadvine Ave. for a reported domestic-related disturbance. Upon arrival, the deputy was informed an argument had ensued between the suspect, identified as Brandon Layfield, 18, of Salisbury, and his grandmother.

According to police reports, the argument started over Layfield needing a ride somewhere. The altercation escalated to the point Layfield allegedly struck his grandmother in the face with a closed fist. During the investigation, the deputy observed signs of injury that corroborated the victim’s account of the incident.

Layfield was arrested and charged with second-degree assault. After an initial appearance with a District Court Commissioner, Layfield was detained at the County Detention Center in lieu of a $30,000 bond.

Stolen Truck Located In OC

OCEAN CITY — A Chester, Md. man was arrested on auto theft and other charges this week after allegedly swiping a truck from a business in Stevensville before getting into a fender bender at a West Ocean City convenience store on the way to visit friends in Ocean City.

Around 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Ocean City Police were dispatched to the area of the 7-Eleven store on 26th Street for a reported stolen vehicle. The OCPD had been given a “be on the lookout” notice for a Chevy truck with “Bartlett Tree Experts” written on the side that had been reported stolen in Stevensville.

An employee of Bartlett Tree Experts saw the stolen vehicle traveling in Ocean City and watched it stop at the 7-Eleven convenience store. The OCPD officer arrived and saw the truck parked at the store with four occupants in the front seat. The officer had each occupant exit one-by-one and sit on the curb. The driver, identified as Tyler Humphries, 18, of Chester, asked the officers why they were being detained, and when the officer told him the vehicle had been reported, he told police, “it’s my father’s truck,” according to police reports.

OCPD officers spoke with the regional manager for Bartlett who said the vehicle had been taken from the company’s regional headquarters in Stevensville without permission around 1:30 a.m. on Monday. OCPD officers than spoke with another Bartlett employee who said the stolen vehicle had been involved in a hit-and-run accident at the Wawa in West Ocean City.

A witness to the accident called the company’s number from the side of the truck, which alerted Bartlett employees to the location of the stolen vehicle. The Bartlett employee drove to Ocean City and saw the stolen vehicle traveling in the area of 9th Street and followed it to the store on 26th Street.

OCPD officers questioned the driver about when and where he got the truck and Humphries told police his father worked for Bartlett and let him borrow the truck. Humphries said his father talked to his boss and his boss agreed to let him borrow the truck. Oddly, when officers asked Humphries if they could contact his father to confirm the story, he told them his father was a Navy SEAL and could not be reached by phone.

Humphries told police his father had arranged for him to borrow the truck at around 9:30 a.m. on Monday, but the vehicle had been reported stolen at 1:30 a.m. He said his own vehicle had broken down and that his father had arranged for him to borrow the company truck to visit friends in Ocean City.

OCPD officers asked Humphries if he had been in an accident on the way to Ocean City. Humphries told police he had not, but the officers told him a witness had seen the collision and called the company at the number on the side of the truck. Humphries then recanted and told police he had been in a fender-bender at Wawa, but was scared because he had never been in an accident, which is why he left the scene.

Meanwhile, OCPD officers talked with Bartlett managers and determined there was no employee bearing the alleged suspect’s father’s name working for the company. Bartlett managers further reported the truck had been stolen during the early hours on Monday and no one had approved taking it for the day.

When presented with this information, Humphries told OCPD officers his mother had actually given him permission. Finally, Humphries came clean and told police his little brother’s father worked for Bartlett and he was familiar with the company’s operation and vehicles and the locations of keys. He said he walked to the company offices in Stevensville and climbed through an open window to get the keys.

He then took the truck because he needed a ride to Ocean City and his own vehicle had broken down. He said he picked up his friends in Ocean City and none of them knew the truck had been stolen. Humphries was then arrested and charged with theft of a motor vehicle and theft under $100,000. As of mid-week, Humphries was being held on a $20,000 bond.

It was later learned the truck had been purchased just two weeks before it was stolen and was valued at around $30,000. The truck was later released to the Bartlett employee at the scene.

Robbery Suspect Sought

SALISBURY — One man is in custody and a second was still wanted as of mid-week after a reported armed robbery in Salisbury last weekend.

Around 7 p.m. last Sunday, Salisbury Police responded to the area of the 800 block of Brown Street for a reported armed robbery. Officers met with two victims, who indicated they had just been robbed at gunpoint. The suspects allegedly displayed a handgun and fled on foot after obtaining property from the victims, who were not injured during the incident.

On Monday, Salisbury Police detectives were able to identify one suspect as Aaron Robinson Jones, 20, of Salisbury, and obtain a warrant for his arrest. Members of the Maryland State Apprehension Team located Jones at his residence and took him into custody without incident. He has been charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Detectives this week were still attempting to identify the second suspect, who was in possession of the handgun. The suspect is described as an African-American male about 6’ and 230 pounds and heavy set. The suspect was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt at the time of the crime and was in possession of a handgun. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is urged to call Salisbury Police at 410-548-3165, or Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776.

Cabbie Assault Sentence

OCEAN CITY — An Annapolis man, arrested on attempted carjacking and other counts in June after attacking a resort cab driver and attempting to take control of his taxi, pleaded guilty last week to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 18 months, all but one month of which was suspended.

Around 12:50 a.m. on June 22, Ocean City Police responded to the area of 127th Street for a reported disorderly conduct incident. Upon arrival, the officers observed a suspect later identified as Maxwell Herrett, 32, of Annapolis, on top of a victim later identified as being a resort cab driver. The officers separated the two men and began an investigation of the events leading up to the altercation.

The cab driver told police he had picked up Herrett at the Royal Farms store on 83rd Street. The driver told police Herrett said he wanted to go to Fenwick Island, however, while en route, Herrett allegedly told the driver to take him to 127th Street. Herrett then changed his destination again two times, telling the driver to take him to 126th Street and then 122nd Street.

Frustrated with the apparently intoxicated Herrett, the cab driver then told his fare he refused to drive him anywhere else without an actual address. The driver told police Herrett then got out of the passenger seat, walked over to the driver’s side, grabbed the door handle and forcibly opened the door. The driver then pulled the door shut, but Herrett opened the door a second time and started to punch the driver in his ribs with closed fists.

The driver said Herrett attempted to push him from the driver’s seat over to the passenger seat and told the cabbie he was going to now drive. Herrett allegedly attempted to grab the vehicle’s keys, but the cabbie was able to get the keys from the ignition. By the time the OCPD officers arrived, Herrett and the cabbie were out of the vehicle and wrestling on the ground.

The OCPD officers attempted to talk with Herrett with negative results. According to police reports, he was intoxicated with an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. Herrett was arrested and charged with attempted carjacking, second-degree assault and theft under $100, the latter charge coming from his failure to pay the $40 fare.

Last Friday, Herrett pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 18 months, all but one month of which was then suspended. He was also fined $1,000 and placed on probation for three years. The attempting carjacking charge and the theft charge were not prosecuted as part of the plea agreement.

Burglary Charges Dropped

BERLIN — A Berlin man, arrested on multiple charges in August after allegedly breaking into a residence and attacking his ex-girlfriend, had some of the charges against him dropped last week, but still faces the assault and trespassing counts.

Around 5:45 p.m. on Aug. 31, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a residence on Dinges Rd. in Berlin for a reported domestic assault. The investigation revealed a suspect later identified as Alonzo Antonio Baines forcibly entered the residence without invitation against a “do not trespass order” issued by the MSP back on August 15.

After entering the residence unlawfully, Baines allegedly proceeded to assault his ex-girlfriend and destroy property. He was located a short time after the complaint was made and taken into custody. He has been charged with second-degree assault, first- and third-degree burglary and trespassing. Last week, Baines had the first- and third-degree burglary charges against him nolle prossed, or not prosecuted, but still faces second-degree assault, malicious destruction of property and trespassing charges. Trial has been set for Dec. 2.