Probation, Fine In Boating Accident

Probation, Fine In  Boating Accident
Social Issues Government

OCEAN CITY — A Frederick man, who was operating a rented pontoon boat last June in the bay near Ocean City when a friend jumped overboard and was struck in the head with the propeller, pleaded guilty last week to operating under the influence and was fined and placed on probation.

Last June 30, a 30th birthday party and day on the water took a decided turn for the worse when a Sykesville man jumped off the bow of a rented pontoon boat while the vessel was still in motion and was struck in the head, neck and shoulder by the propeller. Over two months later, the boat’s operator, Kurt Dawson, 30, of Frederick, was formally charged last September with operating a vessel under the influence and operating while impaired.

Around 5:10 p.m. on June 30, John Scott Hauf, 26, of Sykesville, Md. was on a rented pontoon boat with six other friends celebrating a 30th birthday party when he jumped off the front of the vessel while it was in motion in the Isle of Wight Bay in the area of 32nd Street. The pontoon boat ran over Hauf and he was struck by the propeller, causing severe lacerations to his left shoulder, neck and the back of his head.

Hauf’s friends were able to pull him from the water and administered first-aid until they were able to get the vessel to port at nearby Fish Tales and Bahia Marina. Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) and the Coast Guard responded along with Ocean City Emergency Services, which transported the victim to PRMC in Salisbury in critical condition.

The victim was then transported to Shock Trauma in Baltimore. The vessel’s operator, Kurt Steven Dawson, who turned 30 on the day of the incident, failed field sobriety tests, but charges were pending the results of a blood-alcohol test taken at AGH following the incident.

In September, after reviewing the BAC test results, the NRP formally charged Dawson with operating a vessel under the influence and while impaired. Last week, he pleaded guilty to operating under the influence and was fined $250 and placed on probation for two years.

Guilty Plea In Bottle Assault

SNOW HILL — A Bethany Beach man, arrested last September after hitting another man over the head with a beer bottle, pleaded guilty this week to first-degree assault and now awaits his fate pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.

Last Sept. 1, Ocean City Police responded to reported assault that had already occurred. Upon arrival, OCPD officers detained on individual later identified as Brian D. Guessford, 27, of Bethany Beach, and observed another individual who appeared to be the victim of an assault.

The investigation revealed Guessford had struck another bar patron in the head with a glass beer bottle. The victim had multiple cuts and bruises on the top of his head. Several witnesses told police they observed Guessford strike the victim with the glass beer bottle and the bar’s video surveillance system captured images of the assault.

Witnesses told police a female companion of Guessford’s was extremely intoxicated and had been running into other guests and flinging her hair around and hitting other people with it. A witness told police the victim confronted the female about her actions, at which point Guessford came over and told the victim he should not have intervened. Witnesses said Guessford then struck the victim several times in the head with the glass beer bottle.

Bar security then grabbed Guessford and removed him from their property, which is around the time police arrived on the scene.

Guessford was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and using a dangerous weapon with intent to injure. On Monday, he pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered.

Jail For Heroin Possession

SNOW HILL — A Delaware man arrested in February on heroin possession charges after a routine traffic stop in Bishopville pleaded guilty this week and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Shortly before 2 p.m. on February 4, Maryland State Police troopers working in the area of Bishopville Rd. near Old Stage Rd. stopped a vehicle for speeding. Through the course of the traffic stop, the driver, identified as Lamar Morris, 31, of Selbyville, was asked to step out of the vehicle and consented to a pat down. During the search, troopers found 15 packets of heroin and a baggie containing trace amounts of suspected cocaine on Morris’ person.

The passenger, identified as Joseph Giddins, 32, of Frankford, also consented to a pat down and was found to be in possession of one strip of Suboxone, one syringe and one spoon containing trace amounts of suspected heroin. Both suspects were subsequently arrested and charged with CDS violations.

On Tuesday, Morris pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and was fined $200. Giddens was also scheduled for trial on Tuesday, but failed to appear and had a warrant sworn out for his arrest.

Phony Story Arrest

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on firearms and false statement charges last week after allegedly lying to police about discharging a shotgun within city limits.

Around 3:50 p.m. last Tuesday, Salisbury Police responded to the N. Park Drive area for a reported firearms incident. The investigation revealed initially Cody Hicks, 22, of Salisbury had property stolen from his residence by unknown suspects, who fired a single gunshot into the air as they were fleeing. However, Salisbury Police soon discovered Hicks was not being truthful with his story.

Additional investigation revealed Hicks was an active marijuana dealer and had arranged to sell an amount of weed to a buyer. When the buyer allegedly attempted to steal the marijuana, the unidentified man fled the residence in a vehicle and Hicks fired a single round toward the fleeing vehicle. Hicks later admitted making up the initial story. He has been charged with making a false statement to police officers, obstructing and hindering and discharging a firearm within city limits.