OCEAN CITY — A Cordova, Md. man was arrested on multiple charges Wednesday after leaving the scene after hitting two vehicles, one of which was occupied, and a fence before representing himself as a Maryland State Police trooper to Ocean City police.
Around 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Ocean City police responded to Big Peckers on 73rd Street for a reported property damage vehicle collision. The alleged at-fault striking vehicle was a red Chevrolet Avalanche, which had been the subject of a broadcast from Ocean City Police Communications about 10 minutes earlier. In that broadcast, the operator of the Chevy Avalanche, later identified as William Malinowski, 44, of Cordova, Md., had been denied entry to Seacrets and was observed driving away at a high rate of speed.
In the meantime, another call had come in reporting a red Chevy Avalanche with a driver matching Malinowski’s description was observed speeding on 57th Street. OCPD officers met with several witnesses at the Big Peckers parking lot. One witness told police he had been informed Malinowski’s truck had struck his unoccupied Jeep Wrangler in the parking lot and that Malinowski attempted to flee the scene before police arrived.
Another witness told police she was in the left turn lane on Coastal Highway at 81st Street attempting to make a U-turn when a red Chevy Avalanche struck her vehicle two times while waiting at the light. The witness said she pulled over and expected the driver of the Avalanche to do the same to exchange insurance information and wait for a police report, but the Chevy Avalanche failed to stop and continued southbound on Coastal Highway.
The witness said she followed the vehicle to the Big Peckers parking lot, where she confronted Malinowski. About the same time, the OCPD had arrived in response to the call about the Chevy Avalanche striking the Jeep Wrangler in the parking lot before attempting to leave. While police were interviewing witnesses about the two hit-and-run incidents, one of which was an occupied vehicle and one of which was a parked vehicle, another call came in about an the Avalanche striking a fence on 57th Street.
OCPD officers interviewed Malinowski at the scene, during which he represented himself as a Maryland State Police trooper from the Centreville barrack. The OCPD officers interviewed the allegedly intoxicated Malinowski and informed him he was being audibly and visually recorded by the officer’s in-car camera system, to which Malinowski allegedly responded his vehicle also had an in-car camera system.
Malinowski allegedly made several comments during the interview that he was a Maryland State Police trooper in an apparent attempt to get leniency from the officers and even pointed to an MSP sticker on his truck to illustrate he was a trooper.
“I’ll walk home,” he allegedly told police, pointing out he was not the driver but instead a girl named Brandy was operating the Avalanche at the time of the collisions. “Come on, dude. I’m one of your brothers.”
Malinowski continued to assert someone named Brandy was driving the truck that struck the Jeep, but corrected his words and told police it was him who pulled back in after striking the Jeep to report the collision.
“Hopefully, as a common courtesy, you’d say, you know, just turn it in to insurance,” he allegedly told the OCPD officers. “We know better to back up when we’re drunk. You know, I’m from Centreville and you’re from Ocean City.”
Malinowski eventually admitted to not being a Maryland State Police trooper and denied ever representing himself as a trooper. He ultimately agreed to a battery of field sobriety tests which he did not pass to the officers’ satisfaction. He was charged with impersonating an officer, three counts of hit-and-run, providing false information and as many as 24 traffic violations.