OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on drunk-driving and hit-and-run charges this week after striking a utility pole with his vehicle before walking away and leaving an injured female passenger behind.
Just after midnight on Monday, an OCPD officer on patrol in the downtown area responded to a reported hit-and-run incident on St. Louis Avenue. Ocean City Communications reported the driver, later identified as Roshan Naupane, 18, of Ocean City, had already exited the vehicle and began walking north on St. Louis Avenue away from the crash scene. When the officer arrived and observed an individual matching Naupane’s description standing in front of the OC Dollar Store on 2nd Street, the suspect was detained.
Meanwhile, a witness told police Naupane’s vehicle attempted to negotiate a left turn on St. Louis Avenue, but took the turn too sharply, crossed the southbound lane and struck a utility pole. The witness said Naupane exited the vehicle and walked away, leaving a female passenger behind who appeared to be injured.
After the officer detected several signals indicating Naupane was intoxicated, the suspect did not pass a battery of field sobriety tests to the officer’s satisfaction. Naupane was charged with DUI, leaving the scene of an accident involving bodily injury and property damage and related traffic violations.
Traffic Stop Nets Drugs
BERLIN — Two Delaware residents were arrested on multiple drug charges after a traffic stop on Route 50 in Berlin early Sunday morning.
Around 2 a.m. on Sunday, a Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy on patrol observed a vehicle with inoperable brake lights on Route 50. The deputy initiated a traffic stop on Route 50 near Samuel Bowen Blvd. It was determined the license plates on the vehicle belonged to a different vehicle. The driver, identified as Rachael Mitchell, 28, of Georgetown, Del., told the deputy she had knowingly switched the license plates on the vehicle. It was determined Mitchell’s license was suspended in Delaware.
The front seat passenger was identified as Adam McKirby, 34, also of Georgetown. A background check revealed McKirby was wanted on a warrant from the Maryland State Police in Salisbury. McKirby’s license was also suspended in Delaware. A K-9 scan on the vehicle resulted in a positive alert.
A search of the vehicle revealed 10 white packets of heroin and five blue packets of heroin, along with two plastic straws used for snorting heroin. Also located was a baggie containing oxycodone and lorazepam under the driver’s seat. More oxycodone and lorazepam pills were located in a baggie behind the vehicle’s CD player. More heroin was found on McKirby’s person when he was searched. The investigation revealed Mitchell was en route to sell the narcotics.
McKirby was arrested and charged with possession of heroin and the District Court failure to appear warrant. Mitchell was arrested and charged with possession of heroin, oxycodone, lorazepam and paraphernalia and three counts of possession with intent to distribute narcotics. Both suspects were taken before a District Court Commissioner. McKirby was released on personal recognizance pending trial. Mitchell was held at the Worcester County Jail on a $25,000 bond.
Children Left In Vehicle
BERLIN — A Virginia man faces child neglect charges this week after allegedly leaving two young children in a running vehicle in a grocery store parking lot in Berlin last Friday.
Last Friday, Berlin Police were dispatched to the Food Lion parking lot on Old Ocean City Blvd. for a report of children left in a vehicle unattended. Upon arrival, the officers located a vehicle that was unlocked with the engine running that contained a 10-year-old boy and the three-year-old girl with special needs.
The investigation revealed the children’s father, identified as Mark Masci, 29, of Newport News, Va., was shopping in Food Lion and had been for some time. Masci was eventually notified by Food Lion employees that he should return to his vehicle. Upon returning, the father was identified and arrested for leaving a child under 8 years old unattended inside a motor vehicle without the supervision from a person over 13 years of age.
The Worcester County Department of Social Services was contacted regarding the investigation and took temporary custody of the children while waiting for the mother to arrive from Pennsylvania to take custody. Masci was charged with leaving children unattended in a vehicle and was released pending trial.
The Berlin Police Department and the local law enforcement community is taking the opportunity to advise the general public that leaving vehicles unlocked and unattended increases the chances for vehicle theft and, in this case, accidental or intentional movement of a vehicle by a child. As always, children and animals should not be left unattended in a vehicle due to concerns about heat.
Restaurant Safe Swiped
POCOMOKE — Two local men were arrested on burglary and other charges last weekend after attempting to steal a safe from a Pocomoke restaurant.
Last Saturday, the Worcester County Bureau of Investigations was contacted to assist the Pocomoke Police Department with a burglary that had occurred sometime overnight at the Friendly’s restaurant. The investigation revealed Friendly’s closed on Friday night with all doors secured by the night manager.
Sometime after the restaurant closed, the suspects broke into the restaurant and stole a safe containing an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspects used a rear door to exit the restaurant and stole a hand cart to wheel the safe off the property. A significant amount of damage was caused by the suspects to the inside of the restaurant prior to leaving.
Maryland State Police crime scene detectives responded to collect evidence and assist with the investigation. Investigators quickly identified the suspects as Dylan Sedgwick, 21, and Michael Hernandez, 21, both of Pocomoke. With the assistance of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Unit, the Pocomoke Police Department and WCBI, Sedgwick and Hernandez were taken into custody in Pocomoke without incident. The safe was recovered with damage, but was still intact and had not been opened.
Sedgwick and Hernandez were taken before a District Court Commissioner and were each held on $40,000 bonds for the Friendly’s burglary. Sedgwick was also held on a $7,500 bond for an outstanding Maryland State Police warrant.
Indecent Exposure Charge
OCEAN CITY — A Virginia man was arrested for indecent exposure this week after a witness allegedly saw him pleasuring himself while driving a vehicle on Coastal Highway.
Last Saturday, Ocean City Police received a call from a witness that a man later identified as Mark Horner, 53, of Vienna, Va., was observed masturbating while driving southbound on Coastal Highway in the area of 62nd Street. A description of the vehicle was broadcasted by Ocean City Communications and officers located the vehicle at 8th Street and conducted a traffic stop.
Through the investigation, it was determined Horner was allegedly the driver of the vehicle observed by the witness back at 62nd Street. Horner was arrested and charged with three counts of indecent exposure and disorderly conduct. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and released pending trial.
Disorderly In WOC
WEST OCEAN CITY — A Virginia teen was arrested on disorderly conduct charges last weekend in West Ocean City after failing to comply with orders from police during a domestic dispute in a vehicle.
Last Saturday, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the area of Golf Course Road and Route 50 in West Ocean City for a reported domestic dispute within a vehicle. On arrival, deputies were directed to a suspect, a 15-year-old boy from Colonial Beach, Va., who refused all commands to stand and display his hands.
The suspect was eventually taken into custody after resisting the deputies’ attempts to place him in restraints. The juvenile was charged with disorderly conduct and was taken to the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office before being released to his mother pending trial.
First Of Two Guilty In OC Graffiti Spree
OCEAN CITY — One of two Montgomery County men charged in June with malicious destruction of property for an April 19 graffiti spree in downtown Ocean City was found guilty last week on 10 counts and now awaits sentencing set for November.
The Ocean City Criminal Investigation Division charged the two Montgomery County men, identified as Raul A. Vasquez, Jr., 20, of Silver Spring; and Jose A. Zavala, 20, of Chevy Chase, for the graffiti spree sometime in the early morning hours on April 19 from 16th Street to 20th Street. OCPD officers first discovered graffiti in the area of 17th Street and Philadelphia Ave. around 5 a.m. on April 19. Last Friday, Zavala was found guilty on 10 counts of malicious destruction of property for his role in the graffiti spree and sentencing was deferred until a hearing on Nov. 3. Meanwhile, Vasquez has his trial set for Oct. 6.
After a canvas of the area, officers located approximately 45 graffiti taggings affecting multiple businesses and citizens. The spray paint spree included restaurant walls, shopping center windows, motel windows and walls and multiple vehicles. With the assistance from area businesses, OCPD officers were quickly able to determine that suspects from outside the area were responsible for the vandalism.
During the investigation, OCPD detectives worked closely with police in Montgomery County after areas in that county experienced a similar rash of graffiti. The investigation was able to link Vasquez and Zavala with graffiti sprees in both Ocean City and Montgomery County.
Crackdown On Speeding
BERLIN — The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office is ready to begin a new round of speed enforcement initiatives at two identified locations on either end of the county.
Throughout the summer, the Sheriff’s Office has conducted special speed enforcement initiatives at known trouble spots around the county. The sites are chosen for the propensity of motorists to speed through the areas and on the recommendations of residents who live in the area.
Among the latest round of speed enforcement areas is Public Landing Rd. from Route 113 to the bay. The speed limit posted in the area is 50 miles per hour unless otherwise noted through signage. Another area in the south end of the county identified for special speed enforcement is Steven Rd. and Meadow Bridge Rd. in the area of the Pocomoke Forest.
In the north end, two trouble spots have been identified for special enforcement. They include Route 113 to Bishopville Rd. and Route 113 to Route 589. Those areas are also posted at 50 mph unless otherwise noted by signage.