OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania man was arrested on multiple charges last week after a wild wrong-way ride through downtown Ocean City in an allegedly stolen car that ended with a crash into a utility pole.
Around 1:50 a.m. last Thursday, an OCPD officer on patrol in the downtown area observed a Mazda 6 pull into the parking lot of the 7-11 convenience store on North Division Street. The Mazda quickly drove through the parking lot and exited, heading the wrong way on North Division Street. The vehicle traveled westbound on North Division and then made a right turn northbound onto Philadelphia Avenue, which is southbound only in that area.
The officer activated his emergency lights and attempted to stop the wrong-way driver, but the vehicle continued northbound on Philadelphia Avenue in the wrong direction.
The Mazda continued north on Philadelphia Avenue at a high rate of speed and nearly collided with a street pole.
The OCPD officer lost sight of the Mazda in the area of 5th Street.
The officer located the Mazda at 8th Street and Philadelphia Avenue where the driver had crashed into a pole and left the vehicle on the sidewalk with the engine still running. The vehicle was unoccupied and the officer was able to broadcast a description of the driver based on what he had observed.
A short time later, a different officer observed a suspect matching the description, later identified as Kevin Silver, 22, of McSherrystown, Pa. stumbling up the sidewalk at 11th Street and Baltimore Avenue roughly three blocks from the crash.
Silver told police he was staying in town with a friend and was on his way back to the hotel after purchasing cigarettes. Silver’s friend was later identified as the registered owner of the Mazda.
According to police reports, Silver was unaware of his surroundings and was unable to say where he was, where his hotel was or the name of his hotel.
Through a cell phone found in the crashed vehicle, officers were able to positively identify Silver. The officers also checked Silver’s Facebook page and observed him in various pictures wearing brown eyeglasses.
Silver later told police he wears contact lenses but often wears his glasses as well. The officers observed Silver during the wrong-way chase and subsequent crash and he was wearing neither glasses nor contact lenses.
At that point, Silver was arrested for fleeing the scene of an accident and failing to provide information along with suspicion of driving while intoxicated. He was subjected to a battery of field sobriety tests, which he did not perform to the officers’ satisfaction.
Meanwhile, OCPD officers were able to ascertain Silver and his friend were staying at a hotel on 33rd Street. The friend told police he had fallen asleep and was unaware Silver had taken his vehicle. He told police Silver did not have permission to drive his vehicle and suspected him of taking the keys while he was asleep. The friend also reported $20 missing from his wallet. The friend told police Silver did not bring any cash with him to Ocean City and did not have any money in his bank account. Silver was later found with the $20 bill in his pants pocket.
Vehicle Theft, Assault
BERLIN – A Bishopville man was arrested on motor vehicle theft, assault and other charges last week after allegedly fighting with the female driver and ultimately swiping her vehicle before returning to her Berlin residence.
Around 1:30 p.m. last Thursday, a female victim responded to the Maryland State Police Berlin barrack to report her vehicle, a 2006 Ford Escape, had been stolen. The victim told police about 15 minutes earlier, she was driving on Route 50 near Route 346 when she became engaged in an argument with her front seat passenger, identified as Damian Hitchens, 32, of Bishopville.
During the argument, Hitchens kicked the windshield, causing it to break. The victim pulled over to the shoulder to call 911.
Once the vehicle stopped on the shoulder, Hitchens allegedly began kicking the steering wheel and striking the victim on her right hand. The victim exited the vehicle for her safety and Hitchens got into the driver’s seat and headed eastbound on Route 50 toward the Berlin area.
The investigation revealed Hitchens drove the stolen vehicle to the victim’s residence on Flower Street and made an unlawful entry. He left the area on foot and was located by MSP troopers in the area of the Bay Terrace Apartments.
When troopers attempted to contact Hitchens, he again fled on foot. With assistance from the Berlin Police Department, Hitchens was located at a residence on Maple Street where he was taken into custody without further incident.
Once Hitchens was in custody, officers detected a strong odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath. He refused to perform field sobriety tests as directed and also refused to submit to an alcohol concentration test. He was charged with motor vehicle theft, second-degree assault, burglary, malicious destruction of property and DWI. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered to be held on a $20,000 bond.
‘Wanted Wednesday’ Suspect Located
BERLIN – A Berlin woman, the first listed on the Ocean City Police Department’s new Facebook feature “Wanted Wednesday,” was located and taken into custody by Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies last week at a residence near Ocean Pines and now faces additional charges.
Earlier this month, the OCPD began a new feature on its Facebook page called “Wanted Wednesday,” through which some of the department’s most wanted are listed each week.
The very first entry on the new OC-PD program was Martha Marie Runner, 35, of Berlin, who was wanted for failing to appear in court to face drug and theft charges.
Last Wednesday, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office responded to the White Horse Park area on Beau-champ Road in reference to locating the wanted female suspect.
Runner was located hiding in a home in the park and was found to have four active warrants for her arrest. Deputies later found out Runner had been ordered not to trespass on the White Horse Park property and an additional charge of trespassing was added.
She was taken into custody and was being held on bond at the Worcester County Jail.
Traffic Stop Nets DUI, Weapons Charge
OCEAN CITY – A Prince George’s County woman was arrested on drunk driving and weapons charges last weekend following a traffic stop in Ocean City.
Around 11:20 p.m. last Saturday, a Maryland State Police trooper on patrol in Ocean City in the area of 40th Street stopped a Ford Fusion for speeding.
The trooper made contact with the driver, identified as Marcela Rojas of Riverdale in Prince George’s County and determined she was driving under the influence of alcohol. After failing field sobriety tests, Rojas was placed under arrest.
During the course of the investigation, the trooper observed brass knuckles in plain view in the vehicle near Rojas’ feet.
Rojas was transported to the MSP Berlin barrack and submitted to a breath test, which revealed a positive reading of .14. Rojas was charged with DUI and possession of a deadly weapon.
Intruder In Home
BERLIN – An Ocean City woman was arrested on first-degree burglary and other charges last week after allegedly breaking into a residence on Gum Point Road in Berlin.
Shortly after midnight last Friday, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies and Maryland State Police troopers were dispatched to a residence on Gum Point Road in Berlin for a reported burglary in progress. The caller told police she woke up to find a female standing over her bed while she was asleep.
When the caller woke up, the suspect, later identified as Kimberlee Ann Swartz, 48, of Ocean City, left the residence. MSP troopers conducted a K-9 track in the area to which Swartz fled. Deputies located Swartz and her vehicle and the victim was able to positively identify her as the suspect who was in her home.
Swartz was arrested and charged with first-, third- and fourth-degree burglary, rogue and vagabond, theft un-der $100 and theft between $100 and $1,000.
She was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered to be held on a $15,000 bond.
Auto Theft Suspect Nabbed
BERLIN – A Salisbury woman was arrested on various charges last week following a traffic stop in Berlin during which police learned she was wanted in Ohio for grand theft auto.
Around 6 p.m. last Tuesday, a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy patrolling in the area of Routes 50 and 818 in Berlin observed a vehicle with temporary registration that appeared to be altered. The deputy stopped the vehicle and learned the temporary tag had been altered from January 2016 to April 2016. The deputy identified the driver as Molli Sue Feehley, 23, of Salisbury.
A background check revealed Feehley was wanted on an active warrant from Ohio on grand theft auto. After confirming the warrant and full extradition, Feehley was placed under arrest.
She was taken before a District Court Commissioner on the fugitive warrant and was ordered to be held without bond pending extradition to Ohio.
Obstructing And Hindering
SNOW HILL – A Virginia woman faces multiple charges including obstructing and hindering after getting pulled over near Snow Hill last week and providing false information to a police officer.
Around 6 p.m. last Wednesday, a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy patrolling in the area of Route 113 and Timmons Road in Snow Hill observed a vehicle with an altered registration. The deputy stopped the vehicle and made contact with the driver, who did not have a license. The driver gave a false name to the deputy, but a check showed an active warrant through Salisbury.
After the deputy placed the driver under arrest, she admitted she had given the officer a fake name to avoid arrest. Her real name is Shantelle Dion Tazwell, 40, of Weirwood, Va., and her license was suspended in Virginia. The temporary tag was confirmed to be altered and the vehicle was towed.
Tazwell was charged with knowingly giving a false statement to a peace officer, obstructing and hindering, driving an unregistered vehicle and driving an uninsured vehicle. She was take before a District Court Commissioner and was later released on a $2,500 bond.
20 Days For Downtown Beatdown
OCEAN CITY – Pennsylvania man who pleaded guilty in January to second-degree assault for his role in the beatdown of another man last July was sentenced this week to 18 months in jail, all but 20 days of which were then suspended.
Last July 7, the Ocean City Police Department received a call from a woman who told officers her son had been brutally beaten during a fight with other men on Trimper Avenue. The victim’s mother said her son and another friend had been at a house party on Trimper Avenue and left around 2 a.m. when they encountered other men on a nearby porch.
According to the witness, the other men left the porch and attacked her son and his friend. She told police her son had been knocked to the ground and was hit and kicked repeatedly while attempting to cover up in a fetal position. The witness told police after her son had allegedly been brutally beaten, the two assailants fled the scene.
The witness told police after the assault, she drove her son to Atlantic General Hospital where he was treated for numerous injuries including two black eyes, a broken nose, a completely broken upper jaw, two broken orbital bones, a Maxilla Ridge fracture and a split tooth.
The victim, later identified as Richard Garry, was then taken to Shock Trauma in Baltimore where he underwent facial surgery. His jaw was wired shut and he had numerous plates and screws put into his face during the surgery.
After getting “sucker punched,” Garry told police, “Then I got grabbed, thrown, punched a bunch of times in the face and then was kicked in the face at the end when I was lying on the ground. I was on the ground and bleeding everywhere.”
The victim’s friend corroborated the story with his own version supplied to the OCPD. The friend said he and the victim told the group they did not want any trouble and tried to continue on when they were confronted by the hostile group.
The friend said one of the males punched Garry, knocking him to the ground. The friend told police members in the group then began punching and kicking Garry while he was on the ground and that one of the suspects, later identified as Richard Boggess, 22, of Verona, Pa., was doing most of the punching and kicking while the victim was on the ground.
OCPD detectives went to the house described by the victim two days later on July 9. The detectives met with other males including Boggess, who allegedly told police he knew why they were there.
Boggess told police he and the others were sitting on the porch when Garry and his friend walked by. Boggess said the two men were intoxicated and started yelling at a couple of girls walking down the street. When Boggess and the others on the porch told them to stop yelling, the victim and his friend wanted to fight them.
Boggess admitted hitting the victim twice in the face but did not admit knocking him to the ground and continuing to hit and kick him. Boggess told police he only ran away because the victim and his friend were trying to jump him. Boggess repeatedly told police the victim and his friend were on his property and he was only trying to defend himself.
One of the other men on the porch with Boggess was also interviewed. The witnesses said he observed Boggess grabbing Garry and start punching him in the head. The witness told police both parties instigated the fight and it got out of control. The witness told police Boggess hit the victim repeatedly.
OCPD charged Boggess with first- and second-degree assault for the July 7 incident. In January, he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was back in court this week for sentencing. He was sentenced to 18 months, all but 20 days of which were then suspended. He was placed on probation for 18 months and fined $500. Boggess was also ordered to pay $650 in restitution to the victim.
Donneybrook In Pocomoke
POCOMOKE – Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to a near-riot at the Elks Lodge in Pocomoke early last Sunday morning.
Around 12:20 p.m. last Sunday, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Elks Lodge in Pocomoke for a reported fight in progress. The dispatcher advised officers there were roughly 30 to 40 people actively fighting and throwing bottles.
When deputies arrived, the incident had continued to escalate to the point other agencies from in and out of the county were called to assist. As control of the scene was gained, several people refused to leave the area. After being told by the deputies to leave the area several times, those who refused to comply were arrested. Shawn Patrick Ennis, 40, of Pocomoke was charged with trespassing. Sherry Mullican, 33, of Westover, was charged with trespassing. Stephanie Mullican, 28, of Salisbury was charged with disorderly conduct and failure to obey a lawful order of a peace officer.
One Year Sentence For Fishing Center Thief
SNOW HILL – A Berlin man arrested last August on theft charges after Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) were able to connect him to the theft of fishing gear from vessels at the Ocean City Fishing Center during White Marlin Open week pleaded guilty this week and was sentenced to five years, all but one year of which was then suspended.
Last Aug. 5, NRP officers received a report of a theft that had occurred at the Ocean City Fishing Center in West Ocean City during the White Marlin Open. Fishing gear, including expensive reels, were stolen from multiple vessels at the marina. Surveillance video and photos were captured of the suspect’s vehicle.
NRP released the video and photos to the public and distributed a flier, resulting in the identification of the suspect, Dennis Tronosky, 38, of Berlin. After further investigation, a search warrant was secured for Tronosky’s residence and vehicle.
After concluding interviews, charges were filed against Tronosky for theft from vehicles at the fishing center.
The total estimated value of the stolen fishing equipment was $5,600. Tronosky was charged with two counts of theft between $1,000 and $10,000, which carry a potential penalty of 10 years for each count and/or a fine of $10,000. Tronosky was also charged as a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, which carries of maximum penalty of 25 years.
On Tuesday, Tronosky pleaded guilty to theft under $10,000 and also possession of shotgun during the commission of a felony and was sentenced to five years. Four years of the sentence was then suspended, leaving all but one year of active jail time to serve. He was also placed on probation for three years upon his release and fined $500.