Motorcycle Collision Results In DUI Charges
BERLIN — A Salisbury man faces drunk-driving charges this week after allegedly a two-motorcycle accident last weekend that sent the other rider to Shock Trauma.
Around 11:10 p.m. last Saturday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a motor vehicle collision involving two motorcycles on westbound Route 50 near Friendship Rd. The investigation revealed a 1985 Harley, operated by George Hipsley, Jr., 45, of Salisbury, was traveling westbound on Route 50 when it struck the rear of a 1997 Harley operated by Robert Hickey, 59, of Salisbury.
Hipsley was eventually flown to Shock Trauma in Baltimore for injuries sustained in the collision while Hickey was treated and released at the scene for his injuries. During the investigation, an odor of alcoholic beverage was detected on both riders. Hickey was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. Hipsley’s DUI investigation is ongoing with charges to follow at a later date.
Shooting Death Probed
SALISBURY — Maryland State Police homicide detectives this week are investigating the shooting death of a man found deceased in a Salisbury apartment complex doorway early Wednesday morning.
Around 6:45 a.m. on Wednesday, the body of Keonte Gaskins, 21, of no fixed address, was found in the outdoor stairwell of the Village of Mitchell Pond apartment complex on Parsons Rd. Residents in the complex called 911 after making the discovery and Gaskins was pronounced deceased at the scene. The MSP Homicide Unit was called and found Gaskins lying in the stairwell fully clothed with apparent gunshot wounds. He has been transported to Baltimore for an autopsy.
MSP detectives continue to interview residents and others who may be associated with Gaskins. One witness told police shots were heard shortly after midnight on Wednesday. Anyone with information is urged to contact the MSP Salisbury barrack at 410-749-3101, or Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776.
Hefty Sentence For Condo Break-Ins
SNOW HILL — A Berlin man arrested on first-degree burglary and other charges last November for his role in a series of condo break-ins in the resort was found guilty last month and sentenced to 15 years, all but seven of which were then suspended.
Last November, Ocean City Police responded to the Avalon condominiums on 140th Street and Coastal Highway for a reported burglary. OCPD officers met with an employee of a construction company doing work on the condo who told police one of the company’s ladders was leaning up against the building and there was an open sliding door on one of the balconies. The employee told police his company was only doing work on the exterior of the building and the ladder hadn’t been used in several days.
The investigation revealed a unit on the third floor had been burglarized and four flat-screen televisions, along with around $10 in change and several bottles of alcohol had been stolen. A search of the building revealed another unit on the fourth floor had been broken into. That unit had been entered by an unknown suspect or suspects
According to police reports, it was obvious someone had searched the unit on the fourth floor with its drawers and cabinets opened and items lying out on the counter. The lock on the sliding glass door on the fourth-floor unit had been broken with a tool of some sort, which allowed access for the burglars. It was not immediately apparent if anything had been stolen from the fourth-floor unit.
The construction company representative told police one employee, identified as Jason Copper, had not reported to work as scheduled and could not be reached by phone. OCPD officers went to Cooper’s residence in Fruitland and found Cooper at home. Cooper agreed to go with OCPD investigators to the Fruitland Police Department for questioning.
During the subsequent interview, Cooper said he left work at the Avalon condo in Ocean City around 4 p.m. on Nov. 11, 2015 and returned at around 6 p.m. and entered the units on the third and fourth floors utilizing the company ladder. Cooper told police he stopped along the way to pick up a friend, later identified as Mitchell Preston, 56, of Berlin.
Cooper told police he drove his vehicle to the condo building and parked in the parking area underneath, while Preston went into the units and stole the four flat-screen televisions and other items. Cooper told police Preston kept two of the televisions and he kept the other two. Cooper told police he and Preston used the ladder to gain access to the condo units.
Two of the televisions were located in Cooper’s vehicle, along with a DVD player stolen from the third-floor unit. OCPD detectives later met with Preston in Ocean City. According to police reports, Preston admitted he went with Cooper and committed the burglaries. Preston told police Cooper called him and asked him to go with him to the condo burglaries. Preston also told police both he and Cooper entered the third- and fourth-floor units and stole the televisions and other items.
A check with the condo owners revealed the televisions and other items stolen from the third-floor unit were valued at over $2,000. The estimated damage caused by the burglars breaking the lock on the sliding glass door of the fourth-floor unit was estimated at around $200. Based on the suspect’s statements and the evidence, OCPD detectives on Wednesday charged Preston with two counts of first-degree burglary along with lesser burglary charges for each of the two break-ins, theft over $1,000 for the items stolen from the third-floor unit and malicious destruction of property less than $1,000 for the damaged lock on the fourth-floor unit.
Last month, Preston was found guilty of first-degree burglary and was sentenced to 15 years, all but seven of which were then suspended. He was also placed on probation for 18 months and was ordered to pay $1,200 in restitution to the victims.
Cooper was also later charged and pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary in April for his role in the condo break-ins. His sentencing is set for next week.
Guilty Pleas For WOC Restaurant Break-In
SNOW HILL — Two West Ocean City men, arrested on burglary and other charges last November after breaking in to the then-Captain’s Galley restaurant early Thanksgiving morning and swiping, among other things, 22 cases of beer, each pleaded guilty last week and received varying sentences.
Around 6:45 a.m. last Nov. 26, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the then-Captain’s Galley restaurant along the commercial harbor in West Ocean City in response to an alarm. Deputies checked the property and discovered unknown suspects had gained entry to an outside cooler by breaking the lock. Once inside, the suspects removed roughly 22 cases of beer.
The suspects then went to the second floor of the restaurant and used a box cutter to cut through two vinyl windows of an outdoor tent that covered the second-floor deck. The suspects then used a chair to smash through a large window to gain access to the interior of the restaurant. Once inside, the suspects removed two cash registers and a bank bag containing an undisclosed amount of cash. In addition, the suspects damaged an interior office door in an attempt to gain entry.
The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) was contacted and responded to the restaurant. With the assistance of the Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies and interviews with local residents, WCBI investigators were able to identify the suspects as Kenneth Webb, Jr., 42, and Tony Leonard Childs, 28, both of West Ocean City.
Witnesses observed Webb and Childs making multiple trips to and from the restaurant carrying cases of beer. Webb and Childs took the beer to a residence on nearby Swordfish Drive and left the area. The occupants of the residence were contacted and allowed investigators to enter the home, where the stolen beer was discovered.
A short time later, Webb and Childs returned home and were placed under arrest. Each was charged with second-degree burglary, theft from $1,000 to $10,000 and malicious destruction of property over $1,000.
Last week, Webb pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and was sentenced to 15 years, all but three of which were then suspended. He was also placed on probation and was ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution to the victim. Also last week, Childs pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and was sentenced to 10 years, all of which was suspended. Childs was placed on probation for three years and was ordered to pay his share of the $5,000 in restitution to the victim.
Jail Time For Cab Assault
SNOW HILL — One of two Baltimore men arrested last August after allegedly refusing to pay a taxi cab fare before threatening and assaulting the driver and stealing the keys to the vehicle was found guilty last week of second-degree assault and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, all but 10 days of which were then suspended.
Around 2:45 a.m. last Aug. 17, Ocean City Police responded to the area of 126th Street and Coastal Highway for a reported armed robbery. The investigation revealed four individuals refused to pay the taxi cab fare. Two of the individuals, later identified as Justin M. Washington, 26, and Troy M. Thomas, 24, both of Baltimore, threatened and assaulted the driver before stealing $60 in cash and the keys to the taxi.
Upon arrival on the scene, OCPD officers observed Washington and Thomas chasing the taxi driver south on Coastal Highway. Thomas allegedly had a softball-sized rock in his possession at the time. Washington was taken into custody at the scene without further incident. Thomas fled to a nearby condominium and was later arrested.
Thomas was charged with first- and second-degree assault, armed robbery, robbery, theft less than $100 and possession of a deadly weapon. Washington was charged with second-degree assault, robbery and theft less than $100.
Last week, Thomas was found guilty of second-degree assault and was sentenced to 18 months, all but 10 days of which were then suspended. He was also placed on probation for 18 months upon his release and fined $500. Washington has also been found guilty of second-degree assault but his sentencing hearing has not yet been held.