Cops And Courts – October 28, 2016

Cops And Courts – October 28, 2016
Social Issues Government

Bird Man Busted

OCEAN CITY — A Virginia man was arrested on alcohol endangerment and disturbing the peace charges last week after allegedly flapping his arms like a bird and disrupting traffic on a downtown street.

Around 1:15 a.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to the area of Wicomico Street for a reported disorderly male acting strangely and disorderly in the public street. The officer met with a nearby bar manager who told police the suspect, later identified as George Roberts, 35, of New Church, Va., had been refused service and then began walking around in the street, shouting profanities and flapping his arms like a bird, according to police reports.

The officer observed Roberts walking in the middle of the roadway at Wicomico Street and Philadelphia Avenue, while continuing to shout indiscernible sentences and flap his arms like a bird. At one point, a taxi made a turn onto Wicomico Street and had to swerve into another lane in order to avoid striking Roberts. At another point, an unidentified male was attempting to leave the area on foot but told officers he was going to walk the long way around the block because he believed Roberts was “crazy.”

OCPD officers detained Roberts, who reportedly told police he had been drinking with friends and that he did not know where he was staying in Ocean City. He later told police he was staying at “Alpha Company” for the night and that it was “an Army thing and the officer wouldn’t understand.” Roberts was ultimately arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and intoxicated endangerment. During a subsequent search, police discovered a small amount of marijuana in Roberts’ wallet.

Phone Scam Warning

SNOW HILL — The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office this week is warning area residents of an ongoing scam during which a suspect is calling residents pretending to be a Sheriff’s deputy.

The caller represents his or herself as a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy and tells the potential victim they have an active warrant and attempts to procure money from the victims in exchange for clearing it up. The number being used by the scammer is 410-840-7284, which is not a Worcester County Sheriff’s Office line. The Sheriff’s Office is warning residents not to wire money to the scammers and to call the office at 410-632-1111.

Guilty Plea In Boardwalk Attack

OCEAN CITY — A Philadelphia man, arrested in August on assault and other charges after an alleged unprovoked attack on a victim near a Boardwalk ice cream shop, pleaded guilty this week to intoxicated endangerment and was fined.

Around 9:50 p.m. on Aug. 21, an OCPD officer on patrol in the downtown area responded to a reported fight in progress in the area of 6th Street and the Boardwalk. The officer arrived on the scene and was immediately greeted by a suspect later identified on Bruno Wojcik, 27, of Philadelphia, who banged on the officer’s vehicle window with a bloody middle finger, according to police reports. Wojcik reportedly shouted to the officer, “Them two, they bit off my [expletive deleted] finger.”

The officer looked north and observed two African-American males walking away on the Boardwalk. One of the men was interviewed and reportedly told police he was walking on the Boardwalk with his family when he passed Wojcik standing near the ice cream shop. According to police reports, Wojcik allegedly yelled “what the [expletive deleted] did you say?” as the man passed with his family, but the man told police he did not say anything to Wojcik nor did he even acknowledge him.

The victim told police Wojcik allegedly approached him rapidly and hit him in the head with a closed fist, knocking him to the ground. The victim told police when Wojcik’s finger came near his mouth during the altercation, he bit Wojcik’s finger in self-defense in response to the unprovoked attack.

The second man told police he had observed Wojcik’s unprovoked attack on the victim. According to police reports, the second man told police Wojcik approached them aggressively and accused them of speaking to him, although the second man told police they did not respond to Wojcik.

At that point, Wojcik approached the area where police were interviewing the two men and allegedly screamed in a loud voice, “I’m a victim and I’m a [expletive deleted] firefighter and I would never do this if I were in your position,” according to police reports, and added, “I’m gonna do whatever I want so I guess you’re going to have to tase me.”

According to police reports, throughout the rest of the encounter Wojick continued to launch obscenities at OCPD officers while onlookers avoided the scene on a crowded night on the Boardwalk. Wojcik later admitted to police he was intoxicated and had been drinking heavily earlier in the day. He was arrested and charged with assault, disorderly conduct and intoxicated endangerment. This week, Wojcik pleaded guilty to alcoholic endangerment and was fined $100.

Fine After Hit And Run

OCEAN CITY — A Baltimore man, arrested last April on suspected hit-and-run charges after striking another vehicle on Coastal Highway at 30th Street before leaving the scene, pleaded guilty this week to driving while suspended and failure to give insurance information and was fined $500.

Around 9:50 a.m. last April 15, an Ocean City police officer responded to the area of Coastal Highway and 30th Street in reference to a hit-and-run collision that had just occurred. Upon arrival, the officer observed a disabled Ford Focus resting diagonally between the middle lane and the left turn lane of the highway. The officer observed damage to the right rear portion of the Ford along with a flat tire on the rear driver’s side.

The officer met with the three occupants of the Ford, none of whom were injured. The occupants told police they were merging into the left turn lane when they were struck from behind by a dark green Porsche. They told police the Porsche continued north on Coastal Highway without stopping or providing any information.

The officer also noticed a large amount of fluid that appeared to be coming from the fleeing Porsche. There were tire tracks in the fluid going around the Ford then continuing northbound on Coastal Highway. The officer also observed a Maryland license plate in the roadway that the occupants of the Ford believed belonged to the Porsche. Ocean City Communications confirmed the plate belonged to a 1999 Porsche.

A description of the Porsche and the driver was broadcast and another OCPD officer located the Porsche in the parking garage of the Hilton on 32nd Street, around two blocks from the crash scene. The vehicle had significant front-end damage consistent with the damage of the Ford at the crash scene.

A short time later, yet another OCPD officer observed a suspect matching the description of the hit-and-run driver walking south between 32nd and 31st Street. When the officer spun around, the suspect, later identified as Brian Shaffer, 35, of Baltimore, began walking west on 31st Street in an apparent attempt to avoid the officer. The officer pulled alongside Shaffer and radioed to fellow officers he believed he had found the driver. Hearing this, Shaffer reportedly threw his hands in the air and admitted he was the driver.

While speaking with the officer, Shaffer allegedly apologized and informed the officer he was nervous because he did not have a license and the Porsche belonged to his friend, which is why he left the scene after the collision. The officer later confirmed Shaffer’s license was suspended and revoked. This week, Shaffer pleaded guilty to driving while suspended and failure to give insurance information and was fined $500.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.