Cops And Courts – December 2, 2016

Cops And Courts – December 2, 2016
Social Issues Government

Women Charge After Trying To Stop Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Salisbury woman was charged with resisting arrest and other counts last weekend after allegedly attempting to prevent Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers from taking into custody another individual involved in a fight in a downtown bar.

Around 1 a.m. last Sunday, OCPD officers were attempting to arrest a man outside the Cowboy Coast bar and restaurant who had been involved in a fight inside the establishment. While officers were attempting to detain the man, a woman later identified as Elisia Fields, 23, of Salisbury, attempted to pull the suspect away from police while allegedly launching a steady stream of expletives.

Fields was told to let go of the man and leave the area multiple times, but continued with her expletive-laced tirade as a crowd of at least 30 people gathered around to watch the scene. According to police reports, even after she had moved away, Fields fought her way back through the crowd and continued to try to prevent officers from arresting the suspect. Ultimately, Fields was arrested and charged with failure to obey a lawful order, resisting arrest and interfering with a lawful arrest.

Assault Arrest

PITTSVILLE — An Ocean City man was arrested on assault and false imprisonment charges last week after allegedly attacking a woman in the woods behind a residence in Pittsville.

Around 11:30 p.m. last Tuesday, a Wicomico County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a residence on Whitesville Road in Pittsville for a reported domestic disturbance. Upon arrival, the deputy located the couple involved in the disturbance in the woods behind the residence. As the couple came out of the residence, the deputy heard the male individual later identified as John Nicholas, 38, of Ocean City, allegedly saying over and over “don’t you tell them.”

According to the female victim, she became embroiled in an argument with Nicholas that had turned physical. The victim told the deputy Nicholas pushed her down to the ground and pulled her into the woods after hearing police had been contacted.

The victim told police Nicholas threw her to the ground, bit her on the nose and began choking her before smacking her in the head, according to police reports. During the investigation, the deputy observed signs of injury, including bite marks on the nose, which appeared to corroborate the victim’s story. Based on the evidence and witness testimony, Nicholas was arrested and charged with assault and false imprisonment.

Burglary, Theft Arrest

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City woman was arrested on burglary and theft charges last week after allegedly entering a residence and later taking a vehicle without permission.

Around 6:15 p.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a residence in the area of 6th Street for a reported burglary. The officer met with a male victim who told police a suspect, identified as Christine Taylor, 45, of Ocean City, was in his apartment without permission. The victim told police he found Taylor in his apartment and asked her to leave.

According to police reports, Taylor began packing her belongings and asked the victim not to call the police. Taylor reportedly called another man, who was with her daughter, and told the man her daughter also had to come to the apartment at 6th Street to get her things. The man drove to the apartment with Taylor’s daughter to help get her belongings and left his truck in the parking lot with the engine running.

According to police reports, Taylor then got in the running truck and left the scene without permission. Taylor was located a short time later in the area of 9th Street near the stolen truck and had the keys in her possession. During a subsequent conversation with police, Taylor told officers she had previously worked for a cleaning company and had kept the keys for the apartment on 6th Street. Taylor told police she had been living in the apartment without permission for about two weeks.

At that point, Taylor was arrested and charged with burglary for staying in the residence without permission, and for motor vehicle theft for taking the other man’s truck without permission. Taylor admitted to police she was in possession of paraphernalia and a subsequent search revealed a crack pipe with cocaine residue along with other items consistent with smoking crack cocaine and additional drug charges were tacked on.

Jersey Man Injured In Route 113 Accident

SNOW HILL — A New Jersey man was injured this week when his vehicle overturned on southbound Route 113 near Snow Hill late Sunday evening.

Around 11:45 p.m. on Sunday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a reported motor vehicle collision on southbound Route 113 near Shad Landing. The preliminary investigation revealed a 2007 Honda operated by Dillon McLaughlin, 24, of Barrington, N.J., left the roadway, struck a guardrail and overturned. McLaughlin was flown to Peninsula Regional Medical Center via MSP Trooper 4 with injuries of unknown severity. The investigation is ongoing.

Morning After DUI, Drug Arrest

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on drunk-driving and drug charges last week on the morning after police had made contact with him during a reported domestic dispute.

Around 10:25 a.m. last Monday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were conducting a traffic stop in the area of 66th Street when they observed a man they had encountered the night before while responding to a reported domestic incident in the downtown area. The OCPD officers observed the man, later identified as Brian Groy, 45, of Ocean City, operating a Jeep Grand Cherokee and knew from the prior night’s incident he only carried a Maryland identification card and not a valid driver’s license.

The officers observed Groy park the vehicle in a hotel parking lot and made contact with him. According to police reports, Groy told the officers he came to the area to assist his girlfriend, who was involved in the unrelated traffic stop. According to police reports, officers detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Groy and observed open containers in his vehicle.

Groy was administered a series of field sobriety tests which he did not pass to the officers’ satisfaction. According to police reports, Groy told the officers he had consumed a lot of alcoholic beverages the night before. At that point, Groy was arrested for driving under the influence and driving while impaired, driving without a Maryland driver’s license and driving on a suspended Delaware license.

During a search incident to the arrest, OCPD officers located on Groy’s person several prescription pills with the potential for abuse including Dilaudid and Diazepam, for which Groy did not have a prescription. Groy explained he was wearing someone else’s shorts, but the officers remembered he was wearing the same shorts the night before when they first encountered him at the domestic incident.

10 Days For Resisting

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man, arrested in June after first scrapping with a female victim and later police before nearly being Tased, pleaded guilty this week to resisting arrest and was sentenced to 10 days in jail.

Around 2:30 a.m. on June 24, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was assisting with an arrest at an unrelated incident in the area of 8th Street when he observed a male suspect screaming at a female. The victim was screaming for the suspect to get away from him, but the suspect, later identified as Zachary Gonzalez, 18, of Kingston, Pa., kept continually screaming “where is my [expletive deleted] phone?” according to police reports.

The officer approached the pair and observed Gonzalez grab the victim and begin pushing her backward. As the officer approached, his view of the pair was obstructed momentarily by a parked vehicle and bushes, but when Gonzalez and the victim emerged again, the officer observed the victim slap Gonzalez and continue scream for him to leave her alone, according to police reports.

Meanwhile, several people in the area began to attempt to intercede on behalf of the victim. One female jumped between the combatants and attempted to move the victim away from Gonzalez. Another group of about 10 people emerged from a nearby apartment and attempted to prevent any further contact by Gonzalez against the victim, according to police reports.

The officer approached Gonzalez and ordered him to stop, but Gonzalez walked away. After ignoring repeated requests, Gonzalez did stop, but was not cooperative, according to police reports. Gonzalez was ordered to sit on the curb, but refused. At one point, Gonzalez reportedly reached into his pocket and the officer was concerned he could be searching for a weapon.

According to police reports, Gonzalez told police he was not going to sit on the curb. The officer grabbed the suspect and attempted a leg sweep maneuver, but Gonzalez was able to avoid the leg sweep. The officer was then able to grab hold of Gonzalez and punched him twice with a closed hand to the left side of the suspect’s face, which caused the suspect to bend over at the waist. The officer was then able to force Gonzalez to his knees, but the suspect continued to resist.

Even after OCPD officers were able to get Gonzalez on the ground, he continued to resist, tensing his entire body and attempting to stand up again. The officer again struck Gonzalez with a closed fist and kneed him in the rib cage area, but would still not comply. Another OCPD officer targeted Gonzalez with his Conducted Electrical Weapon (CEW), or tazer, in an attempt to gain compliance. Eventually, one officer was able to get control of one of Gonzalez’s arms another officer got control of the other arm and he was brought under control.

The officers spoke with the victim who told police Gonzalez had placed his palm over her face and thrust her backward. The victim told police Gonzalez was her ex-boyfriend and had been stalking her all day.  The officer noted a swollen red mark under the victim’s left eye. During a search incident to the arrest, an off-white powder identified as Ketamine was located on Gonzalez’s person.

He was charged with assault, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and possession of CDS. On Monday, Gonzalez pleaded guilty to one count of resisting arrest and was sentenced to 10 days.

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.