Cops And Courts – December 16, 2016

Cops And Courts – December 16, 2016
Social Issues Government

Stiff Sentence For Knife Threat

SNOW HILL — An Ocean City man, arrested last March on first-degree assault and other charges after threatening his nephew with a knife, pleaded guilty this week to resisting arrest and was sentenced to three years, all but one of which was suspended.

Around 11:15 p.m. last March 12, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on patrol in the area of Washington Lane and 4th Street observed two individuals yelling at each other as if there was going to be a fight. One of the individuals, later identified as Roger Taylor, 60, of Ocean City, was following the other individual, later identified as his nephew, with his hands clenched.

Sensing a potential fight, the OCPD officer activated his siren as he approached the two individuals to make his presence known and prevent a fight. As the officer approached, he observed Taylor walking toward his nephew holding a fixed-blade knife. The officer drew his gun and pointed it at Taylor, ordering him to drop the knife and get on the ground.

According to police reports, the officer instructed Taylor at least two times to drop the knife and get down on the ground. The officer then warned Taylor if he made a move toward the other man, he would shoot him. According to police reports, Taylor stood directly in front of the police cruiser still holding the knife and the officer yelled at him again to drop it.

Finally, Taylor threw the knife into the parking lot of a nearby apartment building. When the officer advised Taylor to get on the ground, Taylor replied “[expletive deleted] you.  I didn’t do anything.” The officer again ordered Taylor to go to the ground and that he was under arrest, but Taylor refused to comply. Ultimately, the officer holstered his weapon and grabbed Taylor, forcing him to the ground by his shoulders at which point he was handcuffed.

Meanwhile, Taylor’s nephew continued to walk away, but he too was ordered to stop and sit on the ground. When the nephew was asked what had happened prior to the officer’s arrival, the nephew told police he had come to Ocean City for the St. Patrick’s weekend celebrations and was staying with Taylor, who he said was his uncle. The nephew said he was in his room listening to music when Taylor burst in screaming about “anything and everything.”

The nephew said he left the apartment by the ground floor exit and Taylor followed him. He said that was all he remembered until hearing the officer’s siren and the warning to Taylor to drop the knife. On Tuesday, Taylor pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and was sentenced to three years, all but one year of which was suspended. He was also placed on probation for three years.

Suspended Sentence For ‘Island Goddess’

OCEAN CITY — The first of three suspects arrested in September on prostitution charges, following a joint investigation into human trafficking in Ocean City and Delaware, was found guilty this week and sentenced to one year in jail, all of which was suspended in favor of a fine and probation.

In September, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) and Homeland Security Investigations concluded an investigation into human trafficking and prostitution with an operation carried out at a resort hotel. During the investigation, three individuals were arrested including Danielle Young, 28, of Ocean View, Jamaica Brickhouse, 24, of Elkton, and Shadia Kelliehan, 33, of Burtonsville.

During the course of the operation, detectives seized over 270 Baggies of heroin with an estimated street value of $1,200, a small amount of marijuana, $350 in currency, a 2011 Honda Odyssey mini-van, five cell phones and a police-style baton. The operation utilized websites such as but not limited to, which allow participants to post advertisements for escort and massage services.

In September, an OCPD detective working on the joint operation observed an ad on the website offering “highly gifted” services along with provocative pictures of a white female. An HSI detective also working the case made contact with the female suspect by texting the number listed in the ad. Arrangements were made with the suspect to meet with an undercover OCPD detective at a hotel on 24th Street.

The detective arrived at the appointed time and place and met with the suspect, later identified as Young. During the conversation, Young allegedly made arrangements to provide fellatio to the undercover detective for $150. At that point, Young was detained for soliciting prostitution. During the investigation, a different OCPD officer observed the Honda Odyssey mini-van in which Young had arrived at the hotel.

The officer detected the odor of burnt marijuana coming from the van and conducted a search resulting in the discovery of a purse containing around 270 individually-wrapped Baggies of heroin. In the purse, the officer found a wallet containing a Delaware driver’s license and other forms of identification issued to Young, who was arrested and charged with soliciting prostitution, possession and possession with intent to distribute heroin.

Following the same basic method, the combined OCPD and HSI detectives viewed another entry on the website advertising an “Island Goddess,” which showed provocative pictures of an African-American woman. The detectives again made contact with the suspect, later identified as Kelliehan, to meet with the undercover detective at the hotel on 24th Street.

After Kelliehan allegedly made a slightly different and slightly more expensive offer to the detective, she too was arrested for soliciting prostitution. This week, Kelliehan was found guilty of general prostitution and was sentenced to one year in jail, all of which was suspended. She was then fined $500 and placed on probation for one year.

During the same investigation, OCPD and HSI detectives viewed another entry on advertising escort services from an unknown suspect labeled Ebony Princess. The HSI agent made contact with the “ebony princess,” later identified as Brickhouse, who made arrangements to meet with the undercover detective at the same hotel on 24th Street. After Brickhouse made a similar offer to the officer as was made by Young, she was arrested for soliciting prostitution. Brickhouse is scheduled for trial later this month, while Young’s trial has been laid in for February.

Hostess Stand Destroyed

OCEAN CITY — A West Ocean City woman was arrested on malicious destruction of property and other charges last week after allegedly first taking a shot of liquor from a man in a wheelchair in a downtown bar and later damaging a hostess stand in the same establishment.

Around 1:45 a.m. last Tuesday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a bar on 8th Street for a reported intoxicated, disorderly female who had broken a wooden hostess stand. When officers arrived, they met with bar staff members who reported the disorderly woman, later identified as Sarah Straka, 29, of West Ocean City, on the sidewalk in front of the establishment.

OCPD officers met with the bartender, who told police Straka had walked into the bar extremely intoxicated and walked over to a patron at the bar who was in a wheelchair with a shot of liquor in front of him. According to police reports, Straka allegedly took the shot from the patron and drank it without his permission. An argument ensued and Straka allegedly became disorderly in the bar.

According to witnesses, Straka went into the restroom briefly and returned, knocking over a chair. She then went to the kitchen area in an attempt to hide from the staff. When she was being escorted from the bar, she allegedly grabbed hold of a wooden hostess stand and intentionally threw it on the ground, causing it to break and come apart, according to police reports. Straka was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and malicious destruction of property.

Jail Time For Spitter

OCEAN CITY — A West Virginia woman, arrested in August after first scrapping with another woman outside a midtown nightclub and then spitting on the other combatant and police officers attempting to take her into custody, pleaded guilty this week to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 10 days.

Around 2:20 a.m. on Aug. 6, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were patrolling in the area of 49th Street when they heard a crowd yelling there was a fight. The responding officer arrived and found bar security detaining a suspect later identified as Cierra Keyes, 22, of Martinsburg, W.Va. According to police reports, Keyes was screaming at the top of her lungs, drawing the attention of a large crowd in the area.

As the officer got closer, he observed Keyes kick another female in the neck. Keyes was placed on her stomach, handcuffed and placed under arrest for assault and disorderly conduct. When the officer stood Keyes up and began moving her toward the transport van, Keyes allegedly spit at the woman she was initially fighting with, striking the officer in the process.

As the officer was preparing Keyes for transport, she allegedly launched into a string of expletives. While the officer was attempting to load the suspect into the van, she twisted and turned her head around and spit at the officer again, just missing his face. Officers interviewed the victim, who said Keyes had been screaming at her inside the establishment about an hour earlier and was escorted from the premises.

When the victim left the bar, Keyes was allegedly waiting and ran toward her and attempted to strike the victim. The victim was able to avoid the punch and pushed Keyes to the ground, at which point the OCPD interceded. This week, Keyes pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 10 days in jail.

Guilty Plea To Assault

SNOW HILL — A Pennsylvania man, arrested in June on armed robbery and other charges after citizen tips helped the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) identify him as a suspect, pleaded guilty this week to second-degree assault and now awaits his fate pending a pre-sentence investigation.

On June 21, an investigation revealed three unidentified men accosted a victim, who was struck with an expandable baton. It was also reported one of the suspects displayed a silver, revolver-style handgun during the incident at a downtown hotel. The OCPD released information along with surveillance pictures of the three suspects.

The next morning, after receiving information about the incident from the public, OCPD detectives were able to identify the three suspects and make one arrest. Erik Clemons, 19, of Blandon, Pa., was arrested and charged with armed robbery. This week, Clemons pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered. Sentencing has been set for March.

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.