Cops And Courts – April 21, 2017

Prostitution Arrest

OCEAN PINES — An Ocean Pines woman has been arrested on prostitution charges after allegedly advertising massage services over the Internet.

As a result of a lengthy investigation, Ocean Pines Police last week arrested Megan Lynn Tyndall, 30, of Ocean Pines on prostitution charges last week. Tyndall allegedly advertised massage services over the Internet and an undercover police officer contacted the service and was able to develop information resulting in the arrest.

Tyndall was charged with one count of criminal prostitution. She was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was released on personal recognizance pending trial. The investigation is ongoing, however, and additional charges may follow.

DUI Arrest After Collision

OCEAN CITY — A Dagsboro man was arrested on drunk and drugged driving charges and numerous other traffic violations after allegedly crashing his vehicle into a barrier near a store’s gas pumps and later lighting a cigarette while standing in a puddle of gasoline.

Around 2:25 a.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on patrol in the area of the Wawa store on 120th Street observed Storm Brockton Miles, 23, of Dagsboro, allegedly stumbling and swaying as he went to the check-out counter in the store. The OCPD officer was in the store and stood next to Miles, detecting an odor of alcohol coming from his breath and person.

After Miles made a purchase, he walked to a pick-up truck at the gas pumps. According to police reports, Miles looked at the front driver’s side fender and bumper of the truck and the officer noticed there was front-end damage. Miles put gas in the truck and came back inside the store. According to police reports, the clerk advised Miles to get a cab and not drive because he was intoxicated, within earshot of the OCPD officer, but Miles allegedly said he was rich, did not care and that he was going to drive anyway.

Miles then went back to the truck, started it and turned the headlamps on. The OCPD officer got back into his patrol car and pulled behind Miles to affect a traffic stop. The officer asked Miles for his license and told him to turn the vehicle off. While the officer was walking back to his patrol vehicle, he observed freshly spilled gasoline on the ground next to Miles’ truck. OCPD also noticed fresh red paint, a bolt, a screw, rubber shavings and plastic pieces on the ground near the truck and the red barriers that protect the gas pumps. The front fender and bumper were pushed into the tire, rendering the vehicle disabled.

The officer went back into the store and reviewed surveillance video that showed Miles allegedly striking the red barrier near the gas pump with his vehicle before stopping. Miles was out of his truck and began packing his cigarette pack at that point, but the OCPD officer advised him not to light a cigarette. According to police reports, Miles lit the cigarette anyway while standing in a puddle of gasoline. OCPD officers yelled at Miles to back up because he was standing in gasoline and he eventually did step back, raising his hands and telling the officers he knew what his rights were.

Miles was asked to perform a series of field sobriety tests, which he did not complete to the officer’s satisfaction. During a subsequent search, he was found to be in possession of marijuana. Based on the evidence, Miles was charged with driving while intoxicated and driving while impaired by drugs, negligent and reckless driving and numerous traffic citations related to the collision with a gas pump barrier.

Assault Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Finksburg, Md. woman was arrested on assault charges last weekend after allegedly punching in the face a woman helping Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers identify her.

Around 1:22 a.m. last Saturday, an OCPD officer on patrol in the Talbot Street area observed a female screaming and cursing while walking south on the Boardwalk with a male she was with. According to police reports, the woman’s screaming could be heard at least 150 away and attracted the attention of several other visitors on the Boardwalk.

The female, later identified as Allison Prothero, 22, of Finksburg, Md., then turned onto Talbot Street and began walking toward Baltimore Avenue. Her male acquaintance yelled for police to stop her as Prothero had allegedly just assaulted him. The OCPD officer detained Prothero and she sat on the curb and continued to cry. At that point, the OCPD officer was approached by a female acquaintance of Prothero’s, who attempted to console her and comfort her as she cried.

The other female told the officer she was attempting to get Prothero home. When the officer asked Prothero for her name and address, she allegedly refused to cooperate. The female acquaintance was attempting to give the officer Prothero’s phone number from her cell phone when Prothero allegedly told the woman to “shut the [expletive deleted] up.

For reasons unknown, Prothero then suddenly turned toward the woman attempting to help her and punched her in the face with her left fist. The woman attempting to help Prothero then began to cry after she was punched and her head jolted back right in front of the OCPD officer, according to police reports. Prothero then attempted to leave the scene, but was detained by the officer. Because she had punched the other woman in the face in the presence of the OCPD officer, she was arrested and charged with second-degree assault.

Hit-And-Run In Garage

OCEAN CITY — A Riverdale, Md. man was charged with three counts of hit-and-run and other traffic violations after allegedly wreaking havoc in the parking lot of a midtown condo this week.

Around 12:35 p.m. on Monday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a condo building on 36th Street for a reported hit-and-run collision. The officer met with the complainant, who told police about an hour earlier she heard a loud noise as if something hit the condo building and went down to the ground level to investigate. The witness told police she saw a white pickup truck with a ladder rack attempting to make several turns in an attempt to leave the parking garage.

The witness told police she the driver, later identified as Carlos Garcia, 48, of Riverdale, looked right at her and then sped off at a high rate of speed after she yelled for him to stop. The witness told police she observed the height restriction pole hanging from the garage ceiling hanging down from the building. The witness told police she was able to read a company sign on the truck and called the business to report the incident and a manager made arrangements for Garcia to return to the scene.

The OCPD officer investigated and found the height restriction sign hanging from the building, damage to a sign just outside the garage, damage to the ceiling of the parking garage and damage to a vehicle parked in the garage. Garcia returned and when questioned said he knew he hit some things, but got scared and fled and didn’t think it was a big deal, according to police reports. Based on the evidence and testimony, Garcia was charged with three counts of hit-and-run and other traffic violations.

OC Graffiti Artist Violates Probation

OCEAN CITY — A Montgomery County man, sentenced in 2015 convicted in 2015 for his role in a massive graffiti spree in the downtown area of Ocean City, was sent back to jail to serve out the rest of his original three-year sentence this week following a violation of probation hearing.

In November 2015, Raul Vasquez, Jr., now 21, of Silver Spring, was sentenced to three years in jail for his role in a spree of at least 45 graffiti incidents in downtown Ocean City in April 2015, but all but six months of which was suspended. Vasquez served his sentence, but has since been arrested on an assault charge in Montgomery County, triggering a violation of the terms of his probation for the Worcester County conviction. Back in District Court in Ocean City on Monday, Vasquez was found guilty of violation of probation and was sent back to serve the remainder of his original sentence, or two years and four months.

In the early morning hours on April 19, 2015, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers first discovered graffiti in the area of 17th Street and Philadelphia Avenue around 5 a.m. After a canvas of the area, OCPD officers located approximately 45 graffiti “taggings,” affecting multiple businesses and citizens. The spray paint spree ran from 16th Street to 20th Street and included restaurant walls, shopping center windows, motel windows and walls and multiple vehicles. With assistance from area businesses, OCPD officers were quickly able to determine that suspects from outside the area were responsible for the vandalism.

During the investigation, OCPD detectives worked closely with police in Montgomery County after areas in that jurisdiction experiences a similar rash in graffiti. The investigation was able to link two suspects, Vasquez and Jose Zavala, 20, of Chevy Chase, to the graffiti sprees in both Ocean City and Montgomery County.

Based on the evidence, the Ocean City Police Criminal Investigation Division charged Vasquez and Zavala with 19 total counts of malicious destruction of property over $1,000 and malicious destruction of property scheme. Vasquez was found guilty on all 19 counts, while Zavala was found guilty on 10 counts. Each was originally sentenced to three years with all but six months suspended. Each was placed on probation for four years after their release and each was ordered to pay $7,785 in restitution to the multiple victims.

Four Years In Resort Human Trafficking Case

SNOW HILL — A Georgetown, Del. man, one of several individuals arrested last May during a series of prostitution and drug raids carried out by multiple agencies in Ocean City pleaded guilty this week to one count of human trafficking and was sentenced to four years in jail.

Further evidence of the growing opiate addiction epidemic in the area and throughout the region was on display last May when the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) and allied law enforcement agencies arrested nine individuals on prostitution and various drug charges after raids at multiple hotels in the resort.

The OCPD and Homeland Security Investigations-Baltimore last week concluded a joint investigation into human trafficking and prostitution in the resort with assistance from the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI), the Maryland State Police and the Berlin Police Department.

Over two days last May, nine individuals were arrested after allied law enforcement detectives conducted an operation at multiple hotels in Ocean City. Detectives also executed search warrants at area hotels resulting in the seizure of $1,850 in cash, a 2010 Chevy Camaro SS, heroin, cocaine, suboxone, marijuana, hash oil, additional prescription stimulants and drug paraphernalia.

Prostitution and human trafficking is a growing problem around the region and not unique to Ocean City and Worcester County and stems in large part to the growing opioid addiction crisis.

One of those arrested during the raids in May, George Dunn, Jr., 24, of Georgetown, Delaware, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count of human trafficking and was sentenced to four years. Dunn will also be required to register as a Tier II sex offender. Another man charged with human trafficking, John Ternahan, 37, of Frankford, was found not guilty by a jury in February.

The remainder of those arrested during the raids last May have already had their cases adjudicated with varying outcomes. Kendall Wysinger, 39, of Severn, Md. was found guilty of prostitution in September and was sentenced to six months. Lillyanne Horner, 20, of Milton, Del. was also found guilty of prostitution and was sentenced to six months.

Brooke Farley, 34, of Ocean City; Sonja Feiser, 28, of Funkstown, Md.; and Hailee McKee, 24, of Lewes, were each found guilty of prostitution and each was sentenced to 30 days in jail during different court proceedings last fall.