Cops And Courts – May 19, 2017

Bar Bathrooms Destroyed

OCEAN CITY — A Massachusetts man was arrested on multiple counts of malicious destruction of property last weekend after allegedly destroying a commercial bathroom.

Just after midnight last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to Fager’s Island for a reported malicious destruction of property that had already occurred. The officer met with the restaurant manager who advised police bar security had a suspect in custody. The OCPD officer entered the establishment and found two security staffers restraining the suspect, later identified as Jacob Hathaway, 22, of Holliston, Mass.

The manager directed the officer’s attention to the hallway leading to the restrooms and the officer could hear what sounded like running water. The officer entered one bathroom and discovered a hole in the ceiling where the air vent once was. The officer also noticed the actual air vent fan was now lying in the sink. A large roll of toilet paper had been stuffed in the toilet as if the suspect had attempted to flush it. The toilet paper dispenser was torn from the wall and the garbage can was turned upside down into the toilet. The cover to the wall-mounted soap dispenser had also been torn off.

In a second bathroom, the officer noticed the air vent had been torn from the ceiling and was lying on the floor. There were footprints all over the toilet seat and there was water and toilet paper all over the floor. The officer also noticed an antique slot machine sitting in the hallway. The slot machine did not appear to be damaged, but it was missing the back panel.

The OCPD officer questioned the restaurant’s manager, who said the bathroom windows were right above his head as he was outside carding patrons and he heard what sounded like someone tearing up the bathrooms, according to police reports. When the manager and a second manager went to investigate, they could not enter the bathrooms because Hathaway had allegedly blocked the door with the antique slot machine.

When questioned, Hathaway told police the bathrooms had been destroyed before he went in to use them and he was tackled by bouncers when he came out. Hathaway denied having anything to do with destroying the bathrooms. Based on the evidence and testimony, Hathaway was arrested and charged with multiple counts of malicious destruction of property.

Punched In The Nose

OCEAN CITY — A local man was arrested on assault charges last weekend after allegedly punching his wife in the nose during a domestic dispute with the couple’s one-year-old child in the room.

Around 1:55 a.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to a reported domestic dispute at a residence on 43rd Street. Upon arrival, officers met with a female victim who was sitting in a chair with blood coming out of her nose. The victim told police she had been sleeping with her one-year-old child when she awoke to loud noises coming from the kitchen.

The victim told police she went to the kitchen area and found her husband, later identified as James Hill, Jr., 32, of Ocean City, stumbling around. The victim also told police Hill answered his cell phone and referred to the individual as “baby,” according to police reports. A verbal argument ensued during which the victim snatched the phone from Hill’s hand, according to police reports.

When the victim refused to return the phone, Hill allegedly punched her in the nose, causing her to fall down, according to police reports. The victim attempted to crawl back toward the bedroom and Hill allegedly followed her, hitting her at least four or five more times, according to police reports.

The victim retreated to the bedroom and called her mother, who lived in a different unit in the same building. The victim’s mother told police she heard her daughter’s pleas for help and called police, but was too afraid to go down to her daughter’s unit. The officers noted the victim’s nose was red and swollen with blood coming from it and her lip was swollen with a cut inside it. She refused treatment from Ocean City EMS. She also told police Hill was still inside along with her one-year-old child.

The officers went to the unit and discovered Hill sleeping on a couch with the child standing next to him. According to police reports, Hill awakened and began arguing with the officers and refusing to allow them entry into the unit. According to police reports, he continued to curse at the officer and threatened to sue them, all while holding the one-year-old child. Hill ultimately handed the child to one officer and squared up as if to fight a second officer. At that point, he was taken into custody without further incident and was charged with second-degree assault.

Passed Out On Pool Chemicals

OCEAN CITY — A Federalsburg man was arrested on burglary and other charges last weekend after allegedly breaking into a pool chemical storage room at a midtown motel.

Last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on patrol responded to a reported malicious destruction of property in progress at the Maridel Motel on 42nd Street. The officer arrived on the scene and was flagged down by the motel security, who pointed the officer toward the pool chemical storage room. The officer went to the room and discovered a suspect, later identified as Martin Wessels, 21, of Federalsburg, slouched over a 55-gallon drum of pure liquid chlorine.

According to police reports, the storage room was in disarray and Wessels was passed out on top of an open drum of pool chemicals. When he was awakened, Wessels was uncooperative and intoxicated, according to police reports. When asked what he was doing in the room, Wessels allegedly launched into an expletive-laced tirade at the police and motel security and threatened to sue for harassment.

The motel security guard told police he first discovered Wessels standing on a 55-gallon drum of pool chemicals with his head leaning on a shelf in the room and the room had been destroyed. Based on the evidence, Wessels was arrested and charged with burglary, trespassing and malicious destruction of property.

Refused To Pay Cab Fare

OCEAN CITY — A Washington, D.C. woman was arrested on theft charges last weekend after allegedly refusing to pay a cab fare while extremely intoxicated.

Around 3:30 a.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a reported theft that had already occurred. When the officer arrived on the scene, he met a taxi driver who reported his fare had been passed out in the back of his cab, but due to other calls for service, no OCPD units had been available to assist him.

Instead, his fare had since woken up, refused to pay and left the scene. According to police reports, the cabbie told the fare, later identified as Nicole Dannehower, 27, of Washington, D.C., to pay the fare or he was going to call the police. She again refused and walked toward a nearby building, which is when the officer arrived. The officer searched the building and located Dannehower standing in front of a unit holding herself up with the doorknob, according to police reports. Dannehower told police she was not staying in that building, but could not tell the officer where she was staying. Based on the evidence, Dannehower was arrested and charged with theft for the $27-plus cab fare.

Acquittal In Assault Case

SNOW HILL — A Baltimore man, arrested in late December on first-degree assault and other serious charges after allegedly strangling and threatening to kill his girlfriend in front of her four-year-old son in a resort condo, was acquitted of all charges last week in Worcester County Circuit Court.

Around 10:50 p.m. last Dec. 29, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a condominium on 120th Street for a reported assault. The officer met with a female victim who told police her boyfriend, identified as Andrew Stevens, 42, of Baltimore, had become physically violent during a verbal confrontation between the couple.

According to police reports, Stevens then snapped and quickly approached the victim who was sitting on a couch in the condo’s living room. The victim told police Stevens became increasingly more violent and began to lift, push and pull her around the living room. The victim told police Stevens grabbed her by the neck and throat with his hands and squeezed to the point she could no longer breathe. Stevens allegedly held the victim by her throat and neck and threw her into walls and furniture in the room. Stevens allegedly continued to grab the victim by the throat with one hand and held his other hand back while making a fist and told the victim he could kill her.

At that point, the victim’s four-year-old child intervened and began to push Stevens in an attempt to get him off his mother. The victim was eventually able to free herself and grabbed her young son and secured him in a bedroom, putting him in front of a television in an attempt to distract the child from the gravity of the situation, according to police reports.

OCPD officers met with the victim, who showed numerous signs of injury including red marks and bruising on her neck along with a laceration that appeared to have been caused by fingernails. The victim also had scrapes and bruising on her arms and elbows. The officers observed an end table in the living room appeared to have been moved as if something had struck it and found a long clump of hair matching the length and color of the victim’s hair on the carpet next to the table.

Based on the evidence and testimony, including the victim’s statement she was concerned for her life and the life of her child, Stevens was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Following a trial in Worcester County Circuit Court last week, Stevens was acquitted of all charges.