Cops And Courts – May 26, 2017

Cops And Courts – May 26, 2017
Social Issues Government

Assault Arrest After Shoving Young Child

OCEAN CITY — A Baltimore man was arrested on assault and theft charges this week after allegedly shoving and knocking down his six-year-old daughter on the Boardwalk and later being found in possession of merchandise stolen from the Boardwalk store.

Around 11:30 a.m. on Monday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling on the Boardwalk around North Division Street when he heard a woman yelling “get away from me,” according to police reports. The officer approached and saw the woman with two young girls, ages six and two, who appeared to be upset and clinging to their mother.

As the officer approached the family, a male suspect, later identified as Dereck Hause-Brown, 27, coming toward the woman and the two young girls. The woman made eye contact with the officer and asked him to make sure Hause-Brown stayed away from them and that he kept trying to get into her purse.

The officer stepped between the female victim and Hause-Brown and ordered him to walk away and toward the sidewalk. The female victim told police she believed Hause-Brown was high on Xanax and that he kept trying to get into her purse and that her six-year-old daughter tried to fight her father off, but that Hause-Brown had pushed the young girl to the ground.

The officer checked the young girl, who was upset and crying, and found she had large abrasions on her knee and elbow. The officer asked the girl if her daddy had pushed her down and she confirmed he had. The officer also asked the girl if the abrasions were caused when she was pushed to the ground and she said yes.

Based on the victim’s testimony and the obvious injuries to the young girl, Hause-Brown was arrested at that point and was charged with second-degree assault. While the officer was transporting Hause-Brown to the Public Safety Building for processing, he was advised the suspect might be in possession of stolen property including a sweatshirt and sunglasses. The female victim told police she observed Hause-Brown stealing the merchandise from a store called Geez Teez on the Boardwalk while she and her children were at the playground on the beach at North Division Street.

The officer spoke to the manager at Geez Teez who confirmed the style of sweatshirt Hause-Brown was wearing was sold in the store and had only been available for a couple of days. The officer then talked to the manager of Sunglass City, who told police the style of sunglasses Hause-Brown was wearing at the time of the incident were sold in her store and described Hause-Brown as the man who had stolen them down to exactly what he was wearing at the time of the incident and even the gold caps on his front teeth.

When the officer viewed the store’s video surveillance, he observed Hause-Brown take the new sunglasses from a rack and put them in his pocket, then replace the vacant spot on the rack with a pair of old sunglasses. Based on the evidence, Hause-Brown was charged with theft in addition to the assault charge from pushing down the young girl.

Credit Card Receipt Leads To Suspect’s Arrest

OCEAN CITY — An Eldersburg, Md. man was arrested for pulling a fire alarm at a midtown condo building this week after police were able to connect him to the incident with a credit card slip from a nearby restaurant left at the scene.

Around 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to the Maresol condo building on 56th Street to assist the fire department with a fire alarm activation call. The officer learned from fire department officials the fire alarm panel on the second floor of the north end of the building had been maliciously pulled. The fire department silenced the alarm and the residents were allowed to return to their units.

The OCPD officer was still on scene when he observed a shadowy figure later identified as Shaun Higgins, 36, of Eldersburg, Md., walking underneath the building from the direction of 56th Street. The officer yelled for Higgins to stop, but he kept walking south. The officer eventually stopped Higgins, who explained he was just trying to walk home from a nightclub on 49th Street, although the officer pointed out he was walking in the wrong direction.

The officer noticed abrasions on Higgins’ wrist and walked back to the fire alarm to see if there was any evidence the suspect had been cut while pulling the fire alarm. The officer did not find any such evidence, but did recover a credit card receipt from nearby Fager’s Island on the ground nearby that had been paid with an American Express card.

The officer asked Higgins if he had been at Fager’s Island earlier and the suspect said he had been there having dinner with other people. When questioned further, Higgins explained he had paid the check with his American Express card and produced the card for the officer. The card was in Higgins’ name and the same last four digits matched the credit card number on the receipt.

When questioned about how the receipt with his name and card number on it was found right beneath the pulled fire alarm, Higgins said he didn’t know. Higgins also said he was staying at the Hampton Suites in room 217 which is nearby. The fire alarm pulled at the second floor of the Maresol was near unit 210, or the last unit on the second floor. Higgins later admitted he mistook the Maresol for the Hampton Suites, but did not remember pulling the fire alarm. Based on the evidence and testimony, Higgins was arrested and charged with the malicious pulling of a fire pull station.

Burning Hat Tossed In Road

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested for malicious burning last weekend after allegedly tossing a baseball-style hat fully engaged in flames into moving traffic on Baltimore Avenue near 9th Street.

Around 3:50 a.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on patrol in the area around Baltimore Avenue and 9th Street observed suspicious activity on the sidewalk. As the officer approached, one individual placed a chair in the turn lane, while a second individual tossed an item onto Baltimore Avenue that turned out to be an Under Armor baseball hat that was fully engulfed in flames.

The officer identified the suspect who threw the burning hat into traffic as Dominic Santangelo, 18, of Kutztown, Pa. The officer noted traffic was heavy on Baltimore Avenue even at that hour and there was still a lot of pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk in the area. The officer said in the report it was reasonable to believe a driver would swerve to avoid a burning object in the roadway, potentially causing an accident.

The officer also concluded the burning hat could have injured one of the many pedestrians still in the area. Finally, because it was Cruisin’ weekend and traffic had been heavy for days, it was certainly possible there were combustible fluids on the roadway that could have been ignited by the hat on fire.

When questioned, Santangelo told police the hat belonged to an individual who had been arrested earlier at the same site during a fight. The officer questioned the individual who had been arrested and learned he had lost a hat matching the description during his arrest. Based on the evidence, Santangelo was charged with malicious burning.

Kicking Chairs, Damaging Cars

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on multiple counts of malicious destruction of property last weekend after allegedly damaging two vehicles and busting up two plastic chairs at a motel parking lot on 9th Street.

Around 1 a.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a motel on 9th Street and Baltimore Avenue for a report of malicious destruction of property. The officer met with hotel security, who showed video surveillance footage of a suspect later identified as David Damon, 23, of Upland, Pa. kicking a row of plastic chairs in the common area outside the motel rooms.

The kicking of the chairs caused damage to two vehicles including a Dodge Ram truck and a Chevy Chevelle. The estimated damage to the Dodge Ram was $700, while the damage to the Chevy Chevelle was estimated at $2,000. The video surveillance showed Damon leaving room 103. The officer went to room 103 and interviewed a female who told police it was Damon who had kicked the chairs and damaged the vehicles, but that he had since left the area.

The officer instructed the female to contact Damon and tell him to return to the scene to receive a criminal citation. At first, Damon refused to return, according to police reports. The officer took pictures and information and left the scene. A short time later, the officer was notified Damon was heading back to the motel and the officer responded and observed Damon walking through an alley near the scene.

Damon was arrested and charged with multiple counts of malicious destruction of property for the damage to the two vehicles and the damage to the motel chairs. According to police reports, Damon was upset and apologetic and offered to pay for any damages he caused.