Cops And Courts – June 23, 2017

Theft Scheme Alleged

OCEAN CITY — Two Washington, D.C. area residents were arrested on theft scheme charges after Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were able to connect them to a rash of vehicle break-ins.

Around 7 p.m. last Thursday, OCPD officers were dispatched to the area of 4th Street for a reported theft of wallets from a vehicle in a nearby parking garage. The victim told police her wallet containing her driver’s license, social security card and debit card, along with her daughter’s wallet containing $300 had been stolen from her Jeep.


Aitana Garrison

OCPD officers watched the video surveillance footage from the parking garage and observed two suspects later identified as Aitana Garrison, 20, of Laurel, Md., and Michael Allen, 27, of College Park, enter the parking garage several hours earlier and begin pulling door handles to check for unlocked vehicles. When the two suspects reached the victim’s Jeep, they found the door to be unlocked and went inside the vehicle for about a minute before exiting.

The two suspects left the parking garage, but returned a short time later and got into a gray Toyota Scion and left the area. A short time later, OCPD officers located the Toyota Scion in a parking lot and noticed it had a parking pass for the Tidelands Hotel nearby and that the pass had a room number on it.

The officers checked with the hotel clerk to seek if the suspects had rented a hotel room and learned the parking pass found in the Toyota had been reported stolen from a Dodge Durango around 10 a.m. that morning. Also stolen from the Dodge was a suiting containing all of the victim’s clothing along with a jacket valued at $200.


Michael Allen

OCPD officers broadcasted a description of Garrison and Allen and they were located on the Boardwalk near Dorchester Street a short time later. When officers approached the suspects, Allen reportedly put his hands in the air and told police he had not done anything and that they could search him. When officers searched Allen, they found a stack of credit and debit cards on his person that did not belong to him. At that point, Garrison and Allen were placed under arrest for theft.

According to police reports, Allen initially told police he had found the credit cards, but when he was presented with a still photo taken from the video footage in the parking garage, he said “Yeah, I did some dumb [expletive deleted].” The officers went back to the hotel parking lot where the suspects’ vehicle had been found and a K-9 scan revealed the presence of drugs.

A subsequent search of the property revealed more stolen credit cards, at least four pairs of shoes that had been reported stolen from multiple victims and other stolen property. OCPD officers made contact with each of the victims and collected a list of items that had been reported stolen and each was found on the suspects or in their vehicle. Garrison and Allen were charged with theft scheme from $1,000 to under $10,000.

Loaded Handgun In Vehicle

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on weapons charges last weekend after Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers found a loaded handgun in a vehicle in which he was sleeping.

Around 5:30 a.m. last Saturday, OCPD officers on patrol in the area of Wilmington Lane observed a vehicle parked on the street with its headlights on and the engine running. Officers approached the vehicle and observed Rahean Kelley, 19, of Reading, Pa., asleep in the driver’s seat.

When officers approached Kelley, they detected the strong odor of raw marijuana coming from the passenger compartment. A subsequent search of the vehicle turned up a loaded .22 caliber handgun in the glove compartment. When asked if he had a permit to carry the handgun, Kelley told police it wasn’t even his, according to police reports.

Kelley was arrested at that point and charged with possession of a handgun in a vehicle. Upon further investigation, officers determined Kelley had two previous drug convictions in the last year which qualified another charge of illegal possession of a regulated firearm. In addition, it was learned Kelley was on probation for robbery, which added an additional charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Suspect Hits Officer, Flees

OCEAN CITY — A Reisterstown man was arrested on assault and other charges last week after allegedly striking an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer who was attempting to question him about marijuana possession before fleeing the scene on foot.

Around 4:30 p.m. last Thursday, an OCPD officer was on bike patrol in the area of St. Louis Avenue and 6th Street when he observed a group of young men walking down 6th Street and detected the strong odor of burnt marijuana. The officer approached the group and they began to separate and scatter. The officer observed one of the suspects, identified as Matthew Lester, 19, of Reisterstown, move away furtively as if he was trying to conceal something in his pocket.

The officer detained Lester and recovered a plastic Baggie containing marijuana. The officer asked for Lester’s identification in order to issue him a citation for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana and Lester got out his wallet, but when the officer reached for the identification, Lester allegedly struck him and fled on foot.

Lester fled through a construction site and jumped over a fence onto private property with the property owner sitting on his porch observing. Lester than dashed into St. Louis Avenue and was nearly struck by multiple cars that had to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting him. The OCPD officer eventually caught up with Lester and placed him under arrest for assault, disturbing the peace and trespassing.

Disorderly Conduct, Drugs

OCEAN CITY — A Harrisburg, Pa. man was arrested on disorderly conduct and drug charges last weekend after allegedly causing a scene on different occasions in the midtown area before being found with cocaine and pills.

Around 11 a.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to a fast-food restaurant inside a convenience store in the area of 52nd Street for a report of a suspicious male. The complainant told police the suspect entered the restroom and had been making statements about killing people. The caller was afraid because the suspect was carrying a backpack that appeared to be heavy, according to police reports. The suspect, later identified as Timothy Witmer, 26, of Harrisburg, had been in the restroom for about 15 minutes, according to police reports.

An OCPD officer on the scene had an earlier contact with Witmer on a previous call for service when he was dispatched to the area of 57th Street to check on an individual having a medical issue. The OCPD officer located Witmer rolling around in the grass and complaining of severe pain as he attempted to put a bandage on his foot he claimed was broken. The officer contacted Ocean City EMS, but Witmer refused medical attention. According to police reports, Witmer’s behavior was strange during that incident, but he ultimately committed no crime and was allowed to walk away.

When OCPD officers responded to the fast-food restaurant at 52nd Street, they were unable to locate Witmer. Another OCPD officer responding to the scene observed Witmer walking aggressively north on the sidewalk and he appeared to be talking to himself. As a man with a young child approached him, walking in the opposite direction, Witmer allegedly raised his arms in a threatening manner, but did not strike the man or the child.

At that point, the OCPD officer took Witmer into custody for disorderly conduct. A search of his person revealed a baggie of powder cocaine in his pants pocket. Two larger bags of powder cocaine were located in Witmer’s backpack. Also located in Witmer’s backpack were 15 tablets identified as Clonazepam. Witmer was charged with disorderly conduct and possession of cocaine and Clonazepam, a controlled dangerous substance.

Two Arrested For Air Show Disturbance

OCEAN CITY — Two men were arrested for disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct last weekend after allegedly causing a scene on a crowded Boardwalk during the OC Air Show.

Around 2:40 p.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers and officers from allied law enforcement agencies were dispatched to the area of 15th Street and the Boardwalk for a report of two males acting disorderly. An OCPD officer arrived on the scene and observed two men talking to a security guard hired by the Air Show. The officer approached the men and asked if everything was okay when one of them, identified as Joseph Barnes, 20, of Brookeville, Md., allegedly launched into an expletive-laced tirade on the officers in front of a large crowd watching the air show including families with young children. The officer told Barnes to calm down, but Barnes allegedly continued his expletive- and racial slur-laced rant against the officers.

At that point, the OCPD officer attempted to place Barnes under arrest, but he began to run away before stopping and raising his arms in the air and challenging the officer to fight him. The OCPD officer and a Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy tackled Barnes and placed him in handcuffs. During the struggle, the Sheriff’s deputy suffered a possible broken nose and was transported to the hospital.

Minutes after Barnes was arrested, his companion, identified as Nicholas Terry, 20, of Damascus, Md., began to scream and yell expletives and racial slurs at the arresting officers in front of hundreds of people enjoying the air show. Terry was also arrested and charged with disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct.

Scrapping With Bar Security

OCEAN CITY — A Silver Spring, Md. man was arrested on assault and other charges last weekend after allegedly scrapping with security staff at a nightclub.

Around 1:20 a.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were patrolling in the area of Seacrets when they saw bar security staff wrestling with a man later identified as Gerardo Deleon, 21, of Silver Spring, on the ground in front of the establishment. Several security staffers were attempting to control Deleon as he continued to be aggressive and combative. When the OCPD officers arrived, the bar staff began to get off of Deleon one by one until the supervisor was the only one still holding him.

When Deleon had calmed down, the supervisor let him up, but once Deleon was standing, he lunged at the supervisor and attempted to strike him. OCPD officers wrestled Deleon to the ground and took him into custody for assault and intoxicated endangerment.

Jail Time For Joy Ride

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man, arrested on drunk-driving and auto theft charges in February after swiping a vehicle and taking it for a joy ride before crashing into gas pumps at north-end convenience store, pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced to a year in jail, all but 20 days of which was suspended.

Around 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 2, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were patrolling in the area of the 7-Eleven store at 119th Street when they observed a 2002 Toyota Camry with no lights on make a U-turn and strike a steel gasoline pump support pole at a high rate of speed. The officers reportedly saw smoke and debris emanating from the vehicle and debris emanating from the vehicle.

The officers observed the front end of the vehicle was heavily damaged and was embedded in the steel support pole for the gas pumps. Fluids were leaking from the engine compartment and the officers noted in the report if had not been for the pole, the vehicle would have struck the gas pump. A large trash can was also damaged. Because of the fluids leaking from the vehicle and the close proximity to the gas pumps, the Ocean City Fire Department and EMS were dispatched to the scene.

OCPD officers observed the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, identified as Leon Harvey, 31, of Ocean City emerge from the driver’s seat as he stumbled and exhibited poor balance. According to police reports, Harvey said “I was just going for a joy ride.”

OCPD officers made contact with Harvey, who exhibited signs of intoxication, according to police reports. Harvey was bleeding from the mouth and was evaluated by EMTs, but refused transport to a medical facility. According to police reports, officers asked Harvey to do pre-screening and field sobriety tests, but he refused to cooperate.

At that point, Harvey was arrested for driving under the influence, driving a motor vehicle without a required license or authorization and driving while suspended. He was taken to the Public Safety Building where he refused to submit to an alcohol concentration test, stating it would not help him and he wasn’t that drunk. According to police reports, he also said he messed up his life and that his life was over, and that he only took the car for a joy ride and knew he should not be driving.

OCPD officers interviewed the vehicle’s owner who said he left it parked in front of the 7-11 with the engine running while he went inside the 7-11 store. While in the store, the owner said he heard a loud bang and looked outside to observe his vehicle crashed into the steel pole near the gas pumps with Harvey getting out of the driver’s seat. The victim told police Harvey did not have permission to drive the vehicle and unlawful motor vehicle taking charges were also tacked on.

Last week, Harvey pleaded guilty to unlawful removal of property and driving under the influence and was sentenced to one year in jail, all but 20 days of which were suspended.