Cops And Courts – July 7, 2017

Cops And Courts – July 7, 2017
Social Issues Government

Driver Crosses Median, Heads Wrong Way

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania women was arrested on drunk-driving and a slew of other traffic violations after allegedly crashing over the center median and driving the wrong way on Coastal Highway for several blocks on a busy holiday weekend.

Around 7:30 p.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were patrolling in the area of 41st Street when they observed an alleged drunk driver, identified as Kristin Whelan, 36, of Brookhaven, Pa. The OCPD officers ordered Whelan not to drive, but she drove anyway, according to police reports. OCPD officers then observed Whelan strike the center median, snapping off a State Highway Administration (SHA) road sign and wooden support post at its base and drive over the center median.

The broken sign and support post landed in the travel lanes on Coastal Highway, blocking the path of other vehicles. Whelan then drove north in the southbound lanes for several blocks from 41st Street to 45th Street on a busy holiday weekend night. Whelan then drove back over the median at 45th Street and re-entered the northbound lanes on Coastal Highway.

By now, multiple OCPD vehicles were pursuing Whelan, who finally stopped around 53rd Street. When officers approached Whelan, she exhibited several signs of intoxication including poor balance, slurred speech and a failure to follow instructions on field sobriety tests. She was arrested and charged with drunk-driving, hit-and-run and a slew of other traffic violations. During processing at the Public Safety Building, Whelan consented to a breath test which returned a result of .22.

Hit-And-Run Incident

OCEAN CITY — An Ellicott City woman was arrested for hit-and-run and drunk-driving last weekend after allegedly colliding with a parked car on north Ocean City and leaving the scene before being tracked down by the victim.

Around 9:20 p.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a reported vehicle collision around 136th Street and Sinepuxent Avenue. The OCPD officer met with the victim who told police he was visiting a friend and parked his Chevy Silverado on the street near the intersection.

The victim told police he was on his friend’s back deck when he heard a loud crash and saw his truck lurch forward. The victim told police he got up and saw a Toyota Camry stopped next to his truck, but when he approached the driver, identified as Gretchen Northern, 40, of Ellicott City, he drove off.

The victim chased the Northern on foot, catching up to her vehicle in about 200 yards, according to police reports. The victim told police he made contact with Northern, who appeared to be intoxicated, according to police reports. The OCPD officer arrived and approached Northern and detected an odor of alcoholic beverage from her breath and person.

Northern did not complete field sobriety tests to the officer’s satisfaction and was arrested on suspicion of drunk-driving, hit-and-run and other traffic offenses. During processing, Northern reportedly refused to submit to breath tests.

Another Hit-And-Run Arrest

OCEAN CITY — An Arlington, Va. man was arrested on hit-and-run and drunk driving charges last weekend after allegedly striking another vehicle from behind on Coastal Highway in midtown Ocean City before fleeing the scene.

Around 6 p.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a reported hit-and-run collision in the area of 62nd Street. OCPD officers approached a BMW with two men inside including the driver, identified as Dennis Lopez-Rivadeneira, 25, of Arlington, Va. After Lopez-Rivadeneira was asked to step out of the vehicle, he was instructed to return to his vehicle to retrieve his registration.

According to police reports, Lopez-Rivadeneira lost his balance and fell into the driver’s seat as he attempted to get back in the vehicle. He attempted to retrieve the vehicle’s registration, but found the glove compartment was locked. Meanwhile, another OCPD officer talked with the victim and a witness to the alleged hit-and-run collision. The victim told police Lopez-Rivandeneira was driving behind her on Coastal Highway in the area of 62nd Street when his BMW hit her Jeep from behind.

The victim told police Lopez-Rivadeneira immediately left the crash scene and turned onto 62nd Street without stopping or providing any information. The victim identified Lopez-Rivadeniera as the driver of the vehicle that struck her. OCPD officers began administering field sobriety tests, but Lopez-Rivadeneira refused to participate, telling police he was not the driver at the time of the collision.

Upon further questioning, Lopez-Rivadeneira told police he should not be arrested because he didn’t drive and only had a learner’s permit and  that he “should not be driving,” according to police reports. Based on the evidence and testimony, Lopez-Rivadeneira was arrested and charged with drunk-driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

Indecent Exposure Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on indecent exposure and other charges last weekend after allegedly exposing himself to families on the beach and in the parking lot of a north-end pharmacy.

Last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to the beach at 120th Street for a reported naked male. While the officer responded, another call came in to Ocean City Communications about a naked man matching the same description standing in front of the CVS store at 120th Street. The officer went to the CVS parking lot because the suspect, later identified as Patrick Lehman, 20, of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., was standing naked in front of a car full of people.

Upon arrival, the officer observed Lehman standing next to a vehicle full of people wearing only a basketball jersey with his genitals clearly exposed. According to police reports, he exhibited signs of intoxication. Officers spoke to the female victim who told police Lehman stood in front of car with her children in it and took off his jersey, exposing himself to all of the occupants in the vehicle including the children.

At that point, Lehman was arrested for indecent exposure. OCPD officers were then approached by another man who told police he and his family were the first to seek Lehman naked on the beach. The victim told police he saw Lehman was naked and started to approach his family. The victim told police he got his family off the beach because they were disturbed and scared by Lehman’s actions.

Seat Belt Stop Leads To Pot

OCEAN CITY — A New Castle man was arrested on marijuana distribution charges this week after the vehicle he was traveling in was pulled over by resort police for its occupants not wearing seatbelts.

Around 9:10 p.m. on Monday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on patrol in the area of the 7-Eleven store on North Division Street observed a vehicle driving on Wilmington Lane with its occupants not wearing seatbelts. The officer observed the vehicle sped up and pull alongside two women who were walking through the parking lot toward the 7-Eleven.

The officer observed the front seat passenger, later identified as Tyrin Hayman, 21, of New Castle, with his upper body hanging out of the vehicle’s window and screaming at the two females and making derogatory comments about their bodies. The two females walked past the officer and reportedly said “you need to keep an eye on them,” and “I can’t believe he just did that in front of a cop.”

The vehicle pulled into a parking space and the driver got out and started walking toward the officer. The driver was instructed to get back in his vehicle, to which he complied, but while the door was open, the officer observed Hayman allegedly manipulating a plastic bag with a design on it and wrapping something in plastic. The officer also observed Hayman was counting money that was displayed on his lap.

While speaking with the vehicle’s occupants, the OCPD officer detected the strong odor of raw marijuana. A search of the vehicle revealed marijuana wrapped in plastic which Hayman had been manipulating as if packaging it for sale. The officer then spoke to a male juvenile who was seated in the rear of the vehicle.

The victim told police he had met Hayman in an underage nightclub and that Hayman told him he had some “stuff” for sale. The juvenile told police he had agreed to purchase marijuana from Hayman and they left the nightclub and drove toward 7-Eleven to complete the transaction. Based on the evidence and testimony, Hayman was arrested for possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Urinating On Bus Stop

OCEAN CITY — A New Jersey man was arrested on indecent exposure charges last weekend after allegedly being observed urinating on the sidewalk near a municipal bus stop.

Around 12:24 a.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a call at 71st Street for a male suspect urinating in public at the bus stop. When the officer arrived, he discovered the suspect identified as Jake Perry, 25, of Thorofare, N.J., sitting at the bus stop talking to Ocean City EMS.

The OCPD officer was told by two Public Safety Aides (PSAs) they had observed Perry lying down on the sidewalk near the bus stop. The PSA’s told the officer Perry then stood up and revealed his genitals and urinated on the sidewalk. According to the PSA’s, Perry was fully exposed to pedestrians, vehicular traffic and others as he urinated by the bus stop. Based on the evidence, Perry was arrested on indecent exposure charges.

More Public Urination

OCEAN CITY — A Baltimore man was arrested on indecent exposure charges last weekend after allegedly urinating on the public beach at 1st Street.

Around 6:30 p.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to the area of 1st Street and the beach to assist a Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy. The Sheriff’s deputy told the OCPD he was patrolling the beach on an ATV when he observed a man standing on the beach. The man, later identified as Jason Derman, 45, of Baltimore, had pulled down his bathing suit below his waist and exposed his penis and began to urinate on the beach.

According to police reports, Derman made no attempt to hide his exposed penis as he urinated on the beach in broad daylight. There were several people on the beach in the area who noticed Derman’s actions and appeared to be disturbed, according to police reports. Based on the evidence, the OCPD officer arrested the apparently intoxicated Derman and charged him with indecent exposure.

Collision Nets One-Day Sentence

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man, arrested in April on hit-and-run charges after video surveillance footage from a downtown laundromat identified him as the driver in a collision with another vehicle, pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced to 30 days, all but one of which was then suspended.

Around 11:30 a.m. on April 26, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was on patrol in the area of North Division Street when he was approached by man who claimed he had just been the victim of a hit-and-run collision. The victim told police he was driving past the Mr. Bubbles laundromat on Dorchester Street when a black SUV pulled out from its parking space and struck his vehicle.

The victim told police the driver, later identified as James Neuhauser, 43, of Ocean City, exited the SUV and apologized to the victim and told the victim he had not seen him. When the victim asked Neuhauser if he had insurance, Neuhauser got back in his vehicle, turned around and drove away from the scene at a high rate of speed, according to police reports.

The victim told police there was also a male passenger in the SUV. The victim told police he was not able to get any information from the driver before he fled the scene, but provided a description of Neuhauser and a description of the vehicle, which were broadcasted through Ocean City Communications.

Another OCPD officer went to Mr. Bubbles near where the collision occurred and interviewed an employee who said Neuhauser and the passenger were regulars. A review of the laundromat’s video surveillance footage from the time of the incident revealed a black SUV matching the victim’s description pull out and strike the victim’s car.

A short time later, OCPD officers located the suspected vehicle on Baltimore Avenue and determined it had fresh damage consistent with the description of the collision. The registration check revealed the vehicle was owned by the passenger and when the passenger asked what he had been doing that night, the passenger told police he had been at Mr. Bubbles doing his laundry but had not been driving his vehicle.

When questioned who had been driving, the passenger pointed to Neuhauser, according to police reports. When questioned, Neuhauser told police he had just arrived to meet with the passenger and had not been driving his SUV. The victim was brought to the scene and identified Neuhauser as the driver who had hit his vehicle. When questioned further, Neuhauser admitted striking the victim’s vehicle and told police he left the scene because he was afraid his driver’s license was suspended. A check revealed Neuhauser’s Pennsylvania driver’s license had been suspended.

Last week, Neuhauser pleaded guilty to failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving property damage and was sentenced to 30 days, all but one of which was then suspended.