Cops And Courts – August 11, 2017

Two Charged For Scrapping With Cops

OCEAN CITY — A couple of arrests were made last weekend following a fight involving several people on the Boardwalk near 17th Street, including a Delaware man who head-locked and punched an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer.

Around 11:40 p.m. last Saturday, several OCPD units were dispatched to the area of the Boardwalk and 17th Street for a reported fight in progress involving several individuals. While one officer was arriving on the scene, he encountered some pedestrians who directed him to the area where the fight was ongoing.

The OCPD officer came across two individuals including one identified as Roel Martinez who were visibly agitated and out of breath indicating they might have been part of the group fighting. Martinez was not wearing a shirt and had fresh abrasions on his body confirming he had been in the fight. The OCPD officer identified himself and told the two men to stop, but they refused, according to police reports.

The two were ultimately detained when other officers arrived on scene. While the officer was talking with the two men, a third man, Joshua Greenwood, 19, of Easton, came down walkway and grabbed one of the men and said they were leaving, according to police reports. The OCPD officer told Greenwood he was interviewing the two men about the fight and asked him to stand back, but Greenwood reportedly said, “everyone is drunk and I’m taking him with me.”

According to police reports, Greenwood got in close to the officer, who then pushed him back and told him he was hindering an investigation. Greenwood got in close again and the officer pushed him back a second time to which he reportedly said “don’t [expletive deleted] touch me.”

According to police reports, Greenwood then grabbed the officer with both hands and was able to get him in a headlock and struck him several times in the face and head with a closed fist. The officer suffered a laceration over his eye during the altercation. Another officer joined the fray and Greenwood and the two officers fell to the ground. According to police reports, Greenwood bent the officer’s arm back in an attempt to break his elbow, but the officer was able to break away.

The officer was able to punch Greenwood in the face at least three times with a closed fist, but still he continued to resist and battle with officers. During the altercation, one officer had his stitched-on name badge ripped off his uniform and another officer had his ear piece ripped out.

By now, several other officers arrived on the scene, and as Greenwood continued to resist, one OCPD officer deployed his Conductive Energy Weapon (CEW) into Greenwood and the officers were able to get him into handcuffs. After he was taken into custody, Greenwood allegedly shouted at police he “was going to find and kill the involved officers and their families.”

During the initial altercation, Martinez was able to flee on foot and yanked open the rear door of a nearby hotel room, knocking the door off its tracks, and ran through the occupied unit and out the front door. He was located about an hour later and was identified by the unit’s renter as the man who ran through his hotel room. Martinez was charged with breaking and entering and trespassing. Greenwood was charged with assaulting police officers, resisting arrest and hindering an investigation.

Surfing Naked Leads To Indecent Charges

OCEAN CITY — Two men were arrested on indecent exposure and disorderly conduct charges last week after allegedly surfing naked along with an unidentified female off 35th Street.

Around 7 a.m. last Thursday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to the beach at 35th Street for a report of three people surfing naked. Upon arrival, the officers were approached by a witness who told police he observed two males and one female walk onto the beach at 35th Street, take off their clothes and go into the ocean.

The OCPD officers observed the two men, Thomas Mathers, 25, of Berlin, and Harris Poletis, 22, of Ocean City, in the ocean attempting to surf, according to police reports. The officers observed Mathers and Poletis had their private parts completely exposed. According to police reports, the three naked swimmers had attracted the attention of 20 to 25 people on the beach. Two juveniles thanked the officers for coming to the beach and stated they too were about to call the police.

The officers flagged Mathers and Poletis to come out of the water. When they reached the shore, they were instructed to get dressed. According to police reports, both Mathers and Poletis were apologetic and told police it was a spur of the moment idea to go into the ocean naked.

Mathers and Poletis each explained they had been drinking earlier in the morning and came to the beach to go surfing naked before there were too many people on the beach. When asked, Mathers told police he was from the local area, while Poletis was from another country but was living in Ocean City for the summer. Both admitted they knew Ocean City was not a nude beach. Both were arrested and charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct.

Racing In The Street

OCEAN CITY — A Delaware man was arrested on traffic charges last weekend after allegedly racing another vehicle on Philadelphia Avenue.

Around 5:20 a.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were patrolling in the area of 16th Street and Philadelphia Avenue when they observed a Ford F-150 allegedly spinning its tires and actively racing another vehicle. The F-150 was pulled over at 16th Street and the officers learned the driver, later identified as Michael Ratcliff, 23, of Greenwood, Del., was not in possession of a driver’s license.

OCPD officers collected Ratcliff’s information and learned he was driving on a suspended license. It was also learned he had an active warrant for failing to appear in court for being suspended. A subsequent search of the vehicle turned up a smoking device containing suspected marijuana. Ratcliff was arrested and charged with driving on a suspended license, negligent driving and numerous traffic violations.

60 days For Indecent Exposure

OCEAN CITY — A local homeless man, arrested on indecent exposure charges in June after sitting on a Boardwalk bench and urinating in full view of several people, pleaded guilty this week and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

Around 11:20 p.m. on June 1, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was on uniformed patrol on the Boardwalk in the area of Caroline Street when he observed Derrick Percifull, 50, of no fixed address, sitting on a bench and urinating with his penis exposed. The officer noted in the incident report Percival actions were in plain view of the public on the Boardwalk and several passersby appeared disgusted.

The officer approached Percifull and placed him under arrest for indecent exposure and disorderly conduct. According to police reports, once Percifull was taken into custody, he requested Ocean City EMS to respond and take him to the hospital. The officer noted in the report Percifull is one of the known homeless persons in the downtown area and it has become a common practice for the homeless population to request transport to the hospital for a variety of reasons that must be honored to avoid being transported to the Public Safety Building for booking.

As requested, Ocean City EMS arrived and transported Percifull to the hospital and the officer released him to the custody of EMS and the direction of a supervisor and then filed the appropriate charges. On Monday, Percifull pleaded guilty to indecent exposure and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

Jail For Bathroom Destruction

OCEAN CITY — A Massachusetts man, arrested on multiple counts of malicious destruction of property in May after destroying a bathroom at a mid-town restaurant and nightclub, pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced to 10 days in jail.

Just after midnight on May 14, 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. Last week, Hathaway pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property and was sentenced to 10 days in jail.

Handbill Violation Reminders

OCEAN CITY — After seeing numerous violations, the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) this week is reminding business owners of a municipal ordinance restricting the distribution of advertisements and handbills in the town of Ocean City.

In recent weeks, officers have received several complaints of businesses distributing menus and advertisements at area hotels. This nuisance crime often causes excessive litter and leaves the property unsightly.

The ordinance states “it shall be unlawful for any person or persons to cast, throw, place or distribute any advertisements, circulars, handbills or waste paper in the vestibules, doorways, porches or yards of private property or upon private vehicles, from which they may be blown upon and into the public streets, alleys or public places within the corporate limits of Ocean City.”

The penalty for violating this ordinance is up to $1,000. Repeated violation could trigger a business license suspension hearing before town officials. Any property owner that experiences this ordinance violation is asked to contact the Ocean City Police Department at 410-723-6600.