Cops And Courts – August 25, 2017

Cops And Courts – August 25, 2017

N.J. Cop Assaults Cabbie

OCEAN CITY — A New Jersey correctional officer was arrested on assault and other charges last weekend after allegedly attacking a resort cab driver and destroying equipment on the taxi before focusing his aggression on himself and police officers.

Around 2:30 a.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to the area of a midtown nightclub parking lot for a reported malicious destruction of property call. The officers met with a victim, the owner and operator of a taxi and observed the front passenger-side mirror dangling from an electric wire and the interior digital fare readout and keyboard destroyed.

The victim told police Gerard Doyle, 33, of Bergenfield, N.J., who had identified himself as a police officer, had caused the damage to the taxi. The victim told police he had been sitting in his taxi in the front parking lot of the nightclub at 53rd Street waiting for fares when Doyle entered the front passenger seat.

According to police reports, Doyle was engaged with a shouting match with someone outside the cab and refused to close the door despite being told to do so by the victim. Doyle allegedly then engaged in a verbal argument with the cab driver and punched the digital fare display monitor with a closed fist saying, “I’m a [expletive deleted] police officer you [racial slur]. See my badge?”

Doyle then produced a New Jersey state correctional officer’s badge to the cab driver. According to police reports, Doyle then got out of the cab and walked around to the driver’s side and attempted to open the driver’s door. The victim closed the door, but Doyle opened it again in a sequence that was repeated several times, according to police reports.

Doyle then reached through the open driver’s side window and attempted to poke the victim in his eyes with his fingers, but the victim was able to cover his eyes with his forearm and leaned away to avoid being struck. According to police reports, the victim did not attempt to fight back because Doyle had identified himself as a police officer.

The incident was observed by several other cab drivers and passersby in the immediate area. OCPD officers arrived on the scene and located Doyle, who showed several signs of intoxication, according to police reports. When interviewed, Doyle told police he had asked the victim for a cab ride to New Jersey, but the victim refused.

Doyle told police at that point he exited the cab and directed derogatory racial slurs at the victim. OCPD officers observed a fresh bleeding wound on Doyle’s hand. According to police reports, Doyle accused OCPD officers of siding with the cab driver, at whom he directed racial slurs. At that point, Doyle was arrested.

While at police headquarters, Doyle refused to cooperate and banged his head against the inside of his cell door multiple times. He then requested to be seen by paramedics. Ocean City EMS responded to evaluate Doyle, whose behavior had escalated, according to police reports. Ocean City paramedics told police they would not transport Doyle to the hospital and a pair of OCPD officers ultimately transported the suspect to Atlantic General Hospital.

Upon arrival at the emergency room at AGH, Doyle continued his expletive-laced tirade at police officers and hospital staffers and everyone within earshot, according to police reports. He continued to state he was a New Jersey police officer and threatened the OCPD officers and their families. He was ultimately charged with assault, malicious destruction of property and other charges.

Stalker Followed Woman To Firehouse

OCEAN CITY — A Baltimore man was arrested on indecent exposure charges this week after allegedly pleasuring himself in front of a woman in a midtown parking lot before following her for several blocks until she entered an Ocean City firehouse for help.

Around 3:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to Ocean City Fire Department Station 3 at 74th Street for reportedly suspicious circumstances. The OCPD officers met with the female victim who told police an unidentified man had followed her for several city blocks, both north and south, before she entered the firehouse seeking help. The female victim provided a description of the suspect, later identified as James Eckenrode, 59, of
Baltimore, and officers began canvassing the area for him.

The victim told police she first encountered Eckenrode when she decided to go for a walk to look for a key she had lost earlier in the day. While the victim was looking for the key, she allegedly observed Eckenrode sitting on a parking curb in a shopping store parking lot at 80th Street actively masturbating.

The victim told police she was shocked by the scene and walked away quickly toward Coastal Highway. The victim told police she walked north on Coastal Highway and crossed from west to east at 82nd Street as Eckenrode followed her. Eckenrode allegedly continued to follow the victim as she walked south on Coastal Highway.

At 75th Street, the victim announced loudly that she was going to enter the firehouse nearby in an effort to get Eckenrode to stop following her. She then crossed over to the firehouse at 74th Street and made contact with the on-duty paramedics, who called the police.

Around 4:15 a.m., an OCPD officer located a man and a woman sleeping in a van at 84th Street and the man matched the description of the suspect described by the victim. The victim was brought to the scene and positively identified the suspect as Eckenrode, the man who had followed her, stating that he had changed his clothes.

For his part, Eckenrode denied any involvement and told police he had been asleep in his van during the entire night. Based on the evidence and victim testimony and identification, Eckenrode was arrested and charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct.

Surveillance Helps Nab Liquor Thieves

OCEAN CITY — Two Pennsylvania men were arrested on burglary charges last weekend after allegedly breaking into a midtown apartment and swiping a couple of cases of beer and protein bars.

Around midnight on Monday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to an apartment at 48th Street for a reported burglary. The victim told police his residence had been secured at 8 p.m. the day before and the break-in occurred sometime in the early morning hours. The victim reported an 18-pack of Miller Lite had been stolen along with a 24-pack of Zima and some protein bars.

OCPD officers searched the area for suspects to no avail. OCPD officers then met with the manager of a nearby nightclub and reviewed surveillance footage of two individuals later identified as Travis Reed, 22, on Manmouth, Pa., and Ethan Quinn, 22, of Lititz, Pa., entering the victim’s residence and exiting with the cases of alcohol and other items.

The surveillance video also showed Reed and Quinn had been in the nightclub prior to the break-in. With the nightclub manager’s help, OCPD officers were able to locate Reed and Quinn’s credit card receipt from a purchase at the bar and were able to identify them. They were located a short time later and were arrested and charged with first-degree burglary.

Domestic Dispute Ends With Assault Charges

OCEAN CITY — A Virginia man was arrested on multiple counts of assault last weekend after allegedly punching his girlfriend during a domestic dispute and then attempting to punch an innocent bystander who had come to her aid.

Around 1:15 a.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a reported domestic assault in progress in the area of 77th Street. Upon arrival, OCPD officers observed a suspect, later identified as Joseph Mundley, 22, of Lothian, Va., being restrained by several other individuals. One of the individuals restraining Mundley told police he had been awakened by his wife, who had heard screaming. The man told police he observed a man and women arguing and that the man, later identified as Mundley, had hit the female victim.

The witness told police he got dressed and went outside and observed Mundley allegedly strike the female victim a second time. The witness attempted to intercede on behalf of the female victim when Mundley started cursing at him and attempted to punch him.

The witness was able to side-step Mundley’s attempt to punch him and detained him until police arrived. Several other witnesses corroborated the first witness’s story and told police they observed Mundley first strike the female victim before turning his attention to the man trying to intercede on her behalf, according to police reports.

OCPD officers attempted to arrest Mundley for assault, but he allegedly resisted and had to be taken to the ground before he could be put in handcuffs. Meanwhile, the female victim, identified as Kendall Green of Rosehaven, Md., began to yell and scream at OCPD officers attempting to detain Mundley, which only further provoked Mundley, who was rolling around on the ground in an attempt to avoid being placed in handcuffs.

The OCPD officers told Green to stop interfering in the arrest and to step back, but she allegedly grabbed one of the officers by the elbow and spun him around. At that point, Green was arrested for interfering with an arrest and assault.

Bench Stabbing

OCEAN CITY — A Minnesota man was arrested on malicious destruction of property charges last weekend after allegedly stabbing a Boardwalk bench repeatedly with a knife.

Around 2:15 a.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to the area of Caroline Street and the Boardwalk for a man reportedly stabbing a bench with a knife repeatedly. Ocean City Communications advised the officers the suspect, later identified as Bazen Leul, 20, of Mankato, Minn., had been observed on the city surveillance camera system stabbing the bench on the Boardwalk.

Another man with Leul attempted to stop him from stabbing the bench and was injured when he accidentally touched the knife’s blade. However, the other man refused medical treatment. OCPD officers observed Leul sitting on the bench with multiple stab marks on it next to him. The knife was recovered from a table behind him. Based on the evidence and surveillance video, Leul was arrested and charged with malicious destruction of property for the damage to the bench valued at $2,500.