Cops And Courts – October 13, 2017

Arson Threat On Building

OCEAN CITY — A Hagerstown man was charged with assault and arson threat last weekend after first allegedly assaulting his girlfriend during a domestic dispute and then threatening to “burn down the Public Safety Building with everyone in it.”

Around 3:35 a.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a hotel at 27th Street for a reported domestic dispute. Upon arrival, the OCPD officer met with a female victim in the parking lot while another OCPD officer met with the male suspect.

The victim told police she had gotten into an argument with the father of her baby and the argument became heated. The male suspect was later identified as Michael O’Neill, 25. O’Neill’s mother, who was holding the couple’s baby, told police the couple had been arguing for hours. The female victim showed signs of injury including swelling and bruising around her eye and a swollen and bloody lip, according to police reports. When asked how she received the injuries, the victim reluctantly told police O’Neill had punched her in the mouth.

O’Neill’s mother said at one point she had tried to call the police from the hotel phone, but O’Neill had smashed the phone. The suspect’s mother then walked outside and called the police from her cell phone. An inspection of the room revealed the broken phone. O’Neill was eventually taken into custody and charged with assault. A search of his person turned up a glass smoking device with apparent marijuana residue.

O’Neill was taken to the Public Safety Building for processing and became extremely violent and hostile, according to police reports. While in a holding cell, O’Neill allegedly began hitting the intercom system, the lights and the camera in the cell. According to police reports, O’Neill was observed spitting blood on the walls of the cell and the lens of the security camera, behavior that went on for “hours on end.” He allegedly spit blood on the security camera to the point the lens was covered entirely.

All the while he continued to scream profanities loudly and was constantly kicking and hitting everything in the cell. According to police reports, O’Neill told an OCPD officer once he gets out he was going to “come back in two days and burn the entire building to the ground along with everyone in it.”

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Suspect Knows Governor, Will Have Officer Fired

OCEAN CITY — A Wilmington, Del. man was arrested on slew of charges last week including disturbing the peace and obstructing and hindering after allegedly questioning a perceived violation of his rights and telling an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer he knew the governor and was going to have him fired.

Around 11:45 p.m. last Thursday, an OCPD officer responded to an uptown parking lot to assist with a noise violation caused by a modified white bus with exterior speakers blasting music that could be heard over a block away. While officers were talking with the bus occupants about the loud music, an OCPD officer observed another man later identified as David Cernos, 25, of Wilmington, walking around the scene apparently filming the interaction with his cell phone.

The OCPD officer told Cernos to keep a distance away while filming to allow the other OCPD officers to continue the noise violation stop uninterrupted. Cernos reported told the officer he had “probably cause” to record the police interaction. According to police reports, the OCPD officer told Cernos he had a right to record, but needed to allow the officers to do their jobs. At that point, Cernos became loud and aggressive, pointing his finger and placing his phone in the officer’s face, according to police reports.

The officer again advised Cernos to stand a safe distance back, but Cernos continued to yell loudly that his rights were being violated for anyone in the area to hear. By now, a crowd of around 15 people had gathered to witness the interaction. Cernos was also standing in the traffic lanes in the parking lot, preventing motorists from safely passing, according to police reports.

Finally, the OCPD officer arrested Cernos for disorderly conduct, blocking the free passage of others and hindering and obstructing a police officer. While still acting belligerently, Cernos told the OCPD officer he knew the governor of Maryland and he was going to have the officer fired. The officer reportedly told Cernos to bring the video footage to help present his case.

During a search incident to the arrest, a spring-assisted knife was found on Cernos’ person in violation of the city’s weapons ordinance and additional charges were tacked on.

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Traffic Stop Results In Vehicle Break-In Arrest

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean View man was arrested on multiple counts of rogue and vagabond this week after allegedly being found in possession of numerous items stolen from vehicles during a routine traffic stop.

Around 12:40 a.m. on Monday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers pulled over a vehicle in the area of 33rd Street for not having its headlights activated. The officer made contact with the driver, identified as Zane Richard, 18, of Ocean View, Del., who told police he had been visiting his uncle.

While interviewing Richard, the OCPD officer noticed several items in the rear seat of his vehicle including a women’s purse and two watches in plastic Baggies. When questioned about the purse, Richard admitted they were stolen and at that point the suspect was detained. Richard agreed to speak with the officer and admitted entering a Cadillac in the area of 33rd Street and taking the purse, a Louis Vuitton valued at $1,800.

Richard also admitted entering other vehicles in the same area, but said he had not stolen any items from those vehicles. OCPD officers responded to the area and found at least three other vehicles had been tampered with. After making contact with the owners, OCPD officers determined only a mesh bag had been taken from one of the other vehicles. Based on the evidence, Richard was arrested and charged with multiple counts of rogue and vagabond.

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Jail For Running In Traffic

OCEAN CITY — A Georgetown, Del. Man, arrested in March after running in traffic on Coastal Highway, exposing himself to an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer and then destroying a security camera in his holding cell, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 90 days, all but one day of which was then suspended.

Around 2:40 a.m. last March 18, an OCPD officer on patrol in the area of 48th Street observed an allegedly intoxicated man later identified as Juan Espinoza-Cortez, 23, of Georgetown, Md. and checked on his welfare but determined he did not need police assistance at the time. About 20 minutes later, OCPD officers observed Espinoza-Cortez run across the southbound lanes of Coastal Highway and stop at the median, waving his arms and shouting as vehicles passed by.

According to police reports, Espinoza-Cortez then ran through the intersection again, stopping at the median and yelling and violently shaking his arms at passing vehicles again. An OCPD officer positioned his police vehicle in the driveway of a nearby hotel as Espinoza-Cortez stumbled toward him on foot, according to police reports. As Espinoza-Cortex walked toward police, the officer noticed he had exposed himself and was urinating on the public sidewalk and driveway.

Once Espinoza-Cortez reached the officer’s vehicle, he supported himself on the passenger side fender with his free hand while he continued to urinate. According to police reports, when the officer told him to stop and put his private parts back in his pants, Espinoza-Cortez reportedly told the officer, “Sorry, bro, I just can’t help it. You know how it is.”

At that point, Espinoza-Cortez was arrested and charged with intoxicated endangerment and indecent exposure. During his transport to the Public Safety Building for processing, Espinoza-Cortez launched into a string of expletives directed at the officer. While in his holding cell awaiting an appearance before a District Court Commissioner, Espinoza-Cortez destroyed a surveillance camera mounted in the ceiling valued at $1,400. He also allegedly punched a fluorescent ceiling light fixture repeatedly in his cell causing the inner lighting shield to break and malicious destruction of property charges were added.

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Probation For Bus Stop Assault

OCEAN CITY — An Edgewater, Md. Woman, arrested in August after assaulting a woman on a downtown bus stop and chasing one of the woman’s children before falling on her face in the middle of Baltimore Avenue, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct this week and was placed on probation for one year.

Around 11:20 p.m. on Aug. 11, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to the area of Baltimore Avenue and South 1st Street for a report of a female lying in the roadway. OCPD officers arrived on the scene and observed a woman later identified as Michelle Buchholz, 50, of Edgewater, Md., sitting in the left turn lane on South 1st Street. Buchholz was bleeding from the nose and told police she fell in the roadway because she was intoxicated.

OCPD officer asked Buchholz if she needed an ambulance, but she refused. Buchholz first told police she had been assaulted by her husband, who was a member of the Pagan motorcycle club. According to police reports, Buchholz then became angry and uncooperative and walked away from the officer and into traffic on Baltimore Avenue.

Buchholz walked directly into the path of a pick-up truck, which had to brake suddenly to avoid hitting her. According to police reports, Buchholz extended her middle finger at the driver of the pick-up truck. Buchholz was taken into custody, but told police she had a handgun in her purse. However, during a search, officer did not locate a handgun or any evidence of a handgun.

While Buchholz was in handcuffs, OCPD officers were approached by a woman who told police Buchholz had assaulted her at the bus stop at South 1st Street and had chased one of her children. The victim told police Buchholz then fell face down in the street, which caused the injury to her nose.

While Buchholz was prepared for transport, she allegedly kicked an OCPD officer and a public safety aide. Buchholz was charged with assault, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and traffic citations.

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Probation For Scrappy Couple

OCEAN CITY — A couple arrested on assault charges after a domestic dispute in August each pleaded guilty to assault last week and each was placed on probation for one year.

Around 1:15 a.m. on Aug. 18, 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 Mundey, 22, of Lothian, Va., being restrained by several other individuals. One of the individuals restraining Mundey 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 Mundey, had hit the female victim.

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

The witness was able to side-step Mundey’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 Mundey 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 Mundey 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 Mundey, which only further provoked Mundey, 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.