Cops And Courts – November 10, 2017

Lost Hunters Unharmed

SNOW HILL — Three hunters lost in a remote area of the Pocomoke State Forest near Snow Hill on Sunday evening were found unharmed by Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP).

The three men called 911 around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday reporting they had become disoriented as sunset approached and could not find their vehicle. Worcester County Emergency Services dispatchers were able to direct NRP officers and Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies to the general area.

Using four-wheel drive vehicles, NRP officers were able to find the three lost hunters in less than an hour. The three hunters were unharmed when police located them.

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Guilty Plea For Firing Shots

OCEAN CITY — A Baltimore man, arrested in June after firing shots from a rifle into the air in downtown Ocean City, pleaded guilty last week to weapons and accessory after the fact charges and was sentenced to three years, all but six months of which were then suspended.

Around 9:15 p.m. on June 15, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to the area of Wicomico Street and Baltimore Avenue after receiving reports of a man with a rifle and shots fired. Witnesses provided a description of the suspects and their vehicle. Patrol officers quickly located the suspect vehicle northbound on Baltimore Avenue and stopped the suspects with assistance from the Ocean City Police Department Narcotics Unit who were conducting a crime suppression detail in the downtown area at the time with the support of the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team and a Maryland State Police special enforcement team.

The suspects were identified as Christopher M. Thomas, 20, and Tarik R. Purcell, 18, of Gwynn Oak, Md. The two were arrested without incident. During a search of the vehicle, officers located two Hi-Point 9mm carbine pistols.

After investigation, officers determined that Thomas and Purcell had gotten into a verbal altercation with another group before firing two rounds into the air in the 100-block of Wicomico Street. At that time, both parties fled the scene. Two spent shell casings were located in the area. No victims were reported during this incident.

Purcell was charged with charged with reckless endangerment, use of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime, disorderly conduct and operating a vehicle with unauthorized window tinting. Last week, Purcell pleaded guilty to use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and accessory after the fact and was sentenced to three years, all but six months of which was then suspended. He was also placed on probation for three years. Thomas is scheduled to appear in court in December.

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Jail For Molly Sale

OCEAN CITY — A Dunkirk, Md. man arrested in May after selling “molly” to undercover Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute the drug and was sentenced to one year in jail, all but 30 days of which were then suspended.

Around 8:15 p.m. on May 27, two OCPD officers were operating undercover in a drug-buying investigation when they made contact with two individuals walking along Wilmington Lane in the area of 12th Street. The undercover OCPD officer asked one suspect, later identified a Jacob Stallings, 18, of St. Leonard, Md., if he knew where he could purchase some Xannies, or slang for Xanax pills.

According to police reports, Stallings told the officer he didn’t have any Xanax pills for sale, but his friend, identified as Matthew Watson, 18, of Dunkirk, Md., has some “Molly” he would sell. Stallings called over to Watson, who began walking back toward the undercover OCPD vehicle. Watson told police he had Molly pills for sale for $15 each, but that he had to run up to his hotel room nearby to get them.

About three minutes later, Watson and Stallings returned and completed the transaction for four Molly pills for $60. The undercover officers parted ways with Stallings and Watson and uniformed officers took them into custody a short time later. This week, Watson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled dangerous substances (CDS) and was sentenced to one year with all but 30 days suspended. He was also placed on probation for two years. Stallings pleaded guilty in July although the disposition of his sentence is unknown.

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Assault, Theft Sentence

OCEAN CITY — A local cleaning company employee, arrested in September on multiple counts of assault and theft last week after scrapping with co-workers and swiping beverages from a midtown bar where he was working, pleaded guilty this week and was sentenced to six months in jail.

Around 9 a.m. on Sept. 21, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to a restaurant and bar at 60th Street for a reported disorderly individual who was working at the establishment as an employee of a cleaning company. The officer met with a representative of the cleaning company who told police the suspect, identified as Lionel Watson, Jr., 26, of Salisbury, had assaulted three employees and had stolen Red Bull and liquor from the bar.

The OCPD officer observed Watson to be in a highly intoxicated condition, according to police reports. The officer learned there might be an outstanding warrant for Watson and took the suspect into custody while awaiting confirmation. The cleaning company representative told the officer just before he arrived, Watson had punched her in the side of the head. Another co-worker told police Watson had gone to a second-floor bar was he was not supposed to be working and when the co-worker attempted to stop him, Watson pushed him out of the way.

A third cleaning company employee told police Watson had thrown a vacuum cleaner at her prior to the OCPD’s arrival. The co-worker told police Watson had gone to the upstairs bar and that she had heard clinking sounds and observed Watson with a bottle of liquor and a Red Bull. When the officer interviewed Watson, he reportedly became belligerent and uncooperative.

At that point, Watson was arrested for theft, multiple assaults and disorderly intoxication. Watson admitted taking Red Bull beverages from the bar and told police he had taken the beverages from the bar every day for the last three months, often multiple time a day.

After Watson was transported to the Public Safety Building and placed in a cell, OCPD booking staff observed him banging his head against the cell door, causing a laceration above his left eye. Ocean City EMS was summoned the treat Watson’s injury. Watson told police the booking staff had caused his injuries and accused OCPD staff of hitting him and “making him bleed.” Watson admitted he was intoxicated and then vomited on himself. He refused transportation to the hospital for treatment of his injuries. On Monday, Watson pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and theft and was sentenced to six months in jail.

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Guilty Of Indecent Exposure

OCEAN CITY — A Potomac, Maryland man, arrested in July on indecent exposure charges after exposing himself in the hallway of an uptown hotel, pleaded guilty this week and was placed on probation.

Around 3:07 a.m. on July 29, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to a hotel at 112th Street for a reported sex crime. OCPD officer met with hotel staffers who told police there was a man pleasuring himself in the hallway on the second floor. The hotel staffers had observed the suspect on the hotel’s live security surveillance feeds. The suspect was lying on a bench in the hallway with his genitalia exposed.

OCPD officers and hotel staffers observed the suspect, identified as William Griffin, 32, of North Potomac, Md. still lying on the bench. Griffin was arrested and charged with indecent exposure. This week, Griffin pleaded guilty to indecent exposure and was placed on probation of one year.