Cops And Courts – December 8, 2017

Cops And Courts – December 8, 2017

Suspended Sentence For Knifepoint Robbery

SNOW HILL — A Great Mills, Md. man, arrested in June for allegedly robbing a victim at knifepoint and stealing his wallet, pleaded guilty this week to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 90 days, all of which was suspended.

Around 8:30 p.m. on June 14, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was on patrol in the area of 19th Street when he was approached by a male victim who told police someone had just pulled a knife on him and stolen his wallet. The victim told police he was staying at a nearby motel and was walking to get a drink from a soda machine on the south side of the building when he was approached by a male later identified as Jerel Gaines, 18, of Great Mills, Md.

According to police reports, Gaines asked the victim for change for a $10 bill, and when the victim produced his wallet to give Gaines change, Gaines stole the wallet and ran to a vehicle in the motel parking lot. The wallet contained $280 along with credit cards and other identification.

Gaines entered a gray Honda in the parking lot and the victim followed in an attempt to get his wallet back. When the victim approached the vehicle, a female suspect, identified as Neisha Gaston, 18, of Bushwood, Md., got out of the passenger seat and allegedly produced a knife. The victim told police Gaston pointed the knife at him and said, “Really? Really?”

At that point, the victim backed away for fear of being stabbed by Gaston. Gaston then got back in the vehicle and the couple quickly drove away and headed south on Baltimore Avenue. The victim the made contact with the OCPD officer at 19th Street and related the story. The officer broadcasted a description of the vehicle and the suspects.

Around 10:10 p.m., Maryland State Police troopers advised OCPD officers they had possibly located the suspects and the vehicle during a separate call for service at Keyser Point Rd. in West Ocean City. OCPD officers frisked Gaston and found her to be in possession of a knife in her front pants pocket. This week, Gaines pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 90 days, all of which was suspended. Gaston is scheduled to appear for trial early in 2018.


Bite, Sucker Punch Lead To Assault Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Salisbury man was arrested on assault charges last weekend after allegedly getting into a fight with a group of people on a downtown Ocean City street.

Around 7:50 p.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to the Talbot Street area for a reported disorderly individual. Upon arrival, OCPD officers located a suspect, later identified as Vernon Knox, 45, of Salisbury, sitting on the sidewalk with blood on his hands and swelling around his right eye.

OCPD officer interviewed Knox and asked him what had happened and Knox reportedly told police one person in a larger group nearby had punched him. According to police reports, Knox said to the officers “he punched me and I’m going to punch him back. I’m going to [expletive deleted] him up.”

OCPD officers told Knox to sit back down on the curb, but he reportedly did not comply, instead pulling off his jacket and moving away from the officers. OCPD officers spoke with members of the group assembled nearby and learned Knox had been in an argument with one of the members of the group in a residence on Talbot Street. The witness said Knox sucker-punched the male victim in the face.

The witness said other members of the group had to hold Knox down to prevent him from hurting others. The witness also told police Knox bit the male victim on his side. The victim lifted his shirt for police, revealing apparent bite marks on his side. Based on the evidence and testimony, Knox was arrested and charged with second-degree assault.


Malicious Destruction After Bar Argument

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on malicious destruction of property charges last weekend after allegedly smashing a glass table top at a downtown bar following a scrap with other patrons.

Around 10:50 p.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to the Harbor Inn on Somerset Street for a report of disorderly individuals. OCPD officers arrived and located a male, later identified as Mark Nagle, 49, of Ocean City, and an unidentified female standing on the sidewalk nearby.

OCPD officers were then approached by bar patrons who told police Nagle had picked up a table and thrown it at the bar’s rear door, shattering the glass table top on the sidewalk. When questioned, Nagle first provided the false name “Wilbur” when he was asked for identification. He allegedly told police he was not carrying identification and that he did not need to provide his name because he believed he and his wife were the victims in the incident.

OCPD officers observed Nagle’s wife to be carrying identification in her pocket that identified Nagle as a veteran by his Department of Veteran Affairs card. OCPD officers interviewed the bartender, who told police the couple had entered the bar and had consumed several alcoholic beverages. The bartender told police Nagle then began discussing military service with one of the bar patrons and the discussion became heated.

The bartender told police Nagle grew angry and threatened to fight with several different bar patrons. At that point, the bartender asked Nagle and his wife to leave and they were ultimately escorted out of the establishment’s rear door with the assistance of a door man from another nearby establishment.

The door man escorted the couple out the rear door and moments later saw Nagle approaching the door carrying a bar table he had picked up. The bartender and the off-duty doorman then heard a loud crash and observed Nagle had allegedly thrown the table at the bar’s rear door, shattering its glass top on the sidewalk.

At that point, Nagle was placed under arrest for malicious destruction of property. According to police reports, he did not cooperate during the booking process and threatened to assault OCPD officers in an expletive-laced tirade.


Stolen Plate, Replica Handgun Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Berlin man was arrested last week on various charges after being found driving a vehicle with a stolen license plate and later being found in possession of an illegal handgun.

Around 1:30 p.m. last Wednesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling in the area of 13th Street and St. Louis Avenue when he observed a vehicle without a front license plate. The officer stopped the vehicle and approached the driver, identified as Brandon Stallings, 22, of Berlin, who was in possession of a learner’s permit only. The other passengers in the vehicle were not adult licensed drivers, putting Stallings in violation of his learner’s permit requirements.

When questioned, Stallings reportedly told police he had recently purchased the Ford Mustang, but had not yet had to opportunity to register it with the Department of Motor Vehicles, according to police reports. A check of the rear license plate attached to Stallings’ vehicle revealed it was registered to the owner of a different Ford Mustang in Berlin.

When questioned further, Stallings reportedly told police he had been in Berlin with the individual from whom he had purchased the vehicle and wanted to drive his new purchase, but it did not have tags on it. Stallings said he and the seller scouted the area and located another Ford Mustang from which they removed a license plate and attached it to Stallings’ vehicle.

During a subsequent search of the vehicle, OCPD officers located a black replica BB handgun in the trunk. Stallings explained he used the BB gun for target practice. According to police reports, the Daisy BB airsoft gun was black in color without the requisite orange markings and resembled an actual handgun. Stallings was charged with the theft of the license plate, possession of a replica handgun in violation of Ocean City’s weapons ordinance and associated traffic charges.