Cops And Courts – December 29, 2017

Cops And Courts – December 29, 2017

Three Days For Threat

OCEAN CITY — A Hagerstown man, charged with assault and arson threat in October after first allegedly assaulting his girlfriend during a domestic dispute and then threatening to “burn down the Public Safety Building with everyone in it,” pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property last week and was sentenced to three days in jail.

Around 3:35 a.m. on Oct. 7, 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, of Hagerstown. 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.

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.”

Last week, O’Neill pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property and was sentenced to three days in jail. He was found not guilty of assault and the arson threat charge was placed on the stet docket.


Guilty Pleas For Crashing Through Fence

SNOW HILL — A West Ocean City man, arrested in March after striking a vehicle, careening through a fence and nearly hitting residences before crashing back through the fence and fleeing the scene, pleaded guilty last week to driving while impaired and leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage and was fined and placed on probation.

Around 5:30 p.m. last March 18, a Maryland State Police trooper was patrolling in the area of Routes 611 and 707 in West Ocean City when he was waived down by a crowd of individuals on the side of the road and in a nearby residential neighborhood. According to police reports, the crowd told the trooper a black truck had just hit another vehicle, plowed through the privacy fence surrounding the South Point Village neighborhood and fled the scene.

The trooper was then approached by the driver of the vehicle that was struck initially in the collision, who was bleeding from his hand. The victim told police he was driving eastbound on Route 707 when the black truck crossed over into his lane at a high rate of speed, struck the driver’s side of his vehicle, drove passed the collision and straight through the eight-foot fence surrounding the South Point Village neighborhood.

Witnesses said the black truck then crashed back out through the neighborhood’s fence at a high rate of speed and fled the scene westbound on Route 707. The area where the truck first crashed through the fence is about 10 feet away from where the truck crashed through a second time as it fled the scene.

Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies patrolling in the area pursued the black truck until the driver, later identified as Adam Winter, 39, of West Ocean City, abandoned the vehicle and attempted to flee the scene. A Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy apprehended Winter and took him into custody. According to police reports, an off-duty Baltimore County police officer in the area also witnessed Winter attempt to flee the scene before he was apprehended on foot.

According to police reports, Winter caused damage to property belonging to the South Point Village condominium association as well as private property. During the incident, he drove through the fence surrounding the neighborhood and through multiple backyards before coming back out through the fence in a different area. In the process, he damaged the fence, a heating and air conditioning unit, outdoor tables and chairs and a gas grill. He was ultimately charged with DUI, malicious destruction of property, attempting to elude police, failure to remain at the scene of an accident, reckless driving and negligent driving.

Last week, Winter pleaded guilty to driving while impaired and failing to remain at the scene of an accident involving property damage and was fined $450 and placed on probation for three years.


No Jail Time In Sting Case

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man, arrested for allegedly soliciting the sale of cocaine from undercover Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) detectives after unwittingly getting caught in a large sting operation targeting prostitution, was given probation before judgment last week and was placed on supervised probation for one year.

Throughout Bike Week weekend in September, OCPD detectives and their allied partners conducted a sting operation targeting prostitution through Internet sites such as craigslist and Backpage, for example. OCPD detectives and their law enforcement allies posted offers for solicitation of prostitution under headings such as Bike Week Beth and Bike Week Beauty.

During the course of the investigation targeting prostitution, OCPD detectives came across an entry under one of their fictitious listings entitled “party supplies.” The listing read “Looking for supplies for tonight’s party. Need white, no green.” OCPD detectives know “white” means cocaine and “green” means marijuana in street slang.

The OCPD detectives responded to the advertisement offering cocaine for sale. Through a series of email exchanges, the OCPD detective arranged to meet with the suspect, later identified as Richard H. Campbell, 45, of Langhorn, Pa., to set up the sale of a quantity of powder cocaine for $50. The sale was to take place at a convenience store parking lot at North Division Street.

Around 11 p.m. on Sept. 26, OCPD undercover detectives arrived at the convenience store parking lot and found Campbell waiting on the sidewalk near the store. The detectives called Campbell on his cell phone and told them they had arrived and their location.

According to police reports, Campbell approached the undercover vehicle and the money for cocaine transaction was completed. However, the powdery white substance in a baggie exchanged with Campbell was not real cocaine, but a substance that only appeared to be cocaine. After the phony transaction was completed, an arrest signal was provided to other OCPD detectives in the area swooped in and arrested Campbell. Campbell was charged with soliciting the purchase of a non-controlled substance. Last week, Campbell received a PBJ in the case and was placed on probation for one year.