Cops And Courts – January 12, 2018

Cops And Courts – January 12, 2018

Costumed Devil Found Guilty

OCEAN CITY — A Berlin man, arrested in late October on intoxicated endangerment and other charges after dashing in and out of traffic on Coastal Highway on a busy Saturday night while dressed in a devil costume, was found guilty of disturbing the peace this week.

Around 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 28, 2017, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on vehicle patrol in the area of 49th Street observed several members of a nearby group chasing an individual dressed in a red suit with his face painted red and horns on his head through the parking lot toward a package goods store. An employee of the package goods store told police the suspect, later identified as Edward Ulrich II, 36, entered the store wearing the red suit and horns on his head and attempted to purchase liquor, but was denied.

The store employee said Ulrich then picked up a chair from inside the store and threw it into the parking lot, according to police reports. The OCPD officer observed Ulrich, still wearing his devil costume, walking south on the west side of Coastal Highway. The officer followed Ulrich first in a police vehicle and then on foot in an attempt to talk to the suspect, but initial attempts to stop him went ignored, according to police reports.

The officer made contact with Ulrich sitting on a bus stop at 41st Street. However, Ulrich began to run south along the sidewalk on the west side of Coastal Highway before dashing across the eight lanes of the roadway to the east side, causing numerous vehicles to hit their brakes and slow down to avoid hitting him. According to police reports, Ulrich dashed back and forth across Coastal Highway a total of four times as OCPD officers attempted to detain him, each time causing traffic to stop to avoid hitting him.

When he was ultimately detained, Ulrich was charged with intoxicated endangerment along with numerous pedestrian-related counts. On Monday, he was found guilty of disturbing the peace and hindering passage.


Boardwalk Biker Fined

OCEAN CITY — A Salisbury man, arrested in September for riding his bicycle on the Boardwalk at a high rate of speed through heavy pedestrian traffic during Sunfest weekend, pleaded guilty this week to attempting to elude police and was hit with a hefty fine.

Around 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 22, 2017, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on patrol on the Boardwalk near North Division Street observed an individual later identified as Joshua Hale, 40, riding his bicycle at a high rate of speed. The officer called to Hale informing him he was not allowed to be riding his bike on the Boardwalk at that time because of the Sunfest event.

According to police reports, Hale continued riding south, but circled back and confronted the OCPD officer. Hale shouted at the police officer the OCPD does nothing to enforce the bicycle laws on the Route 50 Bridge and that he would “take matters into his own hands and rip the [expletive deleted] signs down since they weren’t being enforced,” according to police reports. He also told police he “was willing to pay the price because” and that he had been in jail before.

During the tirade, Hale was screaming and shouting and using obscenities in front of several people on the Boardwalk. According to police reports, the officer told Hale to lower his voice and reiterated he was not allowed to ride his bicycle on the Boardwalk at that time because of the Sunfest event. According to police reports, Hale said “watch me” and “catch me if you can” as he rode north on the Boardwalk and exited at North Division Street.

According to police reports, due to his excessive speed and reckless riding, Hale nearly collided with several pedestrians on the Boardwalk. The OCPD officer put out an alert for Hale who was riding north on Baltimore Avenue. Hale was eventually stopped around 14th Street and was taken into custody. He was charged with disorderly conduct, fleeing and eluding police and multiple citations. On Wednesday, Hale pleaded guilty to attempting to elude uniformed police officers and was fined $1,057.


Scooter Theft Case Forwarded

SNOW HILL — A Delaware man, arrested in October after allegedly damaging and attempting to steal a “ruckus” style motor scooter from a midtown Ocean City restaurant parking lot, had his case forwarded to Circuit Court this week after asking for a jury trial.

Just after midnight on Oct. 15, 2017, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to the parking lot of a restaurant and bar at 53rd Street for a report of a damaged motor scooter. The officer met with the owner of the scooter, described as a 2012 Honda Ruckus, and observed the plastic battery box had been torn from it and cracked and six wires from the main wiring harness had been cut. The owner told police before the officer arrived, he observed a male in his 20s wearing a green shirt standing next to the scooter, but the suspect said he had nothing to do with the damage and left the area.

The OCPD officer viewed surveillance video of the parking lot and observed a suspect matching the description provided by the victim walk over to the scooter about a half an hour earlier. The surveillance video revealed for roughly the next 30 minutes, the suspect tampered with the ruckus by removing parts from it, cutting the wires and attempting to ride it away.

The officer observed in the video the suspect, later identified as Craig Chatterton, 24, of Dagsboro, eventually got the scooter started and attempted to ride it, but was prevented from doing so because the handlebars were locked in a turned position. Another OCPD officer located a suspect a short time later matching Chatterton’s description.

During a post-arrest interview, Chatterton reportedly admitted he decided to steal the scooter so he could drive it back to where he was staying in Fenwick Island. While speaking with Chatterton, the officer detected a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath and person. Chatterton was charged with theft over $1,500 but under $25,000 and malicious destruction of property. On Monday, his case was forwarded to Circuit Court after he asked for a jury trial.


Swiped License Plate Plea

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man, arrested in November on various charges after being found driving a vehicle with a stolen license plate while in possession of an illegal handgun, has pleaded guilty.

Around 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 29, 2017, 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 Ocean City, who was in possession of a learner’s permit only.

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. Last week, Stallings pleaded guilty to theft under $100 and displaying a license plate registered to another vehicle and was fined $70 and placed on probation.