Cops And Courts – February 2, 2018

Cops And Courts – February 2, 2018

Laid Down In Coastal Highway

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man was arrested on intoxicated endangerment and obstructing and hindering charges last weekend after allegedly lying down in Coastal Highway while intoxicated.

Around 8 p.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to the area of 136th Street to check on the welfare of a citizen. The officer responded and located the individual, later identified as Charles Jameson, 71, of Ocean City, on his hands and knees in front of an area business. According to police reports, Jameson was highly intoxicated and told police that her greatly enjoys Fireball whiskey and had drunk a bottle of the liquor before his interactions with the officer.

Through the investigation, the officer determined the suspect lived on 7th Street. The suspect was allowed to leave the area, but because of his apparent intoxication, the OCPD officer followed him to ensure his safety. According to police reports, Jameson then walked to the corner of 136th Street and Coastal Highway and wait-ed for the pedestrian signal.

When the signal indicated it was safe to cross, Jameson began crossing Coastal Highway, but when he reached the second lane, he laid down in the highway as the light turned green for north-south traffic.

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According to police reports, two vehicles changed lanes to avoid hitting Jameson and two other vehicles stopped to help the suspect. Six other vehicles stopped south of the area in order to avoid Jameson altogether. Based on the evidence, Jameson was arrested and charged with intoxicated endangerment and obstructing the free passage on the highway.

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Jail Time for Knife Threat

SNOW HILL – A Bushwood, Md., woman arrested in June for allegedly robbing a victim at knifepoint and stealing his wallet was found guilty last week of second-degree assault and theft and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

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 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. Gaines entered a gray Honda in the parking lot and the victim followed. When the victim approached the vehicle, a female suspect identified as Neisa Gaston, 18, of Bushwood, Md., got out of the passenger seat and 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. The OCPD 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 in West Ocean City. OCPD officers frisked Gaston and found her to be in possession of a knife in her front pants pocket. Last week, Gaston entered an Alford Plea to second-degree assault and theft under $100. Gaston was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

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Governor Couldn’t Help

OCEAN CITY – A Wilmington, Del., man arrested on slew of charges in October after allegedly questioning a perceived violation of his rights and telling Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers he knew the governor and was going to have them fired was found guilty last week of disorderly conduct and failure to obey a lawful order.

Around 11:45 p.m. on October 5, 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, 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. 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. 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. Last week, Cernos was found guilty of disorderly conduct and failure to obey a lawful order.

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Probation for Hotel Melee

OCEAN CITY – A Wicomico County woman arrested in October on various charges after getting into a fight with her cousin at a downtown motel pleaded guilty last week to second-degree assault and was placed on probation.

Around 1:50 a.m. on Oct. 22, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a hotel at 26th Street and Baltimore Avenue for a reported domestic dispute. Upon arrival, the officer met with one of the combatants later identified as Kenya Ballard, 36, of Hebron, who said she called the police because she wanted to get her personal effects out of her cousin’s room, according to police reports. Ballard was not a registered guest of the hotel, but a room had been rented to her cousin, later identified as Syretta Copeland, 27, of Salisbury.

The OCPD officer accompanied Ballard to her cousin’s room on the second floor and discovered luggage, clothes and other belongings strewn throughout the hallway. Ballard confirmed the belongings were hers. The OCPD officer knocked on the door and Copeland answered, telling police she and Ballard had been staying in the room together, but Ballard had no standing in the room and that she longer wanted her cousin in there.

At that point, Ballard shouted at Copeland and pushed open the door and entered the room, pushing Cope-land backward with a violent shoving action, according to police reports. The two cousins then began actively fighting in the hotel room in the presence of the police officer.

When the OCPD officer attempted to break up the fight, Ballard allegedly assaulted the officer, pushing him away and continuing to engage Copeland. Another OCPD officer arrived on the scene and found numerous other hotel guests had emerged from their rooms to see what the commotion was.

When the second officer entered the room where the fight continued, Copeland allegedly threw a set of keys at the officer attached to which was a heavy padlock. The officer was able to dodge the keys that were thrown at his head. Ballard was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and burglary for forcibly entering the room. Copeland was arrested for assault and disorderly conduct. Last week, Copeland pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was placed on probation for 18 months. Last month, Ballard pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was placed on probation for one year.

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Guilty Plea In Vehicle Theft Spree

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man arrested in October after a spree of vehicle break-ins in neighboring Fenwick Island pleaded guilty last week to theft and possession of narcotics.

On Oct. 26, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to the area of 146th Street to assist with a reported burglary and theft suspect. Fenwick Island Police had just reported a burglary and trespass incident and were looking for a suspect in the area. The suspect was wanted in connection with a spree of vehicle break-ins.

Around 9:30 a.m., an OCPD officer observed the suspect later identified as William Kuta, 47, of no fixed address, behind a bank between 143rd and 144th Streets. As the OCPD officer approached, Kuta fled toward 144th Street, but was met there by Fenwick Island Police. As the Fenwick Police officers were detaining Kuta, the OCPD officer observed a shiny pink knife clipped to his belt, which had been previously concealed by the suspect’s shirt.

The OCPD officer arrested Kuta for carrying a concealed, spring-assisted knife in violation of Ocean City’s weapons ordinance. A search of Kuta revealed several pills including Diazapam, oxycodone, hydrocodone and amphetamines. Also located in Kuta’s backpack was a crack cocaine smoking pipe with cocaine residue.
The OCPD officer took the backpack to the Criminal Investigation Division’s office to determine if any of the contents had been reported stolen. Inside the backpack was a gold and silver watch with an inscription indicating it was a retirement gift to the recipient and it had been reported stolen from a vehicle in Fenwick Island. All in all, Kuta was charged with theft, burglary, controlled dangerous substances and weapons charges.

Last week, Kuta pleaded guilty in District Court to theft under $1,500 and possession of CDS. The disposition of his case in Delaware is not known.