Cops And Courts – March 9, 2018

Cops And Courts – March 9, 2018

Two Years For Assault

SNOW HILL — An Ocean City man, arrested last September after punching a municipal bus driver, was found guilty this week of second-degree assault and was sentenced to two years in jail.

Around 8:30 p.m. last Sept. 12, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to the north-end transit station at 144th Street for a reported assault. OCPD officers learned a municipal bus driver had been assaulted by one of his regular passengers, identified as Walter Everett, 55, of Ocean City. Ocean City Communications advised Everett was last seen entering the Sun and Surf movie theater.

OCPD officers interviewed the bus driver, who told police he has had to deal with Everett on several occasions. The bus driver told police two weeks earlier Everett got on his bus and started using foul language. When the bus driver asked Everett to stop using profanity, Everett refused. The bus driver eventually stopped and kicked Everett off the bus. According to police reports, Everett was angry and threatened to come after the bus driver.

On Sept. 12, Everett got on the same bus driver’s bus around 30th Street. The bus driver told police Everett immediately began making derogatory remarks and punched the bus driver in the shoulder as he walked by. According to police reports, Everett walked to the back of the bus and began using profanity again, continually dropping the “f-bomb.” When the bus driver asked him to stop, he refused.

When the bus reached the north-end transit station, Everett reportedly approached the bus driver and told him to apologize for making him stop using profanity on the bus. The bus driver did not apologize and told Everett to get off the bus. The driver said Everett was last seen walking toward the movie theater and that he wanted to pursue charges because Everett had punched him.

OCPD officers then interviewed the movie theater manager, who told police they had recently had problems with Everett sneaking into movies without paying. OCPD officers located Everett in the moving theater, but he refused to acknowledge the manager’s request for him to leave. When OCPD officers asked Everett to exit the movie theater, he eventually complied but took several minutes to do so, according to police reports. Based on the evidence and testimony, Everett was arrested and charged with second-degree assault for allegedly punching the bus driver. On Tuesday, he was found guilty of second-degree assault and was sentenced to two years in jail.

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10 Years For Drug, Weapons Convictions

SNOW HILL – After being arrested last September on drug distribution and weapons charges, a Princess Anne man was found guilty this week and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

On Monday, Laquan Townsend, 24, was found guilty of two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana along with two counts of illegal possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime. For the drug-related offenses, Townsend was sentenced to 15 years with all but five years suspended, which are not subject to parole.

Townsend was also sentenced to 10 years with all but five suspended for possession of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime. Townsend will serve the two sentences consecutively for a total of 10 years of active incarceration, after which he must complete three years of supervised probation.

Last Sept. 27, members of the Maryland State Police Gang Enforcement Unit and Criminal Enforcement Team executed a search and seizure warrant on Townsend’s residence in Pocomoke. Law enforcement located and seized large bags of cocaine and marijuana that were individually tied off in plastic bags and pre-packaged for distribution. Law enforcement also seized a short-barreled rifle and a .22 caliber revolver. Townsend was prohibited from possessing various types of firearms due to prior criminal convictions.

“The safety and security of our community is paramount and when drug dealers like Mr. Townsend threaten that safety, we will hold them accountable for their untenable actions,” said Interim Worcester County State’s Attorney William McDermott. “The unlawful distribution and possession of drugs in inexcusable and Mr. Townsend’s actions were magnified when he chose to involve firearms in his criminal activity.”

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Knife Found At Traffic Stop

OCEAN CITY — A Temple Hills, Md. woman was arrested for carrying an assisted opening knife in violation of the town’s weapons ordinance last week after a routine traffic stop.

Around 1:37 a.m. last Monday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on routine patrol in the area of 68th Street observed a vehicle with its passenger side brake light and driver’s side tag illumination light not functioning. The officer pulled over the vehicle and upon approaching the driver detected the strong odor of marijuana coming from the passenger compartment.

The officer identified the driver as Keocesha McNeil, 23, of Temple Hills, Md. When the officer questioned McNeil a bulge in her front right pocket was found to be a red and black assisted opening knife. McNeil was arrested and charged in violation of the city’s weapons ordinance.

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Hated The Lamppost

OCEAN CITY — A local man was arrested on intoxicated endangerment and other charges last weekend after allegedly beating up a lamppost on Baltimore Avenue.

Around 1 a.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on patrol in the area of 25th Street observed a man later identified as Brandon Parro, 38, of Ocean City, holding onto a lamppost on Baltimore Avenue. According to police reports, Parro was observed shaking the lamppost with great effort from side to side while shouting expletives in the direction of the officer. The officer noted in the report Parro was at least 50 feet away from the officer, which put him in violation of the town’s noise ordinance.

The officer then observed Parro punch the light pole with a closed fist while he continued to shout profanities. According to police reports, Parro stumbled and swayed, failing to keep his balance. At one point, Parro fell down and sat on the sidewalk. Eventually, Parro stood up and lurched forward into Baltimore Avenue. He then reeled backward and fell into a planter box at a nearby hotel. The officer approached Parro and found him to be intoxicated. Based on the evidence, Parro was arrested and charged with intoxicated endangerment and a noise violation.

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Fine For Transporting Protected Snakes, Lizards

POCOMOKE — A Florida man last week received a hefty fine, probation and community service for transporting contraband snakes and lizards collected in the Pocomoke River State Forest and other areas around Maryland.

William Carl Bartlett, 66, of Eastpoint, Fla., a snake and reptile collector, in December pleaded guilty to two counts of illegally transporting protected wildlife. Bartlett was investigated by the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) and charged in federal court. Last week in federal court, Bartlett was fined $5,000, placed on probation for three years and was ordered to perform 300 hours of community service. He was also prohibited from entering any state park or state forest in Maryland.

The investigation revealed between April 29 and May 13, 2015, Bartlett took five Coastal Plain milk snakes from the Chesapeake Forest and the Pocomoke State Park to a home he owned in Connecticut. The snakes were collected in violation of Maryland law. In May 2016, Bartlett illegally collected four protected snakes and four lizards from the Pocomoke River State Forest, but was stopped by an NRP investigator before he could transport them to Connecticut.