Cops And Courts – May 25, 2018

Cops And Courts – May 25, 2018

Apartment Break-In

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania woman was arrested on burglary charges last weekend after allegedly breaking into a downtown Ocean City residence.

Around 1:20 a.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the downtown area was dispatched to a reported break-in at a residence on 8th Street. The complainant called 911 and reported hearing a woman crying on his front porch. While the victim was still on the line with police communications, the suspect, later identified as Hannah Skirvin, 21, of Fairfield, Pa., had broken into his unit, ran into his room, shut the door and continued crying, according to police reports.

Upon arrival, the OCPD officer could see through the unit’s window Skirvin standing in the living room. Once inside the unit, officers observed Skirvin coming out of the unit’s kitchen. According to police reports, Skirvin initially told police she had been invited inside the unit by the victim in order to use the bathroom. She then told police she had been with the victim at a bar. All in all, she told police several different versions of the incident. The victim told police he did not know Skirvin and had not invited her inside. The victim told police he had been sleeping and had heard a loud bang, followed by the sound of a woman crying on his porch, which is when he called 911.

The victim told police Skirvin then allegedly broke in through his front door and ran through the unit crying before he was able to calm her down, but could not understand what she was saying. Based on the evidence and testimony, Skirvin was arrested and charged with fourth-degree burglary.

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Knocking Over Trash Cans In Highway

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on intoxicated endangerment charges last weekend after allegedly knocking over heavy metal municipal trash cans into Coastal Highway and dumping their contents onto the sidewalk and roadway.

Around 3:45 a.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on patrol in the area of Coastal Highway and the convention center observed Hanny Qawasmy, 23, of Pottstown, Pa., grab a city-owned metal trash can, knock it over on its side and spill its contents onto the sidewalk and into the bus lane. The officer observed two more city trash cans in the roadway further north and observed an in-service city bus break to avoid hitting them.

The officer detained Qawasmy and observed his hands were bleeding and his clothes and shoes were covered with rust, dirt and grime from the trash cans. According to police reports, Qawasmy was asked why he was knocking over trash cans, but he was uncooperative and denied the act. The officer inspected Qawasmy’s hands and found them to be bleeding from jagged wounds consistent with the metal trash can’s torch-cut lids.

The officer spoke with a female accompanying Qawasmy who told police, “I told him to stop, but I’m drunk too and don’t want to get into any trouble,” according to police reports. The officer noted in the report the heavy metal trash cans strewn in the highway presented a danger to motorists and the incident occurred within a special event zone. Qawasmy was ultimately arrested and charged with intoxicated endangerment.

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Assault, Resisting Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A New Jersey man was arrested on obstructing and hindering and resisting arrest last weekend after allegedly interfering with an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer during an investigation.

Around 5:40 p.m. last Saturday, an OCPD officer on patrol in the area of Baltimore Avenue and 24th Street observed an individual with an open container of alcohol sitting on the sidewalk. While the officer was telling the individual he was not allowed to have an open can of beer on the sidewalk, he was approached by another man later identified as Victor Crespo, 21, of Swedesboro, N.J., who told police he was just looking out for his friend.

The officer told Crespo he was hindering an investigation and told him to leave the area. After brief argument, Crespo left the immediate area. About a minute later, Crespo walked back to the area where the officer was interviewing the other man. At that point, the officer asked Crespo for his identification and told him to have a seat on the sidewalk next to his friend.

According to police reports, Crespo was uncooperative and launched an expletive at the OCPD officer. The officer put his hand on Crespo’s shoulder and attempted to push him down to sit on the curb, but Crespo grabbed the officer’s hand and began pulling the officer toward him, according to police reports.

Crespo continued to resist and would not let go of the officer’s hand. Finally, with the assistance of a Maryland State Police trooper, Crespo was handcuffed and placed on the ground. He was charged with assault, resisting arrest and hindering an investigation.

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Hit-and-Run Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania woman was arrested on drunk-driving and other charges last weekend after allegedly running into the back of another vehicle on Coastal Highway and fleeing the scene before switching places with another driver.

Around 3:30 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a reported hit-and-run crash on Coastal Highway in the area of 36th Street. Multiple witnesses identified the driver as Gretchen Gebhart, 22, of Littlestown, Pa., who allegedly failed to control her speed and ran into the back of another occupied vehicle on the highway. Mutiple witnesses identified Gebhart as the driver of the vehicle that rear-ended the other vehicle, according to police reports.

Witnesses told police Gebhart sped off without stopping or leaving personal, vehicle or insurance information at the scene of the collision involving property damage. Other witnesses told police Gebhart switched places with her male passenger, who took over driving after the collision.

A short time later, Gebhart’s vehicle, a 2011 Cadillac CTS coupe, was located in the area of 30th Street by the OCPD officer along with Maryland State Police troopers. During the initial interview, Gebhart admitted running into the back of the other vehicle, but told police she did leave her insurance information at the scene, which proved to be false.

Gebhart did admit to switching places with the male passenger, who took over driving, According to police reports, she exhibited signs of intoxication and did not pass field sobriety tests to the officer’s satisfaction. She later admitted not remembering if she left insurance information at the scene or not.

Gebhart was arrested on multiple charges including driving while intoxicated and impaired along with numerous other traffic violations related to the hit-and-run collision. During processing at the Public Safety Building, Gebhart’s breath test registered .28.

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Condo Break-Ins Sentence

OCEAN CITY —  A local homeless woman, arrested multiple times over the last several months for breaking into the same north-end residence, pleaded guilty this week to fourth-degree burglary and was sentenced to six months in jail.

Around 2 p.m. on April 19, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a condo complex at 140th Street for a reported burglary in progress. The condo’s property manager told police he had talked to the unit’s owners, who had complained of an unusually high electric bill from the month prior. The property owner told police he went to the unit in question to investigate and saw a strange woman inside, which is when he called police.

OCPD officers responded and set up a perimeter around the unit. According to police reports, one OCPD officer saw movement inside the unit and banged on the door repeatedly, but there was no response. Another officer gained entry to the unit through a front window and found that a ladder had been propped against the door to keep it from opening.

Another OCPD officer drew his gun and ordered anyone inside to come out with their hands up. A short time later, the female suspect identified as Jamie Paolini, 34, of no fixed address came out. Paolini asked the officers on scene to move her belongings from the unit to her vehicle in a nearby parking lot. It was learned during the investigation Paolini was wanted on two active warrants for burglary at the same condo complex. At that point, Paolini was arrested for fourth-degree burglary and the active warrants from other incidents at the same condo complex.

According to police reports, the arrest was the fourth for Paolini for burglary at the condo complex and the third this year. On Jan. 28, OCPD officers met with a resort property owner who told police he had allowed his niece, identified as Paolini, and her husband stay at his resort residence for a weekend in December. However, when the property owner got an unusually high electric bill in January, it became apparent his niece and her husband, or perhaps someone else, had been staying in the apartment.

OCPD officers went to the apartment at 140th Street and found Paolini’s husband, Daniel Paolini inside. Daniel Paolini told police the couple had permission from his wife’s uncle to stay in the unit. However, the property owner told police the couple had returned the key after they had stayed at the apartment for the approved weekend and were told not to return. The investigation revealed Jamie and Daniel Paolini had returned the key and then returned and broke and entered the apartment illegally.

On March 7, an OCPD officer located Jamie Paolini inside the unit again and arrested her on the warrant from the alleged break-in of the same unit in January. An OCPD officer went back the residence to ensure it was secure. The officer found the unit unoccupied, but a front window and rear sliding door were not locked. A short time later, the officer on the scene observed a woman matching Paolini’s description walking into the apartment complex. The officer went back to the apartment and found someone had tried to enter the window he had secured with a baseball bat. The officer searched the area for Paolini and found her seated in a broken-down vehicle in the parking lot. This week, Paolini pleaded guilty to three of the alleged break-ins and was sentenced to six months. A final case against her remains open.