Cops And Courts – June 29, 2018

Cops And Courts – June 29, 2018

Jail, Restitution For Firearm Violation

SNOW HILL — A Frederick man, arrested last June after shooting himself in the leg and disposing of the illegal handgun on the beach, was sentenced last week to one year in jail and was ordered to pay over $2,000 in restitution to the town of Ocean City to cover the cost of searching the sand for the weapon.

Around 12:30 a.m. last June 9, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to the 75th Street Medical Center where an individual attempted to seek medical attention for a gunshot wound to his leg. The investigation revealed Ibrahima Diallo, 19, of Frederick, was carrying an unlicensed handgun without a permit when he accidentally discharged the weapon, striking himself in the leg.

Diallo told police the incident occurred on the beach in the area of 83rd Street, although he could not tell police for certain where he disposed of the gun. Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of residents, visitors and beachgoers, OCPD officers closed the beach from 81st Street to 85th Street and worked throughout the following day using a variety of search techniques to ensure the weapon was not on the beach. Ultimately, the OCPD did not locate a weapon and determined the vast stretch of beach was safe for the public.

OCPD detectives applied for charges against Diallo and he was ultimately charged with having a handgun on his person, obstructing and hindering and concealing a dangerous weapon. In April, a Worcester County jury found Diallo guilty of having a handgun on his person, possession of a firearm by a minor and illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition after being disqualified and a pre-sentenced investigation was ordered.

Back in court last week, Diallo was sentenced to three years in jail with all but one year suspended. He was also ordered to pay $2,190 in restitution to the Town of Ocean City to cover the cost of closing the beach and searching the sand for the handgun.

When OCPD officers responded to the 75th Medical Center, Diallo informed officers he had been shot by an unknown individual. Diallo later retracted that statement and gave a written statement to the OCPD stating he had instead shot himself and lost the handgun somewhere on the beach.

At trial, Diallo’s attorney asserted his original statement was true and that he had, in fact, been shot by a friend. The defense argued at trial Diallo did not want to incriminate his friend and contrived the story about shooting himself. Assistant State’s Attorney Lauren Bourdon argued Diallo’s defense defied logic. The jury ultimately agreed, returning guilty verdicts on all counts.


Hotel Burglar Arrested

OCEAN CITY — A Salisbury man was arrested on first-degree burglary and other charges this week after Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) detectives were able to connect him to a series of break-ins at a mid-town hotel earlier this month.

Around 8:15 p.m. on June 17, OCPD detectives were dispatched to a hotel at 55th Street for a reported theft that had already occurred. The officers met with two victims, one of whom told police he had noticed his cell phone valued at around $600 missing from the drawer in his hotel room. Another victim told police he had noticed a Louis Vuitton belt valued at around $740 was missing from his hotel room.

The OCPD officer followed up the next day at the hotel and met with an assistant manager, who showed police video surveillance she had taken from the hallways in the hotel. The video surveillance showed a male suspect entering different rooms in the hotel at various times over a two-day period from June 15 to June 16. At least five different rooms were entered by the suspect.

The OCPD officer was able to determine the suspect was able to enter each of the rooms using a master key each time. The assistant manager provided police with a print out of the number of times and locations the master key was used to enter the various rooms.

The staff at the hotel found the belongings of Benjamin Giles, 20, of Salisbury, in a room with a Maryland identification card, phone chargers and other items.

The OCPD officer compared the identification card to the description of the suspect caught on surveillance video and determined it to be Giles. OCPD officers returned to the hotel on June 18 after hotel staff had found other belongings hidden in a cabinet in the room, a black draw-string bag and a backpack containing various sets of clothes in another room.

In the backpack found in one of the rooms, OCPD officers located the Louis Vuitton belt that had been reported stolen by one of the victims. On June 19, Giles reportedly returned to the hotel and tried to claim his belongings. Hotel staff immediately called police and issued a trespass warning.

OCPD officers responded and took Giles into custody. He was been charged with first-, third- and fourth-degree burglary, theft from $100 to under $1,500 and theft scheme from $100 to $1,500.


Unprovoked Attack At Downtown Motel

OCEAN CITY — An Elkton, Md. man was arrested on numerous charges last weekend after an alleged unprovoked assault on a man near a downtown hotel before attempting to kick in the door of the room where the victim’s wife and young children were staying.

Around 8 p.m. last Friday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a hotel at 8th Street for a reportedly disorderly subject on the property. When an OCPD officer arrived, he observed a shirtless man wearing blue jeans limbering as if preparing for a fight. The suspect, later identified as Robert Sellers, 37, of Elkton, Md., was yelling profanities clearly audible from the officer’s position at least 50 feet away.

According to police reports, families with small children were quickly walking away from the area where Sellers was standing and shouting. Hotel staffers told police prior to their arrival, they observed Sellers kick the solid wood door to one of the hotel rooms several times to the point the door was broken. A woman inside the room told police she had young children with her and heard several loud bangs with the door cracking.

Officers then interviewed a male victim who was bleeding from an injury to his knee. The victim told police he was outside of his hotel room with his wife and young children inside when he looked toward Philadelphia Avenue and saw Sellers staring at him.

The victim told police Sellers was clearly intoxicated. When the victim asked Sellers “what’s up?’ Sellers reportedly asked him which was the main room, according to police reports. When the victim, who did not know Sellers and had never seen him before, started going back toward his room, Sellers reported grabbed him by his shoulders, spun him around and pressed his head against the wall next to the hotel room’s door with great force, according to police reports.

The victim told police he and Sellers wrestled to the ground and briefly fought before the victim was able to break free and return to his room, locking the door.

The victim told police he was inside the room with his wife and small children when Sellers began attempting to kick it in from the outside. The victim said the kicking eventually stopped and he walked outside and observed the police had arrived.

Meanwhile, Sellers was being detained on the opposite side of the hotel parking lot continued to yell profanities, hindering the officers’ interviews with the victim. By now, a large crowd had gathered as other occupants of the hotel emerged to see what was going on. OCPD officers continued to warn Sellers about yelling profanities with young children around.

He was ultimately charged with multiple offenses including assault, malicious destruction of property and disturbing the peace among others.


Two Arrested In Pot Deal

OCEAN CITY — Two Cockeysville, Md. men were arrested on drug distribution charges last weekend after allegedly selling marijuana to undercover Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers in front of a resort convenience store.

Around 6:15 p.m. last Thursday, OCPD officers working an undercover narcotics buy-sell operation were parked in front of a convenience store at 26th Street when a vehicle turned in and parked next to them. One of the occupants later identified as Abner Gomez-Pineda, 20, of Cockeysville, got out and walked toward the front of the store.

The undercover OCPD officer approached Gomez-Pineda and engaged him in a conversation about purchasing marijuana, according to police reports. Gomez-Pineda asked the officer how much he needed and the officer told the suspect he was seeking around three grams. Gomez-Pineda allegedly told the undercover officer he needed to check with his friend, the passenger of the vehicle identified as David Luis-Pineda, 22, also of Cockeysville.

Abner Gomez-Pineda got back in the vehicle and conferred with Luis-Pineda and returned a short time later. He handed the officer a baggie of suspected marijuana approximately three grams in weight. The officer offered $40 for the three grams, but Gomez-Pineda insisted the price was $50, which the officer paid and the transaction was completed.

An arrest signal was given and other officers came to the vehicle occupied by Gomez-Pineda and Luis-Pineda. During a search of the vehicle, OCPD officers observed a jar of loose marijuana containing roughly 20 grams. Gomez-Pineda was arrested for completing the marijuana transaction with the undercover officer, while Luis-Pineda was also arrested for facilitating the transaction. In addition, it was determined Gomez-Pineda was wanted on a warrant from Baltimore County for first- and second-degree assault and malicious destruction of property and the warrant was active and confirmed.


Suspect Nearly Tased After Fleeing Police

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on various charges last weekend after allegedly yelling expletives at Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) bicycle officers and then running away when confronted, only to be found a short time later hiding in bushes.

Around 12:15 a.m. last Thursday, OCPD bicycle officers were patrolling the Boardwalk near Dorchester Street when a suspect, later identified as Matthew Rodacay, 19, of Westmont, Pa., shouted expletives and slurs in their direction. The OCPD officers continued on their bicycles to the area of Somerset Street when Rodacay allegedly yelled similar expletives at them, this time at a distance of at least 200 feet away, or well beyond the town’s 50-foot noise ordinance. Rodacay’s tirade was made in front of numerous people still on the Boardwalk at that time of night.

The two OCPD bicycle officers circled back to detain Rodacay, who fled on foot when he saw the officers returning, according to police reports. Rodacay ran off the Boardwalk and cut through an alley toward Talbot Street with the officers following, according to police reports. One of the officers located Rodacay hiding in the bushes a short time later.

According to police reports, Rodacay came out of the bushes and took up a fighting stance in front of one of the officers. Rodacay tensed up and drew his fists in front of him and lunged at one of the officers with a close fist. The officer was able to drop his bicycle between him and Rodacay to avoid being struck in what the officer described in his report as a situation becoming “tense, uncertain and evolving rapidly.”

After the failed attempt to strike the officer, Rodacacy again fled the scene on foot. The officer drew his electronic control device and yelled “Taser” multiple times and pointed the device at Rodacay’s back. Another officer arrived on the scene and ordered Rodacay to get on the ground and the suspect complied. Rodacay was charged with multiple accounts including assault, resisting arrest and noise violations.