Cops And Courts – July 6, 2018

Cops And Courts – July 6, 2018

Golf Cart Dumped In Bay

OCEAN CITY — A Florida man was charged with burglary and theft last week after Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers connected him to the theft of a golf cart found partially submerged in the bay.

On June 16, an OCPD officer responded to the Lighthouse condominiums at 56th Street to investigate a breaking and entering that had already occurred. Officers met with staff who said they arrived for work and found the company golf cart partially submerged in the bay. The golf cart was valued at $5,000 and had sustained around $1,000 in damages due to water in the gasoline lines.

Staff members told police the key to the golf cart was located in an obscure location within the establishment’s kitchen. The suspect would have to enter the establishment, go into the kitchen and retrieve the keys again without being suspected of stealing the golf cart. In short, the suspect would have to have prior knowledge of the location of the kitchen and the keys due to the obscure location.

OCPD officers reviewed surveillance video from different locations to piece together the theft of the golf cart. One surveillance camera angle allegedly showed a suspect, later identified as John Disney, 25, of St. John’s, Fla., approach the door of the condo building and pull on the front door until the lock failed and the door opened.

About 15 minutes later, the surveillance video showed Disney allegedly leaving the front door with the golf cart key, which was attached to a section of PVC pipe, in his hand. A second surveillance video allegedly shows Disney reversing the golf cart, turning it and driving forward until it leaves the view of the camera.

The security manager from the nearby restaurant and bar recognized Disney as a past employee who was recently rehired. The security manager told police Disney would have knowledge of the location of the keys to the golf cart as a former valet attendant.

The security manager told police he remembered seeing Disney the night before in the restaurant leaving with a female. OCPD officers were able to make contact with Disney at his female friend’s residence. According to police reports, Disney told officers he had been drinking heavily the night before. After the officers told Disney what they had observed in the surveillance video, he reported told police he was not surprised because he knew the location of the golf cart key and had knowledge of how to operate it from his time as a valet at the establishment.

According to police reports, Disney was cooperative and apologetic for his actions. Based on the evidence and testimony, Disney was charged with burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property.

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Gun Found On Alleged Dealer

OCEAN CITY — A Wilmington, Del. man was arrested on weapons and other charges last week after police found a handgun in his possession he claimed to have found.

Around 2:15 a.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on patrol in the area of Convention Center Drive observed a vehicle with no rear license plate visible. The officer stopped the vehicle and observed a Delaware license plate taped to the rear windshield. The officer spoke to the driver who said he was not aware the plate had to be attached to the rear bumper.

The officer also noticed two passengers inside the vehicle including Courtney Goode, 18, of Wilmington. The officer called for a K-9 unit to perform a narcotic sniff test on the vehicle, which turned up a positive result. OCPD officers had the vehicle’s occupants, including Goode, get out of the vehicle.

According to police reports, Goode without any questioning or prompting told one of the officers he needed to speak to him. Goode then told the officer he found a handgun in the area of 43rd Street and the beach and that the handgun was in his pocket.

In an abundance of caution, Goode was handcuffed while police searched him for the handgun. The gun, a silver semi-automatic handgun with a white handle, was found in Goode’s front pants pocket. The officers determined there was no magazine in the handgun nor was there any ammunition in the chamber.

Meanwhile, OCPD officers detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and a subsequent search turned up five baggies of weed packaged for distribution. Goode agreed to speak with police about the handgun. According to police reports, Goode said he found the handgun near a tan building on Philadelphia Ave. but could not identify the building. He reportedly told police he was relieving himself near a trashcan when he noticed the handgun just laying nearby.

When asked why he didn’t report finding the gun to police, Goode reportedly told the officers he was going to take it home to Wilmington to sell it and that he knew an individual who purchased weapons.

According to police reports, the officers knew the marijuana was packaged for sale and that dealers often carry handguns on their person for protection. The officer also noted in the report there had been numerous strong-armed robberies throughout the month of June and most of them involved drug transactions.

Based on the evidence, Goode was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and multiple weapons charges. A background check revealed Goode had several priors including escape, resisting arrest and carrying a concealed weapon.

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Three Assaulted In Hotel Fight

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on multiple assault charges last weekend after allegedly attacking three victims he was staying with at a midtown hotel over perceived stolen money.

Around 4 a.m. last Friday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a hotel on Seabay Lane for a reported assault. The officers met with three male victims who told police a man with whom they were staying got angry and started to “flip out” because he believed one of the victims had stolen $2,000 from him.

One of the victims told police John Spiropoulos, 29, of Newtown, Pa., had head-butted him, while another victim told police Spiropoulos had punched him in the head with a closed fist before putting him in a headlock. Those two victims told police they were able to run out of the hotel room and instruct hotel staff to call 911.

A third victim, the one whom Spiropoulus believed stole his $2,000, told police he was asleep in the room when he was awakened by Spiropoulos screaming at him. The victim said Spiropoulos hit him in the face with a closed fist and placed his hands around his neck to strangle him, according to police reports. The third victim was also able to escape the room and run out of the hotel.

According to police reports, the victims had fresh injuries that appeared to corroborate their stories. When interviewed, Spiropoulos reportedly told police he and the three victims were staying together in the hotel room and that they had been wrestling, but denied any assaults had taken place. He also told police he would not attempt to fight the three other men because it would be three on one.

Ultimately, Spiropoulos was found to be the primary aggressor and was charged with three counts of second-degree assault. During a search of his person subsequent to the arrest, a fixed-blade knife was found on him and additional charges were added.

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Assault Charges For Unruly Drunk Driver

OCEAN CITY — A Silver Spring woman was arrested on multiple assault charges on police officers last week after getting pulled over for suspected drunk-driving and causing a public disturbance at the scene.

Around 11:55 p.m. last Thursday, Ocean City Communications broadcasted a lookout for a suspected drunk driver after reports of a woman leaving a midtown nightclub and allegedly driving while very intoxicated. Around 15 minutes later, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer observed a vehicle matching the description at a stop light at Convention Center Drive.

The officer pulled behind the vehicle and when the light turned green, it did not move for about 30 seconds, according to police reports. The officer pulled the vehicle over under a hotel at 40th Street. The officer made contact with the driver, identified as Julisa Ortiz, 31, of Silver Spring, Md., and observed signs of intoxication. According to police reports, Ortiz did consent to the horizontal gaze test, but refused to take any other field sobriety tests.

Based on the evidence and test results, Ortiz was taken into custody on suspicion of drunk-driving. When officers attempted to place her in handcuffs, she began to scream at the top of her lungs that she did not want to be raped and that she needed to urinate among other things. According to police reports, Ortiz’s actions caused a crowd to form around the scene including people coming out of their hotel rooms.

OCPD officers took Ortiz to the Public Safety Building for booking and she continued to refuse to cooperate. During the transport to the booking center, Ortiz allegedly kicked two officers including one who was driving. Once at the booking center, Ortiz was allowed to use the restroom, but refused and did not cooperate with booking personnel, allegedly kicking another OCPD officer in the chin. All in all, Ortiz was charged with three counts of assault on police officers, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and traffic charges related to the alleged drunk driving.

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Kicking, Punching Vehicles

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on multiple counts of malicious destruction of property and other charges last weekend after allegedly waking down Baltimore Avenue and kicking and punching parked vehicles.

Around 10:30 p.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to the area of 26th Street and Baltimore Avenue for a reported disorderly suspect punching and kicking cars along the roadway. Upon arrival, OCPD officers observed the suspect later identified as Samuel Fareri, 20, of South Park, Pa., attempting to remove multiple bicycles chained to a bike rack.

According to police reports, Fareri saw the officers and appeared to be nervous that they were watching him. Meanwhile, the officers met with the complainant, who told police Fareri and punched and dented his car. When officers attempted to detain Fareri for denting the victim’s car along with others in the area, he fled the area on foot. He was ultimately taken into custody on the beach near 18th Street.

The victim told police he was sitting on his front porch when he heard a loud banging and observed Fareri allegedly punch and dent his vehicle. When the victim yelled down to Fareri, he allegedly told the victim “mind your own business old man,” according to police reports. A search of the area revealed other vehicles damaged including a Mercedes with a broken window and glass on the ground. Fareri was charged with multiple counts of malicious destruction of property and disturbing the peace.