Cops And Courts – September 21, 2018

Cops And Courts – September 21, 2018

1st Degree Assault Charge For Choking

OCEAN CITY — A New York man was arrested on first-degree assault charges last weekend after allegedly strangling his girlfriend during a domestic dispute at an uptown Ocean City hotel.

Around 12:20 a.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a hotel on 145th Street for a reported domestic assault. Upon arrival, officers met with a female victim who reported her boyfriend, later identified as Richard Travers, 48, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., had strangled her. The victim told police she had been arguing with Travers when he grabbed her around the neck with both hands and choked her for about five seconds.

According to police reports, the victim told officers Travers cut off her airway and that she felt like her life was in danger and that she was going to die. The victim told police Travers had strangled her just prior to the officers’ arrival and she had red marks on her neck that corroborated the story.

The victim told police the couple had lived together in New York for about 10 years and that they were staying together at the hotel in Ocean City. Based on the victim’s testimony and the evidence of injury on her neck area, Travers was arrested and charged with first-degree assault.


Parking Pass Swiped

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on burglary charges last weekend after allegedly breaking into a condominium manager’s office and forging a pass to park on the private property.

Around 8 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a condo property in the area of 8th Street for a reported theft. Upon arrival, the officer met with the condo manager who told police earlier in the day, he met with the occupants of unit 82 after they had left a paper plate in the door of his office stating they were parked in the unit’s only assigned parking space and that a second vehicle was parked on the street.

The manager met with the occupants and gave them a parking pass for the one assigned space. According to police reports, the manager told the occupants their unit had only one assigned space and that if they wanted to park in an additional space, the cost was $20. The manager told police the occupants took the one pass and that he left his office and locked the door.

Several hours later, the manager returned and found one vehicle in the assigned space with the appropriate parking pass, and another vehicle in a different spot with a parking pass from an adjacent property, which he also manages and provide security. The manager told police he keeps the parking passes for both locations in his office, which had been locked.

The manager then went back to his office and found the door locked. When he went inside, he found a parking pass for the second location on his desk with the top portion filled out with the name and tag number for the vehicle illegally parked in the condo parking lot. When the manager observed the parking pass, which was not for the right property, filled out in someone else’s handwriting, he called the police.

OCPD officers arrived and met with two individuals in the parking lot and asked them to explain what happened. The two individuals told police their friend, later identified as Robert Stecher, 25, of Parkesburg, Pa., knew about the parking situation and would soon return. A short time later, Stecher arrived on a motorcycle and was asked by police how he obtained the parking pass for his truck.

Stecher told police he arrived the night before with the other individuals and found there was no security working on the property at the time. According to police reports, Stecher said he parked his truck in the lot for the night and left a paper plate in the manager’s door explaining the situation. Stecher then went back to the office in the morning and found the door locked and no one around. A few hours later, he went back again and found the door closed. Stecher told police he entered the unlocked door and found no one there, so he filled out the parking pass for his vehicle, taking the bottom half and leaving the top half on the desk.

The officer then interviewed the property manager, who told police to check out the condition of the office door, according to police reports. The officer noted wood and white paint missing from the hinge area along with damage to the weather stripping in the area of the lock. The manager told police the door had been replaced in the last few months and the damage was not pre-existing. Based on the evidence and testimony, the officer determined Stecher had broken into the office and filled out a parking pass for his vehicle from a different nearby building. Stecher was charged with burglary and theft.


Assault Arrests

OCEAN CITY — A Greensboro, Md. man was arrested on assault charges last weekend after allegedly attacking a security guard at a downtown nightclub and hitting him with a beer bottle.

Just after 9 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling the area of Wicomico Street in the area of a nightclub open only during bike week with its parking lot roped off for vendors and other activities associated with the event. The officer observed a suspect, later identified as Chase Smith, 21, of Greensboro, Md., attempting to start a fight with security personnel who were attempting to remove him from the private property.

Smith was being held by another unidentified male who was attempting to hold him back from attacking the security personnel. At one point, officers observed Smith swing his arms in an attempt to strike one of the security guards with his fist. An OCPD officer approached Smith from behind and was able to bring him to the ground and take him into custody.

According to police reports, there were hundreds of witnesses in the immediate area that turned their attention from the live band that was playing to Smith’s attempted attack on security personnel. The investigation revealed Smith’s friend was asked to leave the establishment for being too intoxicated. A security guard told police when Smith’s friend was asked to leave, Smith became belligerent and aggressive.

One security guard told police Smith attacked him, grabbing him by his throat with one hand while hitting him in the face with a beer bottle in his other hand. The beer bottle did not break and the security guard was mostly unharmed although his face was sore where he was struck.

Other security guards told similar accounts of the events leading up to the officers’ arrival. Chase Smith was charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct.

Meanwhile, during the same incident, Joseph Smith, 51, also of Greensboro, was arrested and charged with assault and disorderly conduct for allegedly attacking an OCPD officer who was attempting to gain information from the same individual who was asked to leave the establishment. The other man, who was not charged, was leaning against a fence while talking to OCPD officers, who were attempting to get identity information from him.

According to police reports, Joseph Smith attempted to interfere with the officers’ attempting to question the other man. At one point, Joseph Smith charged at the officers, body-slamming one in the process. Joseph Smith was charged with assault and disturbing the peace.


Local Charged In Attack

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City woman was charged with assault and other counts last week after getting in a physical fight with another local woman on a crowded Boardwalk in the early evening.

Around 5 p.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was on bicycle patrol on the Boardwalk when he was dispatched to the area of the Caroline Street comfort station for a reported assault in progress. The officer arrived and observed a group of people surrounding two women involved in an active assault including a woman known from prior encounters with police as June Elvidge, 62, of Ocean City.

The officer was attempting to speak to the victim when he was confronted by numerous concerned citizens who immediately began pointing at Elvidge and telling police Elvidge was the one who had caused the injuries to the victim. The officer noted in the report the Boardwalk was moderately crowded for a Thursday evening in September likely because of the bike week festivities going on.

The officer also observed several witnesses taking out their phones and recording the altercation between Elvidge and the victim. According to police reports, Elvidge became belligerent and unleashed a tirade of expletives toward the crowd and toward the victim, who she reportedly told “I will beat [expletive deleted] out of her.”

According to police reports, Elvidge continued to attract a large crowd because of her vulgar language and aggressive posture. The officer noted in the report the large crowd showed signs of disgust and urged police to arrest her. OCPD officers warned Elvidge to stop her tirade or she would be arrested. When she refused, she was ultimately taken into custody.

OCPD officers located several witnesses who reported Elvidge attacked the victim without being provoked. According to police reports, the witnesses told officers Elvidge got on top of the victim, pulled her hair, punched and slapped her and attempted to bang the victim’s head against the cement steps of the comfort station. The victim had fresh wounds that corroborated the witnesses’ version of the events. In addition, a cell phone video shown to police backed up the witness account of the attack. Elvidge was arrested and charged with assault and disturbing the peace.


Two-Year Sentence For Vehicle Break-Ins

OCEAN CITY — One of two men arrested in July for stealing from vehicles in Ocean City pleaded guilty last week to two counts of rogue and vagabond and was sentenced to two years in jail.

Two local men were arrested for allegedly stealing from vehicles in Ocean City in the same area just over an hour apart in late July, leading police to believe they were working together. Just before 1 p.m. on July 25, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers arrested Christopher Fitzpatrick, 38, of Ocean City, after nabbing him going through unlocked cars in the area of 20th Street and allegedly stealing various items. While Fitzpatrick was being processed at the Public Safety Building, OCPD officers arrested Matthew Donoway, 35, of Bishopville, for breaking into vehicles and stealing various items in the same general area. OCPD officials believe Fitzpatrick and Donoway were working in concert in the vehicle theft scheme.

OCPD officers interviewed at least three individuals whose vehicles had been broken into A search of Fitzpatrick revealed many of the items reported stolen by the victims, according to police reports. Fitzpatrick was arrested on multiple counts of theft and rogue and vagabond. While he was being processed at the Public Safety Building, more reports of thefts from vehicles in the same area started coming in.

Around 2:20 p.m. the same day, OCPD officers responded to a hotel at 22nd Street for reports of thefts from vehicles. Multiple OCPD officers responded to the area and observed the suspect, later identified as Donoway, run into a nearby parking garage where he allegedly removed his sweatshirt and hat and continued to flee on foot.

After a brief pursuit, Donoway was nabbed at a restaurant parking lot on 25th Street and was detained. The investigation revealed two hotel guests called the front desk to report Donoway was walking through the parking lot and pulling on car door handles.

The witnesses reported they saw Donoway enter a vehicle and grab multiple items in a white plastic shopping bag, which was later found in the parking garage where Donoway ran initially. The combined value of the items stolen is estimated at over $1,600, which moves Donoway’s charges into the felony range of over $1,500 and under $25,000.