OCEAN CITY — A Berlin man was arrested last week on multiple charges after allegedly leaving a hit-and-run collision and driving on the Boardwalk before impersonating a police officer, while his girlfriend was arrested for assault and other charges while attempting to interfere with his arrest.
Around 11:20 p.m. last Wednesday, a broadcast went out to advise Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers about a late model Cadillac heading south on Coastal Highway near 26th Street at a high rate of speed. An OCPD officer observed a vehicle matching the description in the area of Somerset Street, but lost sight of the vehicle.
The officer then observed two vehicles including the suspected Cadillac in the area of Worcester Street and Philadelphia Avenue each with their rear hazard lights flashing. The Cadillac turned onto to South 1st Street, while the other vehicle stopped and its driver got out. The OCPD officer met with the driver of the second vehicle, who reportedly informed police the Cadillac had just left the roadway and struck two large concrete flower planters on the sidewalk near the Coast Guard station before leaving the scene. The OCPD officer then observed broken concrete and other debris along the sidewalk adjacent to the roadway, according to police reports.
The officer followed the Cadillac and observed the vehicle drive through an open gateway at South Division Street and onto the Boardwalk. The officer activated his emergency lights and pulled the vehicle over on the Boardwalk near Souvenir City. The driver was identified as Matthew Geiger, 38, of Berlin, and the front seat passenger was identified as Kristen Philpot, 27, of Toms River, N.J.
According to police reports, Geiger made multiple statements to officers on the scene identifying himself as a police officer from the Seaside Park police department and the Seaside Heights police department. He changed his story multiple times.
After he was detained, Geiger agreed to talk with OCPD officers and showed signs of intoxication, according to police reports. He reportedly told police he had just picked up Philpot and was on his way home. Geiger said Philpot hit him in the head while he was driving, causing him to leave the roadway and strike what he believed was a lamppost. He also admitted leaving the scene.
In the meantime, an OCPD officer contacted the Seaside Heights, N.J. police department and spoke to an officer who said Geiger had not worked there since 2016. At that point, Geiger was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident. During a search, a bottle of suspected Clonazepam pills was found in his pocket. According to police reports, Geiger refused to submit to field sobriety tests and breath tests and additional charges of driving under the influence were tacked on.
In the meantime, Philpot was being detained for allegedly interfering in Geiger’s arrest. According to police reports, when Geiger’s vehicle was stopped on the Boardwalk, Philpot got out and ran toward one of the officers. She was handcuffed initially, but when the cuffs were removed and she was told she was free to leave, Philpot began screaming at the officers attempting to arrest Geiger.
Philpot was eventually arrested, but as she was being detained, she continued to resist and kicked one OCPD officer in the chest with her stiletto heel and screamed “get your [expletive deleted] hands off me,” and other statements.