Cops And Courts – November 30, 2018

Cops And Courts – November 30, 2018

First-Degree Assault Charge For Knife Threat

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on first-degree assault charges last week after allegedly pulling a knife on his live-in girlfriend at an uptown residence.

Around 11:45 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a residence on 123rd Street for a reported domestic assault. Upon arrival, the officer met with a female victim who told police she lived at the residence with her 6-year-old child and her boyfriend identified as Robert Neverdale, 37, of Ocean City.

The victim told police she and Neverdale had been in an argument earlier in the afternoon and the fight had carried over into the evening, according to police reports. During the argument, Neverdale reportedly told the victim, “It would probably be better if I were dead,” to which she responded, “yeah, it probably would,” according to police reports.

The victim told police the fight continued and she observed Neverdale downstairs in the unit sharpening a knife. The victim told police Neverdale had inflicted injuries on himself in the past to gain attention, according to police reports. The victim told police Neverdale came upstairs with the knife and began yelling at her and waving the weapon at her, according to police reports.

The victim told police Neverdale then struck her in the head with the broad side of the blade two or three times. The officer observed a swelling bruise on the victim’s forehead corroborating her story, according to police reports. The victim told police Neverdale then struck her across the face with an open hand.

The officer noted in the report the victim’s face was red and swollen. The victim told police she was then able to reach a balcony and called for passersby or other neighbors to call the police. A neighbor heard her pleas for help and called the police.

The victim told police Neverdale had physically abused her in the past and that he had broken her neck in a prior incident. Another OCPD officer met with Neverdale, who admitted being in an argument with the victim, but denied any physical interaction.

At one point, Neverdale lifted his shirt to dry his face, revealing superficial wounds on his abdomen and stomach. According to police reports, Neverdale told police he had inflicted the wounds on himself with a knife.

Based on the evidence and testimony, Neverdale was taken into custody for alleged domestic violence charges. Once Neverdale was handcuffed, he changed his story again and told police the wounds on his abdomen were self-inflicted.


Phone Ping Nabs Burglar

OCEAN CITY — A resort homeless man was charged with first-degree burglary last week after video surveillance allegedly revealed him as the suspect in a hotel room break-in.

Around 7 a.m. last Wednesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a hotel at 5th Street and the Boardwalk for a reported burglary. The officer met with a victim who told police an unknown suspect had entered his hotel room while he was sleeping and had stolen a cell phone valued at around $700, a Play Station game, a Bluetooth speaker, a sweater and a wallet containing around $80 in cash along with bank cards and identification. The suspect told the officer his hotel room door was closed, but had not locked.

Video surveillance from a camera in the hallway revealed a suspect exit the victim’s room and enter a different room on the same floor. The surveillance video showed the suspect enter the room around 1:25 a.m. with what appeared to be a wallet and cell phone in his hand. The same video surveillance showed the suspect leaving the room about an hour later carrying a sweater matching the description provided by the victim.

The suspect then got on an elevator and left the area. OCPD officers met with hotel staff and learned an occupant of the Room 514 where the suspect had entered and left hours earlier had reported finding a cell phone in her room matching the description provided by the victim. The occupant also reported finding a Bluetooth speaker in her room and did not know how either piece of property got there.

Later the same day, OCPD officers were able to identify the suspect in the video surveillance footage as Aaron McCargo, 28, of no fixed address, with whom they were familiar from other encounters. In the meantime, the victim was able to contact his cell phone service provider, which was able to locate the victim’s cell phone through a ping at a hotel on 54th Street.

The victim went to the 54th Street hotel and met with the manager, who reported a woman had turned his phone in after reportedly finding it in a public area of the hotel.

Further investigation revealed McCargo had reportedly been staying at the 54th Street hotel with his mother. OCPD officers responded to the area and located McCargo in the area of 53rd Street. He was positively identified as the suspect seen entering and exiting the victim’s room at the hotel back on 5th Street. McCargo was found wearing the sweater reported stolen by the victim. Based on the evidence, McCargo was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary.


Stashing Stolen Items Results In Charges

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City woman was arrested on burglary and theft charges this week after allegedly swiping numerous items from in and around her neighbors’ property.

Around 7:45 a.m. on Monday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to the area of South Ocean Drive for a reported theft. The officer met with a female victim who reported she had a large ceramic ashtray on her rear steps and noticed it was missing that morning when she let her dog out for a walk, according to police reports.

The victim told police she observed a Leanne Lapointe, 34, of Ocean City, acting furtively about five houses down from her residence. The victim asked Lapointe if she lived at the residence, to which she replied no, but that she was merely “cleaning up the neighborhood.” When the victim asked Lapointe if she had “cleaned up” her ceramic ashtray, Lapointe reportedly told her she did not remember, but if she had, she had likely thrown the ashtray away.

The victim also noted Lapointe had a hand dolly with her with various items strapped to it. At that point, the victim went back to her home and called the police. The initial victim told officers while she was calling the police, she observed Lapointe walking away from the area, but that she no longer had the hand dolly with assorted other items in her possession.

When OCPD officers arrived, they met with a male witness who reported a suspect matching the description of Lapointe stashing a hand dolly with assorted items strapped to it under his neighbor’s porch. When the male witness questioned Lapointe, she reportedly told him that’s where the hand dolly belonged. When that witness told Lapointe the hand dolly and assorted items did not belong under the porch, she abandoned the hand dolly and left the area on foot.

Yet another witness came forward and told police she observed Lapointe stash a black bicycle under the rear deck of her residence. Because of prior history with the suspect, OCPD officers went to Lapointe’s residence and learned she had just been released that morning from the Public Safety Building for theft and an outstanding warrant. When questioned, Lapointe said she had been released from custody earlier that morning and had walked home.

According to police reports, Lapointe told officers she came home after being released and when she woke up, she found the black bicycle leaning against her residence and stashed it under the porch where it belonged. Lapointe told police she was cleaning up around the neighborhood and was merely putting things back where they belonged.


Pocomoke Shooter Apprehended

POCOMOKE — A Hurlock man, known as “Wreck,” was apprehended last week after allegedly shooting another man in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Pocomoke.

On Nov. 19, Pocomoke Police officers responded to the Wal-Mart for a reported shooting incident. Upon arrival, officers located a victim in the parking lot suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to his leg. The victim was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center and was treated for injuries not life-threatening.

The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) was called to assist in the investigation. The suspect fled the scene in a dark sedan and was identified as an individual who goes by the street name of “Wreck.” Two days later, WCBI investigators identified “Wreck” was Nathan Lee Smith, 18, of Hurlock.

Smith was apprehended in Hurlock by U.S. Marshals from the Capital Area Fugitive Task Force and has been charged with first- and second-degree assault and multiple handgun violations.


10-Day Sentence For Hitting Restaurant

OCEAN CITY — A Selbyville man, arrested in August after allegedly running into the back of a resort restaurant and then telling police someone else had been driving, was found guilty this week of leaving the scene of a collision and was sentenced to 10 days in jail.

Around 1 a.m. on Aug. 30, an Ocean City Police Department officer responded to a restaurant at 33rd Street and Coastal Highway for a reported traffic collision. The investigation revealed a Dodge truck failed to control its speed and collided with the rear of the restaurant. The owner of the vehicle was still on the scene and pointed OCPD officers in the direction of Freddy Wilkerson, 25, of Selbyville, who was walking away from the scene.

The vehicle’s owner told police it was Wilkerson who had been driving the truck that struck the restaurant. However, OCPD officers approached Wilkerson who said he was in the vehicle that struck the restaurant but denied driving, Wilkerson told police he was walking over to another restaurant in the area to see if it was still open.

During the investigation, officers learned the restaurant had surveillance cameras near the rear of the establishment and viewed the footage, which, after an hour of review, was able to determine it was Wilkerson who had been driving the vehicle that struck the restaurant.


Probation For Hit, Run

OCEAN CITY — A Boonsboro, Md. woman, arrested in September on drunk-driving and making a false statement charges after hitting another vehicle and fleeing, pleaded guilty this week and was placed on probation for three years.

Around 9:45 p.m. on Sept. 22, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on patrol in the area of 130th Street responded to a reported rear-end collision on Coastal Highway. The investigation revealed a vehicle, driven by Michelle Wiles, 41, of Boonsboro, Md., failed to control speed and collided with another vehicle stopped at a red traffic signal at 127th Street.

The victim told police the collision took place at 127th Street, and when Wiles did not stop immediately, he followed her to 130th Street and Assawoman Drive. When the victim told Wiles he was going to call the police, she left the scene on foot, according to police reports. Wiles was ultimately located around 129th Street and Wight Street. When officers spoke with Wiles, she denied driving a vehicle and denied being in a collision. Wiles told police she had gotten married earlier that day and was simply trying to get home, according to police reports.

The victim was brought over and positively identified Wiles as the driver of the vehicle that had rear-ended him. During the officer’s interaction with Wiles, he noticed an odor of alcoholic beverage and she showed signs of intoxication. Wiles was administered a battery of field sobriety tests which she did not complete to the officer’s satisfaction. She was arrested and charged with leaving the scene, driving while impaired and making a false statement to an officer.