Traffic Stop Yields Pot, Handgun Arrest
OCEAN CITY — A Virginia man was arrested on drug and weapons charges last week after a traffic stop in Ocean City.
Around 1:35 a.m. last Monday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling in the area of Baltimore Avenue when he observed a vehicle make a turn onto 26th Street without activating a turn signal. According to police reports, the officer had to slow rapidly to avoid colliding with the vehicle.
The officer pulled the vehicle over and made contact with the driver, identified as Joseph Mullane, 18, of Norfolk, Va. When asked for his license and registration, Mullane could not produce the documents, according to police reports.
The officer detected an odor of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle’s passenger compartment. When asked, Mullane reportedly told police he smoked marijuana earlier that morning and their might be a bag of marijuana in the vehicle. When asked if there were any weapons in the vehicle, Mullane reportedly told police there was an airsoft replica handgun.
The officer then observed in the interior map pocket on the door what appeared to be a black Glock handgun. Upon inspection, the handgun turned out to be an airsoft BB gun, but did not have any markings to identify it was not real. The handgun was loaded with BB pellets, according to police reports.
A further search of the vehicle revealed a bag of marijuana that appeared to be more than 10 grams in weight, or the weight for which a civil citation could be issued, and Mullane was taken into custody. The marijuana turned out to be around 13 grams in weight and Mullane told the officer it was only for his personal consumption.
Mullane told police he carried the BB gun for his personal protection in his native Norfolk. He was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana over 10 grams and carrying a replica handgun.
Employees Thwart Theft From Vehicle
OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was charged with theft and rogue and vagabond last weekend after getting caught allegedly going through a vehicle and stealing change near a midtown restaurant.
Last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) was patrolling in the 28th Street area and was waved down by an individual chasing after another man. The officer responded and found the individual, later identified as a nearby restaurant manager, holding another man, later identified as John Tarr, 39, of Ocean City, in a headlock in front of a bar across the street.
The witness told police he was the manager of a restaurant on the east side of Coastal Highway at 28th Street and had walked out of the kitchen to observe the suspect, later identified as Tarr, inside another employee’s vehicle. At first, the witness said he believe the individual inside the vehicle was one of his employees and yelled for him to get back into work.
However, the manager quickly realized the individual was not his employee and questioned Tarr about why he was in the vehicle. According to police reports, Tarr told the manager the vehicle belonged to a friend and that his friend was inside the bar.
The manager told Tarr to take him to his friend and motioned for another employee to assist him when Tarr took off running, according to police reports. The manager and the other employee gave chase and motioned to the OCPD officer to assist. When the officer arrived, the manager had detained Tarr in a headlock in front of a bar on the west side of Coastal Highway at 28th Street.
It was determined that Tarr had taken about five dollars in change from the victim’s vehicle. According to police reports, Tarr told the arresting officer he had only taken change from the vehicle in order to take a bus to West Ocean City. Tarr was arrested and charged with theft and rogue and vagabond.
Disorderly Arrest Downtown
OCEAN CITY — A local woman was arrested on disorderly conduct and other charges early Monday morning after first fighting with a man and later scrapping with police near the base of the Route 50 bridge.
Around 12:20 a.m. on Monday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling in the downtown area when he observed a woman identified as Donna Taylor, 54, of Ocean City, yelling at a man near the base of the Route 50 bridge. A third unidentified man was attempting to separate the two combatants.
When the OCPD officer intervened, Taylor allegedly began yelling at the officer and when she was told to quiet down because she was in violation of the town’s noise ordinance, she reportedly said she didn’t care and continued to go after the man she was originally scrapping with. Meanwhile, motorists and a bicyclist in the area slowed down to watch the incident. Taylor was ultimately arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and failure to obey a lawful order.
Probation, Restitution For Golf Cart Sinking
OCEAN CITY — A Florida man, arrested in June after Ocean City police connected him to a golf cart found partially submerged in the bay, pleaded guilty this week to malicious destruction of property and was sentenced to six months in jail, all of which was suspended, and was ordered to pay over $9,000 in restitution to the victim.
On June 16, an Ocean City Police Department (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.
Staff members told police the key to the golf cart had been 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. This week, Disney pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property and was sentenced to six months, all of which was suspended. He was also placed on supervised probation for three years and was ordered to pay $9,358 in restitution to the victim.