Cops And Courts – January 18, 2019

Cops And Courts – January 18, 2019

Weapons Charges

OCEAN CITY — A Selbyville man was arrested on weapons charges last week after a routine traffic stop in north Ocean City.

Around 4 p.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the area of 142nd Street stopped a vehicle for allegedly going 38 mph in a 25-mph zone. When the officer approached the vehicle, the driver, identified as Jonathan Shortt, 27, of Selbyville, allegedly raised his arms above his torso and advised the officer he had a firearm in the vehicle and that he had a permit for it.

According to police reports, Shortt told police he had a permit through the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) and that he was a federal police officer. When asked in which jurisdiction he was a police officer, Shortt reportedly responded he was in the U.S. Army and presented a Delaware driver’s license and a Department of the Army identification card labeled “qualified DoD law enforcement officer.” However, Shortt did not provide an official government identification card indicating he was currently in the military.

Shortt told the officer he had a firearm holstered in the front of his waist and the officer responded he did not want him to reach for the firearm. Other officers arrived on the scene and requested Shortt exit the vehicle. An OCPD officer reached inside the open driver’s side window and grabbed Shortt’s arm in an attempt to limit his movements. According to police reports, Shortt told police he was uncomfortable with the officers removing the firearm from his person. An OCPD officer frisked Shortt and immediately felt a bulge in his front waistband consisted with a handgun. The officer lifted Shortt’s sweatshirt and located a holster with a black semi-automatic handgun inside.

The officer also located a magazine loaded with 17 rounds of live ammunition. A spare magazine was located with 16 rounds of live ammunition. At that point, Shortt was taken into custody and during a subsequent search, a fixed-blade knife in a sheath was found in the panel directly adjacent to the driver seat. Shortt was arrested and charged with carrying concealed deadly weapons.


Jail For Combative DUI Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Selbyville woman, arrested last August on charges of assaulting police officers after an alleged drunk-driving incident, pleaded guilty last week to making a false statement to police and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Around 1:30 a.m. last Aug. 25, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers patrolling in the area of 6th Street and Edgewater Avenue observed a vehicle strike a curb and drive over the sidewalk. The driver, later identified as Tarah Shortt, 26, of Selbyville, then went south the wrong way on Edgewater Avenue on the one-way street.

According to police reports, the officers observed Shortt pull into a parking space facing the wrong direction and then get out of the vehicle and fall into the roadway, injuring her knee in the process. Shortt reportedly told police she had left a downtown bar and was trying to drive back to Selbyville but was confused about her whereabouts.

Shortt was administered a battery of field sobriety tests which she did not complete to the officers’ satisfaction. According to police reports, a video of the interaction showed Shortt getting into the back of a police patrol car of her own free will, which would become important later. Shortt was transported to the Public Safety Building and she was uncooperative, used foul language and was generally abusive and belligerent, according to police reports.

Shortt asked officers at least 15 times why she was under arrest and failed to verbally identify herself. When asked where she lived, Shortt told the officers “guess,” according to police reports. She then went on a tirade belittling the officers and failing to cooperate during the booking process. She did agree to submit to a breath test, but could not complete it after three times and it went in the books as a refusal.

At the Public Safety Building, Shortt alleged the arresting officer had assaulted her and injured her knee, prompting further police investigation. Shortt alleged her knee was injured when the officers forced her into the patrol vehicle, which was proven false on two counts. For one, she injured her knee when she fell out of the vehicle, and two, the video of the arrest showed her getting into the patrol car on her own free will.

When OCPD officers were attempting to move Shortt to a holding cell, she went limp and fell to the floor, according to police reports. When officers attempted to pick her up, she shoved one custody officer causing the officer to fall to the floor.

According to police reports, Shortt again asked for a supervisor and complained she had been assaulted by officers again. She was ultimately dragged to a holding cell. Shortt was charged with assault, making a false statement to police and multiple traffic offenses related to DUI.


Uptown Hotel Assault

OCEAN CITY — A Delaware man was arrested on multiple charges this week after allegedly assaulting a female at an uptown hotel and shoving the hotel manager who attempted to intercede on her behalf.

Around 4:15 a.m. on Monday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a hotel at 112th Street for a reported domestic assault that had already occurred. Police communications advised the responding officer a male in his late teens had assaulted a female in her late teens and the two left the area in vehicle headed southbound on Coastal Highway. The responding officer met with a front desk staffer who told police he had heard a disturbance from above and viewed surveillance video of a male and female engaged in a physical altercation on the fourth floor.

When the hotel staffer went to the fourth-floor unit, John Burch, 18, of Harrington, Del., opened the door and shoved the employee, telling him nothing was wrong, according to police reports. When the hotel staffer followed Burch, he turned around and shoved him again, according to police reports.

OCPD officer viewed the hotel’s surveillance video of the incident and observed the female victim attempt to use the elevator on the fourth floor. The video reportedly showed Burch shove the victim into the elevator door, grab her by the shirt and throw her on the ground before dragging her back toward their room. When the victim broke free and attempted to get back to the elevator, Burch allegedly grabbed her again and dragged her back to the room, striking her in the chest several times, according to police reports.

OCPD officers stopped the vehicle at 78th Street and the female victim corroborated what was observed in the hotel surveillance video. She also had injuries consistent with the alleged attack at the hotel. Burch was arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree assault on the female victim and the hotel staffer.


Assault Suspect Found Guilty

OCEAN CITY — A Silver Spring man, arrested last June on first-degree assault charges after allegedly first beating his girlfriend and attacking her with a flagpole, was found guilty last week and now awaits his fate pending a pre-sentence investigation.

Around 3:40 a.m. last June 3, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a reported active fight in the area of 12th Street. Officers located an apparent female victim who told police her boyfriend, later identified as Max Schindler, 40, of Silver Spring, was angry because of an incident that occurred earlier, but there had been no fight and refused to talk about the incident.

However, OCPD officers observed the victim and found her to have several injuries including cuts, places where pieces of skin were missing and fresh blood on her knee cap and legs. OCPD officers also observed a deep scratch mark on the victim’s shoulder blade and upper back along with a red mark near her eye that appeared to be turning into a black eye, according to police reports. The victim also had deep red marks all over her neck, upper chest area and arms.

While one officer was interviewing the victim, another officer was taking detailed statements from witnesses who had observed the altercation. According to witness reports, the victim and Schindler were having a verbal argument before Schindler tackled the victim to the ground. The witnesses told police Schindler punched the victim in the face with a closed fist and then grabbed her around the neck with both hands.

The witnesses told police Schindler continued to choke the victim with both hands for about 30 seconds while he stood over her and screamed in her face. According to witness statements, Schindler then picked the victim up off the ground by her neck, bringing her back to her feet. The witnesses told police Schindler then grabbed the victim around the neck and dragged her to the opposite side of the intersection.

Witnesses told police the victim was able to escape Schindler’s choke hold and ran across Philadelphia Avenue screaming for help. The witnesses told police the victim pulled a flagpole from the ground at a nearby apartment complex for self-defense.

However, witnesses told police Schindler grabbed the flagpole from the victim and began hitting her with it as if he was swinging a baseball bat, according to police reports. Witnesses said the flag fell off the pole and Schindler began stabbing and jabbing the victim with the end of the flagpole. The witnesses told police the victim was screaming for help and that she was in fear for her life.

At that point, the witnesses interceded, grabbing the victim off the ground and walking her away toward 12th Street, which is when the police arrived.