Cops And Courts – April 5, 2019

Cops And Courts – April 5, 2019

License Plate Reader Nabs Wanted Man

OCEAN CITY — A man was arrested on drug and identity fraud charges last week after a license plate reader on Route 90 picked up his suspended registration.

Around 6:40 p.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was monitoring a license plate reader on the Route 90 bridge when the device alerted on a vehicle with a suspended registration heading eastbound into Ocean City. A traffic stop was initiated at 62nd Street and a passenger was identified by his Tennessee license as Michael Robinson, 36.

However, the suspect identified himself to police as Jerry Robinson, which turned out to be false. A computer check revealed the passenger was actually Michael Robinson as identified by Tennessee and Iowa driver’s licenses. The background check also revealed Robinson was wanted on as many as five warrants. At that point, he was taken into custody.

According to police reports, Robinson told officers there was a baggie of marijuana in the crease of his seat in the vehicle. During a search, officers located a glass smoking device. Robinson reportedly told police he had used to device to smoke crack cocaine, but had cleaned it out to smoke marijuana. He was ultimately arrested on drug and identity fraud charges and was also held on the outstanding warrants.


Fire Alarm Activation Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Maryland couple has been arrested on various charges last weekend after allegedly setting off a fire alarm at a midtown apartment complex.

Around 10:20 p.m. last Friday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to assist with a fire alarm activation in the area of 33rd Street. Upon arrival, OCPD officers were met in the parking lot by a couple identified as Daniel Whitenak, 30, of Middle River, and Kaylee Shorter, 23, of Mount Airy.

According to police reports, Whitenak was telling the officers a fire alarm had been activated, but Shorter told him to stop talking to police and urged him to walk away. The couple then began a heated argument in the parking lot with police and fire crews on hand for the alarm activation along with numerous residents who had come out to see what was going on.

The two were separated, but Shorter repeatedly attempted to return to the area where police were talking to Whitenak, despite orders not to do so, according to police reports. Shorter reportedly attempted to intervene with the officers’ interactions to the point she was ordered to put her hands behind her back.

Shorter refused to comply and pushed away the officers attempting to take her into custody. One officer ultimately had to deploy a Taser to get Shorter to comply. Prior to the argument escalating, Shorter told police Whitenak had accidentally fallen into the fire alarm.

However, an inspection of the device revealed the glass had been broken and there were broken pieces of plastic housing lying around, suggesting the alarm had been activated willfully and maliciously. In the end, Whitenak was arrested and charged with malicious destruction of a fire alarm and disorderly conduct, while Shorter was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.


Fence Catches Suspect

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on intoxicated endangerment and trespassing last week after allegedly attempting to climb into a private property and getting caught on the fence.

Around 9:30 p.m. last Wednesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling downtown when he spotted an apparently intoxicated individual stumbling on North Division Street. The officer observed as the suspect later identified as Vladislav Radu, 25, of Ocean City, swayed back and forth as he attempted to open a gate on a fenced-in property marked with no trespassing signs.

When Radu could not open the gate because of his level of intoxication, he walked around the perimeter of the property, which was fenced in all around. At one point, Radu attempted to scale the wooden fence, but got stuck on top with his feet dangling. According to police reports, Radu was dangling with one foot inside the property and one foot outside.

From a previous encounter, the OCPD officer knew Radu lived on South Baltimore Avenue and had no business attempting to enter the property on North Division Street. He was arrested and charged with intoxicated endangerment and trespassing.


Downtown Collision Leads To DUI Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Selbyville man was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated last weekend after allegedly crashing into a parked car on St. Louis Avenue.

Around 2:20 a.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a reported vehicle collision in the area of 16th Street and St. Louis Avenue. Responding officers observed a vehicle in the northbound lane with significant front-end damage and with its airbags deployed. Officers also noticed a pick-up truck parked along the side of the road with rear-end damage. According to police reports, it was clear from the evidence the damaged vehicle in the travel lane had crossed over the bicycle lane and struck the parked truck.

Officers made contact with the driver, identified as William Lynch, 28, of Selbyville. According to police reports, Lynch told officers he was the designated driver for his friends and had not consumed any alcoholic beverages at the downtown bar which they had just left. Instead, Lynch told police he was distracted by his friends’ conversation, which is why he struck the truck. Lynch was administered a series of roadside sobriety tests which he did not pass to the officers’ satisfaction and he was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.


Jail For Burglary

OCEAN CITY — A local homeless man, charged with burglary last month after setting up housekeeping in a vacant downtown residential property, pleaded guilty this week and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Around 2:50 a.m. on March 7, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer conducted a residential check at an apartment building in the area of 2nd Street when another officer earlier had reported what appeared to be recently-discarded beer cans in the backyard. The OCPD officers new the property was vacant during the winter and had been victimized by burglary in the past, according to police reports.

The officer responded and observed a light on inside of a storage or utility closet which was out of the ordinary from previous welfare checks on the property. The officer also noticed a piece of denim fabric along the base of the closet door as if to block light from inside from shining out or perhaps to prevent cold air from getting in.

While the officer was on scene, he observed a male individual exit the storage closet and walk toward Philadelphia Avenue. The officer activated his emergency equipment and stopped the individual, whom he knew as Scott Bryant, 62, of no fixed address, from previous encounters with the suspect.

According to police reports, Bryant only had one question for the officer and that was “How did you know?” Bryant was arrested and charged with fourth-degree burglary.


Warrant For Fraud Suspect

OCEAN CITY — One of seven suspects wanted for debit card fraud failed to appear for trial this week and had a warrant sworn out for his arrest.

The Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) arrested several individuals in connection with the counterfeit credit card scheme in February. During the summer of 2017, a total of six victims from outside the region reported their credit cards had been used to make fraudulent purchases at various hotels, alcohol retailers and restaurants in Ocean City during the summer of 2017.

During that same time period, OCPD officers stopped a vehicle for a routine traffic violation. The driver was identified as Shawn Johnson, 19, of Princess Anne, while the passengers were identified as Adebomi Adaralegbe, 21, of Landover, Md., and Remi Adegbite, 22, of Magnolia, Arizona.

During the traffic stop, OCPD officers detected an odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle and a search was initiated. During the search of the vehicle, officers located a fraudulent debit card, a laptop computer and two credit card reader and writers.

Detectives were able to link a total of seven suspects to the crimes. The other suspects were identified as Justin McMillan, 20, of Snow Hill; Remi Adegbite, 22, of Magnolia, Arizona; Khiry Drummond, 27, of Cambridge; Soulemayne Diallo, 25, of Capital Heights; and Honore Mbaye, 20, of Middle River.

One of the suspects, McMillan, was scheduled for trial this week in Worcester County Circuit Court but failed to appear and had a warrant sworn out for his arrest. The other defendants are set for trial next month.