Cops And Courts – June 28, 2019

Cops And Courts – June 28, 2019

Indecent Exposure Arrest

OCEAN CITY — An Australian man was arrested on indecent exposure charges early Wednesday morning after taking a swim in a canal near a busy midtown restaurant and nightclub and exposing everything “down under” to dozens of patrons.

Around 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the area of 53rd Street when alerted by bar security of Matthew Alexander, 33, of Australia, swimming in the canal nearby.

While the OCPD officer observed, Alexander reportedly dropped his shorts and exposed everything to a crowd of about 30 people watching his antics in the water. Eventually, Alexander exited the water and ran through a nearby community where he was confronted by an OCPD officer.

The officer ordered Alexander to get on the ground, but according to police reports, Alexander shook his head no and took off running in a southeast direction. Alexander ran around a convenience store on 52nd Street and jumped into a canal to avoid police. OCPD officers located Alexander and told him he was under arrest and ordered him out of the water, but he submerged himself again and hid near a dock in the canal, according to police reports.

Eventually, he climbed out of the canal and was taken into custody without further incident. He has been charged with indecent exposure and resisting arrest.


First-Degree Assault Charge For Suffocation Attempt

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was charged with first-degree assault last week after allegedly attempting to smother his wife with a pillow during a domestic incident.

Around 9:50 p.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a residence on Jamestown Road for a reported domestic assault. Ocean City Communications advised James Tate III, 64, had left the area as a passenger in a vehicle. A description of the vehicle was broadcast, it was located in the area of 94th Street and Tate was detained. According to police reports, Tate admitted having an argument with the victim, but denied an assault had taken place.

OCPD officers interviewed the victim, who told police a different version of the events. The victim told police she and Tate had an argument that had turned physical. The victim reportedly told police she was lying on a bed when Tate grabbed a pillow, covered her face with it and pushed it down on her face.

The victim was able to use her hands to defend herself, but Tate would not let up, repositioning the pillow and telling the victim, “I’ll beat you until you die,” according to police reports. The victim told police the suffocation attempt lasted for nearly a minute before she was able to push Tate away and that she genuinely feared for her life.

According to police reports, the victim told police she was going to call 911 and as she was dialing from her cell phone, Tate grabbed the phone and threw it at her, striking her in the chest. Tate then left the residence, but not before telling the victim if she called the police, he would return and kill her, according to police reports.

After Tate was located and detained in the 94th Street area, OCPD officers from the scene at Jamestown Road related to information from the witness and Tate was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.


Giant Penguin, Pepper Swiped

OCEAN CITY — A Pittsburgh man and a juvenile were arrested on burglary and theft charges last weekend after allegedly hopping the fence at a pier amusement park and swiping giant stuffed animals.

Around 6 a.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer walking out of the police substation at Worcester Street observed two suspicious individuals looking around before jogging across the Boardwalk carrying huge stuffed animals. The stuffed toys appeared to be brand new and still had the tags on them, according to police reports.

The officer called to the two individuals to stop and, according to police reports, it appeared for a moment as if they were going to attempt to run, but they complied with the officer’s orders to stop.

Anthony Molinaro, 18, of Pittsburgh, was carrying a giant stuffed red-hot pepper. The juvenile suspect was carrying a huge stuffed penguin, according to police reports. Both appeared nervous when approached by the officer and dropped the giant stuffed toys. According to police reports, both Molinaro and the juvenile told police “sorry, we are so stupid.”

The investigation revealed Molinaro and the juvenile climbed the exterior fence at the Jolly Roger amusement park on the pier. A park staffer was brought over and informed the officer the giant stuffed toys had been stolen from the “Ring of Bottles” game. Molinaro was arrested and charged with burglary, theft and trespassing. The charges against the juvenile are not known.


Sign Bender Arrested

OCEAN CITY — A Philadelphia man was arrested on malicious destruction of property and other charges last week after allegedly bending street signs down to the ground at a midtown shopping center.

Around 1 a.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling 66th Street when he observed Vuk Vukovich, 24, staggering in front of a shopping center. According to police reports, the officer observed Vukovich grab ahold of a handicap parking sign and bend the sign down until in nearly touched the ground.

Vukovich reportedly did the same thing to two other signs in front of the shopping center, twisting and bending them so severely they were bent to the ground. According to police reports, Vukovich observed the OCPD officer pull up and was smiling as he bent the signs to the ground.

The officer told Vukovich to sit down on the ground, but he refused to comply, according to police reports. Vukovich continued to resist the officer’s attempts to take him into custody, which was made more complicated because of the heavy rain at the time. The suspect was ultimately taken down by a knee strike to the ribcage and taken into custody.

The original officer sustained minor injuries during the incident. Other OCPD officers responded to the scene to assist. Vukovich was charged with multiple counts of malicious destruction of property, resisting arrest and malicious destruction of property.


Boardwalk Disturbance

OCEAN CITY — A Woodbridge, Va. man was arrested on assault and disorderly conduct charges last weekend after allegedly causing a disturbance on the Boardwalk.

Around 12:40 a.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling the Boardwalk in the area of Caroline Street observed a man later identified as Darnell McDonald, 43, of Woodbridge, Va., interacting with the group of minors. According to police reports, McDonald started to raise his voice and use profanity.

According to police reports, McDonald then approached a group of minor females despite being advised by his female companion to leave them alone. However, McDonald allegedly called the group of female minors names and proceeded to walk north on the Boardwalk yelling and dancing.

At that point, the OCPD officer attempted to detain McDonald for disorderly conduct. McDonald reportedly told police he did not have to listen to them, then told his female companion to what how quickly he got out of the situation. According to police reports, McDonald exhibited signs of intoxication and became aggressive with the officer.

When the officer attempted to handcuff him, McDonald allegedly grabbed the officer’s wrists. He was eventually arrested for disorderly conduct and second-degree assault.


Weapons, Drug Bust

OCEAN CITY — A Baltimore man was arrested on drunk-driving and weapons charges this week after a routine traffic stop.

Around 1:30 a.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling near 59th Street observed a vehicle with its center stop lamp not functioning. The officer stopped the vehicle and made contact with the driver, identified a Darren Hegie, 31, who exhibited signs of intoxication, according to police reports.

Hegie was administered field sobriety tests, which he did not pass to the officer’s satisfaction and he was ultimately arrested on suspicion of drunk-driving. During a search of the vehicle subsequent to the arrest, a leather weapon with a leaded business end know more commonly as a slapjack was found in the map compartment of the driver’s side door within easy reach of where Hegie had been sitting.

In the center console, OCPD officers located a switchblade-style knife. Also located on the front seat was a package of THC “sleep chews” and a partially-smoked cigar containing suspected marijuana was found in the back seat near a child safety seat. In the end, Hegie was charged with driving under the influence, carrying concealed dangerous weapons and drug charges.


Graffiti Artist Busted

OCEAN CITY — A Street, Md. man was arrested last weekend after an alleged graffiti spree in the downtown area.

Around 10:40 p.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer observed Benjamin DeRose, 32, actively spraying graffiti on the side of a storage shed on St. Louis Avenue. The OCPD officer observed DeRose mark the storage shed and called for uniformed officers to respond.

OCPD officers responded and approached DeRose and heard a familiar rattling sound coming from his person consistent with a spray paint can. The officers asked DeRose why at age 32 was he spray painting graffiti.

OCPD officers canvassed the area and found at least two other locations on which DeRose had allegedly sprayed the same “BOD” message found on the side of the storage shed. The other locations included a chain-link fence belonging to Delmarva Power and a white-painted wall at the skate park belonging to the town of Ocean City.

DeRose was arrested and charged with multiple counts of malicious destruction of property. On his person, OCPD officers found two 16-ounce spray paint cans and four paint markers.


Jail For Hit-and-Run

OCEAN CITY — A Bel Air woman, arrested in February after hitting another vehicle and leaving the scene, only to be tracked down by the other driver, pleaded guilty this week and was sentenced to one year, all but two months of which were suspended.

Around 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 17, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to the area of Northside Park for a reported hit-and-run collision. The officer arrived and observed a Nissan Frontier parked across two parking spaces at the recreation complex, with a Jeep parked nearby. The owner of the Jeep told police he was at the red light on eastbound 127th Street waiting to turn onto Coastal Highway when the driver of the Nissan, Victoria Pyzik, 29, made a right turn from the highway and collided with the front of his vehicle.

The victim told police Pyzik continued west on 127th Street, rolled through a stop sign at Jamaica Avenue and pulled into Northside Park. The victim told police he was stunned at first, but called police and followed Pyzik until she stopped at Northside Park.

According to police reports, when the officer asked Pyzik for her license and registration, she replied “umm, you want my fishing license or what?” When the officer requested her information again, she reportedly handed him a red folder which contained her license.

According to police reports, Pyzik exhibited signs of intoxication and did not perform field sobriety tests to the officer’s satisfaction. She was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and was taken to the Public Safety Building where a breath test reportedly returned a result of .27.

On Wednesday, Pyzik pleaded guilty to driving under the influence per se and was sentenced to one year, all but two months of which were suspended. She was also placed on supervised probation for two years upon her release.