Cops And Courts – July 12, 2019

Cops And Courts – July 12, 2019

Motor Vehicle Theft, Weapons Charges

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested following a domestic dispute when he allegedly took the victim’s new car.

Around 6:45 a.m. last Thursday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a reported domestic incident at a hotel on 31st Street. OCPD officers met with the female victim who told police Stephen Hillegas, 49, of Oley, Pa., had a history of carrying weapons although she was uncertain if he had any weapons on his person during the incident.

While officers were interviewing the victim on a hotel balcony, they observed Hillegas on the sidewalk yelling up to the room and ordered him to stay where he was. However, Hillegas allegedly fled the area in the victim’s vehicle, a new BMW she had purchased just days earlier.

After a brief search of the area, Hillegas and the victim’s vehicle were located on a fast-food restaurant parking lot just a few blocks away. OCPD officers approached, but Hillegas reportedly got out of the vehicle, ran through a nearby nightclub parking lot and dashed out into a crowded Coastal Highway, causing numerous vehicles to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting him.

OCPD officers caught up to Hillegas at a shopping center on the opposite side of the highway and took him into custody. Back at the hotel, OCPD officers interviewed the victim, who told police Hillegas was her ex-boyfriend and that he had been banging on the hotel door attempting to gain entrance.

When she refused to open the door, he began to attempt climbing up the balcony, according to police reports. Hillegas reportedly told the victim not to call police because there was something in her vehicle that could get her into trouble, according to police reports. The victim told police she did own a handgun that was locked in a safe at home in Pennsylvania and that was the only thing to which Hillegas could be referring. In addition, the victim told police she had just purchased the vehicle days earlier and it was registered in her name and Hillegas did not have permission to drive it.

Back at the fast-food restaurant, OCPD officers searched the vehicle with the owner’s consent and found a plastic bag containing powder cocaine concealed in a cigarette package. They also located two more bags with cocaine residue behind the driver’s seat.

OCPD officers located a .22 caliber handgun in a duffle bag in the trunk that was loaded with one round in the cylinder. The search also turned up another 9mm handgun in the bag, which was not loaded, along with a loaded magazine. According to police reports, Hillegas fled from officers twice during the incident and was not authorized to take the victim’s vehicle.

In addition, a criminal background check revealed a history of prior arrests for reckless endangerments, escape, terroristic threats, assault and drug charges. He was arrested and charged with multiple weapons charges including possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, unlawful motor vehicle taking, possession of cocaine and disorderly conduct.


Screaming Incident Leads To Arrest Near Boardwalk

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on assault and other charges last week after allegedly causing a scene near the Boardwalk on the Fourth of July and scrapping with cops before attempting to spit blood on paramedics trying to evaluate him.

Shortly after 11 p.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling the Boardwalk on a bicycle heard loud screaming coming from the ocean block at 8th Street. As the officer approached the ramp from the Boardwalk to 8th Street, the screaming intensified, according to police reports.

As the officer approached, he observed a suspect later identified as Joseph Walawender, 40, of Drums, Pa., standing face to face with a woman and screaming at her while attempting to hold her back with her hands. According to police reports, as the officer approached the scene, two small girls pleaded with him to “please don’t take my dad to jail.”

As the officer approached, Walawender continued to scream at no one in particular and his eyes were reportedly glassy and vacant. When the officer told Walawender to calm down or else he was going to take him to jail, Walawender reportedly screamed at the officer “I’ve got a lawsuit on you.”

At this point, a large group of Boardwalk store employees had gathered on a balcony to watch the incident unfold. In addition, numerous other people gathered on hotel balconies to watch Walawender’s behavior, according to police reports. Walawender refused to identify himself or provide any identification to the officers. The initial officer advised Walawender again to sit down and stop yelling or else he was going to force him to sit down, to which Walawender reportedly replied “and then what?” according to police reports.

When OCPD officers attempted to take Walawender into custody, he reportedly resisted and had to be taken to the ground forcefully, during which he landed on his front and began bleeding from his lips, nose and knee. Walawender laid on his hands and refused to be handcuffed until officers applied as many as four knee strikes to get him to comply. When he continued to kick at the officers, a violent person restraining device was applied to his ankles and he was ultimately subdued.

According to police report, during the tirade and subsequent arrest, as many as 60 people gathered on the Boardwalk at 8th Street to watch the incident unfold. Because of Walawender’s injuries, Ocean City EMS was called to evaluate him, but Walawender attempted to spit his blood on the paramedics as they attempted to do their jobs. Ocean City EMS was ultimately unable to evaluate Walawender.

He was charged with assault, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, resisting arrest and failure to obey a lawful order. According to police reports, Walawender had been arrested a day earlier in Ocean City for disorderly conduct and open container.


Assault, Fake ID Charges

OCEAN CITY — A Brookeville, Md. man faces multiple charges after allegedly bumbling down a busy resort side street while intoxicated and harassing multiple women before being found with fake identification.

Around 2:10 a.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the midtown area observed an allegedly heavily intoxicated suspect later identified as Charles Adams, 20, staggering in the middle of 49th Street. While the officer observed, Adams stumbled in front of moving vehicles on Coastal Highway.

OCPD officers then observed Adams stagger to the sidewalk and attempt to put his arm around a female, who ducked under his attempt and moved away quickly. Adams made a second attempt on a different female and tried to put his hands on her, but she also ducked away from his advance, according to police reports.

At that point, the officer took Adams into custody and placed him in handcuffs, but he stumbled and fell into a grassy area. A search of Adams’ person revealed a small plastic bag in his wallet containing suspected cocaine. Also in Adams’ wallet were two different driver’s licenses, one from Pennsylvania with the name Daniel Adams which identified him as being over 21 years old.

A second driver’s license on his person was a real Maryland driver’s license with the name Chase Nalls, which also identified him as being over 21. According to police reports, each of the licenses had pictures with similar facial features to those of Adams that would allow him to purchase alcohol and enter bars underage.

During the arrest, Adams was unresponsive and Ocean City EMS were notified. Ocean City EMS arrived and determined Adams needed to be transported to the hospital although the outcome of that trip is not known. Adams was charged with second-degree assault, intoxicated endangerment, disorderly conduct and possession of cocaine.


Angry Suspect Subdued

OCEAN CITY — A Pasadena, Md. man was arrested on multiple charges last week after allegedly refusing to get off a resort bus, striking several signs and utility poles and launching into an expletive-laced tirade at Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers.

Around 2:30 a.m. last Thursday, an OCPD officer was dispatched to the bus stop at 26th Street for a report of a group of people refusing to exit the bus. The officer arrived and observed a male suspect later identified as Lawrence Black, 23, of Pasadena, along with two unidentified females standing outside the bus while talking to another officer.

According to police reports, after a brief interview, Black was allowed to leave the area without further incident. However, according to police reports, Black crossed Philadelphia Avenue to the east and walked north while punching a telephone pole, an electric box and a dumpster, all while screaming incoherent noises. According to police reports, OCPD were still on the opposite side of Philadelphia Avenue at least 100 feet from Black, which was well outside the town’s noise ordinance limitation.

An OCPD officer drove his patrol vehicle across the roadway and stopped Black, placing him under arrest and putting him in handcuffs. While Black was seated on the ground awaiting the arrival of a transport wagon, Black reportedly launched into an expletive-laced tirade at the group of officers on the scene.

OCPD officers told Black to stop yelling obscenities, but he refused to comply, according to police reports. He then started thrashing his body around, screaming “I don’t care what happens to me,” while continuing to launch expletives and racial slurs at the officers. According to police reports, Black continued to thrash around and violently kick his legs until the time the transport wagon arrived, striking at least one OCPD officer with his head in the process. Black was charged with assault, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, failure to obey a lawful order and disturbing the peace.


Crack Dealer Pleads Guilty

OCEAN CITY — A Berlin man, arrested in February for selling crack cocaine to an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on different occasions, pleaded guilty this week and awaits his fate pending a sentencing hearing.

Last November, an OCPD narcotics detective began an investigation into a suspect believed to be involved in distributing crack cocaine in the resort. On Jan. 11, the OCPD detective made arrangements with Joshua Pitts, 50, of Berlin, to purchase crack cocaine at an appointed place and time and the deal was allegedly consummated as planned.

On Jan. 23, the same detective made arrangements with Pitts to purchase crack cocaine at an appointed place and time and that deal was allegedly consummated. A similar deal was allegedly completed on Feb. 7.

On Feb. 14, the undercover detective allegedly made arrangements with Pitts for another crack cocaine deal. The deal was completed in the area of 120th Street and the officer and suspect parted ways. A short time late, Pitts was stopped in his vehicle in the area of 123rd Street and a search of the vehicle revealed a quantity of crack cocaine in two bags. Last week, Pitts pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and sentencing was deferred to a later date.


Probation For Burglar

OCEAN CITY — A Wilmington, Del. man, arrested in May after first entering a residence and later attempting to break into a resort business with a garden hoe, pleaded guilty this week to trespassing and was placed on probation.

Around 7 a.m. on May 16, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded an apartment on 72nd Street for a reported breaking and entering that had already occurred. While responding to the scene, an OCPD officer observed Kamren Nikolich, 21, walking down the center lane of Coastal Highway in the area of 71st Street swinging a garden hoe before he tumbled into the median. Nikolich then ran across Coastal Highway, causing approaching vehicles to brake suddenly to avoid hitting him. While police continued to observe Nikolich, he reportedly used the garden hoe to chop the tops off of some bushes.

Nikolich then approached a business in the area, stumbled around to the south entrance of the business and attempted to enter a locked door, swinging the garden hoe at the glass door as if he was trying to break it, according to police reports.  At that point, Nikolich was taken into custody and charged with burglary and intoxicated endangerment. This week, he pleaded guilty to trespassing and was placed on probation for one year.