Cops & Courts – August 16, 2019

Cops & Courts – August 16, 2019

Stranger Passed Out In Bed With Child

OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania man was arrested on multiple charges last weekend after allegedly being discovered passed out in a bed with a child at a midtown condominium.

Around 2:15 a.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a condominium on 54th Street for a reported breaking and entering in progress. The officer responded and met with the unit’s owner, a couple who directed the officer to their juvenile daughter’s bedroom where they had discovered a man in their daughter’s bed whom they did not know.

The officer entered the bedroom and observed a male later identified as Tyler Whiteburke, 23, of Collegeville, Pa., lying asleep in the juvenile girl’s bed wearing a black T-shirt and black underwear. According to police reports, the couple’s juvenile daughter was also asleep in the bed. The officer awakened Whiteburke and ordered him to get out of the bed before handcuffing him.

The female victim reportedly told police she heard the baby monitor in the room go off around 2 a.m. The female victim reportedly went to the child’s bedroom to check on her and saw a man lying in bed with the child whom she initially believed was her husband. However, she quickly realized it was not her husband, but instead an unidentified white male.

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The female victim called her husband into the bedroom to remove Whiteburke, but he was unable to awaken him. Instead, the male victim called 911 and the police arrived a short time later. When OCPD officers asked Whiteburke if he knew where he was, he reportedly said “Holiday Inn?”

According to police reports, Whiteburke exhibited signs of intoxication. He was arrested and charged with fourth-degree burglary and intoxicated endangerment. When asked how Whiteburke had gained access to the unit, the male victim told police he “probably forgot to lock the front door,” when he closed it.

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Loaded Handgun Found In Vehicle

OCEAN CITY – A West Virginia man was arrested last weekend after multiple weapons were found while he was discovered sleeping in his vehicle.

Around 4:30 a.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling in the area of 37th Street and observed a vehicle parked in the Convention Center overflow parking lot parked on an angle in two parking spaces with its engine running. The OCPD officer approached the vehicle and found the driver, later identified as James Arabia, 39, of Charleston, West Va., sleeping in the vehicle with the driver’s seat in a reclined position.

According to police reports, the officer tapped on the window, but Arabia did not immediately wake up. The officer then walked around to the driver’s side, tapped on the window again with his flashlight and shined it on Arabia, who then woke up. As the officer was advising Arabia it was illegal to sleep in a vehicle in Ocean City, he observed a handgun placed in a holster which attached by a magnet underneath the bottom of the steering wheel, according to police reports.

Arabia reportedly told police he did not have concealed carry permit, but that he did have a concealed carry permit in his home state of West Virginia. However, a background check revealed Arabia’s carry permit in West Virginia had expired in 2016. The officer asked Arabia if the handgun was loaded, to which he replied yes.

At that point, the officer instructed Arabia not to reach for the weapon and told him to exit the vehicle. The officer seized the weapon and discovered it was a 9mm Ruger with one round chambered and seven rounds in the magazine. In addition, a search of the vehicle revealed an illegal spring-assisted knife in the cup holder between the two front seats.

Arabia was arrested at that point and charged with carrying a loaded handgun, possession of a spring-assisted knife and other violations. During a post-arrest interview, Arabia told police the gun was registered to another man, but that the spring-assisted knife belonged to him.

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Bike Rental Robbery

OCEAN CITY – A Prince Frederick, Md., man was arrested last weekend after allegedly robbing and assaulting a downtown bicycle rental company employee.

Around 8:15 a.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a bike rental operation on Caroline Street for a reported robbery that had just occurred. The officer arrived and met with the victim, a juvenile female employee of the business who had been renting bicycles.

The victim told police a suspect later identified as Joseph Peifer rode his rental bike up to the business to return it. After getting off the bike, Peifer allegedly approached the juvenile female who was wearing a black fanny pack around her waist. The fanny pack was open and contained around $200, or the proceeds from the morning’s bike rentals.

According to police reports, Peifer reached his hand forcefully into the victim’s fanny pack and grabbed the $200 in cash, pulling on the fanny pack in the process. When Peifer began to run away from the scene, he was tackled by another juvenile male employee of the bike rental operation. The juvenile male attempted to hold Peifer down, but Peifer pulled away, pushing the male employee and dropping the money on the ground.

OCPD met with a man who reported he was Peifer’s cousin, identified as Dominci Dzickan. The cousin said he did not know why Peifer was being stupid and tried to steal the money. He also told police Peifer was always acting crazy and that he had been arrested the night before in Millsboro on drunk-driving charges after a hit-and-run incident and that they had to take an Uber the rest of the way to Ocean City.

Peifer’s cousin called him on his cell phone and let the OCPD officer talk to him. According to police reports, Peifer told the officer he took the money because he needed something to eat. The officer reportedly told Peifer to return to the bike rental business and apologize, and if he did, the officer would not arrest him.

However, Peifer did return to the bike rental business and he was taken into custody and charged with robbery, assault and theft.

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Burglary, Malicious Destruction Charges For Break-In

OCEAN CITY – A local man was arrested on burglary and other charges last weekend after allegedly breaking into the downtown residence of a woman whom had a protective order against him.

Around 1:25 p.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a residence on Robin Drive for a reported suspicious person. The occupant of an adjacent unit had called the police because he reportedly observed a man later identified as Ronald Wimer, 52, of Ocean City, using a butter knife to gain entry to his neighbor’s residence.

A day earlier, the female resident had obtained a protective order against Wimer prohibiting him from having any contact with her, prohibited him from entering the residence, the grounds, outbuildings or any common areas surrounding the residence.

The officer met with the female occupant who reportedly told police she had been sleeping on the couch and awoke to find Wimer inside the unit. The victim reportedly told police Wimer entered and grabbed some belongings before leaving the unit. While the witness was still watching, Wimer left the unit and attempted to cover his face before leaving the area on a bicycle.

He was located a short time later near Robin Drive and Philadelphia Avenue. He was taken into custody and charged with burglary and failure to comply with a peace order. An inspection of the unit’s front door revealed small cuts and other damage consistent with it being opened with a knife and malicious destruction of property charges were tacked on.

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Couple Arrested After Fight In Street

OCEAN CITY – A Silver Spring, Md., couple was arrested on various charges last week after an alleged fight spilled over from the sidewalk into the bus lane, causing a vehicle to swerve to avoid hitting them.

Around 1:10 a.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was driving south on Philadelphia Avenue near 21st Street and observed a couple later identified as Diane Aguilar, 22; and Alfredo Diaz, 23, both of Silver Spring, arguing on the public sidewalk. The officer parked his vehicle on 21st Street and reported the argument could be heard at least 50 feet away in violation of the town’s noise ordinance.

As the officer approached the couple, they reportedly started pushing each other in the bus lane. At least one motorist had to quickly change lanes to avoid hitting Aguilar and Diaz, according to police reports. The couple then stumbled into a fence at a nearby restaurant overflow parking lot.

OCPD officers ordered Aguilar and Diaz to stop fighting and to sit on the sidewalk. However, they initially ignored the orders and attempted to walk away from police. OCPD officers detained the couple, who reportedly told police they were “play fighting” and that they didn’t think they had done anything wrong.

According to police reports, both suspects displayed signs of intoxication. The OCPD officer warned the couple to keep their voices down and stop shoving each other and disturbing the public. The officer then allowed the couple to leave.

However, as soon as the officer left the immediate area, Aguilar and Diaz reportedly started arguing and shoving each other again. According to police reports, a passing motorist called to the officer “Can you please do something about them before they hurt somebody else?”

This time, the officer arrested Aguilar and Diaz and charged them with disorderly conduct, intoxicated endangerment, failure to obey a lawful order, causing a disturbance in public while intoxicated and a noise violation.

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Boardwalk Ruckus

OCEAN CITY – A Philadelphia man was arrested on disorderly conduct and other charges last weekend after allegedly causing a scene on the Boardwalk.

Around 6 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling on the Boardwalk and observed a man later identified as Darrell Andrews, 39, of Philadelphia, being disorderly. According to police reports, Andrews walked past the officer with an abnormal gait and yelled in a loud voice “hey man, don’t worry about me.”

The officer wasn’t sure if Andrews was impaired by alcohol or suffering a medical emergency, so he approached and asked Andrews if he was okay. Andrews became agitated and began shouting, “there are 15,000 people out here on this Boardwalk, so why the [expletive deleted] are you bothering me,” according to police reports.

The officer was approached by a female companion of Andrews and told her the situation and that he had to calm down. Andrews then walked south away from the officer, but continued to yell loud profanities and insults at the OCPD as he walked away. He was ultimately arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing and hindering.

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Probation For Bus Stop Assault

OCEAN CITY – A Mechanicsville, Md., man arrested in June after picking a fight with a group at a resort bus stop, pleaded guilty last week to disorderly conduct and was placed on probation for one year.

Shortly after midnight on June 29, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the midtown area observed a fight in progress near the bus stop at 45th Street. The officer observed a group of people yelling with two individuals, one of whom was later identified as Joshua Rackey, 21, of Mechanicsville, actively engaged in a fist fight.

OCPD officers separated the two men and interviewed them about what had happened. The other combatant told police Rackey had approached his group at the bus stop and attempted to start a fight. When the group dismissed Rackey and sent him on his way, Rackey reportedly crossed to the other side of Coastal Highway.

However, the witness told police Rackey crossed back over and attempted to punch members of the witness’s group. Rackey swung and missed at one member of the group, but connected with a punch to the witness, which precipitated the larger fight. While both combatants were detained in handcuffs while police sorted out what had happened, the witness was released when it was determined a reportedly intoxicated Rackey had caused the altercation.

Rackey was arrested and charged with assault and disorderly conduct. According to police reports, when Rackey was being taken to a transport van, he allegedly lunged at and threatened one of the police officers. Last week, Rackey pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was placed on probation for one year.