Cops & Courts – November 1, 2019

Cops & Courts – November 1, 2019

Assault Charges For Choking Incident

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on first-degree assault charges last week after allegedly strangling his girlfriend at a resort residence.

Around 12:10 a.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a residence on 5th Street for a reported assault. As the officer approached the unit, he could hear a male and a female arguing inside, according to police reports. The officers knocked on the door and George Ruark, Jr., 36, of Ocean City, answered and let them in.

OCPD officers entered the unit and observed the female victim on an exterior porch still on the phone with Ocean City Communications. As an OCPD officer walked through the unit, he observed a wooden end table that was broken, glass dishes shattered on the floor and several empty beer cans strewn throughout, according to police reports.

The officer spoke with the female victim, who told police she was in bed attempting to sleep while Ruark was on the couch in the living room drinking, which he had been doing all day, according to the victim. The victim reportedly told police Ruark came into the bedroom to demand money and more alcohol.

The victim told police she brought up Ruark communicating with other women on social media and he became enraged and began smacking her. The victim told the officer Ruark then grabbed her by the neck and began strangling her. The victim told police she was unable to breathe and that her vision was starting to go dark.

The victim reportedly told police Ruark screamed he was going to kill her. Only after the victim was able to scratch the man’s neck was she able to free herself from his grasp. The victim had red marks and abrasions consistent with being choked, according to police reports. She was taken to Atlantic General Hospital to be evaluated.

OCPD officers then interviewed Ruark, who was still on the couch in the living room. Ruark admitted to police he was drunk and had scratch marks on his neck consistent with the victim’s story. Ruark told police the victim had caught him communicating with other women on social media and that an argument ensued, during which the victim scratched his neck. Based on the evidence and testimony, Ruark was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault.

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Loaded Handgun Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Virginia man faces multiple charges this week after first allegedly assaulting his girlfriend and later being found in possession of a loaded handgun.

Around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched for a reported domestic assault that had already occurred in the downtown area. According to police, the victim’s mother called Ocean City Communications to report her daughter had been hit by her boyfriend, later identified as Benjamin Gooden, 25, of Elkton, Va.

The officer was able to obtain the victim’s cell phone number and called her to find out what had happened and where she was located. The victim told police she was staying on the fifth floor, but that she didn’t know which room number. The victim told police she had been assaulted by Gooden, who had left the room just before she called the police. The victim also provided a description of Gooden.

As the officer was approaching the building, he observed a male matching the Gooden’s description walking near the building. The officer asked the suspect “are you Ben?” to which he replied yes. Gooden was asked to sit down on the curb while the officer questioned him. According to police reports, Gooden was carrying a plastic bag containing clothes and other belongings, and when he set it down on the sidewalk, the officer detected the sound of metal hitting the ground.

When the officer asked Gooden if he was carrying any weapons, he reportedly admitted carrying a pistol. The officer inspected the bag and found a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson handgun in the bag concealed under a shirt, according to police reports.

The officer rendered the weapon safe and noticed a round in the chamber and nine more rounds in the magazine. When questioned, Gooden said he always carried the handgun with him for protection. “I take it everywhere I go, I even had it on the Boardwalk earlier,” he said, according to police reports. Gooden told police Virginia was an open-carry state and that he didn’t know he wasn’t allowed to carry it in Maryland.

As far as the alleged assault goes, Gooden told police he had a verbal argument with the victim, but it had not been physical. Based on the evidence, Gooden was arrested at that point for carrying a loaded handgun on his person. OCPD officers then interviewed the victim, who told police she and Gooden had been in an argument and that he had back-hand slapped her on her hip. An additional charge of second-degree assault was added to the weapons charges.

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Disorderly, Assault Charges

OCEAN CITY — A Nanjemoy, Md. man was arrested on assault and disorderly conduct charges last week after allegedly attempting to interfere with a traffic stop.

Around 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 12, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was working on a special detail for a motor vehicle special event while wearing a modified uniform with the word “police” written on the back and front in large letters. The officer was conducting a traffic stop in the area of 9th Street when he observed a male suspect later identified as Danny Wood, 30, on Nanjemoy, walking toward him in the traffic lane yelling “burn ‘em,” and “just [expletive deleted] burn ‘em,” according to police reports.

The officer advised Wood to stop yelling, get out of the roadway and onto the sidewalk. According to police reports, Wood failed to follow the officer’s instructions and continued to walk in the roadway yelling expletives at the officer. Wood eventually did get on the sidewalk, but when asked for identification, he reportedly threw his wallet at the officer, striking him. Wood was arrested and charged with assault and disorderly conduct.

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Refusal To Leave

OCEAN CITY — A Chestnut Hill Cove, Md. man was arrested on multiple charges last week after getting kicked out of a midtown nightclub and causing a scene while refusing to leave.

Last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to the area of 50th Street for a reported disorderly male. When the officers arrived, he observed the suspect, later identified as Ryan Budka, 32, of Chestnut Hill Cove, Md., being held down on the ground by security personnel from a nearby nightclub. According to police reports, Budka was flailing on the ground and screaming “don’t hurt me,” and “get off me.”

Security staffers told police Budka had been falling over in the nightclub and had attempted to expose himself to patrons, which is why he was told he had to leave. According to police reports, Budka did leave the area in a taxi, but returned a short time later and refused to leave the area.

Security staffers attempted to walk Budka off the premises, but he escaped their grasp and ran back toward the entrance to the nightclub, which is when security staffer took him to the ground. While on the ground, Budka reportedly kicked a nearby parked vehicle, causing damage.

Based on the evidence and testimony, Budka was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and intoxicated endangerment. During a search incident to the arrest, suboxone was found in Budka’s wallet and additional charges were tacked on.

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Bushes Flattened

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on intoxicated endangerment charges last weekend after falling into and flattening some bushes at a midtown hotel while attempting to urinate.

Around 2:30 a.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the area of 48th Street when observed a suspect later identified as Beau Dunkerly, 40, of Hanover, Pa., walking toward bushes on a hotel property to urinate. While the officer observed, Dunkerly reportedly lost his balance and fell into the bushes, flattening them in the process.

The officer spoke with Dunkerly, who told police he had just left a nearby nightclub and was intoxicated. Dunkerly was arrested and charged with intoxicated endangerment.

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Jail For Golf Club Thefts

OCEAN CITY — A Hagerstown, Md. man, arrested in June after a theft spree from vehicles at a north-end condo parking lot, pleaded guilty last Friday to theft under $25,000 and was sentenced to 18 months, all but seven days of which were then suspended.

Bradley Jordan, 27, of Hagerstown, pleaded guilty last week to theft under $25,000 for the theft spree at the north-end condo parking lot and was sentenced to 18 months, all but seven days of which were suspended. He was also placed on probation for two years upon his release and was ordered to pay $900 in restitution to the victims.

Last May 19, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a condominium on 81st Street for a reported theft. The officer met with a victim who reported some time in the overnight or early morning hours, someone had stolen his golf clubs, golf bag and other personal property from his unlocked vehicle.

Two days later on May 21, another OCPD officer handled a theft complaint at the same north-end condo parking lot. In that incident, the suspect, later identified as Jordan, had stolen a set of golf clubs and a GPS system. Over the following couple of weeks, the OCPD handled more reports of theft from the same condo parking lot including a woman’s purse and cell phone charger, for example.

OCPD officers watched video surveillance footage from the condo and observed a suspect matching Jordan’s description make multiple trips across the parking lot carrying various items. On two occasions, the surveillance video showed Jordan carrying golf bags with clubs in them.

A separate surveillance camera showed imaged of Jordan entering a unit on the 6th floor.

OCPD investigators determined an unidentified female was the renter for the unit and made contact with her. The renter identified Jordan as the suspect who had entered the unit with the stolen property. After multiple attempts to contact Jordan by phone failed, he was located and charge in June with multiple counts of theft, theft scheme and rogue and vagabond.

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Rough Trip Across Road Nets Jail Time

OCEAN CITY — A Hagerstown, Md. man, arrested in September after being found passed out in front of a bank in the uptown area before stumbling across Coastal Highway and exposing himself to police, pleaded guilty this week to intoxicated endangerment and was sentenced to 90 days, all but four of which were suspended.

Around 1:55 a.m. on Sept. 22, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling in the area of 92nd Street when he was flagged down by an individual trying to get the officer’s attention. The officer pulled over and learned from the witness a suspect later identified as Randy Saylor-Ryan, 30, of Hagerstown, was sleeping in the grass in front of a nearby bank.

The officer responded and found Saylor-Ryan sleeping in the grass with his sunglasses on his face. The officer awakened Saylor-Ryan and attempted to find out where he was staying

After several failed attempts, the officer was able to determine Saylor-Ryan was staying at hotel across the street. The officer instructed Saylor-Ryan to cross the street when appropriate in the marked crosswalk. According to police reports, Saylor-Ryan crossed Coastal Highway in traffic, causing vehicles to slow down to avoid hitting him and blowing their horns.

Once safely on the opposite side of the street, Saylor-Ryan got tangled up in a tree as part of the hotel landscaping and fell down. When he got to his feet again, he crossed the street to a neighboring condo parking garage. According to police reports, Saylor-Ryan pulled his pants down to his ankles and began urinating in plain view of police officers.

He was arrested and charged with intoxicated endangerment, disorderly conduct and indecent exposure. On Tuesday, Saylor-Ryan pleaded guilty to intoxicated endangerment and was sentenced to 90 days, all but four of which were suspended. He was also placed on probation for one year.