Cops & Courts – December 6, 2019

Cops & Courts – December 6, 2019

1st Degree Assault Charge For Gun Threat

OCEAN CITY — A Bridgeville, Del. man was arrested on first-degree assault and other charges last week after allegedly pulling a gun on his girlfriend during an argument in a vehicle with her young children inside.

Around 9 p.m. last Friday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to the area of a hotel at 66th Street for a reported woman attempting to walk across the street with her children, who were crying, according to police reports. OCPD officers met with the visibly upset female victim, who told police she had been in an argument with her boyfriend, later identified as Sawndale Auguste, 25, of Bridgeville, while they were returning from a family outing for pizza along with her two children, ages four and eight.

The victim reportedly told police the argument with Auguste turned physical when he grabbed her by the throat in a choke-hold while she was driving. When the vehicle came to a stop, the victim’s two children were able to get out and run away. However, the victim was able to eventually get out of the vehicle and run after her children.

According to police reports, Auguste then slid over to the driver’s seat and attempted to drive away, but the victim stood in front of the vehicle because she did not want Auguste to drive because he had been drinking, according to police reports. A witness nearby later told police Auguste screamed “get the [expletive deleted] out of the way or I’ll run you over,” according to police reports.

OCPD officers interviewed the eight-year-old child, who reportedly told police Auguste had put the victim in a headlock while she was driving. The young witness told police Auguste then grabbed a pistol and pointed it at the victim’s leg while threatening to kill her, according to police reports. The young witness told police he became scared when Auguste allegedly racked the slide on the handgun, which is when he and his sister ran away from the vehicle.

When interviewed again, the victim reportedly told police Auguste had produced a silver and black handgun and racked the slide, which is when her children ran away from the vehicle. After gaining a consent to search the victim’s vehicle, OCPD officers located a 9-milimeter handgun in the center console matching the description provided by the victim and her eight-year-old child.

A search of Auguste’s person revealed a 9mm caliber bullet in his pants pocket matching the type of ammunition found in the handgun. The pistol was loaded with four rounds in the chamber, according to police reports. A background check revealed the weapon had been reported stolen in Delaware.

Witnesses at the hotel corroborated the victim’s story about her children running from the vehicle and the victim standing in front of it to prevent Auguste from running away. During the interview with the victim, OCPD officers learned the argument began because Auguste had named an ex-girlfriend the beneficiary of his benefits.

Based on all of the evidence and the victim and witness testimony, Auguste was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault, possession of a handgun in the commission of a felony, reckless endangerment and multiple other counts related to the stolen handgun.


Mouse Trap Ruckus

OCEAN CITY — A Willards man was arrested on multiple charges last week after allegedly causing a scene at a downtown hotel where he worked.

Around 8:30 a.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a hotel at 16th Street for a reported employee who was irate and yelling. As the officer arrived, shouting could be heard coming from a 5th-floor balcony and a hotel employee, later identified as Maurice Hodo, 28, of Willards, yelled down, “Oh good, I need to talk to you,” before running away, according to police reports.

The OCPD officer entered the hotel lobby and again encountered Hodo, who identified himself as a maintenance worker and was adamant he needed to speak with the officer in the parking lot. According to police reports, Hodo said to the officer, “I can tell by your posture and aura that you’re an intelligent man,” before telling the officer a guest on the fifth floor had observed a mouse trap with a mouse in it and no longer wanted to stay in the hotel.

Hodo reportedly told the officer he got into a verbal argument with the hotel guest to the point he became so mad he punched a cinder block wall out of anger. Hodo showed the officer his hands which were bloodied with the skin torn open from punching the wall, according to police reports.

OCPD officers spoke with the hotel manager, who told police because of Hodo’s agitated state, she wanted him to leave the property for the evening. When advised of the situation, Hodo reportedly became angrier, shouting at police “I am not leaving,” and “Are you going to drive me to Willards?” and “Are you going to pay my [expletive deleted] bills?”

According to police reports, there was family of four including two young girls in a vehicle parked nearby who were reluctant to leave their vehicle because of Hodo’s tirade, according to police reports.

OCPD officers asked Hodo to calm down and stop yelling because there were families and young children around, but he refused to lower his voice and continued his expletive-laced tirade. By now, Hodo was off hotel property and was now on the ocean block of 16th Street, so OCPD officers returned to the lobby to interview the manager.

In the meantime, numerous hotel guests came out on their balconies to observe the ruckus. By now, OCPD officers had been in contact off and on with Hodo for over an hour and his anger had not subsided. As a result, he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a lawful order and noise violations.


Passed Out In Wrong Unit

OCEAN CITY — A Delaware man was arrested on burglary and other charges last week after allegedly breaking into and sleeping in the wrong midtown condo.

Around 2:45 a.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a condo building on 70th Street for a reported breaking and entering in progress. The officer met with a male complainant who told police he was supposed to stay in the condo and the unit’s owner. The victim told police the unit’s owner had left around 11 p.m., and he had arrived at around 2:45 a.m. after driving from New Hampshire.

The victim told police the unit’s owner had left it unlocked for him and had gone for the night because the victim was scheduled to arrive later. When the victim entered the unit, he found a suspect later identified as Patrick Feeley, 25, of Wilmington, Del., sleeping on a couch in the living room.

Other OCPD officers arrived and attempted to wake Feeley, according to police reports. When Feeley was awakened, he allegedly tensed up and resisted arrest before complying. According to police reports, Feeley, who was reportedly intoxicated, told the officers he was supposed to be in the unit because he believed it was unit 9, but was actually in unit 8. Feeley was ultimately arrested and charged with burglary and trespassing among other charges.


45 Days For Disorderly Conduct

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man, arrested last month on multiple charges after assaulting his girlfriend, swiping a bicycle and scrapping with police officers, pleaded guilty this week to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 45 days in jail.

Around 7:25 p.m. on Nov. 2, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a residence at 14th Street after receiving a call from a man requesting a check on the welfare of his daughter and grandchildren because he had been receiving concerning text messages that her daughter’s boyfriend, later identified as Burt Foskey, 40, of Ocean City was starting to “act up.”

As officers approached the residence, they reportedly heard a woman scream “stop.” When the female victim opened the door, she reportedly yelled to the officers “get him,” and the officers detained Foskey in handcuffs and removed him from the residence. According to police reports, Foskey was combative while officers attempted to detain and question him and launched into an expletive-laced and racial slur-laced tirade at them, informing them he was going to “[expletive deleted] them up,” according to police reports.

The tirades reportedly went on for several minutes as neighbors started coming out of their homes to observe. At one point, a group of three men walking by told Foskey they were going to intervene if he did not sit down and continued screaming and resisting arrest.

Foskey was ultimately subdued and taken to the Public Safety Building for processing. OCPD officers interviewed the female victim who told police he had been in an argument and that Foskey had yanked her head back by her hair just before police arrived. The victim also reportedly told police she feared Foskey because of his gang affiliations and the officers noted in the report Foskey had tattoos consistent with gang membership. That led to a second-degree assault charge against Foskey.

OCPD officers also interviewed the victim’s two juvenile daughters who reportedly told police there was bicycle in the kitchen that was stolen. The female victim told police within the last couple of days, Foskey had walked to a liquor store a few blocks away and had returned on a bicycle. The victim told police Foskey bragged about how he had avoided surveillance cameras when he took the bike. Based on the evidence, theft charges were tacked on.

On Tuesday, Foskey pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 45 days in jail. The other charges against him were not prosecuted as part of the plea arrangement.


Holiday DUI Initiative Results

BERLIN — Allied law enforcement agencies last weekend conducted a DUI enforcement initiative in relation to the Thanksgiving holiday resulting in numerous stops and a handful of arrests.

The Maryland State Police Berlin barrack in partnership with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, the Berlin Police Department and the Ocean City Police Department conducted the initiative last Friday, November 30, throughout much of northern Worcester County. The initiative targeted Route 50, Route 113, Route 90 and Coastal Highway.

The routes were selected based on historic trends of having a high volume of impaired driving incidents. During the initiative, which ran from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., a total of 92 traffic stops were conducted, resulting in 71 citations, 62 warnings, nine DUI arrests and one criminal arrest.