Cops & Courts – December 13, 2019

Cops & Courts – December 13, 2019

Woman Kicks Ill Man

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City woman was charged with assault last week after allegedly kicking a reportedly terminally ill local man in the stomach during a dispute.

Around 6:50 p.m. last Wednesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the downtown area observed a male individual banging on the door at fire department headquarters on 15th Street. The officer approached the individual, who reportedly told police his friends were fighting in a unit at a nearby apartment complex.

The officer responded to the apartment and found multiple individuals in the residence. The officer learned an assault had occurred and made contact with the male victim. The victim told police his girlfriend, who OCPD officers were familiar with as Rebecca Cakar, 47, of Ocean City, were arguing and that Cakar had kicked him in the stomach. The victim told police Cakar had first kicked her, and then began punching and kicking him until others in the room pulled her off of him.

OCPD officers interviewed Cakar’s daughter, who told police the couple had been in a verbal argument before Cakar began attacking him by punching him and kicking him in the stomach. The witness told police she called a taxi for Cakar and asked her to leave the residence.

Meanwhile, the victim told police he has stage four pancreatic cancer. According to police reports, the officer knew from previous encounters with the victim his doctors had told him he only had a few months to live. The officer reportedly knew the victim had been admitted to hospice care, but advised he did not want to live the last few months of his life in hospice.

According to police reports, the victim told the officer the strikes to his stomach caused him internal pain and the officer noted in his report the victim moved about the apartment slowly with a pained expression on his face. Based on the evidence and witness testimony, Cakar was charged with second-degree assault.


Bar Melee Ends In Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Pocomoke man was arrested last weekend after allegedly trashing a downtown Ocean City bar and scrapping with employees.

Around 8:20 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to Somerset Street for a reported disorderly male who refused to leave an establishment. As the officer arrived, he was flagged down by a female patron outside the bar along with a bartender who had called police. The bartender reportedly asked the officer to assist him in removing an intoxicated male who was fighting with an employee and refusing to leave.

According to police reports, the officer observed a bar security staffer holding the suspect, later identified as Joseph Edwards, 56, down on the floor of the bar. Several bar patrons told police Edwards had tried to assault the security staffer when he had been asked to leave.

The officer reportedly told Edwards to calm down and asked the security staffer to let Edwards up from the floor. When the bouncer let Edwards up, Edwards immediately swung his arm and struck the bouncer in the side with a closed fist. Edwards was reportedly screaming obscenities and the bouncer and the police officer took him back to the ground.

At that point, Edwards was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and assault on the bouncer. According to police reports, the bouncer later told the officer he did not wish to pursue charges, but merely wanted Edwards out of the bar and not to come back.

Bar staffers told the officer prior to the police being called, Edwards had broken a bar stool and swept and knocked several drinks off the bar and onto the floor. When he was asked to leave, Edwards became combative with employees, which is when the police were called.

OCPD officers got Edwards out of the bar and attempted to load him into a patrol car for transport, but he continued to resist and scream obscenities, according to police reports. The bar manager came out and issued another trespass warning to Edwards, who reportedly threatened the manager and continued to scream obscenities. Edwards was ultimately subdued and charged with disorderly conduct and other counts.


Hotel Eviction Leads To Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Delaware man was arrested on multiple charges last week after being found with a weapon and drugs during an eviction from a hotel room.

Around 3 p.m. last Tuesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a hotel on 11th Street for a reported disturbance. The officer met with hotel employees who advised two men had been staying in a unit on the fifth floor for two days and were supposed to check out last Tuesday by 11 a.m. When the employees went to check on the room, the two men became belligerent and refused to leave, according to police reports.

The employees called police and advised they wanted the two men evicted. The OCPD officer responded to the hotel room and made contact with a suspect later identified as Michael Gardiner, 28, of Delaware City, Del. According to police reports, Gardiner first provided a different name to the officer and a background check revealed the name provided was wanted on an outstanding warrant for drug-related charges and resisting arrest in Elkton, Md.

While the OCPD officer was speaking with Gardiner, he reportedly observed him wearing multiple necklaces, one of which included a knife concealed in a plastic cover. The knife necklace was partially concealed by the other necklaces and a scarf Gardiner was wearing, according to police reports.

Meanwhile, information to the officer by Ocean City Communications led the officer to believe he was not interviewing the suspect with the name and date of birth provided by Gardiner. At that point, Gardiner was taken into custody for carrying a concealed deadly weapon and on suspicion of providing a false name to police in order to conceal his identity.

During a search incident to the arrest, the officer located a key chain around Gardiner’s neck containing a small metal vial. In the vial, the officer located five blue pills that turned out to be amphetamines and alprazolam, which are considered controlled dangerous substances.

According to police reports, Gardiner continued to maintain he was the person he said he was. Through further investigation, it was learned the name provided by Gardiner belonged to a man wanted an active warrant in Cecil County and a fugitive warrant in Delaware for being involved in a burglary during which he was armed with an explosive deadly weapon.

After police accurately identified Gardiner, he was charged with carrying a concealed dangerous weapon, making a false statement to police concerning his identity, knowingly and willingly assuming the identity of another individual and possession of CDS.


Traffic Stop Then  Charges

OCEAN CITY — A local woman was arrested on multiple charges last week after getting pulled over for a routine traffic violation and allegedly scrapping with police attempting to question her.

Around 2 p.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the area of 59th Street observed a vehicle with a crack on the driver’s side of the windshield, which was reportedly obstructing the driver’s field of vision. The officer pulled the vehicle over and determined the crack was 10 to 12 inches in length.

When the officer made contact with the driver, later identified as Jazmine Snell, 21, of Ocean City, he detected an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, according to police reports. As a result, the officer asked Snell to exit the vehicle, but she refused and said, “you’re not searching my car,” according to police reports. Snell reportedly refused to step out of the vehicle at last three different times, stating “I’m not getting out of the car,” and “you can’t make me get out of the car.”

The officer reportedly asked Snell to turn off the vehicle’s ignition for safety purposes and to keep her from leaving the scene, but she refused multiple times. Another officer arrived on the scene and opened the vehicle’s passenger side door and attempted to reach across to turn off the ignition. According to police reports, Snell forcibly pushed the officer’s arm away to prevent him from reaching over to the driver’s side of the vehicle.

At that point, the initial officer on the scene forcibly pulled Snell from the vehicle and ordered her to put her hands behind her back. As the officer attempted to put handcuffs on Snell, she reportedly pulled away and twisted her body to the point OCPD officers had to push her to the ground in order to gain control of her. A search of the vehicle turned up a baggie of marijuana.

A background check revealed Snell’s Delaware driver’s license was suspended. The check also revealed Snell had been cited for driving while suspended four times in the last year. All in all, Snell was charged with second-degree assault, obstructing and hindering, resisting arrest and multiple traffic violations. According to police reports, when Snell was advised she was being charged with arrest, she said “Don’t charge me with assault,” and “I’m driving without a license, but I didn’t assault anyone.”


Bridge Collision Arrest

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on multiple charges last week after allegedly running into the Route 50 bridge while intoxicated and later being found in possession of a knife.

Around 6:20 p.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Communications broadcasted information about a possibly intoxicated driver who had struck the Route 50 bridge. A description of the vehicle was provided and an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer located the suspected drunk driver stopped in an alley near 14th Street.

The officer followed the vehicle until it stopped at a red light on 13th Street facing east in the westbound lane. The officer approached the vehicle and identified the driver as Byron Maghan, Jr., 49, of Harper’s Ferry, W.Va. When the officer approached, he detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle, according to police reports.

Maghan told police he was heading to a hotel on 112th Street, but the name of the hotel he provided was not on 112th Street. Maghan reportedly told the officer he had not had any alcohol. During the interaction, the officer observed a knife protruding from Maghan’s pocket and took possession of it for safety reasons.

Maghan did not complete field sobriety tests to the officer’s satisfaction and was taken into custody on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. He was ultimately charged with driving while impaired and driving under the influence, possession of a dangerous weapon and other traffic offenses.


Jail For Choking Incident

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man, arrested in October after strangling his girlfriend at a resort residence, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault last week and was sentenced to 29 days in jail.

Around 12:10 a.m. on Oct. 24, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a residence on 5th Street for a reported assault that had already occurred. As the officer approached the unit, he could hear a male and a female arguing inside, according to police reports. The officer knocked on the door and a male suspect, later identified as George Ruark, Jr., 36, of Ocean City, answered and let he and other officers 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 broken 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 began 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 had screamed he was going to kill her. Only after the victim was able to scratch Ruark’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. Based on the evidence and testimony, Ruark was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault. Last week, he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 29 days in jail.