Cops & Courts – January 24, 2020

Cops & Courts – January 24, 2020

Two Arrested For Credit Card Fraud Scheme

OCEAN CITY — Two Washington, D.C. area men were arrested on theft and credit card fraud charges last week after allegedly attempting to use multiple phony cards at a north-end sub shop.

Around 4:20 p.m. last Wednesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a sandwich shop at 132nd Street for a suspected fraud. Ocean City Communications informed the officer the four suspects, including two males and two females, were still sitting outside the restaurant on a bench.

The officer arrived and spoke to the manager, who informed police the four suspects had ordered over $54 in food. One of the suspects, later identified as Mohammed Saidynaly, 21, of Silver Spring, Md., went next door to a bar, while another suspect, identified as Sophian Seidnaly, 26, of Rockville, Md., attempted to pay for the food with a credit card, according to police reports.

The manager told police the card Seidnaly presented had no major credit card carrier’s name on it, such as Visa and Mastercard, and the manager asked Seidnaly how to run it. According to police reports, Seidnaly told the manager it was a gift card and he did not know. The manager tried it two different ways and the card declined each time.

Seidnaly produced another card and it declined. Saidynaly returned and told the manager he was going to get a different card from their vehicle to pay for the food and returned with yet another card. After several attempts with the third card, the clerk was prompted to enter it manually.

However, when the clerk attempted to enter the card’s numbers manually, Saidynaly spoke up quickly and insisted the card information not be entered in that way. Finally, Saidynaly produced yet another card with no other information on it except the name Emmanuel. The clerk questioned why none of the other cards presented thus far included that name, Saidynaly told her it was a family name and insisted the card be run, according to police reports.

That card worked and Saidynaly signed the receipt and the group left with the food, but did not immediately leave. Suspecting some kind of credit card fraud, the store manager called the police and the OCPD officer arrived on scene a short time later.

Meanwhile, the OCPD officer spoke to a bartender at the neighboring business reporting a similar experience with Saidynaly. The bartender told police Saidynaly entered the bar and attempted to make a purchase, producing a credit card that declined when the chip feature did not work. The bartender told police she attempted to put the card numbers in manually, but Saidynaly insisted she use the magnetic stripe before cancelling the purchase and leaving, according to police reports.

The OCPD officer interviewed Saidynaly and Seidnaly outside the sandwich shop and asked them to produce the cards with which they attempted to purchase the food. Each produced a couple of cards, none of which matched the numbers on the declined receipts from the attempted food purchase.

Suspicious of the multiple cards and the multiple attempts to use them, the OCPD officer searched Saidynaly and Seidnaly and the vehicle. According to police reports, Saidynaly was in possession of as many as eight different credit cards with different numbers and names, while Seidnaly was in possession of 15.

One of the cards Saidynaly possessed had the name “Emmanuel” on it. When the officer asked the suspect why no other cards in their possession had the name Emmanuel on them, Saidynaly told police a man named Emmanuel owed him money and put the money owed on a pre-paid credit card in his name.

The officer believed the two suspects were involved in a credit card fraud and theft scheme. Most of the cards found in their possession had the chip feature mutilated. The officer knew the magnetic strip on credit cards could be reprogrammed with information from a different account, but the chip feature could not be tampered with.

A further search of the vehicle revealed a device the officer knew to be an electronic scanner used to scan magnetic strip data from one card and reprogram it onto a different card. Each suspect was arrested and charged with theft and credit card fraud.


Alleged Punch In Nose Results In Assault Charge

OCEAN CITY — A Rockville, Md. man was arrested on assault charges last week after allegedly punching his ex-girlfriend in the nose during an altercation at a downtown hotel.

Around 2:30 a.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a hotel at 25th Street for a reported domestic assault that had already occurred. The officer met with a hotel employee who informed police that occupants in several rooms on the fourth floor had complained of a loud argument coming from unit 419. Meanwhile, Ocean City Communications informed the officer a 911 call from a female had originated inside unit 419.

The officer responded to unit 419 and was met by a female victim who reportedly told the officer she had called to cancel the initial call and that it was a non-emergency. According to police reports, the victim had a laceration on her nose and redness and swelling on the right side of her face. The officer also observed dried blood around the victim’s nostrils and around her mouth. The victim was somewhat reluctant to tell the officer what had happened, only that she had been in a physical altercation about an hour earlier with her ex-boyfriend, identified as Daniel Johnson, 25, of Rockville, Md.

According to police reports, the hotel room was disheveled with multiple containers of alcoholic beverages scattered about. The officer also observed dried blood splatter on a bed sheet and also on two separate hand towels in the bathroom.

The officer interviewed another couple who were staying in the same room with Johnson and the alleged victim. According to police reports, around 1:30 a.m., each couple was sleeping in separate beds when Johnson and the victim began arguing. While the victim was attempting to fall back asleep, Johnson allegedly moved over to the other bed, sat next to the female in the other couple and began rubbing her leg and asking for sexual favors, according to police reports.

The second female had to physically push Johnson away, which is when the victim woke up. According to police reports, the victim asked Johnson to leave, and when he refused, she threatened to call the police. At that point, Johnson reportedly grabbed the victim by her shoulders and punched her in the face with a closed fist, according to police reports. The altercation spilled into the bathroom before the two women were able to push Johnson out of the hotel room.

The officer went back down to the hotel lobby to interview Johnson about his version of the events. According to police reports, Johnson refused to speak with the officer at first, but told police he did not inflict the injuries to the victim’s nose and that she had punched herself. Based on the testimony of the victim and witnesses, Johnson was arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree assault.


Guilty Pleas For Assault, DUI

OCEAN CITY — A California woman arrested in August on at least 20 charges after getting stopped for driving under the influence and going on an assault and verbal tirade spree pleaded guilty this week to two counts in District Court.

Around 12:15 a.m. on Aug. 26, Ocean City Communications broadcasted a lookout after a concerned citizen reported an allegedly intoxicated driver leaving a parking lot in the area of 45th Street. According to police reports, the vehicle had its left turn signal activated, but instead swerved right across multiple lanes causing vehicles to brake to avoid hitting it.

The vehicle stopped briefly at a red traffic signal, but reportedly accelerated quickly through a parking lot and re-entered Coastal Highway without stopping to look for oncoming traffic. OCPD officers stopped the vehicle in the bus lane at 40th Street and made contact with the driver, identified as Lisa Grieco, 54, of Pasadena, California. According to police reports, Grieco exhibited signs of intoxication and admitted to consuming multiple Bloody Mary’s at different locations around the resort. She reportedly did not complete field sobriety tests to the officers’ satisfaction and admitted she should have taken a cab or an Uber.

At that point, she was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and impaired. However, she reportedly resisted arrest, screaming expletives at police officers and scrapping with them as they attempted to take her into custody. According to police reports, she shoved one officer and stomped on the foot of another. She also kicked an officer and grabbed another’s hands, screaming “you’re so strong,” according to police reports.

Grieco continued screaming, laughing and assaulting officers during the arrest process and ultimately had to be put in a violent person restraint device in order to be put into a transport van. By now, a crowd of pedestrians had gathered to watch the scene unfold and numerous motorists slowed or stopped to watch the proceedings, according to police reports.

Grieco continued to scream, despite the officers’ warnings to stop, shouting “get off my [expletive deleted] back,” and “you’re in real [expletive deleted] trouble if you break my back,” according to police reports. According to police reports, Grieco continued to scream “help me,” and “call 911,” over and over at least 200 times during her transport to the Public Safety Building for processing. At the Public Safety Building, Grieco reportedly assaulted at least two public safety aides assisting in the booking process.

Once in a holding cell, Grieco continued to scream “call 911,” over 100 more times as she banged on the cell door. According to police reports, Grieco was so loud her screams could be heard in the District Court Commissioner’s office through three concrete walls, according to police reports. All in all, Grieco was charged with 20 total counts including driving while impaired and under the influence, resisting arrest, assaults on police officers, disorderly conduct and numerous other traffic offenses.