Cops & Courts – March 20, 2020

Cops & Courts – March 20, 2020

Construction Trailer Break-In

OCEAN CITY — It didn’t take long for an Ocean City man, who a week earlier caught a break on a first-degree assault charge from an incident last December, to return to his old tricks last week with an alleged Boardwalk construction trailer break-in.

On Feb. 28, Walter Everett, 57, of Ocean City, was convicted of theft for a Dec. 26 incident on the Boardwalk, but the first-degree assault charge against him was not prosecuted because the victim has since died from health issues not related to the alleged attack. Less than a week later, Everett was arrested again on the Boardwalk after allegedly breaking into a construction trailer.

Around 8:15 p.m. March 5, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling near the Inlet observed a parked construction company trailer at South 1st Street and the Boardwalk with its rear doors open. There were no construction workers in the area, nor was any construction work being done in the area at that time at night.

The officer approached the trailer and observed Everett inside. The officer was familiar with Everett from numerous previous encounters with the suspect. According to police reports, Everett was inside the trailer and appeared to be rummaging through the tools and bags that were on shelves inside the vehicle.

The officer approached and ordered Everett to come out of the trailer, an order Everett either did not hear or ignored. Because it was dark inside the trailer, and because of the potential for sharp, dangerous tools inside, the officer drew his Taser and activated it. According to police reports, the officer told Everett “walk forward out of the trailer or I’m going to tase you,” to which Everett reportedly replied, “you will have to tase me if you want me to come out.”

The officer called for backup and again ordered Everett to come out of the trailer. According to police reports, the officer activated the Taser to the point electricity arced out of the weapon as a means to convince Everett to come out. At that point, Everett walked out of the trailer and stood on the Boardwalk, which is when backup officers arrived to assist.

According to police reports, Everett refused to cooperate and launched into an expletive-laced tirade at the OCPD officers and refused to comply with their demands. He was ultimately handcuffed and placed in a patrol vehicle for transport, but continued to resist and refuse to cooperate through that process.

A search of Everett revealed an open plastic bottle of vodka, of which about one-third had been consumed. Everett was also found in possession of a wrench set, although it could not be immediately determined if the tools had been taken from the construction trailer.

Meanwhile, Ocean City Communications advised the officers the entire alleged trailer break-in had been captured by City Watch surveillance cameras in the area. The surveillance video reportedly showed Everett walk behind the construction trailer and open the door wide enough for him to enter it.

A background check revealed Everett had been released from the Worcester County Jail about a week earlier after serving 63 days for an assault and theft case on the Boardwalk in December. In that case, Everett was charged with first-degree assault, theft and other charges after allegedly stomping a homeless man on the Boardwalk and taking a bottle of liquor from him.

On Feb. 28, Everett was found guilty of theft under $100 for the Dec. 26 incident and was sentenced to 63 days, or the time he spent in jail awaiting trial. The first-degree assault charges and other counts against him for that incident were not prosecuted because the victim in the case passed away between the time the incident occurred and the trial. The victim did not die from injuries sustained in the Dec. 26 incident.

Around 7:15 p.m. on Dec. 26, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer met with the victim, a local homeless individual with whom the OCPD was familiar and who had recently fallen into ill health and was physically disabled.

The victim told police he was lying on the ground and there was a plastic bottle of next to him, according to police reports. The victim told police while he was lying under the blanket, he was approached by another man later identified as Everett.

The victim told police he poked his head out from under the blanket and observed the man he knew only as “Walt.” According to police reports, Everett told the victim “give me that [expletive deleted] bottle” and angrily kicked an aluminum can at the victim, striking him.

The victim reportedly told police Everett kicked him in the left side of his face three times. The OCPD officer located Everett crossing Philadelphia Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets and he was carrying the plastic bottle of vodka allegedly stolen from the victim. According to police reports, Everett admitted taking the bottle from the victim, but denied any physical altercation had occurred.


Chronic Bike Thief Gets 90 Days

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man, arrested twice in the span of about a week after stealing bicycles in and around the resort area, pleaded guilty to theft last week and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Around 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 10, Ocean City Communications stated a bicycle had been reported stolen a few days prior and reported a bike matching its description had been seen riding northbound on Coastal Highway around 43rd Street. Ocean City Communications provided a detailed description of the stolen bicycle along with a detailed description of the individual who was currently riding it, according to police reports.

An Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer who handled the original bike theft complaint three days earlier at a Boardwalk hotel at 17th Street had submitted a picture of the suspect, believed to be Alex Alexis, 31, of Ocean City, from prior run-ins with police in the resort, to his colleagues who were on shift.

Another OCPD officer detained Alexis on the bicycle around 70th Street. Alexis was asked where he got the bicycle, and told police he had found it in the street around 16th Street a few days earlier. OCPD officers made contact with the bike’s owner, who provided a detailed description down to the cup holder and phone holder.

The owner was also able to provide the combination to the lock attached to the bike, and when the officers entered the numbers, the lock opened. At that point, Alexis was arrested for theft. Alexis reportedly asked the officer what would happen to the bike and the officer told him it would be returned to the owner. Alexis then told the officer to let the owner know he was sorry and that he knew the bike did not belong to him.

Around 3:30 p.m. on February 15, an OCPD officer responded to a residence on 23rd Street for a reported burglary. The officer met with the complainant, who told police he noticed two bicycles had been stolen from a storage closet on the back patio area of the residence. The complainant noticed the bikes had been stolen sometime the day before and notified the property owner of the alleged theft.

The officer contacted the homeowner via telephone and the owner provided detailed descriptions of the two bikes. The descriptions of the style of the bicycles were nearly identical except for the colors, one of which was light blue and the other of which was gray.

The owner told police he had put the two bicycles in the unlocked storage shed about a week earlier before leaving Ocean City after the weekend. In addition, the owner reportedly told police there was a washing machine in the same closet with the machine unplugged and the breaker turned off. The officer checked the closet and found the machine was plugged in and the breaker was on, according to police reports.

Another OCPD officer reported seeking Alexis allegedly riding the blue bicycle on Baltimore Avenue the day before. The officer knew Alexis because he was the same officer who had arrested the suspect from the prior bicycle theft case almost a week earlier.

On Saturday, another OCPD officer observed Alexis allegedly riding the stolen blue bicycle on Coastal Highway near 45th Street and detained him. The blue bicycle matched the exact description down to the same serial number provided by the victim. According to police reports, Alexis told the officer he had found the bike near the Ocean City Library, which is dozens of blocks away from the alleged theft scene at 23rd Street, and that he took it even though it did not belong to him.

Last week, Alexis pleaded guilty to theft under $1,500 and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.


Cocaine Dealer Pleads Guilty

SNOW HILL — One of four local residents indicted on various drug distribution charges after a months-long investigation in the Berlin area was found guilty last week and sentencing was deferred until next month.

In November, the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team completed a three-month cocaine distribution investigation culminating with the execution of a search and seizure warrant at a residence on Flower Street in Berlin. The search resulted in the recovery of 147 grams of cocaine, a handgun and various packaging items consistent with drug distribution.

Simultaneously, a traffic stop was conducted related to the investigation at Old Ocean City Road and Main Street in Berlin, resulting in the arrest of another suspect wanted in connection with the investigation. All told, four local suspects were arrested in connection with the investigation and each was indicted last week by a Worcester County grand jury.

Among those indicted following the investigation was Dashon Drummond, 27, of Berlin, who was charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Last week, Drummond entered an Alford plea to the charge. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to prosecute the case. Sentencing in Drummond’s case has been set for April 17.

Also indicted by the grand jury on charges of possession and possession with intent to distribute cocaine were Charles Johnson, 31, of Berlin; Elizabeth Rosario, 25, of Berlin; and Joshua King, 24, of Snow Hill. Rosario is scheduled to appear for trial on April 14, while Johnson and King are both scheduled to appear on May 4.