Cops & Courts – March 27, 2020

Cops & Courts – March 27, 2020

Trespassing, Assault Arrest At OC Ministry

OCEAN CITY — A Berlin man was arrested last week after allegedly refusing to wash his hands or use hand sanitizer while receiving services from a downtown Ocean City ministry before causing a scene.

Around 10 a.m. last Tuesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to the Shepherd’s Crook Ministry at the St. Paul’s by the Sea Church on 3rd Street for a reported trespassing incident. The officer met with the church’s minister who advised because of the coronavirus outbreak, the ministry was asking anyone seeking services to wash their hands or use sanitizer prior to receiving services.

The minister said one individual, later identified as Paul Fields, 83, of Berlin, refused to comply with the request and refused to leave the building when asked to do so, according to police reports. OCPD officers reportedly asked Fields no less than three times to leave the building and each time he reportedly said, “Take me to jail, arrest me and I’m not leaving,” according to police reports.

OCPD officers at that point advised Fields he was under arrest for trespassing and told him to put his hands behind his back. Two officers reportedly took hold of Fields’ arms and attempted to place them behind his back so they could handcuff him, but he allegedly pulled his arms away and began to turn away from the officers so they could not handcuff him.

At one point, Fields began kicking one of the officers in the shin with his right leg, according to police reports. After Fields allegedly kicked a female officer in the shin, other people in the building began shouting at Fields to stop kicking the officer, but he kicked her at least two more times, according to police reports. Fields was ultimately subdued and was charged with trespassing, resisting arrest and second-degree assault.


Tinder Connection Gone Wrong

OCEAN CITY — A Snow Hill man was charged with assault earlier this month after allegedly following a female victim he had met on an online dating platform from a resort nightclub to her hotel room.

Around 4:40 a.m. on March 9, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a hotel at 25th Street for a reported sexual offense. The officer responded to a room on the fourth floor and met with the alleged victim. The victim told police she had been at a midtown nightclub for a night out where she ran into a male individual she had met previously on the dating app Tinder.

The victim told police she had communicated with the suspect, later identified as Kenneth Wharton, 28, of Snow Hill, through social media, but had never met him face to face. OCPD officers were reportedly able to identify Wharton through other social media such as Facebook and Snapchat and his profile pictures, date of birth, address and other information allegedly matched the description provided by the victim along with his Tinder profile provided by the victim.

The victim told police she had a brief interaction with the Wharton at the nightclub, but reportedly told him she was not interested. Another couple at the club reportedly told Wharton the victim was not interested. The victim told police she took a ride-share service back to her hotel and Wharton was allegedly already waiting for her in the parking lot.

The victim said she briefly argued with Wharton, but agreed to allow him to use the restroom in her hotel room but that he had to leave immediately thereafter. According to police reports, Wharton used the bathroom and was then told to leave, but he allegedly pushed the victim onto a couch and uninvitedly began to kiss her on the neck and lips and touched her thighs beneath her dress.

According to police reports, the victim clawed at Wharton to get him off her and scratched his face in the process. Wharton did leave the hotel room and the victim followed him out the door, but the door closed behind her locking her out without a key.

The victim went to the front desk and met with a staffer who reportedly told police she was visibly shaken and had blood on her hands, presumably from scratching Wharton. The hotel night shift staffer called police and tended to the victim until the officer arrived.

A later review of the hotel’s video surveillance footage revealed the comings and goings of Wharton and the victim and corroborated the timeline of the victim’s story. Based on the testimony and the video surveillance evidence, Wharton was charged with second-degree assault.


Guilty Verdict Stolen Skateboard Assault

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man, who was arrested on assault and other charges in August after a reported dispute over an alleged stolen skateboard at a downtown residence, was found guilty last week and awaits his fate pending a pre-sentence investigation.

On August 4, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a residence on Wicomico Street for a reported assault that had just occurred. The officer met with the alleged victim, who told police he had an argument with the suspect identified as Killian McDonald, 25, of Ocean City, because McDonald had accused the victim of taking his skateboard.

The victim told police McDonald was extremely agitated and got in his face while yelling at him about the allegedly stolen skateboard. Because of McDonald’s alleged level of agitation and close proximity, the victim told police he shoved McDonald with his shoulder to gain some separation.

At that point, McDonald allegedly grabbed the victim by the top of his head and began striking him repeatedly in the face with a closed fist. According to police reports, McDonald punched the victim at least 10 times on the right side of his face before stopping and asking, “Are you done?” according to police reports. When the victim did not respond, McDonald allegedly began hitting the victim again until the victim finally replied, “I’m done,” according to police reports.

According to police reports, the victim’s face and mouth were covered with blood and he had a roughly one-inch cut on the right side of his nose that was actively bleeding. The victim also had cuts around his mouth and his face was swollen in the area around his nose.

The victim told police sometime during the altercation a jade bracelet he was wearing was destroyed. The victim told police the jade bracelet was purchased in Guatemala, and while it was only purchased for $20, it had great sentimental value for him and he was distraught in seeing it broken into pieces on the floor, according to police reports.

McDonald was ultimately arrested and charged with second-degree assault and malicious destruction of property. Last week, McDonald was found guilty of second-degree assault by a Worcester County jury and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered.


‘Cat And Mouse’ Probation

OCEAN CITY — A Selbyville man, arrested in February after leading resort police on a “cat and mouse” high-speed chase on a dirt bike around north Ocean City, pleaded guilty to attempting to elude police and was placed on probation.

Around 12:15 p.m. on Feb. 10, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the north-end observed a red dirt bike-style motorcycle operated by Simon Dentremont, 19, of Selbyville, heading south on Coastal Highway around 130th Street. The officer observed Dentremont was not wearing a helmet, nor did the motorcycle have a headlight, side mirrors, brake lights or turn signals, according to police reports.

Dentremont made a U-turn at 120th Street and headed north on Coastal Highway as the officer followed with his vehicle’s emergency lights and siren activated. According to police reports, Dentremont looked back at the officer and increased his speed, He reportedly drove through the left turn lane at 130th Street to avoid vehicles stopped at the red traffic signal and proceeded through the red light.

According to police reports, Dentremont traveled east on 146th Street, driving up on the grassy center median in order to pass the officer. He then drove on the sidewalk along 146th Street at Lighthouse Avenue. Dentrement then drove back on Coastal Highway southbound and a concerned citizen advised officers the motorcycle had stopped at a restaurant parking lot at 136th Street. The officer located Dentremont at the parking lot attempting to hide between a dumpster and a bush, according to police reports. When the officer approached the suspect, Dentremont fled and led police on a brief foot chase before being apprehended.

Dentremont reportedly told police he was “just having fun,” and agreed he was playing a “cat and mouse game,” with police. According to police reports, Dentremont told the officer he planned to drive the motorcycle on the beach if he had to during the pursuit. The game only ended when the motorcycle experienced engine trouble and stopped in the restaurant parking lot. All in all, Dentremont was charged with 28 counts. Last week, he pleaded guilty to attempting to elude police by failing to stop and was placed on probation for one year.