Cops & Courts – May 22, 2020

Cops & Courts – May 22, 2020

First-Degree Assault Charge For Gun Threat

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on first-degree assault and other charges last week after allegedly pointing a loaded handgun at his girlfriend during a domestic dispute back in April.

Around 3 p.m. on May 11, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a residence on 12th Street to investigate a reported domestic incident involving a handgun that had allegedly taken place weeks earlier. The officer met with a female victim who reported she had been living in the unit for about four months and she previously lived there with her ex-boyfriend, identified as Nathan Smith II, 20, of Ocean City.

According to police reports, the victim told the officer that during the month of April, she had been spending several days at a time with her aunt outside of town rather than in town with Smith. On April 17, the victim returned to the 12th Street unit and Smith reportedly became irate about the situation with the victim spending so much time away, according to police reports.

While the victim was standing in a hallway, Smith went into a bedroom and emerged holding a black handgun. Smith reportedly manipulated the slide of the handgun, chambered a round and pointed the gun at the victim from a very short distance. Shortly thereafter, Smith put the gun away and apologized to the victim.

The victim then left the unit and stayed with her aunt for several weeks before returning. When she returned to the Ocean City unit, the victim kicked Smith out and told him he was no longer welcome to stay there, according to police reports.

The victim told the officer she was afraid to report the April 17 incident to the police. When she finally told her family about the incident, they encouraged her to report the incident involving the handgun and she did so last week. In the meantime, Smith had been sending text messages to the victim telling her he had the handgun hidden in a closet in the bedroom and that he wanted to come back to the unit to retrieve it because he wanted to return to Pennsylvania, according to police reports.

The OCPD officer went with the victim to the closet in the bedroom and on the floor found a handgun wrapped in foil on the floor. The victim reportedly told the officer it was the same handgun Smith pointed at her during the incident back on April 17.

A description of Smith was broadcasted and another OCPD officer located the suspect near an uptown shopping center. He was taken into custody without incident and was charged with first- and second-degree assault and numerous weapons counts.


Truck Swiped From Job Site

OCEAN CITY — An Annapolis man was arrested on motor vehicle theft charges last week after allegedly swiping a truck near a downtown job site.

Around 9:45 a.m. on May 11, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to the area of St. Louis Avenue and 12th Street for a reported stolen motor vehicle. The victim had contacted police to report his vehicle, a 1997 Chevy Silverado, had just been stolen from the area of Dayton Lane and 12th Street and provided a description.

The incident was broadcasted and another OCPD public safety aid reported seeking the stolen truck leaving a gas station at the foot of the Route 50 bridge and traveling westbound on the bridge. An OCPD officer picked up the truck as it crossed the bridge and made a traffic stop. The driver and suspect, identified as Ricky Bylan, 32, of Annapolis, was taken into custody and nobody else was in the vehicle.

According to police reports, Bylan told the officer an individual whom he only knew as “Jim” had lent him the truck to go to the grocery store if he put gas in it before returning it. Back at the scene, the truck’s owner told police he had left the key in it while he was working at a job site roughly 150 feet away from where it was parked.

The victim told police he heard his truck start up with its distinctive engine noise because it was loud and saw the suspect, later identified as Bylan, riding away in it heading south on St. Louis Avenue. The victim told police he did not know Bylan nor had he given anyone permission to drive his truck.

A driving record check revealed Bylan’s license had been suspended since December 2017 and that he had been pulled over for driving on a suspended license four times in the last week alone. Bylan was arrested for motor vehicle theft and driving on a suspended license. During a search of his person subsequent to the arrest, OCPD officers located three packets of Suboxone in Bylan’s wallet along with other random orange prescription pills for which Bylan did not have a prescription and additional drug charges were also applied.


Indecent On Boardwalk

OCEAN CITY — A Georgia man was arrested on indecent exposure charges this month after allegedly exposing himself to a group of people including children on the Boardwalk.

Around 3:30 p.m. on May 10, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on bicycle patrol responded to the south end of the Boardwalk for a reported individual who had exposed himself to a group of people.

Upon arrival, the officer met with a male victim who reportedly told police a male suspect later identified as Dominic Dornan, 35, of Columbia, Ga., had exposed himself to him on the Boardwalk. The officer found Dornan, who was exhibiting signs of intoxication and admitted he had been drinking alcohol, sitting on a bench on the Boardwalk with his shorts unbuttoned and his zipper about halfway down, according to police reports.

The officer met with a female victim who told police shortly before the officer arrived, Dornan took his penis out of his pants and was flapping it in her direction in plain view of a crowd on the Boardwalk while recording video of the incident with his cell phone, according to police reports.

Based on the testimony of the victims, the officer determined Dornan had allegedly exposed himself to a large crowd of people on the Boardwalk while facing the whale-shaped playground piece on the beach near where a group of children were playing, all at 3:30 p.m. and in broad daylight. Dornan was arrested and charged with two counts of indecent exposure.


Parking Garage Assault

OCEAN CITY — A Baltimore man was arrested on assault and other charges earlier this month after allegedly pushing his girlfriend and smashing the glass front of a fire extinguisher case in an uptown hotel parking garage.

Around 4 p.m. on May 5, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to the parking garage of an uptown hotel for a reported incident. When the officer arrived, he encountered a family with young children pointing in the direction of another area of the parking garage yelling “they’re over there,” according to police reports.

The officer approached the opposite end of the parking garage and observed a male suspect later identified as Joel Mitchell, 33, of Baltimore, standing over a woman who was on the ground with her back against a concrete pillar. According to police reports, Mitchell was standing with his fist clenched and was standing in such a way that the female victim had no other means of escape from him. The victim was reportedly crying and appeared to be cowering from Mitchell.

The officer made contact with Mitchell, who became defensive and started jumping around violently, according to police reports. Mitchell had small cuts on his face, hands and legs and blood on his white shirt. The victim also had blood on her person, but was not injured.

While investigating, the officer discovered a fire extinguisher case near where Mitchell was first observed with its glass shattered. The case had wet and fresh blood on the shattered shards of glass, according to police reports.

OCPD officers interviewed hotel maintenance workers at the scene, who reported seeing Mitchell pushing the victim toward the wall while also violently throwing items out of the vehicle they had been standing next to. The witnesses told police Mitchell had been yelling loudly enough that he could be heard from inside a generator room where they had been. The witnesses said it was Mitchell’s yelling that caused them to come out of the generator room to see what was going on.

Based on all of the evidence, Mitchell was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, malicious destruction of property and disturbing the peace.


Weekend Traffic Initiative

BERLIN — Due to anticipated increased traffic volumes with the lifting of the stay-at-home order last week, Maryland State Police troopers from the Berlin barrack conducted a three-day enforcement initiative last weekend and saturated the major roadways throughout Worcester County.

During the enforcement effort, which focused on Routes 50, 90 and 113, troopers made 439 traffic stops, resulting in 404 citations and 249 warnings. Three allegedly impaired drivers were arrested, along with two arrests for outstanding warrants, one for handgun violations and five for controlled dangerous substances.