Cops & Courts – June 26, 2020

Cops & Courts – June 26, 2020

First-Degree Assault For Knife Threat

OCEAN CITY — A Virginia man was arrested on first-degree assault and other charges earlier this month after allegedly threatening a local man with a knife over his political affiliation.

Around 11:40 p.m. on June 16, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer on bike patrol in the downtown area was dispatched to the area of South Baltimore Avenue for a reported fight in progress. The victim told police he was getting ready to return to his home when he observed Blake Zavala, 35, of Arlington, Va., standing about 20 feet away from him with an open switchblade-style knife. According to police reports, Zavala asked the victim if he was a fisherman and approached him saying threatening statements such as, “I’m going to stab you,” and “I’ll kill you, you [expletive deleted] Trump lover.”

The victim took shelter in his pick-up truck and called police for assistance. According to police reports, Zavala approached the victim’s vehicle and began to strike the window with a closed fist. The victim reportedly feared for his life as Zavala attempted to get to him in the vehicle. As the victim heard police sirens, Zavala fled on foot and ran past a female victim.

The female victim reportedly told police Zavala ran past her as close as a foot away while still holding the open knife. When the female confronted Zavala, he yelled a stream of profanities at her and threw the knife away as he continued to run from the scene, according to police reports. The knife was located a short time later near the scene.

OCPD officers followed Zavala as he ran from the scene to the area of Wicomico Street where a large crowd had gathered to watch and listen to his expletive-laced political tirade. OCPD officers warned Zavala multiple times to stop yelling, but he ignored their requests. He was ultimately subdued and charged with first-degree assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.


Arrests In Hotel Burglary

OCEAN CITY — Two Germantown, Md. men have been arrested on burglary and theft charges after a series of alleged hotel room break-ins earlier this month.

Around 8 a.m. on June 15, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a hotel at 145th Street for a reported burglary. The officer met with the hotel manager to review surveillance footage that showed two men, later identified as Thomas Craddock, 24, and Eon Brummell, 23, both of Germantown, Md. burglarize rooms on the second and fourth floors.

According to police reports, Craddock and Brummell entered the hotel lobby around 7:10 a.m. and got on an elevator. The suspects allegedly got off the elevator at the fourth floor and were captured on surveillance video entering a room, which was unoccupied at the time. Craddock and Brummell were observed on video exiting the room with bed sheets, blankets and pillows.

Around 7:30 a.m., Craddock and Brummell were observed now on the second floor. According to police reports, the suspects were seen leaving a room with bottles of water and a large tan purse. According to police reports, Brummell had the purse in his hand and the two suspects could be seen on video looting the stolen purse before fleeing the scene down the hotel hallway.

OCPD officers met with the victim, who said she was staying at the hotel on vacation with her family, who were staying in two other rooms on the second floor. The victim reportedly told police her grandson was asleep in the second-floor room and she was on the balcony watching the early morning view.

The victim told police while her grandson was asleep, Craddock and Brummell allegedly entered the room stating “housekeeping,” according to police reports. The grandson told police he was sleeping and didn’t even open his eyes when the suspects entered the room claiming to be housekeeping.

According to police reports, the victim located her purse in the hotel hallway on the ground and in disarray. When she checked the contents, the victim noticed around $520 in cash was missing along with a plastic bag containing protective masks.

A description of the suspects was broadcasted. Around 5:45 p.m. the same day, an OCPD officer observed a vehicle at the gas pump at a convenience store at 52nd Street with its license plate obscured by a decorative covering. The officer approached the vehicle and observed a man identified as Craddock as the front seat passenger. The officer identified Craddock from a description provided by the earlier burglary report.

When interviewed, Craddock told police he had been staying at another Ocean City hotel and had never been at the hotel on 145th Street where the burglary had occurred. The driver, identified as Andres Ramirez, 23, was not implicated in the 145th Street hotel burglary, but when questioned Ramirez told police he had been at the 145th Street hotel the night before with Craddock and Brummell and that the two men were gone when he woke up.

Brummell was also located and identified. A search of the vehicle revealed clothes Craddock and Brummell were wearing when they were captured on surveillance video earlier that morning at 145th Street. Also located in the vehicle was a large plastic bag filled with white and blue surgical masks with the victim’s name written on it. Craddock and Brummell were arrested and charged with burglary and theft. Ramirez was arrested for driving on a suspended and revoked license.


High-Speed Chase Ends In WOC With Loaded Gun

OCEAN CITY — A Gwynn Oak, Md. man was arrested on 21 total weapons and traffic charges after leading police on a high-speed chase through downtown Ocean City before being stopped at a West Ocean City fast-food restaurant.

Around 8:30 p.m. on June 16, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was on stationary patrol in the area of 25th Street when he allegedly observed a Chevy Camaro with a distinctive paint design heading south on Philadelphia Avenue at a rate of 74 mph in a 35-mph zone. The officer activated his lights and siren as the suspect, later identified as Dedrick Harrell, 18, of Gwynn Oak, blew past his location.

The officer began to pursue Harrell but the suspect allegedly accelerated away from him, reaching speeds of over 100 mph at 17th Street as he weaved through slower-moving vehicles. The officer followed as Harrell turned west off Philadelphia Avenue around 12th Street. The pursuing officer spotted Harrell again along St. Louis Avenue. By now, other OCPD officers and Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies had converged on the area and joined the pursuit.

OCPD and allied officers continued to broadcast Harrell’s location as he raced through the downtown area along St. Louis Avenue, Philadelphia Avenue and Edgewater Avenue along with the side streets. Harrell ultimately raced across the Route 50 bridge where he was stopped and blocked in by allied officers at a fast-food restaurant.

An OCPD officer arrived on the scene and questioned Harrell, who did not have a license in his possession. Through the investigation, the officer learned Harrell’s license had been suspended since July 2019. Harrell reportedly admitted to consuming an alcoholic beverage at his Ocean City hotel before heading toward the restaurant in Ocean City.

At that point, Harrell was arrested on numerous traffic violations including driving on a suspended license and suspicion of driving while intoxicated. During a search of his person, OCPD officers located two unused rounds of 9mm ammunition in his pocket.

According to police reports, a loaded 9mm Luger handgun was located under the front passenger seat. There was one round in the chamber and another six rounds in the 10-round capacity magazine. A background check of the weapon revealed it had been reported stolen in Virginia. All in all, Harrell was arrested on 21 total traffic and weapons charges.


Arrest In Explosive Device Case

OCEAN CITY — A Sykesville, Md. man was arrested this week after the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) and the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office were able to identify him as the alleged suspect who set off an explosive device at a downtown apartment complex back on June 10.

The Ocean City Fire Department was dispatched to an apartment complex on 14th Street for a reported explosion and possible building fire. Upon arrival, the fire department observed multiple occupants of the two-story apartment building evacuating.

The investigation revealed an aerial shell firework had been lit and exploded in an enclosed second-floor stairwell, endangering the roughly 24 people occupying the two dwelling units served by the stairwell. Fire damage was limited to a small area o the stairwell and the occupants were allowed to return to their units. No injuries were reported.

Through a joint investigation by the OCPD and the fire marshal’s office, the suspect was identified as Jamie Bouma, Jr., 21, of Sykesville, Md. Bouma has been arrested and charged with possession and use of an explosive device, two counts of reckless endangerment, malicious destruction of property and discharging fireworks without a permit. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was released on a $25,000 bond.

“The reckless discharge of illegal fireworks inside a building or anywhere in a congested urban area like Ocean City is incredibly dangerous and puts the lives of occupants and bystanders in danger,” said Ocean City Fire Marshal Josh Bunting. “Thankfully, no injuries occurred as a result of this incident.”