Cops & Courts – September 18, 2020

Cops & Courts – September 18, 2020

First-Degree Assault In Domestic Altercation

OCEAN CITY — A Baltimore man was charged with first-degree assault last week after allegedly choking and smothering his girlfriend, who was also arrested for assault, with a pillow during a domestic altercation.

Around 7:15 p.m. last Wednesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to the area of 26th Street for a reported 911 call hang-up. Ocean City Communications advised they could hear someone in the background saying, “he tried to choke me,” according to police reports.

The OCPD officer arrived and met with a witness in a motel parking lot who reportedly told police he had observed a couple fighting on a second-floor balcony. The officer went to the second-floor room and identified the occupants as Yendi Lizardo, 24, of Baltimore, and Angel Jung, 37, also of Baltimore. Each exhibited signs of intoxication, according to police reports.

The officer separated Lizardo and Jung and interviewed them separately about the alleged incident. Lizardo reportedly had scratch marks on his neck and arm and what appeared to be blood running from the side of his mouth. The officer also observed blood on the balcony hallway leading up to the room. Lizardo reportedly told police he was not injured and had not called the police.

The officer asked Jung where the blood on the balcony originated. She reportedly told the police she had been shaving and cut her private parts and offered to show the officer, but was told not to. Jung reportedly told the officer there was no fight and he had not called police, but when she attempted to show the officer her call log to prove it, she could not remember the phone’s password.

Through the investigation, it became apparent a fight had occurred between the couple and had been observed by a witness. The witness reportedly told police he had observed Jung slap Lizardo multiple times. It was later determined the couple were equally combative during the incident, but Lizardo was ultimately charged with first-degree assault for choking and attempting to smother Jung with a pillow.

When officers were attempting to escort Lizardo from the building, he allegedly began shouting expletives and was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct while the investigation into the assault continued.

Jung was also arrested for second-degree assault for her role in the altercation. While in the transport van waiting to be searched, Jung reportedly spread her legs and exposed herself to officers and indecent exposure charges were tacked on.

During a subsequent interview, Jung reportedly told police Lizardo had punched her in the face numerous times before throwing her on a bed and choking her with his hands. Lizardo then covered Jung’s face with a pillow to the point she could not breathe and feared for her life, according to police reports. It was noted in the report Jung was four-months pregnant at the time of the assault with Lizardo’s child. Lizardo was also charged with first-degree assault.


Bar Chairs Tossed In Bay

OCEAN CITY — An Ohio woman was arrested last weekend after allegedly breaking into the rooftop bar area of a downtown restaurant and throwing chairs over the side and into the bay.

Around 10:15 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a bayfront restaurant at Dorchester Street for a reported trespassing incident. Upon arrival, the officer observed a suspect, later identified as Betty Murnahan, 40, of Mansfield, Ohio, running around the rooftop bar area of the restaurant. Management informed the officer the restaurant was closed for the evening and no one including Murnahan had permission to be up there, according to police reports.

OCPD officers approached the locked gate to access the rooftop bar area and observed Murnahan screaming at them and a restaurant security staffer. When advised to stop screaming, Murnahan reportedly said “Or else what?” and when she was advised of the town’s noise ordinance, she reportedly said “Then [expletive deleted] arrest me.” The officers observed Murnahan’s screaming was drawing the attention of people walking by over a block away, or well beyond the town’s 50-foot noise limit, according to police reports.

Murnahan was advised she was under arrest, but when officers attempted to handcuff her, she tensed her body and jerked away, injuring one officer’s wrist in the process. Even after she was handcuffed, Murnahan reportedly continued to resist, twisting and thrashing around and kicking another officer in the legs. She also reportedly spat on the same officer at least two times, according to police reports.

The investigation revealed Murnahan allegedly walked up to the rooftop bar area, realized the gate was locked and climbed over the fence. The manager told police when she closed the area for the night earlier, there were no chairs missing. However, after Murnahan entered the rooftop bar area, she allegedly threw one metal chair over the railing and into the bay below.

The manager also reportedly told police there were two smaller chairs missing as well, but she was unable to locate them. The manager told police she believed Murnahan had thrown those chairs into the bay as well. A witness at a neighboring bar told police he saw what looked like a female on the rooftop bar throw at least two things over the ledge and into the water.

All in all, Murnahan was charged with multiple counts of second-degree assault, malicious destruction of property, resisting arrest, obstructing and hindering and a noise violation.


Sixth Arrest In A Month

OCEAN CITY — A local homeless man was arrested again last week for the sixth time in a month after allegedly breaking into a motel storage area and taking items to set up housekeeping in a crawl space under the building.

Last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a motel on 29th Street for a reported trespassing incident. Hotel staff reported a suspect identified as Zachary Hale, 34, of no fixed address, whom OCPD officers knew from several previous encounters, had been trespassed from the property a week earlier and had returned.

The OCPD officer arrived on scene and was reportedly advised by staff Hale was under the pool on the east side of the building. Hale was discovered in the crawl space under the pool and was placed under arrest. A search of his person revealed four toaster strudel packs, six packs of breakfast jams and five miniature bottles of hotel shampoo.

The search of Hale’s person also revealed two fixed-blade knives, one roughly six inches in length concealed in his pocket and one roughly eight inches in length with the blade covered in a cardboard sheath in his waistband and concealed by his shirt, according to police reports.

A search of the crawl space where Hale had been hiding revealed a two-slice toaster, a pack-and-play child’s play set, five bathroom towels, one pillow, two sets of white sheets and two personal-size chicken pot pies. While Hale was sitting outside the police transport vehicle, he began yelling “don’t talk to me,” which attracted the attention of numerous passersby. When told to lower his voice, Hale reportedly yelled, “I’m not yelling.”

The hotel’s front desk clerk advised the items found on Hale and in the crawl space had been taken from a second-floor storage area. Surveillance video footage showed Hale entering the second-floor storage area and rummaging through various boxes and shelves.

Last weekend’s incident continued an alleged pattern for Hale over the last month. On Aug. 14, he was arrested for disorderly conduct and possession of an open container. On Aug. 15, Hale was arrested for having a concealed deadly weapon and also an open container of alcohol. On Aug. 23, Hale was arrested for vandalizing the front door of the Public Safety Building.

On Aug. 27, he was arrested for vandalizing a drone and on Sept. 7, Hale was arrested for disorderly conduct. For last Sunday’s incident, Hale was charged with burglary, theft, carrying a concealed dangerous weapon and trespassing.


Cocaine Distribution Plead

SNOW HILL — One of four local residents indicted by a Worcester County grand jury last November on various drug distribution charges after a months-long investigation in the Berlin area was found guilty this week and was sentenced to three years in jail.

Last 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 were Dashon Drummond, 27, of Berlin; Charles Johnson, 31, of Berlin; Elizabeth Rosario, 25, of Berlin; and Joshua King, 24, of Snow Hill. This week, Rosario entered an Alford plea to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to three years in jail. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not plead guilty, but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to prosecute the case.

In August, Johnson pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He was sentenced to 15 years on the cocaine distribution count, which was suspended, and five years on the firearm charge.

Drummond in March entered an Alford plea to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and sentencing has been set for October. King is scheduled to appear for trial in October.