Cops & Courts – September 25, 2020

Cops & Courts – September 25, 2020

Handgun Fired On Beach

OCEAN CITY — An Allentown, Pa. man was arrested last week and charged with numerous weapons and drug possession counts after reportedly firing a handgun on the beach in the early morning hours.

Around 12:15 p.m. last Wednesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a hotel at 54th Street for a reported weapons violation and a suspicious trespasser. The hotel manager called 911 and reported seeing a handgun in a room where a reportedly intoxicated and strange-acting suspect, later identified as Israel Maldonano, 49, of Allentown, Pa., was staying.

The hotel manager reportedly told police she entered Maldonano’s room because his checkout time had passed and the room had been rented to another guest. The manager told police she had made other arrangements for Maldonano and entered the room to wake him and inform him of the room changes when she observed the handgun and a assisted-opening knife on the dresser. After observing the weapons, the manager left the room and called police.

Officers observed video surveillance of Maldonano loading his belongings onto a luggage cart in the hallway and watched him reach for a large bulky item tucked into the rear of his waistband multiple times, according to police reports. Officers went to the area of Maldonano’s room and found him in the entry area of the room. The officers aimed their firearms at Maldonano, who walked backward into the room and sat on the bed with his back and shoulders propped up against the headboard, according to police reports.

Maldonano reportedly reached for the small of his back, but officers ordered him to stop and he complied and was handcuffed. On the bed where Maldonano had been lying was a .38 caliber handgun with a loaded magazine and one round chambered. The serial number on the weapon had been completely obliterated.

In the room, OCPD officers also found an assisted-opening knife on the dresser and a baggie containing suspected powder cocaine. Maldonano reportedly told police the handgun was for his protection and admitted the cocaine was his, according to police reports.

A search of the luggage cart incident to the arrest revealed more bags of suspected marijuana in an amount greater than 10 grams along with a baggie containing suspected psilocybin. A further search of Maldonano reportedly turned up a small white pill identified as oxycodone.

In the hotel room, OCPD officers located two spent brass shell casings, one on the dresser and another on the floor near the sliding door that accesses the beach. Through the investigation, an independent witness came forward from an upstairs room and reported hearing a loud bang coming from the beach area outside the hotel between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.

When questioned, Maldonano reportedly told police he fired two rounds from the handgun while on the beach during his morning prayers and that he brought the spent shell casings back into the room with him.


Police Officers Assaulted

OCEAN CITY — A Gettysburg, Pa. man was charged with multiple counts last weekend after attempting to ride a motorcycle while intoxicated and scrapping with resort police attempting to arrest him.

Around 1:30 a.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers observed a disorderly male later identified as John Anderson, 42, of Gettysburg, Pa., outside a downtown bar in Wicomico Street. Anderson was reportedly talking with bar staff, who were telling him he was too intoxicated to stay and needed to go home. According to police reports, bar staffers were pleading with Anderson numerous times to just walk home, but he refused to leave the area.

An OCPD officer made contact with Anderson and determined he was intoxicated, according to police reports. Bar staffers offered to walk Anderson safely back to where he was staying and the officer attempted to find a friend or make arrangements for a ride for Anderson to no avail.

The officer eventually ended his contact with Anderson when patrons from the bar offered to help get him home safely. About a half an hour later, another OCPD officer reported there was an intoxicated male getting ready to get on a motorcycle in the parking lot of another bar around the corner.

The initial officer responded to the area and immediately recognized Anderson straddling the motorcycle. According to police reports, the kickstand was in the upright position, the engine was running, and the tail lights were on.

The officer advised Anderson to turn off the motorcycle. Anderson reportedly put the kickstand down and turned off the ignition, but nearly fell attempting to get off the motorcycle. The officer had to stabilize the motorcycle to keep it from falling over as Anderson swung his leg in an attempt to get off, according to police reports.

A search of Anderson revealed a plastic baggie of powder cocaine roughly the size of a golf ball. In Anderson’s backpack, the officer located a plastic baggie of suspected marijuana in excess of 10 grams. At that point, Anderson was taken into custody.

When numerous officers attempted to put Anderson in a prisoner transport van, he alleged put his foot on the step and pushed back against the officers. Anderson was reportedly taken to the ground and put into a violent person restraining device. Numerous officers then lifted Anderson from the ground and attempted to load him in the transport van, but he allegedly continued to resist and kicked one officer in the chest.

He reportedly continued to resist even after being transported to the Public Safety Building for processing. All in all, Anderson was ultimately charged with multiple counts of second-degree assault on police officers, drug possession charges, resisting arrest and DUI.


Indecent Exposure Uptown

OCEAN CITY — A Columbia, Md. man was arrested for indecent exposure last week after allegedly exposing himself to a mom walking with her children on an uptown street in the middle of the morning.

Around 10:35 a.m. last Wednesday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to the area of 133rd Street and Sinepuxent Avenue for a reported indecent exposure incident. Officers met with a female victim, who reported she was walking on Sinepuxent Avenue with her children when she observed a male suspect sitting on a chair on the rear deck completely naked from the waist down, according to police reports.

When asked if she could identify which house, the victim pointed to a group of homes and advised the suspect was likely still on the deck. OCPD officers responded to the area and found a suspect, later identified as Donald Mayo, 63, of Columbia, Md., standing on the first-floor deck of a residence now fully clothed, according to police reports. The deck was roughly street level and a chair was located on it.

OCPD officers interviewed the female victim who reportedly told police Mayo waived and said hi to her and her children as they walked by while completely naked below the waist. The victim told police she was disturbed to see a man sitting naked from the waist down on a deck while she was walking with her children in the middle of the morning. The victim was brought over and positively identified Mayo as the suspect and he was arrested and charged with indecent exposure.


30 Days For Officer Assault

OCEAN CITY — A Colorado man, arrested in May after breaking a window and trying to gain entry to a midtown residence before scrapping with police attempting to arrest him, pleaded guilty this week to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Around 11:40 p.m. on May 23, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a residence at 54th Street for a burglary that had just occurred. A male witness reported a suspect later identified as Edward Dugan III, 53, of Leadville, Colorado, had broken a window, reached through the broken window and opened the door of his residence.

The witness told police he chased Dugan down 54th Street where he last saw Dugan pushing elevator buttons at a condo. The OCPD officer responded to the area and pushed the elevator open button and located Dugan lying on the floor in the elevator. The officer identified Dugan from his Colorado identification card, but Dugan reportedly told police he was homeless and had no fixed address.

The OCPD officer examined the entry to the victim’s residence and found a glass window near the door had been broken. The victim reportedly told police he was asleep when he awoke to the sound of glass breaking. When the victim went to investigate, he found the front door ajar with Dugan allegedly standing on the porch. It was evident Dugan had broken the window pane in the door and reached through to unlock the door, which is when the victim confronted him.

OCPD officers attempted to interview Dugan, but he became belligerent and yelled and made demands for the officers to gather his belongings. He reportedly yelled “what the [expletive deleted] am I arrested for,” and “I didn’t break the [expletive deleted] window,” according to police reports.

Dugan continued to yell loudly, launching into a string of expletives for about 10 minutes while waiting for the police transport vehicle. Dugan was bleeding from his hand, presumably from breaking the glass window. He also had a laceration on his forehead that only bled worse when he banged on the window of the transport vehicle. Throughout the arrest and booking process, Dugan yelled expletives at the officers and spit on one at one point.

All in all, he was charged with burglary, malicious destruction of property, disorderly conduct and assault. On Tuesday, Dugan pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.