Cops & Courts – November 27, 2020

Cops & Courts – November 27, 2020

Makeshift Weapons Found At Traffic Stop

OCEAN CITY — A Smithburg, Md. man was arrested last week after police allegedly found a bizarre combination of weapons in his vehicle after a routine traffic stop.

Around 12:25 a.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling in the area of 13th Street when he observed a vehicle with tags that had expired in 2018. A background check confirmed the Maryland tags were expired and that the vehicle was uninsured.

The officer conducted a traffic stop and made contact with the driver, identified as Joseph Stanton, Sr., 60, of Smithburg, Md. The officer detected an odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle and observed a partially full can of beer in the driver’s side cup holder, although Stanton did not appear to be intoxicated, according to police reports.

Stanton was asked to exit the vehicle. During a search of the vehicle, the officer located a silver meat cleaver with a roughly seven-inch blade fashioned to a tennis racket handle concealed under the driver’s seat, according to police reports. The officer also located a deer antler that appeared to have a sharpened point on one end and a handle on the other end.

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In the report, the officer noted both handmade weapons were capable of causing serious bodily harm. As the officer was observing the two makeshift weapons, Stanton reportedly said “those are just for protection.” The officer opened the center console and located a marijuana grinder with raw marijuana residue inside. The officer also reportedly located a plastic straw with a white powdery residue believed to be cocaine. Stanton was arrested and charged with various weapons and drug charges.

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More Weapons In Vehicles

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania woman was charged with carrying a loaded handgun in her vehicle following a traffic stop last weekend.

Around 1:10 a.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling in the area of 30th Street when a vehicle was observed driving erratically, drifting from one lane to another and back again. Through the rear window, the officer observed what appeared to be a verbal argument between the female passenger and the driver, identified as Ramona Sciullo, 24, of Pittsburgh, Pa., according to police reports.

The officer observed Sciullo and the passenger yelling at each other and swatting their arms at each other, according to police reports. The officer pulled the vehicle over at 34th Street and approached it. Sciullo was already in a position leaning forward with both of her hands flat and palms-down on the dashboard. The officer advised the occupants of the reason for the traffic stop.

According to police reports, the officer told Sciullo she could relax and sit up, but when she removed her hands from the dashboard, a large bulky item, which turned out to be a handgun in a holster was left on the dashboard. The officer reached into the vehicle and secured the handgun, which had a magazine loaded in the grip portion.

Sciullo voluntarily stated she was a permit holder in Pennsylvania. At that point, she was told to get out of the vehicle and was arrested for the possession of a deadly weapon. During a search incident to the arrest, the officer located a spring-assisted, switchblade-style knife in the center console.

During a subsequent interview, Sciullo reported told police she bought the gun in Pennsylvania and that she believed there were six rounds of ammunition in the magazine and one round in the chamber. She reportedly told police she carries the handgun wherever she goes and that she researched the rules for carrying in Maryland, but that she must have misunderstood the rules. “I know I was carrying illegally, I should have done more research,” she reportedly told the officer.

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Domestic Assault Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A local man was arrested on assault charges last week after allegedly choking and holding a dart to the neck of his girlfriend during a domestic incident.

Around 10 p.m. last Wednesday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a residence at 12th Street for a reported 911 call regarding a domestic assault. Upon arrival, the officers located the male suspect, later identified as Trey Drouillard, 25, of Ocean City, sitting in a pick-up truck outside the residence.

The officers made contact with the female victim, who reportedly confirmed Drouillard was her boyfriend and that he had a history of assaulting her, according to police reports. The victim was holding a six-month old child. The victim told police on that night, the couple had been in a verbal argument and the Drouillard had choked her with one hand from the front, but that she did not lose consciousness.

According to police reports, the victim told the officers Drouillard then grabbed a dart from a cork dart board hanging on the wall and held it up against the right side of her neck. OCPD officers reportedly observed a red mark on the victim’s neck where she had been choked and where the dart had been held against her neck, according to police reports.

For his part, Drouillard acknowledged he had been in a verbal argument with the victim, but denied any physical altercation had occurred. Based on the evidence and victim testimony, Drouillard was arrested and charged with second-degree assault.

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Two Face Assault Charges

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania couple was arrested on assault charges last week after an alleged domestic dispute at a resort hotel.

Around 1:20 a.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the area of 84th Street observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. The officer tried to catch up to the vehicle, which pulled away and continued to gain further separation. The officer was reportedly traveling at least 65 mph, but the suspect vehicle continued to pull away. It was eventually stopped at a red light at 120th Street.

The officer met with the driver, identified as James Parker, 33, of New Columbia, Pa., and the female passenger, identified as Tiffany Wade, 33, also of New Columbia. According to police reports, the officer observed fresh red marks, scratches and bruising on Parker’s neck and his shirt was stretched with holes in it, consistent with being in an altercation.

When asked about the injuries, Parker reportedly began crying and told the officer Wade had assaulted him about an hour-and-a-half before he had been pulled over. Parker reportedly told police the couple had a verbal argument that turned physical in their hotel room. Wade reportedly admitted assaulting Parker, and Parker admitted assaulting Wade, but only after she attacked him first. Both Wade and Parker had physical signs of injury.

Both were arrested and charged with assault. Parker was also charged with driving while impaired after failing a series of field sobriety tests.

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Guilty Plea In Assault Case

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man, arrested in September after allegedly punching his wife in the face during a domestic incident at a resort hotel, pleaded guilty this week to providing a false report to police.

Around 12:40 a.m. on September 3, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a motel at 27th Street for a reported domestic assault. The officer arrived on scene and met with a female victim, who reportedly told police her husband, identified as Coswin Murray, 46, of Wilkes Barre, Pa., had punched her in the face.

The victim reportedly told Murray she wanted to go home to Pennsylvania, which angered him. When the victim started packing her belongings, Murray punched her on the right side of her face, according to police reports.

The victim then went to the hotel’s front desk to get help, which is when the police were called. The victim reportedly told police she had an active protective order against Murray and that he was wanted in Pennsylvania. A check with Ocean City Communications confirmed the protective order and the active warrant.

As the victim was packing her belongings, she noticed her iPhone with a pink cover was missing. A short time later, another OCPD officer observed Murray walking in an alley near the hotel carrying an open bottle of wine, according to police reports.

When the officer detained Murray, he provided the false name of Shawn Yawrdwarn and refused to provide his date of birth, according to police reports. OCPD officers were eventually able to identify Murray from his Pennsylvania driver’s license. During a search of Murray’s person incident to the arrest, an iPhone with a pink cover was found in his back pocket.

While in booking, Murray reportedly denied there had been a fight. When asked if he had hit his wife, Murray reportedly said, “If that’s what she said, then that’s what happened.” When asked if he wanted to provide his side of the story, Murray reportedly said “no, you already made up your mind,” according to police reports. He was charged with second-degree assault, theft, providing a false statement to police and violating an out-of-state protective order. This week, he pleaded guilty to providing a false statement to police.