Cops & Courts – December 11, 2020

Cops & Courts – December 11, 2020

Weed, Weapon Bust

OCEAN CITY — A Nottingham, Md. man was arrested on marijuana possession and weapons charges last week after a routine traffic stop.

Around 9:30 p.m. last Wednesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer pulled over a vehicle on Philadelphia Avenue at 22nd Street for a routine traffic stop. While speaking with the driver, the officer detected a strong odor of raw marijuana coming from the passenger compartment of the vehicle.

In the back seat, the officer observed a male occupant of the vehicle, later identified as Corey Wright, 18, of Nottingham, Md., holding a backpack between his legs. The officer had all the occupants exit the vehicle and began a search for the source of the raw marijuana odor.

In the backpack, the officer located a red, yellow and green sealed bag with a picture of Bob Marley on it containing roughly 20 grams of marijuana, according to police reports. The officer also located four cylindrical containers of various sizes, one of which contained roughly 10 grams of marijuana, another with about 12 grams and yet another with 16 grams. All in all, the officer located roughly 57 grams of raw marijuana.

The officer also located two metal grinders, a smoking bowl and a scale, according to police reports. The officer also located switchblade-style knife in the backpack that had been between Wright’s legs. At that point, Wright was taken into custody for possession of over 10 grams of marijuana and possession of the martial arts-style weapon in violation of a city ordinance.

When interviewed, Wright reportedly told the officer the marijuana was for personal use. When asked if he shared it with the other occupants of the vehicle, to which he replied “No, it’s just for me,” according to police reports. When asked where he bought the marijuana, Wright reportedly told the officer he bought it in Baltimore. When asked if he remembered how much marijuana he was carrying, Wright reportedly said, “Ha, a lot. I don’t know, about 28 grams.”


Handgun Found During Stop

OCEAN CITY — A Salisbury man was arrested on a weapon charge last week after getting pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt.

Around 1:25 p.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling in the downtown area when he observed a driver not wearing a seatbelt. The officer conducted a traffic stop and made contact with the driver, identified as Requan Thompson, 21, of Salisbury.

The officer reportedly detected the odor of marijuana in the vehicle and conducted a search. During the search, the officer located an unloaded 32-caliber handgun under the driver’s seat that was not in a holster, according to police reports.

The officer arrested Thompson at that point for knowingly wearing, carrying and transporting a handgun in a vehicle on a public road. During the post-arrest interview, Thompson reportedly told the officer he had been carrying the handgun in his jacket pocket, but put it under the front seat after getting pulled over. He reportedly told the officer, “I know, I’m just dumb.” Thompson told the officer he had found the handgun about three weeks earlier.


Jail For Downtown Beatdown

SNOW HILL — A Delaware man, arrested in May after being part of a group that jumped and robbed a man in downtown Ocean City, pleaded guilty last week to second-degree assault and was sentenced to five years in jail, all but 14 months of which were suspended.

Trumye Shackelford, 21, of Newark, Del., pleaded guilty last week to second-degree assault for his role in the May incident. Shackelford was sentenced to five years, all but 14 months of which were then suspended. He was also placed on supervised probation for three years upon his release.

Last month, Dominick Mendez-Powell, now 21, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault, leaving the scene of an accident involving bodily injury and reckless driving for his role in the May 31 incident. For the second-degree assault conviction, Mendez-Powell was sentenced to five years with all but 18 months suspended.

Around 11:40 p.m. on May 31, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a hotel at 26th Street for a reported vehicle crash involving injuries. Ocean City Communications advised a pedestrian had been struck by a vehicle that left the scene and life-saving measures were being implemented on the victim.

Upon arrival, the OCPD officer observed a vehicle matching the description heading east on 26th Street and affected a traffic stop. The officer detained the driver, later identified a Mendez-Powell, who reportedly told police he had just left the hotel where he had been in an altercation with a male who had made rude comments to females outside his room.

Another OCPD officer arrived on the scene and found a male victim laying on the ground near the parking lot at 26th Street with the Ocean City Fire Department treating him for facial injuries. Meanwhile, Mendez-Powell exhibited signs of being under the influence when questioned by police and did not complete field sobriety tests to the officers’ satisfaction. According to police reports, Mendez-Powell told police he had smoked marijuana before the incident and left the scene because he did not want anything to do with the incident, according to police reports.

A witness told police a group of five people including Mendez-Powell, Shackleford and others had attacked the male victim in the parking lot and continued to kick the victim while he was on the ground. The witness told police members of the group were taking items out of the victim’s pockets while he was on the ground.


Sentence In Stabbing

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man, arrested in June on first-degree assault charges after stabbing another man on the porch of a downtown residence, pleaded guilty this week to reckless endangerment and was sentenced to four years in jail.

Around 2:50 a.m. on June 28, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to the area of Sunset Avenue for a reported stabbing incident. The officers arrived and found a male victim with a towel covered in blood wrapped around his right forearm. The victim told police he had been standing on the street corner when he was approached by an unknown assailant with a knife who attempted to take his wallet.

OCPD officers canvassed the area for a possible suspect and additional evidence, but the search was fruitless. According to police reports, OCPD officers began to believe the story the victim told was not matching up with the evidence and sequence of events. OCPD officers returned to the residence on Sunset Avenue where they had first interviewed the victim and identified the victim’s mother and girlfriend, according to police reports.

At the residence, OCPD officers observed fresh drops of blood on the floor of the porch and more blood smeared on the siding and the door of the unit. The officers asked for and were granted permission to enter the unit to talk with the victim’s mother and girlfriend. Once inside, the officer observed more blood droplets on the floor throughout the unit, according to police reports.

OCPD officers interviewed the victim’s girlfriend, who appeared to want to tell police something but was reluctant to do so with others within earshot in the condo. The victim’s girlfriend ultimately told police “Shay,” or a suspect later identified as Shaki Byrum-El, 40, of Scranton, Pa., had allegedly stabbed the victim. The victim’s girlfriend identified Byrum-El as the man who was passed out on a couch. Byrum-El was awakened and was placed under arrest for first-degree assault.

Officers interviewed the victim’s mother, who provided an account of the events leading up to the alleged stabbing. The witness said Byrum-El grabbed a knife from the kitchen and went to the front porch where the victim was with his girlfriend. The witness told police Byrum-El and the victim were arguing on the porch as she watched through the open front door. The witness told police she then lost sight of the two men through a front door, but a short time later the victim ran inside bleeding from a stab wound on his arm.


Guilty Plea For Chair Tossing

OCEAN CITY — An Ohio woman, who was arrested in September after breaking into the rooftop bar area of a downtown restaurant and throwing chairs over the side and into the bay, pleaded guilty this week to resisting arrest.

Around 10:15 p.m. on Sept. 11, 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.

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 Murnahan entered the rooftop bar area and threw three chairs over the railing and into the bay below.