Cops & Courts – March 12, 2021

Cops & Courts – March 12, 2021

Loaded Handgun, Drugs Seized

OCEAN CITY — A Virginia man was arrested on various charges last weekend after being found in the downtown area with a loaded handgun, which he reportedly claimed he was using for the creation of a rap video on the Boardwalk.

Around 8:10 p.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the area of Somerset Street and Baltimore Avenue observed four males and a female gathered around a vehicle. One of the males, later identified as Eddie Davila, 25, of Cape Charles, Va., was consuming alcohol from a bottle of wine, according to police reports. The female in the group also was observed urinating in a parking lot.

Two OCPD officers approached the group, which, by now, had crossed Baltimore Avenue. According to police reports, the group became hostile by screaming at the officers and failing to obey simple orders. Davila, for example, was asked to sit down on the curb, but reportedly refused.

Davila reportedly began to reach under his coat and the officers told him to stop. Davila reportedly told the officers he was only retrieving a bottle and produced an open bottle of wine. When Davila continued to refuse to sit down and remained uncooperative, he was detained in handcuffs and was placed under arrest.

According to police reports, Davila told the officers he had a handgun and the officers retrieved a Glock 9mm handgun from Davila’s waistband. There was no round chambered, but the handgun was loaded with a magazine containing 10 rounds. There was also an identical magazine containing 10 rounds in his pocket, according to police reports.

A further search of Davila also produced two plastic zipper baggies, one of which contained the remnants of a substance and the other contained a tablet strip with Xanax written on it.

During the trip to police headquarters, Davila reportedly told officers he knew he should not have brought the handgun from Virginia into Maryland, and that he was using it for the creation of a rap music video on the Boardwalk, according to police reports. Other members of the group all stated they were about to film a rap music video prior to being stopped and the officers only stopped them to stop the creation of the video, an assertion the officers denied.


Another Loaded Gun Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A District Heights, Md. man was arrested on weapons charges last week after a loaded handgun was found during a traffic stop.

Around 8:20 p.m. last Wednesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer conducted on a traffic stop on a vehicle stopped in front of a hotel at 25th Street, which was in the travel lane and blocking the hotel’s driveway. The driver approached and reportedly observed the front seat passenger, later identified as Brian Redding, 35, of District Heights, Md., sitting extremely still with his hands in his lap, while refusing to make eye contact with the officer.

The driver reportedly asked Redding to open the glove box and retrieve the vehicle’s registration for the officer, but Redding struggled to open the glove box. He finally opened the glove box carefully and very slowly and meticulously moved items around. When the initial officer went back to his vehicle to complete the traffic stop, another officer on the scene yelled “gun” and drew her service revolver. The initial officer also drew his weapon.

The officers retrieved a .38 caliber handgun from the pocket attached to the rear of the front passenger seat. The handgun was fully loaded with five rounds, including one round in the chamber ready to fire, according to police reports. Redding was taken into custody and refused to speak with police without an attorney, but then freely admitted the gun was his and did not belong to his aunt, who was driving the vehicle. He was arrested and charged with illegal possession of a handgun.


Cab Driver Assault

OCEAN CITY — A Pasadena, Md. man was arrested on assault charges last weekend after allegedly attacking a cab driver while the taxi was in motion.

Around 7:45 p.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to the area of 45th Street for a reported assault on a taxi cab driver. Upon arrival, officers reportedly observed the taxi driver standing outside his parked vehicle and yelling at the passenger to stay inside.

According to police reports, the passenger, later identified as Raymond Welzel, 47, of Pasadena, was screaming at the driver and threatening him. Welzel was reportedly clenching his fists and raising them at the driver, who was shielding behind the officer to avoid being assaulted. The driver had reportedly called Ocean City Communications because he was being assaulted prior to the officer’s arrival. According to police reports, prior to the officer’s arrival, the driver was transporting Welzel from a downtown bar back to his hotel.

The driver reportedly told police Welzel randomly attacked him and punched him in the side of the head while he was driving the cab. The driver told police Welzel continued to punch him as he drove the cab and he was able to push Welzel off of him, stop the cab and get out to call the police. Welzel was placed under arrest for second-degree assault and disorderly conduct.


Traffic Stop Leads To Drugs

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on drug possession charges last week after a routine traffic stop for equipment violations.

Around 10:45 a.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was patrolling in the area of 123rd Street when he observed a vehicle with its suspension lowered and its wheels cambered. According to police reports, the officer heard an overly loud noise from the vehicle’s exhaust system, which had been altered, as it accelerated and drove south.

The officer stopped the vehicle at 116th Street and identified the driver as Corey Van Keuren, 35, of Ocean City. Van Keuren reportedly told the officer he did not have his driver’s license on him and told the officer his Hawaii driver’s license was suspended in 2019. The officer at least 10 times attempted to verifying identification and its variations and was unable to find a record of Van Keuren’s Hawaii driver’s license or a Maryland identification card.

Van Keuren had stopped in a tow-away zone and the registered owner was not present, so the officer had the vehicle towed. During an inventory of the vehicle’s contents before it was towed, a black backpack was found in the trunk. In the top exterior zipper pouch, OCPD officers found hard case for glasses. Inside the case, officers located a broken glass smoking pipe, one cut portion of an orange straw, one cut portion of a green straw.

Officers also located four small zip-locked baggies. The straws and the baggies reportedly contained powder cocaine residue and there was burned cocaine residue in the bowl portion of the glass smoking pipe, according to police reports. In the glove box, officers reportedly found a blue bottle with a dark object inside it, but did not open the bottle at the scene.

Van Keuren reportedly told to officers the bottle belonged to his girlfriend, who was also the registered owner of the vehicle. OCPD officer transported Van Keuren to the Public Safety Building and contacted his girlfriend via phone. The girlfriend reportedly told police she was his girlfriend and that he drove the vehicle regularly. The girlfriend confirmed the backpack in the trunk belonged to Van Keuren as did the bottle found in the glove compartment.

OCPD officers opened the pill bottle and found a large chunk of crystallized methamphetamine. There was also a glass smoking device concealed in a sock inside the bottle. Van Keuren was charged with possession of cocaine, possession of methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia.


Probation For Weed, Weapon

OCEAN CITY — A Nottingham, Md. man arrested in December on marijuana possession and weapons charges after a routine traffic stop pleaded guilty this week to possession of a spring-assisted knife and was placed on probation for one year.

Around 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 1, 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 of the occupants exit the vehicle and began a search for the source of the raw marijuana odor.

In the backpack, the officer located a sealed bag 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.

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.”