Cops & Courts – June 25, 2021

Cops & Courts – June 25, 2021

Motor Vehicle Theft Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Virginia man was arrested on motor vehicle theft charges last week after a license plate reader on Route 50 pinged on the stolen car.

Around 3:25 a.m. June 16, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the area of 8th Street was advised by Ocean City Communications a license plate reader on Route 50 alerted on a Hyundai Sonata with Florida tags that had been reported stolen in Virginia. The officer stopped the vehicle in a condo parking lot at 16th Street.

The officer identified the front-seat passenger as Christopher Parham, Jr., 26, of Richmond. While the officer was waiting for Ocean City Communications to confirm the stolen status of the vehicle, Parham spontaneously said, “I just got that car a week ago from a friend who was renting it,” according to police reports.

It was determined the vehicle had been reported stolen in Virginia by a car rental agency. Parham was placed under arrest at that point. The female driver was also detained and was later issued a citation for driving with a required license. During booking, Parham reportedly told police he had paid a friend to use the vehicle for a period of three weeks, and that he had made similar arrangements with the friend in the past.

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He reportedly told police he could not go through a traditional vehicle rental agency because of “crashes.” Parham was charged with motor vehicle theft over $25,000 but less than $100,000.

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Paintball Shooting Spree

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested last weekend after an alleged paintball shooting spree at signs and electrical equipment downtown.

Last Wednesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was notified another officer had seen a male suspect firing a paintball gun in the area of 5th Street and Baltimore Avenue. The officer advised the suspect, later identified as David Smith, Jr., 19, of York, Pa., was shooting paintballs at a green electrical box on the opposite side of Baltimore Avenue. The bicycle officer arrived and reportedly saw Smith sitting on a front porch on 5th Street holding a paintball gun with a paintball hopper affixed to the top of the gun.

As the bicycle officer got closer, he reportedly heard the distinctive “pop” sound a paintball gun makes when it is being fired. As OCPD officer approached, Smith turned and looked at them, and then put the paintball gun on the ground in an attempt to distance himself from it, but then he picked up and ran inside a unit.

An OCPD officer observed a stop sign on the corner of 5th Street and Wilmington Lane, which had been facing Smith’s position on the porch. According to police reports, there were roughly 20 orange paintball impact markings on the sign and its support pole. Officers also observed two orange paintball markings on a nearby telephone pole.

OCPD officer knocked on the door to the unit and someone let them in. Officers located Smith sitting on a couch with a paintball gun on the floor in front of him. There was also a paintball pistol on the counter, according to police reports. Smith reportedly admitted shooting paintballs at the stop sign and he was arrested and charged with malicious destruction of property and discharging a firearm in city limits.

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Indecent In Hotel Hallway

OCEAN CITY — A Germantown, Md. man was arrested on indecent exposure charges last weekend after allegedly walking around the hallways of an uptown hotel completely naked.

Around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a hotel at 123rd Street in reference to a naked male in the hallway on the fourth floor. Upon arrival, the officer met with a front desk staff member, who reportedly told the officer he was making his rounds when he saw a suspect later identified as Victor Perez-Verdugo, 36, of Germantown, Md., walking through the hallways on the second and third floors completely naked.

The front desk staffer called the police and then looked at the hotel’s security surveillance footage. The staffer told the officer he observed Perez-Verdugo walk up to the fourth floor, narrowly avoiding being seen by a group of young females, according to police reports. The staffer reportedly told the officer when Perez-Verdugo reached the fourth floor, he passed out on the floor in the hallway.

The officer went to the fourth floor and observed Perez-Verdugo lying passed out in the hallway outside a room and the suspect was arrested and charged with indecent exposure.

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Burglary Charge

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on burglary and other charges last weekend after allegedly entering a home on 70th Street occupied by a family with young children.

Shortly after 11 p.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the area of 70th Street heard screaming and shouting coming from a condo unit. According to police reports, the officer heard a male, who was later identified as the owner of the unit, screaming, “Hey you, get out of my house,” and “Get the [expletive deleted] out of my house.”

The officer exited his patrol vehicle and walked around to the front of the unit where he saw another male, identified as Sam Smith, 18, of Hatboro, Pa., coming out of the unit and starting to walk away. Smith was detained while the officer determined what had happened, according to police reports.

The unit owner reportedly told police he had just left his house to take his two dogs for a walk while his wife and two children, ages 10 and 11, remained inside. The victim told police Smith and another unidentified male walked past him. The victim told the officer Smith walked up the steps onto his porch, opened the front door and entered the house before proceeding up an interior flight of stairs, according to police reports.

The victim told police he rushed back to the house, which is when the officer arrived. The victim’s wife told police she was on the second floor with her children when she heard the commotion. She reportedly told the officer she started to go down the stairs when she came face to face with Smith. She appeared shocked and frightened, according to police reports.

The victim’s wife told the officer she started screaming at Smith and pushed him down and out of the house, which is about the same time her husband had rushed back. Smith was arrested and charged with fourth-degree burglary and disorderly intoxication. The second unidentified male took off southbound down the street and was not arrested.

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Traffic Stop Nets Handgun Bust

OCEAN CITY — A Ridgely, Md. man was arrested last weekend after resort police found a handgun and marijuana in his backpack during a routine traffic stop.

Around 5:50 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the downtown area observed the driver of a vehicle not wearing a seatbelt and conducted a traffic stop. OCPD officers observed what appeared to be marijuana in plain view in the vehicle during the traffic stop and asked to driver, identified as Paul Baynard, 22, of Ridgely, Md., to step out, according to police reports.

When Baynard stepped out of the vehicle, he was reportedly holding a backpack and the officer advised him to leave it in the vehicle. During a probable cause search of the vehicle and the backpack, OCPD officers located a handgun and a baggie containing over 10 grams of marijuana. Baynard was arrested and charged with possession of a handgun and possession of over 10 grams of marijuana.

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Sister Hotel Assault

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania woman was arrested last week for allegedly assaulting her younger sister who came back to their motel room late and woke her up.

Around 6 a.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a motel on 30th Street for a report of disorderly females outside one of the rooms. The officer arrived and located a 17-year-old juvenile, who informed police she had been in an altercation with her older sister, identified as Destiny Gilbert-Klein, 21, of Peach Bottom, Pa.

The juvenile reportedly told police she came back to the hotel late and had forgotten a key to the room, so she had to knock to be let in. The knocking woke Gilbert-Klein up and she became irate, which is when the altercation started, according to police reports.

The juvenile reportedly had a bite mark on her right shoulder, which had broken skin and drawn blood. The officer also observed minor lacerations on the juvenile’s right arm. The juvenile told police Gilbert-Klein had choked her during the altercation, but at no point did she lose consciousness. The victim had red finger-shaped markings on her neck, according to police reports.

The victim also told police Gilbert-Klein took her cell phone and threw it across the motel marking lot, shattering it and rendering it inoperable. Gilbert-Klein was ultimately arrested and charged with second-degree assault and malicious destruction of property.

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Bad Finish To Water Day

OCEAN CITY — A Takoma Park, Md. woman was arrested last weekend for allegedly punching and biting her boyfriend while he was driving.

Around 7 p.m. last Friday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to the area of 52nd Street for a reported domestic assault. Ocean City Communications advised the male involved in the incident was standing near the couple’s vehicle, while the female combatant had walked toward the beach.

OCPD officers arrived and located the male in the street and the female, later identified as Iris Miranda, 21, of Takoma Park, Md., on the beach. OCPD officers interviewed the male, who told police he and Miranda and a group of friends had rented a boat for the day from a nearby watersports company.

The male said when the day on the water was over, his friends asked Miranda for their car keys, which they had asked her to hold for them. Miranda could not locate the keys and they were later found on the seat in the vehicle underneath where she was seated. When the male scolded Miranda about how much she had to drink throughout the day, she became argumentative with him, according to police reports.

The male returned the keys to his friends at the watersports location and he and Miranda started heading south on Coastal Highway. The male said during the drive, Miranda became angry and broke the rear-view mirror off of his vehicle, according to police reports.

The victim told police as he was turning onto 52nd Street, Miranda punched in the right side of his face, according to police reports. When the victim held his arm out to prevent Miranda from hitting him again, she bit him on his right forearm near his wrist, according to police reports.

The officer observed the rear-view mirror was completely detached from the windshield. Officers also observed injuries to the victim consistent with his version of the events, including bite marks near his wrist.

When interviewed about the incident, Miranda did not initially want to speak with the officers. When asked why she had punched and bitten the victim, Miranda told police she was tired of the victim talking bad about her and not standing up for her, according to police reports.

OCPD officers spoke with a witness who advised he had observed the victim and Miranda driving in the ocean block of 52nd Street and had seen Miranda bite the victim while he was driving with his arm extended to prevent himself from getting hit again. OCPD officers determined Miranda was the primary aggressor and she was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and malicious destruction of property.