Cops & Courts – September 3, 2021

Cops & Courts – September 3, 2021

Stolen Phone Recovered

OCEAN CITY — A Silver Spring, Md. woman was arrested on theft charges last weekend after allegedly stealing a cell phone from a midtown nightclub.

Around 11:35 p.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to a midtown nightclub for the reported theft of a cell phone. OCPD officers met with the victim, who provided a description of her phone, and reviewed bar security footage of the alleged theft. The victim reportedly told police she left her phone on a bar and two females had taken it and left the establishment.

Through the investigation, OCPD officers were able to determine the suspect as Karen Andrade, 28, of Silver Spring, Md. Bar surveillance reportedly showed Andrade picking up the victim’s phone and leaving with it. A picture of Andrade was circulated among OCPD officers and an officer recognized her from a previous call earlier in the evening at a hotel on 61st Street.

OCPD officers went to the hotel on 61st Street and located Andrade in her room. When officers asked Andrade to speak with them, she reportedly said “Does this have to do with a phone?” While that was going on, the victim’s phone rang inside the hotel room. Andrade was arrested and charged with theft under $1,500. The phone was returned to the victim at the nightclub.

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Berlin Pedestrian Struck

BERLIN — A pedestrian struck by a vehicle on Bay Street in Berlin early last Friday morning has been released from the hospital and the driver who hit him faces numerous charges this week.

Around 7:40 a.m. last Friday, Berlin Police responded to a reported motor vehicle collision involving a pedestrian on Bay Street. Berlin Emergency Medical Services arrived and transported a 74-year-old male patient to Tidal Health in Salisbury. The patient was later released from the hospital.

The investigation revealed the driver involved in the pedestrian collision was not licensed, nor was the vehicle registered. The unnamed driver has been charged with numerous motor vehicle code violations. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information in encouraged to contact the Berlin Police Department at 410-641-1333.

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Indecent Exposure On Beach

OCEAN CITY — A Virginia man was arrested on indecent exposure and other charges last weekend after allegedly exposing himself on a crowded uptown beach.

Around 7:45 p.m. last Saturday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to the beach at 72nd Street for a reported indecent exposure call. Communications advised there was a couple changing into swimsuits on the beach and the male of the couple was completely naked while putting on shorts, according to police reports.

Upon arrival, OCPD officers noted it was still somewhat light out although it was dusk, and there were 20 to 30 people still enjoying the beach including adults and young children.

OCPD officers met with the complainant, who said she had called police because of an intoxicated couple changing clothes on the crowded beach. The victim told police she had seen the male, later identified as David Dunlap, 43, of Winchester, Va., completely naked and that he had exposed his genitalia to her.

The victim also said she had seen the female’s bare buttocks. The victim said families in the area had also been exposed. Officers observed Dunlap and the female near the surf’s edge. At that time, Dunlap was wearing shorts and the female was wearing a swim suit, according to police reports. Both showed signs of intoxication, according to police reports.

OCPD officers asked Dunlap and the female to step away from the water so they could talk to them. Officers reportedly located the couple’s belongings nearby, including an open can of beer. During the encounter, Dunlap reportedly lit a cigarette and flicked it onto the beach. All in all, Dunlap was arrested and charged with indecent exposure, open container and littering.

After Dunlap’s arrest, the female of the couple, identified as Johanna McDaniel, 35, of Winchester, was seen sitting on the beach where officers had originally found her. Around 10:30 p.m., McDaniel was reportedly observed walking through the intersection at 72nd Street with an open can of beer and she was arrested and charged with open container violation.

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Bicycle Theft Arrest

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on theft charges last weekend after allegedly swiping a bicycle from a local homeless man.

Around 5:50 p.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling on the Boardwalk was approached by a known member of the resort’s homeless community, who reported his bicycle had been stolen about 45 minutes earlier. The victim provided a description of the bike and told the officer it was valued at around $200 to $300, according to police reports.

The victim reportedly told police he had left the bike in the bicycle stand near the Caroline Street comfort station. An employee of the comfort station reportedly told the victim she had seen the suspect, later identified as Dennard Murray, 64, of Ocean City, also a known member of the local homeless community, take the bike and ride south on the Boardwalk.

A description was broadcast and another officer observed Murray walking north on the Boardwalk in the area of Talbot Street. The initial OCPD officer involved in the investigation located Murray sitting on a bench on the Boardwalk. When asked about the missing bicycle, Murray was evasive and said he didn’t know anything about it, according to police reports.

When pressed further, Murray finally told police he had seen a bicycle matching the description leaning on a fence by a nearby convenience store. OCPD officers located the stolen bike along the fence near the convenience store with a few bags attached to the handlebars, according to police reports.

While the officer was observing the bike, Murray reportedly came up and took the bags off the handlebars. When asked if the bags were his, Murray replied they were his bags. The officer then said, “You know how this looks, right?” Murray denied having any knowledge of how his belongings ended up on the handlebars of the stolen bicycle. At that point, he was arrested for theft of the bicycle. The officer later returned the stolen bike to the victim on the Boardwalk.

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Probation, Fine For Utility Pole Collision

OCEAN CITY — A Virginia woman arrested in May after crashing her vehicle into a utility pole on Philadelphia Avenue downtown was placed on supervised probation for three years last week.

Around 2:40 a.m. on May 9, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to the area of 2nd Street and Philadelphia Avenue for a reported motor vehicle crash. The officer arrived and found a Hyundai Sonata had left the roadway and collided with a utility pole.

The officer made contact with a passenger in the vehicle, who reportedly told police a female standing next to the vehicle, later identified as Lacrecha Chapman, 33, of Portsmouth, Va., was driving the vehicle prior to the crash. The officer spoke with Chapman, who was reportedly intoxicated, and Chapman told the officer she was not the driver, according to police reports.

Chapman was reportedly wearing a wristband from a downtown bar and acknowledged she had three drinks earlier, but continued to insist she was not driving the vehicle prior to the crash. Chapman told the officer she had injured her mouth and chest in the collision, and the driver’s side airbag had deployed causing her injuries.

Chapman reportedly told the officer there were as many as seven occupants in the vehicle at the time of the crash, but continued to insist she was not the driver. At one point, she told police a white male was driving the vehicle and fled after the crash. At another point, she told the officer a black male with dreadlocks had been driving.

According to police reports, Chapman was wearing heavy makeup at the time and there were makeup smears on the driver’s side visor and on the ceiling. She was also a very large woman and the driver’s seat was pushed back to its limit, indicating a large person had been driving, according to police reports.

Chapman was administered a battery of field sobriety tests, which she did not complete to the officer’s satisfaction. All of the evidence, along with the passenger’s statement, pointed to Chapman as the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash and she was placed under arrest.

During booking at the Public Safety Building, Chapman refused to submit to intoximeter test and continued to insist she was not the driver, although she had signed her name to the driver signature line on the DR-15 form. She then ripped up the DR-15 form and gouged out her signature with a pen. She was ultimately charged with numerous traffic violations including driving while impaired, along with obstructing and hindering, making a false statement and malicious destruction of property.

Last week, she pleaded not guilty to driving while impaired. She was granted probation before judgment and was placed on supervised probation for three years. She was also fined $557.