Cops & Courts – December 3, 2021

Cops & Courts – December 3, 2021

Drug Bust In Mystery Van

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on drug possession charges last week after psilocybin, more commonly known as mushrooms, were found in his van.

Around 3:20 a.m. last Thursday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to the area of 59th Street for a reported suspicious person. The caller, a security guard for a residential property in the area, reported a van entering and exiting the parking lot several times. The security guard reported to police he heard the audible alarm coming from the van multiple times and observed its lights flashing.

Upon arrival, officers located the suspicious van parked on 59th Street and identified the driver as Kyle Latch, 29, of Doylestown, Pa. According to police reports, Latch was in the rear seat of the van and was moving around in the passenger compartment. When officers shined their lights into the passenger compartment, Latch reportedly ducked rapidly behind the front passenger seat as if he was trying to hide himself or some contraband.

OCPD officers asked Latch to step out of the vehicle and he complied. Latch, who appeared intoxicated, according to police reports, advised police he had traveled to Ocean City to visit his family for Thanksgiving and was going to sleep in his van until he was sober in the morning.

A search of the vehicle revealed a marijuana cigarette near the radio on the dashboard along with a plastic container of loose marijuana less than 10 grams. Also, officers located a baggie of mushrooms in the rear pocket of the front passenger seat consistent with psilocybin, a controlled dangerous substance. Latch was arrested and charged with possession of CDS.


Cell Phone Dispute Leads To Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A local man was arrested last week after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend during a dispute about a cell phone.

Around 9:25 p.m. last Friday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to a convenience store at 120th Street for a reported domestic assault that had just occurred. OCPD officer met with a female victim who advised she had been assaulted by her boyfriend, identified as John Briddell, 23, of Ocean City.

The victim reportedly told police she was in her residence at 126th Street when Briddell allegedly came home intoxicated, angry and aggressive. The victim told police Briddell slammed her TV and threw her clothes around the room, according to police reports. The victim reportedly told police Briddell grabbed her arm and demanded she give him her cell phone.

While the victim and Briddell were both holding onto the phone, Briddell put the victim in a chokehold, according to police reports. The victim reportedly told police Briddell wrapped his arm around her neck from behind, and although he did not squeeze her neck to the point she could not breath, se became very scared and frantic, according to police reports.

The victim told police her vision became blurry and she began panicking. The victim told officers she believed 100% that if she did not give up the phone, Briddell would have escalated the situation and he probably would have killed her, according to police reports. The victim advised she was scared for her life and dropped the phone.

Once the victim dropped the phone, Briddell reportedly released the chokehold. The victim then grabbed her bag and ran to the convenience store nearby to call her mother. The victim’s mother then called 911 on her behalf, according to police reports. The victim had bruising on her right arm and red marks on the left side of her neck consistent with her version of the incident, according to police reports.

OCPD officers met with Briddell at the residence. Briddell admitted there had been a disagreement over the cell phone because it was in his mother’s name and the victim had run the bill up too high. Briddell advised his mother had told him to take the phone away from the victim because she no longer wanted to pay the bill for it, according to police reports.

Briddell reportedly advised he had grabbed the victim’s wrist when trying to get the phone, but that the victim let go of the phone and they just began arguing verbally. Briddell told police no assault had occurred, but he had admitted grabbing the victim’s wrist. He was arrested and charged with second-degree assault.


Jail For Disorderly Conduct

OCEAN CITY — A Virginia man, arrested in August after drugs were found on his person following a routine smoking citation on the Boardwalk, pleaded guilty last week to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Around 2:15 a.m. on Aug. 21, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the area of Caroline Street and the Boardwalk observed an individual, later identified as Aaron Dubois, 35, of Burkeville, Va., smoking a cigarette in violation of the town’s smoking ordinance. During an earlier encounter in the evening, Dubois reportedly approached the same officer and informed him he was aware of the town’s smoking ordinance on the Boardwalk and told the officer “you won’t catch me smoking on the Boardwalk,” before fist-pumping the officer, according to police reports.

While the officer was preparing a citation for Dubois, he noticed large dollops and blotches of red stains on his clothing. When pressed about the red stains, Dubois reportedly told the officer they were ketchup stains, according to police reports. The officer told Dubois he believed the stains weren’t ketchup, but rather, blood.

When Dubois began acting suspiciously and pacing around, the officer asked if he had anything on his person the officer needed to know about. After Dubois consented, the officer searched the suspect. In one pocket of Dubois’ shorts, the officer located a pack of cigarettes with two pipes in it. One was a glass smoking device and the other was a marijuana one-hitter, according to police reports.

In the same pocket, the officer located a prescription pill bottle with Dubois’ sister’s name on it. Inside the pill bottle was suspected powder cocaine. At that point, Dubois was arrested for suspected controlled dangerous substances and paraphernalia, according to police reports.

Once Dubois was in custody, the officer continued a search of his person. In another cigarette pack, the officer located a spoon containing white powdery residue on one side and burn marks on the other side. In Dubois’ wallet, the officer located a hand-rolled marijuana cigarette, according to police reports.

While the officer was reading Dubois his rights, Dubois reportedly mocked him by repeating the same lines. When questioned about the contents of the pill bottle, Dubois reportedly told the officer it was baking soda, not cocaine.

When other officers arrived on the scene to transport Dubois, he reportedly became irate and started screaming obscenities at the officers as they attempted to transport him. He reportedly attempted to pull away from the officers, and when he was unsuccessful, he braced his legs in an attempt to prevent them from loading him into the transport van and additional charges of resisting arrest were tacked on. Last week, Dubois pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.


One Day Sentence In Motor Vehicle Theft Case

OCEAN CITY — One of two suspects arrested in June after a license plate reader on the Route 50 Bridge alerted on the stolen vehicle pleaded guilty this week to related charges and was sentenced to one day in jail.

Around 4:35 a.m. last June 10, a license plate reader on the Route 50 bridge alerted Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers a stolen vehicle was entering the resort. OCPD officers observed the identified vehicle at the stoplight at North Division Street. OCPD officers attempted to stop the vehicle at 3rd Street to no avail. The vehicle sped northbound on Baltimore Avenue, and OCPD officers pursued until it reached 45th Street before calling off the pursuit because of safety concerns regarding vehicle speeds.

After the pursuit was called off, OCPD officers observed the stolen vehicle turn onto Hitchens Avenue, where the occupants got out and fled on foot. The suspects were located a short time later and were taken into custody without incident. Jasmine Carter, 19, of Valley Lee, Md., was arrested and charged initially with motor vehicle theft, theft from $1,500 to under $25,000, reckless endangerment, obstructing and hindering, reckless driving in a wanton and willful disregard for safety, fleeing and eluding, negligent driving and numerous other traffic violations. One Monday, Carter pleaded guilty to obstructing and hindering and attempting to elude officers on foot and was sentenced to one day in jail.

Antonius Cartnail, 21, of Lexington Park, Md., was charged with motor vehicle theft, theft under $25,000, obstructing and hindering and trespassing. Cartnail was also scheduled to appear for trial on Monday, but failed to appear and had a warrant sworn out for his arrest.