Cops & Courts – April 22, 2022

First-Degree Assault Charge for Choke-Out

OCEAN CITY- A Pennsylvania man was arrested on first-degree assault charges last weekend after allegedly choking his friend to the point he lost consciousness during a domestic altercation.

Around 11:50 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a hotel at 25th Street for a reported domestic dispute. The officer met with the female complainant who reportedly advised she was staying in a different hotel with her family, and that she had gone to the other hotel to pick up her sister, who had texted her to come get her because her boyfriend had been in a fight and she was scared.

The complainant was able to identify her sister’s boyfriend as Ethan Welch, 18, of Kirkwood, Pa., according to police reports. While the officer was speaking with the complainant in the lobby, Welch and the other individual involved in the alleged fight emerged from the elevator. The officer spoke with the two men about what had happened.

Welch advised he got into a verbal altercation with the other man because the other man kept telling him he could beat Welch up in front of his girlfriend. Welch reportedly told police he went after the other man first and started a physical altercation by tackling him to the ground. Welch admitted placing the victim in a choke hold until he “tapped out,” at which point he released his grip.

OCPD officers interviewed the victim, who reportedly advised he had a verbal argument with Welch because of Welch’s level of intoxication and Welch’s belief that the victim was flirting with his girlfriend, according to police reports. The victim said when he went to get something from the refrigerator, Welch approached him from behind and put him in a “rear naked choke hold,” according to police reports.

The victim reportedly advised Welch squeezed his neck so hard that he lost consciousness for three to four seconds. When the victim started to wake up, he was still seeing stars, but was able to get away from Welch’s grip. The victim told police he had never seen Welch so angry and believed he was going to kill him.

OCPD officers observed numerous red marks around the victim’s neck and he was transported to the hospital. Welch was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault.


Child Abuse Arrest

OCEAN CITY- A Pennsylvania man was arrested last week after allegedly assaulting a juvenile child during a domestic incident at a midtown hotel.

Around 5 a.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a hotel at 54th Street for a reported domestic situation. The officer met with the hotel’s night auditor, who advised he had received multiple complaints about a room on the fourth floor, according to police reports.

The night auditor said he made contact with the occupants of the room in question, including an adult male and female and three-to-four young children. When the auditor spoke with the occupants, they were adamant they were not arguing, but rather just speaking loudly, according to police reports.

The night auditor told the officer he had been to the room multiple times before calling police as the complaints continued, according to police reports. The night auditor said the adult male occupant, later identified as Bryan Galvez, 33, of Bethlehem, Pa. had left just prior to the officer’s arrival.

OCPD officers met with the adult female occupant of the room. OCPD officers had previously encountered the female and Galvez hours before at a midtown nightclub. Galvez was reportedly intoxicated and was attempting to drive back to their hotel, but the female had the keys and would not let him drive. The couple then walked north toward their hotel.

The female told police the couple argued about the car keys and how they were missing when they were back at the hotel. OCPD officers observed four children in the room, ranging in age from six to 12-years-old. Each of the juveniles confirmed the couple had been arguing, according to police reports.

One of the juveniles told police Galvez had struck her with an open hand as she attempted to intervene in the couple’s argument, according to police reports. The juvenile reportedly told the officers Galvez was intoxicated and turned his attention toward her during the argument, calling her an expletive. The victim said she tripped on the bed when Galvez walked toward her aggressively. The victim told police Galvez got on top of her and struck her on her left side with an open hand. The other juveniles in the room corroborated the victim’s story. Galvez was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, child abuse and other charges.


Assault Arrest for Phone Throwing

OCEAN CITY- A North Carolina man was arrested for second-degree assault last weekend after allegedly throwing a cell phone at a female victim and hitting her in the face during a domestic incident at a midtown hotel room.

Last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a hotel at 67th Street for a reported 911 hang-up. Ocean City Communications advised a female had called 911 to report she had gotten into a fight with her boyfriend, but then disconnected the line and would not answer calls back from Ocean City Communications, nor did they have a room number.

OCPD officers arrived and located the female victim in the hotel lobby. The victim advised she and her boyfriend were drinking in the hotel room when they got into an argument. The argument was about the boyfriend, identified as Austin Richardson, 25, of West End, N.C., taking the victim’s cell phone from her and not giving it back, according to police reports.

The victim told police as the argument about the phone escalated, Richardson began pushing her around the room and then threw his cell phone her, striking her in the face. The victim told police she was able to exit the hotel room and called the police, according to police reports.

When interviewed, Richardson admitted having an argument with the victim, but that he did not have her phone.

Richardson also advised he did not know how the victim received a bloody lip, according to police reports. OCPD officers observed a cut on the inside of the victim’s lip and fresh blood in the hotel room’s bathroom sink. The victim told the officer the cut was from her being struck in the face with the phone, according to police reports. Based on the evidence and testimony, Richardson was arrested and charged with second-degree assault.


Local Arrested for Trespassing

OCEAN CITY- A local man was arrested on multiple charges last weekend after allegedly feuding with a Boardwalk bar manager and then running from police.

Around 6:30 p.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) bicycle officer was dispatched to a Boardwalk bar at Talbot Street for a reported disorderly male. The officer arrived on the scene and observed the suspect, later identified as Yonathan Yoseph, 33, of Ocean City, in front of the establishment and arguing with the manager, according to police reports.

Yoseph was reportedly yelling expletives at the manager and became agitated with his fists clenched, according to police reports. The officer attempted to de-escalate the situation and get Yoseph, who was reportedly intoxicated, to calm down. The manager reportedly issued an indefinite trespass warning to Yoseph in the officer’s presence.

The officer told Yoseph to keep his voice down and not to use profanity, to which Yoseph replied he knew the officer was right and thanked the officer for intervening, according to police reports. Yoseph then began walking north on the Boardwalk and it appeared the incident was over. The officer cleared the area, but kept an eye on the situation and both the bar and Yoseph. The officer reportedly observed Yoseph run toward the manager and urged him to hit him, calling him a racist expletive in the process, according to police reports.

While he was yelling at the manager, Yoseph was on the bar’s property in violation of the trespass order. The officer reportedly followed Yoseph as he ran away north on the Boardwalk and then west on Caroline Street. Because of Yoseph’s past tendencies for resisting arrest and assaulting police officers, the initial officer called for back-up, according to police reports.

As the officer approached, he observed Yoseph stumble through a crowd of people on the corner of Caroline Street attempting to cross Baltimore Avenue, according to police reports, because of his level of intoxication. He was arrested and charged with trespassing, failure to obey a lawful order, and endangering the safety of civilians attempting to cross the roadway.


Suspended Sentence for Hit-and-Run

OCEAN CITY- A local woman arrested in January for driving under the influence after colliding with a state truck on Philadelphia Avenue pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced to one year, which was then suspended in favor of probation.

Around 2:40 a.m. on January 29, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were dispatched to the area of 9th Street and Philadelphia Avenue for a reported hit-and-run incident. The officers met with the victim, who reportedly told police he was driving southbound on Philadelphia Avenue in the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) truck when he observed a vehicle approaching his truck from the rear at a high rate of speed, according to police reports.

The victim told police he attempted to move out of the path of the vehicle, but the vehicle struck the passenger side door of his MDOT truck. The victim told officers the other driver, later identified as Kelsey Snyder, 27, of Ocean City, initially stopped, exited her vehicle and spoke to the victim, according to police reports.

The victim reportedly told police Snyder asked him “Do I need to stay?” She then fled the scene in her vehicle and headed north on Baltimore Avenue. The victim was able to provide a description of the driver, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, along with a description of the vehicle. The victim told police Snyder’s vehicle should have front-end damage.

Other OCPD officers located a vehicle matching the description with front-end damage in the area of 36th Street and conducted a traffic stop. Officers identified the driver as Snyder, who exhibited signs of intoxication, according to police reports. Meanwhile, the victim was brought to the scene by a Maryland State Police trooper to identify Snyder as the driver who had allegedly struck his MDOT truck and fled the scene.

Based on the victim’s identification, Snyder was arrested at that point for hit-and-run and other traffic violations. At the Public Safety Building, Snyder reportedly consented to a battery of field sobriety tests, which she did not pass to the officers’ satisfaction. She then reportedly agreed to a breath test, which returned a result of .22. Last Friday, she pleaded guilty to driving under the influence per se and was sentenced to one year. All of that sentence was suspended, and she was placed on unsupervised probation for 18 months.