Cops & Courts – May 6, 2022

Restroom Door Destroyed

OCEAN CITY — A local man was arrested last week after allegedly breaking into a locked restroom at the south end transit center with a shovel, later telling police he really needed to use the facilities.

Around 12:25 a.m. last Wednesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to the South End Transit Center on South Division Street for a reported malicious destruction of property. The officer met with a city bus driver who advised the men’s bathroom door had been broken and destroyed.

The driver advised the officer the men’s bathroom had been locked at around 11 p.m. and the lock and door frame were now broken. The employee advised another bus driver knew who damaged the door and caught him in the act, according to police reports.

The officer observed the men’s room door knob to be removed and the metal door frame was bent and destroyed. Inside the men’s room, the officer observed empty alcoholic beverage containers, blue latex gloves and a black trash bag scattered throughout the bathroom.

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The officer viewed City Watch surveillance footage from the transit center, which showed a suspect later identified as Robert Hill, 70, of Ocean City, near the men’s room shortly after 11 p.m. The officer then met with the driver who had witnessed the crime, who had returned to the transit center. The witness said shortly after 11 p.m., she returned to the transit center and saw the men’s room door open and heard a loud banging noise.

The witness said she observed Hill holding the bathroom door open with a shovel between his legs. The witness told the officer when she confronted Hill, he said to her, “They ain’t going to lock the door no more,” and “If they lock the door, I’ll bust it open again,” according to police reports.

OCPD officers located Hill at a convenience store parking lot at North Division Street and he was detained in handcuffs. Hill reportedly told officers he was willing to speak with them. He reportedly admitted being at the south end transit center and that the bathroom door had been locked.

Hill, a known local homeless man, reportedly told police he was older now and had to use the bathroom more frequently. When asked how he got into the bathroom, Hill told police he used tweezers to dismantle the lock. When told the door frame was bent and destroyed and the damage couldn’t have been done with tweezers, Hill said he used a shovel and kicked the door to break it open, according to police reports.

Hill was arrested at that point and charged with malicious destruction of property. During a search of his person incident to the arrest, a spring-assisted silver knife was found, and additional weapons violations were tacked on.

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Street Sign Swiped

OCEAN CITY — A Silver Spring, Md. man was arrested last week for allegedly breaking off a town-owned street sign and dragging it up the sidewalk on Coastal Highway.

Around 2:30 a.m. last Tuesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer observed a male carrying a street sign walking north on the sidewalk at 62nd Street. The officer turned around and approached the suspect, later identified as Caleb Rodriguez, 31, of Silver Spring, Md., who had placed the street sign about 40 yards behind him, according to police reports.

Rodriguez reportedly showed signs of intoxication and was wearing a wristband from the nearby nightclub. At that point, Rodriguez was detained in handcuffs. The officer observed the sign was attached to a roughly seven-foot pole. The sign said, “No Parking This Side of Street,” and “Tow Away Zone,” and “Property of the Town of Ocean City,” according to police reports.

Rodriguez asked the officer, “why am I in handcuffs? I found that sign. It’s mine,” according to police reports. Rodriguez was arrested and charged with theft and malicious destruction of property. Another OCPD officer was reportedly able to find there the sign post was broken off from the ground in the area of 59th Street.

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Indecent Exposure Twice

OCEAN CITY — A Trappe, Md. man was arrested for indecent exposure last weekend after allegedly twice dropping pants and exposing himself on the sidewalk along a busy Coastal Highway.

Around 11:40 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the downtown area observed a group of disorderly individuals walking on the public sidewalk in the area of 17th Street and Philadelphia Avenue. As the officer watched, a shirtless male in the group later identified as Wilson Keeter, 22, of Trappe, Md., pulled down his pants to his ankles, exposed his penis, raised his hands above his head and yelled “woo,” according to police reports.

The officer noted there was moderate traffic in the area at the time and Keeter’s indecent exposure was likely observed by many, according to police reports. Keeter reportedly pulled his pants up and kept walking south. At 16th Street, Keeter pulled down his pants again and repeated his entire earlier action, according to police reports.

Keeter pulled up his pants a second time and walked east on 16th Street. When officers arrived, Keeter was climbing over a white privacy fence, which was shaking heavily from his weight on it. Keeter was told to climb down and sit on the curb. According to police reports, he exhibited signs of intoxication. At that point, Keeter was arrested for indecent exposure and malicious destruction of property for damaging the fence. While Keeter was being search, he told officers, “I gonna be honest, I am drunk,” according to police reports.

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Comfort Station Assault

OCEAN CITY — A local homeless man was arrested last weekend after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend and then slamming a plastic soft drink bottle containing alcohol on the Boardwalk in front of a family with children.

Around 6:45 p.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a report of a disorderly individual in the area of the Caroline Street comfort station on the Boardwalk. Communications advised there was a male screaming at a female who was inside the comfort station bathroom.

Upon arrival, the officer located a known local homeless man identified as Jeffery Graham, 32, whom he had known through previous interactions. The officer observed Graham as he staggered down the Boardwalk yelling something incoherently.

While the officer watched, Graham forcefully spiked on half-full plastic bottle of soft drink onto the Boardwalk, according to police reports. The officer reportedly observed Graham pick up the plastic bottle again and spike it onto the Boardwalk a second time. A family in the area guided their children away from Graham, who reportedly told them he was sorry.

Graham was taken into custody at that point and admitted to being drunk and disorderly, according to police reports. He also admitted there was alcohol in the soda bottle he had been slamming on the Boardwalk, according to police reports.

OCPD officers interviewed Graham’s girlfriend, who reportedly told police Graham had consumed two bottles of bourbon and was highly intoxicated when he assaulted her. The victim reportedly told police she was sitting on a bench near the comfort station when Graham walked up from behind her, grabbed her sweatshirt and shook her, according to police reports.

The victim told police Graham then punched her in the back of the head and on the side of her neck with a closed fist. The officer observed abrasions on the victim’s next that appeared to be fresh and were consistent with being punched as she described.

The victim told police she fled into the ladies’ room at the comfort station and Graham followed her inside, according to police reports. OCPD officers interviewed a witness to the incident, a bathroom attendant working the Caroline Street comfort station. The witness essentially corroborated the victim’s version of the incident.

Graham was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct. It was later learned Graham poured water on the intercom located in his holding cell. According to police reports, it was uncertain at the time if the intercom had been destroyed.

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Hotel Room Eviction

OCEAN CITY — Two Germantown, Md. men were arrested last weekend after getting evicted from a north-end hotel room and refusing to leave.

Around 3:40 a.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a hotel at 120th Street to assist with an eviction. OCPD officers had previously been called to assist with evictions of two other rooms on the third floor, but the occupants of the third room involved in the noise complaint had not answered the door.

The hotel manager told police she walked near the room and heard loud noises as if there was a party going on inside, according to police reports. The officer arrived and heard loud noises coming from inside. The officer knocked on the door, which was answered by an individual identified as Timothy Lehr, 22, of Germantown, Md. The officer advised Lehr and a second occupant, identified as Robert McNamee, 21, also of Germantown, they were being evicted.

Both Lehr and McNamee were argumentative and refused to gather their belongings and leave the room after being told to do so by the officer roughly 20 times. When they did come outside the unit, there were screaming profanity to the point numerous other people came out of their rooms to see what was going on. Lehr and McNamee were each arrested and charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct.