Cops & Courts – August 12, 2022

False Imprisonment Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania man was arrested on false imprisonment charges last week after allegedly locking his girlfriend on a hotel balcony against her will.

Around 9:10 p.m. last Wednesday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a hotel at 120th Street for a reported domestic incident. OCPD officers met with a witness who was across the street at a pharmacy and reported observing a female screaming for help from a hotel balcony on the top floor.

The witness told officers she observed a male drag the female back inside the unit. The witness told officers the lights were on in the unit and she could observe the altercation, which went on for about two minutes, from where she was. The witness told officers she then saw the female back on the deck waving her hands as if she needed help, according to police reports.

The witness reportedly told officers the next thing she observed as the female victim outside on the deck and the male suspect had locked her out there and turned off the lights, which is when she called police. OCPD officers went to the room on the fifth floor and knocked on the door. They were greeted by a female victim who was crying and appeared to be in distress, according to police reports.

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The victim reportedly told officers her boyfriend, identified as Max Shover, 31, of Paquea, Pa., had been holding the door for about 20 to 30 minutes, preventing her from leaving during the altercation. The victim reportedly told police her family was also in town and she was trying to get ready to go to the Boardwalk with them, but Shover blocked her way and prevented her from getting ready and leaving, according to police reports.

The victim reportedly told officers she attempted to move Shover from the door so she could get ready and leave and there was a physical altercation, although she said Shover didn’t physically harm her. She told officers Shover had a recent history of similar incidents when he refused to let her leave and restrained her from doing anything, according to police reports.

OCPD officers interviewed Shover, who reportedly told police he had never locked the victim out on the balcony. Shover reportedly told police multiple different stories about the incident while denying restraining the victim in any way. Based on the witness testimony and the interviews with the victim and Shover, he was arrested and charged with false imprisonment.

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Mom Arrested For Child Assault

OCEAN CITY — A Pennsylvania woman was arrested on assault charges last week after reportedly attacking her juvenile child on a crowded Boardwalk.

Around 11:30 p.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to the area of North Division Street for a report of a mother striking her child. The officer met with a female suspect, later identified as Amanda Wentz, 34, of Johnstown, Pa., who advised her juvenile daughter had told her she needed to use a restroom. Wentz said they attempted to find an open restroom, but could not locate one in the area, according to police reports.

Wentz reportedly told police the child ran away down the Boardwalk and could not be located for about 15 minutes. Wentz told officers once she located the child, she tried to forcibly make her leave and the juvenile refused and caused a scene. Wentz told police the child had to be forcibly dragged down the sidewalk in order to get her to leave, according to police reports.

OCPD officers observed multiple cuts to the juvenile’s left shoulder and left arm, according to police reports. A witness told officers she observed Wentz pulling the juvenile victim by the hair while pinching her in the back of the neck with her other hand, according to police reports. The witness reportedly told officers Wentz and the victim ultimately fell to the ground and into a vending machine near the Boardwalk.

The witness said Wentz dragged the child down the ramp from the Boardwalk and punched her with a closed fist. The witness told police the juvenile attempted to fight back in an effort to escape the situation. A separate witness reportedly corroborated the first witness’s version of the incident and said it was “absolutely horrific” to watch unfold, according to police reports.

A review of City Watch surveillance camera footage also corroborated the version of the incident provided by the witnesses, according to police reports. The victim had cuts on her arm and shoulder and her cheeks were red and swollen, according to police reports. Based on the witness testimony and the surveillance footage, Wentz was arrested and charged with second-degree assault.

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Knife, Fighting Ax Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A Glen Burnie man was arrested on various weapons charges last week after allegedly being found with a knife and a fighting ax on his person while passed out in a downtown motel parking lot.

Around 8:10 a.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was dispatched to a motel parking lot at 8th Street to assist Ocean City EMS. A motel staffer directed the officer and Ocean City EMS to the parking lot where a suspect, later identified as Alejandro Laurie, 35, of Glen Burnie, was lying on his side in the parking lot.

Ocean City EMS attempted to wake Laurie first by touching his arms and speaking to him, and then rolling him on his back and performing sternum rubs, according to police reports. Once Laurie was rolled on his back, the officer and EMS staffers observed a four-inch knife sticking out of the side of his pocket. The knife appeared to have cut a hole in Laurie’s pants pocket, according to police reports.

The OCPD officer removed the knife so EMS staff could safely continue to render aid to Laurie, who was not conscious, according to police reports. Next to Laurie on the ground was a wooden staff that was adorned with colorful feathers, tape and hair ties, according to police reports. Laurie eventually became responsive and was evaluated by Ocean City EMS, but he denied further treatment and EMS left the scene.

Laurie was arrested for carrying a concealed deadly weapon. Ocean City Communications advised Laurie was also wanted on a warrant out of Anne Arundel County for failing to appear in court for a second-degree assault arrest. Laurie reportedly told officers he did not know he was not allowed to carry the knife and asked police if they were going to take his staff, according to police reports.

Officers examined the staff and determined there was something concealed under the tape that was not consistent with the wooden handle. When the tape was cut away, officers observed a concealed glass or clear rock material underneath. It was determined the staff was actually a fighting ax under the town’s code and additional deadly weapons charges were added.

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Hefty Sentence For Rampage

OCEAN CITY — A local homeless man was arrested in March on burglary and malicious destruction of property charges after an alleged destructive rampage at a downtown resort hotel office pleaded guilty this week to third-degree burglary and was sentenced to eight years, all but five of which were then suspended.

Around 12:35 a.m. on March 9, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the downtown area and heard the sound of glass shattering in the area of 2nd Street. The officer began searching the area of a downtown hotel and other buildings currently under renovation. Ocean City Communications advised a front door motion detector and a hallway motion detector had been triggered.

The officer approached the building and observed broken glass in the hotel parking lot. The officer noted in the report it appeared the window had been broken from the inside of the building based on how the glass was shattered on the sidewalk.

OCPD officers determined the front entrance facing Baltimore Avenue to be unlocked. Officers set up a perimeter around the building and one officer observed a male walking west toward Baltimore Avenue. The suspect was identified as Harold Snead, 37, of no fixed address.

The officer noted because of the time of morning and the day of the week in the offseason there was other foot traffic in the area and there was no reason to be in the area of the hotel and its other buildings as it was closed.

The officer noted Snead had on no shoes or winter clothing, despite it being cold and raining. Snead had fresh blood on his arms and legs, which would be consistent with someone who recently broke a window, according to police reports.

When Snead observed the officer, he sprinted away despite orders from the officer to stop, according to police reports. Snead ran east onto the Boardwalk, but he was detained a short time later. He reportedly told the officers he had been released from jail that day and wanted the judge to hold him in jail and not release him. Snead was transported to the hospital for further evaluation.

At the hospital he was polite and cooperative toward the officers interviewing him. He told the officers “I smashed the window to get the help I need,” and “you should see what I did to that place,” according to police reports.

Snead had admitted being inside the building belonging to the hotel and causing extensive damage, according to police reports. OCPD officers inspected the damaged building and located a large, wooden desk with the drawers ripped off and the frame damaged with office supplies thrown around the room and plastic metal containers destroyed.

Two wooden doors were destroyed with one broken in half and the other ripped off its hinges any lying on the floor. Several broken wooden chairs were scattered throughout the building, three glass windows were shattered with the screens and blinds destroyed, according to police reports. Several computer chairs were damaged along with a computer monitor. OCPD officers spoke with a representative from the hotel group that estimated the damage at around $5,000.

About an hour earlier, an OCPD officer had been dispatched to another nearby motel for a reported burglary which had already occurred. The officer spoke with the property manager, who reported maintenance staff had been working in one of the rooms and determined someone had been inside of a unit on the second floor. The worker found food, clothing and pile of paperwork with Snead’s name on it. There was no damage reported in that motel room. Snead was charged with third- and fourth-degree burglary, malicious destruction of property and malicious destruction of property scheme.