Cops & Courts – September 30, 2022

Local Arrested For Threats

OCEAN CITY – A Berlin man was arrested last week after a routine traffic stop led to a chase and a first-degree assault charge.

Around 11:50 p.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the downtown area reportedly observed a truck traveling on Philadelphia Avenue above the posted 30 mph speed limit lowered because of the special event zone in place. The officer followed the truck as it turned west on the Route 50 Bridge, according to police reports.

The truck reportedly reached a speed of 50 mph as it traveled across the bridge. The officer reportedly activated emergency lights and sirens and attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the truck continued to West Ocean City. According to police reports, the vehicle swerved within its lane, nearly striking mailboxes and driving on lawns.

The vehicle eventually pulled into a driveway in West Ocean City. The OCPD officer drew his firearm, approached the vehicle and pointed it at the driver, identified as Christopher Eschenburg, 42, of Berlin, who exited the truck and did not comply with the officer’s commands, according to police reports.

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Eschenburg reportedly walked toward the officer, keeping his right hand hidden and began laughing as the officer ordered him to show his hands. Eschenburg then walked toward the rear of his truck, according to police reports. Two OCPD officers attempted to take Eschenburg into custody, but he braced himself on a fence and did not allow the officers to place him in handcuffs.

Eschenburg then reportedly grabbed a wooden fence post with nails sticking out of it and held it up in the air, according to police reports. The suspect reportedly took an aggressive stance, bracing himself and spreading his feet. He raised the fence post with the exposed nails and appeared as if he was going to strike one of the officers with it.

Officers were able to take Eschenburg to the ground, but he continued to reach for the fence post with the exposed nails, according to police reports. Eschenburg continued to resist, at one point kicking an officer, but OCPD officers were ultimately able to take him into custody.

An inventory of the suspect’s vehicle revealed an open container of alcohol in the center console and a set of brass knuckles. Eschenburg was charged with first- and second-degree assault, a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, resisting arrest, open container and traffic violations.

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Assault Arrest Leads To Loaded Handgun

OCEAN CITY — A Virginia man was arrested last weekend after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend on a downtown street and later being found with a loaded handgun in his vehicle.

Around 6 p.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a motel at 24th Street for a reported domestic assault that had occurred. OCPD officers had originally responded to the same reported incident in the area of Talbot Street and Philadelphia Avenue.

OCPD officers arrived in the area of 24th Street and observed the alleged female victim in the area of Washington Lane. Officers also located a male suspect identified as Kevin Brown, 24, of Manassas Park, Va. Both the victim and Brown denied there had been no altercation between them, according to police reports. However, officers reportedly observed fresh injuries on the victim including a bruise on her cheek, and scratches and bruises on her arms.

With no cooperation from either party, OCPD officers viewed City Watch surveillance footage from the Talbot Street area where the incident allegedly originated. The footage revealed the victim and Brown were involved in a verbal argument and Brown grabbed the victim and pushed her toward his vehicle, according to police reports.

The footage reportedly revealed an unidentified male riding his bicycle past the incident and make a U-turn to observe the alleged incident unfolding. Another unidentified male runs into view in the footage and attempts to get a tag number for Brown’s vehicle, according to police reports. Brown and the victim get into the vehicle and drive away.

City Watch surveillance footage showed Brown’s vehicle driving north on Baltimore Avenue with the victim’s head hanging out of the window, according to police reports. OCPD officers interviewed witnesses who were walking in the area of 23rd Street, who reported the victim’s head was out of the vehicle’s window and she was screaming at the top of her lungs, “Help me,” according to police reports.

Believing the victim was being kidnapped, one of the witnesses began following Brown’s vehicle. City Watch footage revealed Brown’s vehicle stationary in the area of 24th Street.

According to the footage, the victim was seen climbing out of the vehicle’s window and running away from Brown. OCPD officers located Brown’s vehicle in the area of 24th Street and he was taken into custody. A search of the vehicle revealed various quantities of marijuana, including a Mason jar with “High from Ocean City” written on it. Also located in the vehicle was a loaded 9mm handgun in the front driver’s side door pocket.

Based on the evidence and witness testimony, Brown was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, disorderly conduct, and numerous weapons charges.

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Assault, Malicious Destruction

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested last week after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend and damaging her vehicle’s taillights and large flat-screen television.

Around 5:40 a.m. last Tuesday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a residence on 8th Street for a reported domestic assault. The officer arrived and met with a female victim, who was visibly upset and had a fresh wound on her lip that was bleeding along with cuts and abrasions on her arm and shoulder. The victim’s ears were also red from evidently being pulled and she also had abrasions on her knee and elbow, according to police reports.

The victim reportedly told officers she had been assaulted by her boyfriend, identified as Nathaniel Beard, 22, of Ocean City. The victim said she had an argument with Beard because he had accused her of breaking the mirror on his truck, according to police reports. The victim reportedly told police the argument escalated when Beard struck her multiple times with an open hand. The victim told police Beard had ripped the earrings from her ears, according to police reports.

The victim also told officers Beard had broken the taillights on her vehicle as well as her large 70-inch flat screen television during an earlier incident. Beard had reportedly broken the items and then bought her replacements. The officer observed a new large screen television still in the box in the victim’s unit, according to police reports.

OCPD officers interviewed witnesses, including the property manager, who reported he had trespassed Beard from the property at 8th Street because of previous altercations with the victim. Another witness, a neighbor, reported hearing the victim’s cries for help while Beard was allegedly assaulting her. That witness ran toward the victim’s unit and found her lying on the floor while Beard ran from the unit, according to police reports.

Officers knew what vehicle Beard drove from prior interactions and placed a lookout for it. Beard’s vehicle was stopped in the area of 64th Street and he was taken into custody. Beard denied being at the victim’s apartment or having anything to do with the alleged assault, according to police reports. He was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and malicious destruction of property.

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Boardwalk Indecent Exposure

OCEAN CITY — A local woman was arrested last weekend after allegedly getting kicked out of a downtown bar and exposing her breasts to families with young children on the Boardwalk.

Around 10 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer was on bicycle patrol on the Boardwalk and observed a female, later identified as Tina Boykin, 53, of Berlin, exiting a Boardwalk bar. The officer observed Boykin scream loudly from at least 70 feet away, “Yeah, we just got kicked out,” according to police reports.

Boykin continued to yell as she exited the establishment. The officer observed Boykin standing in front of the bar and continuing to yell as she lifted her shirt and exposed her breasts completely toward people on the Boardwalk walking toward her, including minors, according to police reports.

The officer reportedly observed Boykin lift her shirt on the public Boardwalk a second time. As the officer began to approach Boykin, she reportedly lifted her shirt and completely exposed her breasts toward a young child under the age of 10, according to police reports.

The child was reportedly accompanied by her mother, who screamed at Boykin, “What the [expletive deleted] are you doing?” and “Are you kidding me?” according to police reports. Boykin reported responded with expletives of her own. Another mother on the Boardwalk also admonished Boykin for her alleged actions, according to police reports. Boykin was arrested and charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct.

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Probation For Prostitution

OCEAN CITY — A Texas woman, arrested in August on prostitution and solicitation charges after local a human trafficking sting operation in the resort, pleaded guilty this week and was placed on probation for three years.

In August, members of the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) Narcotics-Vice Unit and the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team conduced a human trafficking operation in the resort. The human trafficking operation targeted females posting ads on various social media platforms offering sex for money in the Ocean City area.

Utilizing one of the posted social media ads, detectives were able to arrange a meeting with a female at a downtown resort hotel. During the investigation, detectives were able to identify the female prior to the meeting as Bryanna Caprese Podest, 23, of Houston, Texas.

Podest arrived at the hotel and agreed to perform a sexual act for money. Podest was arrested and charged with prostitution and procuring or soliciting prostitution. This week, Podest pleaded guilty to one count of prostitution and was placed on probation for three years.