Cops & Courts – October 7, 2022

Charges In Boat Attack

OCEAN CITY — Two people were arrested on assault charges last weekend after reportedly attacking a man on a boat at a downtown bayside marina.

Around 10 p.m. last Friday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a bayside marina in the downtown area for a reported assault. OCPD officers met with a female, identified as Heather Reed, 37, of Delmar, Md., who advised she had been visiting a friend on a boat with her husband, later identified as Gerald Pierson, 46, also of Delmar, when a fight broke out with a male victim.

Reed told police the couple was enjoying the evening on the boat when the male victim came aboard and became argumentative, according to police reports. Reed reportedly told officers the argument became physical when the male made derogatory comments and her boyfriend took offense to it. She told police a full drunken brawl then erupted with both males attempting to punch each other, according to police reports.

Reed reportedly told police the other male was on top of her boyfriend at one point with his arm on her boyfriend’s neck. Reed told police she interceded at that point and began choking the other male, according to police reports.

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OCPD officers spoke with the male victim, who reported getting on his friend’s boat and not recognizing or knowing the other people on the vessel. When the argument ensued, Pierson began punching the male victim repeatedly. The victim told officers Pierson punched him at least five times while he was on the ground and unable to stave off the attack, according to police reports.

The male victim reportedly told officers Reed held him on the ground while Pierson punched him repeatedly. The victim told officers Reed then began choking him by putting her hands around his neck. The victim told police his breathing was constricted while Reed was choking him. The victim had visible red marks on his neck and bruising on his cheeks and told police he believed he was going to die while Pierson was hitting him and Reed was choking him, according to police reports. Reed was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault, while Pierson was charged with second-degree assault.

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Assault Over Toilet Paper

OCEAN CITY — A District Heights, Md. man was charged with assault last week after allegedly punching a female victim during a dispute about no toilet paper in their hotel room.

Last week, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a Boardwalk hotel for a reported domestic assault. Officers met with a female victim with whom they were familiar from previous domestic assault incidents in the resort area. The victim told police her friend, later identified as Joezer Boyd, 38, had been staying in Ocean City hotels off and on for a few weeks.

The victim said Boyd woke up that morning and immediately went into the bathroom in the hotel room and quickly left the room a few minutes later, according to police reports. The victim reportedly told police she followed Boyd down the hallway in the hotel, and when they got to the elevator, Boyd turned around and punched her in the face with a closed fist, according to police reports.

The victim reportedly told police Boyd was upset with her because there was no toilet paper in the bathroom and she had not gone to get more. OCPD officers viewed surveillance video from the hotel and observed Boyd walking down the hallway in an agitated state with his arms flailing, with the victim walking behind him, according to police reports.

When the couple reached the elevator, Boyd turned around and punched the victim in the face, according to police reports. A short argument ensued and the couple disappeared from view of the surveillance cameras, according to police reports. Based on the evidence and testimony, Boyd was charged last week with second-degree assault.

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Loaded Handgun Bust

OCEAN CITY — A Virginia man was arrested last week after driving the wrong way on two different major thoroughfares in the resort and being found with a loaded handgun in his vehicle.

Around 1:15 a.m. last Thursday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the downtown area observed a vehicle driving south on Baltimore Avenue in the area of Wicomico Street in an area where Baltimore Avenue is one-way heading north. The officer reportedly observed the driver, later identified as Christopher Granger, 41, of Dumfries, Va., turn west on Worcester Street.

The officer activated his emergency lights and attempted to stop Granger, who then drove north the wrong way on Philadelphia Avenue heading north, according to police reports. The officer eventually stopped the vehicle on Philadelphia Avenue. The officer approached the vehicle and observed an open container of beer in the center console, along with a glass marijuana smoking device, according to police reports.

At that point, Granger was placed under arrest for an open container violation and traffic offenses. When asked if there was anything in the vehicle that he wanted to bring with him to the Public Safety Building for booking, Granger told the officer there was a loaded handgun in the center console and that he did not have a carry permit in Maryland, according to police reports.

OCPD officers then located a handgun in the console in a leather holster with a fully loaded magazine, although there was no round in the chamber. In addition to the initial counts, Granger was also charged with possession of a loaded handgun. A background check revealed the handgun had not been reported stolen and Granger was not a prohibited possessor, but the weapon had not been registered.

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Jail For Spitting Suspect

OCEAN CITY — A Baltimore man, arrested in August for obstructing traffic on Coastal Highway and later charged with multiple counts of second-degree assault after spitting on officers attempting to book him, pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Around 12:30 a.m. on August 27, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were patrolling in the area of 49th Street when they observed a male individual later identified as Michael Keener, 52, of Baltimore, standing in a travel lane on Coastal Highway. OCPD officers observed one vehicle stopped on the highway in front of Keener with other vehicles beginning to stack up because of Keener’s obstruction in the roadway.

Once Keener moved out of the roadway, the first vehicle, and then the others behind it, began to move freely on Coastal Highway again. Keener then stepped in front of an OCPD vehicle with his arm extended in a motion to stop the officer’s vehicle, according to police reports.

Keener was advised to step out of the way and onto the public sidewalk, an order for which he complied. OCPD officers twice saw Keener obstructing traffic with a green traffic signal by standing in the highway. After he was asked multiple times to sit on the curb and cooperate and failed to comply, Keener was arrested for blocking free passage, according to police reports.

Keener was transported to the Public Safety Building for booking and when a public safety aide attempted to search him, he allegedly spit on the officer. The arresting officer pushed Keener against a wall and ordered a spit hood to be placed on him, but before that could happen, Keener allegedly spit on another booking officer, according to police reports.

Once finally in a cell, another booking officer attempted to take the handcuffs off of Keener, but Kenner slammed her hands against the cell door, ripping her glove in the process and causing her to wince in pain, according to police reports. Essentially, Keener had allegedly assaulted three officers in a matter of minutes, according to police reports.

OCPD officers consulted with bar staff from whence Keener said he had come and staffers said he had been kicked out for spitting on a bartender. Last week, Keener pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

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One Day For Replica Gun Threat

OCEAN CITY — A Salisbury man, arrested in July after allegedly threatening a couple on the Route 90 bridge with what turned out to be a replica handgun, pleaded guilty last week to second-degree assault and was sentenced to one day in jail.

Around 4:15 p.m. on July 14, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the midtown area received an alert advising to be on the lookout for teal-colored pickup truck driven by a suspect, later identified as Michael McGowan, 63, of Salisbury, who had allegedly pulled a gun on a couple, according to police reports. OCPD officers observed the vehicle driving north on Coastal Highway and pulled behind him as he entered the parking lot of the Gold Coast Mall.

McGowan eluded police uptown and drove south again on Coastal Highway. At 62nd Street, OCPD officers conducted a high-risk stop on McGowan’s vehicle. While being detained, McGowan reported told police “It’s a replica” asserting the weapon he pointed at the two individuals in another vehicle was not an actual firearm.

Officers searched the vehicle and found in a zipped bag on the front seat a snubbed-nose revolver BB or pellet gun that was incredibly realistic to a real Smith and Wesson snub-nose revolver, according to police reports. In the same bag with the gun replica, OCPD officers located an electronic weapon that looked like a large tactical flashlight. However, when activated, the weapon emitted a loud electrical arcing noise and a brilliant white light of arcing between two metal prongs of the flashlight near the lens, according to police reports.

Under the front edge of the front bench seat of the truck, OCPD officers reportedly found a sheathed tactical tomahawk axe, according to police reports. Also under the front bench seat of the truck, officers located a machete. OCPD officers also located in the vehicle fragments of tablets identified as methadone hydrochloride.

Officers interviewed the couple, who were engaged. The male victim reportedly told police he was driving across the Route 90 bridge with his fiancé as a passenger when McGowan rapidly approached their vehicle from the rear and began making shooting “gun finger” gestures toward them, according to police reports.

Shortly thereafter, McGowan pulled alongside the couple’s vehicle and targeted them with what appeared to be an authentic .357 Magnum. The couple told police they completely believed the gun was real and began praying, according to police reports. Last week, he pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault and was sentence to one day in jail.