Cops & Courts – November 4, 2022

Locals Arrested For Assault

OCEAN CITY — A local couple was arrested last weekend after an alleged fight in a downtown hotel room when each claimed the other had assaulted themselves.

Around 4:25 a.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a Boardwalk hotel for a reported domestic dispute that had already occurred. Upon arrival, the officer met with a female, later identified as Lindsay Donophan, 33, of Ocean City, who had a dog on a leash.

Donophan’s lip was swollen, bruised and bleeding, and she had a bruise on her forehead and blood on her jacket, according to police reports. She reportedly appeared shaken up and was crying. The officer met with a male individual in a hotel room identified as Matthew Ruark, 36, also of Ocean City.

According to police reports, Ruark’s right cheek was swollen, and he had a bruise under his right eye and dried blood near his nostril. He also had abrasions on both of his arms, according to police reports. Ruark reportedly told police he and Donophan were staying together in the hotel room and had an argument when Donophan believed he was receiving Facebook messages from another woman, according to police reports.

Ruark reportedly told the officer the argument turned physical when Donophan punched him in the face multiple times, pushed him against a wall and continued to punch him. Ruark reportedly told the officer he was able to break away and told Donophan he was going to call the police, at which time she punched herself several times in the face in order to give the appearance Ruark had assaulted her. Ruark told the officer the obvious injuries Donophan had sustained were self-inflicted. Ruark told the officer he had never assaulted Donophan, according to police reports.

When interviewed, Donophan told police a different version of the events. Donophan said he had rented the hotel room for Ruark and he didn’t want her pit bull in the room and an argument ensued. Donophan told police Ruark uppercut punched her multiple times with a closed fist in her face, according to police reports. Donophan told the officer she sustained the swollen lip and bruised forehead as a result of being punched by Ruark in the face multiple times during the altercation, according to police reports.

When Donophan was able to break away from Ruark, she used the hotel’s landline to call 911. She told police Ruark then punched himself in the face multiple times in order go give himself obvious signs of an assault before police arrived. In the end, the officer concluded both Ruark and Donophan were mutual aggressors in the affray and each was arrested and charged with second-degree assault.


Kicking Door Leads To Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A local man was arrested last weekend for first kicking and breaking the door of a downtown residence and then refusing to cooperate with officers attempting to arrest and book him.

Around 6 p.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer responded to a reported malicious destruction of property case at 11th Street. Ocean City Communications advised a male suspect, later identified as Cody Davis, 26, of Berlin, kicking a door and damaging it. Communications advised Davis had last been seen walking north on Philadelphia Avenue.

Upon arrival, the officer was flagged down by a witness who reportedly advised he had been watching Davis as he left the area, but had lost sight of him before the officer arrived. The officer canvassed the area and located Davis in the area of 13th Street. Davis slurred his words and stumbled and otherwise exhibited signs of intoxication, according to police reports.

The officer reportedly had Davis sit on a bench out of concern he was going to fall. Davis reportedly told the officer he was coming from a craft beer festival. He had blood on his knuckles and forearm, according to police reports. Davis reportedly told the officer he had not kicked or hit any doors and had not tripped or fallen.

The officer interviewed the witness, who advised he heard three loud banks and observed Davis kicking a door to a neighboring unit. The witness told the officer he observed damage to the door of a neighboring unit and called the police. It was determined through the investigation the door would need to be replaced and Davis was arrested for malicious destruction of property and intoxicated endangerment.

Davis reportedly became disorderly and refused to sit in the back of a police car. It took a total of 12 minutes to get Davis into the back of a police car as he continued to yell and swear at officers, according to police reports.

When Davis was finally transported to the booking facility, he refused to walk to his holding cell and had to be carried, according to police reports. Once in the holding cell, he began hitting and banking the cell door for hours on end, according to police reports.


Traffic Stop Leads To Arrest

OCEAN CITY — A local man, arrested last weekend on an outstanding warrant for failing to appear for court, had additional charges tacked on when he was allegedly found in possession of cocaine.

Around 4:45 p.m. last Friday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the uptown area observed a vehicle traveling on 142nd Street. The officer knew the driver, identified as Steven Cutright, 39, of Ocean City, had an outstanding warrant for failing to appear for a court date in a separate matter.

A background check revealed Cutright was not licensed in Maryland and his Delaware license had been suspended since 2012. When the vehicle turned into Cutright’s driveway at 142nd Street, the officer approached and informed Cutright there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Cutright advised he was aware of the warrant and that he was in the process of correcting his license status, according to police reports.

Cutright was arrested for the outstanding warrant. During a subsequent search, the officer located a folded dollar bill and a paper receipt, each of which had suspected powder cocaine residue on them, according to police reports. In addition to his traffic violations and citations, Cutright was also charged with possession of cocaine.


Suspended Sentence For Gun

OCEAN CITY — A Pittsburgh man, arrested in July after first arguing with a Boardwalk tram driver and then being found with a loaded handgun on his person, pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced to 180 days in jail, all of which was suspended.

Around 10:20 p.m. on July 31, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to 4th Street and the Boardwalk to assist with a disorderly male. Officers observed Brandon Ernst, 28, of Pittsburgh, yelling at a Boardwalk tram driver. The driver had exited the tram and Ernst continued to yell at the driver, causing a scene for passersby.

OCPD officers detained Ernst and advised him of the reason for the stop. According to police reports, Ernst advised the argument arose over the tram driver not allowing his child to enter the tram, although he did not elaborate on the driver’s reason for not letting his child on the tram.

According to police reports, the tram driver advised officers Ernst was denied service because of his past disruptive and unsafe behavior. OCPD officers observed Ernst carrying a red plastic cup containing an alcoholic beverage, according to police reports, and he was placed under arrest at that point.

During a search of Ernst’s backpack incident to the arrest, officers located a loaded Glock 9mm handgun inside a holster within the main pocket of the backpack. Ernst did not possess a concealed carry handgun permit in Maryland, according to police reports. He was charged with disturbing the peace and carrying a loaded handgun on or about his person. Last week, he plead guilty with the suspended sentence order. He was also placed on probation for two years.