Cops & Courts – January 13, 2023

Loaded Handgun, Drugs

OCEAN CITY — A Delaware man was arrested last week after a loaded handgun and various drugs were located in his vehicle with his toddler son.

Around 8:45 p.m. last Tuesday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were patrolling in the area of 90th Street and observed a vehicle with Virginia tags without an operating headlight. The officers conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle for an equipment violation.

Because officers detected an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, they asked the driver, later identified as Andrew Turner, 27, of Rehoboth, the step out of the vehicle and he complied. Turner retrieved his two-year-old son from the back seat of the vehicle before officers conducted a search, according to police reports.

Under the driver’s seat, officers reportedly located a loaded 9mm handgun. In the center console, officers located three marijuana cigarettes and a box containing three “baked bars” vape cartridges, according to police reports. In the back seat, officers located a mason jar containing marijuana residue.

Turner was placed under arrest at that point for the handgun violation. During a search of Turner’s person, officers located rolled up dollar bills containing powder cocaine residue along with a crystalline substance suspected of being methamphetamine. Turner was charged with possession of a loaded handgun and various drug possession counts.

First Punched, Then Arrested

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean Pines man was arrested last week on multiple charges after allegedly being involved in a scuffle at a midtown nightclub.

Around 1:15 a.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a reported fight in progress at a midtown nightclub. While officers were speaking with bar security about the initial incident, they heard people shouting behind them that a second fight had broken out, according to police reports.

The officers identified one suspect as Victor Hopkins, 36, of Ocean Pines, and another unidentified male actively resisting bar security officers, while a crowd of people had gathered to watch the incident, according to police reports. OCPD officers approached Hopkins and attempted to take him into custody, but he tensed his body and pulled his arms away from the officers’ grip, according to police reports.

Hopkins was ultimately taken to the ground but continued to resist, concealing his hands underneath his body to avoid being placed in handcuffs. Security footage the unidentified male said something to Hopkins, which resulted in the Hopkins shoving him in the chest. The unidentified male then punched Hopkins in the face, according to police reports. Hopkins was ultimately arrested and charged with affray, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Traffic Stop Nets Drug Bust

OCEAN CITY — A local man was arrested last week after various drugs were found in his vehicle following a routine traffic stop.

Around 12:10 a.m. last Monday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer observed a vehicle parked at a midtown convenience store. The officer observed a female in the passenger seat and the driver’s seat to be empty. The officer reportedly observed the driver, later identified as Phillip Hicks, 43, of Ocean City, exit the store and get behind the wheel of the vehicle.

The officer detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, according to police reports. The vehicle left the parking lot and headed south on Coastal Highway. OCPD officers caught up with the vehicle in the area of 57th Street and conducted a traffic stop. Officers believed Hicks was attempting to elude them, according to police reports.

During a search, officers located four baggies containing marijuana packaged in such a way to suggest distribution. The amount of marijuana was far more than the amount of a normal user for personal consumption, according to police reports. OCPD officers also located a package containing around a half an ounce of cocaine, which is also more than a normal partaker would have in his or her possession, according to police reports.

Officers also located psilocybin mushrooms packaged in such a way to suggest distribution, according to police reports. Hicks was arrested and charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, marijuana and mushrooms.


Downtown Bar Assault

OCEAN CITY — A Delaware man was arrested for assault last weekend after allegedly shoving another man during an altercation outside a downtown bar.

Around 12:35 a.m. last Sunday, an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer patrolling in the downtown area observed a fight in progress outside a bar at 8th Street. The officer observed two men arguing, one of whom was identified as Robert Johnston, 21, of Selbyville.

As the officer approached, he observed Johnston shove the other man with both of his hands at least twice. The officer observed the second man attempt to defend himself by swinging a six pack of beer bottles in Johnston’s direction, which fell to the ground and exploded on the sidewalk, according to police reports.

Several bystanders had reportedly gathered at the scene. Johnston was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct because the officer had observed him make the initial contact and determined he was the primary aggressor in the altercation, according to police reports.

Johnston was reportedly apologetic and admitted pushing the other man first, according to reports. He said he and the other man were having an issue inside the bar and pushed each other outside when the altercation began. Johnston reportedly offered to apologize to the other man.


Two Arrested For Trespassing

OCEAN CITY — Two local homeless men were arrested for trespassing last weekend after allegedly swiping items from a downtown Boardwalk arcade.

Around 12:10 a.m. last Friday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers responded to a reported theft at a Boardwalk arcade in the south end of town. Officers met with the manager who advised a suspect later identified as Gerald Gannon, 60, of no fixed address, had entered the loading dock area behind the business and had stolen at rocking chair, a deck scrub brush, a dustpan and a five-gallon water jug, according to police reports.

Officers reportedly reviewed video surveillance footage from the arcade with the manager. Officers recognized Gannon from prior police contacts as the suspect who removed the aforementioned items from the arcade’s loading dock area. The manager advised he did not want to press charges, but wanted Gannon to be issued a formal trespass warning and return the stolen property, according to police reports.

OCPD officers were able to locate Gannon and another suspect, identified as Walter Everett, 60, of no fixed address with whom they were also very familiar. Gannon and Everett were located on the town-owned concert stage at Caroline Street surrounded by their belongings along with the property taken from the arcade, according to police reports.

Gannon reportedly admitted taking the items. Gannon and Everett are two of the town’s known homeless population and no strangers to run-ins with police. OCPD officers observed Gannon and Everett sitting under posted “no trespassing” signs at the stage at Caroline Street, a known trouble spot, according to police reports.

Each of the suspects had been warned many times not to hang out there, according to police reports. An OCPD officer reported seeing Everett urinating on the wall just below a posted “no trespassing” sign upon arrival. Gannon and Everett were arrested for trespassing. No charges were filed for the theft of the rocking chair, deck brush and water jug, which were returned to the business, according to police reports.