Cops & Courts – May 5, 2023

Fatal Pedestrian Collision

OCEAN PINES – Authorities are continuing to investigate a fatal pedestrian collision with the motorist and victim identified Tuesday.

On May 1 at 9:23 a.m., the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 1100 block of Ocean Parkway in Ocean Pines for a reported fatal motor vehicle crash with a pedestrian.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Pamela Shellenberger, 64, of Berlin, was walking across Ocean Parkway at the intersection of King Richard Road when she was struck by a vehicle traveling on Ocean Parkway. Shellenberger was airlifted from the scene by Maryland State Police Aviation Command to Tidal Health Peninsula Regional in Salisbury where she later succumbed to her injuries. The driver of the vehicle, Bethany Jones, 30, of Berlin, remained at the scene. No signs of impairment were detected on Jones, and she was released from the scene without injuries.

The Ocean Pines Police Department requested the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Crash Reconstruction Unit to assume the investigation. Shellenberger was transported to the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for autopsy. After the investigation is complete, the case will be forwarded to the Worcester County States Attorney’s Office for review.

Anyone with information about the crash can contact Sgt. Chris Larmore of the Crash Reconstruction Unit at 410-632-1111.


OC Woman Found Dead

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City woman’s death is under investigation while her boyfriend has been charged with assault and drug possession.

On April 24, at approximately 4:49 a.m., Ocean City police officers were alerted to a downtown apartment building for an unresponsive woman. Ocean City EMS was on the scene and providing CPR to Patricia L. Wolf, 39, of Ocean City, when police arrived. Police identified Shawn M. Wolfinger, 23, of Ocean City, on the scene with blood on his face and hands.

Officers determined Wolfinger and Wolf had been dating for about a year and they recently began living together. An argument took place, according to Wolfinger, and he biked to the Royal Farms in West Ocean City to settle down. When he returned to the apartment, Wolfinger found Wolf unresponsive and not breathing. Wolfinger administered a dose of Naloxone (Narcan) without any noticeable change. Wolfinger reported he ran to the nearby firehouse to request help. Wolfinger told EMS and police no drug use had taken place.

Wolf was pronounced deceased at 5:19 a.m. EMS personnel noted Wolf’s nasal passage and mouth contained blood consisted with some sort of trauma or injury and not likely due to an overdose.

Wolfinger consented to a police search of the apartment, resulting in a variety of drug paraphernalia being located including burnt spoons, “the chore boy” metal scrubbers and glass smoking devices.

Upon further questioning at the police department, Wolfinger admitted he “may have” struck Wolf in the face during an argument earlier in the evening, according to police charging documents. He also acknowledged providing crack cocaine and Suboxone strips to Wolf in the past. A witness who was out with the couple earlier in the night told police Wolf and Wolfinger had purchased crack cocaine that evening. Once the witness and the couple returned to the apartment after being out, the witness reported observing Wolfinger hit Wolf in the nose causing it to bleed. Wolfinger then left the apartment. The witness was in the apartment when Wolf reportedly collapsed and attempted CPR unsuccessfully. The witness admitted to fleeing the scene before police and EMS arrived.

Prior to being arrested for second degree assault, Wolfinger was searched. A container with suspected cocaine was found in Wolfinger’s pants pocket. Wolfinger was charged with second degree assault, possession of controlled dangerous substance Schedule II (crack cocaine) and paraphernalia to store crack cocaine.

Ocean City Police Deputy Communications Manager Ashley Miller said the investigation into Wolf’s cause of death is underway.

“Patricia Wolf was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy. We are currently waiting for the toxicology results from the autopsy,” Miller said. “At this time, foul play is not suspected in her death.”


Restaurant Burglary

OCEAN CITY – A Pittsville man faces theft charges after breaking into a north Ocean City restaurant and stealing cash.

On April 26, around 10:30 a.m., Ocean City police observed a white Nissan Altima traveling northbound near 63rd Street. It was determined the vehicle was co-registered to Lomor L. Sample, 43, of Pittsville, who did not have a valid driver’s license. Sample was placed under arrest for driving without a license.

Ocean City police were able to connect Sample to an unsolved burglary at a pizza restaurant. One month earlier, on March 28, police were dispatched to the restaurant and met with a manager who reported the front door to the establishment was unlocked and the lockbox outside the door had been accessed. The manager noted the security alarm was unarmed and a drawer to the cash register was removed with money missing. The manager inventoried the restaurant and reported approximately $782 was missing cumulatively from the register and a safe.

During the investigation, the restaurant identified Sample, a former employee, as the primary burglary suspect because he had recently inquired about borrowing $2,000 from the owner. The restaurant owner said Sample had access to the lockbox code. Video surveillance from a nearby business confirmed Sample exited the restaurant with a co-worker before returning to the restaurant shortly after locking up for the night. The video surveillance showed Sample taking the money.

After being pulled over April 26 during the routine license plate check, Sample admitted to the burglary to police and expressed regret for the mistake.


Assault, Hindering

OCEAN CITY – A Frederick man faces assault and hindering arrest charges after an incident last week in Ocean City.

On April 30, Ocean City police was informed a domestic assault that had occurred near 52nd Street. The caller reported observing a man, later identified as Antonio J. Lopez, 25, punch a female in the back of the head. When police arrived on the scene, the female was sitting in a fetal position covering her face with both arms. Police saw Lopez standing on the sidewalk over her with both hands balled into fists. Lopez fled the scene toward the beach once police arrived on the scene. He was detained soon after leaving the area.

The victim, who had several injuries including a large bruise on her face, advised she and Lopez drove to the area from Potomac and had been out drinking when Lopez, her boyfriend of four years, became physical.

Lopez was charged with second-degree assault, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstructing and hindering a police officer.


Disorderly Conduct, Assault

OCEAN CITY – A Maryland man was arrested last weekend for disorderly conduct and an assault on police.

Dennard Murray, 65, was reportedly screaming and trying to fight people on the Boardwalk near the Caroline Street Comfort Station on April 27 around 3:30 p.m. Police were told by witnesses Murray was shouting profanities and using racial slurs in an attempt to fight strangers. During police questioning, Murray complained of rib pain and a call to EMS was placed.

While attempting to flee the scene and declining EMS treatment, Murray discarded trash on the Boardwalk and continued to be disorderly. He was placed under arrest. During processing at the Public Safety Building, Murray intentioned kicked off his shoes hitting an officer in the arm. Police believed the action was deliberate.

Murray was charged with second-degree assault, disorderly conduct and littering.