Cops & Courts – May 12, 2023

Sex Offender Sentenced

SNOW HILL – A convicted sex offender has been sentenced to 20 years in the Division of Correction for his convictions on one count of third-degree sex offense and one count of second-degree assault.

On Monday, May 1, Todd Yates, age 62, of Berlin, was ordered by Judge Brian D. Shockley of the Worcester County Circuit Court to serve 10 years on each count, consecutively, and suspended seven years of that sentence. Yates was placed on five years of supervised probation upon release and will be required to register as a Tier III lifetime sex offender and provide a DNA sample.

The charges arose as a result of police being dispatched to a residence located in Ocean Pines on June 5, 2022. Investigation revealed that Yates had sexually assaulted a female victim while she was sleeping over at her friend’s home. The victim told officers she was able to fight Yates off her and run to a neighbor’s house to contact police.

Officers from the Ocean Pines Police Department collected multiple evidentiary items from the residence and the victim was transported to Atlantic General Hospital for a SAFE exam, which revealed that she had suffered multiple injuries as a result of the attack. Officers then made contact with Yates and placed him under arrest.

Worcester County State’s Attorney Kris Heiser thanked Detective Bailey of the Ocean Pines Police Department for his comprehensive investigation and thanked the compassionate nurses and caregivers at Atlantic General Hospital, including their team of certified SAFE nurses, for their critical assistance in the investigation. Heiser also recognized Assistant State’s Attorney’s Pamela Correa, who prosecuted the case.


Man Makes Up Car Theft

OCEAN CITY – An attempt to cover up the facts surrounding a traffic collision resulted in charges being filed against a Berlin man.

On May 4, around 10 p.m., Ocean City police officers were alerted to a motor vehicle crash around 94th Street. The initial caller told police his vehicle, which he was running after, had just been stolen and crashed into something. Another caller told police his vehicle was crashed into in front of his house on 94th Street and he watched the motorist flee the scene on foot.

Police arrived on the collision scene and observed a black Lexus had crashed into a parked Chevrolet Tahoe. The first 911 caller, identified as Ernest J. Leatherbury, 27, of Berlin, approached the scene to talk with police. Leatherbury said he gotten off work and went to a nearby bar. Upon leaving the establishment, Leatherbury told police he saw his vehicle being driven directly past him. He told police he began chasing after the vehicle on foot when he received a “phone call from Lexus saying his vehicle was involved in a crash,” according to a police record. Leatherbury said he came upon the accident and saw the driver leave the scene and he pursued the person.

Several different stories as to what happened next came from Leatherbury, who eventually admitted he had been drinking and he was intoxicated. At one point, Leatherbury said he was fine with being arrested if police felt the need.

At the crash scene, officers interviewed the second caller, who owned the vehicle that was crashed into. The resident said he saw a man running away from the scene in a black hooded sweatshirt after the collision and provided a description. Police confirmed with Ocean City Communications through a GPS plot of Leatherbury’s 911 call that his first communication was just 600 feet away from the crash scene and he then moved southbound on Caribbean Drive. Police followed the path Leatherbury took and found a black sweatshirt on the ground.

Further investigation found Leatherbury had been stopped in the same Lexus six different times, including once 41 days before the active incident. Interviews with witnesses on the scene of the collision led police to believe the stolen vehicle claim was fabricated.

Leatherbury was taken to the Public Safety Building where he declined an intoximeter test, but he did allow police to review his phone calls and text messages. The review found a text message from a contact advising him to tell police someone stole his vehicle and “stick with the story,” per police reports.

At the crash scene, police located marijuana in plain view inside the Lexus as well as an assisted opening knife. Leatherbury was charged with obstructing and hindering a police officer, making a false police report and possession of an assisted opening knife.


Theft, Fraud Charges

OCEAN CITY — A Delaware man faces five theft and fraud charges for the unauthorized use of stolen credit card information.

On May 5, an Ocean City police detective was assigned to investigate a reported theft and fraud case. The detective went to a local hotel to meet with the manager who advised three individuals staying in the hotel were using stolen credit card information to pay for three rooms, which were under the name of Demetrius E. Adams, 36, of New Castle, Del. The hotel manager told police she had received a call that night from an employee with the Office of the County Attorney for Montgomery County who noticed unauthorized charges on her work credit card from the hotel. The hotel manager was able to determine Adams and one of the other individuals with him were employees of a nearby hotel and had access to the credit card information of current and future guests.

Police investigation confirmed the various credit cards being used to pay for the hotel rooms were linked to future stays at the nearby hotel where Adams worked. Authorities found about $15,000 in charges had been made with the stolen credit card information.

When police went to the fifth floor of the hotel room to interview Adams and the other guests, Adams and one of the guests fled into the stairwell but were quickly detained. Adams admitted to using credit card information for future stays at his place of employment on the current hotel rooms he had rented as well as rooms in Wilmington, Del. Adams said it was because he was homeless.


Disorderly Conduct

OCEAN CITY – Blocking traffic lanes multiple times and using foul language in public led to charges against a man last weekend.

An Ocean City police officer on marked patrol last Saturday around 5 p.m. noticed a male, Timothy Greenhorn, 44, intentionally stepping off a sidewalk on Baltimore Avenue into the travel lanes forcing vehicles to slow to avoid striking him.

The police officer who observed the behavior issued Greenhorn a warning to not walk in the middle of the road. About 30 minutes later, a police officer was approached by a citizen advising a man was acting in a “strange manner” walking northbound on Baltimore Avenue. A municipal bus driver then waved to a police officer for assistance, pointing to Greenhorn in front of the bus preventing passage. Greenhorn when questioned denied being in the road, despite clearly blocking the bus from passing.

Greenhorn was searched and immediately began cursing at a high volume. Due to noncompliance, Greenhorn was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct.