Cops & Courts – August 4, 2023

Officers, Paramedic Assaulted

OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania man is facing seven charges after assaulting police officers and a paramedic last Sunday.

On July 30, Ocean City police were alerted to a domestic dispute at a condominium on 33rd Street. Police interviewed Christian Obregon, 23, of Felton, Pa., who was unaware why police were called as there had been no physical or verbal altercation. Obregon had two backpacks over his shoulders during the police interview. Obregon consented to letting police search his backpack. Police located a spring assisted opening knife, which is illegal per city code.

While attempting to place him under arrest for the illegal weapon, Obregon became combative. When police attempted to handcuff the man, Obregon grabbed a police officer’s wrist in a tight fashion and cut him with his fingernails. Obregon continued to resist arrest and it took three officers to secure the handcuffs due to active verbal and physical resistance, which continued in the transport van.

Upon arrival at police headquarters, Obregon requested to be seen by Emergency Medical Services because he ingested fentanyl earlier in the evening. Another police officer was assaulted trying to restrain Obregon’s legs on a stretcher on the way to the hospital. Obregon grabbed the officer’s fingers and squeezed them enough to constitute another assault charge.

A paramedic arrived on the scene to assess Obregon, who thrashed his head toward the paramedic’s arm trying to bite her. A police reported noted the bite attempt would have been successful if the paramedic had not moved her arm. Due to the level of resistance, another officer tried to restrain Obregon, who spit on the officer’s leg and mouth. Obregon was ultimately given a sedative and admitted to Atlantic General Hospital.

Obregon faces four counts of second-degree assault for his actions against police officers and the paramedic as well as possession of a spring-assisted knife, resisting/interfering with arrest and public intoxication.


Bike Thefts In Resort

OCEAN CITY – Two men have been arrested and charged in a series of bike thefts in north Ocean City.

On July 21, Ocean City Police Department’s Special Enforcement Unit took over the primary role in investigating numerous bicycle thefts that had been occurring in north Ocean City.

Between June 15 and July 24, a police report stated, “A total of 34 bikes were reported stolen … in a very localized area between 130th Street and 142nd Street with most of the thefts occurring east of Coastal Highway.” Of the bikes stolen, 23 were secured by locks, which were cut during the thefts.

Through the subsequent investigation, police learned of a bike rack at a condominium off 136th Street containing multiple stolen bikes. Police believed the rack was “a collection point for the same person who is stealing multiple bicycles,” according to the police report. It was later discovered Denis-Andrei Ceara, 20, of Ocean City, and Matei-Alexandru Cruceru were selling the stolen bikes on a J1 Work and Travel Facebook page. Surveillance of the condominium and bike rack in question began, and Cruceru and Ceara were seen selling three bicycles reported as stolen. Police observed after the transaction Cruceru, Ceara and another man walked five blocks and stole another bicycle.

The investigation concluded Ceara and Cruceru came to Ocean City on J1 Visas from Romania. Ceara and Cruceru purchased chain cutting pliers after arriving in Ocean City and started selling stolen bikes because they made more money than working in a restaurant, according to police reports.

A search warrant was issued for the unit Ceara and Cruceru were sharing. Five cut chain locks were found as well as more than $3,200 in cash.

Ceara and Cruceru was charged with 17 counts of theft related to stealing 34 bikes between June 15 and July 25 having a total value of $13,865. They were also charged with two counts of trespassing.


Two Fires From Storms

SNOW HILL — The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office investigated two separate fires last weekend following severe thunderstorms passing through Worcester County.

The Snow Hill Fire Department was dispatched Saturday, July 29, to a reported barn fire at 8:37 p.m. on Whiton Road in Snow Hill. Upon arrival, crews observed significant fire conditions throughout the barn to which resulted in numerous fire departments from across the area being requested to assist. Snow Hill was assisted by Newark, Powellville, Willards, Parsonsburg, Pittsville, Girdletree, Stockton, Greenbackville fire departments. Crews remained on scene for approximately three hours bringing the fire under control.

The Pocomoke Volunteer Fire Company was then dispatched to a reported structure fire at 10:34 p.m. at 1011 Clark Avenue in Pocomoke. Upon arrival, crews observed smoke coming from the two-story single-family home. Pocomoke was assisted by Stockton, Girdletree and New Church fire departments. Crews remained on scene for approximately two hours bringing the fire under control. Two tenants were displaced as a result of the fire and the American Red Cross was contacted to assist the occupants.

Deputies from the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to both incidents and conducted fire scene examinations. The exact cause of both fires remain under investigation with severe weather believed to have been a contributing factor in both.


Assault, Malicious Destruction

OCEAN CITY – A local man was arrested last week for breaking the window of a downtown property and assaulting a witness.

On July 26, around 4 p.m., Ocean City police received a call from a municipal bus driver to respond to the South End Transit Center on South Division Street for a malicious destruction of property and assault. The caller informed police Tyler Kirkland, 29, of Ocean City, broke a window at a nearby business and assaulted another man who witnessed it before skateboarding north on Philadelphia Avenue. Police caught up with Kirkland, who immediately started yelling obscenities at police loud enough to be heard by nearby families.

The man who witnessed Kirkland break the business window told police the suspect “came after him with the skateboard, striking him on the right forearm,” according to police. The victim confirmed Kirkland through a “show up” as the person who assaulted him and broke the business window.

Kirkland was charged with second-degree assault, malicious destruction of property, trespassing, disorderly conduct and possession of a spring-assisted opening knife.


Assault Charges Filed

OCEAN CITY – What began as a domestic disagreement turned into a Salisbury man facing multiple assault charges when he became combative with police.

Around 10:30 p.m. on July 20, an Ocean City police officer working an overtime bus cop detail was approached by a couple who said they had just observed a male, later identified as Keyan Pitt, 34, of Salisbury, strike a woman with a glass bottle of Hennessey. The officer exited the bus to investigate the alleged assault.

The officer observed Pitt and a woman arguing with each other. The woman then ran into median of Philadelphia Avenue near 20th Street yelling that Pitt had assaulted her. Pitt was seen chasing after the woman and taking a fighting stance before the woman in the median. The female ran across traffic to avoid Pitt. Police were able to stop the woman and Pitt. The woman told police Pitt had punched her in the face. Pitt ignored orders to sit down on the sidewalk and assumed a “bladed and aggressive stance towards me,” according to police reports.

Pitt refused to comply and left the scene. The responding officer followed Pitt until other cops showed up to arrest him. Pitt was combative during the arrest and at one point elbowed a police officer in the leg while being handcuffed. Pitt at one point requested a medical evaluation. While being transferred to AGH, Pitt assaulted an officer attempting to put a waist belt restraint on him. A search of Pitt found two bags of cocaine.

Pitt faces three counts of second-degree assault, obstructing and hindering police and possession of a controlled dangerous substance of schedule 2 (cocaine).


Combative After Nap

OCEAN CITY – After being found passed out on the beach, a Maryland man assaulted a police officer looking to speak with him.

Joshua Gaither, 35, of Frederick, was the subject of a welfare check call to police on July 27 around 10 p.m. when a citizen observed him unconscious on the beach in his boxer short near a sand dune on 115th Street.

Police responded and attempted to bring paramedics to the scene to treat Gaither and help him back to his home. Once awoken, Gaither refused EMS treatment and started leaving the scene, while mumbling curse words to police and citizens nearby. While leaving the scene, Gaither lost his balance and stumbled into the dune fence. Gaither continued to scream and disrupt the peace.

As he left the scene, Gaither was observed throwing a plastic water bottle on private property. Gaither was also observed in his boxer shorts pulling on his private parts for vehicles passing on Coastal Highway. Gaither was arrested.

While being searched at police headquarters, Gaither assaulted a police officer by kicking him and later banged his head intentionally against a wall in the booking facility.

Gaither was charged with second-degree assault, disorderly conduct, endangering the safety of a beach fence while intoxicated, littering and obstructing and hindering a police officer.


Multiple Assault Charges

OCEAN CITY – Drug possession and assault charges were filed against a local man after a neighborhood disturbance.

On July 30, around 12:30 a.m., Ocean City police officers were alerted to a breaking and entering in progress on Pine Tree Road. Police arrived on the scene and found four individuals in the street and two individuals standing outside the home. A resident told police she returned home from work to find Jamie Lockee, 32, of Ocean City, and another man involved in an altercation.

At one point, a 13-year-old juvenile was attempting to the leave the residence when Lockee slammed the door on the boy, who was his son. Lockee reportedly struck the adult man and pinned him down on a bed inside the home.

Lockee admitted to causing the damage to the door and was placed under arrest. During a police search, he was found in possession of drugs. Lockee was charged with child abuse, two counts of second-degree assault, malicious destruction of property, possession of a controlled dangerous substance of Schedule I (ecstasy) and possession of a controlled dangerous substance of Schedule III (suboxone).


Drugs, Weapons

OCEAN CITY – A Maryland woman was found with drugs and weapons last week when she would not cooperate during a traffic stop.

On July 19, around 3:26 p.m., Ocean City police pulled over a Jeep for not stopping behind the white painted line at 30th Street and Baltimore Avenue. The driver was identified as Lakisha Simpson, 32, of Salisbury, who immediately began to challenge the traffic stop. When asked to provide license and registration, Simpson refused and raised her window.

After other officers were called to the scene, Simpson lowered her window to yell at the officer before refusing to comply again. A records search found Simpson did not have a valid driver’s license and that in May and June she was stopped in Wicomico County and cited for driving without a license.

Simpson continued to be argumentative with police and police observed approximately 10 individuals were on the balconies of the nearby hotel watching the scene. Simpson eventually provided police with several pieces of documentation, none of which belonged to her. Simpson did not provide a valid driver’s license to police. Once removed from the vehicle, Simpson was searched. Police found a spring-assisted opening knife in violation of the city’s martial arts weapon ordinance.

A police search of the vehicle located a bottle with 18 oxycodone pills as well as a fixed blade steak knife.

Simpson faces charges for disturbing the peace, obstructing and hindering a police officer, possession of a controlled dangerous substance (oxycodone), carrying a concealed fixed blade knife, possession of a spring-assisted opening knife and making a false statement to police.


Indecent Exposure

OCEAN CITY – A man was arrested for being disorderly and urinating on public property last month.

On July 19, Jeffrey A Jackson, 59, was observed in a parking garage blocking public access. A witness and a juvenile told police Jackson was sitting on his rear end with his pants unbuttoned and his penis exposed urinating.

Police located Jackson nearby underneath a picnic table in an “extremely intoxicated” state, according to the police report.

Jackson was charged with two counts of indecent exposure and public intoxication.


Murder Suspect Sought

SALISBURY – A search is underway for a suspect as Maryland State Police continue their investigation into the murder of a Wicomico County man who was shot Monday.

The victim is identified as Kevin Lamont Chaney, 34, of Salisbury. Emergency medical service personnel transported him to Tidal Health Medical Center where he was later pronounced deceased.

Shortly before 10 p.m. Monday, officers from the Salisbury Police Department responded to Pemberton Manor Apartments on Fairground Drive after receiving a 9-1-1 call for a reported shooting.  Responding officers found the victim lying on the ground in front of the apartment complex with what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds.

The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit was requested to respond and take the lead on this investigation.  Additional assistance is being provided by members of Salisbury Police Department and Wicomico County Narcotics.  Maryland State Police crime scene technicians processed the shooting scene.

A suspect description is not known at this time. Investigators have been interviewing witnesses and residents in the area.  Crime scene evidence has been transported to the State Police Forensic Sciences Division crime laboratory for analysis.

Anyone with information about this murder or who was in the area of Pemberton Manor Apartments and Fairground Drive is urged to contact Maryland State Police investigators at 443-366-5072.  Callers may remain anonymous.


Arrest In Shooting

SALISBURY – Maryland State Police arrested a suspect in connection with a shooting that occurred last month in Salisbury.

The accused is identified as Bryant Brown-Clark, 16, of Salisbury. In consultation with the Wicomico County State’s Attorney Office, Brown-Clark is being charged as an adult.

Shortly after 9 p.m. on July 22, troopers from the Maryland State Police Salisbury Barrack responded to the unit block of Fentral Avenue in Salisbury for the report of shots fired. Upon arrival, investigators located three uninjured victims. Investigators also located two bullets in the residence and a shell casing around the property.

Troopers from the Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division East and the Maryland State Police Special Tactical Assault Team Element (S.T.A.T.E Team) executed a search warrant at the accused’s residence. Brown-Clark was arrested on scene without incident.

The shooting remains under investigation. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Maryland State Police Salisbury Barrack at 410-749-3101.