Cops & Courts – January 19, 2024

Felony Vehicle Theft

OCEAN CITY – A felony theft charge was filed this month in Ocean City after a Baltimore man took off with a running car without permission.

On Jan. 9 around 2 a.m., Ocean City police officers were alerted to an alleged vehicle theft that had occurred from a hotel. Dispatch advised officers the vehicle stolen was a gray 2011 Chevrolet Traverse. The vehicle’s owner told police he left the vehicle unlocked and running with the keys in the ignition while he went to his room in the hotel to check on his girlfriend and child. When he returned to his vehicle an estimated 30 to 45 minutes later, the vehicle was missing.

Another officer located the vehicle about 12 blocks away and found James Gormly-Rack, 37, of Baltimore, asleep in the driver seat. Gormly-Rack could not provide police with a straight answer as to why he had the vehicle, telling police he was told by a woman at the hotel “the vehicle was ready for him,” according to the statement of charges. Gormly-Rack said the vehicle began having engine trouble so he pulled over. The vehicle was believed to have a value of $9,000, according to Kelly Blue Book.

The vehicle’s owner told police he saw Gormly-Rack earlier in the night roaming the hotel and mumbling incoherently.

While police were charging Gormly-Rack with theft, a glass smoking device was discovered with “a charred end found in a blue bag,” according to the police report. Officers noted the substance was methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance.

Gormly-Rack was charged with felony theft $1,500 to $25,000, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, unauthorized removal of a vehicle, possession of a controlled dangerous substance (not marijuana) and controlled dangerous substance paraphernalia.


Arrest Warrant Served

OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania man was apprehended last week after being charged on serious assault charges last September.

On Sept. 14, after conducting an investigation about an assault that occurred in Ocean City, an arrest warrant was issued for Devin Moore, 32, of New Kensington, Pa., after he was charged with first- and second-degree assault.

On Sept. 14, around 5:41 a.m., Ocean City police responded to a residence in Ocean City in reference to a domestic assault. The victim told police her boyfriend of 16 months had assaulted and stolen several personal items from her when he left the scene.

The victim said she woke up to Moore grabbing her ankles and trying to pull her out of bed. The two engaged in a verbal argument and while walking outside Moore allegedly tripped her to the ground with force and began choking her. The victim said similar violence had occurred and was documented with the Arnold Police Department in Pennsylvania.

Moore fled the scene but was charged with first- and second-degree assault. He was served with the warrant on Jan. 9 in the District Court of Maryland in Ocean City.


Fatal Crash Reported

BISHOPVILLE – A single-vehicle collision with a tree claimed the life of a man late Friday night.

On Jan. 12, at approximately 10:35 p.m., deputies from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office responded to Selby Rd Bishopville for a single vehicle collision. The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Crash Reconstruction Unit was assisted by the Ocean City Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit and the Worcester County State’s Attorney Office.

Initial investigation revealed that a single vehicle left the roadway during inclement weather and collided with a tree. The vehicle sustained extensive damage. Responding Emergency Medical Services pronounced the passenger, Nicholas Charles Schewe, deceased on scene. The driver, Liam Strum, was transported due to his injuries to Tidal Health.

This crash remains open pursuant to an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information that could aid with the investigation are asked to contact DFC Kenneth Reed at 410-632-1111 ext. 6017 or at [email protected].


Peace Disturbance

OCEAN CITY – A downtown peace disturbance led to an illegal weapon charge last weekend.

On Jan. 12, around 1:45 a.m., Ocean City police were alerted to a disorderly subject who had been removed from a bar. Police arrived on the scene and found Azam Purnell, 33, of Snow Hill, standing on the sidewalk screaming obscenities after being forced out of a nearby bar due to disruptive behavior inside. Purnell’s cursing could be heard from a distance of 100 feet, a noise ordinance violation, according to a police officer on the scene.

Purnell was placed under arrest and a search found him wearing a spiked ring on a finger that was concealed under a glove. Due to its ability to cause serious injury, the ring is classified as an illegal weapon per Ocean City code.

Purnell was charged with disturbing the peace, public intoxication, two counts of possession of an illegal weapon per municipal code and a noise ordinance violation.


Messy Jail Cell Antics

OCEAN CITY – Agitated over several traffic citations being issued against him, a Berlin man created a filthy scene in a jail cell.

On Jan. 12, at 3 p.m., Ocean City police observed a 1996 Dodge Ram enter the 7-Eleven parking lot at North Division Street. A routine wanted and registration check was conducted on the vehicle as the officer was already stationary in the lot. The computer scan revealed the vehicle’s plates were suspended with a “pickup order for failure to comply with an equipment repair order,” according to the statement of charges.

The driver was identified as Josiah Magee, 24, of Berlin, who was driving on a twice suspended license, one suspension active as Oct. 6, 2023 and another suspension active as of Nov. 22, 2023.

When asked for his license, Magee said his attorney told him not to engage with police and did not provide his license. Magee continued to be noncompliant throughout the stop and did not provide registration or insurance. Magee was placed under arrest for driving on a suspended license and without a license. A search of Magee found a small bottle of Fireball cinnamon whiskey. An inventory of the truck found a 10-pack of Fireball in plastic with eight bottles remaining. An open bottle of the liquor was found nearby. It was noted Magee was seen by police driving prior to entering the convenience store parking lot.

At the booking facility, Magee was placed into a jail cell. Magee was observed removing his pants and defecating on the floor and then rubbing the brown feces on a sock and writing his first name in large letters along the cell wall. He also used his sock to rub feces on the windows of the cell door as well as the camera monitoring the cell and telephone in the cell.

Magee was charged with maliciously causing an employee of a local correctional facility to come in contact with feces/blood, open container possession and 12 traffic citations, including driving on a suspended license. Magee had previously been arrested on Jan. 7 for obstructing and hindering and was on probation from a previous arrest.


Judiciary Case Search Redesign

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Judiciary is redesigning its Case Search website as a part of its commitment to stay current with technology trends.

The new design, launching on Feb. 5, will allow for users to navigate the site and search more easily for public case information in a simpler and more efficient manner. The new design eliminates the need to view or complete search fields that may not be applicable to a user’s particular search, eliminating the need for entry of unnecessary data elements. The new design incorporates the most searched fields first, and then allows for the expansion of advanced searching options only if/when needed. This is the first redesign of Case Search since its launch in January 2006.

“It is our mission to provide fair, efficient, and effective justice to all. Modernizing the design of our publicly accessible Case Search site is one way we honor that mission,” said Supreme Court of Maryland Chief Justice Matthew J. Fader. “The redesign will improve the website’s standards for accessibility with a more modern and colorful design that is user-friendly and welcoming.”

The Case Search re-design only focuses on the website user interface, and not data. The case data available through Case Search remains exactly the same, driven by rules and statues. There will not be any more or less case data available through the site. The redesign focuses strictly on website usability and modernization.