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Ocean City

Year In Review: Police

Armed Robbery

Jan. 17 — An Ocean Pines man was arrested Jan. 9 in connection with an armed robbery in West Ocean City.

The previous evening at about 7:30, a man wearing a black suit, black hat and black gloves entered Larry’s Trading Post in West Ocean City and identified himself as a police officer. He asked to inspect some of the store’s handguns.

The man’s request made the store’s owner suspicious because he was not wearing a police badge and he had a handgun on his hip. The owner asked to see the man’s law enforcement credentials and activated the store’s silent alarm.

The man said he needed to go to his car, but instead of returning to the store, he quickly left, driving a 2014 white Dodge Avenger.

Later that night, at about 11:50, a woman drove up to an ATM at a bank on Route 589. While she was at the ATM, she saw a man get out of a 2014 white Dodge Avenger and walk toward her. She could see that the man was holding a black rifle with a scope.

After an all-points bulletin about the Dodge Avenger was broadcast, a Worcester County Sheriff’s Office deputy saw and stopped the vehicle. The driver, Cory Charles Richardson, 29, of Ocean Pines was arrested.

They charged Richardson with armed robbery, having a handgun on his person, impersonating a police officer, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, use of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and having a handgun in a vehicle.

Adult’s Permission

April 4 — Charges are pending against a 36-year-old woman who was driving a vehicle while four teenage passengers were smoking marijuana.

Maryland State Police received a message to be on the lookout for them in a blue vehicle near WalMart on Route 50.

A trooper saw and stopped the vehicle because of a seatbelt violation. Although the trooper did not see anyone smoking marijuana, he smelled the odor of marijuana. One passenger, Alexander Thomas Jr., 18, of Brooklyn Park, admitted to having marijuana in his pocket.

Thomas was arrested and taken to the Berlin barracks for processing.

The other teenage passengers, ages 13, 14 and 16, admitted that they had been smoking marijuana, according to Maryland State Police. The driver also admitted that the teens had been smoking marijuana in the vehicle.

The teens and the driver were taken to the Berlin barracks for further interviews with the duty officer and a counselor of the Department of Social Services. The duty officer and counselor got in touch with the other teens’ parents and put a safety plan into effect until the Department of Social Services in Brooklyn Park could investigate the welfare of the children.

 

Maryland State Police expected to consult with the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office in reference to charges against the driver and additional charges against Thomas relating to the endangerment of the children, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and child abuse.

 

Pot Decriminalization

 

April 18 — On April 4, Maryland became the 18th state in the country to decriminalize marijuana.

 

That removes the threat of jail for people possessing fewer than 10 grams (.35 oz.) of marijuana.

 

The law, which goes into effect Oct. 1, makes possession of that amount of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a fine of up to $100 for the first offense, up to $250 for a second offense and up to $500 for subsequent offenses.

 

The Maryland Sheriffs’ Association opposed the decriminalization of marijuana and the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office took the same stance.

 

“Issues that can arise from the decriminalization have not been realized yet,” Lt. Ed Schreier said.

 

For example, Schreier said, dogs are trained to sniff marijuana, but they do not sniff just more than 10 grams of marijuana.

 

Melee Up North

 

May 2 — A melee outside a north end bar and restaurant in the early morning hours of April 20 resulted in the arrest of two men and one woman.

 

A taxi driver flagged down an Ocean City police officer who was on patrol near 100th Street at about 1:20 a.m. to tell him things were getting out of control at the 116th Street site.

 

Approximately 50 people were outside and one man was trying to run away. The officer saw two men, Marvin Kendell Battle, 40, of East Orange, N.J., and Shontae Tarik Booker, 40, of Cresco, Pa., punching and attacking the man.

 

Holding onto a metal pipe, Booker allegedly swung it toward the man who was trying to get away. The man ran north, but Booker and Battle caught him and attacked him in front of another business. The police officer saw Booker hit the man in the head with the metal pipe and he also saw Battle kick the man who had been pushed to the ground, according to the charging documents.

 

As the officer ran from his vehicle toward the men, he yelled that he was a police officer and he ordered them to stop, but Booker and Battle continued to attack the victim, kicking him in the head while he was on the ground.

 

As Booker pulled back the pipe in readiness to hit the man again, the officer deployed his Taser into Booker’s left lower torso. Booker then dropped the pipe and fell to the ground. He complied when the officer told him to place his hands behind his back so he could handcuff him. The officer then told Battle to get onto the ground so he could handcuff him and Battle complied.

 

The investigation at the site revealed Booker, Battle and Battle’s wife were playing pool with two men, who were losing the match. One of the losers pushed a pool ball into a pocket and the players started arguing.

 

After discovering that the establishment’s manager had video footage of the altercation, three police officers watched it.

 

The video showed Battle throw two punches at one of the men he had played pool with. The victim fell to the ground and appeared to have been knocked unconscious. Booker then walked over and kicked the victim, according to the charging document.

 

Battle then got on top of the motionless victim, and repeatedly punched him in the face. The officers counted six punches.

 

Battle was charged with second-degree assault, fighting and disorderly conduct. Booker was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and two counts each of first-degree assault, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to injure. Coulbourne was charged with first- and second-degree assault and possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to injure.

K-9 Killed On Duty

May 9 — The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office K-9 that died May 3 after being struck by a vehicle on Route 50 near Route 589 will receive full departmental honors during a memorial service.

Cpl. Chris Larmore left K-9 Ike in the patrol vehicle while making a traffic stop. K-9 Ike alerted to something and jumped from the door of the patrol vehicle, which was left ajar in case he was needed to assist or protect Larmore.

A driver traveling on Route 50 was unable to avoid K-9 Ike and struck and killed him. The driver remained on the scene.

According to the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, the driver did everything possible to avoid hitting the dog without success.

Ike had been a member of the Sheriff’s office for three years. He participated in numerous drug seizure, criminal apprehensions and countless searches and tracks.

“Ike was a valued member of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and will be sorely missed by Sheriff Mason and all the Deputies,” according to the press release.

Another press release, issued May 6, stated, “Sheriff Mason would like to thank our community for your prayers and support during this difficult time of loss of K9 Ike. The outpouring of support has been incredible and the Sheriff’s Office is very appreciative of the kind words and sentiments you have provided to us and K9 Ike’s family during this time.”

Suspect Eats Spaghetti

June 27 — A 24-year-old Falls Church, Va., man was charged June 22 with first- and fourth-degree burglary plus two counts of theft of a item valued at less than $100 after he allegedly entered a penthouse where he cooked and ate spaghetti, drank wine, used a bed and used a hot tub on the patio.

Three employees and the manager of the motel, where the penthouse is located, chased the man and held him until police arrived. Shortly before that, a motel employee called police to report that a man was inside the penthouse smoking a controlled dangerous substance and drinking alcohol.

During questioning by police, Machado-Rivera reportedly said he had jumped a fence that was blocking access to the roof. He climbed over a gate and then climbed the stairs leading to the roof, where he followed a path to the patio. He said he didn’t think anyone was staying in the penthouse.

Machado-Rivera also said he was on the patio for a short period of time and talked to a woman who was below the patio. He said he did not enter the patio.

The motel’s manager saw the intruder on the patio and confronted him. The suspect walked down to the ground level, followed by the manager. The suspect then decided to run from the manager, who gave chase.

While the officer was talking to Machado-Rivera, the suspect began vomiting. An officer took Machado-Rivera to police headquarters for booking and the officer who had talked to him went to the penthouse to check its condition. The sliding glass door to the patio was ajar.

Inside the living room on a table was a plate of food. According to the charging document, some food had been eaten. A bottle of liquor, a cork on a cork remover and two glasses were on the coffee table and the television was turned on.

In the kitchen, two pots, one of which contained angel hair spaghetti, were on the stove. The box for the spaghetti, other items of food and two partially consumed cans of beer were on the counter.

Bed sheets in the three bedrooms were in disarray and a bath had been drawn in the master bathroom.

On the north patio, a wine glass was on the ground near the hot tub and a partially smoked cigarette was next to the glass. A pack of cigarettes was nearby.

On a chaise lounge, the officer found a pair of socks and two pairs of boxers.

The officer returned to police headquarters and spoke with Machado-Rivera again. During this conversation, the suspect admitted entering the penthouse and said he did it for the view, according to the charging document. He said drank some wine from the refrigerator.

When the officer asked him if he had prepared a plate of spaghetti or any other food, Machado-Rivera said he had not. He also said he had not eaten since the previous night when he had eggs and something from Burger King.

The officer then told Machado-Rivera that when he had vomited earlier, pieces of spaghetti and corn were evident.

Crime Causes Up-‘Roar’

July 11 — Ocean City police located a stolen ornamental lion while responding to a noise complaint July 7.

Police went to a bayside Seventh Street apartment after hearing noise coming from an open door from a distance on approximately 70 feet. As they walked up the stairs to the apartment, they saw through a window a 4-foot-tall ornate, white lion statue in the middle of the living room. It was the stolen lion they had been told about during roll call earlier that day.

The owner of a Seventh Street lodging establishment, just one block from the apartment, had reported it stolen.

Eight people were in the apartment, where six of them lived. When police asked where and when they got the white lion, the group said there had been a party the night before and guests who were very intoxicated had taken the lion to the apartment. One of the residents, Sadiq Tobi Sola-Rufai, 25, said he was about to return the lion just before the police arrived.

Someone had altered the lion’s appearance. A red bandana was on its head and its eyes had been colored red and green. Various articles of clothing and other belongings were piled around the base of the statue, which was placed between a couch and a chair.

When questioned by police, Sola-Rufai said he and a man whose name he did not know had been drinking the previous night and they had taken the lion, according to the charging document.

In his written confession, Sola-Rufai stated that a “couple of the kids nearby” had dared him to do it.

Police charged Sola-Rufai with theft of an item valued at $10,000 to less than $100,000, theft of an item valued at $1,000 to less than $10,000 and malicious destruction of property because its eye had been colored red and green by a marker and the colors could not be cleaned off.

The lion’s owner said when she bought the lodging establishment, she had to pay $10,000 to keep the lion.

More People, More Tasers?

July 25 — Of all the ways to measure how many people are in town, the number of folks who get zapped in a given month probably isn’t the most telling.

Nevertheless, City Council allowed its ongoing tensions over the resort’s tourism performance to bleed over this week into the Ocean City Police Department’s monthly report on Taser usage.

The department logged 23 instances in June where officers drew their devices – known in the industry as Conducted Electrical Weapons, or CEWs. Out of those, 10 incidents resulted in the weapon actually being fired.

The OCPD uses Tasers, which project a set of steel barbs attached to wires, in order to deliver the shock at a distance from the suspect.

This is relatively high incidence, given that there were only 16 Taser firings in all of 2013.

Councilman Brent Ashley questioned OCPD Chief Ross Buzzuro why this would be the case, given that the city’s demoflush numbers – which track population by wastewater usage – were down to an average of 214,003 people per weekend in June, versus 225,785 last year. Less people but more altercations would suggest the city is bringing an unruly crowd in June.

But Council Secretary Mary Knight posited that the city’s hotel occupancy for establishments included in the Smith Travel Report was up 5.6 percent – which would suggest that Taser incidents have merely increased as tourism has been more successful.

Increased Taser activity could also be attributed to the OCPD’s heightened presence this June, which won round praise from elected officials and business owners.

Total enforcement by the OCPD in June was actually down, with a 6.9 percent decrease in officer-initiated actions and a 3.9 percent decrease in citizen calls.

Notably, four of the 10 CEW firings in June were the result of attempted marijuana arrests, a dynamic that may change considerably once the state’s decriminalization goes into effect.

Bus Driver Assault

Aug. 15 — Three suspects in the robbery of a municipal bus driver in the early morning hours of June 14 have been arrested.

On the day of the crime, at approximately 1 a.m., Ocean City police responded to an assault that had already occurred at Worcester Street and Baltimore Avenue on a municipal bus. Officers determined that three young men boarded the bus and a verbal altercation started with the bus driver about the cost of the bus tickets.

As the argument escalated, at least one of the suspects assaulted the bus driver with an object, possibly the microphone used for announcing stops, robbed him of several bus tickets and fled the scene. The bus tickets would have little value because they are valid only for 24 hours. Cash on the municipal buses is securely locked in a box with a very small opening at the top for cash.

One suspect, Marquez Quaran Ellis, 19, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, trespassing and resisting arrest that morning and released, according to Lindsay O’Neal, public affairs specialist for the police department. Another suspect, Josiah Louis Mincer III, 18, was arrested July 3, and has been extradited to Maryland. Later in July, a Worcester County Grand Jury indicted Mincer, Ellis and Jaleel Lee Henderson, 18, for armed robbery.

Mincer is charged with armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, second-degree assault, conspiracy to commit second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, theft of less than $1,000, conspiracy to commit theft of less than $1,000, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.

High-Speed Chase

Aug. 22 — A 21-year-old Jessup man was charged Aug.21 with a drunken driving charge and multiple traffic offenses after leading police on a high speed chase and crashing into a utility box near 72nd Street.

An Ocean City police officer saw Carlton Matthew Stephenson III drive eastbound through the parking lot in front of the 64th Street Market and continuing south to Coastal Highway early in the morning on Aug. 21, according to Lindsay O’Neal, the police department’s public affairs specialist.

The officer saw the driver, who was traveling at a high rate of speed, fail to stay in a single lane. Officers pursued him to 49th Street, where he failed to stop at a red light, drove through the Seacrets parking lot and then back to Coastal Highway, where he made a U-turn at 48th Street and drove north, all while failing to yield for traffic with the right-of-way.

“We recorded his rate of speed at 98 miles per hour,” O’Neal said. “As he continued northbound, he failed to control his rate of speed and collided with a condominium building at 72nd Street.”

Stephenson not only crashed into the Seaway condominium, he destroyed electrical meters and a transformer.

“This caused fluid to saturate northbound Coastal Highway and that caused northbound traffic to be completed closed,” she said.

One northbound lane was then rerouted to the southbound side of Coastal Highway.

Crews from the Ocean City Public Works Department, Delmarva Power and Clean Venture worked to clean up the fluid and restore power to the condominium.

Delmarva Power spokesman Matt Likovich said the collision with the pad-mounted transformer caused an electric outage for 50 customers on 72nd Street from 4:20-4:50 a.m.

Stephenson was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and a multitude of other traffic violations.

No injuries were reported during the incident.

Burglary, Theft And More

Sept. 5 — A 50-year-old Baltimore woman was arrested Aug. 30 in connection with a burglary and theft at an Ocean City residence and an earlier attempted theft at the Kite Loft on the Boardwalk at Fifth Street.

That day, a man told police that when he went into the living room at about 6:45 a.m., he saw an open window and a woman hiding behind a couch. The woman, whom he did not know, told him that a man had let her into the house. Then she said she was looking for someone, but she must be in the wrong house.

The man told her to leave and she did. The woman who lives in the house followed the intruder as she walked north on the Boardwalk until she reached 18th Street.

When the woman returned to the residence, she noticed that approximately $13 to $15 had been taken from a table in the living room and called police.

About 10 minutes later, a police officer on the Boardwalk at 30th Street reported seeing a woman matching the suspect’s description changing her shirt and hat and pushing a baby stroller. Because of her behavior and because she matched the suspect’s description, he detained her. She produced identification in the name of Gail Elizabeth Evans.

During a search of Evans after her arrest, police found marijuana, a glass smoking pipe, a grinder used to process marijuana before smoking it, $163 cash, a Canon camera, metal knuckles and a fighting knife.

The woman who lived at the house checked her purse and discovered that a Canon camera and $150 cash were missing from it. She identified the camera in Evans’ possession as the one that had been in her purse.

Police charged Evans with first-, third- and fourth-degree burglary, two counts of theft under $1,000, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia and possession of a prohibited weapon.

After Evans’ arrest, the investigating officer in an attempted theft at the Kite Loft on Aug. 27 learned Evans might be the suspect in his case.

On Aug. 27, a woman wearing a camouflage pattern tank top with OC written on it, blue shorts with Ocean City written on the left leg and white socks with black sandals entered the kite store at about 2:30 p.m. and walked behind the counter where she tried to open the cash register, according to the charging document. While she was there, customers approached her and she directed them to another area of the store. When an employee asked her what she was doing, she said she was looking for a pumpkin spinner. Then she walked around briefly before leaving.

Employees gave police three photos from the surveillance camera and the officer put the information about the attempted robbery on the police department’s roll call pad.

On Aug. 30, the officer heard about the 12th Street burglary and learned that the suspect might be the suspect in the Kite Loft attempted theft so he went to the booking area to meet with Evans.

When he asked her if she had heard about the Kite Loft, she reportedly said, “Yes, absolutely,” but denied ever being in it. Later, she said she recalled being inside the Kite Loft.

She also reportedly said she had gone behind the counter to try to get change, but she did not get any. She said she needed change for a dollar so she could use a pay phone.

When the officer asked her if she had a cell phone with her at the time she was in the Kite Loft, she said yes.

Father, Son Jailed

Sept. 12 — An Ocean Pines teenager who was sentenced Sept. 3 to 18 months in jail for a drug charge and an assault told the judge he had thought it would be cool to be a drug dealer. After all, his father sold drugs and had introduced him to drug dealers.

Somewhere along the line, Jeremy Giordiano changed his mind about that occupation and told the judge he was sorry for his mistakes.

“I went down the wrong track very easily,” Giordiano told Judge Thomas C. Groton III in Circuit Court in Snow Hill.

Giordiano was arrested Nov. 14, 2013 after members of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Enforcement Team executed a search and seizure warrant at his residence near the Yacht Club. In the bedroom he shared with his girlfriend, investigators found bags and jars containing 1,027 grams (2.3 lbs.) of marijuana, hash oil, a grinder for processing marijuana, a digital scale, cell phones and $557 in cash.

That led to the charge of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute it.

He was arrested again April 9 after an argument with his girlfriend turned physical. In that case, he was charged with first- and second-degree assault.

In court last week, his defense attorney, Anders Randrup III said Giordiano was “just a kid” who didn’t get through the ninth grade and had been involved in special education throughout his school years. Giordiano, he said, was “extraordinarily impressionable” and had been led to drugs by his father, Michael Giordiano.

Randrup said sending Giordiano to jail would be a mistake and asked the judge to give him a suspended sentence because of the “awful, awful reason he’s even here.”

Judge Groton told the teen, who pleaded guilty to the charges against him, that it was his decision to sell drugs.

After the judge sentenced Giordiano to 18 months in jail on each charge, he suspended all but eight months of those sentences, which will be served concurrently. After his release from jail, Giordiano must pay two $500 fines and will be on supervised probation for two years.

His father is also in jail. Michael Giordiano, 39, pleaded guilty June 10 to possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute it and was sentenced to five years’ incarceration with all but nine months suspended. He had been arrested Nov. 14, 2013, the same day his son was arrested.

Victim Chases Thief

Sept. 12 — A woman whose credit card was stolen while she was at a downtown bar Aug. 15 ran several blocks to confront the thief after the credit card company representative told her the card was being used at another bar at that very moment.

The woman reported her purse stolen to an employee of a Talbot Street bar and police were contacted. When the officer arrived at about 9:45 p.m., however, the purse had been found and the officer left. Case closed.

At about 10:30 p.m., the victim realized that several items, including a Chase Visa credit card, her driver’s license and $38 cash, were missing, so she immediately notified the Chase security department. The Chase security representative told her that the card was being used at an Eighth Street pub at that very moment.

Ocean City police were contacted and the woman ran from Talbot Street to Eighth Street. Both arrived at about the same time.

According to the charging document, a man, later identified at Norman Smith, 54, of no fixed address, ordered two beers and some food and started a tab under the name of a woman. Because he seemed intoxicated, the bartender asked him to leave after he ate his food.

When asked to pay the $46.90 tab, Smith paid with the woman’s credit card. Then he walked to a liquor store. Smith reportedly tried to buy liquor using the woman’s credit card, but the clerk asked him for identification, which he was unable to provide, and held the credit card up to a security camera as evidence.

Police arrested Smith and charged him with using another’s credit card to charge less than $100, stealing another’s credit card and theft of less than $100.

Two Indicted In Attack

Sept. 19 — Two suspects were indicted earlier this month in the Aug. 24 death of a Pennsylvania man in Ocean City.

Caleb Edwin Earl Ochse, 27, of West Ocean City, and Christopher Blake Kendall, who has addresses in Ocean City and Wilmington, Del., were indicted Sept. 2 on charges of manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, fighting and consuming an alcoholic beverage to the point of endangering others. Both men had been charged with those offenses Aug. 26 after the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death of Justin Daniel Cancelliere of North Whitehall Township to be a homicide, but those cases were closed following the indictment.

Cancelliere was in Ocean City with a cousin and two friends when they encountered Ochse and Kendall in a sub shop at the corner of Talbot Street and Baltimore Avenue in the early morning hours. After purchasing chicken wings, Ochse and Kendall left. Cancelliere left after they did and allegedly followed them. Cancelliere’s cousin and two friends also left.

An argument led to a scuffle, with Cancelliere allegedly fighting with Ochse and Kendall. The charging document did not state who started the fight or what the argument was about.

Cancelliere’s cousin reportedly told police he broke up the fight and then saw Cancelliere, who had injuries to his face and head, on the ground. Cancelliere was unconscious and bleeding.

The cousin and two friends reportedly put the injured man in a taxi, but only one of the friends rode in the taxi with him to the Plim Plaza parking lot on Second Street, according to the charging document. Not until the taxi took them to Second Street was 911 called. The charging document did not state who placed the call.

When police arrived at about 3:15 a.m., they noted Cancelliere had a bloody nose, his forehead was bruised and he was unconscious. Ocean City paramedics started emergency life-saving procedures before he was taken to Atlantic General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead later that morning.

Reviewing a video surveillance tape, police determined one of the men at the sub shop was Ochse. Detectives with the Ocean City Police Department went to Ochse’s West Ocean City residence at about 9:50 a.m. and told him they were investigating a fight that had occurred outside the downtown sub shop. Ochse reportedly did not answer those questions. Kendall, who was at Ochse’s residence, also reportedly refused to answer questions.

The next day, Monday, Aug. 25, the Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy on Cancelliere and ruled that the cause of death was head and neck trauma and that the manner of death was homicide. On Tuesday, Aug. 26, police arrested Ochse at his place of work, a West Ocean City restaurant, and Kendall turned himself at the Ocean City Police Department headquarters later that day. He was released after a District Court commissioner found no probable cause for the charges against him.

Kendall appeared in Circuit Court on Sept. 8 for a bond review. His bond was set at $100,000. He posted bond that day and he was released from jail. Ochse continues to be held in jail on $400,000 bond.

Punching A Police Horse

Oct. 3 — Ocean City Police charged two men Sept.29 after they each struck the same police horse in unrelated incidents.

Eric Ryan Dudkiewicz, 23, of Norristown, Pa., and Demetrios Xanthos, 26, of North Arlington, N.J., were charged with interfering with a police animal.

Veteran equine member of the force, Benson, was the victim of both attacks and, per his training, did not return the blows. Both he and Mounted Officer Joseph Laughlin left the incident unscathed, police said.

With large crowds gathering in the midtown area during H2O International, a VW- and Audi-centric car show in the area last weekend, mounted officers and police on bikes and in patrol cars were outside the Princess Bayside on 48th Street to control crowds Saturday night.

Around 1:15 a.m., Dudkiewicz was walking south on the sidewalk to the left of Benson when he struck the horse and reached under the saddlebag.

Officer Andrew Beck was on foot and grabbed Dudkiewicz by the shirt, arresting him for hitting a police animal. Dudkiewicz appeared drunk, according to Beck’s report.

Just over an hour later, the incident nearly repeated itself. Xanthos was walking south on the horse’s left when he struck Benson and reached under the saddlebag. This time Laughlin grabbed him by the shirt and arrested him, reporting he also appeared drunk.

With more than a month’s training along the Boardwalk and other busy resort areas, the horses are adept at remaining calm during chaos, said Linsday O’Neal, Public Affairs Specialist for the OCPD.

Training involves “exposing them to all the different sights and sounds that they see so they do just what Benson did this weekend: They don’t react,” she said.

“Benson is probably our most popular horse and I think it is safe to say that he is ridden more often than the others because he is such a great, well-trained police horse,” she added.

 

Unfulfilled Contracts

Oct. 31 — The Ocean City Police Department has charged a Pittsville contractor with theft and other related charges after he failed to complete at least two construction jobs.

The contractor, who has been identified as John Alan Stull, 49, took deposits totaling thousands of dollars from victims and then failed to complete the jobs.

Ocean City police officers were contacted on Oct. 25 by an individual who stated that she contracted Stull to complete work on her home in September 2014. The individual reported that Stull was contracted to replace the roof of her private home and was paid $1,900 as a deposit. Charges are pending in this case.

During the investigation, detectives determined that Stull had previously been charged with similar crimes. On July 18, 2014, Ocean City detectives began an investigation after a victim reported that Stull had been paid over $10,000 to replace the stairs of a building. After more than two months had passed, the job was never started and attempts to contact him were unsuccessful. Stull was charged with theft and other related charges. He failed to appear in court and is currently wanted.

Chicken Finger Fracas

Oct. 31 — Police charged an Ocean City man with of first- and second-degree assault after he choked a waiter when his dining companion said she did not receive her chicken fingers.

Ocean City Police officers arrived at the Brass Balls Saloon downtown just before 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, after receiving a call about the incident.

The victim, a waiter, said Carl L. Saint-Juste, 24, of Ocean City, snuck up behind him while he was sitting and began choking him after Saint-Juste’s dining partner approached him to complain.

Video footage of the incident showed Saint-Juste continued to choke him for about 12 seconds, preventing the waiter from breathing or speaking, until someone else yelled at him to stop, the victim said.

Officers found Saint-Juste at a nearby hotel. When asked about the event, he said, “If there was a fight, someone would have been leaking and bruised.”

Homeless Crew Squatting

Nov. 7 — A group of homeless people, who dubbed themselves ‘the Caroline Street Crew,’ has been charged with breaking into a downtown residence to use as a shelter for the night.

 

 

 

 

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