Monthly Archives: January 2012

OCEAN CITY POLICE HOLDING SYMPOSIUM TO INFORM PUBLIC ABOUT TASER IMPLEMENTATION

This week, the Ocean City Police Department will be joining other Eastern Shore law enforcement agencies, such as the Worcester County Sheriff and the Wicomico County Sheriff, by beginning the first phase of its TASER program implementation.  The department will be conducting specialized training for supervisors and officers in the use, deployment, procedures and policies regarding new TASER equipment.

In correlation with training of police officers, the OCPD wants to keep the community informed about this new TASER program. The OCPD is planning an open informational symposium for Ocean City residents, citizens, businesses and members of the media.  The symposium will address various topics dealing with the use of the new TASER system, including departmental policy and procedure.  In addition to providing information, the symposium will give citizens the opportunity to ask questions about the OCPD TASER program, as well as view a demonstration of the equipment.

The Ocean City Police Department believes that a well-informed community is the best form of crime prevention. The OCPD will be conducting the symposium onFebruary 9, 2012, fromnoonto2 p.m.at the Ocean City Northside Park Recreation Center meeting room. For more information about this symposium, please contact the OCPD Public Affairs Office at 410-520-5395.

OCPD IS SEEKING THE PUBLIC’S ASSISTANCE TO IDENTIFY BURGLARY SUSPECT

The Ocean City Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance in locating the suspect of a burglary and attempted assault.  On Sunday, January 1, 2012, at approximately 4:30 a.m., the Ocean City Police Department responded to the 200 block ofPhiladelphia Avenuefor a burglary and attempted assault that had already


OCPD officers met with a female victim who told police that an unknown male attacked her at her residence.  During the attack, the victim’s boyfriend returned home and confronted the suspect.  After a brief altercation with the boyfriend, the suspect fled from the residence.

Surveillance footage captured the suspect, who is believed to be a Hispanic male, pacing back and forth near the victim’s residence before approaching the door to the residence.  Ocean City Police are asking anyone with information about this incident, or the suspect involved, to please contact the Ocean City Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at 410-723-6604.  Those providing information may remain anonymous.

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS HONOR OCPD CPL RICHARD WAWRZENIAK AS OFFICER OF THE YEAR

Cpl. Wawrzeniak pictured with members of the Knights of Columbus and Ocean City Police Captain Kevin Kirstein

The Ocean City Knights of Columbus held their annual award ceremony onWednesday, January 18, 2012.  Among their top honors, such as Firefighter of the Year,EMTof the Year, Teacher of the Year and Couple of the Year, the Knights of Columbus awarded Ocean City Cpl. Richard Wawrzeniak with the prestigious title of Officer of the Year.

“I am extremely proud of Cpl. Wawrzeniak,” said Chief Bernadette DiPino.  “He demonstrates the high qualities and standards expected of an Ocean City Police Officer. He is a hero”

 

Cpl. Wawrzeniak is from Bowie, MD. He joined the OCPD full time in 1999, after two summers as a seasonal officer. He is an active member of the department’s Bike Unit and Quick Response Team.  He is currently assigned to the Patrol Division’s evening watch.

In addition to being named “2011 Officer of the Year” by the Knights of Columbus,  Cpl. Wawrzeniak was recently a finalist for the Neighborhood Watch Officer of the Year and received a Silver Star for his quick and decisive action on December 10, 2010 when he witnessed Marvin Mitchell  assaulting his wife with a knife. Cpl Wawrzeniak neutralized Mitchell by gunfire, saving the life of four persons.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” Cpl. Wawrzeniak said.    It really has been a special year for me.  I’m proud to be a part of such a professional organization.  Our officers strive to give their best each and every day. I would like to thank Chief DiPino, all my fellow officers, and my family for their support; and of course, the Knights of Columbus for this award.”

OCEAN CITY POLICE DETECTIVE 1ST CLASS JEFFREY JOHNS NAMED 2011 NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH OFFICER OF THE YEAR

On Thursday, January 12, 2012, the Ocean City Neighborhood Watch Association gathered at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center for their annual “Officer of the Year” recognition dinner.  Nearly 150 guests attended the event, including Mayor Rick Meehan, Council Members, Mary Knight, Margaret Pillas, Brent Ashley and Doug Cymek as well as several Ocean City Police employees, residents and members of the eight Neighborhood Watch Associations in Ocean City, the Boardwalk Group, Bayshore Drive, Caine Keys II, Caine Woods, Edgewater Avenue, Little Salisbury, Montego Bay and Sundowner Park.

Ocean City Police Detective 1st Class Jeffery Johns was selected the honorable recipient of the Ocean City Neighborhood Watch Association’s 2011 “Officer of the Year” award. Also nominated for the 2011 “Officer of the Year” award were Ocean City Police Officer Justin Hoban, PFC Daniel Jacobs, PFC Chris Snyder, PFC Mike Richardson and Corporal Rick Wawrzeniak.

Detective 1st Class Jeffrey Johns is originally from Pennsylvania and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.  He worked as a seasonal officer for two years before being hired full time in 2004.  Detective Johns worked in the patrol division before being assigned to the Vice and Narcotics unit.  This was a very special night of recognition as Detective Johns was not only named the 2011 Officer of the Year, earlier in the evening  Police Chief Bernadette DiPino presented Detective Johns with the highest police department recognition, “The Medal of Honor.”  Detective Johns received this honor as a result of  being attacked and seriously injured this past summer when he was working in an undercover capacity.

“I am a very lucky guy, it is such an honor to have even been nominated, and I thank my fellow officers who are like my family,” said Detective Johns. This is a great community to be a policeman in. Every resident and especially the Neighborhood Watch members are an incredible resource, and it really is a partnership.  I wouldn’t be standing here right now if it wasn’t for them.”

In addition to being named “Officer of the Year,” Detective Johns and 18 other departmental members received a “Unit Citation.” Detective Johns also received the Bronze Star.  Both of these honors stemmed from a burglary investigation that helped recover 11 flat screen televisions and numerous other home electronic components.

Long time Neighborhood Watch members William and Anna Neimiller were recognized for their service with the Montego Bay Neighborhood Watch group for over 15 years, during which William Neimiller served as the Area Coordinator for the group. During the awards banquet 17 members of the Ocean City Police were recognized for their recent promotions as follows:

PROMOTIONS FOR 2011

  • The promotions for each rank from lowest to highest:
    • Police Officer 1st Class
      • PFC Joseph Centofranchi
      • PFC Gregory Eastman
      • PFC Kyle Murray
      • PFC David Whitmer
    • Corporal
      • CPL Freddie Howard
      • CPL Charles “Josh” Kelley
      • CPL Frank Soscia
      • CPL Joseph Lotito
    • Sergeant
      • SGT Gregory DeGiovanni
      • SGT Regina Custer
      • SGT Dennis Eade
      • SGT James Grady
      • SGT Glenn McIntyre
    • Lieutenant
      • LT Scott Harner
      • LT Elton “Jr” Harmon
      • LT Todd Wood
    • Captain - CAPT Gregory Guiton

Officers also received the following awards and recognitions during the ceremony:

Unit Citation:  Awarded to a division, shift or section for meritorious service or outstanding achievement, wherein the designed unit is clearly set above and apart from other units.

Unit Citation for 2011: Capt Robert Bokinsky, Lt. Mark Pacini, Lt. Ray Austin, Sgt. Todd Wood, Cpl Brett Case, Cpl James Schwartz, Cpl Shawn Jones, Cpl Jeffrey Heiser, DFC Nicholas Simpson, Cpl Ronnie Townsend, DFC Todd Speigle, DFC James Rodriguez, DFC Matthew Forman, PFC Sara Dorsey, Officer Joseph Melena, CST Sharon Schultz, CST Robert Luckett and CST Nicole Ruggiero.

During the winter of 2010 the mid-town area of Ocean City was experiencing a rash of burglaries during which flat screen televisions were  stolen. While conducting a CDS investigation, Detective Johns happened to mention to a drug dealer that he would like to purchase a television.  DFC Johns eventually purchased two flat screen televisions, which were determined to be stolen from burglaries being investigated by the patrol division. During the course of this investigation a total of nine suspects were arrested. Property recovered during the service of several search and seizure warrants included: 11 flat screen televisions, one shotgun, two DVD players and an MP3 docking station.  A total of $40,000 in restitution was ordered to the victims by the court.  

Excellent Performance:  Awarded to any member of the police department, including civilians, for an act or achievement above that which is normally required or expected.

Excellent Performance Award for 2011: Sgt Mark Paddack and DFC James Rodriguez

While conducting a crime scene process, Sgt. Paddack struck up a conversation with the victim of a burglary. Based on this brief conversation with the victim a suspect was developed from information about the crime. Additional follow up investigation by DFC Rodriguez determined that the suspect was involved in numerous residential and commercial burglaries within Ocean City and lower Delaware. The suspect stole a vehicle, U.S. currency and an entire bedroom set during these burglaries.

Excellent Performance Award for 2011: PFC Aaron Morgan and PFC Sara Dorsey

On May 30, 2011  PFC Morgan and PFC Dorsey responded to the report of a hit and run motor vehicle collision. During the investigation PFC Morgan tracked the suspect vehicle to a residence by reviewing the physical evidence. PFC Morgan eventually located the passenger of the vehicle and PFC Dorsey conducted interviews that determined a domestic argument had occurred in the hit and run vehicle. PFC Dorsey eventually developed probable cause to charge the driver with  1st and 2nd degree assault and numerous traffic charges. 

Excellent Performance Award for 2011: Sgt. Dennis Eade, PFC Andrew Sprague, S.O. Michael Koehler and S.O. Evan Kolb

On August 4, 2011, PFC Sprague conducted an initial complaint of a robbery at the Oceanic Motel. PFC Sprague broadcast a thorough description of the suspects. Five hours later SO Koehler and SO Kolb stopped two subjects for an alcohol violation, during which one suspect fled. During a search of the detained subject’s phone, Sgt. Eade learned the location of the second suspect who was apprehended.

Excellent Performance Award for 2011: PFC Andrew Sprague and Officer Joseph Melena

 

While on bicycle patrol in the Southern District, PFC Sprague and Officer Melena observed two suspicious subjects in a vehicle. Eventually both subjects were arrested for CDS, which included 63 Percocet’s, other pills and marijuana.  A combined total of $8,104 in U.S. currency was seized during this CDS investigation.

Excellent Performance Award for 2011: PFC Michael Richardson, Officer Justin Hoban

On April 24, 2011, Officer Hoban was dispatched to Somerset Street for a strong-arm robbery. OFC Hoban broadcast a lookout for the suspect and PFC Richardson recognized the subjects from an earlier observation in the evening. After a lengthy patrol investigation with numerous interviews and one on one identification, a total of nine  Dover, Delaware men were arrested for CDS, robbery and possession of a handgun.

Excellent Performance Award for 2011: PFC Daniel Jacobs

On May 24, 2011 Officers responded to the North Division Street 7-11 for a rape investigation. Based on a description of the suspect, PFC Jacobs was able to determine that it was a subject he had observed earlier in the evening. PFC Jacobs and Kelly observed the subject in the area and a foot chase ensued, during which Jacobs located and apprehended the suspect in a unit on North Division Street.

Excellent Performance Award for 2011: PFC Christopher Snyder

On June 19, 2011 PFC Snyder conducted a burglary investigation on Robin Drive, during which he smelled the odor of marijuana. PFC Snyder conducted a thorough investigation and authored a search and seizure warrant. During execution of the warrant PFC Snyder seized numerous items of CDS paraphernalia and $5,000.

Meritorious Service:   Awarded to any member of the Police Department who distinguishes him/herself by performing his/her duties in a manner that clearly exceeds what is normally required or expected or for a highly creditable police accomplishment.

Meritorious Service Awards for 2011: Corporal James Schwartz

During the last seven years Corporal James Schwartz has been a member of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI). During his tenure Cpl Schwartz has risen to the position of Maryland NADDI Chapter President. Because of Cpl Schwartz’s participation in NADDI the Ocean City Police Department has been the recipient of $32,000 in grant money for drug diversion investigations.

Meritorious Service Award for 2011: DFC Todd Speigle

On May 28, 2011 Detective Speigle was assigned to investigate the assault and attempted robbery of DFC Murray and DFC Johns, during which Johns was seriously injured.  DFC Speigle conducted an exhaustive investigation, which included 20 separate interviews. DFC Speigle eventually gained confessions in the planned robbery of the Narcotics Detectives.

Bronze Star: Awarded to any member of the Police Department who distinguishes him/herself by displaying courage and devotion to duty.

Bronze Star Award for 2011: CPL James Schwartz

Based on the department’s priority enforcement in the St Louis Avenue area, Corporal James Schwartz initiated a CDS investigation that concluded with 39 hand-to-hand purchases and 11 controlled purchases of CDS. This investigation also extended into Wicomico County where Schwartz purchased a firearm. Twenty suspects were indicted in this case leading to 60 criminal charges.

Bronze Star Award for 2011: DFC Jeffrey Johns

During the winter of 2010 the mid-town area of Ocean City was experiencing a rash of burglaries, during which flat screen televisions were being stolen. While conducting a CDS investigation, Detective Johns happened to mention to a drug dealer that he would like to purchase a television. DFC Johns eventually purchased two flat screen televisions, which were determined to be stolen from burglaries being investigated by the patrol division. During the course of this investigation a total of nine suspects were arrested. Property recovered during the service of several search and seizure warrants included: 11 flat screen televisions, one shotgun, two DVD players and an MP3 docking station. A total of $40,000 in restitution was ordered to the victims by the court.

SILVER STAR: Awarded to any member of the police department who distinguishes him/herself conspicuously by gallantry and at the risk of his/her life.

Silver Star Award for 2011: Corporal Rick Wawrzeniak

On December 10, 2010 Corporal Rick Wawrzeniak observed Marvin Mitchell actively assaulting his wife with a knife. Cpl Wawrzeniak took quick and decisive action and neutralized Mitchell by gunfire, saving the life of four persons.

MEDAL OF VALOR:  Awarded to any member of the Police Department who has been killed, seriously wounded, or injured in the performance of his/her duties

Medal of Valor Award for 2011: DFC Jeffrey Johns

On May 28, 2011, DFC Johns and Murray engaged subjects on the boardwalk in a conversation to buy drugs. Hours later DFC Murray and DFC Johns met with subject on St. Louis Avenue to complete the purchase. During this drug deal the suspect dealers attempted a robbery of Murray and Johns. During this robbery attempt, DFC Johns was struck in the back of the head with a one foot long, 4×4 piece of wood. As a result of this on-duty injury, Johns was transported to the hospital where he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit for one week and a second week under general care. Johns suffered a significant injury as a result of this planned robbery.

The Ocean City Police Department would like to thank the citizens of Ocean City and the 8 Neighborhood Watch groups and their area coordinators for taking their time to recognize the officers of their police department and especially maintaining the very special partnership between the citizens of Ocean City and their police.

No pictures are available at this time.

 

FOUR JUVENILES CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH NUMEROUS MALICIOUS DESTRUCTION INCIDENTS

On January 14, 2012, at approximately12:30 a.m., Ocean City Police responded to 1201 Atlantic Avenue, “Decatur House,” in reference to destruction of property. 

While officers were responding to the initial complaint, patrol officers spotted four persons on the boardwalk involved in the act of damaging property.  Officers were able to detain two suspects, however, two fled the area.

Officers arrived at the Decatur House and met with the complainant, who advised they had heard something breaking,  looked outside and saw several boys running north on the boardwalk.  Officers noticed a damaged boardwalk storefront at the “Beach Daze,” which is located in the Decatur House building.

The investigation revealed that the two suspects who had been detained by the responding patrol were juveniles.  Police later determined that there had been a rash of malicious destruction incidents earlier in the evening, all occurring in the downtown boardwalk area and that the four persons initially spotted by the responding patrol were responsible.  

As a result of the detention of the first two suspects, Ocean City Police were able to identify and locate the other two suspects who had fled the area.  The OCPD has charged four juveniles in connection with at least 23 different acts of malicious destruction.  Current property damage estimates are over $5,000. 

The juveniles were also responsible for stealing and attempting to throw a scooter in the bay earlier in the night.  Police are still investigating this incident and have recovered the scooter.  Additional charges are pending.

Ocean City Police have released the juveniles to their parents pending a Maryland Department of Social Services review.

Ocean City Police are asking anyone with any information regarding these incidents to please contact the Ocean City Police Department at 410-723-6610.

 CC# 2012-000106,January 14, 2012

SUICIDAL SUBJECT TAKEN INTO CUSTODY

On January 11, 2012, at approximately 1:14 a.m., OceanCitypolice and paramedics responded to a unit in The Jockey Beach Club condominium on 123rd Street in reference to an injured subject.

Emergency personnel arrived at the scene and located two males and a female.  One of the adult males was bleeding from an injury to the hand.  Initially the injured man indicated the injury was the result of a cooking accident and that he had cut himself by accident.   While in the unit, the second male who appeared to be very intoxicated became belligerent and uncooperative.  While Ocean City paramedics were treating the injured male in the ambulance prior to transporting the victim to the hospital, the victim’s girlfriend  made contact with the police in the parking lot and disclosed to police the victim’s injury was actually sustained during a struggle with the intoxicated  male prior to police arrival.

Police were advised the man who was still in the unit, had become very upset after having a telephone conversation with an estranged girlfriend.  He was discovered by the victim attempting to cut his wrists with a knife.  The victim attempted to stop the man and his thumb was cut accidentally while trying to wrestle the knife away from the man.

Police set up a perimeter around the unit and attempted numerous times to make contact with the man who was still in the unit. OCPD officers eventually entered the unit and took the subject into custody without incident.

The man was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center for emergency psychological evaluation.  Because no charges have been filed, the OCPD is not releasing the names of the involved parties.

SUSPECTED DRUNK DRIVER CHARGED BY OCPD

On January 6, at approximately 6 p.m., Ocean City Police received a complaint from a

Shawn Allen Chaney OCPD Booking Image from 01/02/12

Shawn Allen Chaney OCPD Booking Image from 01/02/12

citizen about a vehicle that was stopped on the center medium at 17th Street.  The caller related that they thought the driver might be drunk.

The witness stated they observed the driver outside of the vehicle, which was described as a Dodge sport utility vehicle; however, the driver then got back into the vehicle and drove off the elevated medium, heading south on Coastal Highway.

An OCPD sergeant, who was operating in a plain-clothes capacity, located the vehicle near the reported location and began to follow it, during which the Dodge struck numerous curbs, ran over a sidewalk and downed two streets signs at 12th Street and 9th Street.

Uniformed officers operating marked police vehicles got behind the Dodge in the area of 9th Street and Philadelphia Avenue.  Suspecting the driver may be drunk, officers attempted to stop the vehicle.  When the driver of the Dodge did not stop, officers became involved in a short vehicle pursuit, following the vehicle at 9th Street.  The Dodge made a U –turn  and started north.  Officers continued to follow the Dodge at 15th Street.  The Dodge struck a utility pole at 1800 Coastal Highway traveling at approximately 35 mph where it came to a final stop.

Police approached the vehicle and identified the driver, Shawn Allen Chaney, 42 of Ocean City.  Cheney was treated at the scene by Ocean City Paramedics and flown to Peninsula Regional Medical Center by Maryland State Police helicopter with non-life threatening injuries.

Because Chaney was being treated for injuries sustained as a result of the crash he was not charged until the following day.   Chaney also was arrested by OCPD officers for suspicion of driving under the influence and/or intoxicated on Jan. 2, 2012.  He was operating the same vehicle.

Chaney was charged with over 20 different traffic violations including:

  •  21-405 a – Failure of Driver to Yield Right of Way to Police using Signals
  • 21-405 b – Failure of Driver to Drive to Curb upon Signal by Police Vehicle
  • 21-405 c – Failure of Driver to Stop upon Approach by Police Vehicle using Signals
  • 21-904 b1 – Attempt by Driver to Elude Uniformed Police by Failing to Stop Vehicle
  • 21-904 c1 – Attempt by Driver to Elude Police in Official Police Vehicle by Failing to Stop
  • 21-902 a1 – Driving under the Influence of Alcohol
  • 21-902 b1 – Driving while Impaired by Alcohol

Because Chaney was charged the following day he was released after being issued several Maryland traffic citations.