Monthly Archives: May 2012

MEDIA ADVISORY: OCEAN CITY POLICE OFFER 24/7 DRUG DROP BOX

In order to join the effort by communities and law enforcement agencies to prevent the abuse of unused prescription medication, the Ocean City Police Department recently became the first location inWorcesterCountyto offer a permanent drug take back drop box.  Donated by the Ocean City Elks Lodge, the drug take back drop box is mounted in the lobby of thePublicSafetyBuildingand available for public access around the clock.   

WHAT:          

Press conference to discuss the Ocean City Police Department‘s new 24 hour drop box donated by the Elks Lodge and the department’s commitment to get unwanted, unused and expired prescription medication out of people’s cabinets and off the streets. 

WHEN:          

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

2:00 p.m.

 

WHERE:        

Ocean City Public Safety Building, 1st Floor Lobby

6501 Coastal Highway

Ocean City,Maryland21842

 WHO:   

  • Chief Bernadette A. DiPino, Ocean City Police Department
  • Charlie Cichon, National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI)
  • Pete Peterson,OceanCityElks Drug Awareness Program

Interviews will be available after news conference. For more information or to RSVP, please contact the Ocean City Police Department’s Public Affairs Office at 410-520-5395 or 410-723-6665.

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PEDESTRIAN KILLED BY DRUNK DRIVER

On Monday, May 28, 2012, at approximately 1:20 a.m., Ocean City Police responded to the area of 54th Street and Coastal Highway, in reference to a hit and run involving a pedestrian.  The pedestrian, a 22-year-old man from Cooksville, MD, was attempting to cross Coastal Highway from west to east, when he was struck by an Isuzu Rodeo traveling northbound in the bus lane.

After striking the victim, the driver of the Isuzu, who was later identified as Diogo Miller Facchini, 30, of Lorton, VA, continued to travel north on Coastal Highway.  Facchini proceeded to travel east on 55th Street where witnesses followed his vehicle until he was apprehended by the police.

The preliminary investigation revealed that Facchini was traveling at a speed exceeding the posted speed limit when he struck the victim, who was identified as Mathew Jude Cheswick. Cheswick was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced deceased.

Facchini, who was not injured during the collision, was arrested and charged with homicide by a motor vehicle while intoxicated, leaving the scene of a fatal collision, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired by alcohol and a number of other traffic related charges.  At the time of this release, Facchini was awaiting an initial appearance in front of an Ocean City District Court Commissioner. 

OCPD SEIZES SUSPECTED ILLEGAL SYNTHETIC DRUGS FROM BOARDWALK BUSINESSES

On May 25, 2012, at approximately 7:30 P.M., the Ocean City Police Narcotics Unit, Patrol Officers, Worcester County Sheriff’s Criminal Enforcement Team and Investigators from the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office served a search and seizure warrant at two boardwalk businesses: “Cool Topics” (107 Atlantic Avenue Units 3 and 4) and “New York, New York” (101 Atlantic Avenue) as it related to them selling synthetic drugs, synthetic drug paraphernalia and drug paraphernalia in violation of the Maryland State Law and local Ocean City ordinances.

During the investigation OCPD Narcotics Detectives made undercover purchases from the above stores. Employees that sold illegal products to the undercover officers told the detectives that the products would get them high, instructed them on how to get high, what devices to use to smoke the synthetic drugs and marijuana, and how long the high would last.  Police seized a large amount of suspected synthetic marijuana and packaging materials.  Investigators also seized over 500 bags of packaged suspected synthetic marijuana and several hundred other pieces of suspected drug paraphernalia and a computer.

 During the service of the Search Warrants the following persons were arrested:

  • David Shalom Lougasi, 52, of Berlin, Maryland
  • Nitzahn Lougasi, 27, of Ocean City, Maryland
  • Teodras Masresha Kassa, 22 of Ocean City, Maryland
  • Haileleul Mulugeta,  21, of Silver Spring, Maryland

All four were charged with distribution of drug paraphernalia under theMarylandstate law and violations of theOceanCityordinance banning the sale and distribution of a Cannabimimetic agent, distribution of a hallucinogenic agent, failing to attach a list of ingredients to a synthetic drug and distribution of any substance intended to have physical / psychological effects.

At the time of this release, David Shalom Lougasi, Nitzahn Lougasi, and Teodras Masresha Kassa were all seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner and released on their own recognizance.  Haileleul Mulugeta is being held at the OCPD pending an appearance before an Ocean City District Court Commissioner.

This investigation is a continuing effort to keep illegal and dangerous substance out of OceanCity.  The department will continue to perform compliance checks and enforcement throughout the summer.

‘FLAME OF HOPE’ ARRIVES IN OC ON JUNE 4

OCPD Officers Participate in Statewide Torch Run Relay in Support for the Special Olympics Maryland 25th Annual Summer Games

On June 4, 2012, law enforcement officers representing all of WorcesterCountywill be taking part in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run Relay for Special Olympics Maryland.  Last year, over 60 officers escorted and protected the Special Olympics “Flame of Hope” as it made its way from 27th Street and the Boardwalk to North Division Street.  The “Flame of Hope” will continue to travel toward the opening of the 42nd Anniversary Summer Games atTowsonUniversity, June 8-10.

This year marks the 27th anniversary of the Maryland Torch Run, a movement that began in 1986 with a handful of officers raising $5,000, and has grown into a year-round effort that involves officers from all 50 states and numerous countries. In 2011 alone, $3.3 million was raised by officers and sponsors in a true year-round effort to benefit Special Olympics.

 Since its inception, the law enforcement community worldwide has taken very seriously its role as “Guardians of the Flame,” and the Relay is an important and celebrated part of every Special Olympics competition. The local portion of the Torch Run Relay is part of a much larger effort.  Statewide, the Maryland Torch Run Relay consists of four different legs – Eastern, Western, Central and Southern – and throughout the entire week, thousands of Torch Run volunteers will cover hundreds of miles, eventually converging on Towson where the individual flames will be united in the Final Leg Ceremony and then officers from around the state will travel the final 2.5 miles to the Opening Ceremony at Towson University.  It is there that the flame is handed off to the Special Olympics athletes who have the honor of taking the final lap with the torch and then lighting the cauldron and officially declaring the 2011 SOMD Summer Games Open. 

“Our goal is to raise both funds and awareness for the athletes who train and compete in Special Olympics Maryland,” said Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette A. DiPino.  “The Torch Run Relay is really just a small piece of what the dedicated officers from around the state do for the athletes of Special Olympics Maryland on a year-round basis.”

The schedule for Ocean City/Worcester County’s portion of the Torch Run is as follows (all times are approximate and subject to change):

Monday June 4, 2012

  • 8 – 8:30 a.m.: Pre-Event Ceremonies,27th Street and the Boardwalk,Ocean City,MD
  • 8:30 a.m.: Torch Run Relay Begins. Run will proceed from27th Street toN. Division St.
  • 9:15 – 9:30 a.m.: Run Concludes at N. Division Street with Photo Opportunity and Refreshment (Following this, buses will be available for interested participants to proceed to Historic Downtown Berlin, for the second leg of the relay. Those who do not wish to participate in the second leg of the relay are free to leave)
  • 10:00 – 10:15 a.m.: Meet atWorcesterPreparatory School for Pre-Run Pep Rally
  • 10:15 a.m.: Begin Second Leg through Historic DowntownBerlin
  • 10:45-11:00 a.m.: Conclude Second Leg at Berlin Fire Department (approx. 1 mile run)

In addition to the Torch Run, the Ocean City Police Department will be celebrating Torch Run Relay Week throughout the week leading up the Special Olympics Maryland Summer Games. To find out how you can participate in the Eastern Leg of the Torch Run relay or to be a supporter, please contact Sgt. Dennis G. Eade, Ocean City Police Department, 410-520-5309.

The 42nd Anniversary SOMD Summer Games are set for June 8-10 at Towson University.  During this celebrated weekend, 1,200 athletes from around the state will go for gold in aquatics, athletics, bocce, equestrian, cheerleading and softball.  For more information about Special Olympics Maryland, the Torch Run Relay and the 2011 Summer Games, visit www.somd.org.

POLICE CHARGE PENNSYVANIA MAN WITH MAKING A FALSE POLICE REPORT

On May 5, 2012, at approximately 03:23 A.M., Ocean City Police observed an intoxicated

Alexander Kerr

Alexander Kerr

male walking in the area of 10th Street and Wilmington Lane.  The male, who was later identified as Alexander Kerr, 22, of Downingtown, PA, was wearing only his boxer shorts.

Kerr told police that he had just been robbed at gunpoint by a white man wearing a hooded sweatshirt, during which all of his possessions including his clothes had been stolen. Ocean City Police conducted a search of the area for the armed suspect. The search included uniformed and plain clothes police personnel, as well as a police K9 officer, however; due to the victims state of intoxication police were unable to determine the exact location of the incident. 

During the investigation, detectives met with Kerr at his Ocean City

hotel room. During this meeting, police observed several items in the hotel room that Kerr had reported stolen.  Eventually, Kerr admitted that prior to police contact he had gotten very intoxicated and fell into the bay.  Kerr stated he removed his wet cloths, which he later recovered.  Kerr later admitted to investigators that he made up the armed robbery story because he thought he would get in trouble for just wearing boxer shorts in public.

After total of eight hours of investigative time was spent determining that this report was false, Ocean City police charged Kerr with making a false police report.

SCOOTER COLLISION RESULTS IN SERIOUS INJURIES

On Friday, May 18, 2012, at approximately 2:45 p.m., Ocean City Police responded to the area of 45th Street and Coastal Highway for a report of a motor vehicle accident involving a scooter.  When officers arrived on scene, they observed the operator of the scooter to be unconscious in the roadway.

The preliminary investigation revealed that a Cadillac passenger vehicle was attempting to make a turn from the northbound turn lane through stopped traffic into the 45th Street Village.  The driver of the vehicle, who was identified as James T. Carrollton, 23, from Toms River, NJ, made the left turn and failed to yield to the scooter operator, who was traveling south in the bus lane.

The operator of the scooter, whose name is not being released at this time, was flown by Delaware State Police helicopter to Peninsula Regional Medical Center for serious injuries.  Carrollton was issued a citation for failing to yield the right of way on a left turn.

OCPD REMEMBERS FORMER OFFICER JAMES “JAY” HANCOCK

James "Jay" Hancock

James "Jay" Hancock

It is with deep sadness that Chief Bernadette DiPino and the men and women of the Ocean City Police Department must announce the passing of retired police officer and former Ocean City Council member, James (Jay) Hancock.

“Our prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time,” said Chief DiPino.  “Jay served this agency faithfully for more than three decades.  This is a tremendous loss for both the community and our OCPD family.”

 Jay served as an Ocean City Police Officer from May 24, 1971 until his retirement on October 1, 2002.  He served in many capacities within the department. Early in his career, he was assigned to the Patrol Division, working various shifts, protecting the streets of Ocean City.

Later in his career he worked in the Services Division.  He performed front desk duties, supervising the detention facility and the communications area in the former Dorchester Street facility.

 Jay served the agency in his most visible capacity as a Public Information Officer.  He handled all media duties and served as the face of the department for many years until his retirement.  He was a member of the National Information Officers Association.  While on the city council, he also served as a member of the Police Commission.

 Prior to joining the OCPD, he served in the U.S. Armed Services.  He also earned his degree from Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia in 1970.

 Funeral arrangements will be announced as we learn them.

SEAT BELT ENFORCEMENT DETAIL RECOVERS ILLEGAL DRUGS AND LOADED HANDGUN

On May 13, 2012, at approximately 11 a.m., Ocean City Police were conducting a “Click It or Ticket  seat belt enforcement detail, in the area of 33rd Street and Baltimore Avenue. 

During the enforcement operation, patrol officers stopped a vehicle registered in Delaware having four unrestrained adult occupants and a one-year-old infant. 

 

 

During the stop officers observed in plain view, a small amount of suspected marijuana in a front seat cup holder and a passenger in the rear seat attempting to roll a suspected marijuana cigarette. The occupants were removed from the vehicle, after which officers searched the vehicle for additional contraband. 

 

During the search, police located a soda can in the back seat area which had a false compartment that was empty.  A search of the occupants revealed two bags of suspected heroin from: Jamil Lee Mills, 21, of Wilmington, DE.  Police continued to search the vehicle and located a backpack in the trunk containing four bundles of small clear plastic bags, which were later found to be 53 individual bags of suspected heroin. The backpack was also found to have a loaded Jennings .32 caliber handgun, which officers noted, had the serial number scratched off.  Additionally, officers seized over $600 in cash, cell phones and the commercially made stash-can (soda can). 

 

The owner of the backpack was arrested and identified as: Marcus Lamont Neal, 19, of New Castle, DE.  A front seat passenger identified as: Raheem Shalir Cephas, 22, of Wilmington,  was arrested after officers recovered a bag of suspected Marijuana, which was concealed in his sock.

Marcus Lamont Neal was charged with:

  • Possession of Marijuana
  • Possession of Heroin
  • Possession of Heroin with the Intent to Distribute
  • Unlawful Possession of a Handgun
  • Possession of a handgun with an obliterated serial number
  • Possession of a handgun while involved in a drug trafficking crime
  • Use of a handgun while engaged in a drug trafficking crime.

Neal was seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner and was held on $25,000. He was transferred to the Worcester County Jail.

Jamil Lee Mills was charged with:

  • Possession of Marijuana
  • Possession of Heroin
  • Possession of Heroin with the Intent to Distribute

Mills was seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner and was held on $15,000. He was transferred to the Worcester County Jail.

Raheem Shalir Cephas:

  • Possession of Marijuana (2 counts)

Cephas was seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner and was released on his own recognizance. 

Ocean City Police remind citizens that they will be continuing to strictly enforce Marylandseat belt laws. The Ocean City Police Department has joined local and national law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates all across the country for the 2012 national “Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization, May 7-June 14.   During the mobilization, officers will be cracking down on motorists who fail to wear their seat belts – both day and night.

OCPD PUBLIC ADVISORY REGARDING STREET PERFORMERS AND THE NEW NOISE ORDINANCE

A PARTNERSHIP FOR A SAFE FAMILY VACATION
The Town of Ocean City working in partnership with Ocean City merchants has teamed up to continue the tradition of a safe, family atmosphere on Ocean City’s boardwalk. By keeping the community stakeholders informed, a working relationship can be cultivated which continues to allow a safe environment for millions of visitors who annually enjoy
Ocean City’s famous Promenade.
 
THE NOISE ORDINANCE
 
Any person playing a musical instrument or operating a sound amplification device that can be heard at a distance of 30 feet (roughly the width of the boardwalk) or greater is in violation of the Noise Ordinance and is subject to a penalty of three months in jail and/or a $500 fine. Any person who can be heard singing, yelling, hooting, hollering or whistling at a distance of 50 feet are subject to a penalty of three months in jail and/or a $500 fine.
 
STEET PERFORMERS
 
Because Ocean City’s boardwalk is such a great attraction, a host of performers materialize daily to put on shows, create balloon sculptures, draw caricatures, or just strum a guitar. The ordinances that strictly regulate such performances do not limit the performer’s ability to provide entertainment, but are designed to provide for a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors. Street Performers cannot set up in an area that hampers visitors’ ability to enter and exit stores, block pedestrian or vehicle traffic, or disturb the peace and quiet of the community.
·      Street Performers are no longer required to register at City Hall. A Street Performer Permit is no longer required.
·       Street Performers are not vetted by the Town of Ocean City
·      Street Performers can only perform within the extended boundaries east of the street ends and cannot drift north or     south of the street end area (See visual representation on back)
·       Only portable chairs or tables can be used.
·       Performers cannot perform within 10 feet of
o   Tables
o   Business entrances or exits
o   The Tram Lane
·       Performers are prohibited from blocking
o   Pedestrian and vehicle traffic
o   Ramps
o   Stairways to the Beach
o   Entrance to comfort stations
o   The concrete pads on the east side of the boardwalk
o   Public Telephones
o   Trash receptacles
·       Performances must be in compliance with the Noise Ordinance
(30’ Amplification, Musical Instruments / 50’ Singing)
·       Connecting to a municipal electrical outlet is not allowed
·       Connecting to a private electrical outlet is only allowed with owner’s permission
·       The use of nudity, pornographic materials or obscenity in any display or performance is prohibited
·       Performers shall not distribute any advertising or promotional material which promotes an activity, product or service other than that which the peddler, solicitor, hawker or street performer is engaged
·       The use of animals (other than for legitimate ADA purposes), fire or other hazardous materials in a display or performance is prohibited
·       The North Division Street boardwalk area (Boardwalk Arch) has been designated a no street performer area
 
COMMERCE ON THE BOARDWALK
The sale of products on the boardwalk is strictly prohibited except for Expressive Material that have been created, written or composed by the person who sell rents or exchanges them for a donation.
 
STREET PERFORMERS DESIGNATED LOCATIONS
 
STREET PERFORMERS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE NORTH DIVISION STREET AREA
 
Street Performers can only perform within the extended boundaries
east of the street ends and cannot drift north or south of the street end area

SUBJECT FALLS FROM HOTEL

On May 9, 2012, at approximately 4 p.m., Ocean City Police and Paramedics responded to the Holiday Inn hotel, located at 1701 Atlantic Avenue, regarding a person that had fallen onto the pool deck.

Emergency personnel located an unresponsive individual who appeared to have fallen from a hotel balcony.  The individual was transported to Atlantic General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  The deceased has been identified as Eric Austin Allen, 26, of Dayton, Maryland.

Allen’s remains were taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Maryland in Baltimore for autopsy.  Ocean City detectives continue to investigate the manner and cause of death in this case.