Monthly Archives: September 2012

OCPD TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO 3 ARRESTS FOR CRACK COCAINE

On September 26, 2012, at approximately 2:35 p.m. Ocean City Police patrol officers stopped a 2002 Nissan Altima with three occupants for a traffic violation in the area of 62nd Street and Coastal Highway.  During the course of the traffic stop, the officers observed two occupants of the vehicle shoving an unknown object under the front seats.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Larry Dennell Floyd, Jr., 30, of Berlin.  During the traffic stop, officers checked the status of Floyd’s driver’s license and determined he was suspended.  During further investigation, officers identified the front passenger of the vehicle as Marty Edward Tankard, Jr., 33 of Berlin and a rear seat passenger as Joel Lamont Lankford, 40, of Nanticoke, Maryland.  In addition, officers determined the object being shoved under the seats was an empty beer bottle. 

While officers were checking under the front seat of the vehicle, they observed a white powdery substance they suspected to be crack cocaine.  Officers also recovered additional suspected crack cocaine from the front and rear passenger seats.  Police subsequently arrested Floyd for driving on a suspended license and Tankard and Lankford for possession of crack cocaine. 

During the arrest process, Floyd became uncooperative and would not open his mouth.  Officer suspected Floyd was concealing illegal drugs in his mouth and at which point Floyd attempted to swallow the items.   Officers attempted to get Floyd to spit the items out of his mouth, however, Floyd continued to refuse and resist arrest.  Due to the level of resistance Floyd was exhibiting and the concern that he was attempting to swallow life-threatening drug contraband, officers deployed a TASER/ECD and delivered one drive-stun to Floyd’s back to gain compliance.

Floyd immediately spit out the contents of his mouth, which was determined by officers to be a large quantity of suspected crack cocaine.  As a precautionary measure, Floyd was taken by OC EMS to Atlantic General Hospital for exposure to ECD and possible CDS consumption.  Floyd was evaluated and subsequently released from the hospital in Ocean City Police custody. 

  • Larry Dennell Floyd, Jr. was charged with:
    • Driving on a suspended Maryland License.
    • Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance (crack cocaine).
    • Possession of Paraphernalia.
    • Possession of CDS with the Intent to Distribute (crack cocaine).
    • Resisting Arrest.
    • Obstructing and Hindering Arrest.
    • Various Traffic Offences (Tickets).
  • Marty Edward Tankard, Jr. was charged with:
    • Possession of CDS (crack cocaine).
    • Possession of an Open Container of Alcoholic Beverage in public.
  • Joel Lamont Lankford was charged with:
    • Possession of CDS (crack cocaine).

All three suspects were seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner, Lankford and Tankard were released on their own recognizance.  Floyd was release after posting a $25,000 bond.

NEW MARYLAND LEGISLATION (EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2012) REGARDING THE MANDATORY REGISTRATION OF ALL MOPEDS AND SCOOTER

The State of Maryland will be changing the laws governing vehicles classified as a motor scooter and/or mopeds.  These new laws will directly impact ALL Ocean City scooter rental and retail sale operators as well as private citizens who own and operate these types of vehicles.

Effective October 1, 2012: Mopeds and Motor Scooters, as defined by law, and are owned by Maryland residents are required to:

Display a registration decal issued by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA)

  • Non- Maryland residents who own a motor scooter or moped in another state that operate/use the scooter in Maryland are exempt from the new registration requirements, however the Maryland laws regarding: Insurance, helmet and eye protection requirement apply.
  • The operator shall have in their possession proof of insurance.
  • Additionally, an individual who rides or operates a moped or motor scooter must wear protective headgear that meets specific federal standards (DOT).  If the vehicle does not have a windscreen, eye-protection must also be worn.

Further clarification by the Motor Vehicle Administration indicates all mopeds and motor scooters are to be titled electronically and be issued a permanent decal to place on the rear of the motor scooter.  Maryland residents can go to:  http://www.mva.maryland.gov/ to register their scooters.  This web based registration has been operational as of this week. 

The cost for the decal will be $5.  For the first year, (until October 1, 2013) non-new motor scooters and mopeds will be exempt from the titling fee and excise tax.  After October 1, 2013, the motor scooter and moped title fee will be $20 and the minimum excise tax will be 6% of $320. 

Maryland business owners who sell and/or rent moped and motorized scooters will have different registration rules and costs than privately owned mopeds and motorized scooters.  For additional information these commercial businesses should consult with the Maryland MVA directly. 

During the on-line/electronic registration process, individuals will have to certify at the time of titling that they carry the minimum levels of liability insurance for the motor scooter / moped.  Operators of motor scooters and mopeds will be required to wear motorcycle helmets and eye protection and carry an insurance card.

At the request of the Maryland MVA, the Ocean City Police Department will be enforcing these new laws beginning October 1, 2012. Due to the delay in the ability of citizens to register motorized scooters and mopeds electronically, the OCPD will be delaying enforcement of ONLY the new registration requirements for a period of 30-days.  Effective October 1, 2012 the OCPD will be strictly enforcing the INSURANCE, HELMET AND EYE PROTECTION LAWS that go into effective October 1.  Only the registration requirement will be differed during this period. 

If you have any question, please contact the Ocean City Police Departments Public Affairs Office at: 410-723-6665.

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OCEAN CITY BUSINESS OPERATOR LICENSE SUSPENDED FOR 30-DAYS

During the summer of 2010, officers from the Ocean City Police Department responded to numerous complaints from citizens, businesses and private property owners relating to the illegal distribution of handbill advertisements by various pizza restaurants in Ocean City. In order to effectively capture the violations, the Ocean City Police Department systematically documented these complaints. Officers responding to calls for handbill flyer complaints were mandated to write a report and use a specific case number correlating to the respective pizza establishment in violation.

On April 13, 2011, three Ocean City pizza business owners were asked to appear before the Town of Ocean City Police Commission to address the repeated illegal advertising. These pizza shop owners were also advised to cease and desist the distribution of the flyers or be subject to a possible penalty under City Ordinance Sec. 14-38 “Suspension of Business License.” Of the four businesses, the offender with the most violations, “Marco Polo” pizza (previously named Mack’s Pizza) did not respond to nor appear.

After repeated citations and repeated warnings from the Police Department, condominiums and local hotels, “Marco Polo” pizza a has continued to violate the City ordinance.

On September 17, 2012, the Ocean City Police Department presented evidence at a hearing regarding business License #62131, issued to “Marco Polo” pizza. The evidence demonstrated repeated violations, complaints and calls for service regarding the distribution of handbill flyers and advertisements and resulting in multiple warnings and citations of the Town Code including:

  • Sec. 70-141. – Littering on public property.

    • It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to throw, deposit, release or discharge, any sweepings, dust, ashes, offal, dirt, garbage, dirty liquids, advertisements, circulars, handbills, wastepaper, balloons or other material into any street, alley, air, waters, or public place within the corporate limits of the Town of Ocean City, Maryland. (Code 1972, § 62-1; Ord. No. 1999-31, 12-6-1999)
  • Sec. 70-142. – Distribution of advertisements and handbills.
    • It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to cast, throw, place or distribute any advertisements, circulars, handbills or wastepaper in the vestibules, doorways, porches or yards of private property or upon private vehicles, from which they may be blown upon and into the public streets, alleys or public places within the corporate limits of Ocean City.

During the hearing, the OCPD described 27 verified ordinance violations out 54 complaints occurring over the past two years. The business was officially warned in writing three separate times to stop the illegal practice of distribution of advertisements and handbills. As a result of the continued violations, the OCPD charged “Marco Polo” pizza eight separate times, which led to convictions in Ocean City District Court. The business continued the illegal practice the “distribution of advertisements and handbill” even after the District Court convictions.

As a result of these circumstances, City Manager for the Town of Ocean City, David L. Recor, has suspended the operator’s license for the business known as “Marco Polo” pizza for a period of 30-days as permitted by Section 14-33(a)3 of the Town Code.

SALISBURY MAN ARRESTED IN OCEAN CITY FOR SELLING HEROIN

Arnesto Lee Smith

Arnesto Lee Smith

On September 19, 2012, the Ocean City Police Narcotics Unit and the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team, with the assistance of the Patrol Division, concluded a heroin distribution investigation with the arrest of Arnesto Lee Smith, 33, of Salisbury, Maryland.

Smith was arrested after a four week undercover investigation, in which narcotics detectives made several purchases of heroin from Smith. Police arrested Smith in the 45th Street area of Ocean City. During the arrest, several officers were needed to restrain Smith who was ultimately subdued with a TASER.

At the time of his arrest, Smith was in possession of 4-bags of heroin, numerous Xanax pills as well as a quantity of money all of which were seized as evidence.

Ocean City Police Narcotics Detectives charged Smith with:

  • Four counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
  • Three counts of distribution of heroin.
  • Possession of Xanax with the intent to distribute.
  • Possession of heroin and possession of Xanax.
  • Resisting arrest.
 
Smith was seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner and was held on $75,000 bond. Smith was transferred to the Worcester County Jail.

OCPD TRAFFIC SAFETY OFFICERS RECOGNIZED FOR TRAFFIC SAFETY CONTRIBUTIONS BY THE MARYLAND HIGHWAY SAFETY OFFICE

On September 7, 2012, police officers representing law enforcement agencies throughout Maryland gathered in Annapolis to be recognized for their distinct contributions to highway safety in Maryland. The 2012 Traffic Safety Specialist (TSS) Awards Luncheon, which took place at the Doubletree Hotel in Annapolis, acknowledged law enforcement officers who have attained exceptional levels of experience, training and proficiency in highway safety and traffic enforcement methods and procedures.

The following Ocean City Police Department officers were recognized for their hard work and commitment to traffic safety; Lieutenants Brian Cardamone and Scott Harner, Sergeants Doug Smith and Ronnie Townsend, Patrolman 1st Class Aaron Morgan, Ryan Flanagan, Michael Karsnitz, Joseph Centofranchi and Officer Patrick Flynn. Congratulations to the TSS Award Recipients. Keep up the great work.
Pictured from left to right:
Chief William McMahon (Howard Co PD), OCPD – LT Scott Harner, SGT Doug Smith, PFC Joe Centofranchi, PFC Mike Karsnitz, OFC Pat Flynn, PFC Aaron Morgan and Chief of the MD Highway Safety Office Mr. Thomas J. Gianni.

“Clearly these award recipients epitomized the spirit of the TSS Program,” said Thomas J. Gianni, Chief of the Maryland Highway Safety Office. “Effective traffic enforcement translates to fewer crashes, injuries, and fewer deaths on our roadways. Traffic safety is public safety, and we congratulate the awardees on their very distinguished achievement.”

 
 
So far this year, the OCPD has investigated over 500 crashes, issued almost 7,000 traffic citations and made almost 400 DUI/DWI arrests. “The sheer volume of vehicular traffic in Ocean City Community seems daunting, however the Traffic Safety Specialist of the Ocean City Police Department as well as all of our patrol officers, rise to the challenge every year , and this year is no exception” stated OCPD Chief Bernadette A. DiPino. “I am extremely proud of these dedicated professionals who continue to make Ocean City, Maryland a safe place to live and visit.”

 

 

ATTENTION!! NEW LAW REFERENCE: NON-FUNCTIONING TRAFFIC LIGHTS

ATTENTION!! NEW LAW REFERENCE: NON-FUNCTIONING TRAFFIC LIGHTS

Effective October 1, 2012, a driver approaching a non-functioning traffic control signal from any direction at an intersection MUST:

 

STOP AT A CLEARLY MARKED STOP LINE, BEFORE ENTERING ANY CROSSWALK, OR BEFORE ENTERING THE INTERSECTION.

After stopping, the driver MUST:

YIELD TO ANY VEHICLE OR PEDESTRIAN IN THE INTERSECTION AND REMAIN STOPPED UNTIL IT IS SAFE TO ENTER AND CONTINUE THROUGH THE INTERSECTION.


 Violations of this law carry a fine of $90 and two points if the offense does not contribute to an accident. If the violation contributes to a crash, the fine is $130 and three points.


 Remember – If a traffic light is out:

STOP, YIELD, PROCEED WITH CAUTION

 
Beginning October 1, 2012, a driver approaching a non-functioning traffic control signal from any direction at an intersection shall stop:
 
-at a clearly marked stop line;
 
-before entering any crosswalk; or
 
-before entering the intersection.
 
After stopping, the driver must:
 
-yield to any vehicle or pedestrian in the intersection; and
 
-remain stopped until it is safe to enter and continue through the intersection.
 
 
Intersection traffic control signals, most commonly called ‘red lights,’ or ‘stop lights,’ direct the safe and orderly flow of traffic in and through thousands of intersections acrossMaryland. Most are powered by electricity that can be interrupted because of storms, traffic crashes, or other incidents that cause power outages. Just because a traffic control signal is not functioning at an intersection does not mean drivers are relieved of their duty to exercise care and caution. The new law makes clear the procedures each driver must now follow.
 
 
Violations of the new law carry a fine of $90 and two points if the offense does not contribute to an accident. If the violation contributes to a crash, the fine is $130 and three points.
 
 
REMEMBER EXISTING LAWS:
 
If two vehicles approach an intersection without a traffic control device or with a non-functioning traffic control signal from different roadways at the same time, there is existing motor vehicle law that applies. In this situation, the driver on the left must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on his or her immediate right.
 
 
There are also times when a traffic control signal that normally operates green, yellow, and red lights may be in ‘flashing’ mode. This usually means red lights may be flashing in one direction and yellow lights are flashing in another direction. Flashing red and yellow lights on a traffic control signal do not mean the light is ‘non-functioning.’
 
 
In this situation, the drivers approaching the red flashing light must stop and can only proceed when the intersection is clear. Drivers approaching the yellow flashing light should slow down and use caution, but are permitted to proceed through the intersection without stopping. Drivers are also reminded that if a police officer is directing traffic in the intersection, they should obey the directions of that officer, regardless of the signal indicated on the traffic control device.
 
 
It is difficult to describe every potential intersection situation. Above all, drivers are reminded that it is their duty to always drive with care and caution, especially when approaching an intersection with a non-functioning signal. If other drivers are present at the intersection, remember to be courteous, use caution, and do everything possible to try to determine the intentions of other motorists and communicate your intentions, if you are unsure of how to proceed. Even if you have the right of way, it is better to allow another driver to proceed if it appears he or she is going to do so, instead of risking an intersection crash.
 

 

OCEAN CITY POLICE CONTINUE TO INVESTIGATE FATAL BALCONY FALL

On September 18, 2012, at approximately 3 a.m. Ocean City Police responded to a 911 call for help at 3602 North Canal Street, in reference to a subject who had fallen from a 3rd story balcony.

Police arrived at the scene and found the deceased body of an adult female, who has been positively identified as Kelly G. Degracia, 41, of Santa Monica, California.

Ocean City Police detectives are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the death. The OCPD is awaiting the final results of the autopsy from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Maryland.

OCPD PARTICIPATING IN NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK INITIATIVE

The Ocean City Police Narcotics Unit is inviting citizens to participate in the upcoming Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative which will take place on Saturday, September 29, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ocean City Police Department (6501 Coastal Highway).

The Ocean City Police Department has participated in the bi-annual program on two previous occasions. The Ocean City Police Department’s last participation in “Operation Medicine Drop” proved to be a success, yielding 26.5 pounds of medicine at the Ocean City location.  Joining officials from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Worcester County Health Department, Berlin Police Department and Assateague Coastal Trust/Coastkeeper, a total of 205lbs. of unused and expired medications was collected in Worcester County alone.

April 28th 2012 was the previous drug take back day which resulted in a record-breaking 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of unwanted/expired medications at the 5,659 take back sites that were available in all 50 states. There have been a total of four take-back days since the beginning of this program which has yielded a total of 1.5 million pounds (774 tons) of medication from circulation

In addition, the department’s commitment to get unwanted, unused and expired prescription medication out of people’s cabinets and off the streets has continued through the recent addition of a 24-hour drop box, donated by the Ocean City Elks Lodge.  Citizens are urged to not flush their medication or throw them away.  Disposing of medication properly prevents the medication from entering our waterways and landfills.

The Maryland Executive Board Members of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) have hailed this effort as a success in keeping unwanted and unused prescription drugs out of the hands of persons who shouldn’t have them as well as out of Maryland coastal bays and waterways. 

The program is free and confidential.  If you have any questions, please contact the OCPD Public Affairs Office at: 410-723-6665.

OCPD TRAFFIC ADVISORY FOR SEPTEMBER 19, 2012

The Maryland State Highway Administration will be closing the eastbound lanes of MD 90, between US 113 and MD 589 on Tuesday, September 19, 2012 between 9:00AM – 3:00PM for guardrail repairs. All eastbound MD 90 traffic will be diverted from MD 90 to southbound US 113 and directed to take US 50 East to travel into Ocean Pines or Ocean City. All northbound US 113 traffic wishing to go east on MD 90 into Ocean Pines or Ocean City will be diverted along US 113 northbound to MD 589 south which will connect to MD 90 eastbound. In the event that work is cancelled due to inclement weather, this work will be re-scheduled for Wednesday, September 19, 2012 during the same daytime hours.

 

This detour is needed to repair a damaged end treatment that separates the northbound and southbound lanes of MD 90 just east of the US 113 interchange. There is not sufficient roadway available to accommodate both the workers and equipment while safely maintaining travel lanes in both directions of MD 90. The detour route will be posted using Portable Variable Message Signs as well as a posted detour route utilizing static messages on wind masters. In addition, District 1 staff will have CHART activate the DMS located prior to MD 90 at Hall Road to advise motorist of the closure and to use US 50 as an alternate route to Ocean Pines and Ocean City.