Monthly Archives: April 2013

Ocean City Police reminds citizens to share the road with motorcyclists

OHS-10969_MotorcycleBillboards_3_6_Page_2This weekend thousands of motorcyclists are anticipated to visit Ocean City and the surrounding area as the 3rd Annual Bikes to the Beach Spring Rally is scheduled to begin on Thursday, April 25. In correlation with Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which begins May 1, the Ocean City Police Department is reminding motorists and motorcyclists to “share the road” and be extra alert to keep motorcyclists safe.

Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway. Motorists and bicyclists should perform visual checks for motorcyclists by checking mirrors and blind spots before they enter or exit a lane of traffic, and at intersections. In addition, pedestrians should also get into the habit of scanning for motorcyclists who might be hidden by other traffic.

“Safety is a mutual responsibility for motorists and motorcyclists alike,” said Acting Chief Gregory Guiton. “Drivers must be aware that a motorcycle, as one of the smallest of vehicles on the road, can be ‘hiding’ in your vehicle’s blind spots. Always check blind spots, use mirrors and signal before changing lanes or making turns.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than a passenger vehicle occupant in the event of a crash. Motorcyclists should also remain alert to other drivers, never ride impaired or distracted and always wear a helmet and other protective gear.

In order to help keep motorcyclists safe in Ocean City, the Ocean City Police Department would like to offer the following tips:

  • Remember, a motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle.
  • Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width—never try to share a lane.
  • Perform a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or exiting a lane of traffic, and at intersections.
  • Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a mo­torcycle – motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed.
  • Allow more following distance – three or four sec­onds – when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emer­gency.
  • Never tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.
  • Never drive while distracted.

In addition, motorcyclists can increase their safety by:

  •  Avoiding riding in poor weather conditions.
  • Wearing brightly colored protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet.
  • Using turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if the rider thinks no one will see it.
  • Combining hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to themselves.
  • Using reflective tape and stickers to increase visibility.
  • Positioning themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers.
  • Never driving while impaired or distracted.

In hopes of a safe and successful “Bikes to the Beach” event and Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Ocean City Police Department reminds all drivers and motorcyclists to help share in the responsibility of keeping all road users safe, and do your part by safely “sharing the road”.

Ocean City Police Auxiliary Officers and Detective Sergeant Jeff Smith honored by Worcester County Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council

Pictured from left to right: OCPD Captain Kevin Kirstein, Auxiliary Officer's Don Olson, Tonja Sas, Wanda Olson, Kim Herbert, Ann Gough, Charles Judd and OCDAAC Chairwoman Donna Greenwood

Pictured from left to right: OCPD Captain Kevin Kirstein, Auxiliary Officer’s Don Olson, Tonja Sas, Wanda Olson, Kim Herbert, Ann Gough, Charles Judd and OCDAAC Chairwoman Donna Greenwood

On April 23, 2013, the Ocean City Auxiliary Officers and Detective SGT Jeff Smith were honored by the Worcester County Drug and Alcohol Council at the 22nd Annual Drug and Alcohol Awards Reception for their outstanding achievement in drug and alcohol prevention. Their awards were based on their outstanding contributions to the improvement of the quality of life by reducing alcohol and drug abuse in Worcester County.

Over the years, the Ocean City Auxiliary Officers have volunteered hundreds of hours at “Play It Safe” events. Their dedicated support has helped ensure the mission of the Ocean City Drug and Alcohol Abuse Committee by providing visiting high school graduates with fun, drug free activities.

Detective Sergeant Jeff Smith was also honored for his superior commitment in the area of drug enforcement in Ocean City and Worcester County.  SGT Smith is the supervisor of the Ocean City Police Vice and Narcotics Unit.  He has been instrumental in recovering drugs and contraband having a street value of tens of thousands of dollars.

The Ocean City Police Department is very proud of all of the participants in the OCPD Auxiliary Officers program and SGT Smith for unwavering devotion.  The OCPD is committed to reducing drug and alcohol abuse in the greater Ocean City area and is thrilled to have these citizens and personnel commended for their extraordinary service.

Suspects Charged in Recent Counterfeit Money Crime Spree

On April 2, 2013, Ocean City Police began receiving numerous complaints regarding counterfeit money. OCPD officers took a total of five reports of counterfeit money being passed or attempted to be passed at local businesses over the next 36 hours.

Justin Michael Scanlon

Justin Michael Scanlon

During the investigation OCPD officers and detectives identified two possible suspects and confirmed that police agencies in Worcester and Wicomico Counties, as well as Sussex County Delaware, were also investigating the passing of similar counterfeit currency.  On April 5, 2013, a suspect identified as: Derrick Ryan Richardson 25, of Parsonsburg, MD, and a female accomplice were arrested by the Fruitland Police Department while attempting to pass the counterfeit money at a local business. 

Derrick Ryan Richardson

Derrick Ryan Richardson

As a result of this arrest, accompanied by the recovery of additional evidence and surveillance video, Ocean City investigators positively identified the suspects who passed the counterfeit currency in Ocean City as: Richardson and Justin Michael Scanlon, 26, of Ocean City. 

Ocean City detectives have charged Scanlon with:

  • Theft Under $100
  • Knowingly Issuing Counterfeit United States Currency
  • Theft Scheme
  • Conspiracy

Richardson had been charged with: 

  • Theft Under $100
  • Knowingly Issuing Counterfeit United States Currency
  • Theft Scheme
  • Conspiracy
  • Manufacturing Counterfeit United States Currency

Both suspects are still in custody at the time of this release.

OCPD urges citizens to turn in unused and expired medications

drug take backThe 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, April 27, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Public Safety Building (6501 Coastal Highway).

The OCPD has participated in the bi-annual program on three previous occasions. The Department’s last participation in “Operation Medicine Drop” proved to be a success, yielding 14.2 pounds of medicine at the Ocean City location. In cooperation with officials from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Worcester County Health Department, Berlin Police Department and Assateague Coastal Trust/Coastkeeper, a total of 135 pounds of unused and expired medications was collected in Worcester County alone.

The previous drug take-back day, September 29, 2012, resulted in 488,395 pounds (244 tons) of unwanted/expired medications at the 5,263 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states. There have been a total of five take-back days since the beginning of this program which has yielded a total of more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of medication from circulation.

Drug Drop Box at the Public Safety Building

Drug Drop Box at the Public Safety Building

In addition to drug take-back day, OCPD’s commitment to get unwanted, unused and expired prescription medication out of citizens’ cabinets and off the streets continues each day through the 24-hour drop box, donated by the Ocean City Elks Lodge. This drop box is located at the Public Safety Building. 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 those who shouldn’t have them as well as out of Maryland coastal bays and waterways.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative is a free and confidential program. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the OCPD Public Affairs Office at: 410-723-6665.

OCPD Arrest Suspect in Connections with and Early Morning Stabbing

Brandon Maurice Hudson

Brandon Maurice Hudson

On April 11, 2013, Ocean City Police responded to 2611 Coastal Highway “7-Eleven” store, in reference to a fight.  When officers arrived in the area, witnesses stated the fight had broken up and the persons involved in the altercation had left the area.

Approximately 30 minutes later officers received a complaint of a stabbing and met with a victim at a residence on 146th Street.  While meeting with this victim, officers determined that the victim had been involved in the previously reported fight at the 26th Street 7-Eleven, during which the victim was assaulted with a knife and sustained two stab wounds.  The victim was treated by Ocean City Paramedics and transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center.  The victim is expected to make a full recovery.

During the investigation, OCPD officers identified the suspect as: Brandon Maurice Hudson, 24, of Snow Hill, Maryland as the perpetrator who stabbed the victim. 

Investigators obtained information as to Hudson’s whereabouts and at approximately 4 p.m. located him in Berlin, Maryland where he was arrested in connection with the stabbing.

Hudson has been charged by the OCPD with:

  • 1st and 2nd Degree Assault
  • Possession of a Dangerous Weapon With the Intent to Injury.

Hudson was seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner and was held on $100,000.00 bond.  Hudson has been transferred to the Worcester County Jail.

STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION AND THE OCEAN CITY POLICE HEIGHTENS PEDESTRIAN AWARENESS OF SAFE CROSSINGS IN OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND

No Ped Crossing pic 1

New Curb-Top Markings Remind Pedestrians Not to Jay Walk;
Raise Awareness of Pedestrian Safety

(April 10, 2013) – Prior to the peak tourist season in Ocean City, the State Highway Administration (SHA) in partnership with the Town of Ocean City is installing curb-top markings along Coastal Highway (MD 528) between 52nd and 59th streets. About 100 yellow and black stencils advise “NO PEDESTRIAN X’ING” along Coastal Highway between marked crosswalks, where pedestrians may be tempted to cross unsafely.  Crews will finish installing the curb markings this week. Efforts and programs to protect pedestrians are closely coordinated between SHA, the Town of Ocean City Public Works Department and the Ocean City Police Department. 

The population of Ocean City swells between June and August to such an extent that it becomes the second most populated city in the State.  As a result the nine-mile Coastal Highway corridor becomes crowded with drivers and pedestrians, some of whom are not familiar with the region. Ocean City Police reports reveal the primary cause of pedestrian crashes to be failure of pedestrians to cross at marked crosswalks, or walking in a crosswalk, but against the traffic signal.     

The “thermoplastic” markings are the same material as stamped pavement crosswalks, not painted, which wear out faster.   Each marking has a usable life of between 10 to 20 years.

SHA, Ocean City Police and the MVA’s Highway Safety Office advise that a safe summer starts with street smarts – motorists and pedestrians following the basic rules of the road.  Drivers must stop for pedestrians at crosswalks according to Maryland State law and should follow the posted speed limit, as speeding only makes it more difficult to safely stop for pedestrians.  Pedestrians should cross at marked crosswalks, see and be seen traveling in an “expected” manner, look left, right, and left before crossing and when possible, make eye contact with drivers.  The extra moment it takes to stop for a pedestrian or to walk to a crosswalk can avert needless tragedies.

 

Ocean City Police Warning Residents and Business Owners of Counterfeit Currency

counterfeitThe Ocean City Police Department is warning residents, business owners and employees to be on the lookout for counterfeit currency being circulated in Ocean City. Since April 3, 2013, the OCPD has received 5 reports of counterfeit bills in $10 and $20 denominations that are being passed as payments to local businesses.

Ocean City Police are encouraging citizens to closely examine currency by looking carefully at the money you receive. Citizens should be aware of the security features located on currency. The three main security features located on bills are:

  • Shifting inks on the dollar amount located on the face side in the bottom right corner.
  • Security threads, which display the denomination of the currency imbedded in the bill.
  • The watermark located on the face of the bill on the right side.

In addition, the Ocean City Police Department is offering these tips to detect suspicious or counterfeit currency:

  • The genuine portrait appears lifelike and stands out distinctly from the background. The counterfeit portrait is usually lifeless and flat. Details merge into the background, which is often too dark or mottled.
  • On a genuine bill, the saw-tooth points of the Federal Reserve and Treasury seals are clear, distinct and sharp. The counterfeit seals may have uneven, blunt or broken saw-tooth points.
  • Genuine serial numbers have a distinctive style and are evenly spaced. The serial numbers are printed in the same ink color as the Treasury Seal. On a counterfeit, the serial numbers may differ in color or shade of ink from the Treasury seal. The numbers may not be uniformly spaced or aligned.

Ocean City Police are asking that residents and businesses if you locate suspicious currency to please report the incident to police.  Anyone with any additional information regarding the recent incidents of counterfeit currency occurring in Ocean City is asked to contact the OCPD Criminal Investigation Division Detective David Whitmer at: 410-520-5390.  In addition, the OCPD reminds businesses and community groups that a crime prevention officer is available to conduct counterfeit awareness presentations upon appointment through the Public Affairs Office.

For further information on detecting counterfeit U. S. currency, citizens are encouraged to visit the United States Secret Service Web site at: http://www.secretservice.gov/know_your_money.shtml.

Edgewood Maryland Man Arrested for Possession of Drugs and Weapons

Jerry Hurt

Jerry Lee Hurt

On April 2, 2013, at approximately 6:00 a.m., the Ocean City Police Department and the Worcester County Sherriff’s Criminal Enforcement Team concluded a two year investigation with the serving of multiple search warrants in Ocean City, West Ocean City and Berlin.

The target of the investigation identified as Jerry Lee Hurt, 37, of Edgewood, MD, was located in Ocean City and was eventually arrested pursuant to items recovered by police while executing the search warrants at a Berlin residence. The items included two handguns, oxycodone tablets, crack cocaine, and heroin.

Hurt was charged with the following violations:

  • Possession of heroin
  • Possession of cocaine
  • Possession of oxycodone
  • Possession with intent to distribute heroin
  • Possession with intent to distribute cocaine
  • Possession with intent to distribute oxycodone
  • 2 counts of possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking offense

Hurt was seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner and held on $100,000 bond. Hurt was transfered to the Worcester County Jail. 

Hurt is currently on parole for a previous drug distribution conviction in Harford County. Additional handgun charges are pending.