Monthly Archives: June 2013

Expect Altered Downtown Traffic Patterns During 121st Annual Fireman’s Convention

msfaThe Maryland State Firemen’s Association is currently celebrating their 121st Annual Fireman’s Convention. Once again, the convention will include a parade down Baltimore Avenue on Wednesday, June 19 at 1:00 p.m.

Downtown traffic patterns will be affected as follows: Beginning at 11:00 a.m. on the day of the parade, all northbound traffic on Baltimore Avenue will be diverted to Philadelphia Avenue at 9th Street. No traffic will be allowed on Baltimore Avenue from 12th Street to 31st Street.

Baltimore Avenue should experience congestion between 11:00 a.m. until shortly after 5:00 p.m.  Citizens should consider using alternate routes into Ocean City during these times in order to avoid traffic delays. 

Heavy pedestrian traffic is also expected along the parade route.  Parade spectators are encouraged to watch the parade on the sidewalk, avoiding the median at all times.  Pedestrians are reminded to use marked crosswalks while crossing the street.  In addition, pedestrians should not take unnecessary risks crossing busy streets against traffic lights and are encouraged to watch for traffic the entire time you are in the crosswalk.  Motorists should also be extremely vigilant while driving, keeping constantly aware of parade participants, spectators, pedestrians, bicycles, mopeds and scooters.

Town of Ocean City announces new Police Chief

After conducting a national search, which resulted in dozens of qualified candidates, the Town of Ocean City is pleased to welcome Lieutenant Colonel Ross Buzzuro to the position of Chief of Police. The position became vacant in January 2013, when 25-year Town of Ocean City employee, Chief Bernadette DiPino, retired.

As Chief of Police, Buzzuro will oversee the department, which consists of nearly 100 full time officers, 100 seasonal officers and approximately 20 civilian employees. In addition, his responsibilities will include developing and implementing law enforcement initiatives and crime prevention strategies, creating organization and community partnerships, overseeing operational commands and managing a multi-million dollar budget.

“On behalf of the City Council, I am very pleased to welcome Chief Buzzuro to Ocean City,” said Mayor Rick Meehan. “We had a number of very qualified candidates apply for the position and this was a very tough decision to make, however; Chief Buzzuro’s knowledge, experience and leadership stood out amongst the rest. I am confident he will be a great asset to the citizens in the community, the members of the Ocean City Police Department, as well as the future of Ocean City.”

Chief Buzzuro began his career in law enforcement in 1985, as a police cadet in Baltimore City. He worked his way through the ranks, serving as a sergeant, detective lieutenant, deputy major, major and eventually being named lieutenant colonel in 2007. A graduate from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy and the University of Maryland’s Fire & Rescue Institute, Chief Buzzuro has been a commander within the Baltimore City’s Special Enforcement Section, Patrol Division, Criminal Investigation Division, and Internal Investigations Division. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Management from John Hopkins University and is known for improving operations, effectively managing resources and strengthening relationships.

Buzzuro is expected to begin his new position on July 2. “I am honored to serve the residents and visitors of Ocean City as Chief of Police,” said Chief Buzzuro. “As Chief, I understand a key component of public safety is partnering with the community and understanding the dynamic of Ocean City’s unique environment. I look forward to accomplishing public safety through teamwork, professionalism, and discipline of the fine men and women who serve the Ocean City Police Department.”

Thurmont Man Arrested by OCPD In Connection with Early Morning Stabbing

On June 14, at approximately 12:25 a.m., Ocean City Police and Paramedics responded to the

Trevor Lee Testerman

Trevor Lee Testerman

area of 119th Street and Assawoman Drive, in reference to a stabbing.  Officers arrived at the scene and determined that three victims, who have been identified as an 18-year-old female, a 20-year-old male and a 19-year-old male, all three of which are from Baltimore, MD, had been stabbed.  

Upon arriving to the scene, officers learned that the suspects had left the area.  Investigators at the scene were able to quickly obtain a description of the suspects and their vehicle and broadcast the information via police radio.  A short time later, a Maryland State Police officer that was on patrol in Ocean City spotted the suspect’s vehicle in the area of 31st Street and Baltimore Avenue.

The vehicle was stopped without incident and the suspects, who were identified as Trevor Lee Testerman, 18, of Thurmont, MD and a 17-year-old female from Frederick, MD, were taken into custody. Two of the stabbing victims, whose names are not being released, were treated by Ocean City EMS and flown by the Maryland State Police helicopter to Peninsula Regional Medical Center for additional treatment. The victims, the 18-year-old female and 20-year-old male, are currently listed in stable condition.  The third victim, the 19-year-old male, had a minor wound and refused medical treatment.  

Ocean City Police detectives have charged Testerman with three counts of first degree assault, three counts of second degree assault and one count of reckless endangerment. The juvenile female has been charged with accessory after the fact.

Testerman is currently being held at the Ocean City Public Safety Building and is awaiting an initial appearance with an Ocean City District Court Commissioner.  The 17-year-old female is being charged as a minor and has been referred to the Maryland Department of Social Services Juvenile Justice for processing as a juvenile.

Former OCPD Chief Frank G. Pappas Passes Away

Pappas 3Former Ocean City Police Chief Frank G. Pappas passed away at age 90 surrounded by his family on June 9, 2013. Considered a law enforcement icon by many and a car eer public servant, Chief Pappas served as a monumental asset to OCPD during his time as Chief.

Chief Pappas took office in 1980 with a staff of eighty officers and ten civilians. As a former Drug Enforcement Administration official, he stepped-up the fight against drugs and launched a crackdown on other crimes to help preserve the resort’s “family image”. Chief Pappas also established the Quick Response Team, a group of specially trained officers that are called upon to provide tactical support in incidents that require special resources. Before his retirement in January 1986, Chief Pappas established a completely new police administrative system and rewrote the department’s General Orders, the operations and conduct policy manual.

Pappas 2

Left to right: Former OCPD Officer Kevin Healy receiving recognition from Former Chief Frank G. Pappas

“Chief Pappas was an essential part of the current success of the Ocean City Police Department”, said Acting Chief Greg Guiton. “Many of the initiatives and policies that he established are still in place today.”

Former Chief Pappas was a dedicated public servant who not only served the community of Ocean City as their Chief of Police but spent over 30 years with the federal gov’t as a member of the Drug enforcement Administration as well as service in the military during World War II.   Chief Pappas can be credited with modernizing our emergency communications system, police vehicle fleet, and organizational structure as a professional police department.

Police Locate Suspects of Armed Robbery

ArmedRobbery_6-11On June 10, 2013, at approximately 2:20 a.m., Ocean City Police responded to 12th Street for a report of an armed robbery. The victims, who are not being identified, advised police that they were walking along 12th Street and came in contact with a group of four males who robbed the victims at gunpoint.

Police broadcast a description of the suspects and their vehicle and were able to stop the suspect’s vehicle on 12th Street a short time after the initial lookout. The vehicle was occupied by four males, who were all detained until the victims were brought to the stop. 

The victims positively identified the suspects as the persons who had committed the armed robbery. Police identified the perpetrators as; Dominique LA Paul Pratt, 20, of Waldorf, MD, Derrell Levon Prince, 19, of Waldorf, MD, and John Riley, 23, of Washington, DC.  The investigation revealed that the fourth suspect, who was identified as Darien Xavier, Britton, 18, of Waldorf, MD, acted as the group’s driver.

Police recovered the victims stolen property, which consisted of two wallets that contained approximately $500, and two IPhones, from the suspects’ vehicle.  Officers also located a handgun that was believed to be used during the robbery.  A check of the handguns by serial number revealed the gun was reported stolen in Charlotte, NC.

Pratt and Prince have both been charged with two counts of armed robbery, two counts of 1st degree assault and use of a firearm in a violent crime. Riley has been charged with two counts of armed robbery, possession of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure and 2nd degree assault. Britton has been charged with two counts of armed robbery and transportation of a handgun. Charges for the stolen handgun are pending.

All of the suspects were seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner and are being held of $500,000 bond.   The suspects have been transferred to the Worcester County Jail.

OCPD and Worcester Co. Sherriff Crack Down on Drugs in June

JuneBuyBustArrestees_6-11During the past several days, the Ocean City Police Criminal Investigation Division and Narcotics Unit, as well as the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Enforcement Team, conducted multiple undercover drug enforcement operations at various locations in Ocean City. So far this month, these plain clothes drug investigations have resulted in 12 arrests and the seizure of various drugs and paraphernalia.

Police seized approximately $1,600 in cash, assorted drug paraphernalia and multiple controlled dangerous substances. The following people have been charged with various drug charges by Ocean City Police:

- Kassahun Assefa Kassa, 20, of Alexandria VA

  • Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana

- Maurice George Gay, 26, of Washington, DC

  • Possession, Distribution and Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana

- Gervon William Norris, 19, of Capital Heights, MD

  • Possession and Distribution of Marijuana

- Keith Aaron Ruffin, Jr., 18, of Harrisburg, PA

  • Possession and Distribution of Marijuana

- Patrick Marquis Clemons, 19, of Baltimore, MD

  • Possession and Distribution of Marijuana

- Christopher Joseph Benedetto, 22, of Ocean City, MD

  • Possession and Possession with the Intent to Distribute Marijuana

- Andres Salvador Collier, 28, of Amityville, NY

  • Possession and Possession with the Intent to Distribute Marijuana

- Isadora Marie Thomas, 20, of Ocean City, MD

  • Possession of Marijuana

- Arius Kajuan Marcelin, 22, of Salisbury, MD

  • Possession with Intent to Distribution Crack Cocaine
  • Distribution and Possession of Crack Cocaine

- Beau Brandon Fitzgerald, 20, of Severn, MD

  • Possession and Distribution of Marijuana

- Desmond Njemsen Acha, 18, of Westminster, MD

  • Possession and Distribution of Marijuana

- Justin Andrew Parsons, 18, of Narvon, PA

  • Possession and Distribution of Cocaine

Citizens are encouraged not to buy, use or sell illegal drugs in Ocean City and Worcester County. Police remind citizens that undercover officers will be actively ensuring the safety of residents and visitors this summer on the boardwalk and throughout the town of Ocean City.

Waldorf Man Arrested for Illegal Possession of a Handgun

David Lavell Wiggins

         David Lavell Wiggins

On June 08, 2013 at approximately 10:10 p.m., Ocean City police were conducting a traffic stop in the area of 127th Street and White Street.  During the stop officers detected the odor of Marijuana coming from the inside of the vehicle.  The occupants of the vehicle, including the driver, were removed from the car while officers investigated the origin of the suspicious odor.

Once outside the vehicle, officers began pat downs of the occupants.  One of the passengers, who was later identified as David Lavell Wiggins, 22, of Waldorf, MD, was found to be in possession of a loaded 9mm semi- automatic handgun. Wiggins, who did not have a permit to carry the weapon, was arrested and charged with possession of a handgun.

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

Disorderly Man Taken into Custody Causes Large Crowd

Joeph Tyrice Cromartie

Joeph Tyrice Cromartie

On June 9, 2013, at approximately 1:00 a.m., Ocean City police were on uniformed bicycle patrol near 5th Street and the Boardwalk when officers observed two males pushing and arguing with one another causing a very large crowd to gather. Officers attempted to separate the two males; however, one of the suspects, who was later identified as Joseph Tyrice Cromartie, 20, of Clinton, MD, became combative and assaulted the officers. One of the officers used his Electronic Control Device (Taser) to subdue Cromartie, who was eventually arrested.

By that time, the large crowd which had gathered at the scene began acting in a disorderly, aggressive manner, taunting and making threatening statements towards officers.  Additional officers responded to the scene, including K-9 and mounted patrols, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies and Maryland State Police Troopers. The crowd was quickly dispersed and order was restored to the area.

Per OCPD policy, Cromartie was transported by Ocean City EMS to Atlantic General Hospital for examination as a result of the use of the ECD/Taser device. He was shortly released to OCPD with no injuries.

Cromartie was charged by Ocean City Police with two counts of second degree assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct, failure to obey law enforcement and resisting arrest. Cromartie was seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner and was released on his own recognizance.

No officers were injured during this incident.

Handgun Recovered During Drug Arrest

Loomis Boakai Zayzay

          Loomis Boakai Zayzay

On June 8, 2013, at approximately 10:30 p.m. the Ocean City Police Narcotics Unit and Worcester County Sherriff’s Criminal Enforcement Team were preforming undercover drug enforcement operations on the Boardwalk. During their enforcement initiative, Loomis Boakai Zayzay, 19, of Laurel, MD, sold detectives marijuana.

Zayzay who was placed under arrest for possession and distribution of marijuana, was also in possession of a semi-automatic handgun, which police recovered from Zayzay’s backpack. During the investigation, Police also discovered that the handgun was reported stolen out of Clayton County, Georgia.  

Zayzay was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, possession of a handgun, theft of less than $1,000, possession of marijuana, and manufacturing and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance. 

Zayzay has seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner and was held without bond.  Zayzay was transferred to Worcester County Jail.

Washington DC Man Stabbed During Boardwalk Fight

On June 9, at approximately 3:35 a.m., Ocean City police and paramedics responded to 2100 Baltimore Avenue, The Stowaway Grand Hotel, in reference to a stabbing which had just occurred.  Officers located the victim, who was identified as a 22-year-old male from Washington, DC, in the lobby of the hotel. The victim, whose name is not being released, was bleeding from numerous stab wounds. 

The preliminary investigation revealed that the victim had been engaged in a fight on the boardwalk in front of the Stowaway Grand Hotel.  According to witnesses, approximately 30 persons were involved in the fight, at which time the victim was repeated stabbed and then helped into the lobby of the hotel by unidentified citizens.

The victim was treated at the scene by Ocean City EMS and transported to Peninsula Region Medical Center for further treatment. At the time of this release the victim is reported to be in stable condition.

OCPD Forensic Services Unit personnel processed the crime scene for evidence and detectives are continuing to investigate this incident.  Ocean City Police are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the OCPD Criminal Investigation Divisions, Detective David Whitmer at 410-530-5390.