(November 17, 2014) – In 2013, Ocean City saw a remarkable 14 percent decrease in traffic collisions as compared to 2012. As 2014 draws to a close, police are optimistic for another decrease in traffic collisions but it rests largely in the hands of those traveling Ocean City roadways.
“The driver is ultimately responsible for their own safety,” stated Chief Ross Buzzuro. “If citizens choose to drink alcohol, we strongly recommend that they have a designated driver, call a cab or catch a city bus. And of course, we want everyone using a seat belt in every seat, every time they get in a vehicle.”
From 2009 to 2013 in Maryland, 856 people were killed in impaired-related crashes, accounting for a third of all traffic fatalities across the state. In addition, almost 600 people died in crashes where they were not wearing a seat belt.
“Our law enforcement partners are out there strictly enforcing our laws, particularly when it comes to impaired driving and seat belts,” said MVA Administrator and the Governor’s Representative for Highway Safety, Milt Chaffee. “We are committed to our goal of moving Toward Zero Deaths on Maryland’s roads and a driver making the right choices means that we can stop needless and preventable tragedies from occurring.”
More than 400 people were arrested for DUI in Ocean City in 2013 and there were hundreds of seat belt citations issued. Penalties for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are severe, including thousands of dollars in fines and fees, not to mention the increased risk of crashes associated with impaired driving. Drivers face fines of $83 for failing to wear a seat belt, a law that is enforceable in both the front and back seats.
(November 13, 2014) – The Ocean City Police Department will once again be partnering with the Santa House, Inc. this holiday season to provide food and toys to local Ocean City families. The Santa House is asking for unwrapped toys and monetary donations in order to provide gifts and good baskets to local families.
Unwrapped, new toys may be dropped off at the Public Safety Building, located at 6501 Coastal Highway, or any Calvin B. Taylor Bank location throughout Worcester County. All monetary donations and contributions should be directed to the Santa House, Inc. and mailed to the Santa House, Inc. at P.O. Box 14, Snow Hill, MD 21863.
For many years, the Ocean City Police Department and the Santa House, Inc. have ensured that struggling families across Worcester County were able to have a joyous holiday season. In 2013, the Santa House provided food, toys and clothes for over 50 Ocean City families and served a combined total of over 500 families throughout Worcester County.
(November 7, 2014) – On October 31, 2014, Ocean City police observed multiple acts of vandalism to city property in the area of 2nd Street and the boardwalk. A fire hydrant, dumpsters and railing had been marked using spray paint. Through investigation, officers were able to identify two suspects – William Kazimierz Placek, 23, of Laurel, MD and Poppy I Walker, 25, of Washington, DC. Officers also determined that the suspects were still in Ocean City.
Placek and Walker were located a short time later in the area of 112th Street and Coastal Highway after officers located a vehicle registered to Placek. Police located empty spray paint cans in the vehicle and placed Placek and Walker under arrest. Officers also located a knife in the vehicle. In addition, officers determined that Placek and Walker were responsible for three additional markings throughout Ocean City previously reported to police. While in custody at the Ocean City Public Safety Building, Placek destroyed a sprinkler head in his jail cell.
Police have charged Placek with six counts of malicious destruction of property, malicious destruction scheme and concealing a deadly weapon. Walker has been charged with one count of malicious destruction of property. Both suspects were seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and released on personal recognizance.
(October 31, 2014) – During the month of October, Ocean City Police Narcotics Unit initiated a drug investigation on a residence on the ocean block of 41st Street. The investigations, which was initiated after a citizen tip was received reporting suspected drug activity at the residence, determined that Shakeim Fitzgerald Williams, 38, and Tiffanie Amanda Sunderland, 22, were both living in the residence.
On Friday, October 31, 2014, at approximately 12:20 a.m. members of the Ocean City Police Department Quick Response Team executed a search and seizure warrant at the residence and located Williams and Sunderland inside.
Detectives also located approximately one ounce of cocaine (street value of approximately $2,500), approximately one ounce of heroin (street value of approximately $5,000), a felony amount of marijuana, over $500 in cash and hundreds of items commonly used to package and sell controlled dangerous substances (CDS).
Williams and Sunderland were arrested at the residence without incident. Detectives have charged Williams and Sunderland with three counts of possession with intent to distribute CDS and three counts of possession of CDS. Williams was also wanted in Worcester County for failure to appear for a previous possession of CDS case. Williams and Sunderland were seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and have been transferred to the Worcester County Jail. Williams is being held on $125,000 bond and Sunderland is being held on $50,000 bond.
Aaron Lewis Million
(October 31, 2014) – On October 30, 2014 at approximately 8:25 p.m. Ocean City police responded to the ocean block of 90th Street for a report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, officers located a 23-year-old male of Ocean City that had been stabbed during an altercation with the suspect, later identified as Aaron Lewis Million, 22, of West Ocean City, MD.
Prior to the incident, the victim’s girlfriend had been staying at Million’s residence for a short period of time and returned to the victim’s residence to reconcile their relationship. Million insisted on going with the female to the victim’s home. Shortly after their arrival, Million and the victim began a physical altercation and Million stabbed the victim multiple times in the groin.
Million fled from the scene and was located a short time later by police at a nearby convenience store where he was arrested without incident. Ocean City EMS transported the victim to Peninsula Regional Medical Center where he is currently in serious but stable condition.
Police have charged Million with first degree assault, second degree assault, openly carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to injure and reckless endangerment. Million is currently being held at the Ocean City Public Safety Building awaiting an initial appearance by a Maryland District Court Commissioner.
John Alan Stull
(October 29, 2014) – The Ocean City Police Department has charged a Pittsville contractor with theft and other related charges this week, after he failed to complete at least two construction jobs. The contractor, who has been identified as John Alan Stull, 49, took deposits totaling thousands of dollars from victims and then failed to complete the jobs.
Ocean City police officers were contacted on October 25 by an individual who stated that she contracted Stull to complete work on her home in September 2014. The victim reported that Stull was contracted to replace the roof of her private home and was paid $1,900 as a deposit. Stull never began the work and could not be reached by the victim. Charges against Stull are pending in this case.
During the investigation, detectives determined that Stull had previously been charged with similar theft crimes. On July 18, 2014, Ocean City detectives began an investigation after a victim reported that Stull had been paid over $10,000 to replace the stairs of a local condo building. After more than two months had passed, Stull never started the job and the victims attempts to contact him were unsuccessful. In this case, Stull was charged with theft and other related charges. Stull failed to appear in court in this case and is currently wanted.
The Ocean City Police Department Criminal Investigation Division is asking citizens that feel they may have been victimized by Stull to contact Dfc. David Whitmer at 410-520-5390 or email@example.com.
Lt. Scott Harner, AO Wanda Olson, AO Donald Olson and Chief Ross Buzzuro at a recent Auxiliary Unit Recognition Luncheon.
(October 22, 2014) – Earlier this week, a very dedicated husband and wife duo resigned from the Ocean City Police Department Auxiliary Unit. Auxiliary Officers Donald and Wanda Olson served as Auxiliary Unit volunteers for 11 years and donated a combined total of over 5,000 hours to the Ocean City Police Department and the citizens of Ocean City. Many citizens may remember seeing the couple conducting traffic details or assisting at many special events throughout the year.
The Olson’s will be greatly missed by every member of the Ocean City Police Department as they continue their retirement closer to family in western Maryland.
The Auxiliary Unit is a group of civilian volunteers that are trained to support the department and serve the citizens of Ocean City. Members of this unit volunteer their time to assist sworn personnel with traffic details, special event security, administrative assistance, and much more. Anyone interested in joining the Auxiliary Unit is asked to contact Lt. Scott Harner at 410-520-5318.
(October 21, 2014) –As all of the young trick-or-treaters dressed as witches and warlocks and party-going ghosts and goblins hit the streets of Ocean City, the Ocean City Police Department reminds everyone to be safe this Halloween.
Parents are encouraged to remind their trick-or-treaters of the following safety tips before going out in search of Halloween candy:
- Never trick-or-treat alone. Always stay with a parent or guardian. If the child is trusted to trick-or-treat alone, remind the child to stay with friends and only go to areas that are familiar and are well lit.
- Fasten reflective tape to costumes and always carry a flashlight. This will make the child more visible to drivers. Also, choose face paint and makeup instead of masks. This prevents the child’s vision from being obstructed.
- Only eat factory-wrapped treats and avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
- Enter homes only when with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit homes and avoid dark houses. Also, never accept any rides from strangers while trick-or-treating.
- Always remember to stay on the sidewalk and only cross the street at the crosswalk when the signal gives the okay. Walk Smart!
For those older ghosts and goblins that will be celebrating Halloween, keep the party off the road. Remember these safety tips while celebrating:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
- If you’re impaired, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation.
- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, do not hesitate to contact law enforcement.
- And remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
By following these simple safety tips, everyone celebrating Halloween in Ocean City will be sure to have a spooky good time!
(September 25, 2014) – The Ocean City Police Department Criminal Investigation Division recently concluded a theft investigation of building materials and scrap metal with the arrest of Melvin James Collins Jr., 25, of Pittsville, MD and Kenneth James Armitage, 23, of Ocean City, MD. The thefts, totaling approximately $3,000, occurred between September 18, 2014 and September 23, 2014.
Ocean City detectives were able to identify the two suspects through electronic surveillance. Detectives then conducted surveillance on the suspects and observed the two commit a separate theft outside of Ocean City and unload the stolen items from that theft at Armitage’s residence in Ocean City. Detectives placed Collins and Armitage under arrest. A search and seizure warrant was later executed at Armitage’s residence where detectives located numerous stolen items.
Collins and Armitage have been charged by Ocean City police with three counts of theft and one count of theft scheme. Both suspects were seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and were held on $7,500 bond.
(September 18, 2014) – On September 12, 2014, at approximately 4 p.m., detectives of the Ocean City Police Narcotics Unit, assisted by the Special Enforcement Unit and Patrol Division, concluded a three week drug distribution investigation with the arrest of Blair D. Smith, 22. Smith has no fixed address.
During the investigation, a narcotics detective made several purchases of marijuana from Smith. A second subject, Michael L. Blake Jr., 23, of Pocomoke City, MD, was also arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession and distribution of marijuana. Smith has been charged by Ocean City Police with two counts of possession of marijuana and two counts of distribution of marijuana.
Both were seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner. Smith was released from custody after posting $10,000 bond. Blake was released on personal recognizance.