Here's your roundup of police activity for the seven days beginning Aug. 24
Poor driving leads to drug, weapons charges for Virginia man
A Virginia man who forgot to use his turn signal now is in a Delaware prison on drug and weapons charges.
Delaware State Police spokesman Sgt. Richard Bratz said 26-year-old Stevie S. Cornwell of Hampton, Va., also was driving without a license.
The case began at about 1:45 a.m. Friday, Aug. 24 when a trooper spotted a car headed southbound on South State Street. The car was traveling in the right turn lane, but suddenly changed lanes without using the turn signal.
After stopping Cornwell, a computer check showed his license had been suspended, Bratz said.
The trooper searched the car after smelling marijuana and found a loaded handgun with one round in the chamber. In addition, there was approximately 133 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and about $800 in suspected drug money in the vehicle.
A second computer check showed Cornwell was not allowed to have a weapon based on prior firearm possession and drug charges.
Bratz said Cornwell was driving with a woman passenger and a child in a car seat, however, the child was not properly secured. The infant was turned over to the Division of Family Services.
As a result of the traffic stop, Cornwell now is charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with intent to deliver a controlled substance with an aggravating factor, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, possessing, purchasing, owning or controlling a deadly weapon by a person prohibited, endangering the welfare of a child, possession of drug paraphernalia not related to personal use quantity of marijuana, driving without a valid license, as well as the traffic and child seat violation.
Cornwell was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace Court No. 7 and committed to the Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, in default of $59,303 secured bond.
Death comes three weeks after Felton crash
A 19-year old woman has succumbed to serious injuries a little more than three weeks following a crash near Felton.
Delaware State Police spokeswoman Master Cpl. Melissa Jaffe said Terri Monae Nashie Bruinton of Ellendale died Aug. 24.
The crash occurred at about 8:55 a.m. Monday, July 30 at the intersection of Roseville and Canterbury roads. Bruinton’s 2002 Cavalier crossed into the southbound lane of Canterbury Road and hit the left front bumper and side of a Dodge Avenger driven by a 56-year-old Houston man, Jaffe said.
The Cavalier spun around before coming to a rest on the road shoulder while the Avenger ended up on the roadway. The Avenger’s driver was not seriously injured.
Bruinton, who was not wearing a seat belt, first was taken to Bayhealth Hospital Kent Campus before being transferred to the Christiana Medical Center, where she died.
The crash remains under investigation by the Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit, Jaffe said.
Pedestrian crash results in death of Harrington woman
Police are reporting a Harrington resident died Tuesday after she was hit by a car in the city.
Dover Police Department spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman identified the victim Rae Short, 63.
The police investigation showed the crash took place at about 10:52 a.m. on Walker Road, east of Buttner Place, Hoffman said.
Short was on the south side of the roadway when she stepped onto Walker Road in an attempt to cross to the north. At the same time, the driver of a Buick LeSabre was traveling to the east when Short was hit with the passenger-side mirror, causing her to fall to the ground.
When emergency personnel arrived on the scene, Short was alert but complaining of head pain and an abrasion to her knee. She was taken to Bayhealth Hospital Kent Campus where it was learned she was suffering from a broken neck. She later died of her injuries, Hoffman said.
Police are not considering charges against the Buick driver, he added.
Short was well-known in Dover, particularly as a member of the Dover Capital City Rotary and a volunteer for many non-profits.
School custodian arrested in fatal shooting case
Officers with the federal U.S. Marshals Service have arrested a suspect in connection with a fatal shooting at a Dover school.
Rodney West, 53, was taken into custody Wednesday, Aug. 29, in Montgomery County, Md., State Dover Police Department spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said in a Thursday press release.
West is accused in the Aug. 28 shooting, which took the life of 39-year-old Derrick Combs of Dover. Combs was found Tuesday night on the campus of the Towne Point Elementary School, the victim of several gunshot wounds. He was dead when police arrived, Hoffman said.
West works at the school as a custodian, Capital School District spokeswoman Candace McCarthy said.
Hoffman said he could not give additional details as to how West was developed as a suspect or how the federal marshals were able to locate and arrest him.
Dover police are awaiting West’s extradition back to Delaware, where he will be charged with first-degree murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm in a safe school zone.
McCarthy said teachers were on hand at the Towne Point school Wednesday as students were told to stay home. Counselors were on hand Thursday to talk to students if needed, and there is an added security presence as well.
“We are saddened that the activity outside of the school between adults was brought on to our doorstep,” McCarthy said in a statement. “We will be here to support our families, students, and staff. We grieve for the unnecessary loss of life.”
Chase in stolen ATV lands Bridgeville man behind bars
Delaware State Police have arrested a Bridgeville man after he allegedly crashed a stolen all-terrain vehicle.
Tijere Baldwin, 24, was taken into custody Wednesday, Aug. 29, after crashing the vehicle while trying to escape from troopers, division spokeswoman Master Cpl. Melissa Jaffe said.
The case began when troopers were sent to an address in the 21000 block of Mill Park Drive to investigate reports of an ATV being driven on the roadway and causing a disturbance, Jaffe said. As troopers approached the ATV, the driver made a U-turn and tried to drive away. Driving down the roadway, Baldwin went into a field, hit a tree and then tried to run away. He was taken into custody after a short foot chase.
The black Honda ATV had been reported as stolen by the Wicomico County, Md., sheriff, Jaffe said.
Baldwin is charged with felony counts of receiving stolen property valued over $1,500 and disregarding a police officer signal, as well as resisting arrest, illegal operation of an off-highway vehicle, operating an off-highway vehicle on private property, operating an off-highway vehicle at an excessive rate of speed and other traffic-related offenses.
He has been committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution, Georgetown, on a $4,007 secured bond.
Found passed out in his car, Maryland man sent to Delaware prison
Troopers with the Delaware State Police have arrested a Maryland Man after he was found passed out in his car.
The vehicle was in the middle of the intersection of Evans Drive and Iris Field Lane, division spokeswoman Master Cpl. Melissa Jaffe said.
Gregory A. Dukes, 19, of Federalsburg, Md., was taken into custody at about 11:23 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29.
Troopers found Dukes unconscious in the driver’s seat of a Hyundai Electra and also smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the car.
Their investigation showed the Electra had been traveling on Sussex Highway when it left the road, hit a ditch and went back onto the roadway, where it stopped at the intersection. The vehicle had front end damage as a result, Jaffe said.
When arrested, Dukes was found carrying unspecified drug paraphernalia; a search of the Electra turned up about 1.4 grams of marijuana, six 1 milligram Alprazolam pills, a .22-caliber revolver, a .22-caliber long rifle, ammunition, and more drug paraphernalia.
As a result, Dukes is charged with two counts each of carrying a concealed deadly weapon, possession of a firearm while under the influence and possession of drug paraphernalia. He also is charged with possessing a controlled or counterfeit controlled substance, leaving the scene of a property collision accident, failure to provide information at a collision scene and driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs.
Dukes was committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution, Georgetown, on a $12,900 secured bond.
Litany of criminal charges laid following confrontation with police
Milford police are reporting the arrest of a fugitive as well as a second man following a confrontation with police in the city.
Following an investigation that lasted several weeks, the U.S. Marshal’s Service First State Fugitive Task Force located 28-year-old Tevon Savage of Millsboro, riding as a passenger in a parking lot on Linstone Lane, Milford Det. Timothy Maloney said.
Maloney identified the driver as Rick Barth, 34, of Lewes.
When task force officers tried to make contact with Savage, Barth put the vehicle in reverse and hit a task force officer’s vehicle parked behind the pick-up. From there, Barth surrendered, but Savage tried to take control of the truck and drive toward task force officers, which were in front of the vehicle.
However, officers reached the vehicle and prevented Savage from driving forward, Maloney said.
Both men resisted arrest but were subdued, he added.
A search of the truck turned up three bundles, or 30 bags, of heroin and marijuana in plain view. Police later determined Barth was under the influence when he was driving in the parking lot, Maloney said.
Both men are charged with manufacturing, delivering or possessing with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance, resisting arrest with force, conspiracy, reckless endangering, criminal mischief over $1,000 and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Barth additionally was charged with driving under the influence of drugs.
In addition to the above, Savage is charged with possession of marijuana; he also was wanted on domestic-related assault charges out of the Milton Police Department and a sex offender violation out of DSP Troop 4.
He also had a violation of probation capias out of Sussex County Superior Court and two failure to pay capiases out of Sussex County Court of Common Pleas and Sussex County Family Court.
Because both were under the influence, they were held at the Department of Correction until they were sober enough to appear in court.
Barth was ordered held on an $11,000 secured bond while Savage was ordered held in lieu of a $9,000 secured bail.
Illegal crabbing sinks Frederica couple
An investigation by DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers into multiple complaints of theft and commercial crabbing violations has resulted in the arrests of a Frederica couple.
DNREC spokeswoman Joanna Wilson identified the couple as Matthew and Patricia Ewing, both 35.
The couple was arrested for tending crabs pots belonging to another commercial crabber, stealing crabs out of the pots, and selling the crabs for profit, Wilson said.
Matthew Ewing, who is a licensed Delaware commercial crabber, was charged with one count each of theft under $1,500, conspiracy in the third degree, 22 counts each of lifting a commercial crab pot belonging to another commercial fisherman and unlawful take of shellfish.
Patricia Ewing was arrested for one count each of theft under $1,500 and conspiracy in the third degree, and 22 counts of unlawful take of shellfish.
The couple was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover. Matthew Ewing was released on a $2,300 unsecured bond and Patricia Ewing was released on a $1,100 unsecured bond pending future court appearances in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas.