Shed burns in Leonardtown

Shed burns in Leonardtown

The Second District Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad responded to two shed fires on Creek Road in Leonardtown on Saturday. which caused $3,000 of structural damage and $5,000 of content damage. The office of the fire marshal said a lawn mower in one of the sheds caused the accidental fire. There were no injuries.

Judge denies bail to man accused of stalking

A judge denied the release of Demond Antonio McKelvin of Riverdale during a bail hearing on Monday. The defendant was charged with second-degree assault, harassment, telephone misuse — repeated calls and stalking on June 13. McKelvin, 45, was accused of assaulting his girlfriend, calling her nearly 200 times from three different cellphone numbers and showing up at her job, according to court documents.

The document also states the defendant called the victim’s daughter to tell her he was watching police interact with the victim’s car in St. Mary’s district court’s parking lot. Cpl. Elizabeth O’Connor of the St. Mary’s sheriff’s office said in a court document the victim believed McKelvin was tracking her through her phone’s GPS. She told police that an officer in 2018 found a tracking device in her car. The victim, who drives a St. Mary’s school bus, told police he followed her to Spring Ridge Middle School, according to a court document.

“A police officer actually observed Mr. McKelvin try to force open the bus doors at Spring Ridge Middle School,” St. Mary’s District Judge Christy Holt Chesser said. She called the case “concerning” and did not grant McKelvin bail.

Domestic incident leads to assault charge

Robert A. Helmondollar Jr., 29, of Mechanicsville was charged with first-degree assault as a felony after police responded to a report of assault involving a knife. Court documents state that Helmondollar told police he was dragged out of bed and down the hallway by the victim. The victim told police she and the defendant, who have a child together, were arguing all day when Helmondollar started throwing things and broke the bathroom mirror with his fist, according to court documents.

“The defendant then went to the kitchen and grabbed a knife from the block and began chasing the victim in the apartment,” Dep. Diane Hersh of St. Mary’s sheriff’s office said in a court document. Hersh said he swung it near the woman’s neck but did not make contact. Court documents said Helmondollar also tried burning the victim’s credit cards on the stove.

Police charge man with assault and theft

St. Mary’s District Judge Christy Holt Chesser released Jospeh Gerard Denaro, 58, of Lexington Park on house arrest after a bail hearing on Monday. Court documents state Denaro was arguing with his girlfriend when he took and hid the victim’s purse, grabbed and threw her to the ground and hit her in the back of the head with an “unknown object.” She also said Denaro took her food stamp card worth $20.

Police said they saw a bump on her head that was consistent with the victim’s recap. Denaro was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and theft of less than $100.

Man, 28, arrested for DUI and possession

Michael Kelly Fitzpatrick, 28, was arrested for possession of paraphernalia, possession of a drug that was not marijuana and driving under the influence on Thursday. St. Mary’s District Judge Christy Holt Chesser released him on house arrest during Monday’s bail hearing. Maryland State Police Trooper Jason Mulhearn said in court documents he spotted the defendant going east on on Route 245 with a side door open, swerve off the road and get stuck in mud.

Police said his license was suspended and he performed poorly on a sobriety test, according to a court document.

St. Mary’s Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Boyd said Fitzpatrick has been pulled over twice in 18 days for alleged DUIs. Assistant public defender Rais Akbar said the defendant has a prescription for one of the drugs he was charged with possessing.

Sheriff posts crime news on blog

The St. Mary’s sheriff’s office posts news and information on incidents and arrests, including photographs of suspects, online at

The sheriff’s office also posts surveillance images and other information on the website when the public’s assistance is being sought during ongoing investigations, and the website’s links include access to NIXLE alerts and sheriff’s office Twitter posts.

Email addresses can be entered on the website, to receive a daily sheriff’s office summary of information.

In addition, the sheriff’s office posts photos on Instagram, under the username stmaryssheriff, along with the agency’s ongoing entries on its Facebook page.

Sheriff’s office offers online crime reporting option

The St. Mary’s sheriff’s office offers citizens a web-based method to report minor crimes where there is no suspect information or other investigative leads. The online reporting system can be used to report any suspicious incidents, lost property, theft, or vandalism.

When no suspect is known or seen in connection with these incidents, the sheriff’s office urges residents to use the online reporting system, including in cases involving missing cellphones, wallets and other items of value.

If information about a suspect is known, residents should continue to call the sheriff’s office’s non-emergency line at 301-475-8008, for a deputy to be dispatched to take a report of the incident. As always, if there is an emergency, a crime in progress, or an immediate need for medical assistance, dial 911.

The sheriff’s office has described the online reporting system as a valuable adjunct to direct contact with the sheriff’s office in situations where the citizen reporting the offense does not know who committed the crime. The new program saves crime victims time when reporting a minor offense, according to the sheriff, and it allows deputies to perform their investigations more efficiently.

Citizens can access the reporting system by going online to, or through the sheriff’s office website at For more information, call 301-475-8008.

Reward offered for tips in cases

Citizens with information about unsolved crimes in St. Mary’s can collect a cash reward by calling St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers 24 hours a day at 301-475-3333. They can withhold their name and later collect their reward through a number-identification system.

The Crime Solvers program assists law enforcement in solving open investigations that may not have been closed without the extra incentive of anonymity and an offer of a reward, providing the information leads to an arrest or indictment.

The Crime Solvers board of directors meets at 10 a.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the county’s Northern Senior Center in Charlotte Hall.

Contributions to the St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers reward fund can be mailed to St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers Inc. at P.O. Box 221, Mechanicsville, MD 20659. St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers Inc. is a designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The full amount of gifts is tax deductible to the extent of the law, since no goods or services were provided in relation to the contribution.

St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers Inc. does not receive any taxpayer dollars to help in its efforts. All money is raised through Crime Solvers’ fundraising efforts, and donations from businesses and the public.

Sheriff welcomes text-message tips

Cellphones and other handheld communication devices can be used to send text messages with tips for the St. Mary’s sheriff’s office, by texting TIP239, plus the message, to CRIMES, numerically 274637. For more information on the text-message program, go online to

Police tips line open

Maryland State Police in Leonardtown operate a Tips Line at 410-257-4925 or 888-210-1450, inviting anyone with information about a crime that has occurred, or they expect may occur, to anonymously report that information 24 hours a day to authorities. Citizens may use the same telephone number to report concerns to police that do not involve criminal activity.

Information also can be submitted by email to, and police investigators can be followed on Facebook at CED-Central South.

Kristen Griffith

Kristen Griffith