Police to conduct sobriety checkpoint

The Maryland State Police La Plata Barrack, in partnership with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and the La Plata Town Police, will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint on Friday, June 28, somewhere in Charles County, according to a release from the barrack.

Motorists should appoint a designated driver or use public or other alternative transportation if one is planning on consuming alcohol, the release says. There is zero-tolerance for driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. This effort is designed to educate the public and make communities a safe place to live, work and visit.

Courts closed July 5

The Maryland Judiciary announced today that it will extend the Independence Day state holiday leave for judiciary employees to include Friday, July 5. Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera announced all courts, court offices and administrative offices will be closed on Thursday, July 4, and Friday, July 5, to observe the national holiday.

Individuals with cases scheduled for Friday, July 5, will receive a notice from the court regarding their new court date. The courts will also notify individuals who have received notices for jury service.

Normal operating hours will resume on Monday, July 8. For more information on Maryland Judiciary’s directory of courts, go to www.mdcourts.gov/courtsdirectory.

Man arrested for brawl over cigarettes

A 38-year-old Waldorf man was arrested and taken into custody June 12 for allegedly fighting with a gas station employee over the sale of a pack of cigarettes.

According to charging documents, Officer Monaghan of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office arrived at a Shell station on Mattawoman Beantown Road around 2:18 a.m., where he saw the accused Joseph Marvin Swann on the ground on top of a store employee, who was “underneath the accused, holding both of his arms back” with a witness’ assistance. After Swann was placed in handcuffs and taken outside, the report says, the store employee told Monaghan that he had denied the sale of a pack of cigarettes to Swann’s girlfriend because she did not have her identification.

Swann then allegedly entered the the store and became argumentative with the man, saying “I’ll smack you and take those cigarettes.” According to the report, Swann then allegedly walked behind the counter toward the cigarette display and took two packs of Newport 100s, pushing the employee down in the process. After getting the smokes, Swann reportedly continued “swinging at him with closed fists” and when the victim got Swann in a headlock, he continued to punch him in the face. Swann allegedly tried to grab a butcher’s knife that was nearby but was prevented from doing so. The witness arrived shortly thereafter and called 911 before he “started punching the accused to get him to let go of the clerk.”

After he was arrested and taken to University of Maryland Regional Medical Center for evaluation, the report says, Swann “continued his disorderly behavior,” swearing at a nurse “several times” before “he sat up and spat directly at her.”

Swann is charged with disorderly conduct, three counts of second-degree assault, first-degree assault, theft of less than $100 in value and robbery. Originally ordered held without bond, Swann was released on $25,000 bond June 15, online court records indicate. He has a preliminary district court hearing July 12.

Bryans Road man charged with vehicle theft

A Bryans Road man was taken into custody after allegedly taking a woman’s vehicle home from a former employer.

According to charging documents, the woman told officers she had made contact with 35-year-old Sinda Lokayi June 4 regarding the replacement of a flat tire on her 2009 BMW 335i. On June 15, the report says, Lokayi allegedly told the woman her rim was cracked and he needed to file a claim for a replacement. He asked her, allegedly, for a replacement key as he could not find her spare.

The woman allegedly learned in the course of the conversation the vehicle was at his residence, not the tire shop. Cpl. Foster of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office learned Lokayi was no longer employed at the shop but had allegedly been seen driving the car despite not having permission from the owner. In the report, Foster wrote the car was not at the shop when visited.

Lokayi was taken into custody June 16, according to online records, and posted $2,000 bond the same day. A district court trial will be held Aug. 7.

Woman allegedly brandished saw at spouse

A White Plains woman was taken into custody June 17 for allegedly attacking her spouse, from whom she is currently separated, with a saw during the course of an argument.

According to charging documents, officers responded to a White Plains home in the late evening hours of June 16 for a domestic dispute.

The victim told police he had arrived at the home driving a former partner’s car, which allegedly enraged 55-year-old Wanda Denise Milledge, who then “became irate and screamed” obscenities at the victim. While the victim attempted to walk away, Milledge allegedly retrieved a handsaw from the garage. The report states Milledge is accused of then striking both the vehicle and the man with the saw. The victim ran away and called police, while Milledge “continued to damage the vehicle.”

Milledge allegedly did $3,000 worth of damage to the car, the report says. She was taken into custody and was originally held without bond but later released on her own recognizance June 18. She is charged with first- and second-degree assault, possession of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure and malicious destruction of property. Milledge will appear in district court for a preliminary hearing July 10.

Fire marshal protects citizens

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is an agency of the Department of State Police dedicated to helping protect citizens from fires and explosions through a comprehensive program of education, inspection, investigation and fire engineering.

For more information on fire safety, call 1-800-525-3124 or go to mdsp.maryland.gov/firemarshal/Pages/StateFireMarshal.aspx.

Cash reward offered for tips

For those with information that will lead to the arrest or indictment of a person responsible for a crime in Charles County, Crime Solvers offer rewards up to $1,000. Anyone with information about an unsolved crime or the location of a fugitive will remain anonymous and may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS.

Tips can also be submitted online at www.charlescountycrimesolvers.com or by using the P3Intel mobile app on a smartphone, which can be found in the Android Store and Apple store by searching P3tips.

LINDSAY RENNER-WOOD

Twitter: @LindsayIndyNews