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WEEKEND #13, 2009

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware


State police were called to investigate two apparent chemical reaction bombs (CRBs) discovered in a field south of Old Landing Road outside Rehoboth late Friday morning. Sgt. Walter Newton, state police spokesman, says the devices were discovered about 100 feet south of Old Landing Road at Marabella Lane, a future subdivision. This is across from the Old Landing Golf Course & Restaurant.

The trooper identified the hazard and secured a perimeter. Initial reports suggested that one or more devices had been previously detonated.

State troopers assisted by the fire marshals office "rendered safe" the two unexploded chemical reaction bombs. They fired pellets from a Gamo Shadow 1000 air rifle to puncture each plastic bottle to vent any possible chemical reaction. Upon impact, Sgt. Newton says the bottles did not have a violent reaction and were rendered safe. The investigators inspected the bottles. Neither bottle had liquid contents. Investigators have not speculated on a motive or suspects.



The maroon Honda CR-V crashed into the entrance of the Rehoboth Beach 7-Eleven around 11:20 p.m. Thursday. There were no injuries, but lots of broken glass and scattered bricks and debris.

Det. Kevin Jones says he looked at the accident report and the driver was charged with careless driving. He was told that her foot slipped onto the accelerator.




Earlier this past week, a pickup truck crashed into this house on James A Street, which is between Dewey and Rehoboth. Sgt. Walter Newton, state police spokesman, says 50-year-old Mark Kalb of 20661 Fisher Street drove his 1999 Dodge Ram Pickup into the house at 21 James A Street around 12:10 a.m. Monday.

Kalb supposedly left the scene and his truck was later discovered in a nearby motel parking lot. Kalb, who lives in the same neighborhood, ran back to his residence wearing only a pair of underwear. Sgt. Newton says a state trooper found him passed out on a couch in his home.

Kalb was charged with DUI, driving while suspended, leaving the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident. A neighbor says there was a pile of debris left in Kalb's own yard, and that there is some speculation that Kalb may have intentionally intended to ram another house in the neighborhood, but not this one.

The occupants inside the damaged house declined an ambulance to the hospital. The tire tracks across the front lawn show the direction the truck was headed when it struck the house and its attached porch.



This man is being shown the backseat of a Rehoboth Beach police car after he was arrested for allegedly taking money from a donation can Saturday morning.

Two male suspects were caught by a surveillance camera taking money from a Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary donation can on the counter at the Outgear and More store in the second block of Rehoboth Avenue around 10:10 a.m.

Police were able to obtain a detailed head-to-toe suspect description which was broadcast to officers around 2 p.m. The two men were accompanied possibly by a third suspect.

About 50 minutes later, a seasonal officer found the two suspects matching the description near the Sea Shell Shop. Police took the suspects into custody without incident.



A seasonal police officer radioed for assistance after a woman driving this orange Mitsubishi Eclipse almost struck him in front of Carlton's in the ocean block of Rehoboth Avenue around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

The officer said over the radio that he "tried to stop the lady and she almost ran me over." He managed to get her to stop. After running her through the computer, police placed her under arrest. Coastal Towing removed her Eclipse to the city's impound lot. They discussed charges on the encrypted channel.


He's one of Dewey Beach's police officers who performs many of the department's job descriptions. He is one of three sergeants, the department's detective and public affairs person.

Wednesday night I had the exciting opportunity to ride along with Sgt. Clifford Dempsey for almost five hours as he patrolled Dewey.

We hit the street just before 10 p.m. and go on roving patrol. One of the first calls is for a man caught urinating in public or "UIP" as they say in police speak. The man is in the military, and does not appear to even be drunk. He tells police he was waiting for somebody and had to go to the bathroom. They let him go with a warning.

We return to roving patrol. Patrolling the mile-long town is a breeze! Sgt. Dempsey drives north on Coastal Highway, turns left on one of the northern-most streets, then heads south on Bayard Avenue back to Coastal Highway to south Dewey, where he turns around, often at the Rusty Rudder circle, and the cycle continues, often with some variation. Sgt. Dempsey says the officers call it the “Dewey 500.”

While on patrol, Sgt. Dempsey notices a Ford Taurus with no headlights heading north on Coastal Highway around 10:30 p.m. He pulls the driver over near Saulsbury Street, below. The driver tells him right away that the car isn't registered, at least not to him.

After several minutes of sifting through the 22-year-old Russian man's records and several trips back to his patrol car, it appears that the seller had not notified the DMV that the car was sold, and this man has yet to register it. The man has both a driver's license and ID card issued through Illinois. That seemed somewhat unusual. But a computer check shows he is not wanted, and Sgt. Dempsey releases him.

Around midnight Sgt. Dempsey spot-checks the speed on vehicles headed south on Coastal Highway. He stops often in a northbound left-turn lane of Coastal Highway and shoots some radar as vehicles head south.

Sgt. Dempsey chats briefly on the radio with another Dewey officer about what looked like a Honda station wagon that was briefly speeding. Whatever it was, it got away.

Radio chatter from the Starboard caught our attention around 12:10 a.m. Resort Patrol security guards and seasonal Dewey Beach officers are already there when we arrive seconds later. The guards want an intoxicated 24-year-old man, who we later know as Brandt John Roberts of Pittsville, Maryland, removed from the establishment. It sounded like a long story about a dance with some woman that got Roberts in trouble. He appears to be drunk, is argumentative and irrational. That's him in the striped shirt and jeans.

Roberts' friends are still inside the Starboard when police tell him he cannot return or he'll be arrested. After a somewhat heated discussion, he reluctantly leaves. But Sgt. Dempsey predicts that he'll be back and they'll end up arresting him.

Around 12:30 p.m. we leave Dewey and head to the Wawa for a quick meal break. With a modest sandwich in hand, we're headed back to town, and just as Sgt. Dempsey predicted, we hear an arrest being made at the Starboard.

We arrive there around 1 a.m. to assist. Officers already are trying to place Roberts into the back of the Dewey police van. Amazingly they got handcuffs on him already.

Roberts is combative, threatening, screaming and out of control as officers attempt to place him inside the van. Once inside, he starts banging and kicking and shaking the van.

The officers open the doors and try to calm him. He's sweating profusely. They speculate again that he is not only drunk, but possibly high on drugs or has mental problems.

Three minutes later, we're at the Dewey Beach police station, and Sgt. Dempsey and two other officers put on gloves before they open the van door to move Roberts. He comes out screaming and cursing, and he continues to fight them as they attempt to get him into the side door of the police station.

Police charge Roberts with criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct and, ironically, he's later released to his friends. He is on probation for something. Dewey police issue him a criminal summons that will cost him $600. It's people like Roberts who help Dewey recoup the police department's operating expenses.

While the other officers tend to Roberts, we're headed to help a man who locked himself out of his rented townhouse. When we arrive, the man explains that the woman who is sharing the rental unit is off with a man she met, and the key they hid, is missing. He didn't want anybody to think he was breaking in, so he called police.

The unit has small crank windows in the rear, and a tight molding strip over the gap on the front door. Using a picnic table, Sgt. Dempsey and the man try but are unable to open the rear windows. Not an easy solution. Sgt. Dempsey checks the man's ID and recommends him to call the police station if he needs a locksmith later.

We resume patrol on the “Dewey 500” when Sgt. Dempsey catches a glimpse of two men urinating behind bushes in a lot on Bayard Avenue, and takes them by surprise as he pulls into the lot.

They are 21 and 23 year olds from Chevy Chase, Maryland, and claim to be Bethany Beach lifeguards. While Sgt. Dempsey checks them in the computer they sit together in the empty parking lot.

Meanwhile, one of the men's girlfriends comes over and starts up a conversation with Sgt. Dempsey. She drops a name of somebody who used to work for the department, but Sgt. Dempsey cautions her about doing that. “He wouldn't appreciate that” he tells her. Sgt. Dempsey does well dealing with people; friendly and firm.

Sgt. Dempsey wants to make certain somebody is sober to drive them home. They claim one of them is a designated driver and he gives them a stern warning. Sgt. Dempsey is still concerned, and after he releases them, he drives around the block and turns off his headlights and we watch them drive away. They get a good head start, but appear to be driving okay as we watch them head north on Coastal Highway.

A little while later, we hear on the radio that the state police have a suspicious person stopped on Coastal Highway north of town. Capt. Ron Hagan, the state police Troop 7 commander – known for working even when he's not on duty – is investigating a complaint about a suspicious man.

Capt. Hagan stopped to question an unusually tall Russian woman wearing a Castro T-shirt. She seems to be underage, has no ID on her, and gives inconsistent details as to what she was doing. She's also been drinking. Sgt. Dempsey is Capt. Hagan's only back-up at this point. But we leave shortly after a state trooper arrives to follow her back to her residence to check her ID.

We head back to the police station so I can return to Rehoboth. Sgt. Dempsey has several more hours before his shift ends.

It's almost as if Dewey Beach has its own guardian angel. Sgt. Dempsey says he's seen people seriously beaten to a pulp in drunken fights, but amazingly Dewey Beach PD has never had to investigate a homicide. Even those people who have jumped from the Jolly Trolley and the pedestrians struck on Coastal Highway have survived.

Sgt. Dempsey says he's noticed the economy's impact on Dewey Beach during the past five or so years. The town does not seem to be as crowded as it once was. He said a week night back then looked like a Saturday night these days.

For information on Dewey Beach Police Department's history, see the department's Website.


This sinkhole was reported Wednesday afternoon in the ocean block of Baltimore Avenue in the street in front of the old Camel's Hump Restaurant in Rehoboth Beach. It was about a foot-deep cavity under the surface. The city put a temporary patch in it for the weekend.




The 227-meter Swedish-flagged vehicle carrier Mignon passes the 250-meter Marshall Island-flagged crude oil tanker Overseas Acadia off Cape Henlopen around 5:50 p.m. Saturday. The vessels passed with about a mile between them.

The 10-year-old Mignon can transport up to 7,200 cars!

The Overseas Arcadia anchored in the Big Stone Anchorage Saturday evening where some of its oil was to be off loaded onto a smaller tanker. On Sunday, the tanker was used for hoisting training by the Delaware United Open Water Lifesaving Program. The tanker was built in 2008.




REHOBOTH VISITOR ACCUSED OF CRUELTY TO DOG--- A man got a surprise greeting when he returned to his vehicle and found his dog in the backseat of a police car, and an officer waiting to speak with him.

Rehoboth Beach police received a complaint that a dog had been locked in a red vehicle in front of Irish Eyes Pub & Restaurant in the ocean block of Rehoboth Avenue around 3 p.m. Friday.

The first officer to arrive radioed back that "there's a dog inside that's pretty hot," and "the windows are barely cracked." The dispatcher had told him that if the dog appears to be in distress, "we will need to take action to get it out of the vehicle."

Police were able to open the car's door through a partially open window. They removed the dog from its cage and the staff from Irish Eyes offered it a bowl of water. When the vehicle's occupants returned, police had just put their dog in a police car, and told them to follow to the police station.

Det. Kevin Jones says as he was leaving Friday he heard that the officer was planning on filing charges. Police received a similar complaint just before 6 p.m. on Saturday in front of Dave & Skippy's on Wilmington Avenue. But it was resolved quickly without charges.

WOMAN AMPUTATES FINGER IN BOATING INCIDENT--- A 37-year-old woman reportedly amputated her left pinky finger in a boating accident in the Rehoboth Bay. A boat brought her back to Pier Point Marina on Rodney Avenue in Dewey Beach around 4:40 p.m. on Saturday. She was taken to Beebe Hospital.

PERSON FOUND DEAD BEHIND O.C. MOTEL--- A man was discovered dead in the rear parking area of the Oceanic Motel near South 1st Street just before 2 p.m. on Sunday. The medical examiner was called to investigate, but it did not sound suspicious.

As an odd coincidence, a man supposedly told an employee at the Oceanic Motel fishing pier later in the evening that he had killed two people earlier in the day. He had about a 10-inch gash on his arm with blood stains on his shirt. He was about 6-foot tall, 190 pounds with brown shoulder-length hair. Police broadcast the lookout for the man around midnight. He was last seen in a dark old model low-to-the-ground Toyota pickup truck. It had a milk crate and fishing gear in the rear.

MAN GOES TO BEEBE AFTER CAPSIZING KAYAK--- A 48-year-old man flipped over in his kayak in the ocean and swallowed some water. He was taken by ambulance to Beebe Hospital. He complained of having a headache, but was conscious. It happened around 3 p.m. Saturday on Key Box Road in the Delaware Seashore State Park.

HOUSE FIRE IN DOWNTOWN BETHANY BEACH--- Firefighters were called to 1st Street and North Atlantic Avenue around 9 p.m. Friday for smoke in a house. They extinguished a small fire that was contained to the older beach house. No injuries were reported.

COASTAL HIGHWAY CRASHES--- It was another challenging weekend for motorists as well as fire/EMS crews on Coastal Highway in Sussex County. None of the injuries sounded life threatening, although one person was flown to Christiana Hospital.

During a 45-minute period Saturday morning, rescuers responded to three crashes in the Bethany area:

Saturday 10:05 a.m. - Accident happened in the northbound lanes near the McDonalds in South Bethany. Two ambulances were requested to take patients to hospital.

Saturday 10:25 a.m. - A bicyclist was injured in an accident near Oakwood Street in Bethany Beach. One report suggested that the 25-year-old female bicyclist bumped into a vehicle that had cut her off, and she fell to the ground. She was taken to Beebe Hospital.

Saturday 10:50 a.m. - Another accident reportedly involved a pedestrian at South 6th Street in South Bethany, but injuries were not serious.

Saturday 2:45 p.m. - An accident involving a moped in front of Jiffy Lube outside Lewes closed the roadway for more than 30 minutes. A woman on the moped in her 40's was injured. She had been wearing a helmet which had no serious damage, just some scratches. Because she had briefly lost consciousness, EMS personnel decided to fly her to Christiana Hospital. The state police helicopter landed on the roadway south of the accident scene. Lewes FD has posted photos on its Website.

Saturday 3:35 p.m. - Five people were taken to Beebe Hospital after a two-vehicle wreck at Grotto Pizza Grand Slam Restaurant. Lewes FD has posted photos on its Website.

Sunday 12:30 p.m. - An 18-year-old female passenger was complaining of neck pain, numbness and tingling in the arms after an accident on the southbound lanes near the Rehoboth Cracker Barrel. The vehicle she was riding in had been rear-ended.

Sunday 12:50 p.m. - A minor accident involving a bicyclist and a Dart bus occurred near the Rehoboth Kmart. But all patients declined an ambulance to the hospital.





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