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WEEKEND #13, 2010

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware


Coastal Towing faces off with disgruntled would-be towee, again!

Hardly a weekend passes when somebody doesn't return to find that their car is in the process of being towed because it was discovered parked in an unauthorized spot! This weekend was no exception.

The lot behind the Rehoboth Beach Post Office has been a cash cow for Coastal Towing again this summer. Although several signs warn about parking in the lot, it tempts desperate visitors with potentially free prime parking. When the Post Office is closed, they might think they can park without anybody catching them.

Around 10:20 p.m. Saturday, police received a call that there had been an altercation in the lot involving Coastal Towing and a woman had her foot run over during the dispute.

Witnesses watching the confrontation said the women had come from a nearby bar and were returning to depart in their Ford Escape which was parked in the Post Office lot. They were upset when they saw the SUV up on the tow truck lift and confronted the driver.

One of the women claimed a towing dolly wheel ran over her toe. But several witnesses watching the dispute said she did not scream in pain or convince them that she was actually injured.

Rehoboth Beach police were called, although there was no request for an ambulance. Officers were a calming influence and helped mitigate a potentially volatile situation. Officers did point out to the women that several signs in the lot indicate that it is for Post Office use only. One of the women accused the tow truck driver that he was just "in it for the money." The women eventually paid Coastal Towing its "show-up fee" and exchanged paperwork with police overseeing the process.

Ironically, while the parties discussed the tow, two other groups returned, got into vehicles parked in the Post Office lot and waited for the police and tow truck to leave, so they could get away. They would have been next!

Dewey Beach police responded to a similar complaint at the Starboard Restaurant just after 3 p.m. earlier that same day. One of the officers on the scene radioed back that "apparently the problem was that they weren't going to pay his $40 service fee and they have since paid him... so I don't think there is any cause for response here."



Among those officers participating in Friday night's DUI checkpoint was former Rehoboth Beach PD Det. Kevin Jones, shown below interviewing a motorist. Jones is now an agent for Delaware Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement. His detective position has not yet been filled.

On the right is police Chief Keith Banks. Chief Banks says 732 vehicles were stopped and five drivers, like the one below, were detained for further investigation.

Only one driver, the woman shown below, was charged for DUI. She was stopped in the white Nissan SUV just outside of town on Rehoboth Avenue around 12:57 a.m.

Witnesses watching police administer the sobriety "field test" said the woman was unable to balance and an officer had to help her from falling to the ground.

The checkpoint ended at around 1:45 a.m. Saturday, but Rehoboth Beach police made several arrests for DUI this weekend.

This checkpoint is part of a larger initiative that started Friday and runs through Labor Day. For more details, see this Right Vision News Release.



A massive search got underway around 5:40 p.m. Saturday, after officials received a report of a "flesh-colored almost human-looking" object floating about a mile off Dewey Beach at Jersey Street.

Dewey and Rehoboth police, Rehoboth firefighters, the Lewes fireboat, Coast Guard, the state police helicopter and county paramedics responded.

The state police helicopter had been already airborne and was in the area within minutes. The crew spotted the object which had drifted north of Rodney Street in Rehoboth Beach. Around 5:50 p.m., they identified it as a balloon. Before departing, the crew made a few routine passes over the area. Nothing else was found.

Police and lifeguards have had several similar reports the past couple weeks which have typically been dead horseshoe crabs bobbing in the ocean.



A trash can and the Catts-Lyman shed, which stores beach rental gear, were among the surfaces discovered tagged Thursday morning at Wilmington Avenue.

The graffiti was not as elaborate, nor appeared to be similar, to that which had been painted on the parapet wall on top of the nearby boardwalk shops a couple weeks ago.





As of July 21, the Rehoboth Beach police department had taken 22 bike theft reports. That compares with 15 reported in 2009 and to 28 in 2008 using July 21 as the same date of reference.

But why the change? Some say it is related to the foreign exchange students, who could be both the victims and suspects.

According to the Rehoboth Student Center, the number of foreign students in town in 2009 was almost half of the number in 2008. This year they say the area has slightly more than 2009.

But Police Chief Keith Banks says we should be careful not to draw any conclusions and he does not make any correlation.

If your bike has been stolen, contact police. As of August 16, six have been recovered by police.


Police recover 2, 1 still missing

The most recent moped stolen in Rehoboth Beach was reported missing around 1:10 a.m. Tuesday. It had been taken probably late Monday from the bike rack on the south side of the bandstand area.

Dewey Beach police found the moped "busted up" in a ridge along the bayside of Houston Street around 8:25 a.m. Sunday.

Prior to that, another moped, or motor scooter, had been taken from Rehoboth Beach. Police recovered that bike when it tumbled from a Ford Explorer pickup truck that was fleeing police along Coastal Highway near the CVS on June 26, below.

The third moped is still missing. Rehoboth Beach police took a report on the night of June 11 that it had been taken from the area of the Mariachi Restaurant on Wilmington Avenue. Supposedly somebody loaded the moped on a gold-colored pickup truck and drove off.

In addition to the three moped or motor scooter thefts, Rehoboth Beach police have taken two other vehicle theft reports during 2010. They have not been recovered.



Photo by Greg Guise



REHOBOTH BEACH PATROL REMOVES SNAKE FROM BEACH--- A Rehoboth lifeguard said people were "freaking out" after a snake was discovered on the beach near Virginia Avenue just before 11 a.m. Tuesday. One guard put the snake in a bucket. They were unable to identify the species. It was small, about a foot long. The RBP Gator was requested to drive the snake to the dunes on the far north of town. Snakes are not uncommon on the beach, particularly in the dunes. Here is a snake photo taken last year by Jerry Sipes near Gordons Pond.


VETERAN GUARD REPORTS FIN SIGHTING--- At 5:18 p.m., just minutes before quitting time on Saturday, the Rehoboth Beach Patrol Hickman section supervisor radioed the patrol's chief. "I just saw something in the water and, ah, can I clear my water now?" he asked. It was in "waist-deep water and like it was up for like six seconds," he added.

The patrol's chief told him that they would be clearing the water in seven minutes, as they always do before they go off duty, so he should do what he thought would be best. He later said he did not clear the water early. Speculation from guards suggests it could have been a shark or an ocean sunfish.


REHOBOTH POLICE "TASER" INTOXICATED MAN--- A man, described as belligerent and drunk, was Tasered by Rehoboth Beach police around 2 a.m. Friday. It happened on Henlopen Avenue near the cemetery after police received a complaint. Police say the man was resisting and refused to comply with the officer's orders. The man was successfully Tasered without further incident and placed under arrest.


COUPLE FOUND IN CAR IN WOODS AT DEAUVILLE--- Rehoboth Beach police responding to a suspicious vehicle complaint discovered a man and woman inside a vehicle in the wooded area near the Deauville parking lot off Henlopen Avenue. It was reported around 7:10 a.m. Sunday. Police arrested the couple, but did not yet say what charges they face.


WOMAN CRITICALLY INJURED IN GOLF CART MISHAP--- A 49-year-old woman was ejected or thrown from an overturned golf cart around 10:45 p.m. Friday. It happened on Long Neck Road near Pot-Nets Bayside. She had an obvious head injury and was unconscious. Robbie Murray, paramedic spokesman, says the state police helicopter flew the woman to Peninsula Regional Medical Center.


BOY INJURED IN GO-CART CRASH--- A 13-year-old driving a go-cart was T-boned by another go-cart and pushed into the rails. It happened at Speed World at 2901 Philadelphia Avenue around 9:25 p.m. Saturday. The boy complained of neck/back pain and numbness and tingling in his lower body. A state police helicopter flew him to a trauma center.


RECENT STATE PARK VANDALISM AND THEFTS--- The Tower Road concession stand was reported broken into and vandalized in the Delaware Seashore State Park around 8 a.m. Saturday. Rangers returned Saturday evening after receiving another report that the bathhouse had been damaged as well. Meanwhile, in the Cape Henlopen State Park, rangers investigated at least three reports of thefts from autos in the park on Friday.


INTOXICATED MAN MISSING IN SURF, FOUND HOURS LATER AT HOTEL--- A massive multi-jurisdictional search got underway around 1:45 a.m. Saturday for a man who had just turned 35 years old on Friday and had been celebrating at Harpoon Hanna's. Later in the evening, he was last seen in the surf along the Maryland-Delaware line. He was reported to be nude and intoxicated when he disappeared.

Ocean City, Fenwick Island and Delaware State Police along with DNREC park rangers, the Coast Guard and Bethany Beach firefighters searched the beach and surf from Bethany through Ocean City for the man. Around 3:15 a.m., they received a cell phone call from him. He was safe at a hotel on 64th Street. Once police confirmed that the caller was indeed the missing man, the search was suspended.


OVERDUE BOATER FOUND SLEEPING ON BOAT--- A man's wife called for help around 11:25 p.m. Saturday when her husband failed to return from a boating trip. She said he left around 1 p.m. and was supposedly going to return around dinner time. He was reportedly in the Little Assawoman Bay, perhaps in the area of Camp Barnes and Harpoon Hanna's. Bethany Beach and Roxana firefighters came to search. About an hour later, they found the missing man on his boat. He said he had been sleeping, would call his wife and return home.


CAR POSSIBLY RAN OVER GIRL'S FOOT IN REHOBOTH--- A 4-year-old girl was injured around 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the ocean block of Rehoboth Avenue after her left foot caught the sidewall of a tire. EMS personnel were uncertain if her foot had gotten completely run over, or just brushed along side the tire. The girl was described as "traumatized" when taken to Beebe Hospital.


WOMAN INJURED IN REHOBOTH AVENUE BIKE CRASH--- A 21-year-old female bicyclist was peddling east on Rehoboth Avenue when she was involved in a collision with a vehicle near Christian Street. It was a low-speed accident that happened just before 7 a.m. Saturday. She suffered cuts to her right cheek, right knee and complained of wrist pain. A WGMD report says the driver of the vehicle was charged.


AVENTURRA FIRE ALARM SOUNDS AT 2:40 A.M.--- An audible fire alarm sounded at the Aventurra Condo on 53rd Street in Ocean City around 2:40 a.m. Saturday. Firefighters determined it was caused by a malicious activation of a ground-floor pull station.


DEWEY'S SURF CLUB GUESTS GET EARLY MORNING WAKE-UP CALL--- Burnt toast was being blamed for setting off the fire alarm at the Surf Club Hotel in Dewey Beach around 6:45 a.m. Sunday. The ocean-front hotel is on Read Avenue.


REHOBOTH PARKING METER TECH HELPS RETRIEVE NEWLYWED'S WEDDING BAND FROM STORM DRAIN--- The beach north of the Henlopen Condo is no stranger to weddings, with almost daily weddings this past week. A wedding had just finished Sunday evening and it began to sprinkle just before 7 p.m. Somehow the groom lost his ring in a storm drain in the oceanfront parking lot next to the Henlopen. A parking tech happened to be in the area and came to their aid. "The groom retrieved his ring, and the bride is very happy," the tech reported minutes later.



Dogfish Head in Discovery Ch. series: BREWED (film crew in town this past week)

Honors for Rehoboth Beach Police

As visitors dwindle, so do police forces

Beach crowd sizes begin to shrink

Fewer lifeguards on duty, but still on guard

Rough surf danger persists; rip currents likely to continue

Beach dangers outlast summer

Sussex Co lifeguards finish in 2nd place in California

Child injured after hit by car (Ocean City, Tuesday)

Rehoboth kicks off ocean outfall project

UPDATE: Bone found in Delaware Bay not human

Early morning house fire caused by lightning (Lewes, Wednesday) --- [VFD photos]

Fire on Nanticoke Ave --- electrical (Millsboro area, Thursday)

Traffic headaches after 2 crashes on Rt. 90 Bridge (Ocean City, Thursday)

5 injured, traffic gridlocked after Mercedes wrecks on Rt.50 (Annapolis area, Saturday)

Dewey faces third Ruddertowne lawsuit

Gunman robs Farmer's Bank (West O.C., Saturday)

Counterfeit bills on the rise


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