O.C. apartment complex to get security guards Teen-age tenants had irked neighbors

November 20, 1991|By John Rivera

The owner of a 40-apartment complex in Ocean City, charged with failing to control unruly teen-age renters during Seniors Week in late spring, agreed in court Monday to hire three security guards to patrol the property between 4 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily from Memorial Day to July 1.

Under a plea bargain in District Court in Ocean City, the charges against Robert J. Pomeranz, 39, of Bethesda were placed on an inactive docket for one year.

Ocean City police had charged him with keeping a disorderly house after persistent complaints by neighborhood residents about the rowdy behavior of youths at the Hitch Apartments at Fifth Street and St. Louis Avenue.

The renters have been part of a large number of teen-agers, called "Junebugs" by locals, who descend on Ocean City in late May and early June to celebrate their high school graduation.

Last year police responded to complaints by enforcing Ocean City's noise ordinance and making hundreds of arrests. But that didn'tend the problem -- despite 418 arrests this year -- and officers decided to begin charging apartment owners as well, said Sgt. Jay Hancock, an Ocean City police spokesman.

Officers went to the Hitch complex 25 times between late May and June 15 and arrested 12 teens there, Sergeant Hancock said.

Charges against Mr. Pomeranz and the apartment's resident manager, Marie A. Crown, 62, were filed after members of the Edgewood Neighborhood Watch filed a complaint. The group has also sued Mr. Pomeranz for $7 million, claiming harm to the neighborhood.

The defendant agreed in court yesterday to replace Ms. Crown orprovide her with additional help to oversee the complex. He also agreed to allow no more than four guests in a room and to bar access to people not registered.

If convicted of the misdemeanor charge, Mr. Pomeranz could have been fined $300 and sentenced to six months in jail.

Ocean City police hope the case will send a message to other landlords and will make them "understand that there's more to running an apartment complex than just collecting rents," Sergeant Hancock said.

Ms. Crown has asked for a jury trial, expected to occur next year, Sergeant Hancock said.

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