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Dover Police Officer Involved Shooting 12-21-2014

On Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 12:03AM, two officers from the Dover Police Department were involved in an officer-involved shooting. The incident began at 10:38PM, when dispatchers from the Dover Police Department received a call from a Crisis Center indicating that James Long, 52 years old, was having suicidal thoughts and had vocalized a plan to commit “suicide by cop.” Long has been the subject of previous incidents with the Dover Police Department, including one occasion where similar threats were made.

Officers were dispatched to Long’s apartment in the Country Club Apartment complex located at 50 Greenway Square (M Building), Dover, Delaware at 10:42PM. Officer’s first arrived on scene at 10:46PM. At 12:03AM, Officers made entry to Long’s apartment after failing to gain Long’s cooperation. Upon entry, Long displayed what was believed to be a firearm and pointed it at the officers, causing them to fire their department issued firearms, twice striking Long . Officer’s immediately began to render first-aid until Emergency Medical Services arrived a short time later.

James Long was transported to the Bayhealth Kent General Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead as a result of his injuries. It was discovered after the shooting that the weapon Long displayed, was a pellet/BB gun, that resembled a Colt semi-automatic handgun. A photo of the weapon that Long displayed is included with this release. It was also discovered that James Long had booby-trapped his apartment with an improvised device designed to mix dangerous chemicals that would have created a toxic gas, in an effort to cause injury or death to police officers.

As a result of the incident, neighboring residents were evacuated prior to officers making entry into Long’s apartment for approximately 45 minutes-1 hour, and were allowed to return to their residences once the situation was deemed safe by investigators on scene. The officers involved in the shooting are a Corporal who is a 10-year-veteran, and a Patrolman 1st Class who is a 6-year veteran, respectively. Both officers have been placed on administrative leave with pay in accordance with standard department policy, until an internal investigation in conjunction with an investigation by the State of Delaware Attorney General’s Office has been completed.

Photo of the pellet gun used by James Long
Photo of the pellet gun used by James Long

At this time, the Dover Police Department has no further details to be released. All media inquiries should be made with the Public Information Officer, Cpl. Mark Hoffman.

Cpl. Mark Hoffman
Public Information Officer
Office: 302-736-7130
Cell: 302-222-5969
Email: mark.hoffman@cj.state.de.us

Dover Police Bag Serial Robber 12-20-2014

Incident #: 50-14-34428 Date: Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 2:19PM

Location: EZ Check Cashing, 1005 College Road, Dover, DE

Morris Simms entering the EZ Check Cashing Business on December 19th
Morris Simms entering the EZ Check Cashing Business on December 19th

The Dover Police Department has arrested a serial robbery suspect responsible for six armed robberies in just a couple of weeks.  The arrest was made after Morris Simms (43), robbed the EZ Check Cashing business at 1005 College Road just after 2:00PM on Friday, December 19th.  Simms entered the establishment, wearing a disguise over his face and forced his way past store employees and stole an undisclosed amount of cash from the registers.  The suspect then demanded more money from an employee and fled the business with the cash. Patrol officers made a speedy response to the scene and began a search of the area on foot, finding Simms in a nearby wooded area.  Simms fled on foot from the officers and into a nearby parking lot, where he was taken into custody.  Simms was committed to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center on $656,000 Cash Bond.

Simms is responsible for six other robberies in Dover including the following incidents:

Morris Simms was charged with the following crimes:

  • 1st Degree Robbery (6x)
  • Wearing a Disguise During the Commission of a Felony (7x)
  • Possession of Deadly Weapon During Commission of a Felony (6x)
  • Strangulation (Super Lodge Case)
  • Assault 2nd Degree
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Attempted Theft by False Pretense
  • Local Fugitive
  • 2nd Degree Robbery
  • Theft Greater than $1,500.00 (Delaware State Police Charge in a Separate Case)
Morris Simms Age: 43 South Farmview Drive, Dover, DE
Morris Simms
Age: 43
South Farmview Drive, Dover, DE


Fugitive Arrested by Dover Police K9 12-19-14

Incident #: 50-14-34369   Date: Thursday, December 18th, 2014 at 11:55PM

Location:  217 North Kirkwood Street (ELKS Lodge), Dover, DE


The Dover Police Department arrested a fugitive from New Castle County, late Thursday night.  Officers learned that 31-year-old Steven Roscoe, who was wanted on a Rule 9 warrant issued by New Castle County Superior Court, was at the Elks Lodge on North Kirkwood Street.  At that time several officers, including K9 “Spike” responded to the area, knowing that Roscoe had a history of fleeing from police.  Officers approached the Elks Club staff and asked them to have Roscoe step out, however Roscoe fled out the rear door of the building and ran from officers who gave chase.  K9 Spike gave chase after Roscoe jumped a privacy fence and ignored commands to stop by police.  K9 Spike was able to apprehend Roscoe and bring him to the ground, allowing officers to take Roscoe into custody without further incident.  A search of Roscoe after his arrest, led to the discovery of 1.9 grams of marijuana in his pants pocket.  Roscoe was charged with Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Resisting Arrest, and Local Fugitive (Rule 9 warrant).  He was committed to James T. Vaughn in lieu of $102,500 Secured Bond.

Steven Roscoe Age: 31 Briar Park, Camden, DE
Steven Roscoe
Age: 31
Briar Park, Camden, DE

Weekly Shoplifter Arrests 12/11/14-12/18/14

The Dover Police Department responded to 18 shoplifting calls between Noon on December 11th and Noon on December 18th.  Of those 18 shoplifting complaints, three were unfounded, five are still under investigation, and arrests were made/warrants obtained in 10 cases. A total of 12 adults were arrested during this period.  After the final shoplifting notification on January 2nd, 2015 the Dover Police Department will compile statistics since the notification program began and compare them to 2012 and 2013 numbers to determine if there was any success in reducing shoplifting incidents.

final graphic

Man Arrested in Domestic Burglary Case 12-18-14

Incident #: 50-14-34176   Date: Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 at 11:00AM

Location:  255 Webbs Lane (Pine Grove Apts), Dover, DE


A 21-year-old Dover man was arrested yesterday after a domestic related burglary.  At approximately 11:00AM, Dover Police were dispatched to a building in the Autumn Run Apartment complex for a burglary.  The suspect, Darnell Fullman, was arrested without incident a short distance from the victim’s home, but still within the complex property.  During the investigation it was learned that Fullman entered a female victims apartment through an unsecured window.  Once inside, he grabbed the victim by her hair.  The victim was able to get away from Fullman and escape to a nearby room.  Fullman then kicked the door open, causing damage, then proceeded to grab the victim by her arm while she was holding her 3-month-old daughter.  This caused the victim to drop the 3-month-old child.  Fullman fled the residence and knocked over a television and a table, breaking those items as well.  A search of Fullman, after he was arrested, led to the discovery of .45 grams of heroin on his person.  Fullman was committed to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center on $10,000 Secured Bond.

Darnell Fullman Age: 21
Darnell Fullman
Age: 21Charges:
Burglary 2nd Degree
Endangering Welfare of a Child
Possession of Controlled Substance (Heroin)
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Offensive Touching
Criminal Mischief 



Officer Releasing Information:
Cpl. Mark Hoffman, Public Information Officer

Dover Police Officer’s Send Local Family to Disney World for Christmas 12-18-14

The men and women of the Dover Police Department are used to giving to their community.  After all, that’s what police officers are supposed to do; protect and serve.  But for the last month, the Dover Police Department has gone even further with their #DPDGivesBack campaign.  From free Monday morning coffee to giving needy children and families Christmas gifts, and donations to homeless shelters, the officers of the Dover Police Department and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 15 have paid it forward in an effort to thank the community for their continued support and encourage others to help make the community a kinder and safer place to live.

Officers from the department recently learned the sad story of one local family and felt the need to make this Christmas an extremely special one.  The family lost their mother and father recently and John, the 22-year-old brother, has adopted his younger siblings. The family has also endured what can only be described as other extremely difficult challenges between the loss of their parents.   The Fraternal Order of Police stepped in and provided the funding to send the family on a one week, all-expense paid trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  The organization that represents the officers of the Dover Police Department provided round-trip airfare, hotel stay, transportation, 6-day park hopper passes for Disney World, 6 day meal plan, luggage, and spending money.  The family was brought to the police department for what they believed was going to be a tour of the department.  12-year-old Christopher wants to be a Dover Police Officer when he grows up.  As the tour began, officers took the family to meet the Chief of Police, Paul Bernat.  It was then that they were surprised with Christmas gifts under the tree.  As they opened the gifts, they discovered their magic wristbands for Disney World and were told of their upcoming adventure.  The Dover Police Department wishes safe travels to the family and looks forward to seeing pictures of their well-deserved vacation.

The family was presented with their magic wristbands for their trip to Disney World. Left to Right: MCpl. Dave Gist (President of the Dover FOP), Alexis, Christopher, Emily, John, and Dover Police Chief Paul Bernat
The family was presented with their magic wristbands for their trip to Disney World.
Left to Right:
MCpl. Dave Gist (President of the Dover FOP), Alexis, Christopher, Emily, John, and Dover Police Chief Paul Bernat
MCpl. Dave Gist presented this letter to the family on behalf of the men and women of the Dover Police Department and FOP Lodge 15


Burglary at Happy Fortune Chinese Restaurant 12-17-14

Incident #: 50-14-34178   Date: Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Location:  Happy Fortune Chinese Restaurant , 1030 Forrest Avenue, Dover, DE

The Dover Police Department Criminal Investigations Unit is investigating an overnight burglary at the Happy Fortune Chinese Restaurant located in the Gateway West Shopping Center.  The unknown suspect forced entry through the rear door of the business, damaging the door and door jamb.  Once inside, the suspect damaged registers and took an undisclosed amount of cash, then fleeing from the area.   Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Dover Police Department at 302-736-7111 or call the Delaware Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-800-Tip-3333 or go online at http://www.tipsubmit.com.