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Ocean City Man Charged in Fatal Boating Accident

A fatal boating accident investigation, a hunter interference case and illegal oystering topped the list of incidents handled recently by the Maryland Natural Resources Police.

An Ocean City man has been charged with multiple boating violations in connection with an accident that lead to the death of a 9-year-old boy.

Tyler Barnes, 33, operates Ocean City Watersports LLC, which rented a pontoon boat to a New Jersey family in August. A boy, one of 17 people aboard the vessel, slipped off the bow of the boat and was struck multiple times by the propeller, killing him.

Barnes was charged with negligent operation of a vessel, two counts of failing to have required safety equipment on board, renting a boat lacking proper equipment and failing to keep records. A Worcester County District Court commissioner found probable cause yesterday and issued a criminal summons.

Kaden Frederick was one of four people sitting with their legs dangling from the front of the boat as it traveled in Sinepuxent Bay. Bow riding is illegal in Maryland.

When Frederick fell between the pontoons, the operator couldn’t stop the vessel and the propeller struck the boy. Emergency crews couldn’t resuscitate the child.

Barnes has a preliminary hearing set for Feb. 17 in Worcester County District Court. If he chooses, he may plead guilty before that date to any or all of the charges. The cumulative pre-payable fine would be $640.

A trail camera that was stolen from private land in Charles County transmitted pictures of the suspect that led officers right to the man’s front door.

Paul Anthony Triola, 42, of LaPlata was charged Tuesday with theft, trespassing and intentionally interfering with a hunter.

A hunter called officers Dec. 10 to report that a trail camera was stolen from property he has leased for about five years. Before it was turned off, the camera emailed photos of the suspect to the owner’s account.

On Dec. 22, the hunter called to say he had additional photos from a second trail camera on the property that showed a man in camouflage spraying liquid – later confirmed to be deer repellant – from a container and scooping up corn being used as bait.

The officers continued the investigation and determined that Triola was the man in the photos. When questioned, Triola gave the trail camera to the officers.

Triola is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing in Charles County District Court Feb. 13. If found guilty of all three charges, he could be fined as much as $2,500 and sentenced to jail time.

Three Talbot County men were charged Saturday with illegal oyster harvesting in separate incidents on the Tred Avon and Miles rivers.

Matthew James Booze, 33, of Cambridge, was charged with power dredging in an area reserved for hand tonging. Officers on surveillance determined that he was more than 150 feet inside the Tred Avon area Dec. 13, an observation that was confirmed by the department’s hydrographic unit.

Richard Allen Layman II, 30, and John Denny Lomax, 37, both of Royal Oak, were seen diving more than 150 feet inside a hand tong-only area on the Miles River Dec. 6. Officers seized 2½ bushels of oysters and returned them to the water. A review by the hydrographic unit confirmed the distance of the incursion.

All three men are scheduled to appear in Talbot County District Court March 16. If found guilty, each could be fined as much as $1,000.