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Local/State News for week ending 11/23/2008

High-Speed Pursuit, Foot Chase
Nets Two Arrests, Recovery of
Sarasota Stolen Vehicle

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff's Deputies, some with K-9s, and a sheriff's helicopter managed to chase, then arrest, two men in a stolen vehicle on Wednesday, November 19, 2008, shortly after 7 p.m.

Above, L to R, David Wheatley and Jason Romine

According to the sheriff's office report, a vehicle stolen out of Sarasota County registered to Pender Noriega was located traveling west on State Road 70 at 45th Street East.

When the vehicle and its two occupants spotted law enforcement, they began to flee west on S.R. 70. A pursuit was initiated at 7:19 p.m.

Speeds never went over 70 m.p.h. and traffic conditions were good.

The two occupants and the vehicle turned into the Sweetbay shopping plaza at 3300 S.R. 70.

Above, the scene at the end of the police chase
(Photo by Heather Chadwick, NewsManatee)

The men drove behind the plaza, exited the vehicle, and fled on foot.

A perimeter was quickly established and 3 K-9 units responded, along with the aviation unit.

Above, K-9 Deputy "Vito"

The driver, David Wheatley, 25, was apprehended by K-9 Deputy Petta, at 7:39 p.m., after receiving a bite to his right ankle from Dep. Petta's K-9 Dep. "Vito."

Jason Romine, 24, was located by the aviation unit hiding in a marshy area at 9:31 p.m.

Wheatley was treated and released at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center and photographs of his injury were taken on scene.

The pursuit had a total duration of 2 minutes.

Wheatley was charged with Grand Theft Auto, Driving on a Suspended License with Knowledge and Failure to Obey a Law Enforcement Officer's Order to Stop.

Romine was charged with Burglary of a Structure or Conveyance and Resisting Arrest without Violence.

Two Men Arrested Behind
Applebee's Restaurant; One
for Selling Crack Cocaine,
One for Buying the Drug

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested two men. One was selling crack cocaine, the other was purchasing it.

Above, L to R, Lawrence Isom, Jr., and Dustin Allen

According to the arrest report from BPD, on Wednesday, November 18, 2008, officers were patrolling the parking lot of Applebee's restaurant in the 4300 block of Cortez Road West in an unmarked police vehicle due to recent car burglaries and drug activity.

While doing so, they observed a white 4-door Cadillac in the parking lot with the interior lights on, behind Applebee's.

They approached the vehicle wearing their vests clearly marked "police."

Lawrence Isom was sitting in the driver's seat. He appeared to be counting out pieces of crack cocaine in his lap. Dustin Allen was watching Isom as he counted and had several $20 bills in his hand, adding up to $100. There was a firearm on the driver's side floor board in plain view, the report said.

With guns drawn, the officers had the pair drop the cocaine and exit the vehicle. They were both then handcuffed.

The firearm was a Taurus Millenium Pro. It was stolen out of Manatee County, officers learned.

There was also a small amount of marijuana (16.5 grams) in the vehicle.

Allen was charged with Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Purchase.

Isom was charged with Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Sell, Possession of Marijuana, Convicted Felon in Possession of a Concealed Firearm, and Possession of Stolen Property (Firearm).

Manatee Deputies Stop,
Question Burglar Shortly
After Burglary Occurred

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff's Deputies stopped and questioned Ignacio Rocha, 21, of 3308 5th Street East, in Bradenton, shortly after Rocha apparently burglarized a residence in the 1000 block of 30th Avenue East, Bradenton.

Ignacio Rocha

According to the arrest report, on Friday, November 14, 2008, a deputy stopped Ignacio and his juvenile friend, identified as "Fortino" in the report. They were riding bikes and carrying several duffel bags.

The deputy asked Fortino why he wasn't in school and Fortino told the deputy he was leaving his parents' house to go live with Ignacio.

Fortino said the items in the duffel bags were his, except for two paint ball guns, which he said were Ignacio's.

The deputy asked if he could look inside the duffel bags and they gave consent to search.

Inside were a Sanyo DVD player, a pocket knife, video games, two CD players, a pair of gloves and some frozen food, along with a plastic container with a meat loaf inside it, and the two paint ball guns.

Fortino couldn't give an accurate description of any of the items he said were his.

All of the items were placed into property until Fortino could provide proof of ownership. Fortino signed the property receipt saying they were his, and the pair was allowed to go on their merry way.

But then, a few hours later, another deputy responded to a burglary incident in the 1000 block of 30th Avenue East, Bradenton. The owner of the home was in the hospital but her care giver was there and named the items that were stolen, which matched everything the first deputy had found in the duffel bags, even the meat loaf, and including the paint ball guns, which Ignacio had said were his.

On Tuesday, November 18, 2008, Ignacio was located at his residence and arrested. He was charged with Burglary to an Occupied Dwelling.

It is unknown if Fortino was also arrested, what his full name is or how old he is; the report did not say.

Palmetto Police Arrest Man
for Dealing in Stolen Property

PALMETTO, Florida [NMT] -- The Palmetto Police Department has arrested Donald W. Welch, 37, of 1419 10th Street East, in Palmetto.

Donald W. Welch

According to the arrest report, on November 4, 2008, Welch, who works for an unnamed victim doing landscape work, took the victim's chain saw and pawned it at Cash America pawn shop.

Detectives confirmed this through the pawn shop by the serial number and Welch's name on the pawn ticket.

The victim did not give permission for Welch to take his property or pawn it, the report said.

Welch was arrested on Tuesday, November 18, 2008, and charged with Dealing in Stolen Property.

Three Railroad Cars Donated
to Florida Railroad Museum

PARRISH, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Railroad Museum has announced they received three railroad cars, donated by Mosaic and refurbished by Mulberry Railcar and CSX. An event celebrating the donation was held on Thursday, November 20, 2008, at 10:30 a.m.

Officials were on hand for the event from Mosaic, CSX and Mulberry Railcar.

Children from Duette Elementary School led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a stirring rendition of "I've Been Working on the Railroad." The Pledge of Allegiance and performance were led by Donna King, Principal of Duette Elementary School.

Florida Railroad Museum President Steve Wonderly accepted the donation and introduced the guests.

Attendees received a free train ride following the ceremony that was held in Parrish at the Depot.

Members of the Parrish Civic Association were also present.

The Florida Railroad Museum was founded in 1982. Its entire staff, with the exception of one onsite manager, are volunteers. More than 24,000 people visited the museum in 2008. The museum has more than 300 members and it collected more than $100,000.00 in 2007 from in-kind and cash donations.

Shadybrook Village Condos
Visited 33 Times in 100 Days
By Manatee County Deputies

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- In our continuing periodic series on crimes committed in certain areas of Manatee County, today we feature Shadybrook Village Condos, located at the main address of 955 Byron Place, in South Manatee County.

According to the Crime Analysis Unit of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, Shadybrook was visited by deputies 33 times in the 100 days between August 1st and November 11th, 2008.

The crimes reported were as follows:

1 Aggravated Assault
2 Destruction/Damage/Vandalism
1 Forcible Rape
1 Intimidation
2 Larceny: All Other
1 Larceny: Bicycles
2 Larceny: From Building
3 Larceny: From Motor Vehicle
2 Larceny: Motor Vehicle Parts
14 Miscellaneous
4 Simple Assault


Statistically speaking, there was an average of 1 crime reported every three days.

Shadybrook Village Condos has 177 units.

Definition of Larceny: In the United States, larceny is a common law crime involving theft. Under the common law, larceny is the trespassory asportation (removal) and taking of the tangible personal property of another with the intent to deprive him or her of it permanently.

If you want your apartment, condo or mobile home village examined within a certain period of time for crimes committed in unincorporated Manatee County, please e-mail with your request, including the exact area upon which you wish to have a report.

Man Knocked Down with Pipe
During Attempted Robbery

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a man was knocked to the ground by a man with a pipe during an attempted robbery on Wednesday, November 19, 2008, at about 8:45 p.m. in the 6900 block of Manatee Avenue West.

The report said the victim, Christopher Phillips, was rooting through items in his vehicle, which was parked in front of his apartment.

When he closed the door and turned, he was struck on the head with a pipe like object by the would-be robber. This knocked Phillips to the ground.

As Phillips was attempting to collect himself, the wanna-be robber went through Phillips' pockets.

But there was nothing in Phillips' pockets to be stolen.

The culprit then ran away.

Phillips' injuries were not serious, the report said.

The assailant was described as a Hispanic male in his early 20s, 5'5" tall, about 130 pounds, and was last seen wearing a black hoodie and jeans.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, .

Callers to the Crime Stoppers tip line and Tipsters who submit e-Tips by computer will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Burglary Reported at Petrol
Mart in South Manatee,
Lotto Tickets Stolen

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- According to a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, the Petrol Mart, located at 6513 14th Street West, in South Manatee County, was burglarized early Thursday morning.

The report said the incident occurred at about 2 a.m. Entry was gained by smashing the front door.

A Surveillance camera recorded two men taking an entire case of Lotto scratch-off tickets.

A NewsManatee reader who alerted us to the burglary said the tickets have already been deactivated.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, .

Callers to the Crime Stoppers tip line and Tipsters who submit e-Tips by computer will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Two Sought in Sarasota
Grand Theft Incident

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Two people are currently being sought by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. Detectives say the pair went through purses and took wallets from models at a fashion show held at a Sarasota restaurant.

Sarasota County Sheriff’s Detectives are investigating the Grand Theft that occurred at Evie’s restaurant, 4725 Bee Ridge Road, in Sarasota on Saturday, November 15th, 2008 at approximately 9:20 p.m.

The suspects are described as a White male, approximately 30 years of age, with brown hair, who was last seen wearing a khaki green short sleeved shirt, and green cargo shorts. He was accompanied by a White female, 20-30 years of age, with long brown hair, last seen wearing a black top and pants.

Anyone with information regarding the incident should contact Detective Tracy Ross at the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office District I Criminal Investigations Bureau on (941) 861-4925. They may also leave anonymous information on the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (941) 366-TIPS (8477) or online at or text “TIP109” and a message to CRIMES (274637).

Denny's Diners Forced to Floor
During Armed Robbery

ORLANDO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Orlando television station WKMG reported customers and employees of an Orlando Denny's were ordered to the ground by two masked gunmen who robbed the restaurant, deputies said.

The robbery occurred early Thursday morning at the Denny's located at 8243 John Young Parkway.

According to Orange County sheriff's deputies, two men wearing masks and carrying 9 mm handguns entered the Denny's and ordered everyone to the ground and demanded money.

The duo then fled the store and drove off in a vehicle.

There were two customers and three employees inside the restaurant during the robbery, Orange County sheriff's deputies said. No one was injured.

One of the robbers was described only as a Black man wearing a beige sweater. The other was described only as a Black man wearing all-black clothing. A description of their vehicle was not known.

Investigators are checking to see if there is surveillance video of the incident, WKMG said.




Guns, Car Abandoned By
Armed Home Invaders
Fleeing Deputies

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Two guns and a car were abandoned by 3 Black males when the men fled from arriving deputies, following an armed home invasion in the 1100 block of 36th Avenue West, Bradenton, on Wednesday, November 19, 2008, at about 12:45 a.m., according to a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The report said deputies were sent to the above location after receiving a 911 call from a female claiming that there were people with guns inside her house and her children were inside.

As deputies arrived on scene, a Black male opened the front door and looked out, then slammed the door and, along with at least one other Black male, fled out the back of the house.

The victims, six adults and two juveniles, were found still inside, having been bound with duct tape.

Also found inside were two firearms, apparently left behind by the invaders in their haste to leave.

According to the victims, two of them had been going out when they observed three Black males armed with firearms approaching the house. The would-be robbers forced their way in, bound all the victims with duct tape, then began ransacking the house and collecting valuables to take with them.

The woman who had called 911 managed to get out the back of the house before being seen.

A perimeter was quickly established and a K-9 search for the suspects was unsuccessful.

However, two houses west of the crime scene, a blue Ford Contour was found parked in the driveway of an empty house, backed in, blacked out, and left running. In plain view inside the car was a black knit glove, a black shirt, and a large hunting knife. Neighbors advised that the vehicle had been there earlier but had left when it was apparent the neighbors were watching it.

Detectives and an ID Tech responded to the scene. Evidentiary items were collected and the blue Ford was impounded for processing. The Abuse Hotline was notified as there were two small children in the house, along with indications of drug activity.

There were no shots fired and no one was injured in the incident.

The invaders were described as 3 Black males, wearing mostly dark clothing and hooded sweatshirts. They were armed with various types of firearms.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, .

Callers to the Crime Stoppers tip line and Tipsters who submit e-Tips by computer will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Deputies Arrest Woman
in $700+ Wal-Mart Theft

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff's Deputies have arrested Amy Lou Smith, 30, of 1502 16th Street West, Bradenton.

Amy Lou Smith

The arrest report said on Tuesday, November 18, 2008, at about 3 p.m., Smith entered the Wal-Mart store at 8320 Lockwood Ridge Road, in South Manatee County.

She proceeded to the electronics department and concealed 27 separate DVD and video games in her purse. Then she proceeded to the women's department and concealed a yellow women's shirt in the purse.

She proceeded toward the store's exit and passed all points of sale, a loss prevention person told deputies.

Smith was approached by the loss prevention person, who identified himself and attempted to make an apprehension, but Smith fled on foot. The loss prevention person caught Smith and detained her for law enforcement. She continued to resist, but was eventually handcuffed.

The value of the items Smith had taken was $735.49, the report said.

Smith was charged with Grand Theft and Resisting a Merchant.

Bradenton Police Arrest
Man for Sale of Crack
Cocaine Near School

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Brandon K. Houston, 21, of 316 20th Street East, Palmetto.

Brandon K. Houston

According to the arrest report, Houston sold .6 grams of crack cocaine to an undercover officer on November 6, 2008, within 1000 feet of the Police Athletic League school. The incident occurred in the 100 block of 11th Avenue East, in Bradenton.

Then, on Tuesday, November 18, 2008, the undercover officer set up a transaction with Houston to purchase crack cocaine and some marijuana.

When Houston arrived at the meeting location in the 4300 block of Cortez Road West, investigators took Houston into custody.

Officers recovered 2.4 grams of crack cocaine and 11.5 grams of marijuana from his left front pocket.

Houston was charged with Sale of Crack Cocaine within 1000 feet of a school, Possession of Crack Cocaine and Possession of Marijuana.

Manatee DUI Checkpoint
Planned This Weekend

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- As part of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office continuing crackdown on drunk drivers, a DUI checkpoint will be conducted this weekend.

The checkpoint will begin on major a roadway in south Manatee County on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 10:30 p.m. and conclude on Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 4:00 a.m.

The exact location will not be announced.

Assisting the Sheriff’s Office with the checkpoints will be the Florida Highway Patrol, the Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key and Palmetto Police Departments.

Also assisting will be the Manasota Chapter of M.A.D.D. and the Salvation Army.

Sarasota Police Arrest Man
for Multiple Sexual Battery
Incidents on Homeless Woman

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota Police Department has arrested a man for sexual battery after a homeless woman told them he forced her to have vaginal, anal and oral intercourse with him multiple times over a period of several days.

John Jerome Scherpich

The arrest report said after a woman was asked to leave the place where she was staying, she had no family, job or friends and had no money to buy food or shelter and felt that the only means of eating and shelter was to stay with Scherpich, even if that meant she had to submit to his demands for sex.

On November 18, 2008, a detective was called to Sarasota Memorial Hospital on a report of a sexual battery. He made contact with the unnamed woman, who reported she was forced to submit to Scherpich's demands approximately 9 times over a 4-day period.

She told the detective he physically and sexually battered her, as well as threatened her with bodily harm if she did not submit to his demands.

She said Scherpich would demand that she undress and stay undressed while in the room with him and threatened to hit her again, as he had several times before. She said she was in fear of further beatings by Scherpich.

As a result of the woman's exam at the hospital, it was determined that she had received multiple bruises and abrasions over numerous part of her body, including a broken clavicle, bruised ribs a cigarette burn on her back, black eyes and trauma to her nose area.

Scherpich was arrested and charged with one count of Sexual Battery. He remains in the Sarasota County Jail without bond.

Woman Arrested in $1.67 Million
Embezzlement Case

PUNTA GORDA, Florida [NMT] -- On Wednesday, November 19, 2008, Punta Gorda Police Detectives arrested Angela Marie Dees, 33, of 8825 Strausse Blvd., Punta Gorda, on charges stemming from a massive embezzlement investigation.

Angela Marie Dees

The Law Firm of Moore and Waksler, located at 1107 West Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda conducted a recent financial audit and discovered approximately 1.67 million dollars in missing funds and called police. Detectives were able to trace funds being directly deposited into the personal bank account of then employee, Angela Marie Dees through wire transfers and other means since taking employment in 2002.

The wire transfers range from $600.00 to $6,000.00 and forged checks were as large as $75,000.00. Angela Dees’ bank account records indicate she spent approximately $500,000.00 on frivolous purchases such as eating at local restaurants and family entertainment.

She was arrested on 129 counts of Grand Theft, 114 counts of Wire Fraud, 16 counts of Uttering a Forged Instrument, and 2 counts of Petit Theft. She is being held at the Charlotte County Jail on $657,000.00 bond.

5th Man in Botched Home Invasion
Arrested in Fort Myers

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit detectives report that the U.S. Marshall Service Fugitive Task Force in conjunction with the CCSO Warrant Squad arrested Christopher Shanks Jr. , 26, on Tuesday, November 18, 2008, in the Pine Manor area of Ft. Myers. Shanks surrendered peacefully after eight Task Force detectives surrounded a duplex at 5459 10th Ave. The U.S. Marshal Fugitive Task Force is composed of CCSO, FDLE and LCSO detectives.

Christopher Shanks, Jr.

Shanks was one of five men involved in a Nov. 3 botched home invasion robbery at 18555 Fort Smith Circle in Port Charlotte. One of the five, Arien J. Mayo, 19, of North Port shot and killed Kody Michael Foehner’s dog in the home, then used the butt of the shotgun to hit Foehner when the shotgun went off hitting Mayo in the groin area. The others, Robert Joseph Garcia, 22, Anthony Lucius Johnson, 21, Phillip Shaarief Perkins, 21, all of Port Charlotte, and Shanks, carried Mayo to their car and fled the area.

Ironically, a few minutes later, an FHP trooper saw a speeding car on Hillsborough Blvd. several miles away and attempted to make a traffic stop. As he approached the car on Prineville St., four men jumped out leaving Mayo in the back seat after he bled to death. All four jumped into the Pellam Waterway. CCSO K-9 and helicopter responded and captured Garcia and Johnson a short time later in Ravenswood Blvd. area across the canal. Perkins and Shanks were not found until CCSO located the badly decomposed body of Perkins in the canal on Nov. 12. Shanks had disappeared and a hunt was on to locate him.

After their arrest, Garcia and Johnson were charged with Second Degree Murder and Home Invasion Robbery; they remain in the Charlotte County Jail.

Shanks was booked into the Charlotte County Jail on the same charges.

Brevard County Authorities
Search for Bank Robber

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida [NMT/WKMG] --Orlando television station WKMG is reporting a man passed a teller a note threatening to shoot if he wasn't given money during a Brevard County bank robbery, deputies said.

The robbery occurred around noon Tuesday at the Riverside Bank located at 50 Goodwin Drive in Merritt Island.

Brevard County sheriff's Deputy Lee Weiner told WKMG News partner Florida Today that a man walked into the bank, went up to a teller and placed a handwritten note up to the bulletproof glass that read, "Give me the money or I'll start shooting."

Weiner said the man was given an undisclosed amount of cash and then walked out.

The man was described as being in his 40s, heavy-set and wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, faded jeans and a yellow cap.

Weiner said the man implied he had a weapon but none was seen.

No one was injured, WKMG said.

Multiple State Agency Truck
Enforcement Wave Begins

TALLAHASSEE, Florida [NMT] -- Colonel John Czernis, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, announced today the start of a statewide traffic enforcement operation aimed to reduce unsafe driving acts that contribute to crashes. The primary focus of the operation will be driving acts that cause crashes that involve large trucks and school buses. The operation is a joint effort with the Florida Department of Transportation, Motor Carrier Compliance Office. It is part of a series of long-term enforcement efforts that focus on top priority traffic safety issues to help reduce deaths and injuries on Florida’s roadways.

“During this operation, FHP troopers and Motor Carrier Compliance officers will be watching for unsafe drivers, especially those who contribute to collisions between passenger vehicles and large trucks or school buses,” said Colonel Czernis. “We certainly recognize that the vast majority of commercial motor vehicle operators drive in a responsible and law abiding manner. However, because of vehicle size, weight and the type of cargo hauled by commercial vehicles, the potential for causing significant damage to other vehicles or property is very real. Therefore, it is imperative that commercial truck drivers obey state and federal laws and regulations meant to protect their safe passage and that of the motoring public.”

Florida traffic data from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles show that last year commercial motor vehicles were involved in more than 18,000 crashes that resulted in 365 fatalities. Drivers of smaller vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians are all at a considerable disadvantage when involved in collisions with large trucks.

For the operation, all available FHP personnel will be on the road tracking traffic law violators using laser, radar, video cameras, motorcycles, and unmarked patrol vehicles. FHP pilots will be on patrol spotting violators from the air and directing troopers on the ground to pull them over to initiate appropriate enforcement action.

The Florida Highway Patrol would like to remind all motorists to Move Over when approaching patrol cars, emergency vehicles or tow trucks parked on the roadside displaying flashing lights. Please give us room to work and help us stay safe while we do our jobs.

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles offers safety tips on sharing the road, school bus safety and much more on the Safety First Web page at



Taser, Pepper Spray Used on Man:
He Resisted & Resisted & Resisted
Arrest on Outstanding Warrants

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Three Manatee County Sheriff's Office Deputies had a hard time on Monday, November 17, 2008, arresting Joshua Robert Moore, 19, at 604 67th Street Circle East, Bradenton, according to a report from the sheriff's office.

Joshua Robert Moore

The report said Deputy Perry received a call from a bail bondsman that Moore was at McDonalds and has active warrants for Violation of Probation. Moore is known to be violent and possibly could be armed with a firearm, according to the bail bondsman.

Deputy Perry called teletype and confirmed that Moore did in fact have active warrants, whereupon Deputy Perry requested the assistance from Deputies Bass and Escher in arresting Moore.

At about 9 p.m. on Monday, Dep. Bass approached Moore from behind and took hold of his arms to control him. Moore was handcuffed and escorted to Dep. Perry's vehicle where he was placed inside.

After being inside the vehicle, Moore began to kick at the rear window of Dep. Perry's vehicle with sufficient force that the window was beginning to bow out of the frame.

Moore was removed from the vehicle after he was warned to stop or be pepper sprayed. Moore then began to kick at the deputies and pull away from them, despite several warnings to stop. Dep. Perry sprayed Moore with gel pepper spray and Moore became compliant. He was decontaminated on scene and deputies attempted to place Moore back into Dep. Perry's vehicle.

As they attempted to place Moore in the vehicle, he tried to spin away and pushed against the deputies' cars with his legs, trying to defeat their control. Dep. Escher removed his Taser cartridge and drive-stunned Moore once in the back and obtained compliance from him.

Moore was placed in the back seat and he again began to kick at the window. He kicked with sufficient force that the window popped out of the frame. He was sprayed again by Dep. Bass.

After being sprayed, Moore continued to kick and he was removed from the vehicle in order to apply shackles, but Moore became more violent and continued to kick at the deputies and push them with his body.

As a last resort, Dep. Bass removed his Taser cartridge and drive-stunned Moore in the stomach. After the second Tasering, compliance was gained from Mr. Moore.

Moore was charged with Resisting Arrest with Violence and Criminal Mischief, along with warrant charges of Violation of Probation and two counts of Contempt of Court for Failure to Answer a Summons.

Manatee Technical Institute Building
Named in Former Sheriff's Honor

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The School Board of Manatee County dedicated the new Charlie Wells Law Enforcement and Allied Health Building on Manatee Technical Institute’s East Campus on Monday, November 17, 2008. The dedication ceremony began at 5 p.m. and NewsManatee photographer Heather Chadwick was on hand for the ceremony.

Above, L to R, the facade of the new building and
Ex-Sheriff Charlie Wells with a piece of the ribbon
(Photos by Heather Chadwick, NewsManatee)

Recently retired as the Sheriff of Manatee County, Charlie Wells spoke at the building dedication ceremony.

Naming the building for Wells was a way for the school and the academy to express their gratitude for his support and partnership during his long-standing tenure as Manatee County Sheriff. Many business partners and supporters from the law enforcement and healthcare communities were in attendance for the dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting.

Other dignitaries who spoke at the event include current Sheriff Brad Steube, School Board Chairwoman Barbara Harvey, Superintendent Roger Dearing, and MTI Board of Governors Chairman John Ziemnicki. Colors were posted by students and graduates of the MTI Law Enforcement Academy. One of the grads is an Iraq War veteran, and another is a Silver Star recipient from Desert Storm.

Fawley-Bryant Architects and Beck Construction created the state-of-the-art educational facility, which is the new home for MTI’s Law Enforcement Academy, as well as the following allied health programs: hemodialysis technician, massage therapy, medical assisting, optometric assisting and surgical technician.

Dr. Mary Cantrell is the director of MTI, and Mike Rushing is the director of the MTI Law Enforcement Academy.

Search Warrant Produces
Arrest, Six Ounces of
Powder Cocaine

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant on Friday, November 14, 2008, at about 2:30 p.m. at 3602 21st Street West, Bradenton, and arrested James Edward Perkins, 21.

Above, L to R, K-9 Deputy "Rosco" and James Edward Perkins

The arrest report said members of the Special Investigation Division served the warrant. The SWAT team was used to secure the residence.

During the search, deputies located a black scale that had a white powder residue which was located in a kitchen cabinet.

K-9 Deputy David Brady and his K-9 Deputy "Rosco" walked through a shed that was located in back of the residence. During that, "Rosco" alerted on different areas of the shed. Detectives then searched the shed and located a white plastic bag with powder cocaine hidden in a microwave.

The cocaine tested positive and weighed 167.6 grams (about 6 ounces).

Perkins admitted the cocaine was his, the report said.

He was arrested and charged with Trafficking in Cocaine.

Two Black Males, Armed with Rifles,
Invade Palmetto Home

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported two Black males, both armed with rifles, invaded a residence in the 600 block of 25th Street East, in Palmetto, early Tuesday morning at about 3:30 a.m.

The report said the victims, Evelyn Waiters, 27, and Vera Kelly, 52, reside at the location.

At approximately 3:30 a.m., Anthony Cummings, 18, came over to visit Waiters. He knocked on her window to alert her that he had arrived.

Waiters went to the back door of the residence and unlocked it, thinking Cummings was going to enter that way. She then realized that Cummings was at the front door and had to unlock it.

When Cummings entered she told him to go lock the back door. As he did so, the two invaders entered the residence and came into contact with Cummings.

The robbers took an undisclosed amount of cash and a cell phone and then fled the scene.

Upon the arrival of deputies, a perimeter was set up and a K-9 Unit was utilized. This yielded negative results.

There were no shots fired and no injuries.

The robbers were described as two Black males, one wearing a black jacket the other wearing a burgundy jacket. Both had their faces covered up and were armed with long guns; they fled on foot, the report said.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, .

Callers to the Crime Stoppers tip line and Tipsters who submit e-Tips by computer will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Manatee County Scam Alert
from Sheriff's Office

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office is reporting a local scam that occurred on Monday, November 17, 2008. The sheriff's office is warning residents of the scam.

The sheriff's office received a call from a lady who received a telephone solicitation. The person stated that they were calling from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and were asking for donations to buy toys for needy children. When the woman receiving the call told the caller that she only had $20 dollars, the caller said that would be fine and asked for her home address so he could bring her the information.

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office NEVER solicits donations over the phone.

If you should receive a call like this, check your caller ID and get the number that is calling. If you get a number please call 747-3011 ext. 2589 with the information.

Shopping Season Tips From
the Manatee County Sheriff

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- It's that time of the year!! Shopping season is upon us and with that come the crimes.

This past weekend, a victim was walking to her car from the Macy's store at DeSoto Square. A faded green Honda style car pulled along side of her and grabbed her purse, then sped off. The victim held on to her purse and was pulled to the ground.

A good tip while out shopping this season is to take only what you will need to shop into the store with you. In other words, if you don't need your purse, lock it in your trunk and take only a credit card in your pocket into the store.

And more importantly, if someone grabs your purse, LET GO of it. Your life is more important that what is in your purse.

Never leave your purchases visible in your car. This is only a temptation for thieves to break into your car. Put all purchases in your trunk out of sight.

If at all possible, shop only in the daytime or shop with friends.

If you are suspicious about someone in the parking lot, ask a mall security person to escort you to your car.

Happy Holiday Shopping!!

Wachovia Bank Branch
Robbed in Sarasota

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- At about 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 18, 2008, an unknown male entered the Wachovia Bank at 2891 S. Tamiami Trial and committed a robbery.

No gun was seen or implied.

The robber is described as a White male, 55 years old, about 5'7” tall and weighs about 180 pounds. He was wearing glasses at the time.

Any persons who might recognize the suspect in the sureillance photo above are asked to call the Sarasota Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 954-7070.

Routine Traffic Stop Leads to
Trafficking In Oxycodone Charges

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputy made a routine traffic stop in Englewood Monday night, November 17, 2008, that resulted in charges of drug trafficking in Oxycodone and confiscation of $1,013 in cash.

Sandra Lee Wagler

The deputy pulled over the driver, David Giacinti, 44, 500 Morrisson Ave., Englewood, in a Ford pickup at S.R. 776 and Winchester Blvd. at 9:24 p.m. for driving with one headlight.

A check on his passenger, Sandra Lee Wagler, 40, of 9092 Gulfstream Blvd. East Englewood, revealed an outstanding Sarasota County warrant for Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud.

During a search of the pickup, deputies found 48 Oxycodone pills and a large amount of cash in Wagler’s purse. Also found in her purse was three suspicious prescriptions without a patient’s name; CCSO detectives are following up on these prescriptions.

Wagler was transported to the Charlotte County Jail and charged with Drug Trafficking in Controlled Substance Oxycodone, Possession of Narcotics Equipment, and the Sarasota County warrant charge. Bond was set at $11,500.

Anyone with illegal drug information please call the CCSO Narcotics Unit at 941-575-2157, or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).

Man Caught After Escaping
Police Custody

CLERMONT, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Orlando television station WKMG reported a man who escaped from a Clermont police substation after stealing an officer's keys has been caught, authorities said.

Jason Dennis
(Mug shot courtesy Lake County SO)

Jason Dennis, 25, was taken into custody for the second time after Lake County sheriff's deputies located him at 110 E. Washington Ave. in Minneola.

Dennis was arrested Monday night on charges of driving with a suspended license, possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of a domestic violence injunction and possession of a firearm in violation of a domestic violence injunction after being pulled over near Bloxam Avenue and Highland Street.

Dennis was transported to the substation and was allowed to make a phone call but somehow swiped the officer's keys and escaped.

No other details about the escape or recapture were released, WKMG said.



Holmes Beach Motel Fire
Called "Suspicious" By
Police Chief

HOLMES BEACH, Florida [NMT] -- As NewsManatee reported in a Breaking News item, part of Haley's Motel, in the 8100 block of Gulf Drive, in Holmes Beach, caught fire on Sunday, November 16, 2008. But none of the agencies involved in the investigation of the fire, including West Manatee Fire Rescue, the Holmes Beach Police Department and the Manatee County Sheriff's Office are saying much, other than that the blaze is "under investigation."

Above, Haley's Motel on fire, November 16, 2008
(Photo courtesy the Anna Maria Islander)

The call came in at about 7:15 p.m., according to West Manatee Fire Rescue Deputy Fire Marshal Kurt Lathrop.

A detached two-story structure which is part of the motel was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived.

It took firefighters about an hour to knock down the blaze. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters.

Guests of the motel were evacuated as a precaution, but the main part of the motel was not involved.

The motel is co-owned by Sabine Musil-Buehler, the missing woman who hasn't been seen since November 4th (See our Cover page). Her husband Thomas Buehler is the other owner. Detectives are treating Musil-Buehler's disappearance as a possible homicide, according to Manatee County Sheriff's Detective Bill Waldron, who is attached to the Violent Crimes Task Force.

WMFR Dep. Fire Marshal Lathrop was on scene and investigating the cause of the fire as of 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

According to Lathrop, the second floor collapsed onto the first floor of the duplex. The structure is a total loss and is uninhabitable, Lathrop said. He estimated the value of the loss at about $200,000 dollars, but cautioned that was an early estimate.

The investigation had to be terminated for the night because it was "too dangerous to go inside," Lathrop told NewsManatee. Lathrop said the investigation would resume Monday morning and he would bring in his arson dog "Lucky" at that time.

On Monday, "Lucky" was brought in to examine the smoldering debris. Lathrop would not say whether the dog alerted on anything or whether arson was being considered. Lathrop told NewsManatee on Monday that the fire is still "under investigation," and refused to comment further.

However, NewsManatee learned from a confidential source that debris from certain areas was turned over to the State Fire Marshal's laboratory for analysis.

Holmes Beach Police Chief Jay Romine called the blaze "suspicious." "Under the circumstances," Romine told NewsManatee, "we're investigating several things."

Dave Bristow, spokesman for the sheriff's office, told NewsManatee on Monday, "Our interest from the sheriff's office is because it comes days after the co-owner's disappearance. We are asking the public's assistance in finding her."

Several people, principal figures around the disappearance of Sabine Musil-Buehler, have been interviewed by authorities since the fire, NewsManatee learned.

Man Arrested for Theft
of Money from Employer

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- An arrest report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office said Andrew Lee Young, 26, of 2522 Stratford Drive, Sarasota, has been arrested.

Andrew Lee Young

According to the report, the manager of Just Brakes, at 5929 14th Street West, Bradenton, told deputies $650 dollars had been stolen from his business in the past two weeks.

On Thursday, November 13, 2008, the manager said an employee saw Young pull 3 $100 dollar bills out of the cash drawer. The employee left for the day and told the manager later that day of his observations.

On Saturday, November 15, 2008, a deputy read Young his Miranda rights and Young agreed to talk to the deputy.

Young said he put the money back. However, no one saw him put the money back.

The manager had counted the cash drawer after the employee told him what had happened and it was $300 dollars short.

Young was arrested and charged with Grand Theft.

Parrish Couple Charged with
Grand Theft of Over $1,300
Dollars in Items

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Nicholas S. Harris, 25, and his wife, Amy L. Harris, 26, both of 9907 44th Street Court East, in Parrish.

Above, L to R, Nicholas S. Harris and Amy L. Harris

According to the arrest reports, on September 18, 2008, at about noon, the Harrises unlawfully entered an unnamed victim's yard in the 6000 block of 18th Street East, in Ellenton, and removed 4 vehicle rims valued at $1,200 dollars, a $50 dollar barbecue grill and an $80 dollar marine battery.

They placed the items in the back of their truck and fled the scene.

The victim heard the truck fleeing the scene, saw that his items were missing and chased after them.

When the victim confronted them at a red light at U.S. 301, in Ellenton, he recovered his rims and the grill, but not the battery.

Due to old photos, the victim was unable to positively identify the Harrises at the time.

On Friday, November 14, 2008, a traffic stop was conducted on the Harris vehicle in the 3300 block of 26th Street West and the victim was able to identify them as the thieves.

Both Nicholas and Amy later confessed they committed the crime.

Nicholas and Amy Harris were arrested and charged with Grand Theft.

Woman's Safe Burglarized
By Unknown Person

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A woman's safe was entered and the thief took items valued at more than $20 grand, according to a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The incident occurred in the 5000 block of 37th Street East, Bradenton.

The report said unknown person(s) stole miscellaneous jewelry and cash from a safe belonging to Thelma Hess, which were valued at more than $20,000 dollars.

No evidence of forced entry was present.

The items were taken sometime within the last 2 weeks. An exact time and date could not be pinpointed.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, .

Callers to the Crime Stoppers tip line and Tipsters who submit e-Tips by computer will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

West Manatee Fire Rescue's
Lathrop Named State Fire
Investigator of the Year

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Advisory Committee on Arson Prevention (FACAP) has named Deputy Fire Marshal Kurt Lathrop of the West Manatee Fire District as the 2008 Fire Investigator of the Year at their annual conference held at the Florida State Fire College.

Above, L to R, Deputy Fire Marshal Kurt Lathrop and
Divison Chief John Gatlin at FACAP Awards Dinner

DFM Lathrop was recognized for his service, dedication and contribution to the prevention and detection of arson in the West Manatee Fire Rescue District, Manatee County and the region. Since 1990, Deputy Fire Marshal Lathrop has worked with his K-9 partners to investigate over 1,500 fires, leading to 70 arrests and 42 convictions.

Deputy Fire Marshal Lathrop’s K-9 handling and investigative skills have not gone unnoticed by the Division of State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Fire and Arson. He was recognized in 2006 by the Division of State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Fire and Arson for Distinguished Service for his “dedication and tireless assistance” to the Bureau of Fire and Arson. His citation reads in part: “Your canine expertise has been of enormous benefit in combating the crime of arson in your community and our region.” Deputy Fire Marshal Lathrop and his K-9 serve as an “on-call” resource for the State Fire Marshals Office and at times, is the primary K-9 for the Manatee, Sarasota, Hillsborough and Polk Counties. Additionally, he has received two Departmental Exceptional Duty Medals for his work as a K-9 handler. He has also been qualified as an expert witness in both federal and state court with the use of the K-9.

Through his strong belief in combating the crime of arson, Deputy Fire Marshal Lathrop has promoted a working relationship between Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc., State of Maine Criminal Justice Academy and State Farm Insurance. The project entails preparing dogs, which could not become guide dogs, as accelerant and bomb detection dogs. To date, 54 dogs have been sent to the Maine State Police, of which 48 are accelerant K-9s and 6 are bomb detection K-9s. In recognition of his work with Southeastern Guide Dogs, they have featured both Kurt and Lucky in their 2009 calendar.

Deputy Fire Marshal Lathrop also spearheaded a project that would help injured law enforcement K-9s, by teaming up with Mana-Teens, a local teenage volunteer group in Manatee County. Mana-Teens raised funds to purchase and stock 16 trauma kits for all the working law enforcement K-9s in Manatee County.

During his 16 years of service conducting fire scene investigations, he as had three K-9 partners: Allie, Penny and current partner Lucky. All three K-9s were received from State Farm Insurance and certified at the Maine State Police Academy.

Bradenton Police Department
Issues Scam Alert

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department said a new scam attempts to have relatives wire money to a person who needs rescuing, and it has happened twice in Bradenton recently, leaving at least one victim scammed out of $6,000 dollars.

The Bradenton Police Department’s Economic Crimes Division has issued a warning to citizens of a common scam that attempts to trick relatives into wiring money to a foreign country to “rescue” their child or grandchild.

Recently, two such incidents in the past two weeks have been reported in the City of Bradenton, said Sgt. L.J. Millard of the department’s Crime Prevention Division. In one case, a victim was bilked out of $6,000 – and there is little chance of recovering the money.

In both instances, a con artist called claiming to be a grandchild of the intended victim. The caller told the victim they had been jailed in Canada and needed money to post bail.

The victims were then asked to send money through a wire transfer.

Sgt. Millard said anyone receiving a call like this should verify the story with their grandchild’s parents. Usually the caller, disguised as the grandchild, will ask the victim not to call his or her parents in fear of getting in trouble.

This is similar to another common scam where a caller pretends to be from a hospital in a foreign country. The caller tells the relative that their child or grandchild has been severely injured and needs money to be airlifted to a hospital in the United States.

"The one common denominator of these scams is they tell you to wire money," Sgt. Millard warned. "There’s no way to get your money back because there’s no paper trail."

Anyone with any information about this scam is asked to call the Bradenton Police Department at (941) 932-9300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, .

Callers to the Crime Stoppers tip line and Tipsters who submit e-Tips by computer will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Sarasota Sheriff Makes Kidnapping
Arrest, Second Suspect Sought

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Sarasota County Sheriff’s Detectives arrested Jeremy E. Harris, 22, of 3954 Prudence Drive, in Sarasota, on Friday, November 14th, 2008, on one count of Kidnapping, and one count of Grand Theft.

Above, L to R, Jeremy E. Harris and James Matthew Turner

The arrest relates to an incident which occurred on Monday, November 10th, 2008, involving a juvenile female victim. The report didn't elaborate on the incident.

Detectives are also seeking the whereabouts of James Matthew Turner, 22, (DOB 7/9/86), in relation to this crime. Turner is 6’ 2” and approximately 170 lbs. His last known address was 7515 43rd Court East, in Sarasota.

Anyone with information regarding the incident or the whereabouts of James Turner should contact Detective Tim Speth at the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office District III Criminal Investigations Bureau at (941) 861-1719. They may also leave anonymous information on the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (941) 366-TIPS (8477) or online at or text “TIP109” and a message to CRIMES (274637).

Charlotte Detectives Arrest Man;
Second East Englewood Burglar

EAST ENGLEWOOD, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff’s detectives arrested a second man wanted in connection with seven home burglary cases that occurred in the East Englewood area.

Above, L to R, Steven Craig Kasten, Jr., and Alan Keith Fitch

Steven Craig Kasten, Jr., 22, 41 French Ave., Englewood (Sarasota County) was arrested Saturday and is also charged with 14 felony counts; seven for Burglary and seven for Grand Theft, same as his partner Alan Keith Fitch, 22, 10217 Baker Ave., East Englewood, who was arrested Nov. 12.

The burglaries occurred from Oct. 5 to Nov. 10 on Rachael, Peach, Gretchen, Jacqueline avenues; Quarry and Teaberry streets; and Snow Dr.

Nearly $9,000 in stolen electronics equipment, fishing gear, computers, and lawn equipment were stolen during the home burglary crime spree.

Kasten and Fitch remain in the Charlotte County Jail with total bond set at $52,500.

Emergency Alert Text
Messages Coming to UCF

ORLANDO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- The University of Central Florida will soon begin text messaging its students if there is a campus emergency, according to Orlando television station WKMG.

UCF, which already has warning sirens on campus and e-mail alerts for students, hope to the have the text-messaging system operable by the spring.

The university is also installing indoor voice-evacuation systems that will alert students about everything from weather to chemical spills.

Security at the school was re-evaluated after 32 people were killed in a massacre at Virginia Tech, WKMG said.




Manatee Detectives Arrest Killer
of Man Found Stuffed in Trash
Bags in Palmetto Field

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Detectives have arrested a man they say murdered a man whose body was found in a field in Palmetto in October.

Above, L to R, Thomas Louis Pack and Emerson Martin III, deceased

On Friday, November 14, 2008, a warrant for Murder was issued for Thomas Louis Pack, 28, with a last known address of 207 10th Avenue East, Bradenton, for the homicide of Emerson Martin III.

On Saturday, November 15, 2008, the Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF), with the assistance from the Sarasota Police Department Neighborhood Enforcement Team and the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, located Thomas Pack in the 3000 block of Bunche Street, in Sarasota.

Pack was arrested without incident and booked into the Sarasota County Jail, where he remains without bond.

The body of the victim, Emerson Martin III, 27, of Bradenton, was discovered in a Palm Tree farm in Palmetto on October 27, 2008.

A farm worker discovered the then unidentified victim in two large trash bags covering each end of the body.

Detectives responded and were treating the case as a homicide.

At the time, detectives believed Martin was killed sometime in the 24 to 36 hours prior to the finding of his body.

An autopsy revealed that Martin died as a result of blunt force trauma.

Evidence found at the scene and witness interviews led detectives to developing Pack as a suspect.

A motive is unclear at this time.

Martin's murder was the 11th in Manatee County in 2008.

Bradenton Police Charge Man
with Attempted Murder in
Thursday Shooting

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- According to Deputy Police Chief J.J. Lewis, of the Bradenton Police Department, Carlton Randall, 19, has been charged wtih one count of Attempted Murder for the Thursday evening shooting of Ashley Branic, 25, both of Bradenton.

Above, L to R, Carlton Randall and Ashley Branic

The shooting incident occurred at about 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 13, 2008, in front of a residence in the 200 block of 11th Avenue East, Bradenton, across the street from the Police Athletic League.

Ashley Branic was visiting the residence when Randall walked up to him partially masked. The two man had a brief verbal altercation, then Randall shot Branic in the left upper chest.

Police found Branic on his hands and knees, gasping for air, likely because his left lung had collapsed from the gunshot.

Detectives later arrested Randall and charged him with the shooting.

Branic remains in critical condition at Bayfront Medical Center, where he was flown by Bayflite after the incident.

It is unknown at this time what the argument was about or what motivated the shooting.

Both Randall and Branic have been arrested in the past, according to Manatee County court records.

Anyone with information can contact Bradenton Police Department Detective Greg Price at 932-9355 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, .

Callers to the Crime Stoppers tip line and Tipsters who submit e-Tips by computer will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Deputies Makes Traffic Stop,
Find 1/4 Pound of Pot;
Driver Arrested

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff's Deputies have arrested Glynn Bermingham, 21, of 4507 68th Street West, Bradenton.

Glynn Bermingham

The arrest report said on Thursday, November 13, 2008, at about 9:15 p.m., Bermingham was pulled over in his red truck in the 1100 block of 57th Avenue East for failing to stop at a red light and failing to yield to traffic.

During the traffic stop, Bermingham was asked for permission to search his truck. Bermingham said it was okay if he could move his speaker box because he "didn't want his stuff tore up."

When Bermingham moved the speaker box, a deputy saw a plastic bag on the floor that contained a green material that resembled marijuana.

Inside the bag deputies located 114 grams of marijuana (slightly over 1/4 pound).

Bermingham was arrested and charged with Possession of Marijuana Over 20 Grams.

He was taken to jail and subsequently released on his own recognizance.

Broward County Sexual Predator
Found Hiding in Manatee County

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Raymond E. Jones, 58, is a Registered Sexual Predator out of Broward County. However, Jones was found to be living in Manatee County under an assumed name since November 1, 2008, according to an arrest report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Raymond E. Jones

Per Florida State Statute, Sexual Predators and Offenders are required to update their address on their driver license within 48 hours after a change.

However, Jones failed to do so and attempted to live in Manatee County undetected.

On Thursday, November 13, 2008, a felony warrant was obtained for the Sexual Predator Violation and Jones was taken into custody at his residence, 115 10th Street West, Palmetto.

He is currently being held in the Manatee County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue
Announces Three Promotions,
a Transfer and Election Results

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue Fire Chief Randall Stulce announced the promotion of three firefighters to the rank of Lieutenant.

Above, L to R, Lieutenant Brian Bartman, Lieutenant Brett Pritchard, Lieutenant William Whitfield,
Inspector Diane Chrzanowski and Fire Chief Randall Stulce

Seventeen-year veteran, William Whitfield, fourteen-year veteran Brett Pritchard and five-year veteran, Brian Bartman were presented for promotion at the Board of Fire Commissioners meeting on Thursday, November 13, 2008, held at Fire Station Headquarters, 5200 26th Street West.

In addition, Lieutenant Diane Chrzanowski was reassigned from the Operations Division to the Fire Prevention Bureau as Fire Inspector.

Mark Milner and Daniel Brunner were reelected to four-year terms on the Board of Fire Commissioners.

The remaining Fire Commissioners, Michael B. Holderness, Steven Litschauer and Michael S. Holderness were unopposed in the recent election.

Deputies Report Armed Home
Invasion by Two Black Males

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Friday, November 14, 2008, at about 1 a.m., two Black males kicked in the front door of a residence in the 1700 block of 3rd Avenue West, Palmetto, and proceeded to rob the two occupants.

According to a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, the victims, Van Dunbar, Jr., 23, and Carla Dunbar, 28, were asleep in their residence.

The invaders gained entry by pushing in the screen to the front porch and then kicking in the front door.

Once inside, the victims woke up and were greeted by the invaders.

The robbers demanded money and got an undetermined amount of cash from the victims, then fled from the residence.

Deputies could not locate the robbery pair.

Neither of the victims was injured.

The culprits were described as follows:

They were two unknown Black males armed with handguns. Robber #1 was 6'0" tall, with a thin build, in his 20s, wearing a bandana on the top of his head and another bandana over his face. He had on gloves, black clothes with a white mesh shirt underneath the black T-shirt. He had tattoos on his arms. He was armed with a .45 caliber handgun. Robber #2 was 5'5" tall, also with a thin build, in his 20s, wearing a bandana over his face. He had on gloves, black clothes and was armed with a 9 mm handgun.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, .

Callers to the Crime Stoppers tip line and Tipsters who submit e-Tips by computer will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Elderly Woman's Purse Snatched
by White Male in Moving Car

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A young White male in a moving vehicle snatched the purse from a 78-year-old woman in Macy's parking lot at DeSoto Square Mall on Saturday, November 15, 2008, at about 4:20 p.m., according to a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The victim, Evelyn Anderson, was walking to her car from Macy’s when a faded green Honda style vehicle pulled along side of her.

The suspect was hanging out the passenger window and grabbed the victim’s purse.

The vehicle then sped off, which caused Ms. Anderson to be pulled to the ground as she was still clutching her purse.

Ms. Anderson's head struck the ground, causing a laceration.

The suspect was able to flee the area with the victim’s brown leather purse.

A witness to the crime called 911 and assisted the victim until EMS arrived.

The victim was only able to provide a brief description of the incident and suspect due to her head injury.

There was no further description of the perpetrator.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, .

Callers to the Crime Stoppers tip line and Tipsters who submit e-Tips by computer will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Salvation Army Employee
Knocked Out By Burglar

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A Salvation Army employee was knocked unconscious by a probable burglar on Saturday, November 15, 2008, at about 3 a.m., a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office said.

Edward Wickman, 44, of Palmetto, an employee of Salvation Army, went to check on the Salvation Army building at 4601 15th Street East, in Bradenton. He was concerned, due to recent burglaries there.

When Wickman stepped inside, he was knocked unconscious by an unseen person.

When Wickman came to an hour later, he summoned law enforcement with his cell phone.

He was transported to Manatee Memorial Hospital by EMS.

At this time, it doesn't appear as if anything was stolen from the business.

The victim's injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

There was no description of the thug.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, .

Callers to the Crime Stoppers tip line and Tipsters who submit e-Tips by computer will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Young Man Critical After
Vehicle Crash

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Highway Patrol reported Kyle Alexander, 19, of 4011 37th Street West, Bradenton, is in critical condition at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg after Alexander lost control of his vehicle on Thursday, November 13, 2008, at about 8:30 p.m.

The FHP report said Alexander was traveling eastbound on Bayshore Gardens Parkway, approaching a level curve on 63rd Avenue East.

Alexander entered the curve at a high rate of speed and lost control of his 1988 Honda 2-door car.

The Honda began to rotate and veered into the westbound lanes, striking the path of a 1989 Ford pickup being driven by Mark Frame, 43, of 5012 62nd Street West, Bradenton.

The front of the truck struck the right side of Alexander's Honda.

Alexander was flown to Bayfront Medical Center with critical injuries. An update on his condition was not available.

Mr. Frame suffered minor injuries and was transported to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton.

FHP said alcohol was not involved. Alexander was wearing a seat belt, according to Manatee County Sheriff's Deputy David O'Neal, who was first on scene.

Charges are pending.

Sarasota Cops Arrest Man, 42,
for Sodomizing Girl, 6,
Numerous Times

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota Police Department has arrested Leon Butler, 42, of Sarasota, for allegedly sodomizing a 6-year-old girl several times.

Leon Butler

On November 12, 2008, the little girl told her mother that Leon Butler had raped her. She said that Butler, the mother's ex-boyfriend, had pushed her down on a bed, pulled her pants down and "Mr. Leon put his private part inside my butt and my butt started hurting."

The little girl said it happened when her Mom was at the store and it happened about five times. The little girl was able to provide specific details of two of the incidents.

On November 13, 2008, a detective interviewed Butler. Butler was arrested for Burglary and Battery, because he had also allegedly broken into the residence and punched the mother.

He was also charged with two counts of Capital Sexual Battery.

Butler denied the sexual battery incidents.

Sarasota County Sheriff Makes
Two Grand Theft Arrests;
Two Generators Recovered

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Sarasota County Sheriff’s Deputies have arrested Jose Hernandez Molina, 26, and Juan Carlos Graveranreinoso, 44, each on one count of Grand Theft Auto, one count of Fleeing to Elude, and one count of Grand Theft. Graveranreinoso has also been charged on one count of Obstruction of Justice.

Above, L to R, Juan Carlos Graveranreinoso and Jose Hernandez Molina

The arrests were made on Thursday, November 13th, 2008, on I-75 south of mile marker 182 near Sumter Blvd., in North Port, after Deputies were notified by a manager from Verizon Wireless Communications that he was pursuing two vehicles that were each towing stolen generators.

The generators had an electronic device that provided a GPS signal of the coordinates of the stolen items.

The two generators had previously been reported as stolen from the Plant City area to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Officers from the Florida Highway Patrol and North Port Police Department assisted in the apprehension.

Charlotte SO Detectives Identify
Man Found Dead in Canal as
Man in Armed Home Invasion

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit detectives released the name of the man whose body was found in the Pellam Waterway Wednesday morning (Nov. 12) behind a home in the 400 block of Ravenswood Blvd., Port Charlotte. The badly decomposed body was identified by the Charlotte County Medical Examiner as Phillip Shaarief Perkins, 21, of 21040 Gertrude Ave., Port Charlotte.

Above, L to R, Phillip Perkins and Christopher Shanks

MCU detectives said Perkins was one of the five involved in a botched home invasion robbery around 10:00 p.m. Nov. 3 at 18555 Fort Smith Circle in Port Charlotte, the home of 25 year old Kody Michael Foehner. One of the five, Arien J. Mayo, 19, of 6836 Carovel Ave., North Port, shot and killed Foehner's dog then turned the shotgun around and struck Foehner in the head with the butt of the gun; the shotgun went off shooting Mayo and fatally injuring him. The other four carried Mayo to their car and sped off. Minutes later, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper saw a speeding vehicle on Hillsborough Blvd. and attempted a traffic stop. When the trooper caught up to the vehicle on Prineville St., four men ran from the car and jumped into the canal to escape. The trooper found the body of Mayo in the back seat, the victim of a gunshot to the groin area.

CCSO deputies, K-9 and helicopter located two of the men near Ravenswood Blvd., Robert Joseph Garcia, 22, 2311 Mineral Ave. and Anthony Lucius Johnson, 21, 548 Wabash Terr., both of Port Charlotte. Garcia and Johnson were charged with Second Degree Murder and Home Invasion Robbery; they remain in the Charlotte County Jail.

Warrants were issued for the two other suspects, Christopher Shanks, Jr., 26, 2154 Bardon St., Ft. Myers, and Perkins.

MCU detectives are still looking for Shanks and caution that he may be armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information about where Shanks can be located, please call the CCSO at 941-639-2101 or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477). Shanks has a lot of friends and family in Charlotte County.

Punta Gorda Police Arrest
Man, Woman in Internet
Prostitution Sting

PUNTA GORDA, Florida [NMT] -- On Friday, November 14, 2008, Punta Gorda Police Detectives arrested Jacie L. Palumbo, 25, and Alan L. Russo, 50, of 83 Hibiscus Drive, Punta Gorda in reference to a month long internet-based prostitution investigation.

Above, L to R, Jacie L. Palumbo and Alan L. Russo

After receiving an anonymous tip of possible prostitution activity, detectives were able to view blatant advertisements of "Erotic Services" through the popular social networking website Further research revealed similar advertisements on websites such as and This operation was similar to a number of successful Punta Gorda Police narcotic sting operations over the past several years on the popular social networking website

On November 14, 2008, in collaboration with the Desoto County Sheriff’s Office and the State of Florida Probation Office, detectives phoned the number provided in the aforementioned advertisements and were given directions to 83 Hibiscus Drive in Punta Gorda Isles. Once at the house, an undercover detective met with the female depicted in the advertisement photograph. She was later identified as Jacie L. Palumbo. The two made a recorded verbal agreement to exchange sex for money and she was taken into custody.

Shortly after, Alan L. Russo appeared from an adjacent room. The two were interviewed and both confessed to their collective involvement. It was determined that Alan L. Russo receives a portion of all proceeds from prostitution sales for doing such things as coordinating internet advertisements and offering his residence as a locale for the transaction. A computer at the residence believed to be used to post advertisements was seized for further investigation.

Jacie L. Palumbo was arrested and charged with Prostitution and Violation of Probation. She is being held at the Charlotte County Jail without bond. Alan L. Russo was arrested and charged with Deriving Support from the Proceeds of Prostitution, Maintaining a House of Prostitution, and Violation of Probation. He is being held at the Charlotte County Jail without bond.

The investigation is on-going and more arrests are pending.

The Punta Gorda Police Department will continue to investigate all internet-based crimes.

Casey Anthony's Car Inspected
by Defense Lawyer; Detectives
Say Car Still Reeks of Death

ORLANDO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Orlando television station reported Casey Anthony's defense team brought in a well-known forensics expert to examine her car, which still reeks of death, according to detectives.

Above, Caylee Anthony

A judge recently granted Anthony's attorney, Jose Baez, to have access to the vehicle, which was found abandoned months ago at an Orange County Amscot. Scientists have concluded that the trunk contained signs of possible human decomposition and unusually high levels of chloroform.

Baez said he wanted an independent examination of the white Pontiac Sunfire and brought in Dr. Henry Lee, who has worked in several high-profile cases, including the O.J. Simpson murder trial, to assist in the inspection, WKMG said.

Anthony, 22, remains jailed on first-degree murder charges in the disappearance of then 2-year-old Caylee, who was last seen on June 16th, 2008, but was not reported missing until a month later.



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NewsManatee Archive Created 11/23/2008 3:13:09 PM

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