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Local/State News for week ending 1/31/2009

Manatee County Sheriff's Detective
Arrests Man for Shaking, Dropping
Newborn Boy, 2-Months Old

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A 2-month-old baby boy (born 11//6/08), who had recently been taken to hospitals in 3 counties, suffered a skull fracture, doctors say, according to a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. The baby's father, Matthew David Nix, 21, of 6050 34th Street West, in Bradenton, has been arrested in connection with the baby's injuries.


Matthew David Nix

A sheriff's office report said Matthew Nix and his fiancé, Amy Astalos, have been having medical problems with their newborn child, named in the report as "L.N." During the past few weeks they have brought "L.N." to several different doctors and hospitals in Manatee, Sarasota and Pinellas Counties for weight loss and possible stomach problems.

On Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009, Sheriff's Detective Jason Hottman was notified that "L.N." was admitted at All Children’s Hospital with a skull fracture.

Det. Hottman responded and interviewed Nix and his fiancé, Astalo.

Astalo stated several times that she did not know how her child sustained the injuries. After talking with her for several minutes she stated that Nix has the tendency to get very frustrated with the baby.

Det. Hottman then interviewed Nix and his responses were inconsistent. He later admitted to shaking the baby on several occasions.

Nix agreed to accompany Det. Hottman to the Child Protection Investigation office for an interview.

Post Miranda, Nix admitted that he had become frustrated Monday night, Jan. 26, 2009, at approximately 1:00 a.m. because the child wouldn't eat, and had gas and diarrhea.

Nix tried to give the child medicine and scraped the roof of the child's mouth with the dropper, causing the baby's mouth to bleed profusely.

Nix admitted to being frustrated, then elbowing the child in the stomach because he would not eat or stop crying. As Nix stood up with the baby he forcefully threw the baby to the floor, causing the child's head to strike the base of a metal floor lamp.

Nix went on to disclose that he has shaken the baby on several different occasions. He further recalled rubbing the baby's back and hearing popping and cracking sounds.

He later added that he has held the baby up, and pulled his arms apart, out of frustration. Nix was provided a doll and demonstrated his actions on video.

Nix was arrested on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009, at about 6 p.m., charged with Aggravated Child Abuse, and transported to jail without incident

Crime Scene responded to the residence and hospital for photographs.

The condition of the child is stable at this time, Det. Hottman wrote in the arrest report.

Nix remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bond of $5,000.


VCTF Detectives Arrest Man for
Previous Armed Robbery
of Discount Store

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Detectives from the Violent Crimes Task Force have arrested Garrett D. Stegger, 28, of 3707 99th Street West, in Bradenton, after determining that Stegger was the man who robbed Park Discount Beverage, 4539 26th Street West, Bradenton, on Monday, Jan. 19, 2009, at knifepoint.


Garrett D. Stegger

VCTF Detective Sgt. Kevin Pease wrote in a sheriff's media release that on Monday, Jan. 19, 2009, at about 6:30 p.m., a White male entered Park Discount Beverage wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a black scarf over his face.

The man was armed with a 7" kitchen knife and told the store owner, Lung Pham, 58, that Pham had 5 seconds to give him the money from the cash register.

Lung Pham opened the register and the robber reached over the counter and started grabbing money as he brandished the knife at Lung.

Lung retrieved a machete that he keeps behind the counter and struck the robber in the left hand, cutting him badly.

The robber fled the store, followed by Lung, and ran north toward the Gates of Bradenton Apartment complex.

VCTF and K-9 responded to the scene and an attempt was made to track the robber.

A blood trail was followed to the Gates of Bradenton, but the robber was not located at that time.

Then, on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009, and on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009, the sheriff's office received information that Garrett Stegger had committed the Robbery.

Through investigation, it was found that Stegger’s estranged wife, Jasimine, lives at Gates of Bradenton in an apartment two hundred feet from where the blood trail ended.

On Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009, Sgt. Pease and Detective Parham spoke to Stegger and observed a small laceration on his left wrist that was in an advanced stage of healing.

A warrant was then obtained for Stegger for Armed Robbery and he was arrested at his parents' home without incident.

Stegger remains in the Manatee County Jail on a $75,000 bail bond.


Ellenton Plumbing Business
Burglarized; Man Arrested
At the Scene

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Wednesday, Jan. 28. 2009, at about 10:45 p.m., the Manatee County Sheriff's Office arrested Timothy B. Simmons, 25, for burglarizing Remicor Plumbing, 3904 U.S. 301, in Ellenton, after a concerned citizen called the sheriff's office during the burglary.


Timothy B. Simmons

According to a sheriff's office report, a man neighboring the closed business called 911, then narrated to dispatch what was occurring. He watched a man, later identified as Simmons, force his way in between the gates of the closed business. He saw Simmons walking around in the fenced-in area, with a bucket and tools, at first going in and out of sight. But then Simmons stopped, kneeled down behind/near the air-conditioning unit at the back of the structure, and appeared to be "working on it," the caller said.

Deputies King and Wolfinger arrived and challenged Simmons from the outside of two sides of the fenced-in area. Dep. King directed Simmons to Dep. Wolfinger, and Simmons was safely secured.

Simmons had a bucket filled with antique sink fixtures, which were removed from sinks stored within the fence, east of the gate. He also had bolt cutters, pliers and a magnet.

Simmons had already pried the metal fascia/flange away from the copper piping that runs through the wall to the air-handler inside, from the outdoor AC compressor.

Simmons had attempted to cut the lock on the rear roller door of the service/delivery truck parked within the fence, approximately 10 feet from the sinks and the AC unit.

The victim/owner, Miguel Correa, responded and was quite happy with the "catch."

The tools were seized as evidence and the stolen fixtures were released back to Correa on scene. Correa agreed to replace the lock on the truck on Thursday, and then release the broken lock to the sheriff's office so the sheriff's office could have the cutters to match to the marks on the lock if needed.

Dep. Wolfinger read 'Miranda' to Simmons and gained a confession.

Dep. Begley responded and photographed the fixtures, structure, vehicle and damage.

Simmons was charged with Burglary, Grand Theft, Attempted Burglary to a Vehicle and Possession of Burglary Tools.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a $21,750 bail bond.


Woman Caught Stealing
3 Grand Worth of Jewelry
from Ace Hardware Store

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A Manatee County Sheriff's Deputy has arrested Judith M. Crookston, of St. Petersburg, after Crookston was caught stealing $3,245.06 worth of jewelry from the Ace Hardware store located at 5409 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton.


Judith M. Crookston

According to an arrest report from the sheriff's office, on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009, at about 10:30 a.m., Crookston selected items from the store which she paid for.

However, she remained in the store with her store bags and concealed $2,001.14 in jewelry in the bags and an additional $1,243.92 in her purse.

Store employees were alerted when Crookston walked past the final point of sales and attempted to exit the store with the merchandise and a security sensor sounded.

Crookston walked back into the store and attempted to disperse some of the stolen items, when she was confronted by the store manager.

At that point, Crookston admitted to the theft.

The stolen items were returned to the store, and the store agreed to provide security footage at a later time.

Crookston was arrested and charged with Grand Theft.

She remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bond of $1,000.

[Ed. Note: I didn't know Ace Hardware sold jewelry...!!]


Two Charged in Shooting
of Boy, 16, on Jan. 21st

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested two Hispanic boys in connection with the shooting of a 16-year-old Hispanic boy on Jan. 21, 2009.

According to a press release from BPD, on January 21, 2009, the Bradenton Police Department responded to Manatee Memorial Hospital regarding a gunshot victim arriving there.

The victim, Antonio Aguilar, 16, of Bradenton, Florida, had been shot in the face while driving in the 600 block of Martin Luther King Avenue East.

He then drove himself to the hospital.

An investigation by the Department’s Gang Unit resulted in the arrest of Luis Ortiz, 18, and Jose Ortiz, 14, both of Bradenton.

They were taken into custody on January 28th, 2009.

Luis Ortiz is charged with Attempted Murder and Jose Ortiz is charged with Principal in the First Degree to Attempted Murder.

Anyone having information with regards to this incident is asked to call the Bradenton Police Department 941-932-9300 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, .

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


Lee Middle School Student
Arrested for Pointing Gun
at Another Student

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A 15-year-old student from Lee Middle School, Kori Harrelson, has been arrested for pointing a gun at another student on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, at a shopping plaza near the school.

According to a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, on Thursday, at about 2:45 p.m., there was a confrontation between a group of students in a shopping plaza to the east of Lee Middle School, in the 5400 block of 34th Street West, Bradenton. 

During this confrontation, Harrelson pulled out a firearm and pointed it at an unnamed victim and then at the group of students. 

The victim and the group of students took off running and Harrelson passed the firearm off to another student who was with him. 

The firearm was taken to a residence where it was hidden.  The school's Resource Officer began a follow-up on the confrontation and located the firearm at a residence. 

Harrelson was arrested and transported to Juvenile Booking Facility, charged with Aggravated Assault with a Firearm.

There were no shots fired and no injuries, and at no time did the firearm come onto school property, the sheriff's report said.


Man Robbed at Gunpoint, He and
Robber Struggle for Gun, Shot
Fired, Bystander Takes Gun,
Robber Gets Away

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- In an armed robbery somewhat reminiscent of the Old West, when a gunslinger robbed a man on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, the robber and the victim struggled for possession of a handgun, the gun went off, a bystander wrestled the gun away and the robber escaped, but not on a horse.

According to a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, the victim, George Calhoun, (Calhoun is a name straight out of the Old West) went to a residence in the 3800 block of 5th Street East, in Bradenton, to meet a girl.

When he walked out of the girl's apartment, a Black male gunslinger approached him.

The Black male was displaying a revolver and demanding money.

Calhoun took his belongings out of his pockets and placed them on a car's hood (for this story, it should have been a stagecoach, but, alas, it was a car).

As the robber reached over and took the victim's $40, Calhoun grabbed the gun. They struggled over the weapon, and it discharged.

Nobody was shot.

A bystander then took the gun away from the two fighting men and threw it on the ground.

Since the local sheriff (or the Lone Ranger) wasn't present to corral the robber, Calhoun ran away as the robber retrieved the gun.

Then the robber ran away. (His horse had apparently become spooked by the gunshot and had run off.)

A 911 check-the-area call came in to the sheriff's office concerning the shot fired.

Upon arrival of Dep. Aviles, he found the victim.

The robber was described only as a Black male, 6'2" tall, about 210 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. (His horse was not described and is still missing).

The investigation is ongoing.

[Ed. Note: Oh, stop. It's the weekend and my imagination ran wild...so what?]


Man Stabbed by Homeless Man
Who Fled the Scene

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, at about 12:20 p.m., a homeless man stabbed another man while they were working at Cincotta Ranch on County Road 675, in Myakka City.

According to a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, the victim, Peter Hunsader, 43, and the suspect, a homeless man known only as "Justin," were at the back barn helping someone work on a car.

While the victim was helping with the other car, Justin got into the victim's vehicle.

The victim asked Justin to get out of his vehicle and Justin didn't.

The victim tried to pull Justin out of his vehicle, but Justin grabbed a large knife that was on the floorboard of the victim's vehicle and stabbed the victim in the left foot.

The victim left and went to his residence at 24015 53rd Avenue East. The victim decided to call the Sheriff's Office around 1:00 p.m.

The victim refused to be transported by EMS. The victim decided to have a friend drive him to a First Care clinic for treatment.

Deputies searched the area for Justin, but were not able to locate him.

Justin is a homeless person that Cincotta Ranch was helping out. They were unable to provide any other information on the suspect, other than that he may be in his 30s.

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

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


Sarasota Sheriff Conducting
Death Investigation of Boy, 3

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriffs' Office is investigating the death of a 3-year-old boy.

On Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009, at about 6 p.m., Sarasota County Sheriffs deputies responded to 5324 Altoona Street, in Sarasota, reference an unresponsive 3-year-old boy, who was not named in the sheriff's office report of the incident.

Sarasota County Fire Department Paramedics responded and transported the boy to Doctors Hospital.

The boy was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is investigating this incident.


Man's Vehicle Stolen from
Acura Dealer; Recovered

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009, about 3:10 p.m., a man's vehicle was stolen from Gettel Acura, 4891 Clark Road, Sarasota, but was later recovered.

A report from the Sarasota County Sheriffs Office said deputies responded to the above location reference a carjacking.

The victim, John Gil, 36, had left his vehicle running outside Gettel Acura.

Witnesses observed a newer model white mustang in the area. A Black male exited the white mustang and got into the victim's vehicle.

As the thief was leaving the scene, Mr. Gil tried to stop him.

Mr. Gil suffered minor injuries which did not require hospitalization.

The vehicle was later found abandoned in Ft. Myers.

The thief was described as a Black male, about 24 years of age, 5'8" tall, with a thin build, braided hair to his shoulders and was last seen wearing a light colored shirt and khaki shorts.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau at 861-4900 or Crime stoppers at 366-TIPS (8477)


Search Warrant Nets Two for
Drugs, Ammunition

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Members of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit, assisted by Traffic and K-9 units, executed a search warrant at 6761 Long Moss Lane, Englewood, on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009, at approximately 4:55 p.m., after an ongoing investigation yielded sufficient evidence for the search warrant.

Upon entering the residence, deputies located Patrick M. Mages, 22, and John E. Millen, 35, both of 6761 Long Moss Lane, Englewood. Mages was in his bedroom and Millen in the living room of the residence. During the search, four clear plastic baggies were found in Millen’s bedroom in a cardboard box on the bed. The substance in the bags tested positive for cocaine. Also in Millen’s room were 91 .45 caliber bullets and seven 20-gauge shotgun shells.

In a search of the vehicle that Mages had arrived in as a passenger, deputies found 75 20-gauge shotgun shells and 100 20-gauge Federal shotgun shells. On December 31, 2008, Mages had been arrested out of the residence for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and knew that this ammunition was in the residence and behind the passenger seat in the truck, in plain view.

Patrick Mages was arrested for Possession of Ammunition by Convicted Felon, which carries no bond, and Jon Millen was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance (Cocaine) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, with a total bond of $3,500. Both men were transported to the Charlotte County Jail, and booked on the charges.


Tourist Who Faked Drowning
Death 20 Years Ago Found
Alive; Arrest Showed Truth

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Orlando television station WKMG reported a tourist who was believed to have drowned in Daytona Beach was found alive Tuesday in North Carolina almost 20 years after he faked his death, officials said.

Bennie Harden Wint, 49, of South Carolina, vanished in the ocean in 1989 shortly after getting engaged. His fiancee was on the beach when he swam offshore and did not reappear.

A search using helicopters and jet skis failed to locate Wint, who authorities believe swam north or south then got out of the ocean.

Wint was located in North Carolina when he was arrested on suspicion of giving police a false name and driving with a suspended driver's license.

A Volusia County lifeguard said he remembers the incident and always thought it was suspicious because no one actually saw Wint go under the water.

Officials said they believe Wint faked his death to avoid marrying his fiancee. It is not known if his former fiancee, who had returned to South Carolina, has been made aware that he is alive.

Wint has been released on bond,WKMG reported.


 

~ THURSDAY'S LOCAL/STATE NEWS ~

Woman, 22, Charged with Attempted
Murder, Armed Home Invasion
Robbery in Sunday Incident

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office, with the assistance of the Bradenton Police Department, has arrested Nicole Hope Thomas, 22, of a last known address of 3300 26th Avenue East, Lot 34R, Bradenton, with Attempted Murder and Armed Home Invasion Robbery stemming from an incident that occurred on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009.


Nicole Hope Thomas

NewsManatee reported earlier this week that on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009, at about 2 a.m., there was a home invasion robbery with a shot fired, wounding one man, according to a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The report said two unknown Black males and a White female entered the victims' residence, in the 1100 block of 59th Avenue Circle East, Bradenton, and demanded money.

They took a 30-year-old Hispanic male to his bedroom in the back of the apartment, put him on the floor and ransacked his bedroom, finding $700.00 cash.

Another Hispanic male, 46, heard the noise and went to investigate. When he got to the bedroom doorway, one of the invaders shot him, striking him under the right arm, just grazing him on his side. The invaders fled out the front door.

A sheriff's K-9 unit responded and attempted to track but was unsuccessful.

The victim had an injury that was not life-threatening; he was transported to Manatee Memorial Hospital.

The Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) was on scene and assisted with the investigation. Detectives were notified and responded a Crime Scene Technician.

The only further description of the perpetrators was that the White female was dressed in a Buc's sweatshirt.

Information was received by the sheriff's office that Nicole H. Thomas was the female suspect in this incident.

On Monday, January 26, 2009, the victims positively identified Thomas from a photographic lineup.

On Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009, Manatee County Sheriff's Detective Sevier obtained Arrest Warrants for Thomas for Armed Home Invasion Robbery and Attempted Murder. At 5:50 p.m., Officer Jeanine Gagliano, of the Bradenton Police Department, located and arrested Thomas in the 1900 block of 11th Street West, in Bradenton.

The two men involved with Thomas in the home invasion are still at large.

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

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


Man, 74, Arrested for Molesting
Boy When Boy Was 9-17
Years Old, Now 21

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- Bradenton Police have arrested Clarence Edward Myers, 74, of 1217 12th Avenue West, in Bradenton.


Clarence Edward Myers

According to the arrest report, an unnamed victim, now age 21, went to the Bradenton Police Department on Friday, Jan. 23, 2009, and said that Myers had sexually molested him on numerous occasions at night when he was a boy of 9-17 years old when he was trying to sleep.

The victim said Myers would fondle his penis.

On Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009, the victim was given a tape recorder which he had in his pocket when he confronted Myers about the allegations, the report said.

He questioned Myers about why Myers did the things to him [the victim] that Myers did.

Towards the end of the recording, Myers said, "I did to you what I did"...and..."there, that's your apology."

When interviewed by police, Myers said the victim used to come into his [Myers'] bedroom at night and Myers would tell him to go back to sleep.

Myers denied molesting anyone in the interview.

He was arrested and charged with Sexual Battery.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bond of $10,000.


Palmetto Police Arrest Man
for Aggravated Battery

PALMETTO, Florida [NMT] -- Palmetto Police have arrested Honorio Ferrano, 32, of 518 14th Street West, Palmetto.


Honorio Ferrano

An arrest report from Palmetto PD says on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009, at about 1 a.m., Ferrano intentionally struck an unnamed victim and caused bodily harm to the victim using a knife.

The report went on to say that Ferrano pulled out a small pocket knife and cut the victim on his right ring finger.

Police were called.

The victim was unable to fill out an affidavit, due to his injury.

Ferrano was arrested and charged with Aggravated Battery.


FREE Walk-In Eye Screenings,
Plus Cataract, Glaucoma
Discussion in Ellenton

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Monday, February 16, 2009, at 4:00 p.m., Dr. Mark DiSclafani, affectionately known as “Dr. D” by his patients, will help you understand what a cataract is and when you should consider cataract surgery. He will also discuss the new ReSTOR, ReZoom, and Crystalens multifocal lens implants that will allow patients to enjoy life without glasses. Dr. DiSclafani will be available for a private discussion of your results of free vision screenings, also offered at other times and dates as indicated below.

Not seeing as well as you used to? Think you might have a cataract? Do you have a family history of glaucoma? Come in for a free vision screening between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. on the dates below and find out about the options available. Dr. Michael Manning, a comprehensive ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon, will meet with you one-on-one to discuss your results and answer any questions you may have.

Those free vision screenings are offered as follows:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 from 10:00am to 11:00am
Wednesday, February 11, 2009 from 10:00am to 11:00am
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 from 10:00am to 11:00am
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 from 10:00am to 11:00am

Both are offered at The Eye Associates, 7915 US Hwy 301 N, # 101, in Ellenton.

You can call (941) 729-2020 for more information. You can also log on to www.TheEyeAssociates.com to find out more about the Eye Associates.

[Ed. Note: The Eye Associates is a premier supporter of NewsManatee.com. It is also where NewsManatee's publisher had his cataract surgery, which was performed without complications.]


Bradenton Woman Arrested
by Sarasota Sheriff for
Scheme to Defraud

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A Bradenton woman who was a part time bookkeeper for a Sarasota business has been arrested on claims she defrauded her employer out of more than $8,600.


Kali R. Smith

An arrest report from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said Kali R. Smith, 28, of 7710 Lake Vista Court, in Lakewood Ranch, worked for Woodcraft, 4456 Bee Ridge Road, in Sarasota, as a part time bookkeeper from August until December of 2008.

During that time, Smith entered payroll for herself in the amount of $1,141.20.

However, checking records, the company and detectives learned that she should only have earned $2,523.87 during that period of time.

The difference that Smith illegally paid herself was $8,617.31, the report said.

When detectives attempted to question Smith, she asked for a lawyer.

Smith was arrested on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009, and charged with Scheme to Defraud.


Sarasota County Sheriff Issues
Rabid Raccoon Alert

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Sunday, January 25th, 2009, Sheriff’s Office Animal Services received a report of an aggressive raccoon in the area around the 3900 block of South Shade Avenue, Sarasota.

The raccoon was trapped and subsequently tested positive for rabies.

Residents are reminded not to feed or approach wildlife and to warn children to avoid any animal that they are unfamiliar with, and to have their domestic animals vaccinated.

Any questions regarding rabies should be directed to the Sarasota County Health Department at (941) 861-2900.


Detectives Ask Help Identifying
Man Passing Counterfeit $10 Bill

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Detectives of the Charlotte County Sheriff's Economic Crimes Unit are asking the public to help identify a man in a surveillance photo who attempted to pass a counterfeit $10 bill. He is described as a Hispanic male, 35-40 years of age, 5-foot 11 inches tall, dark hair, clean shaven and was wearing blue jeans and a black jacket.

At 3:36 a.m. on Jan. 21, a night clerk at the Circle-K, 4395 Tamiami Tr., Port Charlotte, reported the man tried to buy cigarettes with the bogus bill from the outside window. The clerk used a currency pen that showed the bill to be counterfeit. She told the man it was fake, he then asked for the $10 bill back, but she refused to give it to him. The man ran, got into a dark colored Jeep Liberty, and the vehicle headed southbound on U.S. 41.

Anyone with information about identity of the counterfeit bill suspect is asked to please call the CCSO at 941-639-2101, or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).


Woman Hides, Calls 911 During
Break-In; 3 Juvies Arrested;
911 Call Details Posted

PALM BAY, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Orlando television station WKMG reported a woman hid in her home and called 911 while 3 juveniles ransacked her house. Below is an accountof the 911 call:

A woman hid in a closet inside her Brevard County home Tuesday and called 911 as three people broke into her house, police said.

The attempted burglary occurred Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. on Castile Road in Palm Bay.

Authorities released the 911 call in which the woman urged to dispatcher to have police hurry.

Victim: There are people around my house. I think they're about to break in.

911: They're trying to break into your house?

Victim: Yes. There are people in my back yard, under my windows.

911: I'm just going to stay on the line.

Victim: There are people inside my house!

911: You hear them inside. Can you get to a place and lock the door?

Victim: Yes, I'm in my room. Please hurry!

911: They're coming as fast as they can. They have lights and sirens.

Victim: I hear screaming outside.

911: Yeah, they're grabbing them right now.

Police arrived and arrested three people running from the woman's back yard. All three are under the age of 18, WKMG reported.


 

~ WEDNESDAY'S LOCAL/STATE NEWS ~

Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue:
Mobile Homes Total Loss After
Blaze; Arson Ruled as Cause;
Investigators Ask Who Did It?

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue responded to a mobile home fire at 1107 50th Avenue Plaza West, Bradenton, at about 11:55 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 26, 2009.


Above, the extent of the midnight blaze to 1107 is seen on Tuesday morning;
note the Arson sign on the nearby tree asking for information.
(Photo by Craig Herbert, NewsManatee)

According to Cedar Hammock Batallion Chief Michael DeChelbor, upon arrival 3 minutes after dispatch, the first due company and Battalion 2 found a single-wide mobile home 50% involved, with flame impingement to the mobile home directly to the west, #1109.

The fire was under control in approximately 15 minutes.

Both mobile homes were deemed a complete loss by Manatee County Building Inspector.

Number 1107 was totally gutted, according to Craig Herbert, NewsManatee's Manatee County Bureau reporter and Director of External News Operations.

Number 1109 was a vacant mobile home and 1107 was unoccupied at the time of the fire, however the occupant arrived on the scene and received assistance from the Red Cross.

Crews remained on scene for several hours to assist with complete extinguishment and overhaul of the fire. Cedar Hammock responded with a total of 4 fire engines and a Battalion Chief with a total of 15 Fire Department personnel.

The fire was investigated by Cedar Hammock Fire Investigators. Deputy Fire Marshal Kurt Lathrop from West Manatee Fire Rescue assisted with the use of his arson K-9 dog, and the State Fire Marshal's office was also called in, due to the suspicious nature of the fire.

The fire was labeled incendiary (Arson) by investigators.

The total loss to both structures was $10,000 and $1,000 worth of contents of the occupied mobile home (#1107).

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

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


Man Threatens to "Get" Woman
When He's Released from Jail;
They Had Argued, He Broke
Cell Phone, Vehicle Window

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Thomas E. Cobb, 24, of 35451 State Road 70, Myakka City, has been arrested by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.


Thomas E. Cobb
(We don't know why mug shots sometimes come
to us "green," but we have made an inquiry.)

According to Cobb's arrest report, Cobb and Samantha Walmsley were driving on State Road 70 when they got into a verbal altercation with each other over unknown reasons.

While the vehicle was in motion, Cobb through Samantha's cell phone out the window; it broke into several pieces. Samantha didn't stop because the phone was broken and there was heavy vehicle traffic.

When they arrived at a residence in the 5500 block of 25th Avenue West, she told Cobb to get out of her vehicle several times, but he refused and punched the front window, cracking it at the top.

The vehicle's owner, Deborah Walmsley, later phoned the sheriff's office to complain, saying the phone was valued at $70 and the window was valued at about $350.

When deputies arrested Cobb on Monday, Jan. 26, 2009, they heard him say to Samantha, "You're going to get yours. I'm going to (bleep) you up. I'll be coming to your house when I get out. No one will find you when I get done."

Cobb was charged with Aggravated Assault, two counts of Criminal Mischief and Trespass (for refusing to leave the vehicle).

He remains in the Manatee County Jail without bond.


Bradenton Cops Arrest Woman
for Child Abuse After Woman
Smoked Crack in Girl's Presence

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Bradenton Police have arrested Jennifer Alexander, 26, of 315 61st Avenue East, Bradenton.


Jennifer Alexander

According to an arrest report from BPD, a witness saw Alexander smoking Crack Cocaine in a glass stem with her 2-year-old child sitting a few feet from her. That was on Friday, Jan. 23, 2009, at about 6 p.m.

The witness left the residence in the 800 block of 25th Street West and had an unknown third party call Child Protective Services. At that time, the child was then alone with Alexander.

The report said "due to the proven documented effects of cocaine on the central nervous system, by using it in front of and while caring for a child who is unable to care for herself, [Alexander] would clearly be committing an intentional act that should reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to said child."

When questioned on Monday, Jan. 26, 2009, Alexander admitted to caring for her child while under the influence of cocaine.

Alexander was arrested and charged with Child Abuse. She remains in the Manatee County Jail with a bail bond of $5,000.

There was no word in the report on the disposition of the little girl.


Homeless Man Arrested Driving
Unregistered Vehicle; Had His
License Suspended 4 Times;
Taser Deployed, Arrested

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A Manatee County Sheriff's Deputy has arrested Fabian Capers, 41, a homeless man, after Capers was spotted driving a car with an expired tag.


Fabian Capers

The report said while on routine patrol, Deputy Deluca observed a Green Nissan driving southbound in the 5900 block of 12th Street East with an expired tag.

Deputy Deluca activated his emergency lights in the 6100 block of 12th Street East in an attempt to stop the vehicle.

The vehicle turned onto 61st Avenue Terrace East and the driver's side door opened while the vehicle was still in motion.

The vehicle finally came to a stop in the 900 block of 61st Avenue Terrace East, where Capers fled on foot.

Deputy Deluca gave chase and was able to catch up to Capers.

As Deputy Deluca was attempting to grab Capers, Capers turned around and pushed Deputy Deluca in the chest.

Capers continued to flee and was Tasered by Deputy Deluca. Capers fell to the ground, but continued to resist Dep. Deluca, who drive-stunned Capers. Another deputy arrived who assisted Dep. Deluca in handcuffing Capers.

Capers was charged with Driving While License Suspended, 3rd or Subsequent Offense, Resisting Arrest without Violence and Obstruction.

The vehicle was towed.

Capers remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $3,250.


Boy, 14, in Serious Condition
Following Hit-and-Run Crash

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Highway Patrol reported a traffic accident between an unknown vehicle and a 14-year-old pedestrian.

The accident happened on Monday, Jan. 26, 2009, at about 4 p.m. at State Road 70 and U.S. 301, FHP said.

An unknown vehicle was traveling northbound in the outside lane of U.S. 301 and was approaching the intersection with State Road 70 East.

Derrick Williams, 14, of 5809 9th Street Court East, in Bradenton, was approaching the intersection and was walking from west to east, crossing U.S. 301.

Williams had stopped in the center median prior to entering the northbound lanes of U.S. 301, then ran into the northbound lanes into the direct path of the unknown vehicle.

The front of the vehicle struck Williams, who became airborne and landed in the nothbound outside lane of U.S.301, 10 feet north of the pedestrian crosswalk.

The vehicle that struck Williams failed to remain at the scene and, according to witnesses, ran the northbound red traffic signal and continued northbound without stopping.

The boy was transported to Bayfront Medical Center in serious condition, FHP said.

The unknown vehicle was described as an older model full size Oldsmobile or Buick, 4-door, brown or tan in color. The right front fender had been replaced with an aftermarket or used part that is black in color. The car may have minor damage to its front.

Anyone with any information concerning this vehicle is asked to contact Sergeant William Pascoe or Corporal Dave McInturff of the Florida Highway Patrol, at (941) 751-7647.

Charges are pending.


Missing Hedge Fund Manager
Turns Himself in at Tampa

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- Missing Sarasota hedge fund manager Arthur G. Nadel, 76, turned himself in to federal authorities Tuesday morning, Jan. 27, 2009, a Sarasota Police Dept. spokesman has reported.


Arthur G. Nadel

The Securities and Exchange Commision says that Nadel operated a fraud, saying the hedge funds he operated were worth $342 million when they were only worth about $500,000.

The SEC said Nadel was operating a Ponzi scheme.

Nadel vanished on Jan. 14, and has hidden $1.25 million in secret bank accounts, according to the SEC.


Sarasota County Sheriff Issues
Two Fraud Alerts

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is investigating two Grand Theft cases where the suspects used a “scam” to acquire the victim’s money.

In one case, the victim received a letter asking her to be a “mystery shopper.” Included in the letter was a check for $4865.00, which the victim deposited into her account. Following the directions in the letter, the victim then sent the suspect(s) a money gram for $4330.00. The victim later learned that the original check for $4865.00 was dishonored. By this time she was unable to retrieve the funds from the money gram.

In the other case, called the “Montreal Grandparent Scam,” the victim received a phone call from someone claiming to be his grandson. The suspect informed the victim that he had been arrested in Canada, and that he needed money for his bond. A second suspect also called the victim, claiming to be a police officer involved in the case. The victim wired $4,804.00 to the suspect(s) to cover this claimed expense. The victim subsequently learned that his grandson had not been in Canada during the period in question.

The Sheriff’s Office asks that citizens be aware that these types of scam exist, and to notify law enforcement prior to conducting business with anyone who approaches them in this manner.

If anyone has additional information in relation to these crimes, or has been a victim of a crime that is similar in nature, please contact the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Bureau on (941) 861-4900.


Cocaine Dealer Arrested
in Narcotics Unit Raid

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit detectives raided a Tropical Gulf Acres home south of Punta Gorda on Monday, Jan. 26, 2009, and shut down a cocaine distribution operation.


Enrique Neris

Arrested was Enrique Neris, 41, 12070 Borax Ave., after detectives confiscated a total of 121.7 grams of cocaine (over 4 ounces).

Narcotics detectives acting on a tip were assisted by K-9, CID, Marine Patrol and District 3 road patrol deputies, and served a search warrant. When deputies approached the home, Neris flushed cocaine down a toilet. However, detectives removed the toilet and found a plastic bag with cocaine. Several bags of cocaine were located around the house, and detectives found 5.4 grams of crack cocaine on Neris. Also located were illegal controlled substance pills of Davocet and Tylenol with Codeine.

Neris was transported to the Charlotte County Jail and charged with Trafficking in Cocaine, Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Possession of Davocet, Possession of Tylenol with Codeine, and Tampering with Physical Evidence. No bond was set due to previous narcotics felony convictions.

Anyone with knowledge of illegal drug activity is asked to please call the CCSO Narcotics Unit at 941-575-2157 or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).


Fingerprints Identify Man in
3 Daylight Home Burglaries

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Forensics Unit identified a man who left his fingerprints and blood at one of three daylight home burglaries in South Gulf Cove.


Joseph Alva Ruelle, Jr.

Detectives then located and arrested Joseph Alva Ruelle Jr., 23, of 801 3rd St., Englewood, and charged him with three counts of Burglary and three counts of Grand Theft.

Large screen televisions were the apparent target in the three burglaries on Jan. 15 at 9383 Athel Dr., Jan. 18 at 9506 Snapper Cir., and Jan. 19 at 15237 Alsask Cir.

A window was smashed out at the Alsask Cir. home and deputies located small droplets of blood and fingerprints.

The Forensic Unit was able to identify the fingerprints of Ruelle who confessed to the burglaries and said he used an aluminum baseball bat to break the window.

Ruelle was taken to the Charlotte County Jail and is being held on $22,500 bond.


Former Youth Minister Arrested
On Sex Molestation Charges

OCALA, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A Marion County man accused of molesting a girl and her mother worked as a youth minister at several Ocala-area churches, according to Orlando television station WKMG.

Joseph Stanavich, 61, was arrested on charges of child porn and lewd and lascivious behavior after he was found hiding in the closet of another home.

Stanavich shared a home with the woman and girl he's accused of molesting.

Marion County sheriff's deputies said they are concerned that there may be more victims, including people who attended churches where he worked, WKMG said.

Anyone with information about Stanavich is urged to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office.


 

~ TUESDAY'S LOCAL/STATE NEWS ~

Manatee County Sheriff's Deputies:
Man Goes Bonkers, Threatens His
Mother, 3 Cops; Tasered, Busted

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported on Sunday, January 25, 2009, at approximately 6:15 p.m., deputies responded to the 300 block 47th Street West, in Palmetto, for a domestic violence incident.


Bruce Treani

While en route, dispatch advised that the female victim, Stella Treani, 75, was screaming hysterically on the phone.

When Deputies Rupert, Hasty, and Belt arrived, Treani's son, Bruce Treani, 43, was on the front porch. Bruce had his left hand in his pocket, partially concealing an unknown object.

Deputies ordered Bruce to remove his hands from his pockets.

Bruce began yelling at the deputies that he was going to kill them.

As the deputies approached and repeated commands to remove his hands from his pockets, Bruce said he was going to kill them if they came any closer.

Fearing immanent harm to himself and the other deputies, Hasty and Belt, Deputy Rupert fired his Taser. The probes made a direct hit on Bruce's left chest and left thigh area. Bruce dropped to the ground where the deputies subdued him after a brief struggle, without further Taser deployment.

The 75-year-old victim, Stella Treani, told deputies that she has had prior incidents with her son and he suffers from mental illness. Stella said she had awoken in the middle of the night, on Saturday, Jan. 24th, to her son standing over her as she slept. Stella advised that her son said "I know what God wants me to do now" and told Stella that she works for the devil.

On Sunday, Stella was so fearful of her son that she gave him $1,000 to move out of the house, which he did.

At approximately 6 p.m., Bruce returned to the house and tried to get in, but Stella refused to allow him entry.

Bruce began to threaten his 75-year-old mother with bodily harm.

Stella was in great fear for her own safety and very emotionally distraught over the incident, the report said.

The item in Bruce's pocket was a twelve-inch long wooden stick, one inch in diameter.

Bruce Treani was charged with Domestic Assault on a Person Older than 65, three counts of Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer, and Resisting Arrest without Violence.


Man, 47, Arrested for
Sexual Battery of
Girl Since Age 10

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff's Detective April Dugan has arrested Ronald Lee Twilley, 47, of 2615 Cortez Road West, Bradenton.


Ronald Lee Twilley

According to Twilley's arrest report, he has been molesting an underage girl since she was 10 years old; she is now 16 years old. The molestation began in July of 2005 when she and her mother were living in Georgia. Twilley was the mother's boyfriend.

The molestation continued when they moved to Florida. They first lived in Osprey and then moved to Bradenton.

The report said the molestation included manual penetration of the girl's vagina, attempts to get the girl to give Twilley oral sex, and masturbation by Twilley on the girl's chest.

The girl told Det. Dugan that Twilley had told her if she ever resisted, he would hit her.

Twilley denied the claims and even had a polygraph examination done at his lawyer's recommendation about two weeks ago. The attorney would not divulge the results of the test to Det. Dugan.

Twilley was arrested and charged with Sexual Battery.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a $150,000 bail bond.

The mother of the girl is no longer a girlfriend of Twilley's.


Care Giver Leaves Two
Disabled Men at School
Unattended for 2+ Hours

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff's Deputies have arrested Leticia Peay, 35, of 1214 30th Avenue East, Bradenton.


Leticia Peay

According to the arrest report, Leticia Peay works for Northwest Care Center, 800 block of 71st Street NW, Bradenton.

On Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009, at about 7:30 p.m., Peay took two disabled residents to Southeast High School to watch a basketball game.

Peay allegedly left them there unattended for the entire game.

The two disabled men, who were later determined by a deputy to have very low levels of communication skills similar to a 2-year-old, caught the attention of a volunteer at the school.

The volunteer waited with other staff members for about an hour, then called the sheriff's office.

Arriving deputies also waited for about an hour before Peay showed up.

Giving a false name to deputies, Peay told them another man was supposed to pick them up, but had called her to say he couldn't find the school and that she would have to pick them up.

Deputies determined her real name and arrested her. She said the reason she gave a false name was she knew there was a warrant for her arrest.

She was charged with two counts of Neglect of a Disabled Adult, Giving a False Name to Law Enforcement. She was additionally charged on a warrant for Contempt of Court for Failure to Appear on a misdemeanor summons.


Traffic Stop Yields Arrest
for Crack Cocaine

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Monique Buhr, 45, of 2517 8th Avenue West, Bradenton.


Above, L to R, Monique Buhr and photo of traffic stop
(Photo by Heather Chadwick, NewsManatee)

According to the arrest report, on Friday, Jan. 23, 2009, at about 10 p.m., deputies conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the 900 block of 57th Avenue East, Bradenton. The tag on the vehicle had come back as belonging to another vehicle.

It turned out that the tag belonged to another vehicle owned by the driver who was stopped, Robert Mclaughlin, who was issued a citation.

However, the passenger in Mclaughlin's car was Monique Buhr, who was searched incident to the traffic stop.

On her person, deputies found .3 grams of crack cocaine (3 pieces), and a crack pipe, along with 3 pieces of brillo.

Monique was arrested and charged with Possession of Crack Cocaine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

According to the sheriff's website, Buhr was also arrested on December 3, 2008, by Bradenton Police, on similar charges.


Holmes Beach Police Chief
Named LEO of the Year,
Crime Stoppers Says

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT/Islander] -- Crime Stoppers of Manatee County named Holmes Beach Police Chief Jay Romine as its law enforcement officer of the year in a recent ceremony.


Holmes Beach Police Chief Jay Romine, center, accepts the
Crime Stoppers Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award
from Frank Brunner, left, and Steve Rowland, right.

Crime Stoppers president Steve Rowland announced the award, crediting Romine for making sure Crime Stoppers stayed alive during financial hard times in the mid-1990s and with other achievements in the organization he helped found and on the job in Holmes Beach.

“After our program became a little more revived, he was instrumental in promoting and sharing the benefits of Crime Stoppers with other county law enforcement agencies, pursuing them to get back involved,” Rowland said. “Best of all, he is the reason I am a member since he was the person responsible for inviting me to attend a meeting and eventually join.”

Romine began his career with HBPD as a part-time patrol officer in 1979, advancing over the years to work as a patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, lieutenant, assistant chief and chief, the post he has held since July 1993.

A native of Manatee County, Romine graduated from Southeast High School, Manatee Community College, Auburn University and the University of South Florida.

He also has graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., and serves on the executive board of the Florida Police Chief Association, as well as chair of the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.

“In his spare time, he found the time to become a founding member of Crime Stoppers of Manatee County,” Rowland said of Romine. “I think he would be the first to agree we’ve come a long way in the last 20-something years, since the days of meeting in the conference room at the Westside Barnett Bank at 43rd Street and Manatee Avenue.”

[Ed. Note: The article above was written by Lisa Neff, Anna Maria Islander reporter. The Islander is a news partner of NewsManatee's and we frequently share articles.]


Car Crashes, Submerges in Pond,
Driver Had Medical Problem

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009, at about 3:15 p.m., the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office removed a man from a submerged vehicle at Fruitville Road and Coburn Road, in Sarasota.

A sheriff's report said Sarasota Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to the above location in reference to a vehicle running off the roadway sinking in a pond.

When Deputies Gene Nault and Robbie Martin arrived, the vehicle was completely submerged.

They entered the water.

Deputy Nault was able to free the driver from his vehicle and, with the assistance of Deputy Martin, get him out of the water.

The driver, Stephen Lenentine, 53, apparently had a medical problem while driving, causing him to lose control.

The driver was conscious and was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

The crash investigation was turned over to the Florida Highway Patrol.


Detectives Arrest Two Men for
"Carhopping" in East Englewood

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff’s detectives arrested Eric Wayne Konopasek, 21, 9052 Castlehill Ave., East Englewood, and Griffin D. Moeller, 18, of Delray Beach, for "carhopping."


Above, L to R, Eric Konopasek and Griffin Moeller

Five unlocked vehicles were burglarized Jan. 15 within a couple blocks of each other on Elbro Rd., Heartwellville Ave. Bargello and Thomas streets. Items stolen from the unlocked vehicles were GPS, cash, coins, cell phones, flashlight and cigarettes.

From their investigation, detectives identified Moeller and Konopasek, and went to a home at 5298 Forbes Terrace in Gulf Cove Saturday and met the two as they were leaving in Konopasek’s vehicle. A search of the vehicle located a stolen GPS, and a stolen digital camera in Konopasek’s pocket. Detectives said they found Xanax and Roxicodone pills belonging to Moeller who said he had a drug problem. Both men confessed to burglarizing unlocked vehicles while riding their bicycles.

Moeller was charged with three counts of Burglary, three counts of Petit Theft, Possession of Xanax, and Possession of Roxicodone. Konopasek was charged with two counts of Burglary and two counts of Petit Theft. Both were transported to the Charlotte County Jail; Konopasek posted a $7,000 bond while Moeller remains in jail on $15,500 bond.

The Sheriff’s Office continues to warn the public about always locking vehicles when left unattended as they are easy targets for thieves.


Inmates Guarded At Hospital
By Police After Prison Melee

COLEMAN, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Police were guarding an Orlando hospital Monday morning after 18 inmates were wounded in a prison melee that involved a shooting and several stabbings, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

The fight broke out Sunday afternoon in the recreation yard serving a high-security prison building at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex, spokeswoman Traci Billingsley said. One of the inmates was shot by a prison guard; seven others suffered critical stab wounds.

The Orlando Regional Medical Center said seven people were being treated there, and armed guards in riot gear were standing by because the inmates are considered high-risk. The emergency room at ORMC was locked down as a precaution shortly after the inmates were transported to the facility. The lockdown was later lifted.

Hospital officials gave no details on the extent of the inmates' injuries.

No staff workers were seriously injured.

The prison has four facilities that house low-, medium- and high-security inmates, WKMG said.

 

 

~ MONDAY'S LOCAL/STATE NEWS ~

Manatee County Deputies:
Local Casino Robbed at
Gunpoint by Masked Man

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a local casino, Spinners, located at 5610 14th Street West, Bradenton, was robbed by an armed masked man on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2008, at about 10 p.m.


Above, Spinners, 5610 14th Street West
(Photo by Craig Herbert, NewsManatee)

The report said an unknown male, no age or race given, entered the casino armed with a handgun and forced two customers, Ella Glover, 60, and Shanda White, 33, to the back of the business.

After taking a cell phone and cash from Glover, he forced the two women outside the back door.

As Thelma Brady, 29, an employee, was attempting to exit with them, he grabbed her and pulled her back inside.

He then pointed the gun at her and demanded money from the business. She also gave him cash, the report said.

He took Brady's two cell phones and forced her out back with the other victims.

The robber then fled in an unknown direction.

The victims were not injured.

The perpetrator was described as an unknown male wearing all black clothing, a black mask and black gloves, and armed with a 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.


Burglars Enter Deli Through Roof,
Steal Money from Cash Register

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- By way of an entry method not often seen here in Manatee County, burglars stole money from Vero's Deli, 6630 15th Street East, Bradenton, according to a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.


Above, Dep. K-9 "Kaos"

The report said early Friday, Jan. 23, 2009, shortly before 1 a.m., unknown person(s) entered the business through a vent located on the roof.

Once inside, the burglar(s) stole an undisclosed amount of cash from the cash register.

Deputies and the aviation unit arrived on scene within a minute of the crime and started checking the area. K-9 handler Dep. Sutton and his K-9 Deputy "Kaos" cleared the building, then conducted a track.

The suspect was not located.

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 Sheriff Asks Help
Identifying Youthful Thief

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention Unit is asking the public's assistance in identifying a young man who stole $10K worth of gold chains from a flea market recently.

The young man pictured above is wanted for stealing several gold necklaces from a jewelry store at a local flea market. The thief took approximately $10,000 in gold chains.

The only further description is that he appears to be in his 20s.

If you know who this subject is and wish to collect a reward, please contact CrimeStoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, .

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

Let CrimeStoppers know it is in reference to case number 08-65651.

If you are not concerned about a reward and know who this subject is or if you have questions, please contact Deputy Stepen Ogline at: stephen.ogline@manateesheriff.com or 747-3011, ext: 2586.


Man Argues With, Cuts,
Kicks Wife; Arrested

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Kevin Arismendi, 39, of 2209 25th Avenue West, Bradenton.


Kevin Arismendi

According to the arrest report, Kevin and Jennette are married and have a newborn child together.

On Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009, at about 10 p.m., the two got into a verbal argument over bills.

Kevin had been drinking beer and was quite intoxicated, the report said.

Kevin armed himself with a butcher knife and shoved it towards Jennette's face. She put her hands in front of her face to protect herself and received a laceration on the back of both hands.

Kevin then took their daughter and locked himself in a room with the little girl.

When Jennette opened the door to take her daughter, Kevin pushed her to the ground and kicked her in the back of her head with his bare foot.

Officers did not see any injuries on the back of Jennette's head, but the lacerations on both hands were approximately 1/2-inch in length, they reported.

Kevin was arrested and charged with Aggravated Domestic Battery.


Young Man Throws Knife
Into Moving Vehicle,
Cuts Woman

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Justin Eli Dubbs, 19, of 6115 270th Street East, Myakka City.


Justin Eli Dubbs

The arrest report said on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009, at about 4:30 p.m., Justin was driving north on U.S. 301, approaching 38th Avenue East.

Another vehicle, driven by Lynn Schwartz, was driving in the same direction with Jennifer Dimon in the passenger seat.

When Lynn's vehicle approached Justin's vehicle, Justin threw an open pocket knife into Lynn's front open passenger window.

The pocket knife struck Jennifer in the face above the right eye, causing a 1-inch laceration.

Both parties then drove to the sheriff's office District Two substation on 57th Avenue, in Bradenton.

Justin was subsequently arrested and charged with Throwing a Deadly Missile.

No reason was given in the sheriff's report for the incident.

Dubbs posted a $1,000 bail bond and was released the next day.


Four Juvies Arrested After
Stolen Vehicle Spotted

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff's Deputies have arrested four juveniles after they were spotted in a stolen vehicle on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009, at about 7:35 p.m. in the 5100 block of Cortez Road West.


Above, L to R, K-9 Deputies "Rosco" and "Vito"

According to the report, Detective Parham and Sgt. Kevin Pease located a stolen vehicle in the 5100 block of Cortez Road West occupied by the four unnamed juveniles. The vehicle was followed behind Cortez Commons Plaza at 5200 Cortez Road West where the driver began to flee with the vehicle.

A pursuit was initiated behind the plaza and continued through the neighborhood west of 59th Street. The pursuit ended at 6904 37th Avenue Circle West when the vehicled struck a concrete landscaping block in front of the garage and all occupants fled.

One juvenile was apprehended immediately outside the vehicle.

Deputy Pruitt apprehended a second juvenile after he jumped into a pond behind the house, found the water to be too cold, and returned to shore.

The other two juveniles were apprehended by K-9 after a cooperative tracking effort by Deputy Petta and his K-9 Deputy "Vito" and Deputy Brady and his K-9 Deputy "Rosco."

The vehicle's ignition was found "punched" and the steering column ripped open.

All four were charged with Grand Theft Auto and Resisting Arrest. The driver was additionally charged with Aggravated Fleeing to Elude, No Driver's License, and possession of marijuana.

The vehicle was registered to Charles Anderson, 75, of the 1400 block of 4th Street West, Palmetto.


Home Invasion Robbery with
Shot Fired, Wounding Man

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009, at about 2 a.m., there was a home invasion robbery with a shot fired, wounding one man, according to a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The report said two unknown Black males and a White female entered the victim’s residence, in the 1100 block of 59th Avenue Circle East, Bradenton, and demanded money.

They took a 30-year-old Hispanic male to his bedroom in the back of the apartment and put him on the floor and ransacked his bedroom, finding $700.00 cash.

Another Hispanic male, 46, heard the noise and went to investigate. When he got to the bedroom doorway, one of the invaders shot him, striking him under the right arm, just grazing him on his side.

The invaders fled out the front door.

A sheriff's K-9 unit responded and attempted to track but was unsuccessful.

The victim had an injury that was not life-threatening; he was transported to Manatee Memorial Hospital.

The Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) was on scene and assisted with the investigation.

Detectives were notified and responded a Crime Scene Technician.

The only further description of the perpetrators was that the White female was dressed in a Buc's sweatshirt.

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

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


Two Kids Get Lesson in Burglary:
Sometimes There Are Alarms

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Friday, Jan. 23, 2009, at about 7:40 p.m., two kids broke into Action Kawasaki, 2705 1st Street East, Bradenton, and were met by Manatee County Sheriff's Deputies as they tried to escape with two off-road motorcycles.

A sheriff's office report said Ladarius Adams, 16, and Leonard Fields, 13, both of Bradenton, breached the 6-foot barbed wire topped fence surrounding and attached to the business.

As they entered the business yard, they activated an alarm.

Once in the yard, they selected two used off-road motorcycles with a combined value of $4,300.

They pushed the motorcycles to the hole in the fence.

Responding deputies arrived and observed them at this point in the crime and a deputy ordered them to stop.

Both kids deserted the motorcycles and fled through the fence hole, but were captured within 15 minutes of the sheriff's office receiving the alarm call.

The business representative, Michael Warn, arrived to recover the motorcycles and secure the property.

He confirmed in an affidavit that the fence had been breached, and motorcycles had been moved to the hole.

He was very grateful deputies was able to prevent the burglary and arrest the kids, who were charged with Burglary.


Fatal Accident Victim
Identified by FHP

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The man who died trying to retrieve a ladder that had fallen off his vehicle onto I-75 has been identified by the Florida Highway Patrol.

He was Westley Dale Hearn, 48, of Tampa.

NewsManatee originally reported the Florida Highway Patrol said a man was killed Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009, at about 8:55 a.m. as he attempted to retrieve a ladder that had fallen off his pickup truck onto I-75, just .2 of a mile south of State Road 64.

The report said a Dodge 4-door, driven by Felicia Green, 20, of Ruskin, was traveling southbound on I-75 in the inside lane.

A 48-year-old man, had stopped his Nissan pickup truck in the inside southbound emergency lane of I-75 to retrieve a ladder that had fallen from his vehicle.

According to witnesses, the man ran westbound across the inside lane and into the center lane to retrieve the ladder. The man retrieved the ladder and attempted to return to the southbound emergency lane, but failed to observe Ms. Green's vehicle and entered into its path.

The right front of Ms. Green's car struck the man.

After impact, the man was thrown in a southerly direction and came to final rest in the southbound center lane of I-75. Also after impact, Ms. Green's vehicle traveled into the southbound inside emergency lane where the left side of her car struck the right side of the unidentified man's pickup truck.

Ms. Green's car came to final rest facing in a southwesterly direction in the southbound lanes of I-75.

The man died at the scene.

No charges were filed in the incident.


Charlotte Narcotics Unit Raids
Port Charlotte Home, Arrest 3,
including Bradenton Woman

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Charlotte County Sheriff's Narcotics Unit served a search warrant at 7 a.m. Friday morning at 215 Longley Dr. in Port Charlotte, and arrested three people on cocaine and marijuana charges.


Above, L to R, Natrina Bajracharya, Jarvis Luther and Daniel Mallon

Arrested were Natrina Rachard Bajracharya, 29, 1839 St. George Dr. East, Bradenton; Jarvis Jamel Luther, 17, 4193 Kilddeer Terr., North Port, and Daniel Joseph Mallon, 48, who lives in the raided home.

The three were transported to the Charlotte County Jail and all were charged with Possession of Controlled Substance Cocaine, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Detectives additionally charged Bajracharya with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon after finding three handguns and a rifle in the home. Luther was released to the custody of a family member.

Anyone with knowledge of illegal drug activity or information is asked to please call the CCSO Narcotics Unit at 941-575-2157 or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).


Wal-Marts in Bradenton, Charlotte
County Victims of Check Fraud;
Public Asked to Help Identify Man

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff's detectives of the Economic Crimes Unit are asking the public's help in identifying a suspect in a Wal-Mart surveillance photo in Murdock who cashed a $1,475 payroll check that turned out to be fraudulent. The incident occurred Dec. 31, 2008 and the case remains unsolved.

ECU detectives said the suspect provided a payroll check made payable to a Timothy Lamar Trayhan, 27, of 4710 3rd Ave. W., Palmetto, Florida, and he used a Charlotte, North Carolina, driver's license with photo to cash the check.

Detectives learned that the Wal-Mart on Cortez Road West, in Bradenton, had also cashed six payroll checks from five different companies drawn on three different banks, and payable to six different people. All of the checks had the same routing and account numbers.

Anyone with information about the suspect in this fraud case is asked to please call the CCSO at 941-639-2101, or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).


Teen Accused Of Sexual Battery
of Child, 5, at Day Care

TITUSVILLE, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- An 18-year-old son who was left in charge of his family's home day care in Titusville was arrested Friday on suspicion of sexual battery of a 5-year-old in his care, Orlando television station WKMG reported.


Ryan Michael Donahue
(Mug shot courtesy WKMG)

Ryan Donahue was arrested on three counts of sexual battery of a child under the age of 12 and three counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 12.

According to Titusville police, the child's mother reported one of the incidents on Thursday after the child told her what had happened.

According to a police investigation, Donahue was left in charge of the children while his parents, who own the day care, left the house. During that time, Donahue sexually battered the child, police said.

It was also discovered that Donahue sexually battered the child at least three other times last year, Titusville police said.

The Department of Children and Families is conducting an investigation into the matter, WKMG said.

 

 

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NewsManatee Archive Created 1/31/2009 2:00:06 PM


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