This website contains archived material from NewsManatee.com which is supported through private funding, supporter donations and advertising. If you are looking for the latest news in Manatee County Florida visit Newsmanatee.com or perform an archive search at Newsmanateearchive.com. NOTE: Archiving did not begin until March 14, 2008. If you are seeking articles published prior to this date, you will need to contact us directly.

Review archived pages by date OR Text search of archived pages


Local/State News for week ending 4/25/2009

Woman Caught Red-Handed
Burglarizing Unlocked Vehicle,
Stealing Camera, Batteries, Change

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- An alert undercover Manatee County Sheriff's Deputy was responsible for the arrest of a woman he observed burglarizing an unlocked vehicle and stealing a camera, batteries and change.


Lonnie L. Anspach

On Wednesday, April 22, 2009, at about 1:30 p.m., the undercover deputy in an unmarked vehicle observed Lonnie Anspach, 47, of 2103 5th Street East, Bradenton, walking on 26th Avenue in the 900 block.

He then saw her enter an unlocked Toyota which was parked in the roadway in front of a residence. The window on the driver's door was down, which allowed Anspach access to the vehicle.

Anspach then walked westbound on 26th Avenue and south on 12th Street Court West.

Another deputy in a marked vehicle responded and saw Anspach round the corner, walking west on 27th Avenue, where he stopped and asked to speak with her.

The deputy asked what was under her sweat shirt and Anspach pulled out the camera and batteries, saying it was her son's camera.

After she was read her Miranda warnings, Anspach agreed to speak with the deputy.

At first she said she entered the vehicle and removed six pennies because she was trying to gather enough money to buy cigarettes.

When she was told a deputy had been watching the crime, she admitted to also stealing the camera and batteries.

Anspach was arrested and charged with Burglary to a Conveyance.

She remains in the Manatee County Jail on a $10,000 bail bond.


Man Arrested for Lewd &
Lascivious Act on Girl, 3

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff's Deputies in the Warrants Division have arrested a man Bradenton Police say molested a 3-year-old girl.


Oscar Castaneda

Bradenton detectives say Oscar Castaneda, 33, molested the girl on April 11 at a residence in the 600 block of 21st Street East.

The girl's mother found Castaneda rubbing the girl's genitals and kicked the man out of the house.

Castaneda later called her to ask what happened.

He said he was too drunk at the time to remember, a report said.

Castaneda was arrested on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009.

He was charged with a Sex Offense.

Castaneda remains in the Manatee County Jail on a $50,000 bail bond.


Bradenton Cops Arrest Man
for Possession of Pot, Cocaine
After Serving Search Warrant

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- Bradenton Police have arrested Randy Wilson, 34, of 7610 118th Avenue, in Parrish.


Randy Wilson

According to the arrest report, on Wednesday, April 22, 2009, at about 5:30 p.m., Bradenton Police served a search warrant on a residence at 1012 17th Street West.

Wilson was found on the property and detained.

During a pat down of Wilson, deputies located a baggy of marijuana and a baggy of powder cocaine.

Wilson was charged with Possession of Cocaine and Possession of Marijuana.

Wilson posted a $2,000 bail bond and was released from jail the next day.


Man Arrested for Burglary
to Car While Owner Was
Inside Local Store

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff's Deputies have arrested Thomas E. Cadd, 35, of 5508 16th Street West, Bradenton.


Thomas E. Cadd

The arrest report said on Wednesday, April 22, 2009, at about 1 a.m., Cadd burglarized an unnamed victim's vehicle.

The victim was inside the store located at 1008 Cortez Road West when the clerk noticed the dome light was on in the victim's car.

When told this, the victim and his friend went out to the parking lot, where they noticed the car had been broken into.

They were able to provide a description of two men they saw fleeing the parking lot on bicycles.

The suspects were the same two men that the victim and witness had seen inside the store just prior to the burglary.

The two suspects were located about ten blocks away about an hour later.

After being confronted with video surveillance evidence, Cadd admitted to going into the victim's vehicle and stealing a pack of cigarettes.

Cadd was arrested and charged with Burglary to a Conveyance. The other person who was with Cadd at the time wasn't arrested.

Cadd remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $2,000.


Palmetto Police Release
Bank Surveillance Photo
of Wednesday's Robber

PALMETTO, Florida [NMT] -- The Palmetto Police Department has released a surveillance photo of the man suspected of robbing First Priority Bank on Wednesday, April 22, 2009.

As NewsManatee reported on Wednesday, the First Priority Bank at 995 Haben Blvd., Palmetto, was robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash just before noon.

The lone robber, a White male, passed the teller a note threatening to harm her if she did not comply with his demands.

The robber is described a tall (about 6’ 00), possibly thin man wearing blue jeans and a white T-shirt. He had on sunglasses that may have had brown rims and was wearing a black baseball cap that may have had a Devil Rays logo, on it.

The suspect was last seen walking west on U.S. 301, from the bank.

No one was injured during the robbery.

In the surveillance photo above, and several others, the suspect purposely averted his eyes from cameras; this was the best photo, showing the most of him -- at the least, his profile.

Persons with any information about the robbery or the suspect are urged to contact Detective Chris Cavazos at 723-4587, ext. 124, 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.


Manatee Fire Chiefs' Association
Recognizes Members' Efforts

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Thursday, April 23, 2009, the Manatee County Fire Chiefs’ Association recognized members of their association at their monthly meeting.

President Andy Price presented East Manatee Fire Rescue District Deputy Chief Lee Whitehurst the Manatee County Chief Fire Officer of the Year for “his dedication and hard work to the fire services and other governmental agencies in Manatee County.”

Cedar Hammock Training Officer Leigh Hollins was recognized as Manatee County Fire Officer of the Year for “his development and accomplishments for initiating the Aldridge-Benge Firefighter Safety Act and for his determination, dedication and perseverance in motivating the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the legislature of the State of Florida to pass the act.”

Longboat Key Chief Julius Halas was presented with a plaque for 10 years of service to the citizens of Longboat Key, Manatee County and the Manatee County Fire Chiefs’ Association.

Chief Halas recently accepted the position as the Director of State Fire Marshal’s Office in Tallahassee.


Volunteers, Donations Needed
to Build 6 Ramps in 6 Days

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- After a successful project in 2008, AmeriCorps*VISTA members are co-leading a project to build six wheelchair ramps in six days. Last year, the event saw nine ramps built by volunteers, working in two counties. T he undertaking begins in May.

Volunteer Florida ( www.volunteerflorida.org ) is hosting the event in several communities throughout the state.

Working with the Suncoast Center for Independent Living, six low-income households in Manatee and Sarasota counties are being identified as recipients, with building taking place throughout the months of May and June.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be nearly $13,000. Those receiving ramps are being asked to contribute what they can towards the cost of the project and financial donations will assist in buying the materials needed for construction. Donations for supplies and volunteers are n eeded to help build the ramps.

“This is a great project for a youth group, faith-based group or civic club to support,” says Rosie Wiley, local project leader for the 20/20 VISTA Vision Project; “our VISTA members are available to come and present the project to interested parties.”

AmeriCorps*VISTA member Alan Gedeon of Manatee County Neighborhood Services is asking for community groups to come forward and assist with the project. Financial gifts and volunteers are needed. For more information, call the AmeriCorps* VISTA volunteer on 6 Ramps 6 Days hotline at (941) 749-3029.

 

Union Army Veteran Descendants
Hold Meeting, Install Officers

ST. CLOUD, Florida [NMT] -- On April 18, 2009, Mary Todd Lincoln Tent #10, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865, met in St. Cloud, Florida, as the town was celebrating its Centennial, a town founded by Union Soldiers. Some members of tent #10 took part in the parade before the lunch and meeting at the "Catfish Place."


Above, L to R, holding banner are Sandy Vogelpohl and Virginia Okie;
in rumble seat of 1931 Model A Ford is Juanita Lowe,
and in front seat is Louise Hanna
(Photo by Billie Lowe)

New officers installed were: President Sandy Vogelpohl, Senior Vice President June Mears, Treasurer Danielle Kennedy, Registrar/Council#1 Linda Smith, Patriotic Instructor Geni Chittum and Historian/Press Juanita Lowe.

New members inducted were: Judy Lindauer, Sharon Pelfrey, Virginia Okie, Ellen Gordon and Janice Murnan.

Daughters of Union Veterans Tent #10 now has 85 members.

For more information contact Registrar Linda Smith at 795-4275 or by e-mail: llsdarien@aol.com.

[Ed. Note: In this context, a"tent" is similar to a local chapter of an organization.]


209 Pot Plants Found in Car,
Driver Arrested

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Street Crimes Unit made a traffic stop on a driver who ran a stop sign Wednesday night in Port Charlotte and found 209 marijuana plants in the car. The incident occurred at Birchcrest Blvd. and Gibralter Dr. When deputies approached the driver, Matthew Allen Ward, 23, of 1208 Sultana St., Port Charlotte, they observed a large plastic tray in the back seat with the pot plants.


Matthew Allen Ward

Deputies said they detected the smell of recently burned marijuana coming from inside the car. Ward appeared nervous and was shaking, and then deputies saw a plastic baggie and rolling papers sticking out of his right front pocket in plain view.

Total weight of the marijuana seized was 43.2 grams. Based on the evidence collected, Street Crimes deputies had probable cause to charge Ward with Cultivation of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana over 20 Grams, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Driving Without a Valid Driver’s License. He was transported to the Charlotte County Jail with bond set at $9,000.

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).


Man Sought In Infant's Death

MARION COUNTY, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Authorities in Marion County are searching for a man who may have been involved in the death of a baby, Orlando television station WKMG reported.


Daniel Vanhorn
(Photo courtesy WKMG)

Marion County sheriff's deputies are searching for Daniel Vanhorn, 26, who was sleeping on March 20 when a mother found her infant dead at home.

Autopsy results revealed that the child died from a severe beating.

Another child was in the house at the time of the incident, WKMG said.

Anyone with information about Vanhorn's whereabouts is urged to call CrimeStoppers at 352-368-STOP.


 

~ THURSDAY'S LOCAL/STATE NEWS ~

Lengthy High Speed Pursuit
Ends in Arrest of Man for DUI,
Fleeing, Resisting, DWLS

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office was involved in a high speed pursuit of a suspected drunk driver who failed to stop for deputies on Tuesday, April 21, 2009. The pursuit lasted for about 20 minutes in Palmetto neighborhoods.


Joseph (Joey) Branch

An arrest report stated on Tuesday, at approximately 9:45 p.m., Dep. Denmark attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle for speeding, and suspicion of drunk driving based on the driver's driving pattern.

The vehicle failed to stop until it got into the Palmetto Point neighborhood at 50th Street West, when it turned south on 3rd Avenue West and slowed to the point where Dep. Denmark thought he was stopping and possibly going to run from the vehicle.

Dep. Denmark put his car in park and opened his door, but the vehicle fled southbound.

Dep. Denmark activated his siren (his lights were already on), and pursued the vehicle through Palmetto Point as the car made its way towards 33rd Street West.

The vehicle traveled west on 23rd Street West and then south on 14th Street and then west on 21st Street. The vehicle turned south on 24th Avenue and drove on several different streets in the City of Palmetto. The vehicle made its way back north through the city to get to 17th Street. Once there, it crossed Business US 41 and then turned north on Bayshore Rd. The vehicle got to US 41 and headed northbound. The car then turned eastbound onto Moccasin Wallow Road and then southbound on Ellenton-Gillette Road.

Once the vehicle turned on to Ellenton-Gillette Road, the driver shut the vehicle lights off.

Deputies were able to set up stop sticks at the intersection of Ellenton-Gillette Road and 69th Street East. When the suspect vehicle came through, it hit the stop sticks.

The pursuing vehicles caught back up to the suspect vehicle as it turned westbound on to Palmview Road. The two front tires were destroyed and the vehicle came to a stop in the 3200 block of Palmview Road.

The driver, Joseph (Joey) Branch, 29, fled on foot, but was apprehended in the backyard of a residence on 32nd Avenue Drive East.

Joey refused to submit to field sobriety tests and refused to give a breath sample.

No one was injured and no one involved in the pursuit, to include the suspect vehicle, crashed.

The reporting deputy noted Joey’s Driver License has five convictions (two habitual) of Driving While License Suspended (DWLS).

Joey denied drinking any alcohol or using drugs.

He was arrested and charged with DUI, Aggravated Fleeing to Elude, Resisting Arrest without Violence and Driving on a Suspended License.


Sheriff's Office Releases Sketch
of Home Invasion Suspect

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Wednesday, April 22, 2009, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office released a composite drawing of a possible suspect in a home invasion/armed burglary that occurred on March 13, 2009 in the 8200 block of 19th Ave. N.W., Bradenton.

The composite comes from a witness who saw a person running from the victim’s residence after the attack. The 84-year-old female victim didn’t get a good look at the suspect because he had his face covered with a mask.

The witness describes the person running from the house as possibly a White male, a light skinned Black male or a Hispanic male, approximately 6’0” tall and weighing 170-200 pounds. The witness said the man was carrying a red back pack.

This incident is one of several brutal attacks that have occurred in recent weeks in the Manatee/Sarasota area. It’s unclear at this time whether the incidents are related.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 747-3011, ext. 2511, or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, click here.

https://www.tipsubmit.com/WebTips.aspx?AgencyID=348

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.


Woman Arrested for Aggravated
Domestic Assault with Butcher
Knife on Sex Partner

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Rose Mary Bellamy, 52, of Sarasota.


Rose Mary Bellamy

According to the arrest report, Rose Bellamy and Andrew Jackson have been having sexual relations together for over 20 years. However, the two are not married and do not date, the report said.

On Sunday, April 19, 2009, at about 3:30 p.m., Andrew was on his way home from fishing in Myakka and was confronted by Rose at Singletary Road and 289th Street East, in Myakka.

Rose and Andrew got into a verbal argument over a girl Andrew had talked with days before.

During the argument, Rose went to her vehicle, retrieved a 10-inch butcher knife and ran towards Andrew.

Andrew grabbed a 2-foot 2x4 from the back of his truck in self defense. he told deputies he was in fear for his life, when Rose ran at him with the butcher knife.

When Rose saw Andrew grab the board, she sliced the back right tire of Andrew's truck, then left the scene.

On Tuesday, April 21, 2009, deputies received a call from the Sarasota Police Department that they had detained Rose, based on a BOLO put out by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office that Rose was wanted for the above incident.

Rose was taken into custody by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

She was charged with Aggravated Domestic Assault.

She remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $3,000.


Bradenton Police Arrest Man
Who Tried to Rob Another,
Punched 2nd Victim Who
Held Him For Cops

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- Bradenton Police have arrested Aaron Nathaniel Lovelace, 31, of 2908 26th Avenue Drive West, Bradenton.


Aaron Nathaniel Lovelace

According to the arrest report from BPD, on Tuesday, April 21, 2009, at about 11 p.m., Lovelace walked by an unnamed victim and said that his dog better not look at him wrong, or he was going to kill the dog.

The victim tried to walk away to avoid any conflict, but Lovelace then approached the victim and told him it was his turn to be robbed.

The victim said all he had was $10 on him. Lovelace then grabbed the victim around the neck and pulled him down towards the ground and made a threatening statement to the victim.

The victim pleaded with Lovelace to leave him alone and Lovelace began to walk away, but then came back and told the victim he knew the victim would call the police and he wanted the victim's ID. The victim gave Lovelace his wallet containing his ID and bank card and Lovelace walked away.

Here's where the story gets better and far from usual.

The victim and a friend followed Lovelace while the victim was on the phone with 911. He and his friend stopped just south of Lovelace in the 2400 block of 9th Street West. The victim's friend then confronted Lovelace.

Lovelace punched the 2nd victim in the face with a closed fist.

But the second victim took Lovelace down to the ground and held him there until police showed up.

In a search of Lovelace incident to his arrest, a crack stem pipe was located on Lovelace.

Lovelace was arrested and charged with Robbery, Battery and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a $300,120 bail bond.


Man Tased, Arrested for Trying
To Flee Deputy, More

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Tuesday, April 21, 2009, a man was arrested by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office for attempting to flee when a deputy tried to arrest him.


Claude Kite

The arrest report said Deputy Robinson went by 5310 14th Street West in an attempt to arrest Claude Kite, 39, for Aggravated Battery. Apparently, Kite broke a man's nose the previous day.

Deputy Robinson noticed that Kite was nervously looking around so he was advised by Deputy Robinson that if he attempted to flee that he would be Tased.

Kite immediately took flight and was Tased in the back by Deputy Robinson. Kite fell to the ground and hit his head on a wall of brick pavers.

Kite was treated on scene for his injuries and had the Taser probes removed from his back.

Kite was transported to Manatee Memorial Hospital by EMS for minor injuries.

He was charged with Aggravated Battery, Resisting Arrest without Violence and Failure to Register as a Convicted Felon within 48 hours.

Kite remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $50,870.


Driver Tries To Open New
Drive-Through At Bank

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- According to sketchy reports, on Wednesday, April 22, 2009, at about 2 a.m., a driver crashed through the front doors of the Wachovia Bank, 6285 14th Street East, Bradenton.


Above, worker installs new doors, windows, window and door frames at the Wachovia Bank branch
(Photo by Heather Chadwick, NewsManatee)

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office said the single-car crash took out the front doors of the bank, but the driver was nowhere around when deputies arrived. He or she apparently had fled the scene following the crash.

Deputies called for a tow truck to haul away the white Chevy Impala, registered out of Sarasota.

They also called the Sarasota Police Department to see if it had been reported stolen; apparently, it wasn't.

That Wachovia Bank branch was closed on Thursday for repairs. Workmen were busy installing new doors, windows, window frames and door frames.

To the best of our knowledge, the driver has not been located.

[Ed. Note: Our thanks to the NewsManatee reader who tipped us off to the incident.]


Bank Robbery in Palmetto
Reported Wednesday

PALMETTO, Florida [NMT] -- The First Priority Bank, 955 N. Haben Blvd. (corner of U.S. 301 and Haben Blvd.) was robbed on Wednesday, April 22, 2009.

Lt. Hannaford of the Palmetto Police Department told NewsManatee at about 11:45-11:50 a.m., a White male walked into the bank, presented a teller a note and implied he had a weapon.

The teller gave him an undisclosed amount of money and the robber fled on foot, West on 10th Street toward Colonial Center strip mall nearby.

A Manatee County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit tracked the robber to the rear of Colonial Center, then lost the track. Presumably, the robber had a vehicle at that location for a getaway, Hannaford said. A sheriff's office chopper also flew overhead, in an attempt to help track the robber.

The robber was described as a White male, 5'9"-6'0" tall, 150-160 pounds with a thin build, and a "5 o'clock shadow" for facial hair. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, dark jeans, dark tennis shoes and a black Tampa Bay Rays hat. He was also wearing sunglasses.

Surveillance photos and surveillance video from nearby businesses may help detectives locate the suspect, Hannaford said.

A surveillance photo was not immediately available late Wednesday, but may be provided later.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Palmetto Police Department at (941) 721-2000 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.


Public Health, Safety Officials
Urge Proper Disposal
of Used Syringes

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] – Manatee County Public Safety and Public Health departments are urging anyone who uses syringes to dispose of them properly.

Capt. Larry Leinhauser, spokesman for Manatee County Public Safety Department, said patients occasionally drop off used syringes at fire departments or EMS stations. However, improper disposal of syringes may expose others to hepatitis, HIV or other infectious diseases.

“If we don’t generate (the needles) we’re not allowed to dispose of them,” Leinhauser said.

Instead, the Manatee County Sharps Disposal Program was created to provide Manatee County residents with a safe and environmentally sound method for disposing of used needles. Patients may drop off official sharps containers and pick up new ones at the Environmental Health Services Division of the Manatee County Health Department, 216 6th Ave. East, Bradenton. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Patients without official sharps containers may place used needles in a thick plastic container such as a fabric softener or laundry detergent bottle, a bleach bottle or a metal coffee can. Make sure lids are in place and sealed with tape. The container should be labeled with the patient’s name, address and phone number.

The service is available to individuals only. All professionals and businesses that generate used needles or sharps are regulated under Florida biomedical waste laws and may not participate.

Here are a few reminders for patients who use syringes:

• Used needles (sharps) should never be thrown away with household garbage where they can put others at risk.

• Keep filled sharps containers out of the reach of children.

• Place intact syringes into the sharps container.

• When the container is about 75 percent full, close the top, tape it and label it with the patient’s name, address and phone number.

• Bring the container to Manatee County Health Department, 216 6th Ave. E., Bradenton and receive a new one at no charge.

For more information, call (941) 748-0747 or click on Public Safety under the Departments tab at www.mymanatee.org.


Two Arrested for Printing
Bogus Money, CCSO Says

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff’s detectives arrested two people on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009, for counterfeiting $100, $50, and $20 bills in a home at 392 Vannell St., Port Charlotte. Arrested was Shane Steven Cardwell, 19, of that address, and Danica Lynn Belden, 18, of 4535 Vasco St., Punta Gorda.


Above, L to R, Shane Steven Cardwell and Danica Lynn Belden

CCSO Narcotics detectives received intelligence information on Monday; however, an attempt to do a reverse drug buy for Roxicodone pills at the home was unsuccessful, but a counterfeiting operation was observed at the time.

The information was relayed to the CCSO Economic Crimes Unit who notified the State Attorney’s Office and Cardwell’s Parole Officer about the counterfeit operation he witnessed.

The Parole Officer and an ECU detective went to the home Tuesday and discovered in plain sight, $20 bills on a night stand in Cardwell’s bedroom which were fake.

Major Crime’s detectives were then called into the investigation.

A search of the home found several more counterfeit $20, $50 and $100 bills. They also found a real $100 bill still on the glass of the printer.

Detectives learned that Belden supplied the real bills in the three denominations to be used in counterfeiting currency on Cardwell’s HP printer.

Cardwell and Belden were both charged with felony Forging Bank Bills and taken to the Charlotte County Jail; bond was set at $2,500 each, pending first appearance Wednesday morning.


Palm Bay Police To Use
Paraglider For Searches

PALM BAY, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- For the next six months, four men will suit up and take turns hovering in the skies above Brevard County's largest city, searching for the lost and looking for the out-of-place, Orlando television station WKMG reported.


Above, the Palm Bay Police Department's paraglider
(Photo courtesy WKMG)

They will be part of Palm Bay Police Department's "Operation Soar," a new pilot paragliding program.

The mission: to use the long-established pastime of paragliding to carry out close-ground air searches for missing children or seniors amid the city's winding canals and heavily wooded areas.

The ultra-light aircraft, funded with donations and funds from seized assets, also could be deployed for some above-ground patrols in neighborhoods plagued by burglars or other minor crimes, officials said.

The craft, which will be flown for about 45 minutes at a time no higher than 400 feet, will not be used in pursuits. For that, Palm Bay police will still call on the Brevard County Sheriff's Office helicopter, officials said.

The $25,000 paraglider -- produced by Dudek Paragliders manufacturers in Poland and emblazoned with the police department's insignia -- was donated to the agency by Ray McMahon, a Cocoa Beach distributor who operates Powered Para Gliding.

The department used $7,000 in seized drug-related funds to install a bulletproof-lined seat, an extra safety chute and a special inflatable vest, officials said.

One key concern was whether someone might fire a gun at the flying officers.

"In law enforcement, there are all types of risks. They could snipe at us while we're in the patrol cars, as has happened in the past," said Joe Eakins, an administrator in the Palm Bay Police Department who helped oversee the paraglider initiative. "But with the distance and height, we'll be less apt to be hit."

Police administrators are excited by the prospect of doing flying patrols, WKMG said.

"I've been flying this type of light aircraft for a year now. The more we flew, the more applications for law enforcement we saw," Eakins said. "I equate it to police officers being on all-terrain vehicles for beach patrols, mounted horse patrols or having K-9 officers. It just seems like no one else had brought it up."

 

 

~ WEDNESDAY'S LOCAL/STATE NEWS ~

Bradenton Police Arrest Man
for Child Neglect After Child
Found with Injured Face

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- Matthew R. Becker, 22, of 1801 14th Street West, Bradenton, has been arrested by the Bradenton Police Department.


Matthew R. Becker

The arrest report said on Thursday, April 16, 2009, at about 10 a.m., Matthew was placed in a custodial position by his girlfriend to watch her 3-year-old son for 1 1/2 hours.

During that time, the child suffered bruising to his right cheek, right ear and behind his right ear. The child also had a small bruise on the back of his right arm and on an area of his rib cage on the right side.

Upon returning to the apartment at about 11 a.m., the child's mother asked Matthew what caused the bruising on her son's face. Matthew replied that he did not know.

Police were called to the home at some point and on Friday, April 17, 2009, at about 4 p.m., Matthew told police that he told the child to go sit on the toilet, allegedly to toilet train the boy.

At one point, Matthew looked toward the bathroom and found the child had fallen between the toilet and the toilet paper dispenser, Matthew said.

Matthew said he then placed the child on the bed with him and the child fell asleep. Matthew then fell asleep and the next thing he knew, the mother is coming into the apartment and the child is in the bathroom, and that is when he first saw bruising on the child's face, he told detectives.

However, that story didn't wash after the boy spoke up.

There were only two people in the apartment while the mother was gone -- Matthew and the boy -- by Matthew's own admission, the report said.

When the boy was interviewed by detectives and Child Protective Services, he was asked, "What happened to your face?"

The boy then replied, "Matthew did it," and gestured as if he was being punched with a closed fist.

Matthew was charged with Child Neglect.

He was released from jail on his own recognizance.


Man Arrested for Firing Shotgun
at Son-in-Law After Argument

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff's Deputies have arrested Carlos Ivan Rivera Santiago, 48, of 5807 9th Street Court East, Bradenton.


Carlos Ivan Rivera Santiago

A sheriff's office report said Elvin Garcia, 32, and his father-in-law, Carlos Santiago, were drinking alcohol together when they started arguing. That was on Monday, April 20, 2009, at about 10 p.m.

Elvin had been kicked out of the residence earlier Monday by Carlos' daughter.

The argument escalated and Carlos went inside, denying Elvin entry.

Elvin broke two front windows, trying to get into the house.

Carlos grabbed a shotgun and fired three times towards Elvin from inside the house.

Carlos then went outside and fired the shotgun again at Elvin's car, hitting the windshield.

Elvin was not hit and was not injured.

Numerous shotgun shells and the shotgun were recovered from the scene.

Carlos was arrested for Aggravated Assault with a Firearm.

Post Miranda, Carlos admitted to shooting at Elvin and shooting at his car, the report said.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a $250,000 bail bond.


Man Cuts Wife with Knife
During Verbal Dispute

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff's Deputies have arrested Julio Harrikissoon, 23, of the 1200 block of 55th Avenue Drive West, Bradenton.


Julio Harrikissoon

The arrest report states Julio and the unnamed victim are married and share a minor child.

On Monday, April 20, 2009, at about 1:30 p.m., Julio and his wife were involved in a verbal dispute.

The dispute escalated when Julio armed himself with a large kitchen knife.

Julio then threatened his wife, saying, "If you get cut, it's not my fault." At the time, Julio was within an arm's length away from his wife.

During the ensuing moments, the wife received a laceration upon her left forearm area. The injury did not require emergency medical treatment, the report said.

The victim expressed a deep concern for her safety as a result of the incident and Julio's arrest. She believes additional violence will occur, the report said.

Julio was arrested and charged with Aggravated Domestic Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

As of Tuesday afternoon, he remained in the Manatee County Jail without bond.


Deputy Spots Stolen Vehicle,
Follows It, Arrests Woman

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- An alert Manatee County Sheriff's Deputy spotted a stolen vehicle on Monday, April 20, 2009, at about 3:45 p.m., followed it and arrested the driver, Elnora A. Jones, 19, of the 5600 block of 9th Street East, Bradenton.


Elnora A. Jones

A sheriff's office report said while patrolling his zone, Deputy De Luca observed a gold Ford Expedition in the 5400 block of 15th Street East and remembered that a similar vehicle had been reported stolen earlier in the day out of Sarasota.

Deputy De Luca dropped in behind the vehicle, advised dispatch and the vehicle was confirmed stolen.

Deputy De Luca followed the vehicle into La Mirada Apartments, 1636 55th Avenue East, Bradenton, where it pulled into a parking spot in front of building 16 and Deputy De Luca activated his emergency lights.

The sole occupant of the vehicle, Elnora A. Jones, was arrested without incident.

Post Miranda, Jones denied knowing the vehicle was stolen however, evidence suggests that Jones was involved in the theft of the vehicle, the report said.

Jones charged with Grand Theft Auto and Operating a Motor Vehicle without a Driver License.

She remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $1,500.


Woman Arrested By Manatee
Detectives for Child Abuse

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A Manatee County woman has been arrested by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office for Child Abuse after she allegedly struck her 7-year-old son with a wire cord.


Maria Hernandez

A sheriff's office report said on Sunday, April 19, 2009, the unnamed 7-year-old juvenile victim was playing outside with rocks near their home at 5120 14th Street West, Bradenton.

The juvenile threw a rock which struck his mother's minivan in the windshield causing damage.

The mother, Maria Hernandez, 34, struck the victim several times with a twisted USB cable cord in the legs and arm.

The victim was observed on Tuesday, April 21, 2009, with bruises to both of his legs and a bruise to his left forearm.

Maria stated she only struck him twice with the cord.

Maria was arrested, charged with Child Abuse and transported to jail, where she remains without bond.


Traffic Crash Sends One Man
To Hospital

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A traffic crash was reported Monday, April 20, 2009, at about 2:45 p.m. by NewsManatee photographer Heather Chadwick.


Above, the scene of the crash with unidentified patient
(Photo by Heather Chadwick, NewsManatee)

The accident was in the 900 block of 57th Avenue East, Bradenton, at the intersection.

Chadwick said a small red 4-door car was involved in a rear-end collision.

The accident sent a passenger in the back seat to an area hospital with a suspected c-spine injury.

The man was conscious and talking to paramedics, Chadwick reported.

The accident was attended by two EMS wagons, a fire engine, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Highway Patrol.


Bradenton Police Arrest Man
for Burglary of Wife's Home

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- Bradenton Police have arrested Johnny Roe, Jr., 36, of the 1500 block of 14th Street Court East, Bradenton.


Johnny Roe, Jr.

According to the arrest report from BPD, on Monday, April 20, 2009, at about 6:30 p.m., Roe went to the woman's house in the 600 block of 10th Avenue East, Bradenton, to drop off their son. Roe does not reside at her house.

According to the woman, Roe got upset when he saw another man at her house, so he attempted to force his way inside.

The woman said she had to physically push Roe away from the door to keep him from entering the residence.

She also told officers Roe punched her in the mouth while he was attempting to enter the residence.

Police did not observe any injuries on the woman. She refused EMS.

Roe was arrested and charged with Burglary to a Structure and Battery.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $2,000.


Deputies: Girl, 2, Drowns
in Family Pool

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a 2-year-old girl drowned in the family pool on Tuesday morning.

A sheriff's office report said on Tuesday, April 21, 2009, at approximately 11:30 a.m., deputies were dispatched to a drowning incident that occurred at 1226 Carmella Lane, Bradenton.

Upon arrival, deputies were directed to the rear pool area where EMS and Fire Rescue were performing CPR on 2-year-old Serenity Marshall.

Serenity's mother, Royel Marshall, 28, told deputies that Serenity had been in her room playing. When the mother went to check on her, she found Serenity in the pool.

Serenity was transported to Manatee Memorial where she was pronounced dead at 12:15 p.m.

Detectives are conducting an investigation.


Three Vehicles Stolen from
Car Auction in Early A.M.

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported 3 vehicles were stolen from Adesa Car Auction, 6006 24th Street East, Bradenton. The incident occurred on Tuesday, April 21, 2009, shortly before 4 a.m.

A sheriff's office report said unknown suspects entered the Adesa Car Auction by unknown means and entered three vehicles.

One of the vehicles stolen was a large SUV and was used to ram through the locked electric gate as the other two vehicles followed.

The property is enclosed with a 6-foot chain link gate, topped with barbed wire.

The property manager advised that he would have to go through the entire vehicle inventory to determine which (3) vehicles were stolen, 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 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 Targets
Underage Alcohol Sales

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Sarasota County Sheriff’s School Resource Deputies conducted an undercover operation on Monday, April 6th and Thursday, April 9th, 2009 to target underage alcohol sales by store clerks.

This operation was done in conjunction with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco.

Two eighteen year old subjects were used to attempt the purchase of alcoholic beverages from businesses throughout Sarasota County.

During this operation, 37 stores were visited. Alcohol was purchased at five of these locations. Five notices to appear were issued for selling alcohol to a person under 21 in relation to this operation.

The locations where underage alcohol sales were made are as follows:

Palmer Market, 5300 Clark Road, Sarasota
Sunoco, 3190 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota
Discount Smokes, 1077 Tamiami Trail, Nokomis
5 Speed Way, 1805 Tamiami Trail, Venice
Shell, 4300 Tamiami Trail, Venice


Two Decomposing Bodies
Discovered In RV After
Buzzards Break Windows

SANFORD, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Two badly decomposing bodies were discovered in Sanford Monday night after a neighbor noticed buzzards breaking into the windows of an RV and reported a stench coming from the vehicle, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

The bodies of a male and a female were found at the Town & Country RV Resort on Double Boget Street in Sanford.

A neighbor said he became suspicious after not seeing a man who is in his 50s and lives in the RV with his mother, who is in her 80s, for days. A neighbor reported the stench to management of the property, and the bodies were discovered.

The names of the victims have not been released, and autopsies will be performed to determine the causes of death, WKMG said.


 

~ TUESDAY'S LOCAL/STATE NEWS ~

Violent Crimes Task Force Deputies
Arrest Man Who Was Sought
For An Armed Robbery

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Members of the Violent Crimes Task Force have arrested Rayfield Byrd, 43, for an armed robbery with injuries that occurred on Sunday, April 12, 2009, at about 3 a.m. Byrd's accomplice, Stacy A. Stringfellow, 34, had previously been arrested for that same crime.


Above, L to R, Rayfield Byrd and Stacy Stringfellow

As NewsManatee previously reported, Sringfellow had been drinking rum with the victim, Jose Vazquez at an apartment in the 1200 block of Whitfield Avenue, Bradenton, when Rayfield Byrd entered, grabbed a glass beer mug from Stringfellow and hit Jose on the head several times, until the mug broke, knocking Vazquez to the floor.

Byrd then allegedly went through Vazquez's pockets and took his wallet, which contained $300, his cell phone and his keys.

Then Byrd and Stringfellow fled the area running.

Several witnesses told detectives they saw the pair running and knew them to be acquaintances. They picked the pair out of photo lineups.

One witness said Stringfellow was bragging about "rolling Joe" by getting him drunk on rum.

Vazquez sustained numerous lacerations to his face and head, which required three hours of stitching, the report said. He also had bleeding on his brain from the injuries sustained at the hands of Byrd.

Stringfellow was located on Tuesday, April 14, 2009. She was arrested and charged with Armed Robbery with Injuries. She remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bond of $15,000.

On Monday, April 20, 2009, Detectives Sevier and Carter obtained information that Rayfield Byrd was staying at 7311 18th Street East in Tallevast. At 2 a.m. VCTF and K-9 went to this location and arrested Byrd without incident.

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


Bradenton Police Arrest Man
for Lewd and Lascivious
Exhibition Near Causeway

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- Bradenton Police have arrested Dino M. Gigliotti, 48, of 4885 49th Avenue West, Bradenton.


Dino M. Gigliotti

Gigliotti's arrest report states on Saturday, April 18, 2009, shortly before 6 p.m., BPD received a call that a White male was walking around nude in the mangroves in the 8900 block of Manatee Avenue West, while there were children present.

While en route, the BPD officer contacted the complainant via cell phone. The complainant said he was observing the White male, later identified as Gigliotti, remove his shorts again and that the man's genitalia were completely exposed in the presence of the complainant's 10-year-old sister.

The complainant identified Gigliotti by a tattoo on his upper left shoulder.

The complainant then told the BPD officer that Gigliotti had seen the complainant on his cell phone, had gotten into his blue Ford Expedition and had fled the scene east on Manatee Avenue West.

The BPD officer observed the vehicle traveling east on Manatee Avenue West, turned around and conducted a traffic stop in the 8000 block of Manatee Avenue West.

The BPD officer observed the identifying tattoo on Gigliotti.

The complainant arrived and identified Gigliotti as the man he had reported.

A BPD K-9 officer who was searching Gigliotti's car found a brass marijuana pipe and a joint in the vehicle.

Gigliotti was arrested and charged with two counts of Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Gigliotti posted his bail bond of $20,240 and was released from jail the next day.


Two Men Arrested at Hispanic
Bar for Robbery, Beating
of Hispanic Man

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Leonardo Martinez-Vizquet, 31, and Gilbert Alvarez, 38, both homeless men, after they allegedly robbed a man outside El Paisano's Bar, 5803 15th Street East, Bradenton.


Above, L to R, Leonardo Martinez-Vizquet and Gilbert Alvarez

The arrest reports of both men said on Sunday, April 19, 2009, at about 2:30 a.m., the victim, Martin Lopez-Ramirez was leaving the bar when an unknown female asked him for some change.

When he said he didn't have any, Gilbert and Leonardo walked up to him, grabbed him and started to hit him with closed fists.

Martin was forced to the ground and the robbers reached into his pocket and took a $100 bill from him.

Both Gilbert and Leonardo were stopped by security and detained until a deputy arrived.

The money was not recovered.

Martin was treated for a black eye that he sustained during the incident.

Martin identified both men as the ones who had robbed him.

The deputy noted that Gilbert and Leonardo had been trespassed from the bar about an hour before the robbery incident, but returned and hung out in the parking lot.

Gilbert and Leonardo were each charged with Robbery and Trespass After Warning.

They both remain in the Manatee County Jail on bail bonds of $10,240 each.


Manatee Deputies Arrest Man
for Domestic Battery By
Strangulation

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT} -- Manatee County Sheriff's Deputies have arrested Triston Dean Home, 30, of 3810 5th Street East, Bradenton.


Triston Dean Horne

Horne's arrest report states on Friday, April 17, 2009, at about 8:30 p.m., Horne got into a verbal argument with his girlfriend, Misty.

Triston and Misty live together and have been dating for the last two years. They have no children together.

Triston pushed Misty, causing Misty to fall on the ground.

While Misty was on the ground, Triston put both his hands around Misty's neck and started to choke her.

Misty told deputies when Triston was choking her, she could not breathe and felt like she was going to pass out.

There were light markings around Misty's neck, deputies wrote.

Misty refused EMS.

The report said Misty has four children who visit her on the weekends, but the children were not present during the incident.

Triston was arrested and charged with Domestic Battery by Strangulation and Domestic Battery.

He was released from jail on Sunday, April 19, 2009.


Black Male Arrested for
Robbery of Hispanic Man

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A Manatee County Sheriff's Deputy on routine patrol came across a robbery in progress on Sunday, April 19, 2009, at about 9:45 p.m. in the 400 block of 23rd Street East, Palmetto.


Isaac Welch

An arrest report of Isaac Welch, 53, of 2615 6th Avenue East, Palmetto, said when the deputy turned off 7th Avenue East and headed West on 23rd Street East, approaching 4th Avenue East, he saw two men standing in the roadway in front of construction barricades.

He said he saw a Black male, later identified as Welch, reaching into the front pockets of a Hispanic man. The Hispanic man was standing with his hands up above his head while Welch was going through his pockets.

The deputy stopped and asked what was going on.

Welch replied, "Get the [expletive deleted] out of here, I'm talking to my friend."

The Hispanic man began to make slashing motions across his throat and walked towards the deputy.

Welch became argumentative and refused to stand in one place and said the deputy was disrespecting him.

A Spanish interpreting deputy was called in, who interviewed the Hispanic man.

The Hispanic man said he was walking home when Welch and another Black male approached him. The man ran but the Black males caught him and took $225 from his pocket. The other Black male ran from the scene when he saw the deputy approaching, the Hispanic man said.

Welch denied the incident.

He was arrested and charged with Robbery.

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


Daytime Home Invasion
With Injuries Reported

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- On Monday, April 20, 2009, at about 12:30 p.m., Bradenton Police Department officers responded to a residence located in the 200 blockk of 32nd street Northwest regarding burglary.

Investigation revealed that a male burglar gained entry into the residence where he assaulted the unnamed residents, who suffered injuries which were not life-threatening.

The burglar fled the residence on foot.

Bradenton police officers and detectives conducted an extensive search of the area with the assistance of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office K-9 officers and helicopter in an attempt to locate the burglar. The burglar was not located.

The burglar is described as male wearing dark clothing and a black mask. His race or approximate age was not given.

Bradenton police Detectives and Crime Scene Investigators continue to investigate this crime.

Anyone having information with regard to this incident is asked to call Bradenton police detective James Curulla at (941)-932-9311 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.


PPD Arrests Woman for
Child Neglect; CPS
Removes 5 Kids

PALMETTO, Florida [NMT] -- Palmetto Police have arrested Nathalie Edmond, 38, of 102 8th Street East, Palmetto.


Nathalie Edmond

Palmetto Police say on Friday, April 17, 2009, at about 7:30 a.m., they were called to Palmetto Trace Apartments, where they found a 2-and 3-year-old walking around nude.

They located the childrens' mother, Edmond, who was sleeping in their apartment. Edmond told police she did not know where her children were when she was awakened.

Edmond said that her children got out of the apartment because the door had insufficient locks to keep them in.

Police discovered that on Wednesday, April 15, 2009, they were called because one child was found in Burger King and the other was found near the maintenance shed on the north side of the Palmetto Trace Apartments.

At that time, the mother was told to install a lock to prevent her children from getting out when she is sleeping.

On Friday, police said inside the apartment they saw garbage and miscellaneous items on the floor of the bathroom, along with a corn-on-the-cob holder, comet cleanser, Fabuloso (a cleaner) and other potentially dangerous items to the children. They also saw the bath tub was filled with about 4 to 5 inches of water in it and was tinted red with some unknown substance.

Edmond was arrested and charged with two counts of Child Neglect. She was released from jail on her own recognizance.

PPD Officers noted in the report that Child Protective Service responded to the scene and took custody of the two children. CPS also said that they would take custody of Edmond's three other children, who were in school at the time.


Homeless Man Arrested By
Bradenton Beach Police
for Burglary

BRADENTON BEACH, Florida [NMT] -- Bradenton Beach Police have arrested James Bryan Bawcum, 50, a homeless man, after they found Bawcum inside a vacant residence.


James Bryan Bawcum

According to the arrest report, on Thursday, April 16, 2009, at about 11 p.m., BBPD got a call regarding an allegedly drunk person who was seen walk through a gate to a home that is on the real estate market in the 2400 block of Avenue C, in Bradenton Beach.

BBPD Officers John Tsakiri and Jason Higgins arrived and walked around the house. After not finding anyone, one of the officers walked back to the north stairway area and shined his light into the window and saw a person hiding down low to the ground in an attempt to evade police.

The man, later identified as Bawcum was ordered to come out, which he finally did.

Bawcum was taken to the ground, handcuffed and arrested.

During the process, Bawcum was very belligerent and called the officers names. Bawcum also told officers when he gets out he was going to look for them and "[expletive deleted] them up when they are off-duty."

Bawcum was charged with Burglary to a Dwelling. Officers also discovered Bawcum had three warrants for Contempt of Court.

Bawcum remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $16,000.


$150,000 Worth of Fixtures
Missing from 3 Million
Dollar Home

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported $150,000 worth of fixtures have gone missing from a 3 million dollar home, located at 6959 Westchester Circle, Bradenton.

The listed home was repossessed from Mark P. Riley, 48, whose last known address is 5581 Broadcast Court, Sarasota.

Upon completion of the repossession, First Bank of Florida agent, Ted Allen, observed approximately $150,000 worth of fixtures missing from the home.

The home was found locked up with no signs of forced entry.

Items missing include the fireplace, granite counter tops, cabinets, carpets, plumbing and light fixtures, window treatments, interior doors, and appliances.

Riley was not available for interview.

The investigation is ongoing.

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 Charged with Attempted
Murder After Shooting Incident

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Sarasota Sheriff’s detectives were alerted early Saturday morning, April 18, 2009, of an individual who was airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center from SR-72 earlier in the evening.

The victim, Christopher William Shelton, 22, was found unresponsive in the ditch of SR-72 near Sidell Road in extreme eastern Sarasota County.

The Florida Highway Patrol had initially handled the case as a traffic incident.

The source of the victim’s injuries was not determined until his examination at the trauma center.

Detectives investigated, and early Sunday morning charged Antonio Mundo-De La Cruz, 20, 6289 S.W. Pablo Avenue, Arcadia, with Attempted Murder.

He was booked into the DeSoto County Jail.


Rabid Raccoon Alert
From Sarasota Sheriff

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Monday, April 13th, 2009 Sheriff’s Office Animal Services received a call that a raccoon had attacked a citizen’s dog in the 400 block of South Shore Drive, Sarasota.

The raccoon 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 in Sarasota County should be directed to the Sarasota County Health Department at (941) 861-2900.


Eleven DUI Arrests Made
in Charlotte County
Over the Weekend

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Eleven arrests were made over the weekend, all charged with DUI; two of them were involved in crashes.

CCSO deputies arrested seven of the 11 for DUI while Punta Gorda Police had three, and Florida Highway Patrol had one arrest.

Five of those arrested were from Port Charlotte, two each from North Port and Rotonda West, and one each from Punta Gorda and Englewood; of the 11, two were women.

The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office will continue to look for those driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

In 2007 there were 612 DUI arrests in Charlotte County; in 2008 there were 654 arrests for DUI.


Local Gym-Goers Lose Pounds,
Wallets; Credit Cards Used
Within Minutes of Theft

ORLANDO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Thieves have targeted two Orlando gyms, stealing wallets from lockers while members worked out, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

The thefts have taken place over the past couple of weeks at the Bally's near Kirkman and Conroy and the L.A. Fitness on East Colonial Drive.

"I know people who throw things in their locker and don't lock them. I always lock my locker," said a victim at Bally's who did not want to be identified. "When I looked in my wallet, I had three credit cards in my wallet, and all three of them were missing."

Within minutes of the theft, the victim's credit cards were used to make purchases totaling more than $3,000 at several stores, including Best Buy, Target and Circuit City. The clerk at the stores apparently did not ask for any identification from the buyer, who made a $1,100 purchase at one of the stores.

Orlando police released a surveillance image of the person who they said used the stolen credit card.

Authorities said people working out at gyms should only take their IDs with them, if possible. If wallets or purses are taken to the gym, police said they should be locked in car trunks before being taken to the gym, so no one sees it being done.

Also, gym-goers were urged to have their credit card companies' phone numbers programmed into their cell phones so they can be accessed immediately, if necessary, WKMG said.


 

~ MONDAY'S LOCAL/STATE NEWS ~

Manatee Health Department
Identifies Tuberculosis Case
in One Person at LRHS

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Health Department, with the assistance of School District officials, has identified an individual at Lakewood Ranch High School who has a case of tuberculosis (TB). That case was reported on Friday, April 17, 2009. The identified individual is undergoing treatment and there is no risk of further spread of infection.


Above, the Tubercle bacillus

Since TB is a reportable disease, the Manatee County Health Department is actively involved in identification and testing of close contacts at Lakewood Ranch High School of the individual with TB. A small number of students at Nolan Middle School are also being identified and tested for close contact with the individual with TB.

A press release from the Health Department did not say whether the infected individual was a student, a teacher, an ancillary worker (such as a bus driver or lunchroom person), or a member of the administrative staff.

After further consultation and review of information provided by the Bureau of Tuberculosis and Refugee Health, the following actions are being taken:

~ Exposed contacts are being identified for testing and will be notified by the end of the school day on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 through a letter sent home from Lakewood Ranch High School. The letter will contain a consent form which must be completed and returned to the school by Thursday, April 23, 2009.

~ A small number of exposed contacts at Nolan Middle School are also being identified for testing and will be notified by the end of the school day on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 through a letter sent home from Nolan Middle School. The letter will contain a consent form which must be completed and returned to the school by Thursday, April 23, 2009.

~ The tuberculin skin test, PPD/Mantoux will be given to exposed contacts at Lakewood Ranch High School and Nolan Middle School beginning on Friday, April 24, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. These individuals will be re-tested in eight to 10 weeks.

~ The Manatee County Health Department and School District officials have planned a Community Forum to be held in the Lakewood Ranch High School auditorium, 5500 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Bradenton, Florida 34211 from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Monday, April 20, 2009, to provide information on the topic of tuberculosis.

The forum is open to all interested parties and other members of the public who wish to ask questions and receive more information on the subject.

TB is a treatable infection that occurs through airborne spread from prolonged close exposure in a poorly ventilated area to a person with TB lung disease.

Additional updates and information will be reported as soon as more information is available.

All inquiries should be directed to the Manatee County Health Department by calling (941) 720-4935 during the weekend and (941) 748-0747 Ext. 1264 during weekdays.


Manatee Deputies Arrest Man
for Domestic Battery of Wife
By Strangulation, Child Abuse

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff's Deputies have arrested Prescillano Resendiz, 21, of 1308 45th Avenue Circle West, Bradenton.


Prescillano Resendiz

According to the arrest report, Prescillano and Bonita are husband and wife and have a one-month-old baby.

On Wednesday, April 15, 2009, at about 4:30 p.m., Prescillano just started acting crazy, Bonita told deputies.

Bonita said while the baby was in the little bed, Prescillano started to hit Bonita. Prescillano held Bonita's hands behind her back and punched her with his closed fist on her face, head and body.

While Bonita was trying to get away, Prescillano also bit her right cheek, leaving a bite mark.

He then held her down on the bed with his knees and choked her until she passed out, while threatening to kill her.

Bonita was finally able to grab the baby and run through a second bedroom, through the living room and out the door.

But Prescillano caught her as she fled the home with the baby in her arms. Prescillano caught her by the hair and dragged her back inside, almost causing her to drop the baby on the ground. Bonita screamed for help and a witness called 911.

Bonita had several bruises to her arms and bumps on her head.

The baby was not injured, the report said.

Prescillano was arrested and charged with Aggravated Domestic Battery by Strangulation, Child Abuse and False Imprisonment.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bond of $30,000.


Armed Robber Captured
By Witnesses

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Frederick McGhee, 34, of 1515 Suponic Avenue, in Sarasota, didn't get very far after he robbed the DAV center at 111 63rd Avenue East, Bradenton, on Sunday, April 19, 2009, at about 3:45 p.m.


Frederick McGhee

According to a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, Frederick walked behind the bar and stole a money bag that contained $1,589.00 and attempted to exit the bar when he was stopped by Darrell Dawson, who is the Auxiliary DAV Jr. Vice Commander.

Frederick attempted to cut Darrell by swinging a large knife at him.

Frederick fled eastbound on foot and was chased down by Darrell and several witnesses who tackled him, recovered the money, and detained him until law enforcement arrived.

McGhee was charged with Armed Robbery and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail, pending first appearance before a judge.


Shots Fired Into Residence
Early Saturday Morning

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Multiple shots were fired into a residence in the 2600 block of 6th Street East, Bradenton, at about 5 a.m. Saturday, April 18, 2009, according to a report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

At approximately 5 a.m., the victim, N. Nunez, was awakened by gunfire. Nunez did not go outside at this time, nor did he call 911.

At 10 a.m., Nunez went outside and noticed damage to his house.

Unknown person(s) had fired several small caliber handgun rounds at the residence; the house was struck five times. A pickup truck parked in the driveway was struck once.

A partial projectile was recovered from the truck and placed into Property and Evidence. Photos were taken on scene.

There were no injuries.

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.


Ice Cream Vendor Robbed By
Salt & Pepper Team of Teens

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported an ice cream vendor was robbed by a White male and Black male teenaged team on Thursday, April 16, 2009, at about 7 p.m., in the 500 block of 28th Avenue East, Bradenton.

The victim, Ruben Hernandes, of the 700 block of 30th Avenue West, Bradenton, was riding his ice cream cart and noticed the two teens following him.

Hernandes turned onto 28th Avenue East, rode the cart into the driveway of 504 28th Avenue East and dismounted the bicycle.

The two teenaged boys ran up to Hernandes and pushed him down.

The White male suspect went to the cart and removed a zip-lock baggie containing $40 from the ice cream cart.

Then the two suspects fled north on 6th Street East.

Hernandes did not sustain any injuries during the robbery.

The robbery team was described as a White male, approximately 15-18 years old, approximately 5'06"-5'08" tall, muscular, who was last seen wearing a white shirt, blue shorts with a white stripe and a hickey on the left side of his neck; and a Black male, approximately 15-18 years old, with an afro hairstyle, glasses, wearing aqua colored shorts and no shirt.

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.


Myakka City Woman Killed
in Crash with 18-Wheeler

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A Myakka City woman, Robyn A. Mansfield, 47, was killed on Friday, April 17, 2009, at about 12:40 p.m. when her pickup truck collided with an 18-wheeler on U.S. 41, just north of Sunset Beach Drive, in South Sarasota County.

A report from the Florida Highway Patrol said Mansfield was driving northbound in the center lane.

A big rig was traveling southbound in the outside lane.

Mansfield attempted to change lanes and ran head-on into the big rig. The front of the big rig struck the right side of Mansfield's vehicle.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

She was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, FHP said.

The driver and passenger in the 18-wheeler were not injured.

No charges were filed in the incident.


Narcs Raid Marijuana Grow House,
Arrest Man, Seize 123 Pounds of Pot

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit raided a South Gulf Cove home Thursday afternoon, April 16, 2009, and seized 55 hydroponic grown marijuana plants and 122.55 pounds of marijuana. Mario Rodriguez, 55, of 711 SE 10th Place, Hialeah, Florida, was arrested on charges of Trafficking in Marijuana, Cultivation in Marijuana, Leasing for Manufacturing a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.


Mario Rodriguez

Based on intelligence information, a search warrant was obtained and served at 2:30 p.m. Upon entry to the home at 14478 Maysville Circle detectives located 49 live marijuana plants and six clone plants being cultivated in a very sophisticated operation using special lighting, growing medium, fertilizers, irrigation and cooling systems. The room was completely insulated; electricity was diverted underground stealing power from FP&L.

A separate air conditioning system was found in the garage and ducted into the home. The master bathroom was equipped with two large water storage tanks, one for irrigation, and the other for cooling. A search of this room located two large bags of marijuana clippings weighing 23.85 pounds, ready for sale.

Documents found in the home revealed that Rodriguez was leasing the home. He was arrested and taken to the Charlotte County Jail; bond was set at $18,500.

This is the fifth grow house shut down by CCSO Narcotics detectives this year; there was a total of 17 in all of 2008.

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).


Deputies: Man Tried To Kidnap
Orange County Girl, 9

ORANGE COUNTY, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A 23-year-old man arrested in the attempted kidnapping of a 9-year-old girl in Orange County was released from jail on bond, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Deputies have issued an alert for local parents to look out for Marcus Younge who was charged with attempted kidnapping after he was tracked by K-9s to a location near his east Orange County home Thursday night, deputies said.

According to the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Younge bear-hugged the girl near Gander Avenue and Tern Drive at about 7 p.m. while she was playing and began running with her.

"He admitted that he did do this, he wanted to hug the little girl and that he has a problem with attraction to children," Rich Mankewich of the sheriff's department said. "Obviously this is concerning for us. We don't know how many possible victims could be out there that have just gone unreported."

The girl told deputies the man tripped and ran away. The girl then ran home and told her parents about the incident.

Younge was located, handcuffed and arrested.

The girl was shaken emotionally but is OK.

Deputies said Younge is a student and has no criminal record, WKMG said.


FDLE Releases 2008
Uniform Crime Report

TALLAHASSEE, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says violent crime in the state overall has decreased by 4.3 percent. However, crime in Manatee County overall has increased 2.4 percent. All local police departments reported a decrease in crime.

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office: +2.4
Bradenton Police Department: -5.1
Palmetto Police Department: -4.0
Bradenton Beach Police Department: -23.2
Holmes Beach Police Department: -10.8
Longboat Key Police Department: -8.7

On Friday, April 17, 2009, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement released the 2008 Annual Uniform Crime Report. The report shows a drop in the number of violent crimes committed in Florida last year. The state’s overall index crime rate remains at low levels -- down approximately 31 percent since 1998.

"The number one priority of government is to make our neighborhoods safe and secure for Floridians," said Governor Charlie Crist. "Our state is committed to implementing the necessary tools and resources to deter criminal activity and protect the people."

The report indicates an increase of 0.1 percent in the index crime rate (and a 0.8 percent increase in the volume of index crime) in 2008 when compared to the rate for 2007. Index crimes include murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft. Florida’s population increased by 0.7 percent, or about 126,800 new residents from 2007 to 2008.

The 2008 report shows that the number of violent crimes decreased by 4.3 percent. When compared to 1998, this is a 9.7 percent drop in total violent crimes. Violent crimes include murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery and aggravated assault. Additionally, domestic violence incidents dropped by 1.8 percent when compared to the previous year. Non-violent crime (burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft) increased 1.7%.

“It’s encouraging to see a decrease in violent criminal offenses,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “There have been focused efforts to target violent criminals and we’re beginning to see the results. Public safety is a priority in our state and law enforcement is working hard to ensure Florida’s citizens and visitors are safe.”

The 2008 Annual Uniform Crime Report includes crimes reported during 2008 and data submitted by 407 of the 413 local, county and state law enforcement agencies. These agencies serve approximately 99.9 percent of the state’s population. The complete report, including county-by-county breakdowns, can be found on FDLE’s Web site: http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/fsac/ucr/.


 

"The Islander" has news, too...click on their logo to go to their website.

(Click on the logos to go to their website)




 

 

 

 

NewsManatee Archive Created 4/25/2009 2:00:06 PM


NewsManatee, Inc.
P.O. Box 10453
Bradenton, Florida 34282-0453
NOTICE
NewsManatee, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Bradenton, Florida.
Your donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.
E-mail: NewsManatee@aol.com
Michael C. Quinn, Publisher and President
Carole Law Atkins, Executive Vice President and Corporate Secretary

2008 -- Unless otherwise indicated or assumed, all material herein, written, audio or visual, is Copyrighted by NewsManatee, Inc., Bradenton, Florida.All worldwide rights reserved. ~ No material may be printed, transmitted, or broadcast in whole or in part, without the express consent of owner.