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Local/State News for week ending 5/22/2010
Men Arrested; Forced
Victim to Remove His Pants,
Underwear, Robbed Him
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Norman Steele, 27, of 171 Alpine Court East, Bradenton; Quincy Price, 22, of 1428 2nd Avenue East, Bradenton; and Keith Price, 21, a homeless man.
Above, L to R, Norman Steele, Quincy Price and Keith Price
A sheriff's report said on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, at about 9:10 p.m., Norman Steele, Quincy Price and Keith Price committed robbery under the following circumstances:
According to the victim, Jose Blas, 32, he was sitting in his truck at 708 33rd Avenue Drive East when a White Nissan SUV pulled up behind him. When the vehicle stopped two Black males exited the vehicle from the passenger side and one approached him. The Black male who approached him was later identified as Quincy Price. Blas stated that Quincy asked to use his phone and Blas stated he was on it and told him no.
At that time, Quincy grabbed him by the pants and attempted to take them off but was unable to. Keith Price approached the vehicle and assisted taking the pants off the rest of the way. After Blas pants were taken from him Quincy and Keith got back into the vehicle that was parked during the entire incident.
Another witness observed the incident from the rear who also stated that two Black males (Quincy and Keith) exited the vehicle from the passenger side. The witness also stated that there was one subject (Norman Steele) still in the vehicle but could not see him due to the window tint being too dark.
The property taken was $386.00 in cash, a pair of Levi jean pants , a brown leather wallet and blue boxer briefs.
According to the reporting party, the White Nissan SUV fled Southbound on 9th Street East from 32nd Avenue East. Dep. Loaisiga located the vehicle at 9th Street East and 53rd Avenue East still headed Southbound. Dep. Loaisiga initiated a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle at 1010 53rd Avenue East.
Both Blas and the witness responded to the 1010 53rd Avenue East and positively identified Quincy and Keith as the two Black males that committed the above offence. They were unable to make a positive identification on the driver, Steele.
After an interview, Steele admitted to being in the vehicle while the above incident occurred.
The pants were found with $480 cash in them lying on the side of the road in the area of the 3200 block 9th Street East. The property was returned to Blas.
All three subjects were arrested and transported to Manatee County Jail without further incident.
All three were charged with Strong Arm Robbery. They remained in the Manatee County Jail without bail, as of Thursday afternoon.
Assistant Principal, 30, Busted
for Sending Lewd Photo
to Manatee Boy, 14
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported the arrest of an Assistant Principal in Hillsborough County on Thursday, May 20, 2010.
(Mug shot courtesy HCSO)
The report said at approximately 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, detectives arrested Lauren Tilo, 30, on an arrest warrant for Transmission of Harmful Materials to a Minor. Tilo, an assistant principal at Middleton High School in Tampa, was arrested at her residence at 9805 Lombard Court, Tampa, and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.
The victim is a 14-year-old boy from Manatee County. The victim told school officials on Wednesday that Tilo had sent him, via cell phone text, an inappropriate photo of her in a provocative and sexual pose. The photo was sent on March 7, 2010.
The victim told detectives that the two met online in February of 2010 playing a computer game. The victim and Tilo became friends and advised each other of their age.
At this time, detectives do not believe the two ever met face to face.
The investigation continues.
The Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office is assisting in the investigation.
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.
Manatee Detectives Arrest
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Thursday, May 20, 2010, at approximately 4:30 p.m. detectives arrested Leonides Barragan-Contreras, 24, on a warrant for Kidnapping. He was arrested without incident in Bradenton.
Barragan-Contreras is accused of abducting Maria Iscoa earlier this week.
At approximately 1:40 Monday morning, May 17, 2010, deputies responded to a call about a missing and possibly endangered woman.
According to a witness, Maria Iscoa returned to her residence in the 600 block of 60th Ave. East, Bradenton, and was confronted by a man in the driveway.
The man and Maria left in Maria's vehicle, a 2002 silver Nissan with Florida tag 266HKY.
Detectives believed the suspect may have been a former boyfriend, Leonides Barragan-Contreras, 24 years old. Detectives learned that Barragan-Contreras threatened to kill the victim in Miami last month and the victim fled to Manatee County to get away from him.
Iscoa was able to free herself from Leonides and returned home shortly afterward.
The investigation continues and additional charges are possible.
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.
Bradenton Detective Witnesses
Purse Snatch, Arrests Man
BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department reported Detective Greg Price witnessed a purse snatch in progress on Monday, May 17, 2010, shortly after 1 p.m., in the 1500 block of 14th Street West, Bradenton.
Kenneth J. Couran
An arrest report from BPD said Detective Price was traveling down 14th Street West when he observed a woman sitting in a truck at the incident location, 1528 14th Street West.
Kenneth J. Couran, 46, of 1115 60th Avenue Drive East, Bradenton, was at the passenger window of the truck.
Det. Price saw Mr. Couran reaching into the truck, attempting to take the woman's purse.
Det. Price said that Couran and the woman were struggling over the purse when Det. Price stopped.
Couran took the victim's purse, and was then confronted by Det. Price.
The victim said that she knows Couran and said that she was trying to leave, but Couran would not let her.
She said when she got into her vehicle to leave, Couran reached into the truck and attempted to take her purse. She said she wanted to press charges, the report said.
Couran was arrested and charged with Strong Arm Robbery.
He remains in the Manatee County Jail in lieu of a bail bond of $7,500.
FedEx Kinkos on Cortez Road
Robbed at Knifepoint
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported the FedEx Kinkos store located at 4401 14th Street West (corner of Cortez Road and 14th Street West), Bradenton, was robbed at knifepoint on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, at about 10:15 p.m.
A sheriff's report said an unknown White male entered the FedEx Kinkos, approached the cashier with a knife and demanded that the Center Specialist, Timothy Givens, open the cash register.
Timothy opened the register and the robber reached over the counter and grabbed the cash register tray.
Then he ordered Givens to open another register. When Givens explained he needed a key, the robber fled out the front door.
The robber entered the rear passenger door of a white four door sedan, which was idling in the parking lot, and fled southbound on 14th St. W.
A search of the area was conducted with negative results.
Estimated value of loss $201.00.
The robber was caught on store video and copies were to be made and turned over to the sheriff's office on Thursday morning.
The Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) responded and assisted with the investigation.
The robber was only described as an unknown White male, last seen wearing a hooded sweat shirt and a white baseball hat.
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.
Circle K Customer Robbed
by Two Black Males, Female
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a customer of Circle K, 3006 1st Street, Bradenton, was robbed by two Black males on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, at about 8:15 p.m.
A sheriff's report said the victim, Luis Gomez, 24, pulled into the Circle K parking lot and pulled up to the gas pumps.
Gomez exited his vehicle and as he went to pump the gas, a Black female walked up and asked for a cigarette.
When Gomez told her he did not have one, two Black males came up from behind him. One of the Black males grabbed Gomez's arms and held them while the other Black male went through Gomez' pockets and removed property from Gomez.
The suspects fled westbound on foot on 30th Avenue West.
Gomez went home to call police, giving a 30-minute time lapse.
The robbers were described as two Black males, both about 5'07" tall. One was skinny, and one was chubby, the report said. Both were wearing black shirts. The woman was described as a Black female, skinny, about 5'04" tall, and was last seen wearing a white shirt and blue jeans.
Cedar Hammock Extinguishes
Roof Fire at Chinese Restaurant
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Thursday, May 20, 2010, at about 7:34 a.m., Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue, Southern Manatee Fire Rescue, the City of Bradenton Fire Department and EMS personnel responded to a commercial structure fire at the Grand China Buffet, located at 2108 Cortez Road West, Bradenton.
Above, Grand China Buffet, Bradenton
(Photo by Heather Chadwick, NewsManatee lead photographer)
The first units arrived on scene at 7:35 a.m., two minutes after dispatch, finding smoke and flames venting through the roof. A second alarm was struck at that time.
Crews found the source of the fire was a rooftop air conditioning unit. The fire was brought under control at 7:40 a.m. The fire was contained to the air conditioning unit.
Damage to the structure was estimated at $10,000.
The business was not occupied at the time of the incident.
No firefighters or civilians were injured, according to Acting Battalion Chief, Steve LaPlante, of Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue, who issued the report.
Manatee Sheriff's Deputy
Forced to Euthanize Deer
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a deputy was forced to euthanize a deer on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, at about 11:15 p.m., in the 31700 block of State Road 70 East, in Myakka City.
The report said Dep. Cavallo responded to a deer that was on the side of the road.
Upon his arrival, it was apparent the deer was severely injured. It appeared to have a broken leg, broken back, internal injuries and could not get up or even move.
Approval was given to Dep. Cavallo to euthanize the deer.
Manatee Sheriff's Office Displays
of Stolen Property Announced;
Victims May Claim Theirs
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office will display property stolen between January 1, 2009, and April 28, 2010, at special dates and times as listed below. Victims who can identify their property may claim it at the display.
According to a press release from the sheriff's office, on April 28, 2010, the sheriff's office executed several search and arrest warrants in connection with a stolen property investigation.
Over 400 suspected stolen items were recovered including big screen televisions, iPods, computers and jewelry.
Some of the property has been returned to its rightful owners; however, much of it remains unclaimed.
From Monday, May 24 through Thursday, May 27, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., burglary victims can claim their stolen property at the special showing.
Victims must have a police report dated from January 1, 2009, to April 28, 2010.
also bring proof of ownership of the stolen property including serial
numbers, warranty information, receipts, and credit card or bank statements.
The displays will take place in front of the sheriff's office Property and Evidence Section, 600 U.S. 301 Blvd. West, Bradenton.
Manatee County Update Advisory
Regarding Deepwater Oil Spill
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- This announcement is to advise all Manatee County residents and visitors that Manatee County has not experienced any problems as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
Above, NASA photo of oil slick
As reported Wednesday, the oil found in the Florida Keys was not related to the spill.
Manatee County remains untouched by any oil, and has not experienced any effects as a result of the spill. All Manatee County beaches and waterways are open for recreational use.
Multiple County agencies continue to monitor the situation, and are prepared to take action should the situation change.
At the present time, the oil is not expected to impact our area.
The US Coast Guard Sector, St. Petersburg, continues to be the command center for the incident. They advise it will be at least 72 hours before the spill could hit any portions of Florida.
According to the State Division of Emergency Management, the oil is still 270 miles from St. Petersburg.
Manatee County officials will continue to monitor this event, and will release updates as warranted.
Sarasota Sheriff Arrests Man
After Attempted Burglary
SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested William R. Jones, 19, following an attempted burglary at a residence in the 4200 block of Bell Avenue, in Sarasota.
William R. Jones
A sheriff's report said on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, at 7:52 p.m., deputies were dispatched to the Bell Ave. address in reference to a residential burglary attempt.
The 61-year-old female victim advised that a man, later identified as Jones, was pushing on her front door.
She told him, I dont know you, go away.
Jones then went to the rear of the residence and attempted to open the locked screen door, without success. Jones then attempted to pry open a side window, the report said.
Deputies arrived on scene and arrested Jones without incident.
Home Invasion Reported
in Sarasota County
SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office reported a home invasion on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, at about 10:45 p.m., in the 3100 block of Windrush Bourne, Sarasota.
The report said deputies responded to the scene of the home invasion.
The invader entered through an unlocked door and threw the female victim to the floor. As they struggled, the victims husband came into the room and the invader fled. Both victims were "elderly," the report said.
The area was searched with negative results.
The invader was described as a Black male, 5'6" tall, with a medium build, last seen wearing all gray clothing.
Anyone with information on this case should call the Sarasota County Sheriffs Office Criminal Investigations Section at 861-4900 or Crime Stoppers at 366-TIPS(8477)
Charlotte Sheriff Files More
Charges in Condo Fraud Case
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriffs Economic Crimes Unit detectives filed more charges on Stacey Herrin-Snopek-Tuck, 35, 1459 Winthrop St., North Port, in connection with a major fraud investigation at the Charlotte Square Condominium complex, 2296 Aaron St., Port Charlotte. New charges stem from the continuing investigation for $503,060 in fraud.
The warrant was served Wednesday on Tuck at the Charlotte County Jail where she has been incarcerated since her initial arrest Apr. 4. The new charges include felony Fraud and Grand Theft; bond this time was set at $500,000. Her first arrest in this embezzlement scheme was also for Fraud and Grand Theft in connection with $100,000 in missing funds from the Chelsea House Condo Association; bond was $100,000. Tuck remains in jail on a total of $600,000 bond.
ECU detectives were notified Sep. 10, 2008 by the president of Chelsea House concerning possible embezzlement that triggered the massive investigation. The other association cases remain open and more charges are expected as ECU detectives unravel the elaborate and technical scheme. Detectives said the scheme started about June 1, 2006 and consisted of multiple independent associations. The Charlotte Square Association controls all the common areas and encompasses nine condo associations, Abbey House, Berkley House, Cambridge House, Chelsea House, Essex House, Hampshire House, Oxford House, Raleigh House and Regency House. Each of the associations is independently run by an elected board of directors. The common areas are controlled by Charlotte Square which is funded from each association; Charlotte Square also has an elected board of directors.
Charlotte Square Condominium Complex hired Star Hospitality Management, Inc., as their Community Association Manager. In 1996, Star Hospitality placed their employee Stacey Tuck to run the complex. During her tenure, Tuck managed the maintenance, day to day operations, and all financial affairs for the entire complex that included bank reconciliation, monthly and annual financial statements. Tuck also received the daily mail for each association that included monthly bank statements.
Masked Gunmen Lock Diners
In Denny's Restaurant Cooler
WINTER SPRINGS, Florida [[NMT/WKMG] -- More than a dozen people, including several customers, were locked in a cooler at a Winter Springs Denny's restaurant during an armed robbery, Orlando television station WKMG reported.
The robbery occurred early Thursday morning at the Denny's located off Red Bug Lake Road at Spring Point Villa Road.
According to Seminole County sheriff's deputies, three men wearing ski masks and carrying handguns entered the diner and robbed everyone in the restaurant.
The assailants then forced everyone into a cooler and broke into a safe, deputies said.
According to a witness, a man called 911 from the cooler using a phone a woman apparently hid in her bra. Authorities later arrived and let the victims out.
No one was injured in the incident.
A victim told WKMG News that the robbers were likely in their late teens or early 20s.
There are surveillance cameras inside the restaurant, but the video has not been released.
A police watch commander told WKMG News that the restaurant had never been robbed before this incident. He also said he could not remember any robberies in the area over the last 20 years.
Canadian Who Shipped Millions
of Marijuana Seeds to Florida,
Elsewhere, Appeared in
SEATTLE, Washington [NMT/USAG] -- Marc Emery, 51, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, made his initial appearance at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, 2010, in U.S. District Court in Seattle, on an indictment for conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, conspiracy to distribute marijuana seeds, and conspiracy to engage in money laundering. Emery was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2005, and was extradited from Canada Thursday morning. Emery is currently scheduled for a change of plea hearing at 2:00 on Monday, May 24, before U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez.
According to the indictment and other records filed in the case, Marc Emery has operated Marc Emery Direct since 1994, taking orders for marijuana seeds over the Internet. According to the website, at the time of his arrest in 2005, Emery had made more than $3 million annually, illegally selling marijuana seeds.
According to court filings, Emery seeds are associated with multiple illegal grow operations across the U.S. The Drug Enforcement Administration has traced Emery seeds to illegal grows in Indiana, Florida, California, Tennessee, Montana, Virginia, Michigan, New Jersey and North Dakota. An estimated 75% of the seeds Emery sold up until 2005, were transported to the United States.
Last year, Emerys two co-defendants pleaded guilty and were sentenced to probationary sentences. Michelle Rainey assisted with Emerys mail order marijuana seed business filling orders that came in by mail. Between 2003 and 2005, Rainey earned as much as $1,000 a week mailing out the seeds. Gregory Keith Williams handled the phone orders for the business. Williams also worked at the seed desk, selling seeds directly to customers who came into Emerys store. On numerous occasions in 2004, Williams and Emery sold seeds to a Drug Enforcement Administration undercover agent. The indictment was returned following an 18-month-investigation.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
~ Thursday's Local/State News ~
Arrested for Forgery,
Theft of Doctor's Prescription
Forms; Refilled Prescriptions
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Lisa Anne Cook, 48, of 4927 5th Street Court West, Bradenton.
Lisa Anne Cook
According to the arrest report, Cook last visited Dr. Howard Goldman's office at 5550 26th Street West, Bradenton, on March 9, 2010. During that visit, Cook stole two prescription forms from the doctor's pad. The doctor did not witness the act.
From March 10 until March 26, 2010, Cook wrote four prescriptions for herself and signed the doctor's name.
Doctor Goldman obtained a copy of the prescriptions he wrote and when looking over the list, he noticed four that he had not filled out, all made out to Cook.
The list included:
March 10th -- Bradenton Hometown Pharmacy, 1407 57th Avenue West, Bradenton, Carisoprodol (muscle relaxant), 350 mg pills, quantity 90.
March 10th -- Bradenton Hometown Pharmacy, 1407 57th Avenue West, Bradenton, Alprazolam (anti-depressant), 2 mg pills, quantity 90.
March 26th -- Bradenton Family Pharmacy, 1824 59th Street West, Bradenton, Oxycodone HCL (an opioid for pain), 30 mg pills, quantity 180.
March 26th -- Bradenton Family Pharmacy, 1824 59th Street West, Bradenton, Alprazolam (anti-depressant), 1 mg pills, quantity 80.
When Doctor Goldman called Cook, she admitted to him over the phone to taking the forms and signing his name.
Doctor Goldman called the sheriff's office and a detective interviewed Cook on Tuesday, May 18, 2010. Cook admitted to the detective that she took the forms and signed the doctor's name in order to get refills.
Cook was arrested and charged with two counts of Obtaining a Prescription by Fraud and two counts of Forgery.
She remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $4,000; $1,000 for each count of crimes.
Man Arrested for Burglary,
Theft of Change
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Marvin Estrada, 26, of 4318 8th Street Circle East, Bradenton.
The arrest report said on Tuesday, May 18, 2010, at about 10:45 a.m., Estrada entered a residence in the 4105 8th Street Court East without permission.
Once inside, Estrada took loose change out of the victim's dresser and off of his nightstand.
Estrada then fled the residence through the front door.
But the neighbor witnesses Estrada enter and leave the residence.
Estrada was then seen leaving the K&S store at 301 Blvd. and 44th Avenue East by the victim.
The victim then saw Estrada enter an abandoned house at 625 44th Avenue East and called police.
Dep. Alan Judy located Estrada in the back room of the abandoned house counting the change on the floor with a cold beer in a bag next to him.
Estrada admitted to Sgt. Stanley that he did enter the house, but did not steal the money.
Estrada was arrested and charged with Burglary to an Unoccupied Structure and Trespassing.
As of Wednesday afternoon, he remained in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $7,750.
Woman Arrested for Cutting
Roommate's Arm, Hand
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Cynthia Herrera, 28, of 5917 14th Street West, Bradenton.
According to the arrest report, on Friday, May 14, 2010, at about 10:45 p.m., Herrera and her roommate, Brian Bundscho, 52, got into an argument over who would sleep on the couch and who would sleep in the bed.
Apparently, the mobile home they share has recently become infested with a large amount of ticks, which are mostly located in the bedroom.
Brian was laying on the couch when Herrera picked up a large kitchen knife and started yelling at Brian.
Brian stood up from the couch to confront Herrera.
Herrera then started waving the knife around and was walking toward Brian. She cut Brian one time in the upper right arm, causing a 1-inch superficial laceration. He also received a small laceration to his right hand, near one of his fingers.
Law enforcement and EMS were summoned by Brian.
EMS patched him up on scene and Brian required no further treatment.
Deputies located two knives; one was in the kitchen sink in soapy water.
Herrera denied cutting Brian and said he did it to himself.
She was arrested and charged with Aggravated Battery. She was also charged on a warrant for Shoplifting.
She remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $15,000.
Man Arrested for Throwing
Chair, Brick, Kicking One
Victim in Groin
BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Kenneth Ronald York, Jr., 43, of 1223 12th Avenue West, Bradenton.
Kenneth Ronald York, Jr.
The arrest report from BPD said on Monday, May 17, 2010, at about 6:30 p.m., Shannon Crawford asked York to leave the residence she and her father shared with York. The reason he was asked to leave was not given in the report.
After Shannon asked York to leave, he threw a chair at her, the report said.
Shannon's father, David Chivers, followed York to the roadway to assure that he left.
While York was in the roadway, he picked up a brick and threw it at Chiver's truck.
York approached Chivers from the rear and kicked him in the groin.
Chivers turned around and slugged York in the back of the head with his keys, causing a 1-inch laceration to the back of York's head.
York was treated on scene by EMS, who then transported York to Manatee Memorial Hospital for stitches.
Several witnesses corroborated Shannon's and Chivers' stories.
At the hospital, York denied throwing the chair, but said he did throw a brick at Chivers' truck, but not at Chivers.
York was arrested and charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault and one count of Battery.
He remains in the Manatee County Jail in lieu of a $3,000 bail bond.
Man Already in Jail
Arrested for Stealing
from Inmate's Account
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Jessie Barnes, 20, currently incarcerated in the Manatee County Jail.
The arrest report said on May 2, 2010, inmate Paul Fields came into the jail. Fields was moved to the medical unit of the jail so he could detox, the report said. Fields was placed into cell 10, where he spent the better part of the next two days sleeping, since he was coming down from a drug problem.
Jessie Barns, a cellmate of Fields, stole Fields' pin number and P&P number from Fields' property bin while Fields was asleep, according to the report.
Over the next 3 days, Barnes was able to use Fields' information to access the inmate phone system to purchase $384 worth of phone time.
Fields had no knowledge of what Barnes was doing, since he (Fields) was asleep almost all day.
Barnes used Fields' money to make personal phone calls to family members and friends.
During a 3-day period, Barnes made a total of 24 phone calls.
Barnes was charged with Grand Theft.
He remains in the Manatee County Jail, also awaiting trial on several Armed Burglary charges.
Manatee Village Historical Park
Education Program Requests
Bench, Chair, Rope Donations
for Childrens Cabin
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee Village Historical Park is expanding its education program to include new material and more age groups. This includes a new hands-on childrens area with a miniature replica log cabin, which will be open to the public by June 2010.
The Parks education department is requesting child-sized wooden benches or chairs and a rope maker of any make for this purpose.
If you possess one of these items and would like to make a donation, please contact Stephanie Pragnell, Education Coordinator of the Manatee Village Historical Park, at (941) 749-7165.
The Manatee Village Historical Park is always looking for volunteers and interns for its gift shop, docent and education programs.
If you are interested in joining the Park in its efforts to delight and educate the public about our areas pioneer past, please contact Dean Dixon, Supervisor, at (941) 749-7165.
Charlotte Sheriff Investigating
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Charlotte County Sheriffs Office is investigating a robbery of Obees Soup-Salad-Subs, 1931 Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte that occurred Tuesday morning, May 18, 2010.
The owner said she was opening the store for business when a man followed her inside, demanded money and fled toward the Days Inn.
CCSO received the call at 10:21 a.m. and dispatched deputies, detectives, K-9, and the Aviation helicopter.
Major Crimes Unit detectives said the White male was in his 30s, 5 foot 6 inches tall, 150 pounds, thin build, and smelled of cigarette smoke. He was wearing a dark two-tone color baseball cap, white crew neck, long baggy tee-shirt, khaki shorts to his knees and black tennis shoes. Detectives said he implied he had a gun, grabbed an undetermined amount of money, and fled the store.
If you have information about this suspect, please call the CCSO at 941-639-2101, or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).
28 Starving Horses
Rescued From Home
SORRENTO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Animal Services rescued dozens of starving horses from a home in Lake County, and the state attorney's office is considering charging the owner with animal neglect charges, Orlando television station WKMG reported.
Above, one of the emaciated horses
(Photo couresy WKMG)
The 28 emaciated horses were taken from Walkabout Ranch Drive in Sorrento, Fla., to the Lake County Animal Services shelter in Tavares, where the director, Marjorie Boyd, told WKMG's Erik Von Ancken they are receiving care and more food than they've likely had in months.
Though the horses are still friendly, Animal Services said they are in bad shape. Their teeth and hooves are in disrepair, and Boyd said their owner let the animals go from bad to worse after being warned.
Animal Service officials had been to the Sorrento farm many times since January after the first complaint came in, reporting that the horses had nothing to eat.
With barely any grass to graze, the horses chewed bark from trees and even chewed through a fence because the owner, Lisa Love, wasn't putting out enough feed, officials said.
Caring for horses requires a large commitment of both time and money, and Animal Services said Love simply couldn't keep up with them. Now, state taxpayers are footing the bill.
Boyd said she spent $600 on 10 bales of hay on Friday when the horses came in, and they've already gone through half. That cost does not include feed or medical care.
In order to get the horses back, Love will have to go to court next month and prove she can take care of them. If she can't, the horses will go up for sale, WKMG said.
[Ed. Note: Sorrento, Florida, is about 30 miles north of Orlando.]
Florida Keys Tar Balls Not Linked
to Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill,
Coast Guard Report Says
KEY WEST, Florida [NMT/USCG] -- The Coast Guard Marine Safety Laboratory in New London, Conn. analyzed a sampling of tar balls discovered on Florida Keys shoreline Tuesday and determined that none of the collected samples are from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Above, one of the tar balls found in the Florida Keys
(Source: U.S. Coast Guard)
A sampling of tar balls discovered on beaches at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Fla., Smathers Beach in Key West, Big Pine Key, Fla., and Loggerhead Key in the Dry Tortugas National Park, Fla. were flown by a Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon jet based in Miami, Fla., to New London, Conn. Tuesday for testing and analysis.
The results of those tests conclusively show that the tar balls collected from Florida Keys beaches do not match the type of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The source of the tar balls remains unknown at this time.
Capt. Pat DeQuattro, commanding officer of Sector Key West, authorized the use of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund Tuesday to commence cleanups of any oil pollution on Florida Keys shoreline and established a Unified Command comprised of members from the Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of the Interior, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Monroe County to manage the Florida Keys Tar Ball Incident response.
"The conclusion that these tar balls are not from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident in no way diminishes the need to continue to aggressively identify and clean up tar ball-contaminated areas in the Florida Keys," DeQuattro said. "We will continue to operate as a Unified Command and utilize funding through the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund until we have successfully identified any additional tar balls on the shoreline and completed cleanup efforts."
Coast Guard pollution investigators from Sector Key West responded to a report of twenty tar balls found on the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Key West Monday. Coast Guard Sector Key West received notification from the Florida Park Service around 5:15 p.m. Monday of twenty tar balls ranging in size from approximately three to eight inches in diameter. Park rangers conducted a shoreline survey of Fort Zachary Taylor and the adjacent Navy beach at Truman Annex and recovered the tar balls at a rate of nearly three tar balls an hour throughout the day, with the heaviest concentration found at high tide, around 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Coast Guard Sector Key West received notification from the National Response Center at approximately 8 a.m. of tar balls on the beach in Big Pine Key, followed by a 9 a.m. report of tar balls on Loggerhead Key in the Dry Tortugas National Park. The report of tar balls on Smathers Beach came via telephone to watchstanders at Sector Key West at approximately 8:20 a.m.
The public is asked to report the sighting of any tar balls to the U.S. Coast Guard at 1 (800) 424-8802. Any oiled shorelines can be reported to 1 (866) 448-5816.
The public is reminded that tar balls are a hazardous material, which while not dangerous to most people can cause an allergic reaction and should only be retrieved by trained personnel. All beaches on the Florida Keys remain open.
~ Wednesday's Local/State News ~
Shoots, Kills Home
Invader Who Tried to Kill
Victim with Victim's Rifle
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reports a victim shot and killed a home invader on Monday, May 17, 2010, at about 11 p.m., in the 2100 block of 15th Street East, Bradenton.
Above, Lee Andrew Johnson, deceased
A sheriff's report said according to the victim, Hosie Harris, 75, at about 11:00 Monday night, he was home alone in his bedroom when an unknown suspect, later identified as Lee Andrew Johnson, 49, entered his room.
Johnson made entry and immediately started striking Harris in the face and head. Harris was struck with an unknown type stick or club.
Johnson then demanded money from Harris.
Harris had a loaded .22 caliber rifle next to his bed and Johnson armed himself, pointing the firearm at Harris.
According to Harris, Johnson attempted to shoot him but was unable to, due to the safety being on. Harris said Johnson could not operate the weapon and put the rifle down.
Johnson turned away and began to look in Harris's closet a few feet away.
Harris then armed himself and shot Johnson twice. Harris exited his home and walked to a neighbors house to call 911.
Johnson was pronounced dead at 11:25 p.m.
Harris was transported to Blake Medical Center for further medical treatment and is in stable condition.
The investigation continues, however, it doesnt appear charges will be filed, Dave Bristow, spokesman for the sheriff's office, said.
Johnson was a convicted felon. He had served time in the Florida prison system for Burglary, Assault, Possession of Cocaine and Escape, for examples.
This is the 4th Homicide in Manatee County overall in 2010. There have now been 3 murders in Manatee County and one in the City of Palmetto.
Sex Offender Arrested on
FBI Warrants, Violations,
on a Tip from America's
Most Wanted Viewer
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a sex offender was arrested by the FBI in Columbia, South Carolina.
(2003 mug shot)
According to a sheriff's office press release, Roy Hyatt, 62, was convicted in 1996 on three counts of Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Conduct in Manatee County and he was then designated as a Sexual Offender.
In 2004, the FBI obtained warrants for Hyatt for Child Pornography, but Hyatt fled prior to being arrested and has been in hiding ever since.
His case was featured on Americas Most Wanted several times.
In 2005, a warrant was issued by MSO for Failing to Notify DHSMV of a Change, which is a violation of his FDLE Sexual Offender Obligations.
On Friday, May 15, 2010, Hyatt was located in Columbia, South Carolina, after America's Most Wanted received a tip that he was working at a church and living next door.
He was taken into custody without incident by the FBI, Detective Kim Zink, of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office Sex Offender Unit reported.
Man, 18, Arrested for
Sex with Girl, 15
PALMETTO, Florida [NMT] -- The Palmetto Police Department has arrested Abelardo Tapia, 18, of the 2000 block of 17th Avenue West, Bradenton.
According to the arrest report, Tapia and the unnamed victim, a 15-year-old girl, had sexual intercourse in the victim's home in the 1400 block of 14th Street West, Palmetto, on three separate occasions on or after the month of March, 2010.
The victim was reported missing on April 8, 2010, and was then recovered on April 22, 2010, at Tapia's residence. A Palmetto Police Detective observed the girl walking out of Tapia's bedroom on that day.
The victim also made a statement to a teacher and her father suggesting she had sexual intercourse with Tapia on May 5, 2010, the report said.
Tapia has been arrested and charged with 4 counts of Lewd & Lascivious Battery on a Child 12-15 years of age and one count of Interfering with Parental Custody. In addition, two bail bonds have been revoked. One was for Aiding a Minor Runaway and the other was for Resisting Arrest without Violence.
Tapia remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $91,250.
Man Arrested for Sexual
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Detective Kim Zink, of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office Sex Offender Unit, reported the arrest on Monday, May 17, 2010, of David L. Newell, 36, a homeless man, on a sexual predator violation.
David Leonardo Newell
Det. Zink said David Leonardo Newell was convicted in 1995 of Attempted Capital Sexual Battery, on a child under the age of 12 in Jacksonville, Florida, and classified as a Sexual Predator.
As of 04/26/2010, Newell was registered as such in Jacksonville.
Shortly after that date, he came to Manatee County and failed to update his Florida ID card.
Newell was questioned by MSO and BPD on at least two occasions and both times he was given directions to the sheriffs office and instructed to register with the Sex Offender Unit.
However, Newell was in Manatee County about 18 days before he decided to claim his new residency, in spite of the fact he only has 48 hours by law.
He was arrested for Failing to Notify DHSMV of a Change and booked into the Manatee County Jail, where he remained as of Tuesday afternoon on a $1,000 bail bond.
Man's Wallet Snatched
Outside Family Dollar Store
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a man's wallet was snatched from his hands on Monday, May 17, 2010, at about 5:30 p.m., outside the Family Dollar Store located at 1503 53rd Avenue East, Bradenton.
The victim, Crory Phelps, 38, went to the sheriff's office headquarters and reported his wallet had been stolen at the above listed location.
According to Phelps, he was walking into the store and two Black males approached him.
The victim said the Black males were attempting to sell him a gold bracelet.
According to the victim, he was going to purchase one of the gold bracelets offered.
The victim removed his wallet and attempted to pay for the bracelet.
At that time, one of the Black males suddenly snatched the wallet from his hand and fled. The suspects did not state anything to the victim or display a weapon at the time of the snatching.
The victim said he did not know the suspects and did not have any further information.
The total loss to the victim was $30 in cash and miscellaneous paperwork inside his wallet.
All-Hazards Homeland Security
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has announced an upcoming awareness training session.
The session, which will be held on June 5, 2010, at the Moose Lodge, 310 44th Avenue East, Bradenton, just east of the Steak-N-Shake, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., will include topics of:
Awareness and Comprehensive Emergency Management Basics; Preparation & Prevention; Response: Community Partnerships; Recovery and Continuing the Community Partnership Building Process.
This will be a one day, 8-hour seminar on our communitys role in preparation for a major incident in the event that one ever occurs in Manatee County.
This class will have limited seating of up to 80 participants.
A Continental Breakfast will be served at 8:00 a.m. Lunch will be served as well.
The breakfast and lunch, along with all materials given out, are free to attendees.
The training is being provided by the National Sheriffs Association, and its all funded through a grant from the US Department of Homeland Security.
If you are interested in attending this seminar, please contact Deputy Steve Ogline with the Manatee County Sheriff's Offices Crime Prevention Unit at one of these contacts:
Preferred Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secondary Contact Information: (941)747-3011, extension: 2586
Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue Holds
Groundbreaking Ceremony for
New Fire Station
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue held a groundbreaking ceremony for Fire Station 4 on May 13, 2010.
Above, L to R, Fire commissioners Mike Holderness, Jr.; Dee Bennett;
Mike Holderness, Sr.; Ron Allen, President of NDC Construction; Cedar Hammock
Fire Chief Randall Stulce; and Fire commissioners Dan Brunner and Stephen Litschauer.
The 5300 square foot fire station will be located at 7415 North Tamiami Trail and will serve the Whitfield community as part of its response area.
The Station is being built by local contractor NDC Construction and is proposed to open in the early fall of this year.
Sons of the American Revolution
Decorate JROTC Cadet
Josh Payne, Others
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- It was a slam bang finish of the Saramana Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution activities for the 2009-2010 season before the summer break. That is, except for the Memorial Day Parade in Sarasota and the Flag Day celebration to be hosted by the Osceola Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution at the Bradenton Country Club on Saturday. 12 June 2010. The Saramana Chapter Color Guard will be carrying the colors in the one and posting the colors at the other.
Above, L to R, Sarasota Military Academy Sr. Military Advisor LTC Bill Brockman,
Sarasota Military Headmaster Daniel Kennedy, Cadet First Sergeant Josh Payne,
Saramana President Harold Crapo, Jr. In the background at the podium is
Florida State SAR ROTC Chairman Philip Tarpley
Several guests were in attendance at the "Best of the Best" JROTC recognition program at noon on May 14, 2010, held at the Lido Key Holiday Inn, Sarasota.
guests being introduced was Mike Quinn, Publisher and Editor of NewsManatee.com.
Quinn received a "Good Citizenship" award from Saramana President
Harold Crapo, Jr.. in appreciation of his support of the Sons of the
American Revolution patriotic work in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Next, Sergeant at Arms Pro Tem Clarence "Chuck" Barrett introduced Saramana's two newest members; Robert H. Cheney and Robert L. Grant, Jr., represented by his member father, Robert L. Grant, Sr., as they were inducted into the chapter by President Crapo.
Several other kudos were announced prior to the main event of the day: the introduction of the "Best of the Best" JROTC Cadet for this school year.
He is Cadet
1FG Josh Payne from the Sarasota Military Academy. Cadet Payne has the
most outstanding credentials of any cadet so recognized in the Manatee-Sarasota
two county area in recent years. Cadet Payne received the Saramana Chapter,
Sons of the American Revolution, JROTC Outstanding "Best of the
Best" Cadet Competition Medal and Scholarship Award from President
Harold Crapo. Josh also received the FL SAR Society 2nd Place JROTC
Award and Scholarship from FL Society ROTC Chairman Phil Tarpley. The
FL State 1st place winner came in 3rd in the National Best of the Best
Competition. The point spread from 1st place to 3rd in all 3 competitions
was five points. The judging nationwide follows a strict procedure based
on academic standing in their school class, school & JROTC activities
and time given in community service. They write an essay on what JROTC
means to me and how it changed my life. In addition, the Saramana Ladies
Auxiliary contributed yet another monetary stipend. The total amount
of scholarship monies received by Cadet Payne was about $1000.
Following the formal events Cadet Payne said he is considering the military services in his future. And, Sarasota Headmaster Daniel Kennedy said Cadet Payne would be the Battalion Commander for the next school year.
is one heck of a promotion," Billie Lowe, SAR SaraMana Chapter
Publicity Chairman, said.
Arrested After Owner
of Stolen Trailer Sees It,
Follows Suspect Home
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A Charlotte County Sheriffs deputy arrested Justin Andrew Light, 30, 20996 Exmore Ave., Port Charlotte, after the owner of a stolen trailer saw it being pulled by a white pickup three days later.
Justin Andrew Light
Derrick M. Knapp, 27, reported to CCSO that his 2004 homemade utility trailer was stolen last Friday (May 14) from 1540 Nobel Terrace, Port Charlotte. Monday, he called CCSO and reported he was following a trailer he believed was his being pulled by a white pickup. A deputies found the trailer and truck backed into the driveway of Lights residence.
Knapp positively identified his trailer by the wood on the trailer that had been freshly painted white, a dent on a fender, and rusted tire rims that were painted silver. He also identified the hitch on his trailer. Deputies questioned Light who said he bought it two weeks ago from a man holding a 4-Sale sign on the side of Veterans Blvd. He could not produce a bill of sale and had not obtained a tag for the trailer.
Another deputy arrived on scene and was able to provide surveillance photos of the white pickup pulling Knapps just stolen trailer as it passed Neil Armstrong School last Friday, the day it was stolen.
Light was taken to the Charlotte County Jail, charged with Grand Theft and posted a $2,500 bond. Light is a convicted felon.
Woman Escapes Attempted
Kidnapping Walking on Trail
ORLANDO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Orlando police are searching for the man who tried to kidnap an 18-year-old woman while she was walking on a trail near the Mall at Millenia, Orlando television station WKMG reported.
The woman told police she was walking along the trail near 4850 Millenia Blvd. around 8 p.m. Sunday when a Hispanic man grabbed her from behind and pulled her toward some bushes.
The victim was able to escape and suffered only minor scratches, police said.
Police said the victim described a white 4-door sedan as possibly being her attacker's car.
Meanwhile, police are still searching for a man who raped a woman in front of Lake Eola in downtown Orlando early Friday morning, WKMG said.
Governor Crist Signs 'Red Light'
Legislation Creating Mark
Wandall Traffic Safety Act
MIAMI, Florida [NMT] -- Governor Charlie Crist today signed House Bill 325, the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, which creates statewide consistent standards for the use of cameras as traffic enforcement devices. A portion of the funds from traffic fines will go to the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund, which supports the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.
Earlier today, the Governor also held a signing ceremony in Bradenton where he was joined by Melissa Wandall, wife of Mark Wandall, the legislations namesake who was killed by a red-light runner in 2003, and bill sponsor Representative Ron Reagan.
When we have an opportunity to make our roads safer and more secure for Floridians and visitors, it is imperative to act, said Governor Crist. I am confident this legislation further empowers law enforcement to combat red-light running in Florida, inevitably saving lives. I commend Melissa, and the law enforcement community, for advocating for this potentially live-saving bill.
House Bill 325 authorizes the use of cameras for traffic enforcement in Florida and requires cameras to be tested regularly and to comply with specifications established by the Florida Department of Transportation. The bill also includes a number of consumer protection safeguards, such as:
~ A notification of violation must be issued before a formal traffic citation.
~ Points cannot be assessed toward a persons driver license.
In addition to the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund, a portion of the funds from traffic violations will also go to the Department of Health Administrative Trust Fund, which supports trauma centers, as well as general revenue and the county or municipality in which the violation occurred. In 2008, there were 76 fatalities and more than 5,600 motor vehicle-related injuries caused by drivers who disregarded a traffic signal in Florida, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle. Further, traffic signal violations were the sixth highest cause of traffic-related fatalities and the third highest cause of traffic-related injuries in 2008.
In Miami, the Governor was also joined by Miami Project to Cure Paralysis President Marc Buoniconti and senate bill sponsor Senator Thad Altman. In January 2010, the Governor awarded Buoniconti a Governors Point of Light Award for his work in advancing research and treatment facilities for persons with spinal cord injuries. The University of Miami is home to the Miami Project research center.
~ Tuesday's Local/State News ~
Arrests Man for
Possession of 80 Photos
of Sexual Performance
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff's Detective Jaime Rivera has arrested Arthur Carl Weber, Jr., 61, of 740 27th Avenue West, Bradenton.
Arthur Carl Weber, Jr.
According to the arrest report, on Sunday, May 16, 2010, at about 11:30 a.m., Det. Rivera responded to a residence in the 2400 block of Florida Blvd., Bradenton, in reference to possession of Child pornography. Upon arrival, he met with the owner of the property, who advised Det. Rivera that Weber has been a tenant at that address for about 13 years.
Sometime in the middle of April 2010, the owner gave Weber a verbal 3-day notice to vacate the premises.
On April 30, 2010, Weber moved a majority of his property out of the residence to his new residence on 27th Avenue West.
The owner contacted her attorney and the law firm set a letter dated May 13, 2010, to Weber's new residence advising him to vacate the premises and removed all of his property by Sunday, May 16, 2010, or the owner would have it removed from the house and placed at the curb for pickup by the county.
Det. Rivera spoke with Weber and Weber told Det. Rivera that he received the letter at his new residence, but was having some difficulty moving the rest of his property.
Meanwhile, the owner of the Florida Blvd. property went there on Sunday to make some repairs and remove Weber's property. As she was moving an open box, she observed a photocopy of a naked picture. She did not look any further and notified the sheriff's office. A deputy arrived on scene and examined the pictures and noticed several photocopies of child pornography. At that point, Det. Rivera was notified.
Det. Rivera interviewed Weber who admitted that the pictures of the naked children were his. He said he got them from an out-of-state person. He gave Det. Rivera permission to search a rented storage unit.
Weber was transported to the storage unit by a deputy. While in the back of the patrol vehicle, Weber said, "I have an external hard drive at my house with the same type of pictures."
After reviewing all photos from the Florida Blvd. address, 80 of the photos were of children depicted in sexual activity, Det. Rivera reported.
Weber was arrested and charged with 8 counts of Possession of Photos of Sexual Performance by a Child (1 count for every 10 photos), and 1 count of a Movie of Sexual Performance by a Child.
As of Monday, Weber remained in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $30,000.
Man Arrested for Apparent
Road Rage Incident
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Matthew Daniel Knox, 25, of 901 63rd Street West, Bradenton.
According to the arrest report, on Saturday, May 15, 2010, at about 2:20 a.m., Knox cut off Stephen Blee in his vehicle when Blee was driving home. The incident occurred in the 6400 block of 11th Avenue West, the report said.
Knox then got out of his vehicle and punched Blee one time in the mouth while Blee was in the driver seat of his own vehicle.
A deputy observed Blee's swollen bottom lip, which was bleeding.
Knox was arrested at his home and charged with Burglary with Battery.
Knox posted a $10,000 bail bond that same day and was released from the Manatee County Jail.
Man Arrested for Domestic
Battery by Strangulation
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Thomas King, 27, of 2824 45th Street East, Bradenton.
The arrest report said on Sunday, May 16, 2010, at about 8:34 p.m., Stephanie Wacker was at the above address when she got into a verbal argument with her live-in boyfriend, King.
The argument became physical when Wacker was pushed down by King in the residence.
Also during the altercation, King grabbed Wacker by her neck restricting her breathing and causing her to gasp for air, the report said.
According to Wacker, King did this several times and it wasn't until she ran out of the residence that King left the residence in a vehicle, taking their 8-month-old child with him.
King fled to his mother's house in the 1400 block of Dam Road.
A deputy observed a large red mark on the left side of Wacker's neck, about 3-4 inches in length, and several scratches on Wacker's leg and back.
Deputies responded to King's mother's house, where King was located and arrested.
No injuries were observed to the child.
King was charged with Domestic Battery by Strangulation and Battery.
As of Monday afternoon, he remained in the Manatee County Jail without bond.
Hilton Garden Inn Robbed
At Gunpoint By Lone Male
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported an armed robbery at the Hilton Garden Inn, 8270 North Tamiami Trail, in South Manatee County, on Sunday, May 16, 2010, at about 10:30 p.m.
A sheriff's report said the victim, Andrew Ingram, 28, who is the bartender at the Hilton, was standing facing away from the bar when a White male entered the bar holding a black handgun.
The robber then demanded money.
Ingram complied, took the cash from the cash register and handed the robber an undetermined amount of money.
The robber ran out the door and ran in a southwest direction.
Ingram alerted the front desk clerk who called the police.
K=9 responded and conducted a track but the robber was not located.
He was described as a White male, in his mid-30s, 6'01" tall and skinny, with a patchy mustache, a tattoo on his right forearm, dirty blond hair and wearing a blue tank top, tan shorts, and white sneakers.
Bradenton Rodeway Inn
Robbed By White Male
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has reported the robbery of the Rodeway Inn, 2303 1st Street, Bradenton, on Monday, May 17, 2010, at about 12:20 a.m.
The sheriff's report said an unknown White male driving a vehicle arrived at the Rodeway Inn from southbound 1st Street.
He parked under the overhang, exited his truck with no shirt on, and put on a large black jacket.
He left his door open and went into the lobby where he began small talk with the 74-year-old clerk. He then asked where the money was.
The clerk pointed to where it was at, whereupon the man said Give me the money or I will kill you.
The clerk opened the drawer, removed the cash tray, and set it on top of some items on the desk. The robber made him place it on the top of the counter. The robber took the drawer containing about $200 in cash, got back into his truck, and fled south on 1st Street.
The robber was described as an unknown White male, about 5'4'' tall, weighing about 140-150 pounds, and was last seen wearing red shorts, a white hat, and a large black jacket. The vehicle was not described in the report.
Victim Claims She Was Robbed
By Either a Short Black Female
Or a Short White Male with a
Gun That Turned Out to Be a Toy
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported an attempted armed robbery on Sunday, May 16, 2010, at about 9:45 p.m., in the 5200 block of 31st Street Court East, Bradenton
The report said Christina Meder, 28, was approached by the unknown suspect, either a short Black female or short White male, in her driveway; she wasn't sure.
The person pointed what appeared to be a firearm at Meder and demanded her purse.
The assailant also pointed the gun at Richard Brown, 29, and told him not to move.
The robber tried to grab Meder's purse, but she resisted.
Meder was hit in the ribs and head by the robber, who then fled in a dark-colored vehicle.
The robber did not get anything.
Meder had no injuries.
The gun turned out to be a toy gun, the report said, but didn't say how deputies knew that.
Charlotte Sheriff Arrests Burglar;
$3,165 in Items Stolen from
8 Vehicles, 2 Homes Recovered
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriffs detectives arrested Matthew J. Michaels, 28, of 1233 Hurtig Ave., Port Charlotte, in connection with burglary to eight vehicles, two dwellings, and $3,165 in items stolen.
Matthew J. Michaels
On May 13 at 3:48 a.m., a deputy saw a suspicious person near a fence line on Hurtig Ave. who attempted to hide. As the deputy approached, Michaels fled but got boxed in by converging fences and was arrested for Loitering and Prowling, and Resisting after being Tasered when he came at the deputy. The deputy noticed numerous droplets of blood on his clothing and fresh cuts and abrasion on his arms and hands.
Later, in the same area where Michaels lives and was arrested, five residents called CCSO and said their vehicles had been entered and in one case broken into. The complaints were on Neptune, Jarvis and Columbia streets, and two on Ample Ave. Six of the eight vehicles were unlocked and two were secured. On Jarvis St., a window had been broken out of a pickup; Crime Scene took blood samples.
Detectives obtained a search warrant of Michaels home and found the stolen property in his bedroom. Items stolen included GPS units, keys, CDs, a laptop, stereo, cell phone, electrician tools, garage door opener, sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses.
While in the County Jail on the original two charges, detectives added 10 charges of Burglary, four for Grand Theft, and two for Petit Theft.
He remains in jail on a total of $180,000 bond.
Alligator Attacks Man
Swimming In Lake
ORLANDO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A man out for an early-morning swim on Lake Mary Jane spoke to reporters from the hospital Sunday night after he was attacked by an 8-foot alligator and rushed to Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orlando television station WKMG reported.
According to the 35-year-old husband and father of two, doctors are treating him with antibiotics to prevent infection and wanted to keep him overnight.
He described his ordeal at Lake Mary Jane in Moss Park that sent him to the emergency room in detail.
McCard said he was training for a triathalon and was 20 minutes into his swim when the attack happened at 8:30 a.m. Sunday.
The gator bit McCard while he had one arm raised in mid-stroke, leaving him with some deep wounds all over his torso.
Authorities have sent a trapper to kill the 8-foot gator and have closed the busy beach to swimmers in the meantime.
McCard said he's been swimming in Lake Mary Jane since he's been a boy, so the attack came as a shock, WKMG said
~ Monday's Local/State News ~
Manatee High School Teacher
for Grand Theft of School Property
BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Christopher J. Potter, 25, of 4809 79th Avenue Drive East, in Sarasota.
Christopher J. Potter
According to the multiple arrest reports from BPD, on Thursday, May 13, 2010, at about 9:45 p.m., police arrested Potter in the parking lot of Manatee High School, 902 33rd Street Court West, in Bradenton.
At the time of his arrest, Potter was holding a small container in his hand containing two Oxycodone pills.
School officials had recently decided not to renew Potter's contract. When Potter learned of it about two weeks ago, his behavior changed and he became "increasingly erratic."
Potter had purchased a handgun and told a teacher he might bring the gun to a school function, the report said.
After learning about the threat, school officials reported it to Bradenton Police and put Potter on paid leave.
His arrest on Thursday uncovered multiple thefts of equipment from the school.
Bradenton Deputy Police Chief William Tokajer said, "Potter stole a considerable amount of property and pawned it."
Police also recovered a large amount of stolen property from Potter's residence. They also confiscated the handgun that Potter had purchased.
Potter, who had worked at Manatee High School for four years and was in charged of the audio/visual department, also gave guitar lessons and supervised the yearbook, according to the report. Potter had unlimited access to all of the school's electronic equipment, including laptop computers, cameras, CD/DVD players and audio equipment.
Specifically, on February 20, 2010, for example, Potter took a wireless transmitter and a wireless receiver and pawned it at America's Super Pawn, 1120 N. Washington Blvd., Sarasota. He received $50 for the transaction. Then, as another example, on March 5, 2010, Potter took an Apple Macbook laptop computer and pawned it at Cash American in Palmetto, and received $225 in cash for the transaction. Detectives also discovered on March 17, 2010, Potter took a Canon digital camera and pawned it at Estate Jewelry and Pawn, in Bradenton, receiving $90 in cash for the transaction.
Potter confessed to the crimes and said he had a drug addition to narcotics such as Oxycodone and Roxicodone and "would sometimes take as many as ten pills a day, spending $80 a day for the pills." He said he stole the equipment from the high school to pay for his habit.
Potter was charged with five counts of Grand Theft, five counts of Dealing in Stolen Property, two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance and one count of Resisting Arrest without Violence. More charges are expected to follow.
He was released from jail on Friday after posting a bail bond of $12,750.
Man Arrested for Lewd,
of Girl Under 12 Years Old
BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Fabian Mares, 25, of the 2800 block of Oak Street, Sarasota.
The arrest report said on or about January 1, 2008, Mares lived with some other people in the 300 block of 21st Street East, Bradenton. At that time, the unnamed victim was under the age of 12.
The victim recently came forward to a school counselor and said that Mares had touched her private parts two years ago.
She said Mares rubbed her vagina and touched her breasts with his hands.
Post-Miranda, on Thursday, May 13, 2010, Mares admitted that he had touched the girl inappropriately.
He said that he had come home drunk one night and went to bed. He thought that he was touching his wife and not the little girl.
He said that when he realized it was the little girl, he got up and went outside.
He said that he never told anyone because he did not want to lose his family.
Mares was arrested and charged with Lewd & Lascivious Molestation of a Victim Under 12 Year of Age.
At this time, he remains in the Manatee County Jail without bond.
Man Attempting to Injure
Another Drops Bike On
His Own Head
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported an attempted aggravated battery on Sunday, May 16, 2010, at about 12:45 a.m. in the 5600 block of 14th Street West, Bradenton.
Above, Eugene Widner being loaded into Bay Flite
(Photo by Heather Chadwick, NewsManatee lead photographer)
A sheriff's report said Eugene Widner, 51, a homeless man, got into an altercation with several persons at the listed address.
When the victim, Edwin Woebke, 49, walked away to urinate, Eugene picked up a bike and held it over his head, approaching Edwin from behind.
A witness, Rodney Spicer, saw Eugene was going to strike Edwin, so Rodney tackled Eugene.
This caused Eugene to drop the bike on his own head and then fall on it causing numerous deep lacerations.
Eugene fled to Tommy Knockers at 5627 14th Street West and called the sheriff's office.
His condition was critical, so he was taken by Bay Flite to Bay Front Medical Center.
At the time of the report, his condition was stable. It was unknown if he was to be admitted.
A capias request for Eugene's arrest to the State Attorney's Office was completed.
Woman Arrested for Stabbing
Boyfriend After Argument
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Ann-Marie F. King, 40, of 1252 Whitfield Avenue, Bradenton.
Ann-Marie F. King, aka Ann-Marie Mogilski
A sheriff's report said on Sunday, May 16, 2010, at about 1 a.m., Dennis Miller, 41, left King at a friend's house without giving her a ride home.
Miller and King live together as boyfriend and girlfriend.
King returned home angry and after an argument, she tipped over two Harley Davidson motorcycles of Miller's.
King sustained a cut on her head and leg pain when they fell on her.
Miller went to sleep.
King then approached Miller as he was sleeping and picked up his pocket knife.
Miller woke up and saw that King was swinging the knife around.
Miller tried to subdue her and King stabbed Miller in the hand with the knife, causing a one-inch laceration.
King was arrested and charged with Aggravated Domestic Battery.
Possible Serial Burglar
Arrested After Daytime
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested John Faulkner, 29 years old.
A sheriff's report said COPS North has been conducting daytime burglary surveillance and received a possible suspect vehicle description of a gold Ford Escort station wagon.
Lt. Gerken was sitting in Braden Woods and observed a vehicle matching that description driving into the Braden Woods subdivision.
COPS North followed the vehicle to 6943 Riversedge Street Circle.
Faulkner pulled the vehicle into the driveway of the residence, exited the vehicle, and walked to the rear of the residence. He was gone for about 10 minutes and then emerged from the rear of the house carrying a full pillow case. He got back into the vehicle and drove away.
Faulkner was followed to the Citgo Gas station at State Road 64 East and I-75. After he pulled into the gas station he was taken into custody.
Inside the vehicle were several items of jewelry and a jewelry box. A search of his person also revealed several other items of jewelry.
The report said Faulkner's M.O. is the same one as numerous other burglaries that have been going on in the North District.
The investigation is still ongoing.
Man Runs From Retail Theft
at Kohl's Store, Tasered
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Osberto C. Garcia, 45 years old.
Osberto C. Garcia
Loss prevention at Kohl's Dept. Store, 5205 University Parkway, in South Manatee County, observed Garcia concealing items inside the store.
He then left the store without paying for the items.
Deputy Buxeda and loss prevention were waiting outside for Garcia. Garcia was ordered to stop and return to the store; however, he fled eastbound on foot.
Deputy Buxeda followed the subject to CVS pharmacy where he attempted to stop Garcia.
Garcia fled into the store and refused orders from Deputy Buxeda.
At one point, Garcia began to reach into his pants pocket and refused to comply with Deputy Buxeda. He was then Tasered. After one cycle of the Taser, Garcia again refused orders and tried to again reach into his pants pocket. He was given a second cycle of the Taser.
Deputy Buxeda was then able to restrain Garcia.
A search incident to his arrest revealed a razor blade in the pocket he was trying to reach into.
Garcia was charged with Retail Theft and Resisting Arrest without Violence.
He later posted a bail bond of $870 and was released from the Manatee County Jail.
Three Women Discover
Burglary to a Church
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a burglary to the Christ Community Church, 1803 57th Avenue West, Bradenton.
A sheriff's report said at about 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, 2010, three women arrived for early prayer.
They parked on the west side of the church and saw a Silver 4-door vehicle, possibly a Nissan, parked there. A White male and female were loitering around the vehicle and left upon the witness arrival.
The witnesses then saw that a door on the west side of the church had been pried open.
The witnesses called the Pastor, Joseph M. Derosier, who in turn called the sheriff's office.
Deputies discovered two offices were ransacked and several areas in the church had signs of entry or attempted entry causing damage to cabinets, desks, and doors.
The White male and female were only described as both being skinny in build.
Humane Society of Manatee County
Hurricane Season Microchip Special
MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- What if your pet gets lost during a storm?
In preparation of the upcoming hurricane season, the Humane Society of Manatee County is offering $5.00 off the regular price of $20 for microchipping while your pet is being spayed/neutered at their clinic in Bradenton.
If you and your pet are separated during a storm, a microchip is the most effective means of identification and can aid in being reunited with your pet.
This special price is valid through June 30, 2010.
Spay/neuter prices range from $35-$50 for cats to $55-$65 for dogs. Proof of rabies vaccination is required or will be given at time of surgery.
The clinic serves the general public and no income verification or residency requirement is needed.
The clinic operates Monday through Friday by appointment. Please call 941-747-8808, ext. 302 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
The Humane Society is located at 2515 14th Street West, in Bradenton.
More information is available at their website, www.humanemanatee.org.
Man Dies After Being Shot
in Sarasota Crowd; Cops
Arrest Man for Murder
SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota Police Department reported a man was shot and later died on Saturday, May 15, 2010, at about 2:40 a.m., in the 2700 block of Pershing Avenue.
Above, Alphonse Olando Gallo and Patrick Barbour, deceased
The report said Officers of the Sarasota Police Department patrolling the north district neighborhood responded to the sounds of multiple gunshots in the 2700 block of Pershing Avenue.
Officers observed a large crowd, estimated in excess of 100 people, in the area where the shots were heard.
Officers located the injured victim, Patrick Barbour, 24. Barbour received emergency medical treatment at the scene and was then transported by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center, where he later died.
The death is being investigated as a Homicide.
Patrick Barbour was a Sarasota resident. He had listed his residence in Sarasota as 1765 Gore Court, and 2255 Central Avenue.
Witnesses to the incident came forward and Sarasota Police Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Alphonse Olando Gallo, 34, charging him with the Murder of Patrick Barbour.
Information concerning the warrant was distributed to other local law enforcement agencies and Mr. Gallo was arrested based on the arrest warrant by officers of the North Port Police Department.
Sarasota County Sheriff Arrests
Man for Cocaine Trafficking
SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriffs Office has arrested Salvador Miguel Mendez, 27, 1872 Philippi Shores Drive, Sarasota, and charged him with three counts of Cocaine Trafficking, one count for the Sale of Cocaine, and one count for Possession of Cannabis.
Salvador Miguel Mendez
A two-month undercover investigation by detectives with the Sarasota County Sheriffs Office, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bradenton Police Department, wrapped up on Thursday, May 13, 2010, with a drug transaction in the 5300 block of Fruitville Road.
Detectives seized more than 173 grams of cocaine (6+ ounces) from the suspect, and during a search of his residence investigators found another 77 grams of cocaine (2.75 ounces) and 69 grams of cannabis (2.5 ounces). The approximate street value of the narcotics seized exceeds $20,000.
Fugitive Sex Offender Arrested
By Sarasota County Sheriff
SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Friday, May 14, 2010, the Sarasota County Sheriffs Office Fugitive Apprehension Unit arrested a convicted sex offender who has been on the run since November 2009.
Nicky Roman Salvador
Investigators following-up on an anonymous tip that was called into Crime Stoppers found Nicky Roman Salvador, 26, hiding in an apartment in the 2000 block of Fruitville Road in Sarasota. He was taken into custody with the assistance of the Sarasota Police Department and the Sheriffs Office K9 Unit.
Salvador is facing one charge for Failure to Register his Address as a Sex Offender and two charges for Failure to Appear in Court and Contempt of Court.
He is being held without bond.
Strong Arm Robbery Reported
in North Port, Cops Say
SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office reported a strong arm robbery on Saturday, May 15, 2010, at about 12:15 a.m., in North Port, at Ortiz Blvd. and Genoa Street.
The report said deputies responded to the scene of the robbery.
The victim, Scott Comer, no age given, was walking in the area of Ortiz and Genoa when approached by two Black males who demanded his wallet.
The robbers then fled north on Ortiz Blvd.
They were described as two Black males, with short corn row hair. One was light skinned; the other was dark skinned. One was wearing dark clothing with a blue bandana; the other was wearing a white T-shirt and jeans.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
Charlotte County Detectives,
Fire Marshal Investigate
Suspicious Fire Death
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Charlotte County Sheriffs Office and the State Fire Marshal continued their investigation Friday, May 14, 2010, into the death of 56-year-old Lewis P. Mercer in his home at 7036 Brandywine Dr., Englewood East.
A Meals on Wheels woman called CCSO Thursday at 12:25 p.m. and said Mercer had not answered the door for the past two days and his vehicle was in the driveway.
Deputies responded and when they entered the home found Mercers body.
A couch had been on fire in the home but had burned itself out.
Mercers body was removed by the Medical Examiners Office for an autopsy to determine cause of death.
The investigation continues.
Deputies: Baseball Bat Used
To Kill 'Sex Offender'
BITHLO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Two men have been arrested in connection to the slaying of a man inside his Bithlo trailer, Orlando television station WKMG reported.
Deputies pulled Robert Pascale from a wooded area Thursday evening near the Fifth Avenue trailer where Hugh Edwards, 79, was found dead on Wednesday.
Investigators said Pascale was found by a bloodhound in a muddy pond with only his face exposed for air.
Pascale is at the Orange County Jail charged with first-degree murder. He told WKMG Thursday evening that he mistakenly beat the wrong man.
When reporters asked him if he thought his alleged victim was a sex offender, he replied, "I thought he was, and the only thing running through my mind is what my uncle did to me." Pascale continued, "I hit him with a bat twice."
A woman told deputies she was drinking at a trailer on Fifth Avenue with some acquaintances Tuesday night when one of Pascale's friends, Michael Garay, asked her what she would do if a sex offender lived next door. The woman told deputies she said, "I would kill him."
The woman told deputies that Pascale, 20, and Garay, 32, then went into a neighbor's trailer and she heard thumping sounds. She said the men then got in her car and drove a block away to get rid of a baseball bat.
Although Edwards had a similar name and age as a registered sex offender, sheriff's officials said Edwards had absolutely no criminal record and was not a registered sex offender.
Police arrested Garay on Thursday and charged him with accessory after the fact in a first-degree murder. Deputies said he told them he remained at the gate in front of the victim's trailer while Pascale went in with a baseball bat. Garay said he watched Pascale later discard his bloody clothes.
According to the arrest affidavit, there were signs of a struggle in Edwards' trailer that indicated he was killed.
Department of Corrections records show that Pascale was released from the Orange County Jail in March after serving only 1 year rather than his original two-and-a-half-year sentence for grand theft, burglary, armed robbery, and battery on a corrections officer, WKMG said.
[Ed. Note: Bithlo, Florida, is a small community about 20 miles east of Orlando.]
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