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Local/State News for week ending 5/29/2010

Local Charter Boat Captain
Missing Without a Trace;
Family Seeks Help

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A Palmetto man, Captain Glenn David Brandt, who operates Brandt Roofing in Bradenton and also a charter boat out of the Bahamas, has disappeared while on his way back from the Bahamas and his family has been searching for him, without any success.


Above, Captain Glenn David Brandt

According to Captain Brandt's daughter, Lauren, Captain Brandt was coming home alone on his boat to Bradenton from a trip to Nassau, Bahamas, but he never showed up as expected.

He was supposed to stop in Bimini to refuel. But nobody there has seen him. The family sent a private plane out to Bimini, with no success.

He was due in Marathon in the Florida Keys at Poncho's Fuel Dock to gas up and finish the trip up the coast, arriving on May 15th, Lauren said, but he never arrived.

There is not a single trace of him or his whereabouts there or anywhere else.

The Coast Guard has been contacted, as well as the FBI. But the Coast Guard will not search with a plane, boat or helicopter due to the amount of water between Marathon and the Bahamas. . Besides, the Coast Guard told the Brandt family, that is Bahamian territory, not the U.S., and the Coast Guard would have no jurisdiction there.

"Bahamian resources are limited," Lauren told NewsManatee.


Above, Captain Brandt's vessel, "Genesis"

Brandt's boat is a 44-foot cockpit trawler with white hull and blue canvas. The vessel is named "Genesis."

"Genesis" has a radio and also has a distress radio beacon that would be triggered if the boat went underwater, but no signal has been detected, nor have there been any radio distress messages.

Lauren told NewsManatee that her father would not just take off and disappear; he loves his 1-year-old grandson, Lauren's baby boy, and of course Lauren and her brother Kevin. And he has a girlfriend, according to Lauren. Besides, she said, he has a business here and in the Bahamas.

The family has hired a Bahamian to fly to the Bahamas to search for Brandt beginning Friday, May 28th.

They are asking for any help they can get from the public.

Anyone with any knowledge of Captain Brandt's whereabouts can contact Lauren Brandt at: laurenbrandt07@yahoo.com. Or, you may call the U.S. Coast Guard, District 7.


Man Working at Freedom
Village Arrested for
Auto Burglary

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Fernando Varela, 40, of Sarasota.


Fernando Varela

According to the arrest report from BPD, on Monday, May 24, 2010, at about 1:30 p.m., an officer was dispatched to Freedom Village, 6410 21st Avenue West, regarding a burglary to a vehicle.

Upon arrival, the officer met with Ms. Lisa Roberts, who said while parked at the location, someone had gone into her vehicle, taken her stereo and had gone through her purse. Ms. Roberts said she noticed that the vehicle and purse had a white past and powder-like substance on them. She also saw a group of men working on the same side of the building where she had parked.

While waiting for police, Ms. Roberts noticed two guys working with plaster, which is a white paste-type substance. She also informed one of the directors of Freedom Village.

The officer obtained the names of the two men in question. One of them was Varela.

After an investigation, the officer noticed that Varela's shoe prints were around and inside the vehicle.

When Varela was questioned, at first he denied having knowledge of the incident, but after a short time, he told the officer where the car stereo could be found and said that he stole the stereo because he needed money for rent.

The stereo was recovered and returned to Ms. Roberts.

Varela was arrested and charged with Burglary and Larceny of Vehicle Parts.

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


Deputy Arrests Man for
Domestic Battery
By Strangulation

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Donald Francis Koker, Jr., 54, of 3615 14th Street West, Bradenton.


Donald Francis Koker, Jr.

According to the arrest report, Koker and Gale Evans are just roommates, according Ms. Evans. But Koker said they are boyfriend and girlfriend.

They've lived together for about two weeks in a one room efficiency.

According to Ms. Evans, on Thursday, May 27, 2010, at about 1:45 a.m., when she got home from "the bar," Koker became jealous and outraged at her, the report said.

Koker threw Ms. Evans on the floor, got on top of her and placed his hand around her neck, strangling her.

Ms. Evans said her breathing was restricted and she was in fear that he was going to kill her.

Koker struck her several times with his fist as well.

The injuries on Ms. Evans were minor cuts to the tops of both of her hands, minor scratches and cuts to her left elbow and minor scratches on her neck.

Koker was arrested and charged with Felony Domestic Battery by Strangulation.

As of Thursday afternoon, Koker was being held in the Manatee County Jail without bond.


Copper Wire Stolen in Burglary;
Man Arrested, Wire Returned

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a burglary on Wednesday, May 26, 2010, at about 11 a.m., in the 2600 block of 80th Avenue East, in Ellenton.


Vincent Roberts

A sheriff's report said deputies were dispatched to a burglary that had just occurred at the listed address.

Upon meeting the victim at the address, deputies learned that a Black male the victim knew as Vincent Roberts, had taken three spools of copper wire from his carport.

A witness was interviewed and a followup investigation gave a possible address of the Roberts.

Deputy Choate visited the address and located Roberts and the copper wire was plainly visible in the bed of the Roberts' truck.

Roberts, 25, was arrested without incident and the property returned to it's owner.

Roberts was charged with Burglary to a Dwelling.

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


Pedestrian Robbed at Gunpoint
Walking Home from Hospital

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported the armed robbery of a lone pedestrian on Thursday, May 27, 2010, at about 5 a.m., in the 1600 block of University Parkway West, in South Manatee County.

The report said the victim, Damaris Inesta, 27, was walking from Manatee Memorial Hospital to her home off of Fruitville Rd., in Sarasota.

A dark gray Ford F150 pulled up and asked her if she needed a ride. She got into the truck.

A short time later, the suspects, two Black females, pulled the victim from the car, threw her to the ground and stripped her of her clothing looking for money.

The suspects located cash in the victim's sock.

Victim had a gun pointed at her while the other suspect was beating her.

The suspects then told her that they would shoot her if she did not leave, so she fled to the 7-11 on University and called 911.

The victim's only injury was a cut on the inside of her bottom lip.

The suspects were not located.

They were described as two Black females in their 30s, driving a dark gray Ford F-150. One was armed with an unknown make of handgun.

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, 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.

~~~~~~~~~~

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Two DUI Checkpoints Planned
By Sarasota County Sheriff

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office will conduct two DUI Checkpoints this weekend.

The locations will not be released, but the hours of operation are Friday, May 28, 2010, from 10:00 p.m. to midnight, and Saturday, May 29, 2010, from 12:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m.

Motorists will recognize the checkpoint operation by the staging of appropriate signs, warning devices and the presence of uniformed law enforcement personnel.

All law enforcement agencies in Sarasota County made 1,286 DUI arrests in all of 2009.

“Impaired drivers kill, plain and simple,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “This is a serious threat to the safety of Sarasota County residents, so we are committed to keeping drivers that are under the influence off our roads.”


Charlotte Sheriff Asks Help with
ID of Walgreens Armed Robber

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public to identify an armed robber of the Walgreen’s at 1:53 a.m. Thursday morning, May 27, 2010, at 1800 Tamiami Tr., in Murdock.

Major Crimes Unit detectives are looking for a White male suspect wearing a black hat, dark sunglasses, black pants, white sneakers, a light hoody-type jacket with black sleeves with unknown colored piping separating the back and front of the jacket which was grayish or blue in color.

The suspect jumped over the prescription counter, implied he had a weapon, and then ran out of the drug store with an undetermined amount of prescription pills.

A CCSO K9 unit tracked the suspect but the track ended between Petco and City Deli. Walgreen’s supplied detectives with surveillance video showing the suspect in the store.

If you have information about the identity of the suspect, please call the CCSO at 941-639-2101, or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).


'Granny Scam' Hits Port Charlotte
Woman, 84; Loses $1,081

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is investigating another “Granny Scam” fraud case. An 84-year-old Port Charlotte woman received a call last Tuesday from who she believed to be her grandson who said he lost his wallet, needed money and was stranded in Atlanta. The elderly woman told the caller it didn’t sound like her grandson, but the caller replied that he had a cold.

The woman then believed it was her grandson who lives in Indiana. The caller convinced her that he needed money because he was hired by Coca Cola and flown to Atlanta for training. He asked his “grandmother” to send a money order for $995 using Western Union at either a Publix or Winn-Dixie. She then went to the Publix on Peachland Blvd., Port Charlotte, and used her debit card to send the money to Atlanta. Total amount including service charges was $1,081.

When she returned home, the “grandson” called again and asked if she sent the money. She said yes, he thanked her and said he would be visiting her soon. The woman called her real grandson in Indiana Wednesday to make sure he got the money. She then learned she was scammed and called the CCSO.

This type of “Granny Scam” or “Grandparent Scam” has been happening all over the county, but particularly here in southwest Florida due to the many elderly retirees they prey upon. These scammers vary their phone call plea saying they are in jail, in a car accident, or have some type of medical emergency. The case has been turned over the CCSO Economic Crimes Unit.

Detectives again warn area residents about this type of scam. In most cases, the caller does not offer the grandson/granddaughters name and usually the person being called gives out that name saying something like, “John how are you?” The caller then knows the real grandson’s name. In most cases, the caller will ask money be sent via Western Union or other such services. They use a fake ID on the receiving end, and collect the money. Detectives say if you get such a call, ask them questions that only the real person would know. Once you end the conversation, immediately start calling family and friends to see if the person is in trouble in a certain city or country. In nearly all cases, it is a scam.


Man Shot In Head
Crawls Into Store

ORLANDO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Orlando television station WKMG reported a man shot in the head Thursday night crawled into an Orange County convenience store seeking help, deputies said.

The man was shot in an apparent robbery about 11 p.m. outside the Citgo gas station located on Powers Drive near Colonial Drive just north of State Road 408 in Orlando.

The man, whose name has not been released, was taken to a nearby hosptial in stable condition.

Detectives said a stray bullet shattered the window of a coin-operated Laundromat located next to the gas station, and a woman inside suffered minor injuries from flying glass.

Investigators said they're hopeful that surveillance video will offer some clues, WKMG said.


 

~ Thursday's Local/State News ~

Bradenton Police Arrest Man
for Beating 14-year-old Boy
With Belt, "For Lesson"

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Juan Carlos Martinez, 33, of the 100 block of 27th Street West, Bradenton.


Juan Carlos Martinez

According to the arrest report from BPD, Martinez and his girlfriend have been together for 8 years. His girlfriend has a 14-year-old boy living in the residence.

On Monday, May 24, 2010, at about 10 p.m. when Martinez came in holding a vodka bottle.

Martinez accused the boy of drinking the vodka and replacing the vodka with rubbing alcohol and water.

The boy said he did not know about that.

Martinez got one of his leather belts and struck the boy 4-5 times with the belt while the boy was in bed.

The boy was interviewed at school the next day with Child Protective Services present.

Bradenton Police Detective Ribachuk and CPS officials observed a red mark on the boy's left side, which was photographed by CPS workers. He was also scheduled for an exam with a CPS physician.

Martinez was interviewed after the boy was interviewed.

Prior to being Mirandized, Martinez said he did strike the boy with a belt. He told Det. Ribachuk that he was tired of the boy lying to him and was using the belt to show the boy there were consequences to his actions, the report said.

Post-Miranda, Martinez said that he was too emotional to talk and declined to speak with Det. Ribachuk.

Martinez was arrested on Tuesday, May 25, 2010, and charged with Child Abuse.

As of Wednesday afternoon, he was being held in the Manatee County Jail without bond.


Manatee County Man Arrested
for Promotion, Possession of
Child Pornography, AG Says

TALLAHASSEE, Florida [NMT/AG] -- On Wednesday, May 25, 2010, Attorney General Bill McCollum announced a Manatee County man is in custody and was charged with promotion and possession of child pornography.


Brian David Perry

Brian David Perry, 51, was arrested by law enforcement with the Attorney General’s CyberCrime Unit after investigators discovered Perry had numerous images of child pornography in his possession.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, the Bradenton Police Department and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement assisted in the arrest.

CyberCrime investigators located images of child pornography during a routine online investigation and traced the images back to Perry’s residence.

A search warrant was executed at his Palmetto home where a computer, a thumb drive and multiple CDs were seized to undergo additional forensic analysis. An initial review of seized items revealed multiple images of child pornography, including some images of a child as young as four years old.

Perry was booked into the Manatee County Jail and charged with two counts of Promotion of Child Pornography, a second-degree felony, and 20 counts of Possession of Child Pornography, a third-degree felony which will be enhanced to a second-degree felony under the CyberCrimes Against Children Act of 2007.

The agencies involved in today’s arrest are all members of the Central Florida Internet Crimes against Children Task Force.


Man Arrested for Threatening
Woman with Firearm, Holding
3 Types of Drugs, DWLS

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Michael James Dailey, 28, of 5204 15th Street Court East, Bradenton.


Michael James Dailey

According to the arrest report, on Monday, May 24, 2010, at about 10 a.m., the unnamed female victim was sitting outside a residence in the 1900 block of 50th Avenue Drive East, Bradenton, when Dailey arrived in his white Dodge Intrepid and exited the vehicle holding a silver handgun.

The report said the victim does not know Dailey. She is new to the area and is staying with a friend at the above address.

Dailey was about 20 feet away when he pointed the gun directly at her and said, "I'm going to shoot you."

The victim said she was in fear for her life, thinking Dailey was going to shoot her.

The victim believes Dailey wanted to confront the owner of the residence since they had a confrontation with Dailey on a prior day.

The Violent Crimes Task Force showed the victim a photo pack and she positively identified Dailey as the one who pointed the gun at her, VCTF Sgt. Kevin Pease wrote in his report.

Dailey was arrested at the 7-11 store at 224 Pearl Avenue and charged with Aggravated Assault with a Firearm. He was also charged with 3 counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance and Driving While LIcense Suspended, Habitual Offender.

After his arrest, Dailey said, "You all are gonna charge me with murder next week." He would not elaborate further, the report said.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $255,000.


Bradenton Police Arrest Three
Men for Stealing Stove, Air
Conditioning Unit

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Sean Michael Phillips, 21, and John Zwart, 25, both of 1113 21st Avenue West, Bradenton, and Horace Cooper, 42, of 1680 55th Avenue Circle East, Bradenton.


Above, L to R, Sean Phillips, John Zwart and Horace Cooper

The arrest report from BPD said on Tuesday, May 25, 2010, at about 10:40 a.m., police were dispatched to a residence in the 2200 block of 17th Street West regarding a burglary.

Lt. Affolter was the first unit on scene and observed three males pulling out of the driveway in a green pickup truck.

Lt. Affolter stopped the vehicle and confronted the three men.

Inside the bed of the vehicle was an old stove and an air conditioning unit.

Witnesses said that the three men went into the residence and removed the AC unit and the stove, then place the items in the back of the pickup truck.

The owner of the property responded and said that none of the men had permission to be in the house or on the property.

Investigation revealed that the men went into the residence via the back door and it was also discovered that the AC unit was attached to the house and the men had to enter the house to cut the wires.

There were three tools located at the crime scene that were used to removed the AC unit, including two screwdrivers and a pair of pliers.

The items taken were valued at about $900.

All three were charged with Burglary, Grand Theft and Possession of Burglary Tools.

They were transported to the Manatee County Jail where they were being held on bail bonds of $9,500 each.

Zwart has posted his bond; the other two, Phillips and Cooper, remain in jail as of Wednesday afternoon.


Teenager Arrested for Robbing
Other Teenager

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Nelson J. Hernandez, 18, for robbing Thomas Yannotti, 18, on Tuesday, May 25, 2010, at about 4 p.m., in the 5500 block of 24th Street East, Bradenton.


Nelson J. Hernandez

A sheriff's report said the victim, Thomas Yannotti, was visiting a friend at the above location.

The suspect, Nelson J. Hernandez, came over and started talking with Thomas. Nelson asked Thomas for a ride to go pick up his girlfriend but Thomas told him he was just getting ready to leave and could not take him.

Thomas said Nelson then punched him in the side of the face causing him to fall into a metal fence, then fall to the ground.

Thomas said he was dazed from the punch and heard his friends trying to stop Nelson from hitting him any further.

Thomas said Nelson then jerked Thomas' gold necklace from around his neck and fled the scene on his bicycle.

Nelson was later located by the Violent Crimes Task Force and arrested for the incident.

Nelson was charged with Unarmed Robbery.

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


Holmes Beach Police, Deputy
Arrest Man for Purse Snatch
Shortly Afterward

HOLMES BEACH, Florida [NMT] -- The Holmes Beach Police Department, with assistance from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, has arrested Rashad L. Austin, 18, of 1331 15th Street, in Sarasota.


Rashad L. Austin

The arrest report from HBPD said on Tuesday, May 25, 2010, at about 8:30 p.m., Austin pulled the purse off the arm of an unnamed woman. The incident occurred in the 3900 block of Eastbay Drive, Holmes Beach.

The woman tried to fight back and hold the purse, but Austin continued to pull on the purse until it broke loose.

Austin then ran to a waiting vehicle, got in the front passenger seat and it sped off.

The victim supplied police with a description of the vehicle and the tag number and Deputy Coleman with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office stopped the vehicle in the 4200 block of Manatee Avenue West at about 9 p.m.

The purse and most of its contents, including the victim's credit card, sell phone and a diamond cross pendant were recovered from inside the vehicle.

Austin's accomplice, a woman driving the vehicle, said that she was unaware of what her companion, Austin, was going to do.

Austin was arrested and charged with Unarmed Robbery.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Austin remained in the Manatee County Jail without bond.


Three Agricultural Farms
Burglarized, Manatee
County Sheriff's Sgt. Says

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff's Sgt. Keith Noordzy reported three agricultural farms were burglarized over the past few days in East Manatee County.

In the first case, sometime between Sunday, May 23, 2010, at 6 p.m. and Monday, May 24, 2010, at 6:30 a.m., an unknown person(s) entered McClure Farms property located at 17232 County Road 675, in Parrish, by cutting the front gate lock. Once open, the person(s) located a storage area where the farms chemicals are kept. They cut the locks off three storage area and removed several chemicals, pesticides and fungicides. The person(s) also removed a large Miller welder, a DeWalt drill and a pressure washer from one of the trailers. Total value of the items taken in that incident is $22,549.00.

Then, sometime between Monday, May 24, 2010, at 5 p.m., and Tuesday, May 25, 2010, at 5:30 a.m., unknown persons entered the L3 Partnership Farms and Crop Production Services grove located at 22015 State Road 62, in Parrish, and entered a fenced fuel/chemical storage area by cutting a chain off a locked gate. One inside, the unknown person(s) removed eight agricultural bulk chemical storage tanks, some of which contained agricultural chemicals. The tanks are about 3' x 3' by 4' in size. No value was placed on the items in the report.

And finally, sometime between Monday, May 24, 2010, at about 6:30 p.m., and Tuesday, May 25, 2010, at 8:30 a.m., unknown persons entered Farm-Op/6 L's Farm, located at 10900 County Road 39, in Duette, and cut a chain to gain entry to the farm. The suspect(s) took 1500 gallons of Red Dye Diesel and a Honda centrifugal pump. No witnesses were found due to the rural settings of the farm and the location of the diesel tank about a mile to the north of State Road 62. No value was placed on the items in the report.

Sgt. Noordzy told NewsManatee the last two incidents are believed to be related. The first incident is believed to be unrelated to the second and third incidents, Sgt. Noordzy 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.


Three Residences Burglarized
By Unknown Person(s)

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported three residences were burglarized within the past week in the 900 block of 66th Avenue West, Bradenton.

A sheriff's report said sometime between May 18 and May 25, 2010, an unknown person removed an air conditioning unit from 911B 66th Avenue West and 909A 66th Avenue West and fled the area.

Then, on May 25, 2010, an unknown person broke out the rear bedroom window of 913B 66th Avenue West and removed property from the residence.

There are no known suspects and 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.


Multiple Vehicle Burglaries
Reported in 59th Avenue
Area in Bradenton

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported 6 vehicle burglaries on Wednesday, May 26, 2010, in the 59th Avenue Drive West and 59th Avenue Terrrace West areas in Bradenton.

A sheriff's report said Between May 25 at 11 p.m. and May 26, at 5:30 a.m., unknown person(s) burglarized several unlocked vehicles.

Items taken during the burglaries included three car stereos, one CD player and CD's.

The neighborhood was canvassed for potential witnesses.

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 Arrested Stealing
Copper Wire from FPL

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested Byron K. Smith, 26, who was caught stealing copper wire from Florida Power & Light on Tuesday, May 25, 2010, at about 8:20 p.m.


Byron K. Smith

A sheriff's report said on the above date and time Deputies were dispatched to the Vamo area at Wharf Road and Peggy Road, Sarasota, in reference to a subject stealing copper wire from FPL poles.

The subject was located with the stolen property and arrested after an investigation.

Smith was charged with Larceny/Interfering with a Utility and Possession of Burglary Tools.

He remains in the Sarasota County Jail on a bail bond of $20,750.


Sarasota SO Seizes Oxycodone
Pills, Arrests Two Men

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Wednesday, May 26, 2010, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested Desmond Mitchell, 24, of 373 Patton Street, Nokomis, and charged him with two counts of Trafficking in Oxycodone and one count of the Sale of Oxycodone.


Above, L to R, Desmond Mitchell and Juan Ramos

Detectives arrested Mitchell today near Jacaranda Boulevard and Interstate 75 in Venice, seizing 170 Oxycodone pills valued between $1,700 and $2,500.

Also arrested at the scene was Juan Ernesto Ramos, 23, of 1201 The Rialto, Venice, who is charged with two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance.


Sarasota Sheriff Joins
Click It or Ticket 2010 to
Reduce Crash Deaths

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is joining hundreds of law enforcement officials, highway safety representatives and safety advocates nationwide who have vowed support of the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign.

High-visibility enforcement is credited with increasing the national belt usage rate from 58 percent in 1994 to an observed usage rate of 84 percent in 2009.

In addition to the traditional message of occupant protection, this mobilization will target nighttime seat belt usage. In 2008, 12,671 people died in motor vehicle crashes nationwide between the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of those who died were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crashes, compared to less than half (45%) of those killed during the daytime hours of 6 a.m. to 5:59 p.m.

“Nighttime drivers and passengers continue to be among those least likely to wear seat belts,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “Consequently, they are also among those most likely to die in motor vehicle crashes, and we want to prevent that.”

Stepped up Click It or Ticket activities began May 24 and are taking place around the clock through June 6. Motorists should remember to buckle up and encourage others to do the same to save the cost of a ticket and potentially save a life.


Few Clues In $1M Sunglasses
Heist; Thieves Disabled
Factory Security System

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Orlando television station WKMG reported thieves broke into a designer sunglass factory, disabled the security system by cutting phone lines and covered surveillance cameras, before taking off with an estimated $1 million worth of Costa Del Mar sunglasses, Daytona Beach Police said.

Security key pads were ripped from the walls and wires were cut on electronic locks at the warehouse on Mason Avenue late Sunday night, Daytona Beach Police said.

The burglary was discovered by workers at the Costa Del Mar factory Monday morning, when their electronic key cards wouldn't work.

Crime scene investigators found three separate shoe prints, and only a distant surveillance shot of two people walking through the back of the warehouse wearing ski masks, gloves, and winter clothing.

The burglars used copy machines and plants inside the building to cover surveillance cameras until they were able to disable them all together, investigators said.

Sunglass storage racks, that previously held $500,000 to $1 million worth of merchandise, were found empty according to investigators, but the business said their loss could be higher once they take a full inventory.

Detectives looked through surveillance video from nearby businesses and said they think the thieves drove a semitrailer onto the property before breaking in, WKMG said.


Governor Crist Signs Bill
Enhancing Child Safety
Legislation Against
Sexual Predators

ORLANDO, Florida [NMT] -- On Wednesday, May 26, 2010, Governor Charlie Crist signed House Bill 119, relating to sexual offenders and predators, in front of the bill sponsors, parents and school administrators, after visiting a third-grade class at Timber Lakes Elementary School in Orlando. This bill empowers law enforcement to arrest a convicted sex offender or predator of children if they are loitering within an area where children congregate.

“Our children are our most precious resource and we must continue to work together and seek ways to continue to ensure their safety,” said Governor Crist. “Sexual offenders and predators have no right to prey on our children and this law is another step towards securing safer neighborhoods, schools and communities for them.”

A sex offender or predator, previously convicted of an offense against children, who engages in any of the following towards a victim under 18 is subject to up to a year in jail, if he or she:

Loiters or prowls within 300 feet of a place where children congregate;

Approaches or communicates with a child in any public park with the intent to engage in sexual conduct or communicate in a sexual nature; or

Be at a child care facility or pre-K-12 school without prior notification or approval.

The legislation also limits a sex offender or predator from participating in activities that are attractive to children, such as distributing candy or dressing up in a costume like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. Additional registration requirements for transient offenders or predators are also detailed.

Earlier this month, Governor Crist signed House Bill 525, eliminating the statutes of limitations relating to sexual battery of a victim less than 16 years of age.


 

~ Wednesday's Local/State News ~

Ellenton Grandfather Charged
with 3 Additional Counts of
Lewd & Lascivious Acts

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Det. Wischer, of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, has charged Kenneth Wayne Deaton, 54, of the 7300 block of U.S. Highway 301, in Ellenton, with 3 additional counts of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation.


Kenneth Wayne Deaton

Deaton, currently incarcerated in the Manatee County Jail on similar charges that he molested three granddaughters, ages 12, 13 and 15, is now additionally charged with molesting his 10-year-old granddaughter.

According to the arrest report, the little girl said that on at least three separate occasions, Deaton rubbed her breasts and her vagina over her clothing and told her that he loved her. She said it was done in an inappropriate manner and that it frightened her.

Deaton was interviewed at the jail by Det. Wischer and refused to talk about the case.

As NewsManatee reported on March 23, 2010, according to our archives, three girls, ages 12, 13 and 15, were brought to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office by their parents.

Once there, all three disclosed to Det. Wischer that their grandfather, Kenneth Deaton, has been touching and fondling their breasts, buttocks and vaginas, both over their clothes and under their clothes, during their weekend visits to his home.

The girls said this occurred from August of 2009 through this past weekend of March 13, 2010. The girls said Deaton has done this to them entirely against their will and that he has instructed them not to tell on him. They said he had done this to them at least 10 times during the time period above.

A controlled phone call was set up between Deaton and one of the girls. During that phone conversation, Deaton made numerous admissions to the girls allegations.

He then apologized profusely, stating he was stupid and that he would not ever do that again. He asked for another chance to prove that he can be a good grandfather and begged her not to tell her parents. He said that if she did tell on him, he would most assuredly go to prison.

He also admitted during the call that he had in fact touched the other two victims inappropriately and told her he was very sorry for that as well.

Post-Miranda, Deaton admitted to touching one of the girls once, but denied the other allegations.

When he was confronted with the evidence of the controlled phone call, he admitted that was his voice, but refused to acknowledge that he had admitted to the allegations.

Deaton was arrested on Friday, March 19, 2010, and charged with 10 counts of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation.

In the current instance of molestation, Deaton was charged on Monday, May 24, 2010, with 3 additional counts of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail without bail.


Bradenton Police Arrest Man
for Stabbing Twin Brother

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Joshua Brand, 28, of 806 12th Street East, Bradenton.


Joshua Brand

According to the arrest report from BPD, on Sunday, May 23, 2010, at about 3:45 a.m., Joshua and his twin brother returned home from a club.

After arriving home, Joshua and his brother started cooking food outside on the grill.

During this time, an argument ensued over some of the food. The argument between the two became physical.

At some point during the fight, Joshua took possession of a pocket knife and proceeded to stab his twin brother in the upper portion of his right thigh.

After receiving the stab wound, Joshua's twin brother fled the residence and used a pay phone to call 911.

Joshua's brother was transported to Manatee Memorial Hospital for treatment of his stab wound.

Contact was made by police with the victim's girlfriend and she was able to provide the incident location.

Police went to the address, but Joshua was not answering the door. They climbed through a window and located Joshua, who was then taken into custody.

Post-Miranda, Joshua only said that he was asleep and nothing further.

Joshua was arrested and charged with Aggravated Domestic Battery with a Deadly Weapon.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $7,500.


Man Arrested for Burglary
After Victim's Daughter
Identifies Him

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Matthew Hendricks, 20, currently incarcerated in the Manatee County Jail on related burglary charges.


Matthew Hendricks

According to the arrest report, on May 4, 2010, at about 12:40 a.m., an unnamed victim's unlocked vehicle, located in the 5900 block of 12th Street East, Bradenton, was burglarized.

The victim's unnamed daughter had been hanging out with some of her friends at her neighbor's house and returned home because she was not feeling well.

A short time later, the victim's daughter went back outside the residence and saw a White male inside her mother's vehicle, attempting to remove the car stereo.

The White male was confronted by the victim's daughter, at which time he fled the scene in a dark-colored vehicle.

The victim's daughter told deputies the White male she observed inside her mother's vehicle went by the name of "Matt."

During the burglary portion of the victim's car, the car's dashboard was taken.

On the same date at about 2 a.m., Matthew Hendricks was arrested for a burglary in the 1700 block of 29th Avenue East, Bradenton.

During an inventory of the vehicle that Hendricks was arrested in, a dashboard was recovered from the back seat.

On May 20, 2010, a detective met with the victim's daughter at her residence and a photo lineup was presented to her. She positively identified Matthew Hendricks as the person that she observed burglarizing her mother's vehicle.

Hendricks was charged on May 21, 2010, with the second burglary.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a combined bail bond of $56,000.


Teenager Arrested for
Assaulting Her Father

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Kristen M. Germain, 19, of 7811 25th Avenue West, Bradenton.


Kristen M. Germain

According to the arrest report, on Saturday, May 22, 2010, at about 9 p.m., deputies were dispatched to the residence above regarding a domestic disturbance between the victim, Keith Germain and his daughter, Kristen.

A deputy spoke to Kristen who was very intoxicated and was screaming and being verbally abusive to her father and the deputy.

Mr. Germain said Kristen was drinking and was out of control, the report said. He said she was damaging property in the home and putting holes in the walls.

Both parties denied any physical violence, so deputies left the home.

As deputies left, Kristen began yelling at Mr. Germain again while the deputies were still in the front yard.

They looked through the front window and saw Kristen pick up a large glass ash tray and throw it at a wall, while she was screaming at her father.

They then saw Kristen pick up a pocket knife off a table next to the couch, open it, locking the blade back. She yelled at her father, saying, "You want to see what I can do with this?" while following him into the kitchen.

She raised the knife in the air and both deputies went back into the house to protect Mr. Germain from being stabbed.

They ordered Kristen to drop the knife and get on the ground.

Mr. Germain said he did not feel threatened and refused to fill out an affidavit.

Kristen was arrested and charged with Aggravated Domestic Assault.

She was later released from the Manatee County Jail on her own recognizance, supervised.


$25K in Jewelry Stolen
in Burglary of East
Manatee Residence

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported the burglary of a residence in the 8200 block of Championship Court, Bradenton, on Friday, May 21, 2010, at about 8:15 p.m.

The report said between 8:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Friday, while nobody was at the residence, unknown person(s) entered the pool area and smashed the window portion of the rear door.

The person(s) then entered the master bedroom and took approximately $24,855 in jewelry.

The person(s) may have heard the owners enter the residence and fled out the rear door.

It appears that the person(s) did not go through the rest of the residence.

The area was canvassed, but no suspect(s) were located.

The residence does have a residential alarm, but it was not activated prior to the owners leaving the residence, the report said.

The crime scene was processed and fingerprints were collected.

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.


3 Manatee Detectives Awarded
Deputy of the Month for May

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube has awarded Detectives Jerome Diamond, Edward Foy and Stephen Ives Deputy of the Month for May 2010.

On August 3, 2009, there was a violent murder of a doctor’s wife, who was found by her husband bound and beaten to death in their Terra Ceia home.

The homicide investigation involved dozens of deputies and detectives from multiple agencies.

During the next six months, many people were interviewed, phone records analyzed, DNA and fingerprints collected and compared, search warrants executed, and property examined.

On February 10, 2010, a suspect was arrested and later indicted by the Grand Jury on a charge of first degree murder.

Detectives Diamond, Foy and Ives played an instrumental role in the various aspects of the case that resulted in the arrest of the suspect, for which they are awarded Deputy of the Month for May 2010.

Sheriff Steube congratulated the three detectives.


Residential Fire in Sarasota
Claims One Life

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- One person is dead after an intense fire destroyed a house, according to NewsManatee's Sarasota Bureau reporter Doug Reynolds. Fire crews responded to the 4700 block of Baycedar Lane, east of I-75, off of Proctor Rd. at about 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25, 2010.


Above, the house in the 4700 block of Baycedar Lane, Sarasota
(Photo by Doug Reynolds, NewsManatee's Sarasota Bureau)

The first units responding reported a smoke plume several blocks away. When fire crews arrived flames were already coming through the roof of the garage area. A crew entered the house in search of the fire and also to check if any of the home's occupants were inside. The conditions in the home quickly deteriorated and the firefighters were forced out of the house themselves.

Several hose lines and a ladder truck fought this intense inferno, but ultimately the fire had won this battle, by taking a life and destroying a home.

The State Fire Marshal is conducting the investigation into the cause of the fire, but the Sheriff's Office is working with the Fire Marshal after they found a running car in the driveway with a dog in it and a note which was left in the car. They are trying to identify the person that was removed from the charred rubble.

According to property records, the homeowner is William Underhill of the home at 4723 Baycedar Lane.

Refreshment for the fire crews was provided by the American Red Cross.


Man Accused in Homicide
of Homeless Man

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota Police Department has reclassified an aggravated battery case as a homicide. The prime suspect is in jail.


Howard Whitfield

According to a press release from the Sarasota Police Department, on May 3, 2010, Sarasota Police responded to investigate aggravated batteries that had occurred in the 1700 block of Main Street. The injured victims were Ronald Johns, 52, and Jeffery Gale, 51. Ronald Johns was unconscious with apparent head injuries. Jeffery Gale reported that “Howard” had kicked Johns several times in the head.

Ronald Johns was transported to Bayfront Medical Center for treatment of his injuries by Bayflite helicopter. Jeffery Gale was treated for his injuries at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Both Johns and Gale had previously identified themselves as homeless.

On May 4, 2010, Sarasota Police detectives obtained arrest warrants for Howard Whitfield, 43, for two counts of Aggravated Battery. Howard Whitfield was arrested on that same date and transported to Sarasota County Jail. During an interview with detectives, Howard Whitfield admitted to kicking both Ronald Johns and Jeffery Gale in the head. Howard Whitfield identified himself as being homeless.

Ronald Johns was transported from Bayfront Medical Center to Tidewell Hospice. He never regained consciousness and on Friday, May 21, 2010, Ronald Johns died.

On Saturday, May 22, 2010, an autopsy was performed on Ronald Johns' body and the preliminary results indicate the cause of death as complications caused by blunt force trauma.

The Aggravated Battery of Ronald Johns is being reclassified by the Sarasota Police Department as a Homicide. Charges against Howard Whitfield will be modified by the State Attorney''s Office.

Howard Whitfield remains in custody in the Sarasota County Jail. He is being held on a $200,000 bond; that is expected to also be modified.


Armed Robbery of Bicyclist
by Minivan Passenger

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office reported the armed robbery of a bicyclist on Tuesday, May 25, 2010, at about 12:15 a.m., at 4949 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.


Above, L to R, Michael McNeil and Tyree Mannings

The report said on the above date and time deputies responded to the scene of an armed robbery.

The victim, Eric Schnering, 50, was riding his bicycle when a green minivan hit him, knocking him off.

The passenger in the minivan, Michael McNeil, 26, pulled a chrome gun and demanded money. After obtaining money, the vehicle fled.

The vehicle was spotted eastbound on Clark Rd. by patrol units. It was found abandoned on Sawyer Rd.

The weapon was found near the vehicle and the suspect, McNeil, was found hiding in nearby bushes.

The victim received minor injuries only.

The investigation was turned over to Criminal Investigations.

Since then, Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Detectives have also arrested Tyree Mannings, 22, of 2112 North Orange Avenue, Sarasota, and charged him with Robbery with a Firearm and Aggravated Battery with a Motor Vehicle.

Investigators say Mannings Mannings was questioned and charged after attempting to file a stolen vehicle report regarding the van.

Anyone with information on this case should call the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Section at 861-4900 or Crime Stoppers at 366-TIPS(8477)


Four Arrested in Residential
Burglary, Stolen Vehicle

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested William Jones, 19; Richard Murphy, 19; Jon Ocasio, 17; and Kay Feltus, 17.

On Monday, May 24, 2010, at about 12:30 p.m., deputies with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office responded to the above location in reference to numerous subjects breaking into a residence.

Upon Deputies arriving at the incident location, contact was made with three suspects inside the residence. All three suspects were wearing gloves while burglarizing the residence.

All suspects inside residence were arrested and one additional suspect was arrested outside of the residence while in possession of a stolen vehicle which all suspects arrived in.

The investigation was turned over to the Criminal Investigations Section of the Sheriff’s Office.


Inmate Hangs Himself in
Charlotte County Jail

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office reports the apparent suicide death of an inmate at the County Jail around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25, 2010.


Jeffrey Bruce Brooks

Detectives said Jeffrey Bruce Brooks, 50, 20240 Midway Blvd., Port Charlotte, was found hanged in his jail cell in a sitting position on the floor by the lower bunk. Major Crimes Unit detectives said Brooks used a pull-string mesh laundry bag. He attached the bag to the top bunk and then secured the rope around his neck and sat down.

Brooks was alone in his cell at the time of the incident; he was last checked about 20 minutes prior to being found. A fully qualified jail medical staff was present in the pod at the time he was discovered and attempted to revive him, but was unsuccessful. The Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy and make an official ruling on the cause of death.

Brooks and another man, Marvin James Ogle, 40, of Punta Gorda, were arrested Monday by Punta Gorda Police; Brooks was driving a truck with a cracked windshield and a traffic stop was made. The PGPD arrest report said Brooks was a Habitual Traffic Offender and his license was permanently revoked in 1982. A search of the vehicle found four burnt marijuana cigarettes and a freshly rolled marijuana cigarette in the ashtray belonging to Brooks. He was charged with Possession of Marijuana and felony Habitual Driving While License Suspended. Brooks has been booked into the Charlotte County Jail 11 times with 12 records. He was sentenced to state prison Oct. 5, 2006 on charges of Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Concealed Weapon and Driving While License Suspended (Habitual).

City Police also found a small baggie containing Methamphetamines that belonged to Ogle; he was charged with Possession of Methamphetamines and Possession of Narcotics Equipment. Both men are convicted felons and were being held on no bond. Ogle has been booked 20 times with 30 records.


Child Drowns At Orlando Resort;
Age, Sex Of Victim Not Known

ORLANDO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A child drowned Monday at an Orlando resort, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

The child, whose age and sex are not known, drowned about 5 p.m. at the Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa on Turkey Lake Road near the Beachline.

Firefighters said the incident is a tragic reminder of how quickly children can become victims of an accidental drowning, WKMG said.


 

~ Tuesday's Local/State News ~

Man Arrested for Domestic
Battery by Strangulation,
Stalking Wife

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Timothy Paul Rogers, 44, 3205 44th Drive East, Bradenton.


Timothy Paul Rogers

According to the arrest report, Timothy Rogers and Natalie Rogers are married and have children together, but are separated and going through a divorce.

Sometime between April 18th and May 16th the couple was having an argument which turned violent when Natalie told Timothy that she had a new boyfriend.

Timothy then pushed Natalie, grabbed her and pinned her against the wall. He then proceeded to wrap his hands around Natalie's throat.

Natalie pleaded for him to stop because their children were in the room.

She escaped briefly and made an attempt to go to her children, but Timothy executed a wrist lock on her and took her to the ground. Each time that Natalie attempted to get up, Timothy would employ the wrist lock to keep her down.

Natalie attempted to fight to free herself, but was not successful. Timothy punched Natalie in the leg as she struggled against him.

Natalie told a deputy that her 4-year-old child was pleading with Timothy to
"stop hurting mommy."

When Natalie finally convinced Timothy to release her, he picked up their 2-year-old child and placed her in another room.

Once the violence ceased, Natalie went to her children and made sure they were okay, the report said. She then fled to a friend's house.

Natalie told the deputy she did not initially notify the authorities because this behavior was out of character for Timothy.

However, after that incident, Timothy began texting Natalie numerous times each day (10-15 times). She told Timothy to stop contacting her, to no avail.

Timothy told Natalie he would be waiting for her and that he knows when she's not at home.

Timothy has gone to Natalie's new residence and sat in the driveway for extended periods of time. She told the deputy her car was recently vandalized, but no others in the neighborhood were damaged.

Timothy was arrested on Thursday, May 20, 2010, and charged with Domestic Battery by Strangulation and Stalking.

He has since posted a $4,000 bail bond and has been released from the Manatee County Jail.


Absconded Manatee County
Sex Offender Arrested at
Ft. Lauderdale Airport

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Christopher Drouillard, wanted on several warrants from Manatee and Pinellas Counties, was arrested on Friday, May 21, 2010, at about 10 a.m., at the Fort Lauderdale Airport, Det. Kim Zink, of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, reported.


Christopher Drouillard
(Mug shot courtesy Broward County Sheriff's Office)

Christopher Drouillard was classified as a Sexual Offender after he was convicted in 2001 for Attempted Sexual Battery upon a Child under 12 years of age and Lewd and Lascivious Upon a child under 16 years of age.

He was registered in Manatee County up until 2005, when it was discovered that he had moved out of his last known address and could not be located.

A warrant for Failing to Notify DHSMV was obtained.

While investigating Drouillard’s whereabouts, Det. Zink learned he was working for a contractor in Afghanistan. The company decided to terminate Drouillard and they flew him back to Florida. Det. Zink arrested him on 02/13/2006.

He bonded out and immediately moved to Pinellas County. He was properly registered there up until he was due to go to trial in Manatee County.

He failed to show up for his trial and a Bench Warrant for Drouillard for Failing to Appear (on the Failing to Notify DHSMV warrant) was issued.

Pinellas County Sex Offender Unit attempted to locate him at his registered address in that county and found he was gone from that registered address. Pinellas County then issued a warrant for Failing to Notify DHSMV of a Change in their county after he moved and did not update his Driver’s License.

Drouillard was listed as “Absconded” for several years, before being arrested Friday (05/21/10) at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport on both Manatee and Pinellas County Warrants, as well as Child Support Warrants.

Drouillard is currently housed in the Broward County Jail, awaiting extradition to Manatee County.


Man Held on $1 Million
Bail Bond Following
Robbery of Hotel

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Christopher Michael Gonzalez, 20, of 2151 5th Street West, Bradenton.


Christopher Michael Gonzalez

According to a sheriff's report, on Saturday, May 22, 2010, at a few minutes past midnight, Gonzalez forced open the front door of the Rodeway Inn, 2303 1st Street East, Bradenton.

Once inside the business, Gonzalez opened the cash register and removed approximately $200.

The night clerk walked up to the front area and notice Gonzalez removing the money.

The clerk asked Gonzalez what he was doing and Gonzalez reached behind his back as if he was bragging a weapon and said, "Please man, I just want to make this a robbery and nothing else."

The clerk then told Gonzalez, "You are on video."

Gonzales then said, "I don't care, I just want to do my time."

Gonzales then jumped the front counter and ran out the front door across the parking lot.

The Violent Crimes Task Force, sheriff's helicopter and a K-9 unit responded to the scene. A perimeter was established and a K-9 track was done, but Gonzalez was not located.

However, he was later located and arrested. He was charged with Robbery, Unarmed.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a $1,000,000 bail bond.


Bradenton Police Arrest
Man for Burglary

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Paul Kimball Pfeiffer, 26, of 1204 14th Street West, Bradenton.


Paul Kimball Pfeiffer

The arrest report from BPD said on Thursday, May 20, 2010, at about 3:30 a.m., Pfeiffer entered a building in the 300 block of 12th Street West, Bradenton, through the front doors.

Pfeiffer then took a fire extinguisher inside the building, causing an alarm to activate. He sprayed the fire extinguisher inside the building, coating the floor with the chemicals, then fled the scene on foot.

Two witnesses to the incident said the suspect was a White male named Paul Pfeiffer and gave a description of his clothing.

A Manatee County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit was called to the scene and tracked Pfeiffer north for a block and a half.

BPD officers then saw Pfeiffer in the 500 block of 12th Street West and detained him for a show-up for the witnesses, who positively identified him.

Pfeiffer said he did enter the building, but denied using the fire extinguisher, which was never located.

Pfeiffer was arrested and charged with Burglary.

He was released from the Manatee County Jail on his own recognizance, supervised.


Palmetto Police Arrest
Man for Burglary

PALMETTO, Florida [NMT] -- The Palmetto Police Department has arrested Jack A. Erven, 39, of 2331 17th Street East, Palmetto.


Jack A. Erven

The arrest report from PPD said on Friday, May 21, 2010, at about 4:45 p.m., Erven purchased several items from the victim's brother-in-law during a garage sale at the victim's residence in the 1600 block of 20th Avenue West, Palmetto.

Erven returned at a later time and unlawfully entered the unoccupied residence and stole a microwave.

Upon the arrival of law enforcement, Erven was inside the residence and the microwave was in the bed of his truck.

The victim came to her residence and identified the microwave and said she did not give Erven permission to enter her residence and take anything.

Erven was arrested and charged with Burglary to an Unoccupied Residence.

He posted a bail bond of $7,500 the next day and was released from the Manatee County Jail.


Holmes Beach Police Arrest
Man for Child Abuse,
Domestic Battery

HOLMES BEACH, Florida [NMT] -- The Holmes Beach Police Department has arrested Mark Owen Balvin, 39, of 509 67th Street, in Holmes Beach.


Mark Owen Balvin

According to the arrest report from HBPD, on Sunday, May 23, 2010, at about 8:15 p.m., Mark came home from the store and began a verbal argument with Lana, who is his wife, about his vehicle.

The verbal argument turned violent when Mark, who lists his occupation as a nurse, spit in Lana's face.

She then spit back in his face, whereupon Mark slapped Lana and then Lana slapped Mark, the report from HBPD Officer J. Fleischer said.

Their daughter, who is 15 years old, then tried to get them to stop fighting.

Mark started to scream at their daughter, then grabbed her around her neck area.

The girl said that during this time, her airway was being cut off.

Lana tried to get Mark to let go, but Mark continued to scream at both Lana and the girl.

In an attempt to get Mark to release the girl's neck, Lana grabbed a picture frame and hit Mark with it and Mark let go of the girl's neck.

Lana and both of her children then left the scene.

Mark was arrested and charged with Child Abuse and Domestic Battery.

As of Monday afternoon, Balvin remained in the Manatee County Jail with a $2,000 bond..


Armed Home Invasion
Reported by Sheriff

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported an armed home invasion on Saturday, May 22, 2010, at about 12:30 a.m., in the 2900 block of 54th Drive East, at the Sabal Cove apartments, in Bradenton.

According to a sheriff's report, both victims, Robert Wilkins, 22, and Shannon Kruse, 23, had just arrived home.

After entering the apartment, they noticed an air freshener out of place on the living room floor, near the kitchen.

A short time later, two Black males came out of the rear bedroom or closet and demanded money.

Robert was struck in the head with a handgun and both victims were told to lie on the ground. Robert sustained a minor laceration to the head. The woman was not battered. Robert said he was struck with a Glock style handgun.

Robert was told to remove his gold bracelets and open the safe in his room. The robbers said, "Give me the money."

The robbers stole a number of items and fled the residence.

Shannon flagged down security and asked security to call 911.

The suspects fled eastbound, according to K-9 handler Dep. Sutton.

The Violent Crimes Task Force responded and took over the investigation.

Deputies collected multiple items of evidence suspected of being consumed by the robbers, including a peanut jar, a Gatorade bottle, a flashlight and a Mountain Dew can.

The robbers were only described as two Black males, both wearing black bandanas and dark pants.

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 Carjacked by Black Male
Outside 5th Street Market

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported an armed carjacking on Saturday, May 22, 2010, at about 9:15 p.m., outside the 5th Street Market located in the 5700 block of 5th Street East, Bradenton.

A sheriff's report said the victim, Miguel Diego Francosco-Thomas, 29, was getting into his car when an unknown Black male got into the front passenger seat of the vehicle.

The Black male had a black handgun and directed the victim to 512 B 57th Avenue East, at gunpoint.

Then the Black male struck Miguel on the left side of his face, leaving a small laceration and told him to get out of the car.

The robber then drove away in an unknown direction.

Miguel refused EMS treatment.

The Violent Crimes Task Force was notified.

The robber was not further identified in the report.

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 Sheriff's Underage
Drinking Operation Yields
29 Notices to Appear

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office conducted an underage drinking operation from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, 2010.

The Tactical Unit used two underage informants and checked various convenience stores and liquor stores throughout the county.

A total of sixty-four (64) establishments were checked in the county.

Employees at twenty-nine (29) of the establishments were charged with selling/serving alcohol to minors and were issued notices to appear.


Manatee County Government
Offices Closed on Memorial Day

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Government offices will be closed Monday, May 31st, to commemorate Memorial Day.

Trash, recycling and yard waste collections for the week will be postponed one day for residents in unincorporated Manatee.

The Anna Maria Island Trolley will operate normal daily routes but Manatee County Area Transit operations will be suspended for the day.

Manatee County parks and beaches will be open to the public. Manatee County and Buffalo Creek golf courses will be open. G.T.Bray recreation facilities will be closed. Blackstone Skate Park and G.T. Bray Skate Park will be open.

Central Library, the only county library normally open on Mondays, will be closed.

Manatee County’s publicly owned natural preserves will remain open.

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501.


Sarasota Sheriff Honors Two
Public Safety Communications
Center Employees

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Monday, May 24, 2010, Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight recognized two employees of the Public Safety Communications Center who recently earned distinctive honors.


Above, L to R, Supervisor Kris Adams,
Operator Megan Krahe and Sheriff Tom Knight
(Photo provided)

Supervisor Kris Adams became the first in the PSC to obtain Emergency Number Professional (ENP) status from the National Emergency Number Association (NENA). The year-long study program ensures she has a comprehensive body of knowledge about the 911 profession, promotes a standard of competence, and is aware of current issues and developments in her field. She is one of just 89 ENPs in the state of Florida.

Operator Megan Krahe was named the 2009 Emergency Medical and Fire Dispatcher of the Year. The award is based on a combination of quality assurance scores, including test scores, pre-arrival instructions and continuing education hours achieved.

The Sarasota County PSC is a multi-discipline Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE), accredited through the National/International Academies of Emergency Dispatch for Medical Dispatch since 2004 and Emergency Fire Dispatch since 2009. It is the only center nationwide that holds an additional accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) for Public Safety.


FHP Trooper, Officer Taken to
Orlando Hospitals After Driver
Reaching For Phone Hit 3 Cars

ORANGE COUNTY, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Orlando television station WKMG reported a driver reaching for his cell phone crashed into three vehicles, including a Florida Highway Patrol cruiser and a Windermere police car involved in a traffic stop in Orange County, authorities said.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Trooper Clark Egerton, 47, of Orlando, pulled a driver over for speeding about 3:40 a.m. near Conroy and Apopka Vineland roads. Windermere police Officer Jason Sipos, 35, assisted Egerton with the stop, the FHP said.

No one had exited their vehicles when a 2004 Ford Taurus driven by Christopher Patterson, 27, of Ocoee, veered off the road and crashed into all three cars, the FHP said.

Patterson, who was not injured or impaired, told troopers he was reaching for his phone and his car drifted off the road, according to the FHP report.

Egerton was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with minor injuries after being extricated from his vehicle.

Sipos was taken to Health Central with minor injuries, and Sheri Faynik, 23, of Orlando, who was driving a 2005 four-door Nissan that was pulled over, was taken to ORMC with minor injuries, WKMG said.

Charges are pending against Patterson, the FHP report said.


 

~ Monday's Local/State News ~

Opthalmologist Killed, Man
Who Found Wife Having Sex
with Now Dead Man Arrested
Following High Speed Chase

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Blair William Hohmeister, 27, of 7126 57th Terrace East, Bradenton. Hohmeister is charged with Vehicular Homicide, 1 count of Reckless Driving Causing Serious Bodily Injury and 5 counts of Reckless Driving Causing Property Damage.


Blair William Hohmeister

The arrest report from BPD said on Wednesday, May 5, 2010, at about 11:15 p.m., Hohmeister discovered his wife, Nicole, and Dr. Jason Evangelista, 35, engaged in sexual conduct in the back seat of Evangelista's pickup truck in the parking lot of the Bradenton City Centre, 100 Old Main Street, Bradenton.

Once the discovery was made, Hohmeister confronted both parties from outside the truck.

Evangelista drove his pickup truck from the scene and was quickly followed by Hohmeister in his own car, the report said.

The two vehicles wound through downtown Bradenton, eventually traveling westbound on 17th Avenue West at high rates of speed, estimated by witnesses and Hohmeister at 100 mph. All the while, witnesses said Hohmeister was maneuvering his car from side to side behind and next to the pickup.

Just prior to the intersection of 43rd Street West, Hohmeister lost control of his Honda sedan and began to rotate in a clockwise direction, traveling into the yard of 4215 17th Avenue West, where it impacted two stone lamp posts before rolling over and coming to rest back on 17th Avenue West.

Evangelista's vehicle continued through the intersection of 43rd Street West until it impacted a cement drain culvert, causing the pickup truck to roll onto its left side before flipping end-over-end several times, coming to rest at 4309 17th Avenue West. During the course of this, Evangelista was impaled on his head by a portion of the driver's door, causing Evangelista's death.

Ms. Hohmeister, a passenger in Evangelista's vehicle, was airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center, with serious injuries, including a very serious leg injury that required some reconstructive surgery, the report said.

After investigation of the incident, Bradenton Police arrested Hohmeister on Thursday, May 20, 2010, and charged him with Vehicular Homicide and the other Reckless Driving charges.

Hohmeister has since posted a bail bond of $10,500 and has been released from the Manatee County Jail.


Two Women Arrested for
Robbery, One for Grand
Theft of Victim's Car

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Rhonda Randall, 23, of 5743 9th Street Court East, Bradenton, and Bridgette Nicely, 37, of 4528 26th Street West, Bradenton.


Above, L to R, Rhonda Randall and Bridgette Nicely

According to the arrest report by Detective Bill Waldron, of the Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF), on Monday, May 17, 2010, at about 10:45 p.m., Bennita Molnar, 48, called 911 to report that she was physically attacked by Randall and Nicely, and that her purse, food stamps, cell phone and Volvo had been stolen by the duo.

Detectives Bill Waldron and Larry Hemmer responded to the scene and sent K-9 Dep. Keith Sutton after the stolen vehicle.

Sutton saw the Volvo leave Sanctuary Condominiums and followed, eventually conducting a traffic stop.

Randall was driving with Nicely as the front seat passenger.

Randall was in possession of Molnar's cell phone and gave a deputy a false name.

Randall invoked her rights and said, "I beat the woman and took her car, so take me to jail now." She wouldn't say anything else.

But Nicely agreed to talk to Det. Waldron and admitted that she knew what she and Randall were doing was wrong.

Molnar positively identified the pair.

Randall was arrested and charged with Robbery, Grand Theft Auto and Giving a False Name to Law Enforcement.

She remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $262,000.

Nicely was also arrested and only charged with Robbery. However, Nicely had just gotten out of prison on another robbery charge, so she remains in the Manatee County Jail without bond.


Man Drinks Bottle of Listerine,
Threatens DeSoto Square Mall
Director of Security with Chair

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Charles William Bolen, 49, of no known address.


Charles William Bolen

According to the arrest report, on Thursday, May 20, 2010, at about 11:45 a.m., Bolen went into the mall bathroom located at the food court and drank a bottle of Listerine.

Mall patrons alerted the Director of Security for the mall, Greg Canniff, and told him Bolen was drinking Listerine in the bathroom.

Canniff confronted Bolen in the food court and it appeared Bolen was intoxicated, the report said.

Canniff told Bolen to leave, whereupon Bolen refused and threatened to "kick his ass" several times.

Canniff continued to ask Bolen to leave and Bolen picked up one of the food court chairs over his head in a threatening manner in an attempt to strike Canniff with it.

Bolen eventually dropped the chair and walked toward the exit of the mall, threatening people as they were walking by.

Bolen was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault and Trespassing.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $3,750.


Missing 5-Year-Old Parrish
Boy Recovered

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported recovering a missing 5-year-old Parrish boy on Friday, May 21, 2010, at about 12:30 p.m., in the 4000 block of Kingsfield Drive, Parrish.

The report said on Friday at about noon, the grandmother of Sebastian Vina, 5, went inside the residence to prepare lunch. The child was left to play on the front porch as he had been many times before.

About 1/2 hour later, the Grandmother came out to the front porch and found the child missing.

The family searched the area and, being unable to find the child, called the sheriff's office.

Units responded and found the child a few houses away playing inside with friends.


'Good Samaritan' Robs
Woman of Purse

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a woman's purse was snatched by a man who gave her a ride home.

A sheriff's report said the victim, Kristie Cooprider, 38, of the 2700 block of 50th Avenue West, Bradenton, got a ride home from the man.

Once at her residence, she was getting a lighter out of her purse when the man grabbed the purse off her shoulder and fled in a black 4-door vehicle of unknown make.

The purse and personal property were valued at less than $20.00.

The Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) was notified of the incident.

The purse snatcher was only described as an unknown White male, about 5'5" tall.

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.


Good News: Now You Can
Donate to NewsManatee
Through our PayPal Link

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Recently, we ran an emergency fund-raiser for NewsManatee.com. It was necessary; it was an emergency.

During that time, several people wanted to donate and they wanted to do it through PayPal. However, our account was inactive.

We have reactivated our account with PayPal. Now anyone can make a donation through the link to PayPal on our Cover page at the upper left of the page.

Just click on the PayPal logo to go to PayPal. Once there, enter our e-mail address, NewsManatee@aol.com, and yours, and you will be directed to the proper page to make your donation.

So now it's easier and more convenient for you to fulfill your desire to donate to NewsManatee.com at any time, just by logging on to NewsManatee and then clicking on the PayPal logo.

PayPal accepts the major credit cards. It is a secure website.

NewsManatee, Inc. has been designated a 501(c)(3) charity by the IRS. Your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Your donation will go toward insuring the public is informed and educated about Crime and Public Safety in our domain.

It's all good.


Sarasota Police: Prominent
Local Resident is Missing

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota Police Department is working in conjunction with the Vermont State Police to investigate the disappearance of a prominent local resident, Robert Servian, 61 years of age.


Above, Robert Servian

Mr. Servian was reported as a missing person to the Sarasota Police Department by his wife, Mary Anne Servian, on April 2nd, 2010. He is believed to have voluntarily left his home in Sarasota in his personal vehicle, a 2010 2-door, white Honda Accord, bearing Florida tag number 355 LIL; he is believed to have left Sarasota on March 30th or March 31st, 2010.

On April 1st, 2010, an officer of the Virginia Highway Patrol conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle driven by Robert Servian. The trooper was able to verify that Mr. Servian was the only person in the vehicle and Mr. Servian did not appear to show any signs of distress. The trooper last observed Mr. Servian as Mr. Servian drove northbound on I-95, following the traffic stop.

Based on the uncertainty of his whereabouts, officers of the Sarasota Police Department entered Robert Servian as a missing person and information concerning his vehicle was entered into a national database (NCIC/FCIC).

On May 3, 2010, Robert Servian’s vehicle was located in the parking lot of a hotel in Rutland, Vermont. Mr. Servian had not been listed as a guest at the hotel. Investigators believe the vehicle may have been parked unattended at that location for several weeks. Mr. Servian had not been located; therefore the vehicle has been treated as a potential crime scene by the Vermont State Police. Efforts made by the Vermont State Police included: processing of the recovered vehicle and conducting a K-9 track. Robert Servian continues to be listed as a missing person.

Robert Servian is known to be a hiking enthusiast and his vehicle was found within miles of one of his favorite hiking locations, the Appalachian Trail.

Anyone who may have information regarding Mr. Servian’s disappearance is requested to contact one of the investigative agencies listed below:

Detective DeFrancisco, Sarasota Police Department, at (941) 954-7070

Detective’s Sergeant Abdelnour, Vermont State Police, at (802) 773-9101

The family representative for the Servian’s is Michael Shelton who can be reached at (941) 928-0567. At this time, the family has provided the following statement:

“We are worried for Rob’s safety and hope that he will return safely home to us soon. We appreciate all of the investigative efforts of the Vermont State Police and the Sarasota Police Department. If you have any information on Rob’s whereabouts, please contact one of these agencies to report the information. We thank you in advance for respecting our privacy during this difficult time.”


Burglary Suspect Arrested
By Sarasota County Sheriff

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has arrested Dawn Gandall, 47, of 5200 Englewood Road in Venice, for three residential burglaries in the south Venice area.


Dawn Gandall

Deputies were called to investigate a burglary at a home on Loyola Road Thursday. A 13-year old girl said she was at the house alone and hid in the closet while the suspect was inside. Responding deputies found Gandall walking two streets away, and recovered jewelry in the ditch nearby. They also determined there was a burglary warrant for Gandall’s arrest and took her into custody.

Gandall has been charged with Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling and Grand Theft in Thursday's case, Burglary with Battery in another case on Englewood Road last week, and Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling for a third case on Lehigh Road in April.

Investigators are looking into Gandall's possible involvement in other crimes.


UPDATE: Man Arrested for
Robbery of Restaurant

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit detectives this afternoon arrested Justin Andrew Hamilton, 39, 22311 Augusta Ave., Port Charlotte, in connection with last Tuesday’s armed robbery of Obee’s Soup-Salad-Subs, 1931 Tamiami Tr., Port Charlotte.


Justin Andrew Hamilton

At the scene Tuesday, two witnesses said they saw the suspect sitting at a table outside Obee’s before the robbery. CCSO Crime Scene technicians lifted palm prints from the table where the suspect was sitting; they were a match belonging to Hamilton. The two witnesses positively identified Hamilton from photo line-ups.

Hamilton was wanted on an arrest warrant for Violation of Probation. On Oct. 17, 2009, he was arrested for Grand Theft at Beall’s in Town Center Mall, and on May 6 for Grand Theft at Target in Port Charlotte. Warrant Squad detectives located him around 5 p.m. Thursday; after questioning he was taken to the Charlotte County Jail and held without bond.

On Friday afternoon, May 21, 2010, MCU detectives went to the County Jail and informed Hamilton he was now being charged with Robbery with a Firearm and is also being held without bond.


Charlotte Sheriff Arrests 6, Shuts
Down Crack & Heroin House

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A Charlotte County Sheriff’s road patrol deputy responded to a routine call Thursday at 2:47 p.m. to 23048 Jumper Ave., Port Charlotte. It resulted in the arrest of five women and a man for trafficking in crack cocaine and heroin. This is a known drug house where Narcotics detectives have served several search warrants in the past.

The deputy made contact with the complainant who said she was beaten up and wanted the deputy to escort her into the home to gather her belongings. In her bedroom, Katrina Wade opened a shoe box in her closet and left it open and the deputy noticed a large amount of what appeared to be crack cocaine in the box. The Narcotics Unit was called and a search warrant obtained. All those in the home were detained while the search of the home was made.

Detectives found 98.5 grams of crack cocaine and 31.0 grams of heroin along with marijuana and several crack pipes. All six Port Charlotte residents were transported to the Charlotte County Jail and held on no bond due to their extensive criminal histories.

Arrested were:

Deborah Lynn Hull, 57, 23048 Jumper Ave. (19th booking with 21 records)
Katrina Montez Wade, 37, 23048 Jumper Ave. (14th booking with 8 records)
Mariala Morris, 42, 23048 Jumper Ave. (3rd booking with 20 records)
Amber Lynn Armitage, 27, 21995 Catherine Ave. (13th booking with 18 records)
Michelle Marie Ott, 21, 21055 Bachmann Blvd. 12th booking with 17 records)
Joseph Edward Tyler, 48, 3380 Maple Terrace. (14th booking with 28 records)

All six were charged with Trafficking in Crack Cocaine, Trafficking in Heroin, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Hull was additionally charged with Ownership of Any Place for Trafficking/Sale of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Marijuana.

If you have information about illegal drug activity, please call the CCSO Narcotics Unit at 941-575-2157, or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).


7 Motorcyclists Arrested
for Fleeing to Elude

COLLIER/LEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Highway Patrol has arrested 7 motorcyclists who were speeding on Alligator Alley and fled law enforcement's effort to stop them.

On Sunday, May 23, 2010, at 7:48 a.m., FHP Trooper Lauren Miller was conducting speed enforcement on Alligator Alley near the 90 mile marker in Collier County. Trooper Miller obtained a radar clock on a group of motorcycles traveling northbound at 125 MPH. As Trooper Miller attempted to stop the motorcycles, they accelerated rapidly and began to flee.

Trooper Miller radioed ahead as they entered Lee County. Additional units responded to the area. Five motorcyclists surrendered onto the shoulder of the road as they saw the flashing lights ahead. Two motorcycles continued to flee northbound.

Sergeant Mike Gideons requested air support from the Lee County Sheriff’s Department. As Corporal George Kantor responded to the area, he was able to clock the motorcycles at 140 MPH near the 136 mile marker. A Lee County Sheriff’s Office helicopter spotted the motorcycles and began to track them. The motorcycles exited at the 138 mile marker and headed toward Ft. Myers. Ground units began to back off and follow the direction of the pilot. Once the motorcyclists discovered they were being tracked by a helicopter they surrendered and were taken into custody on Veronica Shoemaker Blvd. north of State Road 80.

All seven motorcyclists were charged with Aggravated Fleeing to Elude, a second degree felony, and their motorcycles were seized pending forfeiture. The first five motorcyclists were transported to the Collier County Jail. The last two were transported to the Lee County Jail.

The following were arrested:

Peter Olliviere, 7/01/1979, of Lauderdale Lakes
Juan Cueto, 11/30/1956, of Miami
Joseph Peric, 9/12/1981, of Plantation
Sadiki Stephenson, 12/11/82, of Margate
Phillip Cummings, 10/27/1987, of North Lauderdale
Chad Farokhnia, 1/25/1990, of Lauderdale By The Sea
Bradley Peric, 9/12/1981, of Plantation


Deputies: Neglected Mom
Found With Bugs In Mouth

GRANT, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A man was arrested in Brevard County in what sheriff's deputies said is the worst case of elderly abuse they've ever seen, Orlando television station WKMG reported.


Richard Cassin

Richard Cassin was arrested Tuesday at the Grant home he shares with his 82-year-old mother, Florence Cassin.

Initially, paramedics were called to the home, located at 4140 S. U.S. 1, to provide medical attention to Florence Cassin. However, the sheriff's office took over the investigation when Cassin was discovered in "deplorable" condition.

The arrest report described Cassin as "unresponsive" and she "had sores all over her."

"There were insects inside her mouth -- the bedding she was laying on was swarming with thousands of gnats," the report stated.

The report also said there were dead cockroaches on her pillow, her hair was filthy with rotting food stuck to the strands. Cassin's eyes were coated with a yellow and green discharge, and she was wearing a dirty diaper and soiled clothing, and the odor emitting from the victim was overwhelming, according to the report.

The report indicates Cassin would only respond by moaning and crying. She was immediately taken to the hospital and placed into intensive care.

According to the report, Richard Cassin was "visibly intoxicated" at the time of his arrest. He stated that he had not taken his mother to the doctor in two years because "they just poke and prod her." He stated he "figured she would just die."

Cassin is being held on $1 million bond at the Brevard County Jail, WKMG said.

 

 

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NewsManatee Archive Created 5/29/2010 2:00:06 PM


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