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Local/State News for week ending 2/18/2012

Deputy Arrests Man for
Stalking Mother of
His Child

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Stephen J. Lagasse, 21, of 2109 Wisteria Street, Sarasota.

Stephen Lagasse

The arrest report stated Lagasse has been harassing and following Shatondra Williams, who is the mother of his child.

Lagasse has been calling Williams at her job and on her cell phone. She has told him to stop calling her, but Lagasse continued to make attempts to get in touch with her.

On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, at about 12:30 a.m., Lagasse went to Williams' residence and started to knock at the door and windows.

Shatondra refused to open the door, but Lagasse continued trying to get inside of the residence through one of the windows.

Shatondra, who was in substantial emotional distress, called the sheriff's office and hid under the bed with her three children until deputies arrived.

By that time, Lagasse was able to get into Shatondra's vehicle and admitted to deputies that he went into the vehicle to wait for Shatondra to come out in the morning.

He said he only wanted to talk to Shatondra and he was not there to visit his child.

He was arrested and charged with Simple Stalking.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $2,500.

BPD Arrests Man, 19, for
Credit Card Fraud; Used
Man's Card for Pizza

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Justin T. Underwood, 19, of 6006 31st Avenue West, Bradenton.

Justin Underwood

According to the arrest report, Underwood used a man's credit card to purchase $455 worth of pizza.

Between November 26, 2011, and January 14, 2012, Underwood used a credit card belonging to Robert McCoy to purchase the pizza from a local Pizza Hut restaurant located at 6383 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton.

The pizza was delivered to Underwood's home address listed above.

McCoy, who lives in Tennessee, provided copies of the fraudulent transactions and copies of the original purchase receipts containing Underwood's name, address and phone number. In addition, McCoy signed a complaint affidavit, which was notarized in Tennessee, indicating he did not authorize Underwood to make the transactions.

On February 14, 2012, Underwood was interviewed at BPD headquarters and allegedly confessed to making the purchases.

He said he used the credit card due to his lack of money for food.

It's unclear how Underwood got possession of the credit card.

Underwood was arrested and charged with Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card.

He posted a $1,000 bail bond and was released from the Manatee County Jail.

BPD Arrests Man for Holding
Heroin, Cocaine

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Godfrey Sannon, 21, of the 300 block of Lantana Avenue, in Sarasota.

Godfrey Sannon

The arrest report from BPD said on Tuesday, February 14, 2012, at about 11:45 p.m., Godfrey was the front seat passenger of a vehicle stopped for illegal window tint in the 1800 block of 14th Street West, Bradenton.

A K-9 unit responded and gave a positive hit on the vehicle.

On the passenger floorboard an officer located 2 small baggies containing heroin.

Upon searching Sannon, crack cocaine, powder cocaine and several baggies of heroin were found in one of Godfrey's shoes.

Godfrey was arrested and charged with Possession of Heroin, Possession of Powder Cocaine and Possession of Crack Cocaine.

He later posted a $3,000 bail bond and was released from the Manatee County Jail.

Manatee County Government
Closed on Presidents Day

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Government offices will be closed Monday, Feb. 20, to commemorate Presidents Day.

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

Manatee County Area Transit and the Anna Maria Island Trolley will operate normal daily routes.

Manatee County parks and beaches will be open to the public. Manatee County and Buffalo Creek Golf Courses will be open. The Fitness Center and Teen Room at G.T. Bray Recreation Center will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Racquet Center Clay Courts will be open 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The hard surface tennis/racquetball courts will be open from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. G.T. Bray’s gymnasium will be open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Youth Camps will be open from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. The Aquatics Center will be open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Blackstone Skate Park will be open. G.T. Bray Skate Park is currently closed for repairs.

Central Library, the only county library normally open on Mondays, will be closed for Presidents Day and will resume normal operating hours on Tuesday, Feb. 22. All of Manatee County's branch libraries operate Tuesday through Saturday and are therefore not affected by the Monday closure.

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

FHP To Conduct Roadside
Safety Checkpoint in
Manatee County

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Highway Patrol in conjunction with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Palmetto Police Department and Bradenton Police Department will conduct a comprehensive roadside safety checkpoint in Manatee County during the month of February. The central focus of this checkpoint will be the apprehension of impaired drivers.

The Goals for this checkpoint are:

~ Deter DUI; thereby reducing the death, injury and property damage caused by alcohol and drug impaired drivers.

~ Intercept currently impaired drivers before a traffic crash occurs.

~ Conduct the checkpoint with a minimal amount of intrusion and motorist inconvenience.

~ Ensure the safety of the motorists and officers

In 2009, the preliminary fatality statistics indicate the Florida Highway Patrol worked 31 fatal crashes that resulted in 33 fatalities in Manatee County. Eight (8) of these crashes involved a driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs that resulted in 9 deaths. Driving Under the Influence is a crime and these deaths were preventable. The law enforcement community in Manatee County takes this crime seriously and has a zero tolerance policy for impaired drivers.

Volunteer Attorneys Wanted for
Manatee County Teen Court,
Teen Court Too Training

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Teen Court and Teen Court Too are real Courtroom experiences for first-time juvenile offenders. Youths between the ages of 10-17, who admit that they are guilty of selected misdemeanor offenses and some Court-Ordered non-violent felony cases are heard by a jury of their peers instead of going before a Juvenile Court Judge.

Youth volunteers are needed to fill the crucial roles of prosecuting and defense attorneys. No legal studies background is needed; although an interest in the judicial system and the role of attorneys is a plus.

During this training series, which will take place over 3 Tuesday evenings: 2/28, 3/6 and 3/20, from 5:15-7:15 p.m., youths who are interested in becoming Teen Court and Teen Court Too attorneys will receive training from practicing attorneys on courtroom decorum, questioning, objecting and code of conduct.

The training series, sponsored by R.B. "Chips" Shore, Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, will be at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 4th Floor, 1051 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton.

For more information or to sign up for this attorney volunteer training series, please contact Sue Lockliear or Rina Madrid at (941)-741-4027, or visit the website of the Clerk of the Circuit Court at:

SSO Arrests Man for
Child Pornography

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrest Robert Hering, 45, of 1636 Shelburne Lane, Sarasota, for Promotion and Possession of Child Pornography.

Robert Hering

Detectives received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that an email sent through America Online (AOL) contained child pornography.

Once the account holder’s Internet Protocol (IP) address was determined to be a Comcast customer in Sarasota County, detectives sent a subpoena to the Internet service provider who identified the account holder as Hering.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for Hering’s residence, where they found at least 50 video and image files containing children involved in sexual conduct.

Hering is charged with one count of Promotion of Sexual Performance by a Child and 50 counts of Possession of Sexual Performance by a Child. He was booked into the Sarasota County Jail Wednesday and is currently being held without bond.

SPD: Man Arrested for GTE
Credit Union Robbery

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- On February 14th at approximately 12:30 p.m., the GTE Federal Credit Union at 3510 Fruitville Road was robbed. The perpetrator presented a note to the teller and left with an undisclosed amount of cash, no weapon was observed.

Daniel Pezanetti

Credit Union cameras recorded the perpetrators image and the media published the photographs. The Sarasota Police Department is grateful to the media sources that published photographs of the perpetrator. Those published photographs generated information that led to the identification of a suspect, Daniel Pezanetti, 45.

Detective DeFrancisco obtained an arrest warrant charging Pezanetti with the Robbery. Detective Sergeant Churchill and Det. DeFrancisco developed information that the suspect was in North Port.

Daniel Pezanetti was interviewed by Detective DeFrancisco and confessed to being the perpetrator of the GTE Credit Union Robbery. During the interview Pezanetti indicated that his abuse of narcotics led him to commit the robbery.

Daniel Pezanetti was arrested Wednesday night, February 15, 2012, at a North Port home in the 6800 block of San Pablo Avenue.

He was charged with Robbery and Violation of Probation.

CCSO Arrests Man, 21,
for "Huffing"

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A Charlotte County Sheriff's deputy arrested a Port Charlotte man after he was found passed out the second time Wednesday for inhaling chemicals from aerosol cans in Port Charlotte. Arrested was Jacob Corson Moore, 21, 28001 Riddle Avenue.

Jacob Moore

CCSO received a call at 1:46 p.m. from a woman who found a man passed out in some bushes and said there was an aerosol can beside him in the 21100 block of Olean Boulevard. When the deputy arrived, EMS was on scene; Moore refused treatment. The empty can was located and placed into evidence. Moore was not observed inhaling the aerosol can contents and was released.

At 5 p.m. a deputy was flagged down by a citizen at Promenades Mall, 3280 Tamiami Trail, who said a White male was passed out in the bushes in the parking lot with a spray can. The deputy located Moore who was lying on his side with an aerosol can of spray in his hand. He was unconscious and had vomited. The deputy was able to wake Moore up and he appeared to be under the influence of something. Moore said, “I was using this can to escape from here; I’m okay now. I huff the can because it’s a quick way to escape from everything.”

EMS arrived and Moore again refused treatment. EMS personnel advised this was the fifth time they have been out with Moore in the past week for the same thing, and the second time Wednesday. Moore advised that after the first call, he bought another can at the mall from an electronics store so he could get high again.

This time Moore was arrested and taken to the Charlotte County Jail. He was charged with misdemeanor Inhalation of a Harmful Chemical Substance. He remains in jail on a $500 bond.

Deputies: Man Used Toddler
as Human Shield

WINTER SPRINGS, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Orlando television station WKMG reported a man sped away from deputies with a small child in the car and then used the toddler to shield himself when they drew their guns, Seminole County deputies said.

Clinton Dunston Jr, 41, was arrested on six charges Wednesday, including cruelty to a child.

Deputies said about 8 p.m. Wednesday, they tried to pull over Dunston for driving on a suspended license and expired tags. They said he took off at a high rate of speed in a red Dodge Charger with a child under the age of 2 in his front seat.

Deputies said they turned their lights off and notified their helicopter. The pilot then spotted Dunston pulling into the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Red Bug Lake Road in Winter Springs and notified patrols on the ground.

Dunston then got out of his car and walked to a nearby hair salon, deputies said. He was ordered to get on the ground, but he did not stop and used the child as a human shield when deputies pointed their guns at him, authorities said.

Deputies were able to push him to the ground and grab the child, who was not injured.

The child's mother came out of the salon and identified herself, said deputies.

Dunston is not the child's father, but he is a relative, WKMG said.


~ Thursday's Local/State News ~

3-Month-Old Girl Severely
Abused by Father; Infant
Taken to Tampa Hospital

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Matthew Huss, 27, of the 3400 block of 9th Street Court West, Bradenton.

Matthew Huss

According to the complaint, on February 10, 2012, a 3-month-old girl was being cared for by her father, Huss, at their home listed above.

Around 5 p.m., the infant began screaming and crying.

Matthew picked her up from her swing and sat on the couch with her. He was holding her in his left arm. Matthew later told detectives he was frustrated because the infant would not stop crying.

He stood up with the infant laying on his left forearm and placed his right hand on her face and squeezed her cheeks "with great force" for a minute or two, the report said.

The squeezing of her face did not stop the crying, so he became angry and threw the infant to the floor "with great force." The floor that the infant was thrown to consists of vinyl over concrete.

Matthew then picked her up and took her to his bedroom. He placed her on the bed and changed her diaper and clothing. He said he looked over her body to check for blood or bruises. The child continued to cry, so he placed her in her swing and went outside and smoked a cigarette.

The child remained in her swing until Matthew's father arrived around 8 p.m. that night. Matthew's father took the kids to his house to stay the night with their paternal grandmother ad grandfather (Matthew's father).

The grandmother noticed bruising to the child's face and neck and called the child's mother.

Throughout the night, the grandmother dealt with two vomiting episodes and then noticed the infant's body was twitching. At that point, the grandmother took the child to Manatee Memorial Hospital.

Medical staff noticed suspicious bruising to the infant's lower cheeks on both sides, a small spot on the body in the neck area caused by a minor hemorrhage and a bruised right inner ear. A CT scan revealed fractures to the skull and bleeding in the brain, at which time the child was transferred to All Children's Hospital in Tampa.

At the time of the report, the child was on a ventilator with a drain in the skull to relieve pressure to the brain. "The child has severe left side brain damage and right side skull fracture," the report said.

Huss was arrested and charged with Aggravated Child Abuse

Huss, who is unemployed, remains in the Manatee County Jail on a $50,000 bail bond.

Man Arrested on Warrant
for Locking Mom Out of
House, Dumping Her

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Kurt Sicotte, 42, of 12703 Deacon Place, Bradenton.

Kurt Sicotte

According to the arrest report, on Wednesday, February 8, 2012, at about 4:15 p.m., Kurt was at the above location with his mother, Connie Sicotte, 65 years old.

Kurt and Connie were in an argument that turned physical when Kurt pinched Connie's right cheek as hard as he could.

Kurt then locked her out of her own home while he would periodically open the sliding glass door and yell obscenities at his mother.

Then Kurt flipped her from her chair and she fell to the ground.

Kurt then fled the scene.

A deputy observed no injuries on Connie, but she complained of a bruised cheek. She declined EMS.

Kurt was later arrested on Tuesday, February 14, 2012, in the 8000 block of Tamiami Trail.

He was charged with Battery on a Person 65 or Older.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Kurt Sicotte remained in the Manatee County Jail without a bail bond.

Detectives Arrest Man for
Pawning Items Stolen
in South Carolina

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Scott A. Armstrong, 35, currently incarcerated in the Manatee County Jail on unrelated charges.

Scott Armstrong

On Monday, February 13, 2012, Manatee County Sheriff's Detectives charged Armstrong with Dealing in Stolen Property.

The arrest report said on April 27, 2011, Armstrong entered Mr. Gold, a Florida secondhand dealer located at 3515 14th Street West, Bradenton, and pawned 5 items which included a lady's Rolex watch and a Love and Kiss decorative pin. He received $1,020 for all five of the items. He used the name Sam Scott Taylor.

Detectives were able to learn that because Armstrong had Sam Scott Taylor's ID from South Carolina in his possession when he was arrested at his local motel for another burglary and the detectives conducted a pawn shop search for that name.

Further research identified the victim of the Rolex and pin theft as Courtney Baum Avichouser, who was the victim of a residential burglary in South Carolina on April 25, 2011. Ms. Avichouser positively identified the items as hers.

When Armstrong was arrested on May 25, 2011, for an unrelated burglary, he had given the name of Steven Avichouser, who is the deceased husband of Courtney Avichouser.

Armstrong had Steven Avichouser's ID in his possession when he was arrested in May.

Armstrong remains in the Manatee County Jail, awaiting trial on several burglary charges.

Teen Allegedly Shoots Himself
in Leg with Friend's Pistol

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported what the victim is calling an accidental shooting on Tuesday, February 14, 2012, at about 10 p.m., at a residence in the 900 block of 57th Avenue Place East, Bradenton.

A sheriff's report said the victim, Tywan Johnson, 17, claimed his friend was over and had a pistol with him.

The victim was looking at the pistol and it discharged, hitting him in the left leg.

The alleged gun owner took the gun and fled.

The injury to the victim was non-life threatening and he was transported to Manatee Memorial Hospital.

The investigation continues.

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.

5-Year-Old Boy Critical
After Crash with Driver

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Highway Patrol reported a vehicle versus bicycle collision on Wednesday, February 15, 2012, at about 1:45 p.m., at the intersection of University Parkway and Lockwood Ridge Road, in South Manatee County.

The report said Tyler Bowser, 35, of Sarasota, was eastbound on University in the right lane approaching a green traffic signal at Lockwood Ridge Road.

The bicyclist, 5-year-old Isaiah Jackson, was riding a bicycle southbound on Lockwood Ridge Road, through the intersection at University, using the crosswalk on the east side of the intersection.

Isaiah continued southbound and into the path of Bowser's vehicle.

Bowser braked but was unable to avoid the boy. The front left of Bowser's vehicle collided with the right side of the lad, who was ejected from the bicycle, coming to final rest east of his bike.

The report noted that there were approximately 151 feet of skid marks from Bowser's vehicle.

It also noted that the boy was not wearing a helmet.

The Jackson boy was transported to Bayfront Medical Center in critical condition.

Charges are pending, the FHP report said.

Bradenton Fire Department
Responds to Structure Fire
of House Being Remodeled

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- On February 15, 2012 at 8:56 a.m., the Bradenton Fire Department (BFD) was dispatched to 4830 14th Avenue East for a reported structure fire.

The initial responding units from Station 2 were on scene at 9:03 a.m., along with automatic-aid from East Manatee Fire Rescue. Ten BFD personnel responded to the scene with three engines, one ladder truck, a command unit, and a fire investigation unit.

The fire, resulting in damage to the roof structure, was brought under control at 10:03 a.m.

There were no injuries.

As the home was being remodeled, there were no residents, thus no one was displaced.

The cause of fire is under investigation, but it may have been electrical in nature, according to BFD Fire Marshal Ken Langston.

$5K in Jewelry Stolen from
Elderly Woman's Home

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a case of grand theft that occurred sometime between February 1st and February 9th, 2012, at a residence in the 7500 block of Fairlinks Court, in South Manatee County.

A sheriff's report said the woman, who is 74 years old, told deputies that within the time period, workmen were the only persons who were inside her residence.

Jewelry stolen from the woman was in an open glass compartment located in her bedroom.

Nobody was seen taking the jewelry and there were no signs of force entry to the residence, the report said.

The value of the jewelry was placed at $5,000.

Nothing else was missing from the residence, the report said.

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

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

Two Men Batter Woman,
Then Drive Away

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office responded to a call Monday at 6:58 p.m. to Hillsborough Blvd. and Eva St. in Port Charlotte in reference to a report of a female in distress on the side of the roadway.

The victim told Major Crimes Unit detectives she was traveling southbound on Hillsborough Blvd. in her 2004 Black Nissan Armada when she noticed she was being tailgated by a small dark passenger car. The victim pulled over to let the car pass and the vehicle pulled in front of hers on the shoulder of the road. Two Hispanic males got out of the vehicle, approached the victim, and removed her from her car.

The victim said she struggled with the men and that during the struggle most of her clothing was ripped from her body. The victim indicated that the men struck her several times before they left in an unknown direction. The victim stated she had never seen these subjects before, however, details obtained from her suggest the men knew her and this was not a random act of violence, nor was it sexually motivated.

The victim was transported to a local hospital where she was treated and released. A BOLO was issued for the vehicle, a dark colored, possibly green, small passenger car. The two suspects were described as Hispanic males in their twenties; one had short dark hair, the other had longer dark hair.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s office is requesting any information about this crime, especially from someone who may have been traveling on Hillsborough Blvd. between 6:30-7:00 pm. Monday, to call CCSO at 941-639-2101, or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).

Firefighter Accused of Putting
Gunk in Lieutenant's Canteen

TITUSVILLE, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A Titusville firefighter accused of trying to poison a fellow firefighter has been arrested on charges of aggravated stalking and poisoning food or water, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

According to Titusville police, firefighter/paramedic Randy Moore admitted to putting a petroleum-based solvent known as Gunk inside Lt. Phil Jones' canteen. Gunk is an aerosol cleaning substance commonly used as an engine degreaser. On the can, it warns that the product is flammable and harmful or fatal if swallowed.

Investigators said the canteen was used as part of Jones' wildland gear bag, which is carried while fighting brush fires.

Jones, a decorated 28-year TFD lieutenant, said he noticed the smell in his canteen and told supervisors, who called police.

Moore admitted to investigators that he laced the canteen, police said. According to police, Moore had targeted Jones for six months and this was just the latest prank.

Moore, who claimed he was upset over other issues, said he did not intend to kill Jones, according to police.

Moore, a 12-year TFD veteran, was booked into the Brevard County Jail at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday and police said he could face additional charges, WKMG said.



~ Wednesday's Local/State News ~

Man Arrested for Threatening
Detectives in Vehicle
with Loaded Gun

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested William Warren Parker, 39, of 917 26th Avenue West, Bradenton.

William Parker

According to the arrest report, on Tuesday, February 7, 2012, at about 9:45 p.m., three Manatee County Sheriff's Detectives were parked in a vehicle in the 900 block of 26th Avenue West.

Parker was standing in his fenced yard at the above location. He was intently watching the actions of the detectives and appeared to become agitated.

Parker walked toward the door of his residence, then returned to the gate.

He was holding his right hand behind his back and exited his fenced yard, walking directly to the driver's side of the detectives' vehicle. He was still holding his right arm behind his back and appeared angry.

The detectives presumed that Parker was concealing a firearm behind his back.

One detective placed the vehicle in drive and another detective drew his firearm, keeping it hidden from Parker's view "so as to not further escalate the situation," the report said.

Without warning, Parker brandished a large frame silver and black semi-automatic pistol from behind his back. He was about 2 feet away from the car. Then he raised the firearm and pointed it directly at the front driver's window.

The detective who was driving accelerated as quickly as possible from the area as Parker yelled, "That's right, you better get out of here."

The detectives returned to the Operations Center.

At about 10:30 p.m., one of the detectives returned to Parker's home with marked patrol units. Parker was still standing in his front yard and willingly walked out to the street.

The detective began speaking with Tina Parker, Parker's wife. During the conversation, Tina invited the detective into the fenced yard and spoke about "the situation earlier."

While speaking with Tina, the large frame semi-automatic firearm was located in plain view sitting on the roof of a vehicle parked in Parker's driveway.

The firearm was seized and found to be fully loaded, including a round that was chambered.

Parker was arrested and charged with one count of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm.

Post-Miranda, Parker said that he let his emotions get the best of him. He said that he is tired of the drug dealers in his neighborhood. He further said that he has no excuses and that he knew what he did was wrong.

Deputy Arrests Man for Choking
Girlfriend, While Telling Her
"Go to Sleep"

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Nicolas Niederkohr, 25, of 4515 26th Street West, Bradenton.

Nicolas Niederkohr

The arrest report said on Monday, February 13, 2012, at about 12:30 a.m., a deputy was called to the above location regarding a domestic issue.

When he arrived, he met the unnamed female victim outside her apartment and explained what happened.

The victim told Dep. Shrock that she and Nicolas have been girlfriend and boyfriend for about a year and have lived together for four months.

She said earlier that morning they were involved in a verbal argument that turned physical when he grabbed her and wouldn't let her go.

He then choked her and told her to "go to sleep."

She said she could not breathe and thought she was going to pass out; she was in fear for her life, the report said.

She waited until Nicolas was alseep to call the sheriff's office because she was afraid he would not let her.

Dep. Shrock observed red marks on the victim's neck and cheek and several scratches on her arms. She was very upset and shaken up, Dep. Shrock wrote in his report.

Nicolas Niederkohr was arrested and charged with Domestic Battery by Strangulation.

As of Tuesday afternoon, he remained in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $2,500.

Man Arrested for Possession
of Marijuana Over 20 Grams

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Patrick Bernie, 22, of the 6000 block of 7th Avenue West, Bradenton.

Patrick Bernie

The arrest report from BPD said on Monday, February 13, 2012, at about 8 p.m., BPD Officer Jones conducted a traffic stop for drier and passenger not wearing seat belts.

Bernie was the passenger inside the vehicle. He had a black backpack at his feet.

Officer Roberts asked Bernie to get out of the car and talk to him, at which time Bernie admitted to there being drugs in the backpack and that the backpack belonged to him, the report said.

A large bag of marijuana was found in the backpack, along with a scale.

Officer Jones then tested and weighed the marijuana found in the backpack and the scale. Both came out positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. The marijuana weighed 56.9 grams (2+ ounces).

Bernie was arrested and charged with Possession of Marijuana Over 20 Grams and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

He later posted a bail bond of $1,120 and was released from the Manatee County Jail.

Man Arrested for Threatening
Other Man with Knife
in Homeless Camp

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Terry O. Wyatt, 51, of 5613 State Road 64 East, at a homeless encampment in Bradenton.

Terry Wyatt

According to the arrest report, on Sunday, February 12, 2012, at about 9:20 p.m., the victim, Paul Doyle and Wyatt were at their tent camp drinking.

For unknown reasons, Wyatt attacked Boyle by punching and kicking him. The victim said he was punched in the face.

The victim, Doyle, said Wyatt then pulled a knife on him.

When asked what he meant by that, Doyle made a hand gesture indicating the knife was held to his throat.

Doyle was then able to evade the knife and escaped to the roadway, where he called 911 to report the incident.

At the camp, both agreed that the tent was mutually theirs. Permission was granted to allow Deputy Matt Kenyon to search the tent for the knife.

A black handled knife with a silver blade was located that was exactly the description given by the victim.

When Dep. Kenyon exited the tent with the knife in his hand, Doyle jumped up and said, "That's it! That's the knife! That's the one he used!"

Wyatt was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, and Battery.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $25,750.

Man Arrested for Battery on
Wife, Strangling Wife's Sister

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Noveless James Wimberly, Jr., 19, of 8315 62nd Court East, in South Manatee County.

Noveless Wimberly, Jr.

The arrest report said on Sunday, February 12, 2012, at about 9:40 p.m., deputies were called to the above location regarding a domestic disturbance.

Upon arrival, they learned that Michelle Hite and Wimberly have a child together and live together in the same apartment. They also learned that Michelle and Callie Murphy are sisters, but Callie does not live in the apartment with them.

According to Michelle and Callie, it was cold in the home and Michelle turned the heat on after Wimberly told her not to.

Wimberly immediately turned it off and Michelle turned it back on.

At that point, Wimberly shoved Michelle to the ground.

Callie came out of the bedroom and told Wimberly to get off of her sister.

Wimberly then grabbed Callie by the neck with both hands and pinned her against the door.

"He used a lot of pressure and I could not breathe for the time he had his hands around my neck," Callie told a deputy.

She had redness on the front of her neck and complained of swelling and trouble breathing, the report said.

EMS checked Callie out and found she did not have any serious injuries.

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

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $15,750.

SPD: GTE Credit Union
Robbed Valentine's Day

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota Police Department is actively searching for a man who robbed a Sarasota bank on Valentine's Day.

Sarasota Police are investigating a robbery that occurred at the GTE Federal Credit Union, 3510 Fruitville Road, Sarasota.

The robbery occurred at approximately 12:30 p.m. on February 14th.

The perpetrator presented a note to the victim teller. No weapon was observed.

Following the robbery the perpetrator fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to contact the Sarasota Police Department at 941-954-7025, or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, .

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

Two Brothers Arrested for Theft
After Getaway Car Stalls

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff's detectives arrested two Port Charlotte brothers for stealing copper items and tools from a stilt home Monday afternoon. Arrested were Benjamin John Phillips Jr., 23, and Benjamin Michael O’Neill, 22, both of 104 Martin Drive.

Above, L to R, Benjamin Phillips, Jr., and Benhamin O'Neill

CCSO received a call at 12:51 p.m. from the owner of the home at 17029 Granville Avenue who said she heard noises under the home. She saw two men pushing a car out of her driveway. They were then taking items out of the trunk and putting into another vehicle, then drove off. Stolen were copper plumbing items and tools in a green bin.

Deputies arrived and located a Buick Lesabre with no occupants. While preparing to have the car towed, Phillips arrived and said his car broke down and he left to get a ride. Phillips and O’Neil were taken in for further questioning. They said they were out “scrapping” and pulled into the driveway. They saw the items in a green bin and put it in their car. The car wouldn’t start, so they pushed it into the ditch in front of the home and left to look for a ride. A neighbor drove them to their stalled car and they put the bin of stolen item in the back of the vehicle and the neighbor then drove them to their home on Martin Drive. In their investigation, detectives obtained permission to search their home and located the stolen items.

Phillips and O’Neil were taken to the Charlotte County Jail and were both charged with Burglary and Grand Theft. Phillips was also charged with Violation of Probation. Both remain in jail; Phillips on $5,500 bond and O’Neill on $5,000 bond.

Police: Man Stole Grease
Worth $200 from Restaurant

MELBOURNE, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Melbourne police arrested a man who they say stole cooking grease from a restaurant, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Police said Darick Wells, 31, broke into the grease container of Frankie's Wings restaurant located on Wickham Road around 2:30 a.m. Sunday and loaded $200 worth of grease into his van.

Wells triggered an alarm and when police arrived, he said he was subcontracted by Phoenix Cooking Recyclers to take used cooking grease from the business, according to police.

Police found that the container was owned by Griffin Industries, who said they didn't hire Wells to take the grease.

Police said there were signs that the back of the restaurant had been tampered with, but there was no evidence there was a break-in. The lock had been removed from the grease container and police arrested Wells for theft.

Police didn't say why Wells stole the grease, but cooking grease is commonly resold to recycling companies and has been a hot item for thieves, WKMG said.



~ Tuesday's Local/State News ~

Bradenton Beach Store Clerk
Arrested for Slugging Kid;
Child Abuse Charged

BRADENTON BEACH, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Beach Police Department has arrested Barbara Ann Szabo, 59, of 206 Archer Way, Anna Maria, Florida.

Barbara Ann Szabo

According to the arrest report from the Bradenton Beach Police Department, on Saturday, February 11, 2012, at about 3 p.m., a mother and son were at Shell Land, 301 Gulf Drive South, Bradenton Beach.

The boy's mother told Officer Michael Bazell that the lady in the store (Szabo) just shoved her son's head very hard.

The boy was standing at the counter in front when Szabo told him to move out of the way, then shoved him, the report said.

The young victim's mother asked Szabo why she shoved her son and Szabo allegedly said, "It was out of love."

Lt. Cosby and Officer Bazell witnessed several red marks on the boy's neck that were fresh and could have been caused by the shove, the report said. The red marks on the boy's neck looked like finger marks and part of a hand.

Szabo was arrested and charged with Child Abuse.

The next day, Szabo posted a $2,500 bail bond and was released from the Manatee County Jail.

Teenager Arrested for
Possession of Pot, Brass
Knuckles, Lock Blade Knife

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Mark Nicholas Celaya, 18, of 9008 Brookfield Terrace, Bradenton.

Mark Celaya

The arrest report said on Friday, February 10, 2012, at about 10 p.m., K-9 Deputy Tom Franklin pulled Celaya over at 1275 Northbound Frontage Road to I-75 Southbound for no tag light on his vehicle.

Dep. Franklin could smell the odor of unburned marijuana emanating from the vehicle.

Near Celaya's feet on the floorboard in plain sight the deputy could see a clear bag with a green leafy substance inside.

At that point, Celaya was arrested.

In a search subsequent to his arrest, Dep. Espindola located a set of brass knuckles with a lock blade type knife, black in color, in Celaya's right rear shorts pocket.

The marijuana weighed out to 2.7 grams, with the bag.

Post-Miranda, Celaya admitted he knew it was wrong to carry the brass knuckles on his person and they should have been left in his dorm room, the report said. He also said he wasn't sure the marijuana was his, but that he does carry marijuana in his car, and it could be his, but "he couldn't swear to it."

Celaya was charged with Possession of Marijuana Under 20 Grams and Carrying a Concealed Weapon.

Celaya posted a cash bail bond of $1,120 and was released from the Manatee County Jail.

Man Arrested for Domestic
Aggravated Assault with a
Deadly Weapon

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Keith Lamar Cocroft, 44, of Bradenton.

Keith Cocroft

The arrest report said Keith Cocroft and Samantha Cooper are not blood related, are boyfriend and girlfriend, and have lived together as a family in the past.

On Saturday, February 11, 2012, at about 4:45 p.m., after an argument with Samantha, Keith started throwing things around.

During this time, he threw a bag which his a 3-year-old boy living in the residence, knocking him down.

The boy was not injured, but Samantha told Keith she didn't care what he was going through, he was not to endanger the children.

At this point, Keith went outside, picked up a 5-foot long pipe and started swinging it around. He said he was tired of everyone there and that where were all going to die.

Samantha said she became afraid that he was going to kill her.

While Keith was swinging the pipe, he was within about 3-4 feet of the others, the report said.

When deputies arrived, Keith still had the pipe in his hands.

He was arrested and charged with Domestic Aggravated Assault and Child Abuse.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $35,000.

Deputies Arrest Man for
Threatening Another
with a Knife

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Corey Samuel Pletcher, 22, of 5430 Riverfront Drive, Bradenton.

Corey Pletcher

The arrest report said on Sunday, February 12, 2012, at about 12:45 a.m., Pletcher got into a verbal altercation with Errol Bryant inside Applebee's restaurant located at 7175 State Road 70 East, Bradenton.

The altercation continued in the parking lot where Pletcher stood very close to Bryant (only a few inches away) opened a pocket knife about 7 to 8 inches long when open, and pointed the knife at Bryant in a threatening manner.

Bryant said at that point he was in fear that Pletcher would stab him, so he fled to his vehicle and waited for deputies.

Upon being confronted by deputies, Pletcher initially failed to comply with orders to lay on the ground, but was eventually handcuffed. At that point he began to struggle and attempted to stand up and pull away from Dep. Patterson and Dep. Bogart.

He was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault (Weapon, no injury) and Resisting Arrest without Violence.

He later posted a bail bond of $5,750 and was released from the Manatee County Jail.

Two County Crime Spree
Ends in Standoff, Arrest

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has arrested the man responsible for a string of crimes that started in Manatee County early Sunday morning, February 12, 2012, and ended after a three-hour standoff in south Sarasota County late Sunday afternoon.

Jason Wayo

Detectives say Jason Wayo, 34, of 452 New Pond Court, North Port, committed at least two home invasion robberies and stole four vehicles (two of them in Manatee County) which he either crashed or abandoned along the way; Wayo ended his run by barricading himself in a home in the 3600 block of Roslyn Road in Venice around 1:30 p.m.

Deputies quickly established a perimeter, closed several roads and evacuated a number of homes with the assistance of the Venice Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol. The Sheriff’s Office SWAT team surrounded the house and negotiators ultimately convinced Wayo to surrender peacefully about 4:30 p.m.

Wayo was taken to Venice Regional Medical Center for treatment and then questioned by detectives.

Because these crimes are being investigated by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Sarasota Police Department and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, each agency will bring charges at the appropriate time based on their individual investigations.

Wayo has 14 prior felony convictions and was just released from prison six months ago. At the time of his arrest he had an active warrant for violation of probation for dealing in stolen property.

Sarasota County Sheriff Probing
Residential Burglary Sunday

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's is investigating a residential burglary that occurred on Sunday, February 12, 2012, around 4:30 p.m. in the 3100 block of Mayflower Street, Sarasota.

Above a surveillance photo of the burglary suspect

The burglar was captured on video surveillance knocking on the front door of the home.

After receiving no answer, he walked around to the back of the home and entered through a rear door.

The suspect can be seen exiting a short time later on the video.

The burglary suspect is described as a White male, 20 to 30 years of age, tall, thin, dark short Hair, and was last seen wearing a brown hooded jacket, blue and brown plaid shorts, and black low socks with white flip flops.

The Sheriff’s Office is requesting assistance with identifying the person captured in the photo above.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Criminal Investigations at 941-861-1719 or leave an anonymous tip with CrimeStoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477), or online at or via text message by texting TIP109 plus a message to CRIMES (274637).

Three Teenagers Busted, Accused
of Robbery, Battery on an LEO,
and Possession of Pot

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office has arrested 3 teenagers. Two were charged with robbery, the other was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and possession of marijuana.

Above, L to R, Antonio Campbell, Travis Walters and Anthony Jackson

Charlotte County Sheriff's deputies responded a robbery call Sunday in Port Charlotte at 10:18 p.m. The victim said he was riding his bicycle on Peachland Boulevard when a maroon Mazda cut him off. The driver stayed in the car, while three males got out; one stood by the car, and two approached the victim. One of the males grabbed him from behind while another rummaged through his pockets and struck him. They stole his wallet, cell phone, headphones and $15 cash. The three men got back into the car and drove off.

The victim told deputies he knew the teen that stood by the car and went to his home at 1149 Fletcher Street to retrieve his property. He was told to leave or be beaten; he then called CCSO. Deputies responded to the Fletcher Street home. The victim positively identified Antonio Raymond Campbell, 19, 21354 Stillwater Avenue, and Travis Grant Walters, 15, 22070 Gatewood Ave., both of Port Charlotte, as the pair that robbed him. Walters was searched and they found the victim’s wallet; the cell phone and headphones were located by where the two were standing. Campbell and Walters were arrested, charged with Robbery and taken to the Charlotte County Jail.

Deputies said Anthony Joseph “AJ” Jackson, 16, entered the lanai area and became agitated when he saw them. He reached into his pocket and was told to remove his hands. He refused and as a deputy approached, Jackson made a fist, struck the deputy, and attempted to run. Another deputy grabbed and held him as he continued to resist and yell obscenities. He continued to struggle, was handcuffed, and refused to walk to a patrol car. Deputies put him in the cruiser while Jackson continued to resist and yell obscenities. A period of time went by and Jackson calmed down. A deputy approached, opened the door and noticed a green leafy substance on Jackson’s lips, face, tongue, and all over the inside of the patrol car.

Deputies searched Jackson and found a small cigar in the front pocket of his shorts and a clear plastic bag on the floor of the cruiser where the marijuana was scattered. Jackson was taken to the Charlotte County Jail and charged with Battery on an Officer, Tampering with Evidence, Resisting an Officer, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Narcotics Equipment, and Violation of Probation. Jackson and Walters were transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice center in Ft. Myers for 21-days. Campbell remains in the County Jail on a $6,000 bond. This is Campbell’s 15th booking and Jackson’s 8th booking.

ADDITIONAL: When CCSO officers arrived at 1149 Fletcher Street in Port Charlotte concerning the robbery investigation, they found a large party in the back of the home with about 20 juveniles and young adults. Additional deputies were asked to respond. When Jackson was taken into custody and resisting deputies, Mariah Lynn Bryberg, 18, of that address, who was part of the party crowd, attempted to intervene. Bryberg ran toward Jackson and deputies, screaming and cursing for them to get away from Jackson. A deputy chased after her ordering her to stop but she refused. Deputies running after Bryberg yelled at the two deputies to watch out as she was headed toward them. One of the deputies stuck his foot out and tripped Bryberg. She fell in the front yard, was handcuffed, and arrested on a charge of Resisting an Officer without Violence. She was taken to the County Jail and was released on $1,000 bond.

Orange County House Fire
Rages for 90 Minutes

ORLANDO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Orange County and Winter Garden firefighters battled a fire for more than 90 minutes Sunday night before finally extinguishing the blaze, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

At about 6:20 p.m., a neighbor dialed 911 after seeing flames through the window of a home at 1346 9th St., just south of Colonial Drive in western Orange County.

Firefighters said they saw a dark column of thick smoke coming from the house and that downed power lines made it hard to reach the house. They worked on the fire from a distance until power could be shut off.

No one was home during the fire and no firefighters were injured. The family's dog, however, died in the blaze.

The cause of the fire appears to be accidental, but the State Fire Marshal's office is investigating, WKMG said.



~ Monday's Local/State News ~

Woman, 19, Forcibly Raped
by Man, 22, While Asleep;
She Was Known to Him

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Awakened from her sleep, hands and arms forcibly restrained, a 19-year-old Bradenton woman was forcibly raped by James Patrick Walsh, 22, of 24th Street Court West, Bradenton, according to a Probable Cause for Arrest affidavit from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

James Walsh

According to the arrest report, Walsh and the woman lived together and were connected through their families.

On Tuesday, February 7, 2012, at about 4:20 a.m., the woman was awakened from her sleep when she felt something penetrate her vagina.

When she opened her eyes, she saw Walsh was on top of her; it was his penis that she had felt. She was prevented from pushing him off because Walsh was holding her arms down over her head, the report said.

The report said Walsh then threatened to "make her bleed and would cause her injury is she resisted or called out."

The female victim believes that Walsh ejaculated inside of her, the report said.

She was then able to push him off of her.

Walsh put on a pair of short pants and fled out the back door of the residence.

A detective and a crime scene unit responded; the detective interviewed the victim and the crime scene unit responded to a crisis center to collect the rape kit.

Walsh was arrested at the residence on that same day at about 9:45 a.m.

He was charged with Sexual Battery by Force and Sexual Battery by Use of Deadly Weapon or Threat of Bodily Harm (1st Degree Felony Punishable by Life Imprisonment).

Walsh remains in the Manatee County Jail in lieu of a bail bond of $50,000.

MSO: Contractor's Employee Steals
Elderly Woman's Cash, Jewelry

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested James N. Joseph, 25, of 121 27th Street West, Bradenton.

James Joseph

The arrest report said an elderly woman (over 65) had hired a contractor, CMC Home Improvements, to replace the kitchen sink in her residence while she was out of town.

On Thursday, February 9, 2012, at about 8:45 a.m., Joseph, who works for CMC Home Improvements, entered the woman's residence in the 300 block of 47th Avenue Drive West, to replace the sink, on orders of the contractor.

While inside the residence, Joseph entered the woman's bedroom and searched inside the nightstand drawers.

Inside the nightstand drawer was a purse that contained $170 and a plastic bag that had contained numerous pieces of jewelry.

Joseph took the cash from the purse and allegedly also took the plastic bag that had contained the jewelry. The approximate value of the jewelry was $920.

Subsequently, Joseph returned the gold watch that had been in the plastic bag to the woman later that day and said he didn't remember what he spent the $170 on.

Joseph was arrested that night and charged with Grand Theft from a Person 65 Years of Age or Older.

Post-Miranda, Joseph admitted the theft, but denied taking the other jewelry and said he didn't know what happened to them. He also said he uses Roxycodcone, but does not have a prescription.

BPD Search Warrant Yields
Marijuana, Cocaine, Arrest

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Jontae Brice, 20, of 1902 6th Avenue East, Bradenton.

Jontae Brice

The arrest report from BPD said on Thursday, February 9, 2012, at about 2:45 p.m., BPD served a search warrant at the above location.

Brice was the only occupant; he was taken outside and read the search warrant. Then the search proceeded.

Inside the northeast bedroom, officers located a digital scale with marijuana residue on top of it. Also in the same bedroom was a backpack that contained 8 small baggies containing marijuana that were packaged for sale. The weight of the marijuana was 47.2 grams (1.7 ounces).

In the southwest bedroom, rock cocaine was located. The report did not say how much was found.

Post-Miranda, Brice said he lives with his grandmother down the road. But he sometimes stays at the above location. He said when he stays there, he stays in the southwest bedroom (where the crack cocaine was located).

Brice was arrested and charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell, Possession of Crack Cocaine, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Brice later posted a $4,620 bail bond and was released from the Manatee County Jail.

Bank Arsonist Arrested
by Bradenton Police

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Kyle David Plath, 30, of Bradenton.

Kyle Plath

According to Capt. Warren Merriman, the City of Bradenton Police Department received information that Kyle David Plath, 30, of Bradenton, matched the description of the suspect who was responsible for an arson that occurred to the night deposit box belonging to Cadence Bank, 2207 Manatee Ave. West, on February 4, 2012.

Bradenton Police Detectives located Plath within the 5500 block 33rd Ave. Dr. West (G.T.Bray Park), and he voluntarily came to the Bradenton Police Department to be interviewed regarding the arson.

Plath confessed to the criminal act of Arson, which is a 2nd Degree Felony, and was subsequently placed under arrest.

Plath was also found be in possession of instruments that were used during the commission of this crime.

Domino's Pizza Driver
Robbed by Bicyclist

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a pizza delivery driver was robbed by a bicyclist on Thursday, February 9, 2012, at about 7:30 p.m., in the 2100 block of 32nd Avenue West, Bradenton.

A sheriff's report said John Edyvean, 41, is a delivery man for Domino's Pizza.

On the listed date and time, he was driving back to the store when he was approached by an unknown white male riding a blue bike.

The suspect approached the driver side window and asked John for a menu and then asked something about specials.

When John told the male that he would have to call Domino's, the bicyclist then placed his hand in his pocket and demanded cash.

John never saw a weapon, but handed over money to the suspect.

The robber then fled the area on the bicycle in a westward direction.

The robber was only described as being a White male, 5'7" tall, wearing all dark clothing and riding a blue bicycle.

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 for Killing
Mother, Father, Sister

SARASOTA COUNTY, Floirda [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested Thomas Moak, Jr., 6/4/53, 4142 Tonga Drive, Sarasota, for the shooting deaths of three people Friday night, February 10, 2012.

Thomas Moak, Jr.

Around 11:20 p.m. Friday, a relative reported that Moak called and said he had killed his mother, father and sister and was about to kill himself.

When deputies arrived, they talked Moak into coming outside. He was immediately taken into custody without incident.

Deputies then searched the home and discovered the three victims.

The deceased have been identified as 82-year-old Isabelle Moak, 80-year-old Thomas Moak, Sr., and 62-year-old Renee O'Connor. All three victims lived at the above address.

Moak has been booked into the Sarasota County Jail and is being held without bond.

Boy, 3, Kidnapped; Child Located,
Mother’s Boyfriend Arrested

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota Police Department has arrested Robert Barrett, 29, of Eden, Alabama.

Robert Barrett

A police report said on Friday, February 10, 2012, at 7:45 a.m., Sarasota Police Officers responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at a local motel in the 1800 block of North Tamiami Trail. Officers learned that the dispute had escalated into a physical confrontation.

The couple involved in the disturbance had recently arrived in Sarasota from Alabama. They were relocating in an attempt at a fresh start looking for work and a place to live.

The female victim’s 3-year-old son was traveling with the couple. Her boyfriend, identified as Robert Barrett, is not the child’s father.

When officers arrived they found that the adult female victim had multiple contusions and bruises from a severe domestic violence incident. Barrett had fled on foot just prior to police arrival, and had taken the victim’s 3-year old son with him.

The Sarasota Police Department Criminal Investigations Division, Crimes Against Children Unit responded to the location to lead the criminal investigation. The detectives gathered evidence that indicated that the missing child was the victim of a kidnapping.

Barrett, the mother’s boyfriend, had taken the child and would not return him. Detectives were able to make contact with Barrett using a cell phone. Barrett refused to meet and refused to return the child. He indicated that he would never be found and that he wasn’t going to jail.

At approximately 3:15 p.m., with the assistance of the US Marshall’s Office, and Sarasota County Sheriff Air Support; Sarasota Police Officers and Detectives located the suspect and recovered the missing child. The suspect was found hiding out just north of the location where the child had been abducted from. Robert Barrett was located and taken into custody without incident.

The child and the mother were transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital to be medically cleared. The child was not harmed.

Barrett was charged with Aggravated Battery/Domestic Violence, Child Neglect and Kidnapping.

Two Arrested Shortly After
Armed Home Invasion Robbery

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Thomas Martin-Cocchi, 22, and Elyse Anne Lear, 24, both of Sarasota.

Above, Thomas Martin-Cocchi and Elyse Lear

A sheriff's report said deputies with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence on Marcia Street, Sarasota, in reference to a disturbance call.

The responding deputy determined that a robbery had occurred.

The male suspect had put a knife to the victim’s throat and took a wallet.

A description of the suspects and their vehicle was issued. It was soon located in the area.

The suspects were detained, and after investigation by detectives with the Criminal Investigation Section were both charged with Armed Home Invasion Robbery.

SSO Probes Burglary at Best Buy;
4 Vehicles Used Later Found

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is investigating a burglary that occurred on Friday, February 10, 2012, at Best Buy, 135 North Cattlemen Road, University Town Center, in Sarasota.

Deputies responded to an alarm just after 5:00 a.m., and found unknown suspects had driven a vehicle into a garage door at the rear of the store.

Several masked suspects entered the store and fled within minutes, taking several items of electronic equipment with them.

The Sheriff’s Office has recovered four locally-stolen vehicles that were used in the crime. The cars were left in a parking lot at Cattlemen and Fruitville roads.

Anyone with information on this crime or who may have witnessed the theft of the vehicles should contact Criminal Investigations at 941-861-4900 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477), online at or via text message by texting TIP109 plus a message to CRIMES (274637).

Man Arrested for Molesting
Boy, 8, Multiple Times

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit detectives Thursday arrested a Deep Creek man for Lewd or Lascivious Molestation of an 8-year-old boy. Arrested was Richard Allen Forget, 66, 26029 Luzon Court.

Richard Forget

The investigation began July 6, 2011, when the boy’s mother called CCSO and said her son told her he had been touched by a friend of the family on various occasions.

The boy met with the CCSO Forensic Interviewer and said he was on the computer looking at naked pictures of women and his mother caught him. His mother asked where he learned about the web address; he stated, "From Forget." He then told his mother about Forget touching him. He also said the incidents occurred multiple times over the past three years.

Forget had been out the area, returned, and MCU detectives made contact with him.

Forget advised detectives to talk to his attorney. His attorney advised Forget would not provide detectives with a statement regarding the CCSO investigation.

Thursday, the attorney brought Forget to the Sheriff’s Office. He was placed under arrest and transported to the Charlotte County Jail where he remains on no bond.

UPDATE: Body Found in Lake
Confirmed to be Missing Mom

LAKE NONA, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Authorities on Thursday confirmed that a body found in a lake is that of a woman who disappeared after dropping her kids off at an Orange County middle school, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Deputies on Wednesday were searching for Loisnett Garcia Rengel, who was last seen around 9 a.m. Tuesday leaving Lake Nona Middle School on Narcoossee Road near the Eagle Creek subdivision. She was reported missing Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. by her husband.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said her body was found around 12:30 p.m. when a detective retraced the walk to school with one of Rengel's children. Officials said they don't believe the child saw the body.

Demings also said Rengel had called 911 at about 9:20 a.m. Tuesday and she was distraught.

"She was calling to make sure someone checked on her kids," Demings said. "The person appeared to be somewhat distraught. The 911 operator tried to ferret through all of that, to try to understand. The person appeared to perhaps been sobbing, very difficult to understand."

The call ended, however, with Rengel saying she didn't want any help, Demings said.

Deputies said Rengel called her daughter, a high school student, shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday and told her she wasn't able to pick her up from school.

Deputies said that Rengel's husband told them she suffered from depression and was on medication.

Detectives searched for Rengel for eight hours Tuesday and called early Wednesday morning to see if she returned to her home.

When they found out she didn't, the search resumed, WKMG said.



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NewsManatee Archive Created 2/18/2012 2:00:06 PM

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