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~ LOCAL NEWS ~

An arrest means only that a law enforcement officer attests there is probable cause to reasonably believe that a crime has been committed. An arrestee is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Week of April 14, 2014 - April 20, 2014

NOTICE
NewsManatee will not be published on Friday,
April 18th -- we will be observing Good Friday.

~ Thursday's Local/State News ~

Deputies Arrest Man for
Threatening Wife, Her
Sister with Shotgun

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Rick David Sarson, 28, of 412 39th Street East, in Palmetto.


Rick Sarson

According to the arrest report, on Sunday, April 13th, at about 1:45 a.m., the victim, Sarah Sarson, who is the wife of Rick Sarson for 10 years, and her sister, Lisa White, the second victim, came home to the above location from a party.

Rick was upset with Sarah had not come home and had not called.

Upon reaching the front door to the residence, Sarah opened the door and Rick attempted to keep her from coming inside.

An argument between Rick and Sarah ensued and was witnessed by Lisa.

The victims managed to gain access to the home, at which time Rick grabbed a black shotgun that had been near the door, held it up with the muzzle pointed upward and cocked it.

The actions of Rick placed a well-founded fear in both victims, as indicated by their statements and the fact that both victims were crying and visibly shaking upon the arrival of law enforcement.

This was coupled with the apparent ability to do violence toward the victims with the cocked and seemingly loaded shotgun, the report said.

Based on those events, Rick was arrested and charged with one count of Domestic Aggravated Assault and one count of Aggravated Assault.

He posted a $10,000 bail bond the next day and was released from the Manatee County Jail.


Woman Arrested for Robbery
by Sudden Snatching

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Stephanie Petros, 28, of Bradenton.


Stephanie Petros

A sheriff's report said on Tuesday, April 15th, at about 10:30 p.m., Sandy Jones, 62, of the 500 block of 59th Avenue Drive West, Bradenton, told deputies that Petros came to his house asking for money because she had none.

Jones began to feel bad for Petros and got his wallet out to give her money.

While Jones was looking for a $5 bill to give her, Petros forcefully grabbed the wallet out of his hand, took all the money out of it, then threw the wallet down and fled from the home.

Jones then called the sheriff’s office.

Units had been searching the area for about 30 minutes when Petros was located hiding behind a neighbor’s house.

Petros was arrested for Robbery by Sudden Snatching and a VOP warrant.

She remains in the Manatee County Jail without bail at this time.


Man Exposed Himself
to Minor Girl, 14, at
School Bus Stop


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a case of Exposure of Sexual Organs that occurred on Wednesday, April 16th, at about 8:15 a.m., at a bus top located at 28th Avenue and Palmview Road, in Palmetto.


MM, 14 years old and a student at Buffalo Creek Middle School, reported a Whitemale pulled up in front of the bus stop and stopped.

He looked directly at the victim and elevated his hips so she was able to clearly see the suspect had his penis exposed, holding it in his hand.

The suspect was described as a White male, in his 40s, with a thin build, last seen wearing a light colored T-shirt, short curly brown hair, scruffy/unshaven, no glasses, driving an older silver standard cab, full sized Dodge truck believed to have a Florida tag.

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, click here, or text MCSTIPS plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES).

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


Armed Home Invasion
Robbery Reported


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported an armed home invasion robbery that occurred on Wednesday, April 16th, at about 9:15 a.m., at a residence in the 500 block of 68th Avenue West, Bradenton.

A sheriff's report said on Wednesday morning, Westside Deputies responded to 6011 14th Street West, Bradenton, Tire Kingdom, to a 911 call for an armed home invasion.

The victims reported that the suspects were in the parking lot of Tire Kingdom and that the home invasion occurred at their residence in the 500 block of 68th Avenue West.

29-year-old victim Lauren Cobb’s cell phone had been stolen and they used the tracking device to locate it at Tire Kingdom.

Upon arrival, the suspects had already fled, leaving their vehicle in the lot.

Employees at Tire Kingdom reported seeing a suspect get into a dark color sedan and leave before arrival of deputies.

Eastside deputies responded to the residence where the scene was secured.

Todd Jones, 33, told deputies that he was awakened by the three suspects in his bedroom. They stated they were going to kill him and demanded his cash.

Jones told them he doesn’t keep money in the house, instead has it either at his shop or in a bank.

The suspects didn’t believe him. They brought one of the female victims into his bedroom and stated they would kill her if he didn’t give them the cash. Jones gave them an undisclosed amount of cash that he had in a shirt.

The suspects then zip tied Jones and two of the females and began ransacking the house.

Victim Cobb was returning from taking her children to school and was immediately held at gunpoint when she entered the residence. She was also zip tied by the suspects.

As the suspects were leaving, Jones was able to free himself. He grabbed his shotgun and ran to the front of his house where he fired multiple shots at the fleeing suspects.

It is believed that he struck one of the vehicles tires which caused the suspects to abandon the vehicle at 6100 14th Street West, the location of Tire Kingdom.

Detectives were notified and they responded to take over the investigation.

The culprits were only described as 3 armed Black males.

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, or text MCSTIPS plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES).

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


Sarasota Man Arrested after
Fatal Vehicle vs. Pedestrian
Accident Early Wednesday

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota Police Department has arrested Mark Steinberg, 66, of 2219 Sunnyside Place, Sarasota.


Mark Steinberg

A police report said Steinberg has been charged with DUI Manslaughter (felony), DUI with Property Damage (misdemeanor), Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Death (felony) and Leaving the Scene with Property Damage (misdemeanor) after a vehicle versus pedestrian accident early Wednesday morning.

Officers were called to the area of Irving Street and S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, at approximately 12:45 a.m. Wednesday for a traffic fatality.

Officers heard a loud crash near the intersection and observed a black truck with significant damage traveling south.

Officers stopped the truck and the driver, Steinberg, was found to be the sole occupant and operator of the vehicle. Officers took Steinberg and placed him in the back of a patrol vehicle.

During their investigation, officers concluded that Steinberg was driving south on U.S. 41 in the outside lane.

Steinberg struck the victim with the right side of his vehicle and then continued south and truck a light pole before being stopped by officers.

Officers returned to the scene and located Gerald Blalock, 44, of Sarasota, deceased, near the intersection of Irving Street and S. Tamiami Trail.

Steinberg was arrested and transported to the Sarasota County Jail.


Customer inside CVS Tackles
Would-Be Robber


SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota Police Department has arrested Freddie Johnson, 65, of Sarasota.


Freddie Johnson

On Sunday, April 13th at about 1:20 p.m., officers with the Sarasota Police Department responded to the CVS at 2773 Fruitville Road in Sarasota in reference an armed robbery.

The suspect, later identified as Freddie Johnson, walked into the store with a bandanna over his face and threatened the clerk at the front of the store.

The suspect walked to the pharmacy in the back of the store and demanded all of the Oxycodone and Hydromorphone pills, which are prescription drugs.

The suspect had his hand in his pocket and implied he had a gun.

Pharmacy staff placed the prescription drugs on the counter for the suspect.

The suspect demanded a bag and that is when he was taken down by Jaanus Jurisoo, a witness that was inside the store at the time of the incident. Jurisoo held the defendant down until officers arrived on scene.

Further investigation showed the suspect was not armed.

Johnson has been charged with one count of Armed Robbery in connection to this case.

Johnson is also facing one count of Armed Robbery in connection to the Hedges Pharmacy robbery which occurred on February 27th.


Detectives Seek ID in
Gaming Equipment Thefts


CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff's Detectives are asking for assistance in identifying two men who are suspects in the theft of more than $4,000 worth of gaming merchandise from a local Walmart.


On Friday April 4, just before 2:00 am, two men went to the Walmart Super Center, located at 19100 Murdock Circle in Port Charlotte, and loaded multiple XBox and PlayStation3 game controllers into a plastic storage bin. They left the store without paying for the controllers.

Similar thefts of game controllers and other gaming equipment have been reported at other local Walmarts by similar looking suspects.

The men involved were both described as being Black males, in their late 20’s or early 30’s, and about 6 ft. tall. One man had long dreadlocks that were pulled back, wearing a blue, flat-billed ball cap. The other man was wearing a stocking cap and had a beard.

Anyone with information on the identity of either of these men is asked to please call the Sheriff’s Office at (941) 639-2101 (ask for Criminal Investigations), or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).


Lakeland Teacher Got Pregnant
after Sex with Student, 17, Cops Say


LAKELAND, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Lakeland police arrested a teacher on Monday night who they say was having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student, Orlando television station WKMG reported.


Jennifer Fichter

Jennifer Fichter, 29, an English teacher at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy, has been charged with six counts unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

The investigation was prompted after the victim's mother found text messages on her son's phone and told the teacher to come to the mother's home, according to police.

Fichter told the boy's mother she had sex with him 20 to 30 times, got pregnant at one point and had an abortion, according to police. She also professed her love for him and said she does not regret her actions, police said.

Police said they found during the investigation that the 17-year-old and Fichter had been texting each other with Fichter, using two different aliases and meeting in the early morning hours for sex in the parking lot of the Reserve Apartments.

The victim also told police he had sex with Fichter numerous time outside the city jurisdiction. Those incidents are under investigation by Polk County and Hillsborough County agencies, WKMG said.

 

~ Wednesday's Local/State News ~

Bank Robber Apparently
Shot, Killed Himself, Dog
During Police Shootout

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff's Detectives have identified the bank robbery suspect involved in yesterday’s shootout with deputies as Ross Chrisman, 24, of Sarasota.


Ross Chrisman, deceased

Chrisman was found dead in his truck in the 5100 block of 33rd St. E., Bradenton.

The preliminary autopsy shows Chrisman died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot. When the truck was searched, deputies discovered a deceased dog. It appears Chrisman shot the dog before killing himself. Money was also found in the truck but it has not been confirmed if the money was from the bank robbery.


Above, deputies at the crime scene
(Photo by Heather Chadwick, NewsManatee)

At approximately 11:25 a.m. on Monday, deputies responded to a bank robbery at Florida Bank located at 3704 84th Ave. Circle E. in southern Manatee County. According to witnesses, the suspect entered the bank and demanded money. The suspect was armed with a handgun. The suspect fled the bank in a white pick-up truck.

Several minutes later, Lt. Bob Mealy spotted the suspect vehicle heading north on 15th St. E. The suspect vehicle continued north and then turned around and headed south on U.S. 301. Stop Sticks were used twice in an attempt to stop the vehicle.

The suspect vehicle stopped in the 5100 block of 33rd St. E. As deputies approached the vehicle, the suspect fired a shot and struck Lt. Mealy. Deputies returned fire and multiple rounds were exchanged between the suspect and deputies.

Lt. Mealy was shot in the right arm and was treated and released from the hospital. Lt. Mealy, age 52, has been with MSO since March, 1996.

According to the sheriff's website, Chrisman had been arrested last year for multiple burglary charges. The court website indicated he was due for trial on all of those charges in October of 2014.


Police Search for Man Holding
Six Ounces of Cocaine, Bust
One Other Man for Pot


BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Jonathan Atkins, 18, of Bradenton, and police are actively searching for Pierre Cine Marc, 27 years old.


Jonathan Atkins

A police report said at 12:22 a.m. on Monday morning, April 14th, BPD Officer Hogan approached a white Chrysler 200 that had just pulled into the parking lot at 4880 West 51st Street, the location of the Villages at Cortez.

The front seat passenger, identified as Pierre Cine Marc, exited the vehicle and walked away. Officer Hogan had no reason to detain Marc at this point.

Once Officer Hogan was close to the driver's window, a strong odor of marijuana could be smelled emanating from the open driver's window. The driver, who was not identified, fled on foot and was not located.

The back seat passenger, Jonathon Atkins, was arrested and charged with possession of Marijuana.

In the glove box was a black vinyl bag containing 167 grams of cocaine (6 ounces) and Marcs' ID card. There were several documents with Marcs name on it inside this bag containing the cocaine.

An arrest warrant was issued for Pierre Cine Marc for Trafficking in Cocaine and Possession of Marijuana.


PPD Arrested Woman for
Grand Theft Auto


PALMETTO, Florida [NMT] -- The Palmetto Police Department has arrested Tammy Lynn Mojica, 40, allegedly a homeless person.


Tammy Mojica

The arrest report from PPD said on Friday, April 11th, at about 6:30 p.m., Mojica asked to use a vehicle belonging to Rodney Booth, and then refused to return it to him.

Booth told police he made an estimated 50 phone calls to Mojica to have her bring back his van.
She refused to call or contact him at any time between when she initially borrowed the van and when she was arrested.

Mojica admitted that she knew she had the van longer than she should have and that she should have contacted Booth.

Booth said that he has not received any communication from Mojica since she "borrowed" the van.

In addition, Mojica left her purse at Booth's house in the 400 block of 11th Street Drive West, which is where her identification was found.

Both positively identified Mojica as the person who took his van.

She was arrested and charged with Grand Theft Auto and Violation of Probation on an earlier Petit Theft charge.

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


Deputy Strikes Another Deputy
During Driver Training Exercise


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Tuesday, April 15th, at about 8:45 a.m., at the sheriff's operation center, 303 301 Blvd. West, Bradenton, the sheriff's Training Department was conducting a Driver Training exercise.

During the evasive exercise, Courthouse Security Deputy Darral Davis made a turn early to enter another lane.

Driving Instructor Deputy Charles Wise was standing just off the course and was hit with the center front of the vehicle at 25-30 mph.

EMS responded and transported Deputy Wise to Blake Medical Center.

Deputy Wise was treated at the ER for his injuries and released.


Motorcyclist Critical Following
Tuesday Morning Crash


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Highway Patrol reported a crash between a motorcycle and a Chrysler Voyager that occurred on Tuesday, April 15th, at about 8 a.m., at 38th Avenue East and 27th Street East, in Bradenton.

The FHP report said a 2012 Honda motorcycle, being driven by Raymond Gonzalez, 24, of Bradenton, was westbound on 38th Avenue East, approaching the intersection of 27th Street East. There was no stop sign for the motorcycle.

A 2001 Chrysler Voyager, being driven by Evelia Benitez-Salinas, 41, of Bradenton, was southbound on 27th Street East, stopped at the stop sign at 38th Avenue East.

As the motorcycle approached the intersection, the Chrysler attempted a left turn and was struck in the driver's door by the front of the motorcycle.

Gonzalez was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

He was transported to Blake Medical Center in critical condition, the FHP report said.


Peace Walkers of Manatee
Plan Peace March Saturday


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Peace Walkers of Manatee County is planning a peace march this Saturday, March 19th, from 9 a.m. until noon.

The staging point is the rear of Manatee Elementary, 1606 6th Ave E, Bradenton.

The goal of this march is to target the area of the 1300-2500 block of 9th Ave E, which has in the past seen several shootings and senseless murders.

Brent Colemen was shot to death last summer at the 13th Ave Dream Center, and Dakota Smith early this year.

"We support Law Enforcement and Crime Stoppers and look to help the police with their open murder cases," Peace Walkers founder Enrique Mallol said.


Sarasota Man Arrested
for Murder


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested a 38-year-old man for murder.


Edward Rutherford

On Monday, April 14th, at 4:25 p.m., a woman reported that she received a call from Ed Rutherford claiming that he found her husband dead at their home, 2144 Oak Terrace in Sarasota.

The woman, who was parked just up the street when she received the call, saw Rutherford speed away from the house.

Deputies found the door locked but signs of forced entry.

Upon searching the home, they found 45-year-old David Alessandrini dead of homicidal trauma.

Detectives issued a bulletin to locate Rutherford and provided a description of his vehicle.

Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport Police quickly responded that they had contacted Rutherford when he picked up a relative who flew in for a family gathering at Sun 'n Fun.

Deputies located Rutherford at his parents' home there and recovered evidence of the crime.

Rutherford is charged with Homicide without Premeditation, and is being held without bond in the Sarasota County Jail.


CCSO: Two Charged During
Alcohol Compliance Check

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Clerks at two local businesses were issued citations last week for selling alcoholic beverages to under-aged patrons during an alcohol and tobacco compliance check.

On Wednesday April 9, members of the Juvenile Operations Unit conducted one of their periodic compliance checks at five different businesses in the Kings Highway area of Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda. During these checks, an under-aged investigative aide working with the unit members attempted to purchase either alcoholic beverages or tobacco products.

When the investigative aide attempted to purchase a four-pack of Yuengling Lager beer at the Wal-Mart Liquor Store, located at 375 Kings Highway, the clerk asked for the aide’s identification, but still sold them the beer. Unit members issued a criminal Notice to Appear citation to Myra S. Santoro, 80, of 25100 Sandhill Blvd. in Punta Gorda, for Sale of Alcohol to a Person Under Age 21.

In a similar situation, when the investigative aide attempted to purchase a bottle of white Zinfandel wine at the Winn Dixie, located at 2000 King Highway, the clerk also asked to see the aide’s ID but sold them the wine anyway. The 17-year-old clerk was issued a Juvenile Civil Citation on similar charges.

The Juvenile Operations Unit conducts such unannounced alcohol compliance checks at various times and various locations within Charlotte County.


Mom Accused of Burning, Biting,
Beating Daughter, 2, to Death

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Investigative documents have been released in the case of a mother who was charged in her 2-year-old daughter's death, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

According to investigative records, abuse began as soon as Tariji and her brother and sisters were returned to their mom, Rachel Fryer. The children had been removed after Tariji's twin brother was suffocated by Fryer on the couch, killing him. Investigators ruled it accidental at the time.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents called it "prolonged" abuse for more than a month, until Tariji was found dead on Feb. 11. Her body was stuffed in a suitcase, barely buried, in Crescent City.

Documents from prosecutors show that Fryer would beat Tariji and only Tariji -- not her siblings -- when the 2-year-old wouldn't listen. Her brother and sisters told investigators, "Mommy Rachel is sick of her... Mommy hits [Tariji] with a brown stick, a broom and a mop till [Tariji] cries."

Around the time that Tariji's former foster mother discovered that the little girl was missing, the girl's father said he'd seen Fryer "pushing [Tariji] and her falling into a step in the living room... [Tariji] did poop in her pants... And Ms. Fryer punished her by spanking her and making her stand up against the wall with her hands in the air."

The girl's father told investigators that Fryer would routinely Ace-bandage [Tariji's] arms up over her head as a form of punishment."

An autopsy showed bite marks on Tariji's arm and shoulder, hair missing from her scalp, two front teeth missing, cigarette burns on her hand and bleeding in her brain.

The FDLE lab concluded that Fryer's teeth matched the bites and found Tariji's DNA was on a burnt cigarette butt found at the house.

When Fryer was arrested she told investigators Tariji wasn't moving when she went to wake her up so she put her body in a suitcase, traveled to Crescent City and buried her in the suitcase in the ground. She claimed she did not kill her daughter.

Fryer remains in the Seminole County Jail charged with murder, WKMG said.

 

 

~ Tuesday's Local/State News ~

Sheriff's Lieutenant Shot,
Suspect Dead Following
Bank Robbery Monday

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a bank robbery gone wrong on Monday, wherein a sheriff's lieutenant was shot and the suspect was killed, following an exchange of gunfire.


Above, deputies gathered at the crime scene
(Photo by Heather Chadwick, NewsManatee)

According to a press release from the sheriff's office, at approximately 11:25 a.m. on Monday, April 14th, deputies responded to a bank robbery at Florida Bank located at 3704 84th Ave. Circle E. in southern Manatee County.

Witnesses said the suspect entered the bank and demanded money. The suspect was armed with a handgun.

The suspect fled the bank in a white pick-up truck.

Several minutes later, Lt. Bob Mealy spotted the suspect vehicle heading north on 15th St. E.

The suspect vehicle continued north and then turned around and headed south on U.S. 301.

Stop Sticks were used twice in an attempt to stop the vehicle.

The suspect vehicle stopped in the 5100 block of 33rd St. E.

As deputies approached the vehicle, the suspect fired a shot and struck Lt. Mealy.


Above, MSO Lt. Bob Mealy

Deputies returned fire and multiple rounds were exchanged between the suspect and deputies.

A short time later, the suspect was discovered dead in the truck. His identity has not been released at this time, pending notification of next of kin.

Money was found in the truck but it has not been confirmed if it was from the bank robbery.

Four of the deputies involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation, which is routine procedure.

Lt. Mealy was shot in the right arm and is expected to fully recover. "He has been released from the hospital," Dave Bristow, spokesman for the sheriff's office told NewsManatee on Monday.

Lt. Mealy, age 52, has been with MSO since March, 1996.


Palmetto Police Arrest Man
for Felony Stalking, Threats
to Man, Girlfriend


PALMETTO, Florida [NMT] -- The Palmetto Police Department has arrested Johnny Junior Pyle, 37, of 705 3rd Avenue East, in Palmetto.


Johnny Pyle

According to the press release from PPD, on Friday, April 11th, Pyle used a cell phone to call the victim, Robert Masias, for the sole purpose of threatening Masias.

The threats consisted of "Whenever I see you, I'm going to break your face!"

Then, on Saturday, April 12th, Masias was pulling into the Palmetto Trace Apartments, 200 7th Street East, because he lives there.

Pyle who also lives in the same apartment complex, was standing by the only entrance when Masias and his current girlfriend drove up to the entrance.

Pyle approached Masias' driver door and began to order Masias out of the vehicle.

Masias kept driving in an attempt to avoid a physical altercations.

Pyle kept following Masias' vehicle on foot and was reaching into his waistband while yelling, "I got something for you. Be a man. Get out of the (expletive deleted) car! I'm going to break your face!"

Law enforcement was called and Pyle was arrested a short time later.

He was charged with Felony Stalking.

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


Armed Home Invasion Robbery
Reported; Two Arrested


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported an armed home invasion robbery that occurred on Sunday, April 13th, at about 4:15 a.m., at a residence in the 2800 block of 50th Avenue West, Bradenton.


Above, L to R, Wilfred Jeanpaul and Christian Bombardier

A sheriff's report said nine victims were at the above location hanging out on the lanai when the suspects approached the apartment.

The armed suspects ordered the victims into the apartment.

The suspects forced their way into the apartment and took several items from the victims.

The suspects then fled the area in a vehicle.

Deputies spotted the suspect vehicle several minutes later and initiated a stop.

Two suspects were arrested and charged with Armed Home Invasion.

A possible 3rd suspect remains at large.


Arrested were Wilfred Jeanpaul, 28, and Christian Bombardier, 20.

They both remain in the Manatee County Jail without bail bonds at this time.


Man Arrested for Stealing
Stereo from Target

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Robert Lee McKinney, 22, of 3675 Hunting Place Drive, in Sarasota.


Robert McKinney

The arrest report said on Saturday, April 12th, at about 2:15 p.m., McKinney entered the Target store located at 6150 14th Street West, Bradenton.

He was observed by loss prevention selecting an RCA stereo, placing it in a cart and walking toward the front of the store.

Once at the front of the store, Robert passed all points of sale without paying.

Robert was stopped and detained by loss prevention personnel.

The value of the stereo was $149.

Robert was arrested and charged with misdemeanor Shoplifting.

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


Shell Gas Station Victim
of Armed Robbery


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office reported a Shell gas station was robbed at gunpoint in Sarasota.

A sheriff's report said on Sunday, April 13th, at approximately 11 p.m., a Sarasota Sheriff's patrol responded to an armed robbery at 2800 Bee Ridge Rd. Sarasota, the site of a Shell Gas Station.

Initial reports indicated the suspect as a Hispanic male approximately 5'8" tall, dressed in a gray shirt and unknown pants. He was armed with a handgun.

The suspect entered the store with his T-shirt over his face. He ordered the store clerk at gunpoint to provide him with money from the register.

Once the suspect got an undisclosed amount of money he left the area on foot from the business in an easterly direction.

The area was searched with K-9 and assisted by the Sheriff's Office Helicopter but yielded negative results.

Detectives responded to the scene and are continuing the investigation.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call [the Criminal Investigations Section at 941-861-4900] or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477), online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.


SSO Investigating Monday
Morning Armed Robbery


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating an armed robbery that occurred at 7:20 a.m. on Monday, April 14th, at the Stop ‘N Shop, 4201 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.

The suspect is described as a White male, approximately 20 years old, about 5’6” tall.

He was last seen wearing all dark clothing and may be armed with a black semiautomatic handgun.

He fled on foot heading northbound near Trader Joe’s.

Anyone with information is asked to call Criminal Investigation at 861-4900 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477) or online at www.sarasotacrimestopers.com.


K-9 Andro joins the Sarasota
Police Department

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota Police Department has a new member: K9 Andro.


Above, SPD K-9 Andro

Andro was brought to Sarasota from Germany last weekend. He’s a 21-month old German Sheppard and will serve as the K-9 partner for Officer Nick Dominis.

Andro replaces K9 Kuda. Kuda was handled by Officer Trip Schwenk and Kuda retired after nearly eight years with the Sarasota Police Department.

Officer Dominis and Andro will now spend the next two weeks bonding and socializing. Following that, they’ll attend a 480-hour K-9 School which is mandated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Training.

Upon completion of training, both Officer Dominis and K-9 Andro will be required to pass a state certification test before working the streets of the City of Sarasota. Historically, the handler is given the opportunity to name the K-9 partner when they are bonding. Andro’s given name by the kennel in Germany was Roby.

Officer Dominis decided to change that. “In honor of my heritage and specifically my father who is Croatian, I chose the name Andro. Andro is a recognized warrior name by the citizens of Croatia,” said Officer Nick Dominis, Andro’s handler.

“We’re so thankful to the citizens and to the leadership of the Sarasota Police Department for their continuous support of the K-9 program. We couldn’t have done this without the support of City Manager Tom Barwin and Chief Bernadette DiPino,” said Sergeant Michael McHale, Supervisor of the K-9 Unit, Sarasota Police Department.


Body of Daytona Beach Murder
Suspect Found in Key West


DAYTONA BEACH, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- The body of the man police sought as a suspect on first-degree murder charges for the death of his girlfriend was found in Key West, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

According to Daytona Beach police, a driver parking her car found the body of Thomas Tomkiewicz, 56, lying face-down on the ground between two buildings Sunday morning.

Police had issued an alert for Tomkiewicz after performing a well-being check around 6 p.m. Thursday for a woman identified as Ann Marie Antonaccio, 55, at a home on Vermont Avenue.

Police said a faint odor was emitting from the home and when officers entered the house, Antonaccio was found dead in a bed with a sheet covering her body.

Her death was ruled a homicide after police said her throat had been slashed.

Police said Tomkiewicz was seen leaving the house Thursday driving her car. Tomkiewicz told neighbors Antonaccio had left town because it was unusual for him to be driving her car.

Key West police continue to look for Antonaccio's car, described as a white four-door 1999 Toyota bearing the Florida license plate J74-OHM.

His death is still under investigation, WKMG said.

 

 

~ Monday's Local/State News ~

Man Arrested for Arson
by a State Fire Marshal;
Home Totally Destroyed

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office, in conjunction with the State Fire Marshal's Office, has arrested Daniel J. Neuenschwander, 32, of 3103 5th Street East, Bradenton.


Daniel Neuenschwander

The arrest report said on Wednesday, April 9th, at about 4:30 p.m., State Fire Marshal Hector Noyas responded to 4483 17th Street West to investigate a structure fire.

As NewsManatee originally reported last Friday, the first arriving unit found a vacant single family home completely involved in fire.


Above, 4483 17th Street West
(Photo by Heather Chadwick, NewsManatee)

The fire was brought under control within 30 minutes of the first arriving units.

The residence was completely destroyed.

There were no other buildings damaged by the fire and no injuries to civilians or fire department personnel.

The media release regarding the blaze did not indicate a dollar value of the loss or the cause of the fire.

During Investigator Noyas' investigation, information was obtained that led to Daniel's arrest.

A witness told Investigator Noyas that Daniel was seen leaving the property and soon after the property was on fire.

A second witness said Daniel was seen leaving the neighborhood.

A third person who was tied to the property told Inv. Noyas that Daniel was angry with him.

Daniel was arrested the next day, Thursday, April 10th, and charged with Arson.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $20,000.


Woman Arrested for Serious
Abuse, Neglect of Man,
95 Years Old


HOLMES BEACH, Florida [NMT] -- The Holmes Beach Police Department has arrested Joan Smith Franklin, 68, of 116 Hammock Road, in Anna Maria.


Joan Franklin

According to the arrest report, on Tuesday, April 8th, at about 2:30 p.m., Holmes Beach Police were called to 620 Key Royale Drive, in Holmes Beach, the residence of John Atkinson, 95 years old.

At the victim's residence, Franklin, the home health aide and caretaker of Mr. Atkinson, intentionally tied Mr. Atkinson against his will to his bed.

Franklin also threatened to "break the bones" of Mr. Atkinson if he did not lay still properly or acted up.

These threats caused fear in Mr. Atkinson, the report said.

Mr. Atkinson told police Franklin was very rough with him when manipulating his body and even pulled his hair to get him to sit up.

A witness told police the witness did see the victim being tied to the bed by Franklin, as well as the verbal abuse to Mr. Atkinson and the pulling of the hair.

Franklin admitted tying Mr. Atkinson to the bed, but said it was to protect him from getting out of bed and walking and hurting himself, as he has a broken hip.

Tying him to the bed has occurred multiple times.

Mr. Atkinson has 3 fractures and was supposed to be taken to his doctor's appointment on February 28th and according to the witness, Franklin refused to take him to the doctor for his fractures.

Franklin has been Mr. Atkinson's caretaker for over two years. The report said the abuse has been going on over a long period of time.

Franklin was arrested on Thursday, April 10th, and charged with Abuse of an Elderly Adult and Neglect of an Elderly Adult.

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


Palmetto Police Arrest Two
Men for Armed Robbery;
Victim Followed Them


PALMETTO, Florida [NMT] -- The Palmetto Police Department has arrested Ahmad R. Hird, 24, of 901 19th Street Court East, Bradenton, and Dawaun J. Faison, 21, of 1576 21st Street East, Bradenton.


Above, L to R, Ahmad Hird and Dawaun Faison

The arrest report from PPD said on Thursday, April 10th, at about 9:15 p.m., Ivan Rodriguez, the victim in this case, was at 1730 U.S. Highway 41, in Palmetto, putting air in his vehicle when he was approached from behind by a Black male.

The would-be thug came from behind with a handgun and put it to Ivan's head, demanding that Ivan give him what he had.

The man went through Ivan's pockets and took about $400 from him.

Meanwhile, another Black male was sitting in the driver's seat of the suspect vehicle, which was not described in the report.

Both men then went through Ivan's car before leaving in the suspect vehicle.

The victim followed the robbers in his vehicle, calling 911 and giving the dispatcher their direction of travel.

The dispatcher proceeded to dispatch the call to units in the area who responded to the are of 24th Street East and Canal Road, where they met Ivan. He pointed out the suspect vehicle, which by that time was abandoned.

Neighbors in the area told police that the two men who were in the vehicle ran into a nearby empty field.

An MSO K-9 unit responded and conducted a track that led to the two men, who were arrested on site.

Ivan positively identified the two robbers.

They were both charged with Armed Robbery.

They both remain in the Manatee County Jail on bail bonds of $250,000 each.


Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue
Responds to Apartment Fire

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Cedar Hammock Fire rescue units responded to a reported structure fire at 4510 67th Street West on Friday, April 11th.


Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue responded to the fire with 3 Engines, and a Battalion Chief. Cedar Hammock was assisted by Bradenton Fire Department, and Manatee County EMS.

Crews arrived within 7 minutes of receiving the call and found moderate smoke coming from the eves of a two story multi-family residence.

The occupant of the apartment where the fire originated was made aware of the fire by workers who were on premises. The occupant attempted to extinguish the fire with multiple dry chemical extinguishers.

On scene crews had the fire under control within 10 minutes of arriving on scene.

Fire crews had to force entry into two adjacent units but fire damage was contained to the apartment of origin.

Cedar Hammock Fire Prevention Bureau investigated the fire and deemed that it was unintentional, but the actual cause was undetermined.

The structure sustained approximately $50,0000 in damage.

There were no injuries to the occupants or fire personnel.

The American Red Cross was requested to assist the two occupants who were displaced by the fire.


Manatee County Animal Services
Shelter is Full, Adopters Needed


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Animal Services is full and adopters are needed.

There are many dogs in the shelter that have heartworms and are available for adoption. The treatment is sponsored by a local animal organization, but the animal must be in a home environment for treatment to begin.

All adoptions include spay/neuter, vaccinations, health check, and microchip.

Manatee County residents must purchase a county license.

Adoption Specials will apply. Be sure to stop by one of their two locations and adopt today.

Help them help the animals by adopting today; every animal deserves a good home.

The special is available at both Animal Services locations: in Palmetto, 305 25th St. W. (open Monday through Friday 10am to 5 pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm and in Bradenton, 1002 B., Manatee Ave. W., (open Tuesday through Friday 11am to 6:30pm and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Preview available animals by visiting www.mymanatee.org/pets.

For more information, call (941) 742-5933.


SPD Officer Injured in
Attempted Hit & Run


SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- Just before 9pm tonight, two Sarasota Police officers were working an off duty detail at the Sarasota Yacht Club, 1100 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.

A woman ran to officers telling them that she was just hit (grazed) by a vehicle.

One of the officers attempted to stop the vehicle in question and the driver accelerated, hitting the officer and throwing them onto the hood of the car.

The officer has non-life threatening injuries and has been transported to the hospital.

Baltasar Jimenez, unknown age, has been arrested and charged with DUI, DUI with Personal Injury and DUI with Property Damage.


Jimenez has been transported to the Sarasota County Jail.


Three from Manatee County
Busted in Prostitution Sting

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota Police Department has arrested three men from Manatee County and two man from Sarasota County.

On Thursday, April 10, the Sarasota Police Department Street Crimes Unit, in conjunction with the Narcotics Unit, conducted a prostitution operation targeting individuals soliciting prostitutes.

The operation was conducted at two different locations on N. Tamiami Trail.

As a result of the operation, the following five men were arrested for Solicitation of Prostitution:

Belal Hatim Al-Thabita: DOB 04-26-79 Resides at 8707 44th Ave Dr. West, Bradenton

Daniel E. Posada: DOB 11-28-50 Resides at 4803 70th Street East, Palmetto

Fernando Valbuena: DOB 08-11-55 5310 14th Street West lot #39, Bradenton

Carlos D. Reitz - Mucarsel: DOB 06-10-80 Resides at 5624 East Wind Dr., Sarasota

Kinsella M. Doehring: DOB 01-26-48 Resides at 1250 Sea Plume Way, Sarasota


Pair Indicted for Distributing
Hundreds of Pounds of Pot

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Friday, April 11th, United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III, announced the unsealing of an indictment charging Michael Allen Babiarz, 42, of Sarasota and Aaron Edwin Remaley, 39, of Riverview with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana.

According to the indictment, from at least August 2012 to April 2014, Babiarz and Remaley conspired with each other, and with others, to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana in Sarasota, Hillsborough and Polk counties.

Detectives with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Section began the investigation which grew to involve the Drug Enforcement Administration, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and Polk County Sheriff's Office.

If convicted, Babiarz and Remaley face a maximum penalty of 40 years in federal prison. There is no parole in the federal system. In addition to significant prison time, federal prosecution results in more rigorous supervision by federal probation officers when felons are released to the community.

The current indictment brings to 12 the number of federal drug and weapons cases initiated by a Sarasota County Sheriff's Office investigation since 2011.


CCSO: Cape Coral Man
Wanted for Burglaries


CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff’s detectives are looking for a Cape Coral man on a warrant concerning several daytime residential burglaries.


Zachary Wilson

At least one warrant has been issued for Zachary Edward Wilson, 26, whose last known address was 867 SE 1st Terrace in Cape Coral on charges of Burglary of an Unoccupied Dwelling and Grand Theft.

Wilson is described as being about 6 ft. tall and weighing about 170 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes. There is no specific vehicle associated with Wilson.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Zachary Edward Wilson is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (941) 639-2101 or other appropriate law enforcement agency if outside of Charlotte County, or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).


Man Accused of Producing
Child Pornography


MELBOURNE, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A 60-year-old Melbourne man was arrested on suspicion of creating a video that includes pornographic images of a child from Brevard County who was younger than 12 years old at the time, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Eugene Hudome was arrested Thursday and booked on charges of producing child pornography, possessing child pornography and intending to distribute child pornography, according to a a news release from the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

Goodyear said Hudome has had access to children.

"The possibility exists that he may have victimized some other children in Brevard," Brevard County sheriff's Maj. Tod Goodyear said. "We don't know that for a fact but it's possible."

Deputies investigated Hudome after they got a tip, searching his house at 2237 September Street and seizing a computer and other "electronic media equipment."

Investigators determined Hudome had been downloading child pornography for years and possessed child pornography depicting children from 4 to 6 years old.

Hudome's case is currently in the state system, but Goodyear said Hudome could face federal charges if deputies present the case to those authorities, WKMG said.


 


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