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~ LOCAL/STATE 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 proved guilty in a court of law.

~~~~~~~~~~

Week of February 25, 2014 - March 1, 2015

~ Updating Local/State News ~

RELAX!

We'll Be Back

NewsManatee's publisher, Mike Quinn, has just spent 10 days
at Manatee Memorial Hospital in critical condition.


Above, NewsManatee's Headquarters

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Briefly, I can tell you I suffered a wicked stroke, acute kidney failure, anemia, dehydration, and malnutrition.

I want to thank all of you who expressed your concerns for me, my whereabouts and the status of NewsManatee.com.

You may relax. I'm back home and doing fine.

My doctor, and a team of doctors, as a matter of fact, all scrambled to patch me back together. As a result, I will be left with little to no residual effects from the incident.

In fact, I am currently working on the new edition of NewsManatee.com, which will appear beginning Monday, March 2nd.

Again, thank you for your concerns and prayers.

And please send PayPal donations...10 days in the hospital isn't cheap, my brothers and sisters.

Michael C. Quinn
Publisher
NewsManatee.com

~~~~~~~~~~

Man Arrested by Sheriff's
Deputies for Bullying,
Battering, Choking Sister,
Who Was Also Arrested

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested John Blandino, 23, of 3810 5th Street East, Bradenton.


Above, L to R, John Blandino and Nicole Bladino

According to the arrest report, Blandino and his victim, Nicole Blandino, are brother and sister.

On Tuesday, Feb. 3rd, at about 1:30 a.m., John began poking Blandino following a verbal argument.

He poked her in the chest, punched her face and choked her because, she said, because "he liked to bully her."

She began feeling a tingling in her face and almost passed out, she said, when he let to and she was able to fight him off and then fled.

She walked to the sheriff's office and made a report.

Two deputies were sent out to the address above, where they arrested John Blandino.

He was charged with Domestic Battery by Strangulation and Battery.

He posted a bail bond of $1,500 and was released from the Manatee County Jail.

Nicole was later charged with Battery; she posted a $1,000 bail bond and was released.


Woman Arrested for Contempt
of Court for Failure to Appear

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Annie Reid, 30, a homeless person living in a tent, in Bradenton.


Annie Reid

The arrest report said Reid originally used someone's debit card to get cash to buy heroin on three different occasions totaling under $100.

When she was arrested, she made a promise to appear. She did not.

Based on that, a judge issued a Contempt of Court Warrant for Reid and she was arrested on that warrant on Tuesday, Feb. 3rd.

She remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $5,000.


Health Officials in Manatee County
Respond to Case of Meningococcal
Disease at Manatee Elementary


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT/DOHManatee] -- Florida Department of Health in Manatee County is working with health care providers, parents and administrators to respond to a case of meningococcal disease in a student enrolled in a Head Start Program located at Manatee Elementary School in Bradenton, Florida.

Meningococcal disease is a very serious infection of the blood or membranes around the brain (meningitis). The disease is contagious and most common in infants, adolescents and young adults.

“We are working closely with Manatee Community Action Agency's Head Start and school officials and have determined the ill student only spent time in the Head Start and one VPK section of Manatee Elementary School,” said Dr. Jennifer Bencie, DOHManatee Administrator. “At no time were K-5 students exposed to the infected child.”

DOH-Manatee and school officials have provided preventive medication and information to parents of the 80 children and to 12 staff in the Head Start and VPK programs at Manatee Elementary School. Medications will continue to be made available to the students and staff over the next few days. Parents of students and staff in the remaining areas of the school were also notified. They are not at risk and do not require preventive medication.

The bacteria responsible for meningococcal disease, Neisseria meningitidis, are spread through person-to-person contact, such as occurs within a household. Examples include kissing, sharing utensils or toothbrushes, drinking from the same cup, sleeping in the same room as the infected person (household contacts), direct contact with a patient’s oral secretions, or coughing in close contact.

Symptoms of meningococcal disease may include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, confusion, nausea, vomiting and a skin rash. Parents should seek medical attention immediately if their child becomes ill with any of these symptoms.

Residents should routinely practice good hygiene, such as covering their noses and mouths when sneezing or coughing; disposing of soiled tissues; not sharing utensils, glasses or toothbrushes; and washing hands after bathroom visits or before eating.


Man Charged with Fathering
Child with Juvenile


CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A man who had previously been arrested on charges of interfering with the custody of a minor was charged again last Friday with having fathered a child with the same juvenile.


Hailey Vailier

Hailey Kyle Vallier, 24, of 5829 Front Lane in Orlando, was charged on January 30 with Lewd and Lascivious Battery and Impregnating a Child under age 16. He has been incarcerated at the Charlotte County Jail since his September 30, 2014 arrest on charges of Interfering with the Custody of a Minor.

According to the current arrest report, in October 2013, deputies were attempting to locate a 14 year old girl who had run away from her guardians in Lee County. The girl was suspected to be at Vallier’s residence at that time on Pinetree Street in Port Charlotte. After deputies located the girl at his house, they arrested him on charges of interfering with custody. At that time, Vallier was already on felony probation for similar charges involving the same juvenile.

In November 2013, the same girl was again reported missing and was located in January 2014 in Orange County Florida in the custody of Vallier. The girl told Orange County authorities that she was pregnant. At that time, the juvenile was 14 and Vallier was 23.

In September 2014, Vallier was again charged with Interfering with Custody when the same girl, who was by then nine-months pregnant, was found with him in the Lake City area. On September 30, 2014, he was booked into the Charlotte County Jail where he has been held on a $2 Million bond.

The girl, who is now 15 years old, delivered her child in September. Major Crimes detectives obtained a search warrant to get a DNA swab from Vallier in November 2014. They got a separate search warrant to collect a DNA sample from the infant. The 15 year old girl also provided a DNA sample.

The samples were analyzed by the FDLE Crime Lab, and they reported that the “DNA profile from Hailey Vallier is consistent with that required of the child’s biological father.” The report indicated the probability of parentage to be about 99.99%.

As a result of Friday’s charges, Vallier is being held without bond.


Cops: Woman left Twin
Boys Home Alone

PORT ORANGE, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A Central Florida mother faces child neglect charges after allegedly leaving her 6-year-old twin sons home alone -- twice, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Police say the eastern European native cited cultural differences after one of the boys was found wandering around a Port Orange apartment complex on Saturday evening.

The woman told officers she had gone to a gym and the boys knew her phone number. She said that in Moldova, where she's from, a child can be left alone for up to three hours. Police didn't arrest her.

But almost six hours later, police spotted the woman near the gym again. She told them the boys were sleeping and she had gone to retrieve her bike.

She was booked into jail and bonded out hours later on a $1,000 bond, WKMG said.


Medical First: Florida Panther
Receives Stem Cell Therapy


DELAND, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- When Jan Hall agreed to allow doctors at the Newman Veterinary Center in DeLand perform stem cell therapy on her 15-year-old Florida panther she admits she was nervous.


Above, a Florida panther

Although the procedure has been performed on more than 100 pets with a reported 95 percent success rate it has never been tried on an exotic big cat.

Over the past year the panther, whom she calls Nakiia, has been limping.

Hall, who is the head of the Nakiia Foundation, is familiar with arthritis in pets of all sizes.

“He just wasn’t right,” Hall says.

Screening confirmed that Nakiia’s hip and joints were arthritic.

Dr. Ted Oliver completed the stem cell therapy last Wednesday with promising early results.

“This is basically regenerative medicine,” Oliver said.

The procedure requires removal of the animal’s fat tissue.

The fat is treated with a specialized LED technology then injected into the affected joints.

Erica Kent, the director of Operations for Newman Veterinary Centers, said the free consultation allows both doctor and pet owner to review treatment options.

“The consultation will give us an indication as to whether or not there is an opportunity for stem cells,” Kent says.

Doctors say the long-term effect can last up to three years. Pet owners also have the option of freezing and storing stem cells.

Paul and Diana Jaynes brought their 9-year-old female yellow Lab Cookie to the center last September.

The couple was convinced they would have to put her down. The dog’s hind legs were failing the couple says she couldn’t walk.

Diana Jaynes said it was a difficult time.

“It’s like losing a child," she said. “They become part of your family.”

They were given the option of stem cell therapy. Jaynes says she couldn’t believe her dog was walking in just a few days.

“We carried her out of that clinic after the procedure on Tuesday and she walked into the clinic for her follow up appointment that Friday,” she says.

Most pet insurance companies will cover 90 to 100 percent of the cost. The clinic is offering a special rate in March, WKMG said.

 

 

~ Thursday's Local/State News ~

Woman Busted by Sheriff's Office
for 'Dog & Pony Puppet Show,'
Using Her Genitals

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Marina Alexei Ganceva, 67, of the 1500 block of 19th Avenue West, Bradenton.


Marina Ganceva

According to the arrest report, on Tuesday, Jan. 3rd, at about 2:30 p.m., John Hepler and several of his friends were on a county public bus.

During transit at the bus station at 820 301 Blvd. West, another passenger Marina Ganceva, appeared to be highly intoxicated and "acting crazy."

Due to her actions being so offensive, John stood up, offering his seat to someone else so the other person could also move away from Ganceva.

Then John stood up for the rest of the transit.

John's hands were in front of him and Ganceva grabbed one of them.

Then, with her other hand, Ganceva reached out and grabbed John's genitals.

She also then lifted her shirt up, with no underwear on, and showed her vagina to multiple people on the bus, including John. This occurred several times during transit.

John said he definitely wanted to press charges against Ganceva.

She was arrested and charged with Exposure of Sexual Organs and Battery.

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


Man, 28, arrested for Punching
Father, 65 Years of Age

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Christopher Allen Clymore, 28, of 6211 Laurel Creek Trail, in Bradenton.


Christopher Clymore

The arrest report said on Saturday, Jan. 31st, at about 2:45 p.m., Allen and Denise Clymore are parents of Christopher Clymore.

Denise and Christopher were in an argument over Christopher taking Denise's purse fro her room without her consent.

The argument turned physical when Christopher threw a chair at Denise and she started screaming.

That alerted Allen, who was outside and came running inside. As he did so, Christopher intentionally punched Allen in the elbow and arm.

Christopher fled the residence prior to the arrival of law enforcement.

He was located on Tuesday, Feb. 3rd, at the residence and arrested.

He was charged with Domestic Battery on a Person Over 65 and Intent to do Violence.

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


Blunt Force Armed Robbery
Reported Just Off Cortez Road


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office is actively seeking two thugs who committed an armed robbery on Tuesday, Feb. 3rd, at about 11:45 p.m., near the 2000 block of Cortez Road West, Bradenton.


A sheriff's report said the victim, Jesus Andino, was walking north on 20th Street West and as he approached Cortez Road West, he was approached from behind by two unknown suspects.

One of the suspects asked Andino for a light for his cigarette while the second suspect went behind the victim and hit him in his lower back with an unknown object.

One of the suspects then reached in Andino's pocket and took money from him.

Both suspects then ran south on 20th Street West.

The victim did not sustain any injuries.

The culprits were described as being both Black males. One was 21-22 yoa, 5'8" tall, 180 pounds and was last seen wearing jeans and a black tank top. The second suspect was also 21-22 yoa, 5'5" tall, and weighed about 130 pounds; he was wearing jeans and a black tank top.

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.


Five Teenagers Busted
for County Burglary

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested five young persons, all male, and all either 15 or 16 years of age.

A sheriff's report said on Tuesday, Jan. 3rd, at about 3:15 p.m., the listed suspects were seen leaving a residence in the 3200 block of 14th Street East with some lawn equipment.

The equipment was located at a pawn shop in the 3300 block of 15th St E.

Contact was made with the owner of the residence and the items were confirmed to have been stolen.

The suspects were arrested and taken to the Juvenile Booking Facility, charged with Burglary and Dealing in Stolen Property.

The report did not say how they were identified or captured.


NOTICE: NewsManatee's Archives,
NewsManateeArchives.com, has
Crashed and Burned

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- We have received word from the people who very generously donate their technical services and equipment to breathe life into our archives, and have done so since March of 2008, that NewsManateeArchives.com has crashed and burned.

It can no longer be accessed on the Internet at this time.

The good news is that all of the content previously gathered is in a controlled environment elsewhere, as will be all future information submitted for the archives.

The bad news is that the server that handled all that data cannot be rebuilt whatsoever and will have to be created from scratch.

What this means for us and our future is fairly uncertain, but rest assured, in the meantime, NewsManatee.com will go on functioning well consistently, as the days, weeks, months and years float by.

As for any of you wishing to remove any content from the archives, you'll just have to wait until server capabilities have been restored and are accessible. However, just as you are not able to access the information, neither are inquiries from search engines, such as Google.

We hope you will continue to trust us and believe in us as we move forward to a better, brighter future.


Second Skimming Device
Found in City of Sarasota


SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- Detectives with the Sarasota Police Department have discovered a second skimming device that was placed on another Sun Trust Bank in the City of Sarasota.


Above, suspect in both skimmer placements

The first skimming device was discovered on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at the Sun Trust Bank in the 1700 block of Main Street, Sarasota. Detectives believe that skimming device was placed on the drive-up through ATM around 6:45 a.m. The skimming device was removed just before 11 a.m. by Sun Trust security.

The second skimming device was placed on an ATM at the Sun Trust Bank, 3400 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at about 10:20 a.m. An investigation revealed the skimming device had been removed by the suspect by 1:40 p.m. A victim contacted the Sarasota Police Department earlier this week and that is when it was discovered that the second skimming device had been placed at second location.

Detectives believe the same suspect placed the skimming devices on both Sun Trust branches in the City of Sarasota. Detectives also believe this same suspect is related to a group of people who have been placing skimming devices on Sun Trust ATMs from Orlando to Tampa Bay to Fort Myers.

The Sarasota Police Department is encouraging Sun Trust Bank customers to check their statements closely and report any suspicious activity to their local branch and local law enforcement. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Gary McDowell at 941-364-7309 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477) or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.


SSO: Men Arrested Using
Fraudulent Credit Cards

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested two Gainesville men after they were seen conducting suspicious transactions with multiple credit cards.


Above, SSO evidence photo


The Asset Protection Manager of Walmart on Cattlemen Road called deputies after a man tried to use a number of credit cards to buy gift cards. If a card was declined the suspect would use another one until the transaction was approved. Because of the ongoing partnership between area retail stores and the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, management knew this was common with fraudulent activity.

When the suspect left the store and returned to his vehicle, another man went into the store and bought more gift cards in five separate transactions. During the investigation detectives found an Apple Mac Air computer attached to a re-encoder that was powered up in their vehicle and more than $1,300 in cash. They determined the magnetic strip on the credit cards were cloned with information that did not match the numbers embossed on the front.

Cason Lyons, DOB 1/10/93, is charged with five counts of Possession of Forged Credit Cards and is being held on $125,000 bond. Jeremiah Baker is charged with one count of Possession of Forged Credit Cards and is being held on $30,000 bond. Baker has prior convictions for Robbery with a Firearm, Possession of Cocaine and Marijuana, and Violation of Probation.

The investigation is ongoing.


Cops: Mall Security Supervisor
Touched Girls Inappropriately


OVIEDO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Police arrested the security supervisor at the Oviedo Mall on Tuesday on accusations of touching preteen girls inappropriately.

Sixty-one-year-old Ronald Queen, Valor Security supervisor at Oviedo Mall and a former employee at the Florida Highway Patrol and State Fire Marshal's office, was charged with lewd and lascivious behavior and battery.

Police said a group of young teen and preteen girls reported that Queen talked with them about bras and bra sizes at Victoria's Secret.

According to police, Queen then followed the girls into the food court and poked a girl with his finger in her side just above her buttocks.

Queen then grabbed another girl's buttocks, police said. The girl alerted parents nearby.

Queen was arrested as he arrived for work Tuesday at the Oviedo Mall. During an interview, he told police he talked to the girls when they were in Victoria’s Secret and poked one of them in her side.

Police said Queen denied grabbing anyone's buttocks.

He was booked into Seminole County jail but was later released on bond.

No one answered the door at Queen's home on Wednesday. A neighbor told Local 6 that Queen was always respectful to her.

"If these allegations turn out to be true, I'm shocked," said Icilyn Johnson. "He doesn't strike me as that kind of person."

Queen retired from the state fire marshal's office a year and a half ago. He worked there from 2005 to 2013 after being an employee at FHP, according to the Florida Department of Financial Services.

Valor Security released a statement on Wednesday, saying "We are shocked to learn of these allegations and are assisting law enforcement officials in their investigation. The officer in question has been suspended without pay, pending the results of that investigation."


 

~ Wednesday's Local/State News ~

Woman Carjacked Outside of
Belmont Park Apartments;
No Injuries Reported

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a carjacking that occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 3rd, at about 7 a.m., outside Belmont Park Apartments, 4300 18th Street West, Bradenton.


Above, a lookalike vehicle that was carjacked

A sheriff's report said Daffany Henderson, 40, had her car running with the keys inside the vehicle while she was standing next to the open driver's door.

A Black male suspect pushed Daffany to the side and jumped into the running vehicle and a White male jumped into the passenger seat.

The suspects fled the area in Daffany's Gray 2015 Chevy Sonic, bearing Florida license tag 308XSC (rental vehicle from Hertz).

Daffany was not injured.

The suspects were described as a Black male, 17-18 years of age, wearing blue jeans and a black shirt; and a White male, 17-18 years of age, wearing blue jeans, a black shirt with a hoodie attached to it.

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.


Man Arrested for Domestic
Aggravated Battery on a
Pregnant Person


PALMETTO, Florida [NMT] -- The Palmetto Police Department has arrested Dinzel Gabriel, 20, a homeless person, in Palmetto.


Dinzel Gabriel

The arrest report said on Monday, Feb. 2nd, at about 11 a.m., Gabriel and Niocca Scaberry were involved in a verbal dispute that turned physical when Gabriel pushed Niocca from behind.

The pair are boyfriend and girlfriend and the victim is 7 months pregnant; Gabriel knew that.

Gabriel was arrested and charged with Domestic Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Person and his bail bonds were revoked on three earlier criminal charges.

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


BPD Officers Arrest Man for
Domestic Aggravated Battery


BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Joe Mackenzie, 28, of 2180 16th Avenue East, in Bradenton.


Joe Mackenzie

According to the arrest report, on Sunday, Jan. 1st, at about 3 p.m., Mackenzie and Stephanie Raines were having an argument inside their apartment at 2130 16th Avenue East, Bradenton.

Mackenzie the took the victim's keys and started to leave the apartment.

The victim took back her belongings and went back inside the apartment. Mackenzie followed her back into their apartment where he pushed her to the ground and placed his hand around her neck, but did not choke her. Then he grabbed her by the head and pushed her into a glass coffee table, causing it to break. The victim cut her foot on a piece of glass from the broken table.

Mackenzie then fled the area.


Man Accused of Grand Theft
of Cash from Safe

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Christopher Taylor, 37, of 204 45th Street Court West, Bradenton.


Christopher Taylor

The arrest report said on May 1st, 2009, at about 8 p.m., Taylor was accused of stealing $1,800 from Calvin Bell's safe. He admitted to taking $200, but not the $1,800. However, a witness later saw Taylor with several $100 bills.

Taylor was arrested on a charge of Grand Thett in 2011, but never appeared in court on the charge.

He went free until Feb. 2nd of this year, when he was arrested on a warrant charging him with Grand Theft.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail in lieu of a $5,000 bond at this time.


Woman Scuffles with
Holmes Beach Police

HOLMES BEACH, Florida [NMT/The Islander] -- A suspect in a hit-and-run crash on Key Royale Drive was arrested after allegedly fighting with Holmes Beach police officers in a restaurant parking lot.


Jeanna Gibson

Jeanna M. Gibson, 26, of Sarasota, faces a charge of battery to a police officer and resisting with violence.

Gibson had stopped her SUV in the parking lot of the restaurant at 5912 Marina Drive when police first approached her Jan. 17, having learned of the crash and a fleeing vehicle, according to the HBPD reports.

She was on her cellphone, standing outside her vehicle in the parking lot, when HBPD Sgt. Kevin Powers and Officer Steve Ogline responded to the scene and began investigating.

Powers placed Gibson’s phone on the driver’s seat and Gibson allegedly kept moving toward the car despite police warnings not to get back in her car.

HBPD reports that she kept trying to get into her car. As she got near her vehicle, a struggle ensued between Ogline and Gibson. Gibson allegedly kicked off the officer’s dispatch microphone and struck his face.

During the incident, police reported noticing an odor of alcohol on the woman’s breath. The officers subdued Gibson and placed her in handcuffs and leg restraints to prevent her from kicking and transported her to Manatee County jail, where Ogline requested that she talk to him about the hit-and-run, but she refused.

She was booked and posted a $2,000 bond.


NOTICE: NewsManatee's Archives,
NewsManateeArchives.com has
Crashed and Burned


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- We have received word from the people who very generously donate their technical services and equipment to breathe life into our archives, and have done so since March of 2008, that NewsManateeArchives.com has crashed and burned.

It can no longer be accessed on the Internet at this time.

The good news is that all of the content previously gathered is in a controlled environment elsewhere, as will be all future information submitted for the archives.

The bad news is that the server that handled all that data cannot be rebuilt whatsoever and will have to be created from scratch.

What this means for us and our future is fairly uncertain, but rest assured, in the meantime, NewsManatee.com will go on functioning well consistently. as the days, weeks, months and years float by.

As for any of you wishing to remove any content from the archives, you'll just have to wait until the server capabilities have been rebuilt and are accessible. However, just as you are not able to access the information, neither are inquiries from search engines, such as Google.

We hope you will continue to trust us and believe in us as we move forward to a better, brighter future.


Man Accused of Killing Gators
for Super Bowl Dinner

DeBARY, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A Volusia County man was arrested on allegations of killing five small alligators for his Super Bowl dinner, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Richard Nixie, 30, of DeBary, was arrested Sunday afternoon on charges of possession and taking alligators without a proper tag.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say Nixie admitted to trapping alligators less than 5 feet in length and cutting off their tails for his Super Bowl dinner.

Nixie was released from the Volusia County Jail after posting $500 bond.

Nixie is scheduled to appear in court March 3rd, WKMG said.

[Ed. Note: The report above was written by the Anna Maria Islander, a news partner of NewsManatee.com.]


Pharmacies Are Denying
Consumers' Pain Prescriptions


ORLANDO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Pharmacies everywhere are denying consumers their important prescriptions and the customers say they feel like criminals being forced to "pharmacy shop," Orlando television station WKMG reported.

"I just lifted my shirt so they could see my incision" says Jim Ritenour.

In fact, Ritenour's done that twice in order to get his pain medication.

Ritenour says he dreads refilling his medication every month.

"I have to go and fight," he said.

Ritenour 's medication is Percocet. It is prescribed by his surgeon following three back surgeries.

Charlene Rubano's son suffers from ADHD and struggles every month to get his medication.

"Most pharmacies will not have his meds so I have to go from store to store," Rubano says.

His medications are also considered controlled drugs.

Patients who are not able to get their prescription filled with these drugs is a growing problem.

Prescription abuse was a huge problem in Florida. Widely abused controlled prescription painkilling drugs like oxycodone were illegally dispensed resulting in nearly 3,000 prescription drug overdose deaths.

Since the crackdown in 2013, deaths dropped by one-third and now there are 600 fewer pain clinics in Florida.

WKMG asked the president of Florida's Pharmacist Association Michael Jackson, why people are having such a tough time getting their prescriptions filled?

Jackson said he believes that problem stems from the "pill mills" and pain clinics.

"The pendulum has swung in my opinion way too far to the right. We have got to find a way to bring it back to the center so we can balance the needs of the patient," he said.

Instead, those needs are instead being questioned by pharmacists; who are also under scrutiny by the DEA.

DEA Agent Jeff Walsh says legitimate prescriptions should be filled by pharmacist.

"DEA does not or ever will tell a pharmacist you can or cannot fill a prescription. The message I’d like to get out is the pharmacy owners and the pharmacist…just use the information that you have and make it an appropriate decision. If it's a legitimate script these people should have access to it," he said.

Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Patients tell WKMG that they are forced to pharmacy hop until they get a script filled and are often told by pharmacist "they don't have it"

"That is not a DEA issue. That's between the pharmacy and the distributor," Jeff says.

Jackson said he doesn’t agree.

"No I can't 100 percent agree with that. We are affected sometimes by inventory on many occasions and there is a supply problem so when you have the prescription drug wholesalers who are shipping drug product to pharmacies having to ‘monitor what they're buying very closely’ there will be periodic shortages and inventory challenges because we can only receive what’s sent to us and if what we order is not sent than we can't dispense what we don't have," he said.

WKMG asked pharmacies about those limits.

Walgreens says "There are no quotas on what a store can dispense. Walgreens orders from wholesalers. Wholesalers may place limits on the quantity of controlled substances that are sent to our pharmacies."

Jackson says, “As a pharmacist we don't want to see people suffer."

But striking a balance between legitimate patients and those who are not...will leave some without.

Like Ritenour, who says he needs his medication and it’s not an option, WKMG said.

"So I can literally make it through the day," Ritenour said.

 

 

~ Tuesday's Local/State News ~

Special Deputies, K-9 Unit
Arrest 2 Bradenton Men
for Trafficking in Heroin

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Dontay Henderson, 21, and Robert Cadet, 22, both of Bradenton.


Above, Dontay Henderson, MSO K-9 Timo and Robert Cadet

According to a sheriff's report, on Friday, Jan. 30th, at about 2:30 p.m., a traffic stop was conducted by members of the Special Investigations Division on a vehicle in the 8100 block of North Tamiami Trail in which Dontay Henderson was found to be the driver.

Henderson was found to have 6 outstanding arrest warrants for the sale of a controlled substance, so Henderson was immediately arrested on those warrants.

Cadet, who was the front seat passenger, and Robert Bing, who was the back seat passenger were taken out of the vehicle so that Dep. Thames could conduct a walk around the vehicle utilizing K-9 Timo. Timo immediately alerted to the front passenger side of the vehicle.

A search of this area uncovered 20.6 grams of heroin concealed in the front passenger seat. Also located in this area was a baggie containing 1.8 grams of marijuana. In the front driver's compartment where Henderson had been seated multiple baggies containing .8 grams of heroin were also located. No charges were developed for Bing who was subsequently released.

A search incident to the arrest of Cadet yielded $3,051 in currency. This currency was seized.

In total, 21.6 grams of heroin was seized and valued at $2,000. 1.8 grams of marijjuana was seized and valued at $50.

Henderson was charged with Possession of Heroin with Intent to Sell, No Valid D.L., and 6 arrest warrants for Sale of a Controlled Substance. He also had an outstanding warrant for Domestic Battery by Strangulation. He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $81,500.

Cadet was charged with Trafficking in Heroin and Possession of Marijuana. He remains in the Manatee County Jail on 20 various charges without bail at this time.


Woman Arrested for Child
Neglect for Allowing Crack
to be Smoked in Her
Child's Presence


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Nacole Khouri, 33, of 3119 54th Drive East, Bradenton.


Nacole Khouri

The arrest report said on Friday, Jan. 23rd, at about noon, after driving all night from Colorado, she dropped off her 5-year-old with a friend and said she'd be back in about an hour. She said she was going to see her father.

She never returned and never arrived at any local relatives' locations.

She was found later at a high crime motel and told police she was going through withdrawals from narcotics medications. She said she had allowed a Black male to smoke crack in the back of her vehicle

For allowing the man to smoke crack in the man's presence, Khouri was arrested and charged with Child Neglect.

She remains in custody in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $15,000.


Armed Home Invasion
Robbery Reported


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported an armed home invasion robbery that occurred on Monday, Feb. 2nd, at about 3:30 a.m., in the 900 block of 60th Avenue West, Bradenton.


A sheriff's report said on the above listed date and time, the suspect, a chubby Black male wearing a face mask, forced his way into the home at the above listed location.

The suspect pointed a silver automatic handgun at both the victims, ages 32 and 37, and demanded money.

The suspect then fled the scene through the front door in an unknown direction.

K-9 conducted a track but the suspect was not located.

The perpetrator was described as a Black male, 5'9" tall, chubby, wearing a black long leather jacket, jeans and a full face black ski mask. He had a gap between his teeth and a thin mustache.

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.


Deputies Arrest Man for
Kicking "Wife" in Stomach


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Edgar Maldonado, 19, of 1902 49th Avenue West, Bradenton.


Edgar Maldonado

The arrest report said Maldonado and Ana De La Cruz have one child in common and live at thee same residence as a family.

On Friday, Jan. 30th, at about 11 p.m., they were involved in a verbal argument that turned physical when Maldoado kicked Ana in the stomach with his foot.

Maldonado was sitting up against the wall near their baby when the victim asked him to help her make a bottle for the baby.

The victim said that when she approached Maldonato to grab the baby, Maldonado kicked her in the stomach. As she picked up the baby, Maldonado stood up and with a closed fist, Ana punched him in the head.


Woman Arrested for Theft
of Acne Preparations

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Maria Griner, 34, of 4422 67th Avenue Circle East, Sarasota.


Maria Griner

The arrest report said on Tuesday, Jan. 20th, at about 11:40 a.m., Griner entered the Walmart store located at 2911 53rd Avenue East, Bradenton.

Loss prevention personnel observed her picking up three Acne Cleaners, and proceed to the customer service counter where she attempted to return them without an ID card.

A gift card was received from the customer service area valued at $95.76 for the returned Acne Cleaners.

Griner was arrested for Petit Theft Shoplifting.

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


BPD Detective Named
Officer of the Month
for February 2015

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has named Detective 1st Grade Kevin Bunch as Officer of the Month for February 2015.


Kevin Bunch

On October 16, 2013, Detective Kevin Bunch, who is assigned to the F.B.I. Child Exploitation Task Force, began an investigation involving a juvenile female that had been sexually molested. The investigation was initiated after a concerned citizen turned over a cell phone that contained multiple images of child pornography.

During the initial phases of the investigation, the identity of the victim was unknown. By using resources available to him, Detective Bunch was able to locate and identify the victim.

After interviewing the victim, he was able to identify, locate, and interview the suspect.

During Detective Bunch's interview of the suspect, the suspect confessed to previously owning the recovered cell phone that contained the images of the victim, he also confessed to having the victim perform sexual acts on him as well.

The suspect was subsequently arrested and was formally charged by the State Attorney's Office with Child Molestation and Possession of Child Pornography.

On January 9, 2015, after a lengthy trial, the suspect was sentenced to forty years in prison.

Detective Bunch’s actions speak highly of his dedication to the citizens of the City of Bradenton, so it is with pleasure that Chief of Police Michael Radzilowski names Detective Bunch the Bradenton Police Department’s “Officer of the Month for February 2015.”


Man Accused of Lewd &
Lascivious Behavior on
Two Girls, Age 15 Years

SARASOTA, Florida -- On Friday, January 30, 2015, Sarasota Police Detectives arrested and charged Jeremy Henry, 27, of Port Charlotte, with two (2) counts of felony lewd battery after he inappropriately touched two separate patients at Bayside Center for Behavioral Health in Sarasota.


Jeremy Henry

The first report of sexual misconduct was reported to Sarasota Police Detectives on January 21, 2015. The second report of sexual misconduct was reported to Sarasota Police Detectives on January 28, 2015. Both victims are female and 15 years old.

The sexual misconduct with the first victim is believed to have started around January 8, 2015 and continued until around January 16, 2015. The sexual misconduct with the second victim happened during the same time frame and is believed to have taken place with the first victim present.

Detectives believe there could be more victims. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Megan Buck at 941-954-7067 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477) or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com,


Man Accused of Trying to
Circumcise His Nephew


OCALA, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Orlando television station WKMG reported a 24-year-old Ocala man is accused of trying to circumcise his 20-month-old nephew, police say.

Leroy Floyd was arrested Saturday on charges of aggravated domestic battery.

According to police, the child's father went to the grocery store and left his two brothers-in-law with the sleeping boy.

According to police, the child was bleeding when the father returned.

When asked what happened to the boy, Floyd replied, "Bro, I tried to circumcise him," according to a police report.

The boy's father punched Floyd and took his son to a hospital. The boy's condition was not available.

Floyd left the apartment but was later arrested. He remained in jail Monday morning on no bond.

Jail officials told WKMG that Floyd is on suicide watch.

 

 

~ Monday's Local/State News ~

Armed Home Invasion Robbery
Reported, Victim Chased Suspect,
Fired Warning Shots, Vehicle Fled

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported an armed home invasion robbery that occurred on Saturday, Jan. 31st, at about 7:30 p.m., at a residence in the 2700 block of 50th Avenue West, in Bradenton.


A sheriff's report said the 20-year-old male victim and a 16-year-old female live together at the above location.

The front apartment door opened and a male wearing a Halloween mask came in. He was armed with a black semiauto 9mm handgun and began demanding money, drugs, and cell phones.

The victims gave him a cell phone, and a wallet containing $300 in cash.

The suspect took narcotics, cash and drug paraphernalia from the residence and fled out of the front door.

The victim armed himself with his 12 gauge shotgun and ran downstairs. He saw the suspect fleeing on foot.

The victim fired a "warning shot" into the air then began chasing after the suspect. He yelled to the neighbors to call 911 and ran approximately 150 yards west through the apartment complex and across the tennis courts where he heard a car door closing.

He observed a blue Chrysler Minivan peeling out of a parking spot. Austin fired a shot at the vehicle as it was leaving the area. It is unknown if the vehicle or anyone in it was hit as the area was checked but the vehicle could not be located.

The victims did not sustain any injuries.

The Violent Crimes Task Force arrived on scene and 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, 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.


Woman Arrested for Felony
Prostitution by Manatee
Undercover Detective


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT} -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Stephanie Brewer, 46, allegedly a homeless person in Manatee County.


Stephanie Brewer

The arrest report said on Thursday, Jan. 29th, an undercover detective attached to the Special Investigations Division Tactical Unit was patrolling the streets of Manatee County, posing as a "John" in an attempt to arrest prostitutes.

At about 9:45 p.m., he spotted Brewer in the 6100 block of 12th Street East.

He made contact and, after a brief conversation, Brewer agreed to perform oral sex on the U/C detective for $50.

She was taken into custody without incident.

Subsequent to her arrest, miscellaneous drug paraphernalia was found on her person.

She was additionally charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

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


Attempted Strong Arm Robbery
Thwarted by State Trooper
Outside Dollar General


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Howard Lawrence, 35, of Bradenton.


Howard Lawrence

A sheriff's report said on Friday, Jan. 30th, at about 5:30 p.m., the victim in this case, Jeannine Maurizzio, was walking out of the Dollar General store at 3611 1st Street East
with her purse inside the seat area of her cart.

She observed the suspect (Lawrence) running towards her and the cart. She then observed him reaching for her purse which was in the cart. She placed her hand over the purse and strap, to stop him from getting it.

The suspect missed the purse and turned to try again. The victim stopped him by pulling on her purse strap.

After the suspect's failed attempts he took off running through the parking lot.

A store employee saw what had occurred and took flight after the suspect.

He chased him until he saw a State Trooper and flagged him down.

The Trooper was able to stop the suspect and detain him until MCSO arrived on scene.

The suspect was identified and arrested without incident.

He was charged with Robbery by Sudden Snatching.

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


SPD Seeks Help to ID Suspect
in ATM Skimmer Placements
in Three Counties


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMt] -- Detectives with the Sarasota Police Department are asking for assistance from the public in identifying a male subject who was caught on camera placing a skimming device on an ATM at the Sun Trust Bank in the 1700 block of Main Street in Sarasota today, January 31, 2015 at approximately 6:45 a.m.


Above, ATM skimmer placement suspect

The skimming device was placed over the real ATM slot and was the same material and color as the original ATM slot. The device has been removed by Sarasota Police officers and placed into evidence.

It is believed that the same male subject placed skimming devices and cameras on ATMs in Sarasota, Bradenton and the Fort Myers area today as well.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Thomas Shanafelt at 941-954-7089 or Crimestoppers.


Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue
responds to a Structure Fire


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue units responded to a reported structure fire on January 29th, at 1 p.m. The address units responded to was 6427 Case Ave.

A total of four fire engines, and one Battalion Chief responded from Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue. One ambulance from Manatee County EMS also responded.

Emergency units arrived within five minutes after receiving the initial call from the emergency operations center and found smoke and flames showing from the house.

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

There were no reported injuries to either civilians or fire department personnel.

The fire scene was investigated by Fire Marshal Center and Inspector Massella, both of Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue, and the cause was undetermined at the completion of the investigation.

There was an estimated loss of $75,000 to the home and contents.

The American Red Cross responded to assist with the displaced home owner.


15-Year-Old Boy Drowns When
Vehicle Rolls Into Ditch,
Pinning Him Under It


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Highway Patrol reported a fatal single-vehicle traffic accident that occurred on Friday, Jan. 30th, at about 7:15 p.m., on private property belonging to Falkner Farms, 35100 State Road 64 East, in Myakka.


The FHP report said a 2008 Scion TC, being driven my Allan Carrillo, 15, of Myakka, was traveling north on a dirt road at Falkner Farm south of SR 64 (private property).

Carrillo lost control of the vehicle and left the west shoulder of the roadway.

The Scion went down the embankment and overturned into a ditch filled with water.

Carrillo was ejected out of the vehicle and came to rest under V-1 in the water.

The passengers in the Scion, including Fredi Morales, 18, Jafet Ortiz, 12, and Arron Quiroga, 14, all of Myakka, rolled the vehicle and pulled Carrillo from under the Scion.

Carrillo was pronounced deceased on scene by Manatee Co. EMS.


4 Bullets Fired at Palmetto
Residence in Drive-By


MANATEE COCUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a drive-by shooting that occurred on Friday, Jan. 30th, at about 3 a.m., at a residence in the 3900 block of 37th Street East, Palmetto.

A brief sheriff's report said an unknown suspect(s) fired at least 4 rounds at the listed residence.

The residence was occupied by two victims at the time of the shooting.

No one was injured.


Fifth Suspect Arrested in
Home Invasion Homicide

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested a fifth person on Thursday, Jan. 29th, in connection with the December 2014 home invasion robbery during which Jonathan Jeffery was killed.


Shakoy Gale

During the investigation, detectives identified Shakoy Gale, DOB 3/12/94, 963 21st Avenue South, St. Petersburg, as one of the suspects involved in the crime. The Fugitive Apprehension Unit tracked Gale to a home on 34th Street North in Pinellas County and took him into custody without incident.

Gale is charged with Armed Home Invasion Robbery and Second Degree Murder, along with co-defendants Vincent Gonzalez and Christian Theodore. Two others are charged as accessories in the case.

The investigation is continuing and additional charges are pending.


Search Warrant Yields Almost
3 Pounds of Marijuana


CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Members of the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit, with assistance from the SWAT Team and the Street Crimes Unit, served a search warrant in Punta Gorda Thursday morning, Jan. 29th, and arrested two men after finding almost three pounds of marijuana in the house.


At about 7:00 a.m. Thursday, detectives served a search warrant at 602 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Punta Gorda.

Inside the house, they found Douglas Mark Stroman, Jr., 20, of that address, and Christopher a. Landry, 21, of 207 #A Appleway Court in Gulf Port, Mississippi.

During the search of the residence, detectives found plastic baggies with a total of more than 150 grams of marijuana and $2,500 in cash in Stroman’s bedroom. They located $1,235 in Stroman’s pants pocket. They found a book bag that contained 14 glass jars with a total of more than 400 grams of marijuana. They also found numerous smoking devices that had marijuana residue.

A total of 1,331 grams of marijuana, which equates to about 2.93 pounds, was eventually located throughout the house. The marijuana tested positive for the presence of THC. A total of $5,105 was also located and seized under the Florida Contraband Act.

Detectives allege that Stroman sold varying amounts of marijuana to undercover operatives on five occasions in 2014 and have charges from each of those incidents. As the result of the search warrant and those other five cases, Stroman was charged with six counts of Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute, six counts of Possession of Marijuana and six counts of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Landry was charged with Possession of Less than 20 grams of Marijuana and Possession of Paraphernalia.


No Charges for Zimmerman in
Lake Mary Assault Case

LAKE MARY, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- No charges will be filed against George Zimmerman in connection with an aggravated assault case in Lake Mary earlier this month.

State Attorney Phil Archer announced Friday that his office will not file formal charges against Zimmerman in connection with his arrest January 9th in which he was accused of throwing a wine bottle at his onetime girlfriend.

“While it is clear that the officers had probable cause to arrest Mr. Zimmerman, which was affirmed by the circuit court judge at initial appearances, the subsequent recantation by the victim of her initial statement along with new documents provided by the victim and her attorney precludes my office from proceeding further,” Archer said.

As a result of the state attorney's decision, Lake Mary police released all of the evidence gathered in their investigation, including body cam and dash cam video.

"He started yelling at me, screaming and he was bringing me back my phone. And when he gave me back my phone, he threw my phone and then he threw a bottle at me," she can be heard telling police.

Brunell also told officers she met Zimmerman at her work.

"He goes to my dental office, because I'm a dental hygienist," she said. "I cleaned his (expletive) teeth."

WKMG tracked down her dental office in Lake Mary on Friday, where the staff said Brunell had the day off.

They confirmed she worked there, but not as a dental hygienist.

The State Attorney's Office said Brunell later denied that Zimmerman threw a bottle at her and stated that she was never in fear of him.

She also made it clear that she did not want to proceed with the case, said officials, who added that a lack of eyewitnesses or other corroborating evidence to dispute her version of the incident also contributed to the decision.

Lake Mary Police Chief Steve Bracknell agreed with Archer’s decision to not file formal charges.

 

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