**********(This Space is Available)**********

For, From and about Manatee County
About News Manatee Report A Story Weather Contact the Director









 

OUR SUPPORTERS

The banners on our pages are an acknowledgment and a thank you to NewsManatee's supporters.

Click on banners for access to their websites....

View Florida
Professional Employer
Organization
For Your Company
View Florida
Employee Leasing
Solutions
For Your Company
(941) 750-9450

Let us know you saw us on NewsManatee.com....

 

 

Click on the logos below to go to their websites....

 

 

 

~ 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 March 2, 2014 - March 8, 2015

~ Tuesday's Local/State News ~

MSO K-9 Injured During
Capture of Three Men
Involved in Shootings

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Anthony Sanchez 22, Cory Benoit, 21, and Robert Barnes, 51, all of Bradenton.


Above, L to R, Anthony Sanchez, Cory Benoit and Robert Barnes

A sheriff's report said on Saturday, Feb. 28th, Keith Coones and Ernest Hart arrived at Behars home uninvited. Hart walked up to Behar while Coones stayed in the vehicle. According to Behar, Hart came up to the front of his car and began threatening him and his family. The threats were not direct or specific but Behar said he felt threatened.

During the argument Behar said Hart came toward him and, feeling threatened, began hitting him to defend himself. Coones fled the scene to get reinforcements leaving Hart behind and returned a few minutes later with Freeman and Edwards.

Either Freeman or Edwards exited the car at which time Anthony Sanchez began firing at them and the vehicle they arrived in.

Deputies responding to the scene for the fight saw Sanchez firing at the vehicle as it fled the scene with Freeman, Coones, and Edwards. Hart was unable to make it to the vehicle due to the beating he took from Behar. Sanchez and Benoit fled into the house and back yard as deputies approached.

Multiple units converged on the scene and secured Behar and Hart who were in the front yard.

Freeman, Coones, and Edwards were stopped a short distance away where their vehicle was observed with multiple bullet holes.

Entry was made into the house based on exigent circumstance and permission from the owner.

Several pit bulls were loose inside the house and were secured on a rear porch. Sanchez was found hiding in a closet in the northwest bedroom and secured.

After the house was secured, deputies moved to the back yard where there was a large garage.

While in the back yard Barnes was found hiding inside a dog run and secured. The rear garage was found locked except for an open rear window.

After securing Barnes, several deputies were still in the back yard, including K-9, awaiting entry into the garage.


Above, MSO K-9 Rex

While standing in the back yard two of the four pit bulls escaped from the rear porch and began attacking K-9 Rex. Deputy Wolfinger pulled Rex away but the dogs kept attacking. One deputy deployed his ECD striking one of the dogs as Deputy Wolfinger fired three times from his firearm striking the second dog. Both dogs were resecured inside the home and Animal Control was notified.

Benoit was found hiding in the garage and was secured.

During the investigation, Sanchez was identified as the person shooting at the vehicle in front of the house and arrested.

A house directly across the street from Sanchez's home was also hit. The bullet went through a bedroom window where Marjourie Macmaster, 89, was sleeping. She was uninjured.

Sanchez was charged with Shooting into a Occupied Dwelling, Shooting into an Occupied Conveyance, Aggravated Assault, Possession of A Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Obstruction. Benoit and Barnes were both charged with Obstruction. Barnes was also found to have warrants for his arrest.

K-9 Rex suffered a minor injury to his tail. No vital organs were hit on the dog that was shot and he is expected to survive.

As of this writing a Search Warrant was being completed for the house to look for the firearm.


Boyfriend Tried to Rob
Girlfriend in Sheriff's
Parking Lot


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Eugene Williams, 25, of Bradenton.


Eugene Williams

A sheriff's report said Williams and Raiven Brown, 23, are ex-boyfriend/girlfriend.

Williams found Raiven and started following her.

The victim drove to the Sheriff's Office for help.

Before the Raiven could get out of her car, Williams confronted her and demanded money. He began hitting and pushing her vehicle.

Deputies were alerted to the situation and responded to the parking lot. They could hear the suspect threatening and demanding money from the victim.

Williams was arrested and resisted arrest. The suspect was transported to the jail.

He was charged with Attempted Robbery and Resisting Arrest without Violence.


Armed Robbery with Injuries
Reported at Budget Motel

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported an armed robbery with injuries from a shooting that occurred on Thursday, Feb. 26th, at about 11:45 p.m., at the Budget Motel, 1400 301 Blvd., East, Bradenton.

A sheriff's report said during the initial investigation, it was learned that at approximately 10:45 p.m., Ledale Johnson, 50, checked into the Budget Motel.

At approximately 11:30 p.m., a female guest walked into the room and was followed by two unknown males.

One of the males was identifiable only as a Bblack male, the other was identifiable only as a male. Both males were wearing masks and holding revolvers.

The suspects took cash and personal items from the victim.

During the robbery, one of the suspects fired his weapon and struck the victim in the hand.

The suspects then fled the scene.

The victim was transported to the hospital for treatment.

The assailants were not further identified in the report.

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


BPD Officer of the Month
for March 2015

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has named K-9 Officer Jason Taulbee Officer of the Month for March 2015.


Above, BPD K-9 Officer Jason Taulbee

On February 8, 2015, K-9 Officer Jason Taulbee was responding to a compliant of loud music at the RaceTrac Gas Station located at 111 12th Avenue East.

As Officer Taulbee entered the parking lot of the business, he observed a vehicle quickly leaving.

He immediately recognized the vehicle as it matched the description of a vehicle that was in a BOLO issued by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office after it had been taken in a armed carjacking.

After confirming that it was the vehicle listed in the BOLO, Officer Taulbee initiated a vehicle pursuit that started in the 1100 block of 1st Street East and later ended in the 200 block of First Street West.

Once the vehicle stopped, three suspects exited and attempted to flee on foot.

After a brief foot pursuit they were taken into custody.

The occupants were also suspected of committing two armed robberies and an attempted carjacking in the City of Bradenton late in evening on February 7, 2015.

The keen observation and quick actions of Officer Taulbee most certainly prevented further robberies and violent crime from occurring. His actions also demonstrated his commitment and dedication to the citizens of the City of Bradenton, so it is with pleasure that Chief of Police Michael Radzilowski named K-9 Officer Jason Taulbee the Bradenton Police Department's Officer of the Month for March 2015.


Home Health Aide Arrested
for Stealing Jewelry


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested a home health aide for stealing thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry belonging to family members of one of her clients.


Jeanine Stanford

An 87-year-old woman and her daughter-in-law reported that several pieces of gold jewelry totaling $4,400 were stolen from their home on John Donne Circle in Sarasota sometime between August 2014 and January 2015.

Detectives investigating the case discovered a pawn transaction for the stolen jewelry by Jeanine Stanford, the home health aide who cares for the first victim's husband.

The other victim confronted Stanford and showed detectives text messages from Stanford admitting to the crimes.

Stanford, 32, 1854 23rd Street, Sarasota, is charged with two counts of Grand Theft.

She was booked into Sarasota County Jail and released on $3,000 bond.


SSO: Man Arrested for
Indecent Exposure


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested a man suspected of exposing himself to women in the Pinecraft Area of Sarasota over the past two months.


Stephon Parker

Several women reported that a black male had exposed his genitals as they walked or rode their bicycles throughout the community. Some of the victims were able to report the suspect's license plate number and deputies determined that the vehicle was owned by Stephon Cordera Parker.

Additional investigation confirmed that Parker matched the suspect's description.

Deputies conducted surveillance on Parker Wednesday, Feb. 25th, as he circled the area and eventually conducted a traffic stop. When questioned, Parker admitted his actions.

Parker, 28, 1816 Sanford Cir., Sarasota, is charged with one count each of Indecent Exposure and Loitering or Prowling and additional charges are pending.

The Sarasota Police Department also charged him with Indecent Exposure in a separate case.

Parker was released on $20,120 bond.


Search Warrant Nets Arrest,
Seizure of Drugs, Guns


SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- On Thursday, February 26, 2015, the Sarasota Police Department Narcotics Unit, with the assistance of the Street Crimes Unit, executed a search warrant at 3320 Old Bradenton Road, Sarasota. The search warrant was obtained as a result of an investigation into drug sales at the residence.


Brian Lee

As a result of the search warrant, Brian Allen Lee, 41, of Sarasota, was arrested and charged with drug and weapon charges.

Allen has a lengthy criminal history which includes 21 felony convictions and 21 misdemeanor convictions.

Detectives seized 380.8 grams of marijuana, $650 in U.S. currency and a 38 caliber revolver in addition to drug packing materials.

In connection to the search warrant at 3320 Old Bradenton Road, Sarasota, Allen has been charged with:

· Felony Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Sell/Deliver
· Felony Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
· Felony Maintain A Dwelling Where Controlled Substance is Sold
· Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia


Gas Prices to Rise 10 Cents
Over Next Two Weeks

ORLANDO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Drivers can expect gas prices to potentially increase another 10 cents per gallon in the next two weeks, according to AAA, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Experts credit the uptick in prices to ongoing seasonal maintenance at refineries along the Gulf Coast.

Pump prices across the country have increased 37 cents for 34 consecutive days to an average of $2.42 per gallon.

In Orlando, gas prices have risen to $2.40. Last month, the average for a gallon of gas sat at $1.92.

Experts with AAA say despite the increase, gas prices should not reach $3 a gallon this year and to expect a decline by this summer, WKMG said.


 

~ Monday's Local/State News ~

Bradenton Attorney Faces
Two DUI Charges, Battery
of Law Enforcement Officer

BRADENTON BEACH, Florida [NMT/The Islander] -- A Bradenton attorney was arrested after driving his truck into an ambulance at the Gulf Drive Cafe in Bradenton Beach.


Maurice Mooney

According to a Bradenton Beach Police report, Maurice A. Mooney turned his vehicle into the cafe property at 900 Gulf Drive N. at about 9 p.m. Feb. 19 and struck the emergency medical services vehicle and a wood railing on the side of the restaurant,

Mooney, 57, repeatedly told witnesses and law enforcement he was an attorney. He was arrested by BBPD for battery, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence, the report stated.

The Florida Highway Patrol responded and processed two driving-under-the-influence charges against Mooney, one because his vehicle struck the ambulance and one for hitting the building.

BBPD, West Manatee Fire Rescue and EMS had been at the Gulf Drive Cafe on a medical call, and another BBPD officer responded to the crash.

Witnesses told the BBPD officer that Mooney had been driving the vehicle that crashed.

The report stated the officer observed Mooney staggering on the walkway and trying to enter the restaurant.

Mooney allegedly looked at the officer and asked him, “What crash?”

Mooney also yelled, “I’m an attorney, unless I’m under arrest, f— off,” according to the BBPD report.

After the officer told Mooney he was not free to leave, Mooney allegedly said he would sue him.

The report stated Mooney ignored the officer when he asked him not to go into the restaurant.

As the officer began to restrain Mooney, he allegedly became combative and the officer used pepper spray to subdue him. Mooney kicked the police officers as they attempted to put him in the squad car, according to the BBPD report.

Mooney complained of chest pains and was treated by EMS, according to the report.

He was booked at the Manatee County jail. He posted $4,000 bond and was released.

Mooney was assigned a March 20 court date at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

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


1st Homicide of 2015
Reported in Palmetto
by Manatee Sheriff


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported the 1st homicide of 2015 that was discovered at about 7:30 p.m., in the roadway in the 1300 block of 26th Street East, in Palmetto.


Deputies were on routine patrol when they found the victim laying in the roadway.

Just as deputies discovered the victim, a 911 call was received in reference to a shooting with injuries at this location.

Deputies immediately began providing the victim with emergency medical treatment and secured the crime scene.

Manatee County EMS and North River Fire Department responded to the scene and the victim was pronounced deceased at 7:40 p.m.

The Manatee County Homicide Investigative Unit was summoned and responded to the scene.

As of this writing detectives are still on scene investigating the homicide.


Alexander Williams, deceased

The victim was later identified as Alexander Williams, 27, of Palmetto.

Detectives believe there could be witnesses to the shooting.

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.


Palmetto Police Chief Appointed
Manatee Sheriff's Chief Deputy

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube has announced on March 2, 2015, Palmetto Police Chief Rick Wells will be appointed Chief Deputy at the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.


Above, Manatee County Sheriff's
Chief Deputy Colonel Rick Wells

Wells will hold the rank of Colonel.

The Chief Deputy position has been vacant since Colonel Chuck Hagaman retired in January of 2013.

Wells, 50, was a lieutenant with the Sheriff's Office before becoming Police Chief.

He also was a longtime trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol.

Wells will be second in command at the Sheriff's Office with a salary of $122,667.


Multi-Agency Unlicensed
Contractor Sting in Manatee
County Nets 11 Arrests

TALLAHASSEE, Florida [NMT] -- On February 13th, the Florida Department of Financial Services today announced the recent arrest of 11 individuals in Manatee County for unlicensed contracting and engaging in construction work without workers’ compensation insurance. The Division of Insurance Fraud, in partnership with the Department of Business & Professional Regulation, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office and Holmes Police Department and Manatee County Code Enforcement executed the sting over a three day period, calling for contractors to perform services at an uninhabited home in Manatee County.

All eleven defendants were charged with unlicensed contracting and workers’ compensation fraud. Each was also fined by local code enforcement and issued a Cease and Desist order by DBPR. They are:

· Jarrod David Roan, 03/18/76

· David James Wollard, 12/13/63

· Michael Dean Mosley II, 03/18/69

· Julian Lowell Culbreath, 03/04/65

· Lee Entler, 10/03/64

· Michael Todd Blumin 03/05/77

· Ernest Alexis, 10/27/77

· Franklin Nelson Childress, 10/29/64

· Richard Murphy, 07/30/57

· Warren Edward Howard, 07/05/60

· James Mark Todd, 09/05/53

If convicted, the arrested individuals face up to five years prison for each workers’ compensation charge and an additional year for a first time unlicensed contractor charge or five years for repeat offenders.

Anyone with information about suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0445. Citizens who provide tips can remain anonymous. The Department of Financial Services has awarded nearly $350,000 to nearly 60 citizens as part of its Anti-Fraud Reward Program. The program rewards individuals up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.

Florida law sets specific rules and guidelines for obtaining professional licensure, and the people who have met these requirements are held to professional standards. Consumers can verify professional licenses online at www.myfloridalicense.com. Additionally, Floridians should report any suspected unlicensed activity by emailing ULA@myfloridalicense.com, calling the Unlicensed Activity Hotline at 1-866-532-1440 or by downloading the DBPR Mobile app.


Murder/Suicide Pact Revealed
after Double Shootings

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a double shooting resulting from an apparent murder/suicide pact that occurred on Thursday, February 19, 2015.

At approximately 11:30 Thursday morning, deputies responded to a residence on Lincoln Rd., in Bradenton, to check on the welfare of two subjects.

After attempting to make contact with the subjects, deputies entered the residence and found the two subjects dead from apparent gunshot wounds.

Subsequent investigation by detectives has revealed an apparent murder/suicide pact by the two subjects. The two subjects were Mickaella Moreta, a 59-year-old female and Stephen Zaslow, a 78-year-old male.

Detectives have concluded that Zaslow shot the female and then shot himself as part of a murder-suicide pact.


East Manatee Burglary
Reported with Large
Amount of Jewelry
Stolen

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a burglary in East Manatee County during which a large amount of jewelry appeared to have been stolen.

A sheriff's report said on Tuesday, Feb. 24th, between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m., the victim went to a nearby gym.

During that time, unknown person(s) forced entry into the residence located in the 7900 block of Grand Estuary Trail, Bradenton.

The unknown person(s) used an unknown type tool to pry open the secured rear sliding door.

Once inside, the unknown person(s) stole a large amount of jewelry.

The home appeared to be in order and did not appear to have been ransacked during the incident.

There were several items of value in plain view in the residence including an envelope containing cash that remained untouched.

The unknown person(s) fled from the residence in an unknown direction by unknown means.

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.


Teen Arrested on Several
Drug Charges

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested an 18-year-old on drug charges after he was seen counting cash in his vehicle with a bag of marijuana by his side.


Michael Cramer

The deputy responded to a report of suspected drug transactions occurring in a parking lot in the 3700 block of Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota Tuesday afternoon. He approached the vehicle and saw the suspect counting money and a baggie of marijuana. The suspect didn't notice the deputy until he tapped on the window, and as the suspect got out of the car he said, "I'm in so much trouble. There's a lot more in the trunk."

After seizing $4,300 in cash and the bag containing 28 grams of cannabis that were in plain view, detectives obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and found 748 Alprazolam tablets, more than six pounds of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and edible products containing THC.

Michael Cramer, 18, 3000 Southwest Drive, Sarasota, is charged with one count of Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Sell, one count of Possession of Alprazolam (Xanax) with Intent to Sell and one count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.


Explosion, Fire at Sarasota
Residence Kills One Man

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The State Fire Marshal, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and Sarasota County Fire Department is investigating and explosion and fire at 2141 Cork Oak Street in Sarasota.

Emergency personnel were called to the scene Thursday night, Feb. 26th, at 9:24 p.m.

Once the fire was extinguished the scene was secured overnight.

At this time, the sheriff's office can confirm one fatality.

The scene investigation by the State Fire Marshal is still in progress. All parties SSO were attempting to speak with for this investigation have been located and provided background information on the events of the day/evening prior to the explosion and fire.

This is an active investigation, including the process of determining the cause of the explosion and the manner and cause of the victim’s demise.

Deputies and firefighters are walking the neighborhood to collect any items in the debris field.

The Medical Examiner has positively identified the person who died in the Cork Oak home explosion as owner/resident Erick Szakacs, 46. His wife has been notified.


FDLE Arrests Father & Son
for Child Pornography

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT/FDLE] -- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Fort Myers Regional Operations Center Cyber High-Tech Crime Squad arrested Jean Rene Pariseau, Jr., 68, and his son, Jean Rene Pariseau III, 43, of Sarasota, Fla. on multiple counts of possession of child pornography.

FDLE Agents executed a search warrant today at 6490 Approach Road, Sarasota, Fla. as an investigation revealed that someone at the residence had been using a computer to share child pornography online. Agents located numerous images and videos of child pornography on several computers belonging to the Pariseaus.

Pariseau Jr. was arrested on 10 counts of possession of child pornography and one count of promotion of child pornography. Pariseau III was arrested on four counts of possession of child pornography.

The Pariseaus were booked into the Sarasota County Jail. This investigation remains active and additional charges are expected. This case will be prosecuted by Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.

Anyone with information concerning this investigation is urged to contact the FDLE Fort Myers Regional Operations Center at (800) 407-4880.

For tips on ways to keep your children safe online, please visit the Secure Florida website to review tips for keeping your children safe online at: http://secureflorida.org/staying_safe/best_practices_for_parents/.


Click It or Ticket Spring
Campaign Began Sunday


SARASOTA, Florida [NMT/SPD] -- The Sarasota Police Department is joining law enforcement agencies from around the state of Florida and around the country to step up ‘Click It or Ticket’ activities.

Research shows that lap/shoulder seat belts, when used, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45% and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50%.

In 2014 in the City of Sarasota, Sarasota Police Officers responded to 2,566 crashes. Of the 2,566 crashes, 72 of those crashes, the driver and/or passenger were not wearing a seat belt. Of those 72 crashes where the driver and/or passenger were not wearing a seat belt, 38 people had injuries, 4 of those fatal.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the national seat belt use rate is at 87 percent but the other 13 percent, an estimated 27.5 million people, do not buckle up when they get into a vehicle.

“We want to bring these numbers down,” said Sarasota Police Traffic Officer Tim Bales. “There are too many people dying on the road and so many of those deaths could have been prevented if people stopped and took the time to buckle up. We will continue to hand out tickets year-round to those people who still haven’t gotten the message,” said Officer Bales.

Sunday, March 1, 2015 through Saturday, March 14, 2015, Sarasota Police Officers increased patrol officers to look for impaired or intoxicated drivers, seat belt and child restraint violators, aggressive drivers, speeding violations, texting violations and every day traffic violations.


15-Year-Old Charged
with Sexual Battery

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes detectives charged a 15-year-old Port Charlotte boy with three counts of sexual battery concerning incidents that allegedly occurred when the boy was 14 and the victim was 8 years old.

According to reports, during the early part of February the victim’s mother told the girl that she would be seeing a friend of hers at a sports class that evening. The girl became very upset and began to cry, telling her mother that she didn’t want to see the boy because he touches her in a way she didn’t like. The girl’s mother called the Sheriff’s Office.

Major Crimes detectives arranged for the girl, who is now 10 years old, to speak with a child forensic interview specialist. During the interview the girl described three separate instances when the boy forced her to have sexual relations with him. During one instance, she described him tying her hands with string and putting tape on her mouth. The girl was able to describe in fairly graphic detail each event.

As a result of their investigation, on Thursday February 19, detectives arrested Joseph Jon Balunas, 15, of 22336 Montrose Avenue in Port Charlotte, on three counts of Sexual Battery on a Victim Under Age 12. He was booked into the Charlotte County Jail and turned over to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.


Paramedic Accused of Abusing
Disabled Hospice Patient


ROCKLEDGE, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A Brevard County paramedic is now suspended with pay after he was arrested for allegedly abusing a hospice patient he was taking care of, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Police say the abuse happened Wednesday outside Wuestoff Medical Center in Rockledge.

It all started after investigators say the 48-year-old disabled patient refused to get off of the ambulance stretcher he was being transported in.

Kenneth Hallenbeck and the patient then got into a verbal altercation before the BCFR paramedic flipped the stretcher over, causing the victim to fall to the floor, police say.

Based on video evidence, investigators believe that it was an intentional act.

"Your patient is your primary concern," said Assistant State Attorney Gary Beatty, who happens to be a former paramedic. "Your focusing on the safety, welfare and protection of your patient."

Hallenbeck next week has a meeting with the professional standards department at BCFR where officials said he could learn whether he still has a job.

He's being held at the Brevard County Jail on a $5,000 bond on charges of abuse of elderly/disabled, WKMG said.


 

"The Islander" has news, too...click on their logo to go to their website.