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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 January 26, 2014 - February 1, 2015

~ Monday's Local/State News ~

Lakewood Ranch Man Busted
for Trafficking Marijuana in
Large Quantities, Cops Say

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- While checking on arriving Fed-Ex shipments on Wednesday, Jan. 21st, two Manatee County Sheriff's Detectives discovered two parcels that contained several pounds of marijuana when they were alerted by MSO K-9 Nola and MSO K-9 Marco. Arrested ultimately was Alan Minton, 48, of 12204 Winding Woods Way, in Lakewood Ranch.


Alan Minton

Each package was weighed and tested. Each package contained 5 pounds and tested positive for marijuana. The packages were then resealed and an anticipatory search warrant was obtained for the destination address.

At about 5 p.m., the two packages were placed outside Minton's home. About an hour later, he exited his home, picked up the packages and took them inside. Then the search warrant was served.

In addition to the two packages delivered on that day (20 pounds of pot), deputies found 14 pounds more stashed in the attic, for a total of 34 pounds.

Minton was arrested and charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell.

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


Man Accused of Shoplifting
from Walmart Store


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT[ -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Jeffrey Mosley, 40, of Ocala, Florida.


Jeffrey Mosley

The arrest report said on Sunday, Jan. 18th, at about 1 p.m., Mosley entered the Walmart store located at 8320 Lockwood Ridge Road.

He proceeded to select several items, including meat, candy, water and batteries.

He the passed all points of purchase without paying for the items.

When confronted by loss prevention personnel, he pushed the cart back into the store and fled in a waiting vehicle.

Loss prevention communicated the vehicle's description to them and they were able to pull it over and effect Mosley's arrest.

He was charged with 1st Degree Petit Theft.

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


BPD Arrested Woman for
Felony Prostitution


BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Bethanie Marie Farley, 22, of the 700 block of 17th Avenue West, Bradenton.


Bethanie Farley

The arrest report said on Wednesday, Jan. 21st, an undercover detective was patrolling the streets of Bradenton, posing as a "John" in an attempt to arrest prostitutes, when he spotted Farley in the 1000 block of 23rd Avenue West.

He made contact and after a brief conversation, Farley agreed to provide oral sex on the detective for $20.

She was arrested and, because of prior convictions for the same crime, was charged with Felony Prostitution.

She remains in custody on a $1,500 bail bond.


Vehicle Burglary Trend in
East Side Parking Lots


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office is reporting trending vehicle burglaries in east side parking lots, to wit, the 7500 block of 52nd Place East (Lowes and Lifestyles) and the 7200 block of 55th Avenue East (Publix)

On Wednesday's date patrol day shift was sent to two vehicle burglaries in the Lowes parking lot with the same M.O. The vehicle's had their locks punched to gain entry.

Later in the day second shift was sent to a burglary of a vehicle in the same parking lot near Lifestyles Family Fitness. This vehicle also had its locked punched.

The suspect went through the vehicle taking money and papers from the glove box.

A few hours later third shift was sent to a vehicle burglary across the street in the Publix's parking lot, where the vehicle's lock was punched as well. As the deputy was there, another victim came forward in the same parking lot, with his lock punched as well. The suspect(s) seem to be looking for money, because the center console and glove boxes were the only things gone through.


Weekend DUI Saturation
Patrol Results Released

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Friday, Jan. 23rd, from 7 p.m., until Saturday, Jan. 24th, at 3 a.m., the MCSO Traffic Unit conducted a county-wide DUI Saturation Patrol.

The following is a brief synopsis of the results of the operation:

7 total arrests (3 - DUI; 4 - Other Misdemeanor; 0 - Other Felony; 14 Citations (11 - Unlawful Speed; 3 - Other Traffic Violations), 3 Written Warnings, and 2 Defective Equipment Correction Cards.

Annually over 17,000 people are killed and another 305,000 people are injured as a result of impaired drivers. Studies show that the average DUI driver commits this violation 80 times per year (once every 4 - 5 nights). National averages show that an alcohol related fatality occurs every 30 minutes. Data revealed that these incidents cost society over $54 billion annually in lost productivity, medical expenses, damages, and other expenditures (Source: NHTSA).


Manatee County Tax Collector’s
New Online Appointment
System Begins February 2


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Appointments can be scheduled online at taxcollector.com for driver license, ID card, and title transactions at the Manatee County Tax Collector’s Office starting February 2, 2015. Customers are encouraged to make an appointment because those with appointments are served before customers without one.

Appointments are required for the following Driver License and ID Card transactions:

· Class E Driving Skills Road Test (Manatee County residents only)

· Written Exams (Manatee County residents only)

· Non-US Citizens (Includes all immigrants, permanent residents, “green card” holders, non-immigrants, and temporary residents)

· Naturalized US Citizens

· US Citizens Born Abroad

· Medical-Related Testing, Re-Exams and Issues/Questions (Manatee County residents only)

· First-Time (in lifetime) Issuance

· Out-of-State Transfer to Florida (lost or stolen)

When scheduling an appointment online you will receive an email confirming your appointment, receive a reminder email one day before your appointment, and have the option of receiving a text message reminder on the day of your appointment.

Automated phone call reminders for Class E Driving Skills Road Test appointments will be discontinued.


Two Men Arrested
for Organized Fraud


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested two men after receiving a tip that they were committing retail theft and organized fraud.


Above, L to R, Evan Fried and Joseph Hochberg

Over a two day period, Tactical Unit deputies watched as Evan Fried and Joseph Hochberg went to 10 different Walgreens stores throughout the county in just a few hours to look for discarded receipts in the parking lot or trash cans.

They would then drive to other locations, steal products listed on the receipt and return them for a refund.

Fried, 35, 5314 Duncanwood Drive, Sarasota, and Hochberg, 23, 7714 Leewynn Drive, Sarasota, are both charged with one count each of Organized Fraud. Fried has more than a dozen arrests for multiple theft charges, Burglary and Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon. Hochberg has prior arrests for Larceny, Dealing in Stolen Property and Resisting a Retail Merchant.


Man Hits Merchant; Charged
with Aggravated Battery
During Walmart Heist

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A Port Charlotte man was arrested Wednesday evening after he allegedly tried to take merchandise from a local Wal-Mart and then hit the loss prevention personnel who tried to stop him.


Michael Bulkowski

Deputies were called to the Wal-Mart, located at 19100 Murdock Circle in Port Charlotte shortly after 6:00 pm concerning an alleged shoplifter who was resisting store personnel. When deputies arrived they learned that a man had selected more than $100 worth of merchandise, including food items, a BB gun and a flashlight, and had left the store without paying for them.

A loss prevention employee said that when he tried to stop the man, the man pulled out the stolen flashlight and hit him. The employee said the man ran through the parking lot and then pulled out the stolen BB gun. The employee was able to wrestle the BB gun away from the man, who fled down US 41.

While deputies were on the scene at Wal-Mart, another call came in from Perfect Mattress, located at 1700 Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte. An employee there said that a man had come into the store and went to the restroom. When the man left the restroom, he was wearing a white long sleeved dress shirt that belonged to the employee. The employee confronted the man, who ran out the back door.

The man was located a short time later behind the Publix, located at 19451 Cochran Blvd. in Port Charlotte. Deputies identified themselves and told the man to stop, but he attempted to run away. Deputies had to use their Taser in order to subdue the man.

The Wal-Mart loss prevention employee and the employee from Perfect Mattress identified the man as the person they had dealings with at their respective businesses.

Deputies arrested Michael Paul Bulkowski, 36, of Port Charlotte, on charges of Aggravated Battery, Retail Theft, Resisting a Merchant, Resisting an Officer without Violence and Petit Theft. After his first appearance hearing this morning, Bulkowski is being held on a total $47,000 bond.


Tampa Woman Charged
with Attempting to Pass
a Counterfeit Check


CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff's Office Economic Crimes detectives arrested a Tampa woman Wednesday afternoon after she tried to cash a counterfeit check at a local bank.


Ashley Jones

Employees at Florida Community Bank, located at 1225 Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte, contacted the Sheriff’s Office Wednesday after a woman tried to cash a business check for more than $2,500. The bank manager told deputies she had just been alerted only minutes before the woman came in that she had just been at their North Port branch attempting to cash the same check.


Responding deputies located Ashley Yvette Jones, 26, of 2306 N. Morgan Street in Tampa, shortly after she left the bank and while she was walking to a nearby gas station.

Detectives spoke with the bank’s fraud security manager, who told them that someone matching Jones’ description had attempted to cash the same check earlier Wednesday at their North Port branch and that other similar counterfeit checks had been successfully cashed on Tuesday at other Sarasota County locations.

According to the security manager, they had already investigated the checks that had been cashed and they did not look like the actual checks for the business and the business owner had not signed the checks in question.

Jones was charged with Uttering a Counterfeit Check, Possession of a Counterfeit Check and Criminal Use of Personal Identification. She is being held on a total $24,000 bond.


Kids Report Florida Mom for
Drunken Driving, Cops Say


GAINESVILLE, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Orlando television station WKMG reported a 45-year-old mother in Gainesville faces child neglect and drug charges after four children said they jumped out of the car she was driving because she was drunk, according to the Gainesville Police Department.

Angela R. Woodworth was arrested Tuesday and charged with four felony counts of child neglect, marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting an officer without violence, TV partner WJXT in Jacksonville reports.

According to police, four 11-year-old children -- Woodworth's son and three of his friends -- entered a Steak 'n Shake at 3714 SW 42nd St. claiming Woodworth was drunk and in fear they jumped out of the car she was driving.

“It was like a little girl screaming for help,” said Kenisha Drayton, who witnessed the incident. “We really didn't see what was going on, but all we heard was someone screaming.”

Josh Kramer said he helped the kids -- two boys and two girls -- at the Steak 'N Shake. He was there eating when the children ran inside.

"One of the boys told me his mom, they just left Ruby Tuesday, and his mom was really drunk and swerving all over the road," Kramer said. "She hit a pole and broke a mirror off her car. They came to a stop. When they came to a stop, the kids jumped out of the car and ran into the restaurant."

Kramer said he immediately called 911 and while he was on the phone with a dispatcher, Woodworth showed up and was screaming at the children, telling them to come with her.

"The kids took off running around the restaurant. She started following them around the restaurant," Kramer said. "I finally got them back up front and told them to stay on the sidewalk, police would be here in a second and they didn't need to be scared. I was helping them out."

Police said when an officer arrived at the restaurant, the children ran to the officer for safety.

“They were not in a parking space, so we could only assume that her driving was so bad at that point that she couldn't even make it into the parking space,” GPD Officer Ben Tobias said. “We are very glad that the children were not hurt.”

Police said the children told them that during the day Woodworth drove them from their home in Interlachen to Gainesville, where they went to several locations, including a Chinese restaurant, a bowling alley -- where Woodworth drank two pitchers of beer -- and Ruby Tuesday, where she had four drinks. Police confirmed the purchase of the drinks with charge receipts. The children said they roamed the mall unsupervised while Woodworth was at Ruby Tuesday.

Officers said Woodworth refused to comply with them and interfered with the investigation when they first made contact with her. They also said she showed signs of extreme impairment.

Police said a search of Woodworth's vehicle revealed about 2 grams of marijuana and a marijuana pipe under the driver's seat.

Woodworth was arrested and officers notified the Department of Children and Families. Police said Woodworth's son is with relatives and the boy's three friends were returned to their parents, WKMG said.

“Hopefully she gets the help that she needs and the punishment that she deserves to put somebody's kids and her own kids behind that kind of dangerous situation right there,” said Travis Smith, who witnessed the incident. “I'll pray for her.”

 

 

~ Friday's Local/State News ~

Thief Runs from Family Dollar,
Struggles with Cop, Tasered,
Arrested on Multiple Charges

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NM] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Marlon Christmas, 39, of 4007 36th Street West, Bradenton.


Marlon Christmas

The arrest report said on Tuesday, Jan. 20th, at about 10 a.m., Marlon entered the Family Dollar store located at 3626 1st St., Bradenton, and selected several items valued at $166.60.

He walked past all points of sale without paying.

The manager of the store confronted him, breaking a basket and scratching her arm in the process.

He ran out of store toward a red car illegally parked in a handicapped space, pointing at the car to the arriving deputy.

The deputy drive-stunned Marlon twice, then used the cartridge on him. It was effective.

Marlon was charged with Petit Theft, Battery, Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Criminal Mischief, Drive While License Suspended, Resisting Arrest without Violence and with a couple of traffic infractions.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $11,620.


Man Throws Wife Around, Chokes
Her, Threatens to Kill Her, All in
Front of Their Children


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Robert Clay Knox, 30, of 3514 36th Avenue East, in Palmetto.


Robert Knox

According to the arrest report, on Tuesday, Jan. 20th, at about 9:45 a.m., Robert returned home to confront his wife, Kerri, about a message she had sent to somebody else.

Kerry and Robert are married with two children.

He then threw her to the ground. He grabbed her throat and choke her, telling her he could kill her and nobody would ever know.

At one point, the boy tried to get his father to stop beating on his mother.

Kerri had marks and bruises on her neck and head.

Knox was arrested and charged with Domestic Battery by Strangulation.

He posted a $15,000 bail bond and was released from the Manatee County Jail.


K-Mart Employee Charged
with Grand Theft of Money


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Jessica D. Lindsey, 38, of 3315 Cedar Street, in Ellenton.


Jessica Lindsey

The arrest report said between the dates of Dec. 30th, 2014, and Jan. 20th, 2015, Jessica was employed by K-Mart at Ellenton store in the 6100 block of U.S. 301 as a cash register person.

during that period, Jessica allegedly created fraudulent merchandise returns about 15-20 time, pocketing the money. A total amount of dollar loss was not included in the report.

She was arrested and charged with Grand Theft.

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


2015 DUI Saturation
Patrols Announced


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida[NMT] - The Sheriff's Office will be conducting numerous DUI saturation patrols throughout 2015.

The first patrol will be January 23-24 from approximately 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

Deputies will be patrolling areas with a history of high DUI related incidents in hopes of reducing injuries and fatalities caused by crashes involving impaired drivers.

National averages show that an alcohol related fatality occurs every 30 minutes.


Home Health Aide Arrested for
Stealing from Elderly Client

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NM] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested a Home Health Aide for defrauding her elderly client of thousands of dollars.


Megan Craig

The 91-year-old victim's daughter-in-law contacted Youthful Aging, the Sarasota company contracted to provide home health care, after noticing that the victim's Discover card was being used to buy more than the woman's groceries and medication. The company reported this information to the sheriff's office, and explained that Megan Craig, 26, of 6920 Old Ranch Road, Sarasota, had been caring for the victim since the fall of 2013.

Detectives examined the victim's credit card purchases and found that between May and August 2014, Craig had used the victim's Discover card more than three dozen times to primarily buy gift cards and defrauded the victim of $4926.11.

Craig, who no longer works for Youthful Aging, was arrested this Thursday morning, Jan. 22nd, and charged with Exploitation of the Elderly. She was released on $1,500 bond.


Former Spouse Arrested for
Burglary and Battery

PUNTA GORDA, Florida [NMT/PGPD] -- On Wednesday, January 21, 2015, officers responded to 3649 Carmichael Drive, Punta Gorda, in reference to burglary/battery in progress.


Penelope Rowe

Upon arrival, it was learned that the suspect, later identified as Penelope Joy Rowe date of birth 39, of 4109 Bella Sol Circle, Cape Coral, Florida had unlawfully entered her ex-husband’s residence and physically attacked him. Penelope Rowe was located walking away from the residence.

Penelope Rowe initially told officers she had a key to the residence, however; homeowner David Rowe and a separate eye-witness who was visiting advised Penelope entered through a rear-sliding door. Penelope further advised that David was not allowing her to see her child in which they have in common. Penelope advised she did not live there, was not invited there and had no legal right to be there.

David Rowe advised he observed Penelope leaving their child’s bedroom. David advised he told Penelope that he had contacted the police. David attested to the fact that Penelope became enraged and physically attacked him.

David Rowe sustained minor injuries from the altercation. Penelope Rowe was charged with Burglary with Battery Upon a Person and Domestic Battery. Penelope Rowe was held without bond.


Orange County Private School
Teacher Accused of Molesting Girl


ORANGE COUNTY, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- An Orange County private school teacher has been arrested on accusations of molesting a young girl, starting at the time she was 12 years old, according to deputies, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Patrick Madden, 31, a teacher at Orange County Academy in Bithlo, was charged on Tuesday morning of lewd or lascivious conduct and molestation.

According to the police report, the victim told deputies Madden kissed her and touched her inappropriately inside of a classroom that also doubled as a chapel.

Investigators said the victim told them Madden had fantasies about her and wanted to marry her.

Madden asked the girl to lie about their relationship during text messages and phone calls, police said.

Madden was in his second year with the school and taught ninth and tenth grade, according to school officials.

United Global Outreach, the Christian nonprofit organization that runs the school, released a statement, saying "upon learning about the arrest of one of our instructors, we immediately suspended the employee, who is one of five full-time teachers at Orange County Academy. All school employees undergo thorough pre-employment background checks as required by law and because student safety is our priority. We will cooperate fully with law enforcement and seek to find out the facts associated with this issue."

Madden is being held without bail in Orange County Jail, WKMG said.


FDLE Arrests Fort Myers Man for
Possession of Child Pornography


FT. MYERS. Florida [NMT/FDLE] -- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Fort Myers Regional Operations Center Cyber High-Tech Crime Task Force yesterday arrested Francisco Delgadillo, 28, of 1943 S. Pine Drive, Fort Myers, Fla. on five counts of possession of child pornography.

FDLE Agents began investigating Delgadillo after discovering a computer at his residence sharing child pornography online. A search of his computer resulted in the location of numerous videos of child pornography.

Delgadillo was booked into the Lee County Jail without bond. This case will be prosecuted by the Office of the State Attorney, 20th Judicial Circuit.

This case is ongoing and additional charges are expected. Anyone with information concerning this investigation is urged to contact the FDLE Fort Myers Regional Operations Center at (800) 407-4880.

The Cyber High-Tech Crime Task Force consists of law enforcement officers from FDLE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and the Fort Myers Police Department.

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/.

 

 

~ Thursday's Local/State News ~

Woman Charged with Felony
Theft of Children's Clothing
from Walmart Store

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Danielle Lynnae Stewart, 22, of 5908 7th Avenue Drive West, Bradenton.


Danielle Stewart

According to the arrest report, on Monday, Jan. 19th, at about 3 p.m., Stewart entered the Walmart store located at 5315 Cortez Road West, Bradenton, and began to shop, using a shopping cart she had selected while inside the store.

As she shopped, she concealed various items of children's clothing inside Walmart bags that were already in the shopping cart she had selected. She did some more shopping, concealing more of the children's clothing in shopping bags.

When she got to the exit, various members of the loss prevention team surrounded her and detained her for law enforcement. She did not resist and was cooperative.

There were a total of 47 items of children's clothing, valued at $503.94, in her possession.

She told the arresting officer she entered the store with the intent to steal the children's clothing itms. She said she had no rent money, but needed the children's clothing for her daughter, who she had brought with her.

She was arrested and charged with Felony Retail Theft.

She posted a $1,500 bail bond the next day and was released from the Manatee County Jail.


Target Auto Brokers Employee
Accused of Theft of $4,000
in Tools, Auto Parts

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Dequan Randolph, 28, of 1430 7th Street Circle East, Bradenton.


Dequan Randolph

The arrest report said Randolph was employed by Target Auto Brokrers, 6429 15th Street East, Bradenton, since December 28, 2014.

During that period of time, he allegedly stole $3,997.11 worth of tools and auto parts.

Randolph was arrested and charged with Grand Theft.

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


Man Shot in Shoulder
by Residential Burglar

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a burglary and a shooting that occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 20th, at about 5:15 p.m., at a residence in the 3000 block of 35th Avenue West, Bradenton.


Shortly after 5 p.m, deputies responded to the shooting.

The unnamed victim returned home to the find the burglary suspect in his house.

The suspect was armed and shot the victim in the shoulder.

The suspect fled the scene and remains at large.

The victim was transported to the hospital with a non-life threatening injury.

The suspect was only described in the report as a Black male in his 20s.

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 County Euthanized Dog
Named Fudge for Biting Boy

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The dog that seriously injured 10-month-old Bradley Wagner on January 9, 2015, has been euthanized. The animal was signed over to Animal Services by its owner yesterday afternoon.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Director had confiscated “Fudge,” the pit bull mix responsible for the dog bite of a 10-month-old boy Friday at a home on Pine Terrace in Sarasota.

The dog was initially impounded for safety reasons Friday, but based on the Animal Services investigation, the severity of the infant’s injuries and the dog’s three prior bite cases, the Director determined confiscating the animal and ordering humane euthanasia to be the appropriate course of action.

This action is per Sarasota County Ordinance Chapter 14, Section 14-40 (b) Vicious Animals.

The owner, Angel “Lisa” Zargo, was served the necessary paperwork. Per County Ordinance, she can opt to either sign the dog over to Animal Services or she will have seven (7) days to contest this decision. If so, a hearing will be scheduled and a magistrate will rule on this course of action.


Suspicious Vehicle at Gas
Pumps Leads to Skimmers


CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff's Deputies checking out a vehicle that had been at the gas pumps at a closed business wound up locating credit card skimming equipment and counterfeit credit cards early Tuesday morning.


Above, the skimming equipment

At about 2:30 a.m. on January 20, deputies noticed a vehicle that turned out to be a tan 1999 Ford F250 pulled up to the gas pumps at the Choice Food Mart, located at 1275 Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte. The business was closed and the gas pumps should have been off. Since this appeared suspicious, the deputies stopped the vehicle.

The driver, Yadian Pinero Gutierrez, 29, of 5337 Carlton Street in Naples, told deputies he was on his way back to Naples from Orlando and had stopped to get gas. He identified his passenger as his cousin, Marysliebis Duran Pinero, 29, of the same Naples address. Gutierrez denied doing anything illegal and told the deputies they could search his truck.

During the search of the vehicle, deputies located two skimming devices that are often used in gas pumps to capture credit card information from unsuspecting customers. They also located a ratchet wrench with a bit that matched the locks on the gas pumps as well as latex gloves. In a center console of the truck, deputies found six $100 Mastercard gift cards that were still in their packaging.

When deputies asked Gutierrez if they could search him, he agreed. They located four Visa credit/debit cards and one Mastercard in his name in his wallet, along with two more Mastercard gift cards and $784 in cash.

The manager of the Choice Food Mart was called to the business. He checked all the gas pumps and did not locate any skimmers inside. He also verified that the last gas sale was made during business hours the previous evening on Monday January 19.

Deputies arrested both Gutierrez and Pinero on two counts of Possession of Credit Card Making Equipment. While they were being booked at the Charlotte County Jail, Economic Crimes detectives met with the deputies at the jail and checked the credit cards that had been found. Three of the cards were found to be counterfeit. Gutierrez was also charged with Possession of Counterfeit Credit Cards.

Deputies seized the skimmers, a total of 14 credit cards and gift cards, the $784 in cash and Gutierrez’s Ford truck since it was used during the commission of a felony.

Gutierrez was released on a total $25,000 bond. Pinero was released on a total $10,000 bond.


Atlas V Rocket Launches
from Cape Canaveral


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- United Launch Alliance launches an Atlas V rocket carrying a Navy communications satellite on Tuesday evening, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

The forecast showed a 90 percent chance of favorable weather during the 44 minute launch window, but the launch time was delayed more than three times due to range issues and upper level winds.

The Atlas V rocket launched at 8:04 p.m.

Five solid motors strapped to the base of the the 206-foot Atlas V — its most powerful version — helped the rocket bolt from Launch Complex 41 with its heaviest payload ever, a 7.5-ton U.S. Navy communications satellite.

The mission is the first of 10 planned this year from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station by ULA, the Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture that is the government's exclusive launcher of national security payloads.

This one is the Navy's third Mobile User Objective System spacecraft, or MUOS, billed as a smart phone network in the sky for warfighters on the move.

The large, heavy satellite is bound for a high orbit more than 22,000 miles over the equator.

The first two satellites in the series used the same powerful version of the Atlas V. Out of 51 Atlas V missions to date, only two others have: NASA probes headed to Pluto and Jupiter, WKMG said.


Pinellas County Puppeteer
Busted on Child Porn Charges


PINELLAS COUNTY, Florid [NMT] -- A Gulf Coast puppeteer who made a living entertaining children was arrested on child pornography charges.

Pinellas County Sheriff's detectives say 34-year-old Peter Douglas Emr possessed hundreds of pornographic images of children.

Emr, who performed under the stage name "Emr the Jester," was arrested Tuesday on six counts of possession of child pornography and three counts of sexual performance with intent to promote.

He's being held on $320,000 bail at the Pinellas County Jail. His first court appearance is scheduled Wednesday.

Detectives searched Emr's home and found several electronic devices, which still need to be inspected.

Emr had contact with children through his private business. He performed puppet shows, face painting and made balloon animals.

Because of that, the Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with related information to contact detectives.


Elementary Students Struck by
Vehicle While Riding Bikes Home


OCOEE, Florida ]NMT\WKMG] -- Police released the name of the driver accused of hitting two elementary students riding home from school on their bikes in Ocoee.

Police say Lastevie V. Howard, 40, struck the boy and the girl, who were on the sidewalk heading home from Citrus Elementary School, with his SUV at around 2:50 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of North Clarke Road and East Silver Star Road.

According to police, Howard had his own children, who are the same ages as the victims, in the backseat after picking them up from school. Howard is cooperating with the investigation, police said.

It's not clear if Howard, who has a lengthy criminal history according to court records, will face charges.

Ocoee police said the fifth-grade girl, who has not been identified, was in surgery for brain swelling and is in the Intensive Care Unit on Wednesday. The fifth-grade boy, Jordan El Quadi, 10, was alert and able to help investigators with information.

Police said Jordan witnessed Howard jump the curb and hit them. Howard was in a Mitsubishi Outlander when he was leaving the exit of Walgreens and hit the children.

"Whatever the reason, he ran over the two kids who were crossing on their bikes. He ended up going onto median into oncoming traffic," said Lt. Mike Bryant, of Ocoee police. "He fought oncoming traffic until he got to the light and took a right on Silver Star. We had reports that citizens corralled him. He said he was working to get back here anyway."

The students were taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, according to officials. Jordan was in stable condition, and the girl suffered serious injuries, fire officials said.

Howard was on scene being questioned and getting blood work done. Police said on Tuesday they were in the early stages of the investigation and no charges or arrests had been made.

The principal at Citrus Elementary sent a voicemail to parents letting them know of the accident that happened at dismissal.

The recording said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families involved."

Grief counselors are at Citrus Elementary School on Wednesday.

 

~ Wednesday's Local/State News ~

Man Arrested by BPD for Threats
Against Woman with Knife
in Front of Child

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Jose E. Mendez, 32, of 1522 4th Avenue East, Bradenton.


Jose Mendez

According to the arrest report, an officer was dispatched to BPD's main station to interview Jacqueline Melendez, who said when she was at home at the above location earlier in the evening, she was battered and threatened with a knife by Jose Mendez, apparently her boyfriend.

She told the officer she was giving her son a bath when Mendez let himself into the home, opened the locked bathroom door with the knife and began waving the knife around, saying he would kill her if she didn't drop the charges against him, referring apparently to earlier domestic battery charges that Melendez had reported against Mendez.

The report said they have a child in common, who was present at the time of the incident.

The officer responded to the above location where he placed Mendez under arrest.

Mendez was charged with Aggravated Domestic Battery, Domestic Battery, and with a warrant for Battery with Great Bodily Harm.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $16,500.


Man Arrested for Possession
of Crack Cocaine


BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Anthony Barber, 25, of 1507 16th Street West, Bradenton.


Anthony Barber

A Bradenton Police Officer stopped Barber for walking down the wrong side of the road.

He observed Barber throw down a white vial, similar to those used to conceal crack cocaine.

Upon closer inspection, the officer found 4.3 grams of crack cocaine in pieces inside the vial.

At the jail, personnel also found 3 grams of marijuana in Barber's shorts.

Barber was arrested and charged with Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Sell and Introduction of Contraband into a Jail Facility.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $9,000.


Woman Accused of Felony
Shoplifting from Walmart


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Dunia Hernandez, 37, of 6217 5th Street East, Bradenton.


Dunia Herhandez

The arrest report said on Sunday, Jan. 18th, at about 4 p.m., Hernandez entered the Walmart store located at 2911 53rd Avenue East, in Bradenton.

She proceeded to select multiple unnamed items with a total value of $328.57 and went to the self checkout lane, where she scanned some items, but not all of them.

She then left the store, where she was confronted loss prevention personnel, who detained her for arrival of law enforcement.

Hernandez was charged with Felony Retail Theft.

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


Two Women Struck, One Killed
After Departing Public Bus

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Highway Patrol reported a fatal collision between two women and two vehicles that occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 20th, at about 7 a.m., in the 6200 block of 14th Street West, Bradenton.


The FHP report said a 2002 Ford E350, being driven by Ryan Trubey, 36, of Bradenton, was traveling southbound in the inside lane of US 41.

Two pedestrians who had just gotten off of a Public Transportation Bus were standing on the west shoulder of US 41.

As Vehicle 1 approached the two pedestrians, they both ran across the road and into the path of Vehicle 1. Vehicle 1 struck the pedestrians knocking one, Michelena Lopez, 38, of Bradenton, into the northbound lanes of US 41, where she was run over by a 2004 Hyundai being driven by Diane Brooks-Fox, 54, of Bradenton, which was northbound on US 41.

The second pedestrian who was struck was Shannon Bermingham, 29, of Bradenton.

The two pedestrians were taken to area hospitals where one, Bermingham, was treated and released; the other one, Lopez, expired at Blake Memorial Hospital from her injuries.

Trubey was charged with Driving While License suspended; Brooks-Fox was charged with Driving on an Expired Driver License.


SSO: Armed Home Invasion
Robbery Reported


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office reported an armed home invasion robbery that occurred on Monday, January 19th, at about 10:30 p.m., in the 4400 block of Pike Avenue, in Sarasota.


A sheriff's report said on Monday, Jan. 19th, Sarasota County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the 4400 block Pike Ave to a report of a Home Invasion/Robbery.

The resident advised the suspect knocked on the front door. His caregiver answered the door and was confronted by the suspect.

The suspect displayed a black semi-automatic handgun and entered the residence.

The suspect took cash and prescription medication from the residence then left in an unknown vehicle.

Detectives with the Criminal Investigations Section arrived and are investigating the incident.

The robber was described as a Black male, wearing a ski mask, with a slim build, 5'9"-5' 11" tall, with a black semi-automatic handgun.

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 awww.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.


CCSO: Search Warrant
Yields Heroin Package:
1 Pound of "Pure"


CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics detectives served a search warrant on Friday at a Port Charlotte home and located almost a pound of what appeared to be pure, uncut heroin.


Peter Sirangelo

Detectives received information on Friday January 16 that a package scheduled to be delivered to 18150 Charter Avenue in Port Charlotte appeared to be suspicious. During their initial investigation, they found that the package contained a large amount of heroin. Prior to the package being delivered, the detectives obtained a search warrant for the Charter Avenue residence.

Later that same day, the package was delivered to the address and accepted by Peter Salvatore Sirangelo, 51. A short time later, Sirangelo came out of the house and put a backpack into a car parked in the driveway. Deputies stopped Sirangelo in the vehicle as he was about the leave the residence.

When detectives searched the house and the car, they located the backpack which contained the package of heroin that weighed 432 grams, which is almost a pound. They also located a small amount of cocaine inside the house.

Detectives estimate that the single package of apparently pure, uncut heroin, after it was eventually ‘cut’, could have potentially been worth more than $100,000 on the street.

Sirangelo was charged with Trafficking in Heroin, Possession of Cocaine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was booked into the Charlotte County Jail and released on a $27,500 bond. Detectives also seized his 1995 Chevrolet Trailblazer under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act.


CCSO: Four Charged with
Selling Nicotine Products


CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida {NMT] -- The sale of tobacco products to juveniles has been illegal for some time, but a recent change in the law also made it illegal to sell nicotine products and nicotine dispensing devices to a person under age 18.


On Friday members of the Sheriff’s Office Juvenile Unit conducted a compliance check on Port Charlotte area businesses to see whether they are appropriately checking identification and denying purchases to underage clients.

Out of the 12 businesses that were checked, clerks at four locations allowed underage operatives to purchase various products that were labeled as containing nicotine without asking the person for any identification.

According to reports, James Scott Pessolano, 42, while working as a clerk at Rising Vapors, located at 3762 Tamiami Trail, sold orange flavored e-liquid without asking for identification. He was arrested and booked into the Charlotte County Jail. He was released on a $1,000 bond.

Chrystal Gumes, 28, a clerk at Rolly Smokes, located at 3750 Tamiami Trail, allegedly sold cappuccino flavored e-liquid without asking for ID. She was issued a Notice to Appear for Selling Nicotine Products to a Minor.

At Thank You For Not Smoking, located at 18151 Murdock Circle, Alyxander Teed, 21, allegedly sold a bottle of e-liquid called Hannah Banana without asking for ID. He was booked into the jail and released on a $1,000 bond.

Michelle Coleman, 39, a clerk at RSQ Vapors, located inside the Town Center Mall at 1441 Tamiami Trail, is alleged to have sold an underage person a bottle of Jolly Rancher e-liquid. She was issued a Notice to Appear.

Locations that were checked and found to be in compliance were:

RaceTrac 4968 Tamiami Trail
City Vapor 4860 Tamiami Trail
Marathon 4276 Tamiami Trail
ABC Liquor 4250 Tamiami Trail
Sunshine Stop 3746 Tamiami Trail
Dohmahn Vapor 3109 Tamiami Trail
Vapin Station 1811 Tamiami Trail
Exhale Vapor 2191 Tamiami Trail

The Juvenile Unit periodically checks businesses throughout the county for compliance with sales of alcohol, tobacco and nicotine products.


Man Arrested in Walmart
Upskirt Video Case

APOPKA, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A man was arrested Monday after Apopka police say video shows him trying to record up a woman's skirt in a crowded Walmart. The incident happened right off Orange Blossom Trail near Hiawassee Road on Sunday afternoon, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

The victim, a 35-year-old woman, spoke to WKMG News about what happened.

“That was his Sunday afternoon plan, he came there with no cart, he wasn't shopping, he was shopping for a woman with a dress on," the victim said.

The woman, named Teneika, didn't want us to use her last name.

Police say 42-year-old James King followed her around the store before he walked up and squatted down next to her. That's when she says he pulled out his cellphone and stuck it under her dress.

“As I was shopping I felt him a little too close to me," she said. "I felt awkward so I moved over a little bit and as I looked over his arm was extended away from his body.”

The security video then shows her walking away, but she comes back with her nephew who quickly confronts King. As King tried to make his escape, Teneika says her nephew took a picture of him and followed him to the parking lot to take another picture of his car's license plate.

The pictures helped police track him down, but when questioned about why he had his phone out, King denied snapping photos and says he was looking at his to-do-list.

He has since bonded out of jail.

“I just feel so violated, disgusted, and embarrassed,” Teneika said. “It just doesn't seem real, I don't want to believe this really happened.”

Police say there is a possibility that King could have targeted more victims and they are investigating, WKMG said.

 

~ Tuesday's Local/State News ~

Palmetto Police K-9, Xent,
Sniffs Out Drugs in BMW;
Arrest for Trafficking

PALMETTO, Florida [NMT] -- The Palmetto Police Department has arrested Isaiah Seth Clark, 24, of St. Petersburg, Florida.


Above, Isaiah Clark and PPD K-9 Xent

According to the arrest report from PPD, acting on a tip, PPD K-9 Officer Adam Spatafora and his K-9 Xent confirmed that Clark was wanted on a warrant and pulled over the BMW in which Clark was a passenger on Wednesday, Jan. 7th, at about 12:15 p.m., in the 1000 block of 8th Avenue West, Palmetto.

When both occupants of the vehicle were asked if there were any guns or drugs in the car, they looked at the officer nervously while saying, "No." However, Clark was reaching for something so Officer Spatafora opened the car door for officer safety. He immediately saw the black handle of a gun under Clark's seat. He removed both men from the vehicle and handcuffed Clark.

Clark then spontaneously stated that there was another gun in the car and there was also heroin and Molly (MDMA) in the car and it was his, the report said.

Officer Spatafora then used his K-9 Xent to conduct a drug sniff of the vehicle. Without being ordered to do so, Xent jumped into the vehicle and showed behavioral changes toward under the driver's seat. Xent then used his paw to pull a white container out from underneath the driver's seat. Inside the container was 9.9 grams of heroin and 14.4 grams of Molly, or MDMA. In addition, there were plastic bags used for distribution and a weight scale with powder residue that tested positive for MDMA.

Clark said he had no knowledge of the guns or the drugs.

The driver was released upon obtaining his information.

It was confirmed with his probation officer that Clark is a convicted felon, having been convicted in 2013 for Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Sell.

At that time, Clark said he wanted his lawyer present for any questioning. He again denied ownership of the firearms or the drugs.

He was arrested and charged with Trafficking in Heroin, Trafficking in MDMA, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of a Firearm by a Delinquent Felon.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $120,500.


Miami Woman Charged with
DUI Manslaughter in Manatee;
Three Children were Involved

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Highway Patrol has arrested Rona S. Ramnarine, 33, of Miami.


Rona Ramnarine

According to the arrest report from FHP, Rona, the driver of a 2012 Chrysler van, and Darrell Scruggs, 68, of High Point, North Carolina, who was driving a 2012 GMC Terrain SUV, were northbound on I-75 (State Road 93) at mile marker 229 in the right lane approaching the exit ramp for County Road 6 (Moccasin Wallow Road).

The driver of the Chrysler failed to observe the GMC SUV directly in front of her. The front of van collided with the rear of the SUV.

This collision caused the SUV to run off the roadway to the right and overturn onto its roof.

The van came to final rest on the grassy shoulder of the exit ramp facing in a northerly direction.

The SUV came to final rest on its roof on the eastern grassy shoulder facing in a northerly direction.

Scruggs was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Rona was charged with DUI Manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Injury, and Driving While License Suspended or Revoked involving a Fatality and a Child x 3.

Three children were in Rona's vehicle. All three were girls, ages, 5, 3 and 1. They all sustained minor injuries and were transported to Lakewood Ranch Medical Center where they were treated and released. They are all three in protective custody.

Naomi Scruggs, Darrell Scruggs' passenger, sustained serious injuries and was transported to Lakewood Ranch Medical Center.

Rona remains in custody in the Manatee County Jail on a combined bail bond of $526,000.


Search Warrant Yields Heroin,
Pot, Cocaine, Bullets, More


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Kenneth Jackson, 29. pf 4907 18th Street West, Bradenton.


Kenneth Jackson

A brief press release said on Thursday, Jan. 15th, at about 6 p.m., a narcotics related search warrant was executed at the listed residence.

Jackson was the sole occupant.

The following items were located:

Heroin: 21.6 grams, approx. value $2100
Marijuana: 205 grams, approx. value $1000
Rock Cocaine: 42.3 grams, approx. value $3000
Powder Cocaine: 4.4 grams, approx. value $350
2.5 dosage units of Alprazolam, approx. value $30
Promethazine w/ Codeine (liquid), approx. value $300
Various drug paraphernalia
34 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

Jackson was arrested and charged with Trafficking in Heroin.

Additional charges are pending.


Man Arrested for Attempted Theft
of Saws from Home Depot


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Michael Lekov, 51, of 2255 Nikla Lane, in Sarasota.


Michael Lekov

The arrest report said on Monday, Jan. 12th, at about 9 a.m., Lekov entered The Home Depot, 2350 Cortez Road West, Bradenton.

He proceeded to the construction tool department where he picked two saws off the display rack; one was cordless and the other was corded. Each saw was valued at $99.00

Loss prevention followed Lekov as he left the store without paying for the items.

Once outside, Lekov tried to run as he was confronted by loss prevention and was taken to the ground.

Law enforcement arrived and arrested Lekov, charging him with misdemeanor Petit Theft.

Later that day, Lekov posted a $500 bail bond and was released from the Manatee County Jail.


Man Stabbed in Chest
During Robbery Attempt


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported an atttempted robbery that occurred on Sunday, Jan. 18th, at about 10:45 p.m., ouside the Oakwood Apartment complex, in Bradenton.

A sheriff's report said the victim, Darrell Young, 30, and his girlfriend were walking to the Oakwood Apartment complex from either the 2500 block of 7th Ave East (north of the complex) or the 1900 block of 6th Ave East (south of the complex) when they were approached by an unknown male who demanded money.

The victim refused and was stabbed in the upper left chest with an unknown object.

The suspect fled on foot and the victim returned to his apartment where the offense was reported.

The victim was taken to a local medical center for treatment.

The suspect was not located.

The would-be robber was only described as an unknown male wearing dark clothing.

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.


Eight Bullets Fired into
Palmetto Residence, Cars
in Weekend Drive-By


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a drive-by shooting on Friday, Jan. 16th, at about 1:15 a.m., at a residence and its vehicles in the 1400 block of 24th Street East, Palmetto.

A sheriff's report said an unknown suspect(s) fired several rounds at the residence, leaving several bullet holes on the east side and 2 bullet holes on the front of the house.

In addition, one bullet hole was discovered on each of two separate vehicles parked in the driveway.

A total of 8 bullet holes were located.

There were no witnesses and no descriptions given 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.


Lab Tech Arrested for Pawning
Dental Grade Gold


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested a local dental technician after discovering suspicious pawn transactions for dental grade gold.


Isaiah Fast

A Tactical Unit deputy who regularly checks the pawn database in burglary or theft related cases noticed Isaiah John Fast, 39, of 72 Windsor Drive, Englewood, pawned 38 pieces of dental grade gold still in clean, small squares in two separate transactions last Friday and Monday.

The deputy learned Fast was a dental tech at a laboratory in Sarasota, and after contacting the owner, determined about 60 pieces of gold and 240 pieces of silver palladium were missing, valued at about $8,800.

Since several pieces were still unaccounted for and another eight pieces were taken this week, the deputy was at the pawn shop in plain clothes Wednesday when Fast would typically arrive after work.

Fast showed up as expected, sold 18 more pieces of gold and tried to sell silver palladium but the pawn shop declined to buy it. The deputy obtained a warrant and arrested Fast on Thursday afternoon, charging him three counts each of Dealing in Stolen Property and Fraud for Providing False Ownership Information for Pawned Items.

Fast was being held on $90,000 bond.


Missing 10-Year-Old
Boy Found Safe

ORLANDO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Orlando television station WKMG reported a missing 10-year-old boy was found safe Monday morning after being spotted by a motorist near an Orlando grocery store, officials said.

Michael Joseph DelVecchio was spotted near the Publix at Orange Blossom Trail and Weatherbee after he spent the night outside, deputies said. Temperatures dipped to 46 degrees early Monday in Orlando, WKMG meteorologist Troy Bridges said.

According to the Orange County Sheriff's Office, the motorist recognized Michael from media reports and called 911 after talking to the boy.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said there was a concern for Michael's well-being because of his age, WKMG said

 

 

~ Friday's Local/State News ~

Woman Sets Boyfriend of
Three Years on Fire, Said
"I Told You I Would"

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Linda Joy Jackson, 59, of 607 14th Avenue West, Bradenton.


Linda Jackson

According to the arrest report, Jackson and her victim, Clyde Hines, are married and have been living together as a family for about 3 years.

on Tuesday, Jan. 13th, at about 3 a.m., Hines reported to the sheriff's office that he had been asleep on the family sofa.

He awoke to his shirt being on fire with Jackson sitting next to him on the sofa.

He then said Jackson said, "Didn't I tell you I'd burn your ass up?"

Hines put out the small fire on his T-shirt.

When a deputy arrived on scene, there was a burn mark on the victim's T-shirt and photos were taken for evidence.

Hines had no visible injuries.

He declined EMS treatment.

Jackson was read her Miranda rights and agreed to speak with the deputy. She denied the allegations and then claimed to be the victim of an earlier aggravated battery. The details of that alleged incident were not included in the report.

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

She remains in the Manatee County Jail in lieu of a $500 bail bond at this time.

According to Manatee County court records, Jackson was arrested in 1997 for Arson, but the details of that case were not available.


MSO K-9 Credited for Capture
of Man with Multiple Warrants


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested James Turner, 28, of 7515 43rd Street Court East, Bradenton.


James Turner and MSO K-9 Rex

Deputies responded to the listed address to locate a suspect who was not there earlier in the day.

This time the suspect could be seen moving around in the house.

The suspect would not come to the door and answer calls from the deputies on scene.

K-9 deputy Wolfinger responded with K-9 Rex and they were let into the home by the homeowner, Linda Turner.

The house was cleared by deputies with negative response from the suspect.

Dep. Wolfinger released K-9 Rex to search and he immediately went to the room where the suspect was seen moving into. Once there, K-9 Rex engaged the suspect (Turner) on the left leg, due to him hiding in a cabinet.

Turner was removed from the cabinet and placed under arrest.

He was taken to Lakewood Ranch Medical Center for treatment of the dog bite, and then to the Manatee County Jail.

He was charged with Domestic Battery on a Person 65 Years of Age or Older, Exposure of Sexual Organs, Tampering/Hindering with Communications, and Resisting Arrest without Violence.

He later posted a bail bond in the amount of $1,240. and was released from the Manatee County Jail.

Details of the incidents resulting in the arrest warrants were not given in the report.


Palmetto Police Arrest Man
Wanted by Manatee Sheriff

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office, with assistance of the Palmetto Police Department, has arrested Brad A. Rouzier, 24, of 2108 53rd Avenue West, Bradenton.


Brad Rouzier

A sheriff's report said Rouzier was observed fleeing the area of the 3700 block of Elm Street, in Ellenton, on foot after committing a burglary of a fishing rod from Jason Dunnam's shed.

After a long search, Rouzier was located in the 200 block of US 41 by Palmetto Police.

Positive show ups were done.

Rouzier was arrested and charged with Burglary. He was additionally charged with Violation of Probation on two earlier criminal charges of Grand Theft and Criminal Mischief.

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

A second burglary of fishing rods was discovered at 803 Central Avenue, but it couldn't be connected to Rouzier or two alleged cohorts at this time.


Burglary Reported at Residence
on Saddlebag Trail


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a burglary that occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 13th, between the hours of 7 p.m. and midnight, in the 30000 block of Saddlebag Trail, Bradenton.


A brief report said unknown person(s) entered the residence and stole jewelry, electronic equipment and firearms. A dollar amount for the loss was not given in the report.

The suspect(s) fled the area by unknown means in and unknown direction.

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.


Bomb Threat Called Into
Southside Elementary

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota Police Department reported a bomb threat was called into Southside Elementary School on Thursday afternoon.


A press release said at 1:11 p.m., Southside Elementary School, 1901 Webber Street, Sarasota, received a phone call from an unknown individual saying there was a bomb inside the school.

The Sarasota Police Department responded and evacuated all students and staff.

All kids were accounted for at the school, the school is secure, and there are no medical issues for kids or staff.

As of 2 p.m., Sarasota Police were checking for anything suspicious.

Parents were directed not to respond to the school.

Again, all students and staff were safe and accounted for.

As of 2:35 p.m., all children were being taken back inside the school at this time.

The school was going to take a head count of all the children, once inside.

The Sarasota Police Department did not find anything suspicious.


Charlotte County Sheriff
Looking for Stolen Trailer


CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff's Office detectives are looking for anyone with any information concerning the theft of a trailer from a Charlotte Harbor industrial park earlier this week.


Shortly after noon on Monday January 12th, the victim reported that his black 2002 30-foot long Rolls Rite trailer had been stolen from an enclosed storage yard on Janice Avenue in the Whidden Industrial Park area in Charlotte Harbor. He said the trailer had been taken some time between mid-day Sunday January 11 and noon on Monday.

Detectives obtained a copy of surveillance video from a nearby business that shows what appears to be a gray, dual-wheel pick-up truck, possibly a Ford F-350 or higher model, pulling the trailer on Sunday January 11 at about 2:21 pm. The truck exited Whidden Industrial Park onto Harborview Road. The trailer’s owner confirmed that was his trailer.

When it was taken, the trailer had Florida tag “753 WNH” attached to it.

Anyone with information on the location of the trailer or with knowledge of the theft is asked to please call the Sheriff’s Office at (941) 639-2101 (ask for District Detectives), or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).


Homeowner Holds Burglary
Suspect at Gunpoint

PUNTA GORDA, Florida [NMT] -- On Wednesday night, January 14, 2015, Punta Gorda Police officers responded to a residence in the 300 block of Caicos Drive, Punta Gorda in reference to a male subject, unknown to the homeowners, inside their residence.


Upon arrival, officers made contact with the occupants who advised the suspect, later identified as Fredrick Hawk, Jr., was being held inside the home at gunpoint by a family member.

The homeowner advised that he woke up to use the bathroom and observed the defendant standing in the living room area next to the hallway leading to two of the bedrooms.

It was later determined that the defendant entered the home through an unsecured door at the rear of the residence.

The defendant appeared to be confused and under the influence of methamphetamine. He stated that he lived at this location but could not provide his current address.

He was transported to Bayfront Health Punta Gorda.

Upon release, he will be transferred to the Charlotte County Jail where he will be held without bond on Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling.


Grandma Hit Granddaughter, 16,
with Yard Stick and Made Her
Sleep Outside in a Tent


DELTONA, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A Volusia County grandmother was arrested after deputies say she hit her granddaughter with a yard stick and made her sleep outside in a tent, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Leasia Barwick, 56, was charged with child abuse and battery on Tuesday after deputies say a family member noticed bruising on the 16-year-old girl's legs and backside.

According to the arrest report, Barwick spanked the girl with a yard stick multiple times, claiming the teen made a Facebook page without permission and behaved poorly in school.

Deputies also found that Barwick made the teen sleep outside in a tent every other night since October.

Barwick is the primary caretaker of the teen. According to court documents, Barwick cannot be at the home or have contact with her granddaughter as part of her pretrial release conditions, WKMG said.

 

~ Thursday's Local/State News ~

Missing and Endangered
Suicidal Man Tells Mom,
Roommate "Goodbye"

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Authorities in Manatee County are urging the public to be on the lookout for Khanh Minh Nguyen, 29, of 5040 Live Oak Circle, Bradenton.


Khanh Minh Nguyen

According to a sheriff's report, on Tuesday, Jan. 13th, at about 8:30 p.m., Khanh came to his mother and stated he was going to jump from the Skyway Bridge and then sent text messages to his roommate stating he wanted his life to end.

Khanh has not been seen or heard from since.

He is driving his 2004 Toyota Camry, silver, FL tag 440LIP.

Missing subject is a Vietnamese male, described as being 5'05" tall, 135 pounds, medium length black hair, brown eyes, and glasses.

UPDATE: The sheriff's
office has notified us that Khanh was found early Thursday morning in Orange County, and appeared to be uninjured. No other details were forthcoming.


Man Arrested for Violating
Stalking Injunction


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Bernice Raynor, 70, of 404 Polynesian Drive, Bradenton.


Bernice Raynor

The arrest report said the victim in this case, Cara Sowey, has a permanent injunction for protection of stalking against Raynor. The injunction clearly states Raynor is not to contact or harass the victim.

A deputy wrote, "While investigating a separate incident in which Raynor mailed a bizarre post card to Cara," she asked the deputy to examine a series of calls she was receiving from Raynor.

On Jan. 7th, the deputy called Raynor, who adamantly denied the allegations and said he has not called Cara in several months.

The deputy examined the caller ID and noticed 22 phone calls that consisted of Raynor's home number and a cell number that originated on Jan. 5th and were from the same number that the deputy just called to talk to Raynor. When the deputy listened to the calls, all were clearly Raynor's voice and he even mentions the sheriff's office called and talked to him.

The deputy called Raynor and told him of his find. Raynor said someone must have broken into his home, changed his voice to sound like him, and called Cara. He denied the cell number on her caller ID was his, however when the deputy called the suspect from another phone, he heard the cell phone ring and Raynor answered it. When he answered it and the deputy identified himself, Raynor immediately disconnected.

The deputy went to Raynor's location as stated above and arrested him.

Raynor said he deserves a break for being a veteran and admitted to calling the victim repeatedly.

Raynor was charged with 2 counts of Violation of Stalking Injunction.

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


Taxi Driver Robbed by Two
"Hoodie-Wearing" Men
While Cleaning Taxi

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a robbery that occurred on Wednesday, Jan. 14th, at about 4:30 a.m., at the car wash located at 2860 14th Street West, Bradenton.

A sheriff's report said Derek Vancott, 29, had been working for Bruce's Taxi for about 6 days.

While he was cleaning out his work vehicle at the car wash located at the above location, he was approached from behind by two unknown possibly Hispanic males.

The males told him "give me all your money or we will stab you."

Derek never saw a weapon but gave them $225 in cash.

The males then fled southbound toward the Bradenton Quick Mart.

A perimeter was established and K-9 attempted to track for the suspects with negative results.

The victim did not sustain any injuries.

The perpetrators were described as two males, possibly Hispanic, one wearing a black hoodie, one wearing a gray hoodie.

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.


Sheriff: Parrish Residence
Burglarized During Day


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- According to a brief report from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, a burglary occurred on Wednesday, Jan. 14th, at about 11:45 a.m., to a residence in the 18000 block of Coyote Creek Court, in Parrish.

The report said unknown person(s) forced entry into then unoccupied dwelling.

The incident is currently under investigation.

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.


ID Sought in Television
"Exchange" Theft


CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff's Office District detectives are attempting to identify a man who walked out of the Walmart Super Center in Murdock last month with a large screen television without paying for it.


On Sunday December 14, 2014, just before 7:00 a.m., a man entered the Walmart store, located at 19100 Murdock Circle in Port Charlotte, with a large box containing a broken LCD television loaded in a shopping cart. The man left the cart and the broken TV at the customer service center.

The man selected a brand new television valued at almost $500 from the sales floor, put it in another shopping cart and left the store without paying for it.

Video surveillance shows the man getting into a dark colored SUV and leaving the parking lot.

Anyone with information on the identity of the man in question is asked to please call the Sheriff’s Office at (941) 639-2101 (ask for District Detectives), or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).


Traffic Stop Results in
Multiple Drug Charges


CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The driver of a vehicle that was pulled over for several traffic offenses in the Murdock area was arrested early Wednesday morning, Jan. 14th, on multiple drug charges, including charges of drug trafficking.


Above, Danielle Wiitala and Ashanti Roundtree

Shortly after 1:00 a.m., deputies noticed a white Toyota sedan coming out of a parking lot that didn’t stop before entering the road. That same vehicle failed to stop at another intersection and then cut across all three southbound lanes of US 41 to get into the left turn lane for Veterans Blvd. The deputy followed the vehicle as it pulled into the parking lot of Hooters restaurant, located at 1360 Tamiami Trail, in Port Charlotte.

As deputies approached the vehicle, they noted the strong odor of marijuana that appeared to be coming from the Toyota, which had both the driver and passenger windows down. The passenger was fidgeting with what appeared to be a cigar. Deputies asked both the driver, Danielle Cooper Wiitala, 34, of 8033 Herbison Avenue in North Port, and the passenger, Ashanti Donnell Roundtree, 38, of 4092 Oscar Terrace in North Port, to get out of the vehicle.

While deputies were talking with Wiitala, they noted she had a ‘bulge’ about the size of a tennis ball in the area of her front pants pocket. After a female deputy arrived to assist with the search of Wiitala, they found that the ‘bulge’ was a large lump of plastic baggies. Inside the baggies, deputies located pills that were identified as being Xanax, Dilauded and Oxycodone. They also located a white rock-like substance that weighed 25.8 grams that was identified as being MDMA.

Both Wiitala and Roundtree were taken into custody. During an inventory search of their vehicle, deputies located several small notebooks that appeared to have information for tracking narcotics sales. They also located several EBT cards in the names of people other than Wiitala and Roundtree.

While deputies were completing their investigation and preparing the paperwork for booking Wiitala, she told them she had other items of narcotics concealed in her clothing. A female deputy accompanied her to the restroom and recovered three small baggies of heroin from her bra.

Wiitala was charged with Trafficking in Oxycodone, Trafficking in MDMA, Possession of Heroin, Possession of Heroin with Intent to Sell, Possess of Xanax, Possession of Dilauded, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Paraphernalia. She is being held on a total $36,000 bond. She was also given traffic warnings for running a stop sign and failure to obey a traffic control device.

Roundtree was charged with Possession of Marijuana and possession of Paraphernalia. After his first appearance hearing, his bond was set at $6,000.


Cops: Suitcases with $3K of
Cat Grooming Equipment
Stolen from Airport
Baggage Claim


DAYTONA BEACH, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Deputies are searching for the woman they say stole suitcases full of thousands of dollars worth of specialized pet grooming equipment at the Daytona Beach International Airport baggage claim, Orlando television station WKMG reported.


Above, the Dayton Beach International Airport
luggage theft suspect and her vehicle.

Volusia County investigators released surveillance photos Monday afternoon hoping someone would recognize the woman seen swiping the luggage from the carousel.

Deputies said the woman was caught on camera at the airport on Dec. 22 as Delta Flight 1087 was arriving from Atlanta. They said she was seen grabbing two suitcases that didn't belong to her and loading them into a green Honda Element that picked her up at the airport curb.

The victim, Daytona Beach Shores resident Hope Gonano, had more than $3,000 worth of cat-grooming equipment and personal items. Gonano is the owner of a show cat, a heavily decorated one. They were returning from winning a competition in Pennsylvania.

Deputies released surveillance pictures of the woman, who appears to have short brown hair and was wearing a red jacket. Deputies said the woman appeared to be between the ages of 45 and 55 years old.

According to investigators, the woman was seen taking the suitcases then ripping off the tags and tossing them in the trash can, WKMG said.

Contact Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277-TIPS if you have any information on the woman's identity.


FDLE Commemorates National
AMBER Alert Awareness Day


TALLAHASSEE, Florida [NMT/FDLE] -- Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen joined Florida’s local, state, federal and private partners on Tuesday, Jan. 13th, to commemorate National AMBER Alert Awareness Day.


AMBER stands for “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response,” and on Jan. 13 each year, the U.S. Department of Justice remembers the abduction and brutal murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman that occurred 19 years ago in Texas.

More than 30,000 citizens have signed up at www.missingchildrenalert.com to receive Florida AMBER Alerts via e-mail. FDLE encourages citizens to sign up to receive these free alerts to help law enforcement quickly recover children when they go missing. Each year, approximately 35,000 children are reported missing in Florida, with the majority of those being reported as runaways. Last year, FDLE issued six AMBER Alerts and 36 Missing Child Alerts. An AMBER Alert resulted in the direct recovery of one child and six children were located as a result of a Missing Child Alert.

“In April 2014, a five-month-old baby was abducted from a business in Sarasota County and an AMBER Alert was issued,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen. “Thanks to the actions of an alert citizen, the child was safely recovered after the person saw the AMBER Alert and contacted law enforcement. This case is a prime example of the power of this program and the necessity of the public’s involvement in helping locate missing children.”

FDLE, in conjunction with the Division of Emergency Management and the Florida Association of Broadcasters, Inc., established the Florida AMBER Plan in 2000. Florida was the second state in the nation to take the partnership for AMBER Alerts statewide. Since that time, the AMBER Plan has expanded to include billboards, dynamic highway message signs and lottery machines. Since the program’s inception, FDLE has issued 190 AMBER Alerts and 56 children have been located as a direct result.

To view safety tips on how to keep your children safe, visit

http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/MCICSearch/SafetyTips.asp.

To learn more about Florida’s AMBER Plan or to sign up to receive alerts, visit

www.missingchildrenalert.com.


 

~ Wednesday's Local/State News ~

Woman, 51, Visiting Hubbie at
Healthy Care/Rehab Facility,
Arrested for Multiple Items
of Drug Paraphernalia

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Cheryl A. Venable, 51, of 920 61st Street West, Bradenton.


Cheryl Venable

According to the arrest report, on Sunday, Jan. 11th, at about 6 p.m., Venable was visiting her husband at Heritage Park Care and Rehab Center, when a nurse found a spoon with burn marks on it.

Law enforcement was called.

Upon arrival, Venable was read her Miranda rights and was asked if she had any illegal contraband in the room, and she said "No." However, Venable made a spontaneous utterance to a nurse that she smokes narcotics.

The officer spotted a blue bag in the room, that was open and had syringes inside. Venable denied being prescribed any medications that she uses by injections, and also said she does not inject medicine.

After she had denied having contraband, the room was searched and the following items were found: A pill grinder, multiple used and new syringes, three spoons with burn marks and residue on them, multiple pills in a prescription bottle with a label that was unreadable, multiple pieces of loose Brillo, two metal crack pipes with burned Brillo inside, and pieces of cotton with white powder residue on them. Venable also had new and used 'track' marks on her arms.

Venable admitted to ownership of the items and admitted bringing them into the health care facility.

She was arrested and charged with misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

She later posted a $500 bail bond and was released from the Manatee County Jail.


Man Locks Keys in Trunk,
Breaks Window to Gain
Entry, Refuses to Deal
with Deputies, Busted
for Disorderly Conduct


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Gregory D. Crowell, 25, of 2829 Terra Ceia Bay Blvd., in Palmetto.


Gregory Crowell

The arrest report said on Sunday, Jan. 11th, at about 8 p.m., Crowell was in the parking lot of Winn Dixie, 1010 53rd Avenue East, Bradenton.

He had inadvertently locked his vehicle's keys in the trunk of the car.

He then broke a window to gain entry to the car.

Bystanders called police, because it looked like a burglary in progress to them.

Arriving deputies learned that the car was not owned by Gregory, but was owned by his mother, according to a state database. Deputies had trouble reaching her.

Meanwhile, Gregory became enraged with the deputies and began yelling vulgar comments, including the "F-bomb" within several sentences. He was also making obscene gestures, flipping off the deputies and bystanders.

About 15 people exiting the store were offended by Crowell, the report indicated.

He was arrested and charged with Disorderly Conduct.

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


Woman Ambushed, Robbed
by Two Black Males


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a strong arm robbery that occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 13th, at about 10:15 a.m., in the 800 block of 61st Avenue East, Bradenton.

(graphic -- robbery)

A sheriff's report said a 30-year-old woman was walking down 61st Avenue West to go to her friend's house.

As she was about to cross 9th Street East two Bblack males approached her from behind.

The black males then grabbed her purse and fled north on 9th Street East.

The culprits are described as two “skinny” Black males in their twenties with short hair wearing black clothes.

They couldn't be located.

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.


SPD: Vehicle Backed into Lake
with 3 Occupants, No Injuries
Neighbor Helps with Rescue


SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- Officers with the Sarasota Police Department responded to the 3900 block of Glen Oaks Manor Drive, Sarasota, at approximately 12:30 p.m. Tuesday for a vehicle submerged in a lake. Thankfully, a neighbor nearby heard the commotion and ran into the water to help with the rescue.


Above, the Jeep and one of its occupants
after it has been extracted from the lake

Gil DiLoreto, 86, was driving a Jeep Liberty, with Darlene Miller, 77 and Patricia Cothern, 82, who were passengers. Mr. DiLoreto backed out of a driveway and officers believe he mistook the gas pedal for the brake pedal and drove the Jeep in reverse nearly 100 yards and into a lake.


Cliff Wright, a neighbor just down the road from where Mr. DiLoreto was backing up, told Sarasota Police Officers he heard the revving of the engine and walked outside to see what the commotion was about. Mr. Wright saw the vehicle go into the lake and immediately jumped into help with the rescue.


All three occupants of the vehicle were uninjured and returned home safely following the crash. The Sarasota Police Department Dive Team responded and used specialized equipment, including a Vehicle Rescue System bag, to help retrieve the vehicle from the lake.

The vehicle was towed away by Upman’s Towing.

No charges are expected.


Search Warrant Yields
Weapons, Drugs, Money,
5 Arrests


SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- On Friday, January 9th, 2015, the Sarasota Police Department Narcotics Unit, with the assistance of the Street Crimes Unit, executed a search warrant at 2050 9th Street, Sarasota.


The warrant was obtained pursuant to an investigation of narcotics sales from the residence. As a result of the search warrant (5) individuals were arrested on drug and driving charges.

Detectives seized approximately 70 grams of marijuana, 5 grams of rock cocaine, 2 grams of powder cocaine, 4 grams of prescription pills, $330 US currency, a 22 caliber revolver and a SKS rifle.

The five individuals arrested are:

Jose Avalos H/M (05/28/92) 2050 9th Street, Sarasota, FL
· Possession of Cocaine with intent to sell within 1000 feet of a park (felony)
· Possession of Marijuana with intent to sell within 1000 feet of a park (felony)
· Two (2) counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (felony)
· Possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor)

Lisa F. Bryan W/F (06/04/65) 3251 Yorktown St., Sarasota, FL
· Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

James R. Fedee B/M (02/25/81) 2050 9th Street, Sarasota, FL
· Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (misdemeanor)

Frederick T. Taylor B/M (06/25/74) 2050 9th Street, Sarasota, FL
· Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (misdemeanor)

Ashley N. Clarke W/F (12/10/88) 2347 Zito Court, Sarasota FL
· Driving While License Suspended Habitual Offender


CCSO Working Domestic
Dispute with Injuries

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Detectives are continuing to investigate a domestic situation reported Tuesday morning at 660 Floral Lane in Port Charlotte in which several people were injured.


Two men and a child who were all injured have been treated and released from various hospitals. One man, Clayton Stuarts, 23, sustained several lacerations following the domestic altercation that involved a knife. The child also had a laceration that resulted from a fall during the incident. The child’s mother, Erica Austin, 23, accompanied the child to the hospital. She was not injured.

The second man, James Qwantarious Terrell, 24, was treated for reported dog bites and released. He is currently being booked at the Charlotte County Jail. The specific charges against Terrell are not currently available.

Detectives have obtained a search warrant for the residence at 660 Floral Lane and were in the process of serving that warrant as NewsManatee published its reports for the day.



Multiple Search Warrants
Yields Narcotics Charges

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit has had a busy start to the new year, being involved in serving three separate search warrants during which a total of 12 people were arrested on various drug charges.


On Wednesday January 7th, deputies received information that someone with an active warrant was staying at the Inn Suites Motel, located at 2540 S. McCall Road in Englewood, with several other people who were alleged to be smoking methamphetamine and crack cocaine, as well as injecting heroin.

The deputies confirmed the active warrant and maintained surveillance of the motel room until they spotted the wanted person. When they went to the room, they were able to see several items of drug paraphernalia in plain sight. Members of the Narcotics Unit were notified and obtained a search warrant for the room.

During that search they located heroin, methamphetamine, crack cocaine, various pills and marijuana. Five of the occupants of the motel room were arrested on multiple possession charges.

On Friday January 9, Narcotics detectives were involved in two searches. At about 8:00 am, with the assistance of members of the SWAT Team, detectives served a search warrant at 6135 Gillot Blvd. in Gulf Cove, based on previous investigations. During that search, detectives located several pieces of methamphetamine. In addition they located several pills, marijuana residue and multiple items of paraphernalia. They also located a loaded handgun on the same nightstand as some of paraphernalia.

A total of five people were arrested on a variety of charges as a result of that search.

About two hours later, the SWAT team was involved in serving another search warrant at 20184 Midway Blvd. in Port Charlotte. District detectives had obtained the search warrant based on previous investigations involving a potential stolen firearm. When the SWAT team members entered the residence, they noticed several narcotics related items in plain view.

Narcotics detectives were notified and the original search warrant was amended to include a search for narcotics. During this search, detectives located several different types of prescription drugs, methamphetamine, more than 20 grams of Marijuana and multiple items of paraphernalia. The two residents were arrested on several drug-related charges. One person was also charged with possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.

Those arrested were:

Elizabeth Nancy Gagnon, 43, of 2951 Waterside Dr. in Englewood
David Joseph Sardo, 50, of 2078 Placida Road in Englewood
Kelly Lynn Barse, 46, of 5045 N. Beach Road in Englewood
Dina Mottaguedes, 35, of 771 Narranja Street in Punta Gorda
Ernest Lee Chambliss, 43, of 573 Perry Street in Englewood
Jeffrey Edward Lehman, 37, of 6135 Gillot Blvd. in Port Charlotte
Kristi Lehman, 35, of 6135 Gillot Blvd. in Port Charlotte
Sharon Lee Spurling, 51, of 6135 Gillot Blvd. in Port Charlotte
Cheryl Ann Riccio, 45, 6277 Skyview Dr. of North Port
David Lee Brown, 29, of 1288 Shore View Drive in Englewood
Robert Wayne Atwood, 31, 20184 Midway Blvd. in Port Charlotte
Crystal Gayle Burke, 32, of 20184 Midway Blvd. in Port Charlotte


Fort Myers Man Arrested for
Oossession of Child Porn


FORT MYERS, Florida [NMT/FDLE] -- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement Fort Myers Regional Operations Center Cyber High-Tech Crime Task Force arrested Carlos A. Londono, 28, of Fort Myers, Fla. on 10 counts of possession of child pornography.

FDLE Agents served a search warrant on Tuesday, Jan. 13th, at Londono’s home, 4136 Bellasol Circle # 1512, Fort Myers, and seized numerous digital devices.

Agents began investigating Londono after determining a computer at his residence was being used to download child pornography. Agents located numerous child pornography videos and photographs on his computer.

Londono was booked into the Lee County Jail. The case will be prosecuted by the Office of the State Attorney, 20th Judicial Circuit.

The Cyber High-Tech Crime Task Force consists of law enforcement officers from FDLE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and the Fort Myers Police Department.

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

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/.


Orange County Sheriff Plans
to Phase in 600 Body Cams

ORLANDO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- The Orange County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved spending nearly $500,000 to begin equipping sheriff's deputies with body cameras, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

The purchase will usher in the first wave of body cameras used by the department.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings presented a plan to the commission Tuesday morning, hoping to phase in 600 cameras over the next two years.

He said if the public wants deputies to have these cameras, the public will have to pay for it.

Demings returned $476,000 of unused funds from his budget to the county last year and on Tuesday he asked county commissioners to return that money to the agency to be put toward the cost of body cameras for deputies.

County commissioners unanimously approved the request.

In his presentation, Demings told commissioners that he planned to spend $3.4 million over the next five years implementing the cameras and all of the technology that comes along with it.

That cost includes purchasing the cameras, paying for storage space, networking and funding the staff that would be responsible for its management.

He told WKMG News that some of that money will hopefully come from federal grants.

The remaining money will come down to how the Sheriff's Office budgets its money in the coming fiscal years.

The use of body cameras by law enforcement has become a hot-button issue following several high-profile cases nationwide.

"We wanted to have careful thought, a deliberate process involved, and we wanted to depoliticize this process as much as we can," Demings told Local 6 last month.

Demings said he's been considering the cameras for a long time and refuted speculation that it's a knee-jerk reaction to the agency's recent controversial shooting in which a deputy shot 28-year-old Cedric Bartee, who was unarmed while suspected of stealing a car.

Witnesses said Bartee had his hands up when deputies shot him, but investigators said that wasn't the case. That situation is one in which body cameras may have aided in the investigation, WKMG said.

"They're only a tool. They're not a panacea to answer all of the questions," said Demings.

[Ed. Note: NewsManatee contacted Dave Bristow, spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, who said MSO is looking into the possibility of using body cameras, but nothing has been decided.]


DHSMV Reminds Motorists to
Comply with the Move Over Law

TALLAHASSEE, Florida [NMT/DHSMV] -- In 2013, there were over 130 traffic crashes in Florida that involved motorists who violated the Move Over law. Of those crashes, 81 resulted in injuries and 2 in fatalities. This month, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is reminding motorists of the state's Move Over law.


DMSMV Reminds Motorists:
Move Over, Save a Life

The Move Over law was enacted in 2002 to help protect law enforcement officers, emergency workers, and tow truck drivers when they are performing their duties along the roadside. In July 2014, the Move Over law was expanded to include sanitation and utility vehicles.

"Moving over allows a safety buffer between your moving vehicle and the stopped vehicle. If you can't move over, you must slow down," said Colonel David H. Brierton, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. "It's simply a good habit to move over or slow down for any stopped or disabled vehicle on the side of the highway because it makes our busy roads safer for everyone."

Violating the Move Over law puts motorists and those who work along our roadways at risk. It can also result in a fine and points on your driving record. There are two ways to comply with the Move Over law:


Multi-Lane Roadway:

~ Drivers must vacate the lane closest to the stationary emergency vehicle, tow truck, sanitation, or utility vehicle. (Always signal your intention to change lanes.)

~ Drivers must slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit if they cannot move over safely.

~ Drivers who are not in the lane closest to the stationary vehicle should be prepared to allow those who are to move over into their lane.


Two-Lane Roadway:

~ Drivers must slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit.

~ If the speed limit is 20 mph or less, drivers must travel at 5 mph.

Move over or slow down. It's not just the safe thing to do…it's the law.

 

~ Tuesday's Local/State News ~

Man, 23, Arrested for Traveling
to Meet a Girl, 14, to Engage
in Illicit Sex Acts after Use
of a Computer

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Joshua Jeremy Rettig, 23, of 4704 35th Court East, Bradenton.


Joshua Rettig

The arrest report said on Jan. 5th, 2015, a detective with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office began chatting with Rettig via Facebook. The detective was posing as a 14-year-old girl.

During the conversation, Rettig's messages became sexual in nature, even after being told by "the girl" that she was 14.

Rettig began teaching the girl how to masturbate.

He sent her a picture of an erect penis, allegedly his.

He agreed to meet with her for the purpose of having sex or sex acts.

On Wednesday, Jan. 7th, Rettig went to a local McDonald's restaurant to meet up with "the girl."

However, two detectives were there and spotted him. They wound up arresting Rettig.

Rettig was charged with In State Traveling to Meet a Minor after Using a Computer to Lure a Child, and Using a Computer to Transmit Harmful Information to a Child.

He later posted a bail bond of $26,500 and was released from the Manatee County Jail.

In the arrest report, Rettig told detectives he prefers to have sex with girls under 18.


Woman Arrested for Theft of
Over $5,000 in Goods from
DeSoto Square Stores

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Gina Caputo, 52, allegedly a homeless person.


Gina Caputo

According to the arrest report, on Tuesday, Jan. 6th, entering the DeSoto Square Mall around 5:30 p.m., she traveled through Bath & Body Works, Victoria's Secret, JC Penneu and Sears, stealing from all four stores.

Loss prevention personnel at Sears finally witnessed her stealing and detained her.

After rounding up representatives from the stores, deputies were able to determine that Caputo had stolen $5,322 in merchandise.

She was arrested and charged with Felony Shoplifting.

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

Caputo reportedly said she steals to give to her friends because "she has a problem."


Woman Arrested for Prostitution,
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Contessa Johnson, 34, of 1431 14th Street West, Bradenton.


Contessa Johnson

The arrest report said on Tuesday, Jan. 6th, 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 4:45 p.m., he spotted Johnson standing in the 2200 block of 13th Street West.

He made contact and, after a brief conversation, Contessa agreed to perform oral sex on the U/C detective and to allow him to have vaginal sex with her, all for $40.

She was arrested and charged with misdemeanor Prostitution.

Subsequent to her arrest, deputies found a crack stem in her purse. She was additionally charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

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


Five Teens Reportedly
Burglarize Palmetto
Residence


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported the burglary of a Palmetto residence on Monday, Jan. 12th, at about 3:15 p.m., in the 2000 block of 1st Avenue East.

A sheriff's report said the victim called 911 reporting he had just witnessed multiple young Black males fleeing the open back door of his home.

The power meter was torn off, the front door had been kicked in and the interior had been pilfered.

MSO and Palmetto Police K-9 responded to box and track, to no avail.

The man told deputies there were about 5 young 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.


Scam Artist Arrested for Theft
From Elderly Woman

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested a man who took $300 from an elderly woman after claiming her vehicle was leaking fluid and stating he could fix it for her.


Thomas Reese

The suspect approached the woman as she left Publix at the Sarasota Pavilion, 6543 S. Tamiami Trail, on December 5th. He walked her to the Bank of America ATM where she withdrew the money, but he claimed it wasn't enough and they went to the ATM outside Publix. Fortunately, an alert manager intervened due to prior incidents with the suspect.

Based on surveillance videos, detectives identified the suspect as Thomas Reese, 42, 1604 N. Brink Ave., Sarasota.

In addition, they learned there was nothing wrong with the victim's car.

Reese is charged with Theft from a Person 65 Years of Age or Older.

He has more than a dozen prior arrests for a variety of Fraud charges, in addition to Aggravated Assault and Battery.

Reese is a suspect in at least three other cases in the City of Sarasota, and detectives believe there could be more victims.

Anyone who thinks they were also scammed by Reese should contact Criminal Investigations at 861-4915.


Pit Bull Named "Fudge"
Will Likely be Put Down


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Director has confiscated “Fudge,” the pit bull mix responsible for the dog bite of a 10-month-old boy Friday at a home on Pine Terrace in Sarasota.


Above, "Fudge"

The dog was initially impounded for safety reasons Friday, but based on the Animal Services investigation, the severity of the infant’s injuries and the dog’s three prior bite cases, the Director determined confiscating the animal and ordering humane euthanasia is the appropriate course of action.

This action is per Sarasota County Ordinance Chapter 14, Section 14-40 (b) Vicious Animals.

The owner, Angel “Lisa” Zargo, was to be served the necessary paperwork on Monday.

Per County Ordinance, she can opt to either sign the dog over to Animal Services or she will have seven (7) days to contest this decision. If so, a hearing will be scheduled and a magistrate will rule on this course of action.


"New Beginnings II" Meeting
Scheduled for Thursday


SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- On Thursday, January 15, 2015, at 6 p.m. at the Robert L. Taylor Community Center, 1845 34th Street, Sarasota, Police Chief Bernadette DiPino, along with members of the Sarasota Police Department and United Sarasota and Harwood Institute Conversations will hold another neighborhood and community meeting called ‘New Beginnings II,’ for business owners and residents in North Sarasota.

The January 15th meeting is an opportunity to have an open discussion about Community Orientated Policing and quality of life issues, including mental illness, directly with community members. This third meeting will be a continuation from two neighborhood meetings which were held in July 2014 and September 2014.

‘New Beginnings II’ is an update of a previous initiative, ‘A New Beginning for Newtown.’ This initiative is a chance to bring police and the community together to address crime, fear of crime and relationship building.

“These meetings are a chance to continue the conversation about public and officer safety. We will continue to work together to keep our community safe, build relationships, trust and partner with our community to keep Sarasota a safe place to live, work and play,” said Chief Bernadette DiPino.

Residents, community members, business owners and media are invited and encouraged to attend the meeting on January 15, 2015. Citizens are asked to arrive at 5:30 p.m., before the meeting begins, to fill out a survey on community safety and mental health. Coffee, water and light snacks will be provided and residents are welcome to bring their favorite dessert to share.


Details Emerge on Zimmerman's
Latest Arrest


SANFORD, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Details of a domestic violence incident that landed George Zimmerman in jail were revealed Monday by investigators.

Lake Mary police released an arrest report from Friday night when George Zimmerman was taken into custody. Police body camera video, however, will not be released immediately, police said.

Zimmerman was booked into the jail around 10 p.m. Friday on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to a jail representative.

According to the police report released on Monday, two Lake Mary police officers reported hearing glass break outside Zimmerman's home on Valley Wood Way.

They said they saw a woman get in her car and drive away from the home without her headlights on, which caused them to pull her over.

The woman told officers she had been dating Zimmerman for about two to three months, and claimed that Zimmerman threw a wine bottle at her and threw her cellphone, shattering it, as a result of an argument they were having.

Officers indicated the woman was very emotional. According to the report, the woman called Zimmerman a "psychopath" and said she never should have gotten involved with him.

Police said minutes after the incident, they found a broken wine bottle in the driveway, but Zimmerman was no longer there.

Zimmerman was unable to be found for five days, police said.

When he was finally located on Friday, he denied the fight, throwing the bottle or damaging the woman's phone. He was arrested anyway.

Lake Mary police had previously said body and dash cam video would be available on Monday, but changed their mind, citing it as part of the evidence in the case.

Local 6 has learned there are 11 DVDs of body and dash cam video from both the night of the incident on January 5 and the night of Zimmerman's arrest on January 9.

 

~ Monday's Local/State News ~

Bradenton Fire Department
Rescues Unconscious Dog
from Structure Fire

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Fire Department has rescued an unconscious dog from the scene of a structure fire.


Above, firefighters/EMS personnel treating the dog

A press release from BFD said on Saturday, Jan. 10th, at 6:56 p.m., Bradenton Fire Department crews responded to a report of a structure fire in the 600 block of 32nd Street West.

Upon arrival at 6:59 p.m., the first responding units found smoke and flames showing from the rear of the structure.

There were no reported injuries, though one dog was rescued by Firefighters Ferrett, Harrison, Rice, and Rivera.

The dog was found to be unconscious with labored breathing.

Oxygen therapy administered by Firefighter Turner and Manatee County EMS Paramedics Betts and Landis resulted in an improved condition.

The dog was transported to an animal clinic for further treatment, reportedly gifted by Paramedics Betts and Landis.

Damages to the home are estimated at $15,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Bradenton Fire Department.

Responders included: Six fire suppression units with 12 personnel, one investigative personnel, one EMS unit, and the Bradenton Police Department, along with FP&L personnel.


Man Arrested for Purse Snatch
Outside Bob Evans Restaurant
Jailed on Contempt Warrant

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Juan M. Pena, 22, of 3720 14th Street West, Bradenton.


Juan Pena

According to the arrest report, on Dec. 14th, 2014, at about 4:20 p.m., Pena accosted a 71-year-old woman who was walking into the Bob Evans Restaurant located at 4115 14th Street West and snatched her purse.

The purse contained her car and house keys, wallet, ID and credit cards.

She sustained no injuries.

Pena fled the scene to his mobile home, just two blocks north of the restaurant and across the street.

A witness who had followed Pena pointed out the residence into which Pena fled.

A relative coaxed Pena, said to be a known heroin addict, to return the purse.

Pena was arrested and charged with Robbery by Sudden Snatching.

He later posted a bail bond.

Last week, Pena was arrested for Contempt of Court for Failure to Appear.

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


One of Two Captured by
MSO K-9 Following
Armed Robbery


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Marc Betherson, 19, and Godfrey Sannon, 25, both of Bradenton.


Above, L to R, Marc Betherson, MSO K-9 Rocky, and Godfrey Sannon

A sheriff's report said on Friday, Jan. 9th, at about 3 p.m., deputies were dispatched to 6172 15th Street East, the location of Patron Market, in reference to an armed robbery in progress.

Information was received that a witness followed the suspects to the 1100 block of 63rd Ave. E. where she pointed the suspects out to a deputy.

The deputy observed a male matching the description run into a house in the 6300 block of 11th St. Ct. E.

Deputies surrounded the house.

Both suspects were inside the residence and made an attempt to run out of the front door.

One of the suspects was apprehended by K-9 Rocky and the other by deputies.

Both were charged with Armed Robbery, Burglary, and Resisting Arrest without Violence.

They both remain in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $120,500 each.


Man Arrested for Grand Theft
of Woman's Motor Scooter

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Johnny Lee Anderson, 37, of 4821 Sunday Court, Sarasota.


Johnny Anderson

The arrest report said on Tuesday, Jan. 6th, at about 3:20 p.m., a deputy spotted Anderson pushing a motor scooter in the 800 block of Whitfield Avenue. Considering that suspicious, he stopped it.

The driver, Anderson, gave the deputy several inconsistent stories and the ignition had been drilled out and broken.

Deputies could not find an owner at that time, so the scooter was towed and Anderson was arrested on suspicion of Grand Theft.

Several hours later, the owner called and reported her scooter stolen from her workplace in the 7400 block of North Tamiami Trail.

She confirmed that it was her scooter that deputies had towed and said the lock/ignition had been intact when she had left it parked earlier.

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


Cops Arrest Woman for
Misdemeanor Prostitution


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Laticha A. Alvarez, 30, allegedly a homeless person in Manatee County.


Laticha Alvarez

The arrest report said on Tuesday, Jan. 6th, 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 10 p.m., he spotted Alvarez walking in the 5900 block of 12th Street East.

He made contact and after a brief conversation, Alvarez agreed to give the detective's "friend" oral sex in exchange for $60, as a birthday gift.

Alvarez was arrested without incident and charged with misdemeanor prostitution.

She remains in custody in lieu of a bail bond of $120.


Man in Car at Cul-de-Sac
Shot by Hispanic Man


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a shooting that occurred on Friday, Jan. 9th, at about 9 p.m., in the 1000 block of 33rd Avenue East, Bradenton.


A sheriff's report said the victims, Leon Spearman, 25, and Cedric Houston, 24, were sitting in a car that was parked in the road at the end of the cul-de-sac.

A silver SUV drove down 33rd Ave. E., turned around and parked. The suspects, two Hispanic males and a Black male, got out of the vehicle and began a verbal confrontation with Spearman and Houston.

Suspect #1, a Hispanic ale, subsequently pulled out a handgun and started shooting at the victims.

Spearman was shot one time in the leg and ran from the scene. Houston ducked down in the car and crawled out; he was not shot.

The suspects got back into their vehicle and fled and could not be located.

Spearman was taken to a hospital with a non-life threatening injury.

The shooter was described as a Hispanic male, 5'7" tall, medium build, wearing a white collar shirt with red stripes, and blue jeans. He was armed with an unknown type of handgun.

The other two accomplices only had vague clothing descriptions given in the report.


Bicyclist Killed by
Hit-and-Run Driver


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Highway Patrol reported a fatal collision that occurred between a bicyclist and an unknown pickup truck.


The FHP report said on Friday, Jan. 9th, at approximately 3:30 a.m., a bicyclist, Anthony Galanopoulos, 45, of Bradenton, was traveling southbound on 15th Street East on the paved shoulder just north of Bio-Tech Way.

The unknown pickup was also traveling southbound on 15th St. E. approaching the bicyclist from the rear.

The driver of the pickup truck traveled onto the paved shoulder and its right front struck the bicyclist. After the pickup struck the bicyclist, they traveled in a southwesterly direction onto the west shoulder.

The bicyclist sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on the scene.

The pickup truck and its driver left the scene of the crash and failed to render aid to the bicyclist.

The pickup truck is believed to be a 2004 to 2009 Ford F150 pickup truck with damage to its front right headlight area. The color of the pickup truck is currently unknown.

If anyone has any information about the crash please contact the Florida Highway Patrol at 239-938-1800 or Cpl. Wilmeth at 941-751-8357.


Detectives Seek Identity
of Robbery Suspect

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- Detectives with the Sarasota Police Department are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a man who is a suspect in a strong arm robbery that occurred on December 30, 2014, at Walgreens, 1947 Fruitville Road, Sarasota.




The clerk told officers the suspect didn’t say anything but when she was giving change to a customer, the suspect reached across the counter into an open cash drawer. The clerk reacted by pushing the suspect away and there was a short struggle before the suspect ran out the door. The suspect may have taken an undisclosed amount of cash and had a soda in his hand. The clerk was shaken up but had no injuries.

The suspect is described as a White male, medium build, light short hair, last seen wearing gray cargo shorts, white or gray t-shirt, black sneakers, white socks, black baseball hat with writing on the front.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Anthony DeFrancisco at 941-954-7049 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477) or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.


Need ID in Fraudulent
Credit Card Case


CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Charlotte County Sheriff's Office Economic Crimes detectives are attempting to identify two men who used a fraudulent credit card to make a purchase at a local fishing business.


In the latter part of 2014, two men went to Fishin’ Franks Bait and Tackle, located at 4425 Tamiami Trail in Charlotte Harbor, and selected a quantity of relatively expensive fishing equipment, as well as some items of less value. They provided a credit card to pay for the more than $2,000 worth of merchandise.

After the transaction was processed through the various financial institutions, the business was notified that the credit card was fraudulent. They recently filed a report with the Sheriff’s Office.

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 Economic Crimes), or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).


George Zimmerman Arrested on
Aggravated Assault Charge


SEMINOLE COUNTY, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- George Zimmerman bonded out of jail at 12:25 p.m. Saturday after he was arrested in Seminole County, Orlando television station WKMG reported.


George Zimmerman

A representative for the Seminole County Sheriff's Office told WKMG Zimmerman was booked into the jail around 10 p.m. Friday on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

In a news release, Lake Mary police said a woman reported being involved in a domestic violence incident Monday with Zimmerman. She told officers that after they had pulled her over in a residential neighborhood for a traffic stop.

Officers began an investigation and attempted to contact Zimmerman several times in person and by phone, but were not able to make contact with him until Friday, when he was arrested.

Zimmerman appeared in court Saturday, with the judge setting his bond at $5,000. During his first appearance a judge ordered Zimmerman to have no contact with the victim or enter Volusia County.

The judge also ordered Zimmerman to turn over any firearms he has in his possession by Tuesday.

The judge said that Zimmerman had been living at the address where the incident occurred, so he is allowed to go back there.

Lake Mary police said they plan to release body camera video and the arrest report Monday.

Zimmerman's arraignment is set for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 17 in courtroom 1a.

Zimmerman was acquitted in 2013 for the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, WKMG said.

 

 

 

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