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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 March 30, 2014 - April 5, 2015

~ Wednesday's Local/State News ~

Bradenton Man Arrested for
DUI in Cortez Bridge Crash
Head-On with BMW

MANATEE COUNTY, FLORIDA [NMT/The Islander] -- A head-on car collision on the Cortez Bridge ended with one vehicle plowing through a guardrail, one arrest and traffic backed up for more than an hour.


Jeffrey Hills

Jeffrey S. Hills, 57, of Bradenton, was arrested at about 4:30 p.m. March 25 for driving under the influence and leaving a crash scene with property damage, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report.

Just before the collision, the bridge bascule was in the up position and Hills, driving a Lincoln Continental, and another motorist, Todd Saylor, of Cortez, were stopped on opposite sides of the bascule.

According to Saylor, his BMW led a line of cars westbound after the gate opened. Hills’ vehicle “broke out of the pack,” crossed the center line and struck Saylor head-on at the center of the bridge, he said.

A witness confirmed Saylor’s statement to the MCSO.

After the collision, Saylor approached Hills’ vehicle and observed Hills slumped over and smelling “like a brewery,” Saylor said.

Hills then sat up, allegedly drove backward in the westbound lane for about a quarter mile and crashed into a guardrail.

Bradenton Beach Police Department responded and called an MCSO deputy, who determined Hills was impaired by alcohol and/or depressants after he failed field sobriety tests.

Hills’ blood alcohol content measured .073 and .070. The legal limit is .08. Hills also provided a urine sample, according to the MCSO report.

At press time, Hills was being held in the Manatee County jail. His bond was set $10,000 and his court date was not yet available.

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


Dark Windows Lead to
Cortez Man's Heroin Arrest

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT/The Islander] -- Car and truck windows can be too dark.


Grant Lutz

A March 11 stop near the DeSoto Mall in Bradenton for a window-tinting infraction led to a Cortez man’s arrest on drug charges.

A passenger in the pickup with dark tinted windows, Grant Everett Lutz, 30, was arrested for possessing cocaine, heroin and drug paraphernalia, according to Manatee County Sheriff’s Deputy John Wren’s probable cause report.

When deputies searched the truck, they found heroin residue in the ashtray and a black bag containing 15 syringes, a tourniquet, two crack pipes and 224 empty narcotics bags, according to the report.

Lutz and a passenger were arrested.

Deputies allegedly found Lutz in possession of heroin, weighing 1.2 grams, cocaine weighing .2 grams and paraphernalia.

According to the MCSO report, the passenger admitted to being a daily heroin user and deputies found a syringe beneath her seat. She was charged with paraphernalia possession.

The 12th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Office filed formal charges against Lutz on felony counts of heroin and cocaine possession and a misdemeanor paraphernalia count.

The state attorney declined filing a charge against the passenger.

The driver faces violations for a suspended license and operating a vehicle with illegal sun screening applications.

Wren reported the window tint in the vehicle measured 4 percent, “well below the legal limit.”

Lutz’s arraignment is set for 8:55 a.m. Friday, April 10, at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

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


No Goodwill Here: Employee
Caught Pocketing Money

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Stephanie M. Gianiotes, 31, of 2128 9th Avenue West, Bradenton.


Stephanie Gianiotes

The arrest report said Gianiotes was employed by Goodwill Industries, 7501 15th Street East, Bradenton.

On Monday, March 30th, at about 1 p.m., a customer observed Gianotes taking money from him/her and pocketing it, instead of ringing it up.

The customer made loss prevention aware of this and the loss prevention team observed her pocketing money that was handed to her by customers, rather than ringing up the items on the register.

Loss prevention confronted her and, in the presence of a deputy, spontaneously said she had taken $200 over the past two weeks from the store.

She was arrested and charged with misdemeanor Petit Theft.

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


10-Year-Old Riding Motorcycle
Collides with Other Motorcycle;
Leaves 2 Critical, 1 Serious


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Highway Patrol reported a collision between two motorcycles on Monday, March 30th, at about 1:45 p.m., on 20th Street East at 2nd Avenue East, in Palmetto.

The FHP report said a 2013 Kawaskaki being driven by Chad Andrews, 10, of Palmetto, was westbound on 20th Street East approaching 2nd Avenue East.

A 2006 Honda being driven by Daniel Kendricks, 43, of Parrish, was southbound on 2nd Avenue East approaching 20th Street East.

Andrews failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of 2nd Avenue East. Vehicle-1 entered the intersection and traveled into the path of Vehicle-2.

Kendricks was unable to avoid Vehicle-1. Vehicle-1's front collided into the right side of Vehicle-2.

Andrews was thrown from Vehicle-1 onto the southbound lane of 2nd Avenue East south of the intersection.

Vehicle-1 overturned and traveled south into the northbound lane of 2nd Avenue East south of the intersection.

Vehicle-2 overturned onto its right side and slid south into the west shoulder of 2nd Avenue East.

Passenger-1 from Vehicle-2 was thrown from Vehicle-2 into a ditch on the west shoulder of 2nd
Avenue East.

Vehicle-1's final rest was resting on its left side facing north south of the point of
impact in the northbound lane of 2nd Avenue East.

Vehicle-2 was moved from its final rest prior to the arrival of a trooper.

Andrews was transported to Bayfront Medical Center in critical condition.

Kendricks was transported to Manatee Memorial in serious condition.

His passenger, Tameashia Robison, 31, of Palmetto, was transported to Blake Medical Center in critical condition.

No charges have been filed.

Nobody was wearing a helmet.


Detective Saves Man's Life,
Awarded Manatee Deputy
of the Month of March

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube has named Detective Daniel Dickerman Deputy of the Month for March of 2015.

In December 2014, Detective Dickerman stopped to check on a man he observed lying down on a bench.

Det. Dickerman determined the man needed medical attention and called emergency medical personnel.

A short time later, MSO Communications sent another MSO unit to his location because he was not answering the radio.

The back-up unit arrived and found Detective Dickerman performing CPR on the subject.

He continued CPR until EMS arrived and transported the man to the hospital.

If not for his initiative to stop and check on the man, it is likely he would have been found dead on the bench.

For his actions, Detective Daniel Dickerman is awarded Deputy of the Month for March 2015.

Sheriff Steube congratulated Detective Dickerman.


Deputies Investigating Complaint
find Fugitive Sex Offender


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's office arrested a Siesta Key pedi-cab driver who is wanted in Texas and failed to register in Sarasota County as a Sex Offender.


Jordan Tamez

A man approached deputies patrolling Siesta Key Beach Saturday afternoon and told them he received a counterfeit bill as change from the pedi-cab driver who dropped him off. Deputies located the driver and asked if he had any counterfeit bills. He handed them a $5 bill and then agreed to show them his wallet. As he handed over the wallet he tried to remove his identification and debit card, and when asked why he said he had a warrant in Texas. Deputies confirmed the man, identified as Jordan Tamez, 21, 4001 Beneva Road, Sarasota, is a registered Sex Offender in Texas, convicted in 2014 of Sex Assault on a Child and sentenced to three years of probation. He is wanted for violating probation by leaving the state.

Tamez said he has worked as a pedi-cab driver for the past three weeks. Sex offenders are required to register within 48 hours of establishing residence in Sarasota County, so he is charged with Failing to Register as a Sex Offender and Possession of Marijuana.

Bond is set at $2,000 for his local charges but he is being held for Texas authorities.


Man, 50, Molested Girl,
Followed Her Into Her Home


LAKE MARY, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A 50-year-old man was arrested in Lake Mary on allegations of attempting to lure children into his car and molesting a girl before following her into her home, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Paul David Ocallaghan was arrested Friday on charges of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under the age of 12, luring and enticing a child under the age of 12 and residential burglary.

According to Lake Mary police, Ocallaghan approached a group of children in the driveway of a home and told them he was looking for his lost cat. He then asked the children if they would get into his car and ride along while he picked up his son from school, police said.

During that time, Ocallaghan molested the girl and followed her into her home, according to Lake Mary police. A woman inside the home told the man to leave before she called police.

Ocallaghan was booked into the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Sanford and was being held on $100,000 bond, WKMG said.

"The touching ,it's inappropriate, it's a crime as is entering a dwelling that you don't belong with the intent to entice a child to get into your vehicle," said Bianca Gillett of Lake Mary police.

Anyone with additional information about Ocallaghan is asked to contact Lake Mary police.


Would-Be Skyway Bridge
Jumper Pulled to Safety


HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Tuesday, March 31, 2015, at 8:40 a.m., the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) was patrolling northbound I-275 near mile marker 9 on the Skyway Bridge.

An FHP trooper observed a Ford pick-up truck stopped on top of the bridge span and a distraught White male sitting nearby on the ledge of the bridge.

The White male began shouting at the trooper, advising the trooper to back away.

In turn, the trooper requested emergency back up and began attempting to establish a rapport with the subject.

Additional Florida Highway Patrol Troopers, Florida Wildlife Commission Officers (FWC), Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the Saint Petersburg Police Department responded to the scene. The US Coast Guard along with the FWC Marine Unit responded and stood by at the base of the bridge in the water.

During the course of engaging in a conversation with the subject, emergency personnel were able to physically pull the subject to safety and detain him.

The subject was taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital for evaluation and will be Baker Acted upon release.

 

~ Tuesday's Local/State News ~

Woman Accused of Embezzlement
from Factory Shops Store
in Ellenton

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Elizabeth Aguilar, 20, of 5506 78th Avenue East, Bradenton.


Elizabeth Aguilar

According to the arrest report, Aguilar was employed by Gymboree at 5461 Factory Shops Blvd., in Ellenton.

The manager began suspecting that Aguilar was stealing merchandise after she found Aguilar and another employee inside the back room of the store while they were off the clock. Both employees said that they were working on some merchandise boxes. But after the manager checked the back room, she did not observe any boxes being worked on.

The manager noticed there were two boxes of merchandise on the side and after questioning Aguilar and the other employee, they both blamed it on another employee.

The manager started to watch Aguilar and she was observed by the store manager taking boxes of merchandise out of the rear door and placing them in her vehicle.

The estimated value of the merchandise was $3,000.

The merchandise was returned and Aguilar was arrested on Sunday, March 29th.

She was charged with Grand Theft by Embezzlement.

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


Man Arrested for Battery on
Man Over 65 Years Old


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Steven L. White, 50, of 70117th Avenue West, Bradenton.


Steven White

The arrest report said on Sunday, March 29th, at about 4:30 p.m., White approached his victim, Philip Birdsong, who is over 65 years of age, and they got into a verbal argument that turned physical. The argument was about Birdsong littering White's yard.

White chest bumped Birdsong several times before the victim's neighbor intervened and broke the two apart.

No injuries were sustained by Birdsong.

A witness confirmed Birdsong's statements.

White was arrested and charged with Battery on a Person Over 65.

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


Attempted Armed Robbery
at Avalon Square Reported


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported an attempted armed robbery that occurred at Avalon Square apartments, 3506 14th Street West, Bradenton.

A sheriff's report said on Monday, March 30, 2015, at about 2:15 a.m., the victim, Justin Smith, 24, was approached by two suspects at the dumpster area at Avalon Square apartments.

The suspects demanded property from the victim but did not get anything. One suspect displayed a firearm in his waistband but did not point it at the victim.

The victim escaped by punching both suspects and running between the buildings.

The suspects have not been located at this time.

The would-be robbers were described as both being Black males; one was 6' tall, in his mid 20s, skinny but muscular, dreds, wearing all black; and the second was skinny, in his mid 20s, short hair with a short beard, wearing all black. The suspects were riding a gray Mongoose bike and a blue Next mountain bike.

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.


Pipe Bomb Found by
Dog Walker

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a pipe bomb was found on Sunday, March 28th, at about 3:45 p.m., on Lorraine Road, near State Road 64.

The complainant stopped at the roadside to let her dog relieve itself. She noticed what appeared to be a homemade pipe bomb made from PVC.

She notified MCSO.

Upon the deputies' arrival they notified supervision.

It was determined that the device could be active due to its appearance and wires.

The Bomb squad was notified and they responded and made the device safe. It was found to be inert.

The Bomb technician collected the device and placed it into property.

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.



Holmes Beach Police Plan
Neighborhood Watch
Program Forum


HOLMES BEACH, Florida [NMT] -- Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer wants to know if the residents of the community would like to participate in a Neighborhood Watch program.

So, to judge the popularity of the idea he’s conducting a resident forum at the commission chambers in the Holmes Beach City Hall, April 9th from 6pm-7pm. “I want to get a feeling from the community to see if they want a Neighborhood Watch program, or just an overview,” he explained.

It’s a proven fact that the Neighborhood Watch program is a powerful means of combating all types of criminal offenses in residential areas. It is one of the most effective and least expensive ways to prevent crime and reduce fear. It also forges bonds among area residents; helps reduce burglaries, robberies and thefts from vehicles; and improves relations between law enforcement and the community. “Stopping crime is everyone's business. If you do your part in neighborhood crime prevention, you'll be doing yourself and your community a big favor,” the chief explains. Adding, “To have a true Neighborhood Watch program the neighborhood has to be willing to receive training to be certified and hold periodic meetings as needed.”

Any Holmes Beach resident can join us and learn how to make their homes more secure, watch out for each other and the neighborhood, and report activities that raise their suspicions.

In addition, with the dramatic increase in the numbers of golf carts and bicycles on the city streets this time of the year the chief also plans to discuss golf cart and bike safety during the forum.

More than one commissioner may be present.


Distraction Burglary Prompts
SPD to Issue Safety Alert

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- On Saturday, March 28, 2015, a burglary occurred in the 3900 block of Glen Oaks Manor Drive, Sarasota. This is the second burglary reported to the Sarasota Police Department where suspects are claiming to be with a company when they are NOT and stealing jewelry from homeowners.

Over the last several weeks, similar burglaries have also been reported to surrounding law enforcement agencies.

The suspects involved in the burglaries are claiming to be from a water, construction or power company however they are not with any sort of company. One suspect tells a homeowner there is a problem with their home and while they go to take a look at the problem, the other suspect will enter the home and steal personal items such as jewelry.

February 19, 2015 Incident Suspect Description – 1500 block of Bay Point Drive, Sarasota

Only one suspect: Hispanic male, 6’0”, 170 lbs., brown hair, brown eyes; Last seen wearing a white sweatshirt, khaki shorts, white shoes and a khaki baseball cap. Last seen driving a light colored pickup truck.

March 28, 2015 Incident Suspect Description – 3900 block of Glen Oaks Manor Drive, Sarasota

Suspect 1: Hispanic male, 6’0”, 185 lbs., dark hair, dark eyes, moustache. Last seen wearing dark pants and an unknown shirt with yellow in it. Last seen driving a silver SUV.

Suspect 2: Possibly Hispanic, male, 5’7”, 135 lbs., dark hair, dark eyes. Last seen wearing brown overalls. Last seen driving a vehicle smaller than an SUV.

How you can protect yourself:

· DO NOT let the individual inside your home or business

· DO NOT go outside with the individual

· DO NOT provide any sort of personal information

· If in doubt, call the company the individual is claiming to be with to confirm their visit

· You can always call the Sarasota Police Department non-emergency number (941-316-1199) and have an officer respond

The Sarasota Police Department is asking residents and visitors to please share this information with family, friends and neighbors.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Kim Laster at 941-364-7327 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477) or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.


Seventh Suspect Arrested in
Home Invasion Homicide


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


Aenri Ellis

During the investigation, detectives learned that a man known as "Kali King," later identified as Aenri Ellis of Clearwater, was one of four men who barged into the Jeffery's Summerside Lane condominium, stole cash, cellphones and a Microsoft Xbox One, and shot Jonathan Jeffery in the back of his head as they left.

The Fugitive Apprehension Unit has been trying to locate Ellis, who reportedly fled to California shortly after the murder. Deputies provided leads to the United States Marshal Service Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, which reached out to their counterparts in the Eastern District of California Pacific Southwest Fugitive Task Force, who took Ellis into custody over the weekend in the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento.

Aenri is charged with Second Degree Murder and Home Invasion Robbery with a Firearm. He is currently in the Sacramento County Jail awaiting extradition to Florida.

Nicholas Comegys, Vincent Gonzalez, Christian Theodore, Azalea Mendoza and Byron Jones of Sarasota, and Shakoy Gale of St. Petersburg, are also charged in this case.


Man Arrested for Burglary after
Being Found in Boy's Bed Naked


TAMPA, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A Tampa man has been arrested after a woman found him naked in a bed with her 10 year-old son, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Twenty-five-year-old Ernest Johnson faces charges of burglary and molestation in the incident.

Tampa police say they received a call at 4:34 a.m. Sunday reporting a burglary.

The boy's mother told officers when she discovered the man in her son's bed, he jumped out a window.

A police dog helped track down the suspect, WKMG said.

 

~ Monday's Local/State News ~

Manatee County Sheriff:
Man Ambushed, Fatally
Shot; 5th Murder of 2015

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has reported the 5th homicide of 2015.


A press release from Dave Bristow, spokesman for the sheriff, said at approximately 3:30 Sunday morning, deputies responded to a shooting in the 500 block of 60th Ave. E., Bradenton.

When deputies arrived, they discovered the victim, Oscar Cortez-Ruiz, 24, of last known address in Palmetto, lying in the driveway.

The victim was transported to Blake Hospital where he later died.

According to witnesses, the victim was at a local bar and then drove to the above location to take someone home.

When the victim pulled up to the residence, an unknown suspect got out of another vehicle and shot him.

The victim got out of his vehicle and collapsed in the driveway.

The victim was with one other person in addition to the person he was taking home.

At this time, it doesn't appear this was a random incident.

Further details including suspect and suspect vehicle information will be released as warranted.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011, ext. 2159, 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.


Random Drive-By Shooting
Leaves Two Men Wounded


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a shooting that occurred on Sunday, March 29th.


A sheriff's report said shortly after 3:00 Sunday morning a deputy observed a vehicle driving erratically in the 4400 block of 1st St. E., Bradenton.

The vehicle eventually pulled into Manatee Memorial Hospital where it was determined that two subjects had been shot.

Deputies learned that Kyle Stackhouse, 26, and Ronnie Stackhouse, 27, were involved in an altercation at a bar. The two left the bar and were on Cortez Rd. W. near 14th St. W. when another vehicle pulled alongside them.

Unknown suspect(s) began shooting at the victim's vehicle.

The victims are being treated for non-life threatening injuries suffered from the gunshots.

This incident is not believed to be related to the fatal shooting that occurred Sunday morning. The subjects involved in this shooting were at a different bar than the victim of the fatal shooting.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, click here, or text MCSTIPS plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES).

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


4th Homicide of 2015
Discovered; Man, 40,
Found Shot, Killed

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has reported the 4th homicide of 2015.


At approximately 6:15 Friday morning, March 27th, deputies responded to a shooting at 115 60th Ave. W., Bradenton.

Upon arrival, deputies discovered Tyrone Rhodes, 40, deceased inside the residence.

There were four other subjects inside the residence at the time of the shooting who said they heard gun shots but didn't see the suspect(s).

Detectives do not believe this was a random incident.

This is the fourth homicide of 2015. All four homicides occurred in unincorporated Manatee County.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011, ext. 2535, or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, click here, or text MCSTIPS plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES).

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


Woman Charges Hubby
with Scissors in Hand


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County sheriff's Office has arrested Elise M. Jakub, 47, of 410 102nd Street West, Bradenton.


Elise Jakub

According to the arrest report, Elise and her victim boyfriend, Michael Lemmons, have been in a relationship living together as a family for about five years.

Michael said on Monday, March 23rd, at a few minutes past midnight, Elise came home extremely intoxicated after a day of drinking with her friends.

For some unknown reason, Elise began to yell at him, approached him and started to slap and scratch him.

Michael said he had to leave the residence in order to escape the attack.

While he was outside, Elise had a pair of scissors in her hand and that she began to yell and charge toward him with the scissors.

He felt he was in danger and had to run away again as she aggressively charged at him with the scissors in her hand.

She fled the area prior to law enforcement arrival.

A deputy saw lacerations and reddening of the skin on Michael's chest stomach and face where he was struck.

Elise was arrested later that day and charged with Domestic Battery and Aggravate Domestic Battery.

She posted a $6,000 bail bond and was released from the Manatee County Jail.


Man Arrested for Threatening
to Kill His Wife with Machete


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Lee Andrew Davis, 41, of 2512 U.S. 41 North, in Palmetto.


Lee Davis

The arrest report said Davis and his victim have been married for one year and have been living together as a family.

On Monday, March 23rd, at about 1:45 a.m., they began having a verbal altercation about money and how he was not going to give her anything from his recent check.

She said he then reached over to her and grabbed her by the shirt, ripping it. He then grabbed her chest and in the process, scratched her neck and chest.

Davis then proceeded to walk over to his dresser and grab a machete that he keeps in the drawer.

He picked it up, raised it in a threatening manner toward her and said he was going to "chop her up into pieces," the report said.

The victim was in fear for her life, ran out onto the balcony and screamed for help. He fled the area.

A deputy observed scratches on her neck, chest and nose.

She declined EMS treatment for her injuries.

Davis was located and arrested later that day and charged with Domestic Battery and Aggravated Domestic Assault.

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


Woman Raped after Accepting
Ride from Unknown Man

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a sexual battery that occurred on Saturday, March 28th, at about 12:30 a.m. in the 2200 block of 72nd Drive East, Bradenton.


A sheriff's report said the unnamed female victim obtained a ride from an unknown male.

The male drove her to a closed industrial park where he sexually battered her.

The victim was not injured.

The suspect was not located.

He was described as a Hispanic male in his 20s, 5'10" tall, 130 pounds.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, click here, or text MCSTIPS plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES).

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


Oriental Restaurant Victim
of Strong Arm Robbery


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a strong arm robbery that occurred at Mind's Palace, 1152 Whitfield Avenue, Bradenton, on Sunday, March 29th, at about 4 a.m.


A sheriff's report said the victim, Taihin Fuli, 61, was alone working in the restaurant, when the suspect entered and demanded money.

The victim ignored the suspect, so he hit her multiple times with his fist, causing minor injuries.

The suspect took money from the cash register and fled.

The suspect was not located.

The robber was described as a White male, 6' 00" tall, 200 pounds.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, click here, or text MCSTIPS plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES).

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


Female Pedestrian Loses Life
on Cortez Road West

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Highway Patrol reported a fatal accident involving a vehicle and a pedestrian that occurred on Thursday, March 26th, at about 9:10 p.m., on Cortez Road West at 30th Street West.

The FHP report said a 2005 Ford Focus being driven by Hipolito Martinez, 47, of Bradenton, was eastbound on SR 684 (Cortez Rd W) in the right lane approaching 30th St W.

The pedestrian, Dorene Tompson, 49, of Ocala, was standing on the sidewalk near the south shoulder of SR 684 (Cortez Rd W) west of 30th St W.

Ms. Tompson attempted to cross the eastbound lanes of SR 684 (Cortez Rd W) from the south shoulder. She entered the For's path of travel in the right eastbound lane.

As a result, the front of the Ford collided with the pedestrian, who died at the scene.


Woman Dies, 3 Kids Sustain
Serious Injuries in Crash


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Highway Patrol reported a fatal accident between two vehicles on Friday, March 27th, at about 4:30 p.m., on U.S. 19, north of Palm View Road, in North Manatee County.

The FHP report said a 2001 Dodge Ram Van being driven by Nancy Spurlock, 46, of Bradenton, was southbound on US 19 (State Road 55) in the inside (left) lane approaching Palm View Rd.

A 2001 Chevy Suburban being driven by Barbara Carvis, of Pinellas Park, was northbound on US 19 (State Road 55) in the inside (left) lane just north of Palm View Rd.

Spurlock lost control of her Dodge. The Dodge traveled in a southeasterly direction into the center
grass median and continued to travel in a southeasterly direction into the northbound left lane
of US 19 (State Road 55).

The Dodge's right front struck the Chevy's left side.

After the initial impact, the Dodge rotated counterclockwise and came to final rest facing northwest blocking the outside (right) lane.

After the impact with the Dodge, the Chevy rotated counterclockwise and continued to travel in a northeasterly direction.

The Chevy came to final rest facing southwest blocking the outside (right) lane of US 19 (State Road 55).

Ms. Carvis died at the scene.

There were a total of three children inside the Chevy. All three children were taken to All Children's Hospital for serious injuries. Their ages were not given in the report.

Charges are pending.


Windermere Cops Search for
Two Missing Women

WINDERMERE, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- The Windermere Police Department is searching for two women to check on their safety, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Police released a composite sketches of the women, showing what they would have looked like before 2011.

Officers haven't released details as to why they are looking for the women, only that they are investigating incidents that may have happened before 2011.

"We're simply trying to identify them and determine that they're OK," said Windermere Police Detective John Allen. "They are pertinent to a case that we are working, but I can't say how at this point."

Police said the women are not considered suspects or are in trouble, only that they are worried for the two women. Investigators said they want to speak to the women and make sure they are safe, WKMG said.

Contact Windermere police if you have any information on the women.


 

~ Friday's Local/State News ~

Manatee Detectives Arrest
Man, 45, for Prior Sex with
Female Victim, 8 Years Old

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of a 45-year-old man for having sex with a minor.


Kevin Piearcy

A press release from Dave Bristow, spokesman for the sheriff's office, said detectives have arrested Kevin Piearcy, of Bradenton, and charged him with four counts of Capital Sexual Battery, one count of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation and one count of Lewd and Lascivious Conduct.

The acts occurred in 2010 when the female victim was 8 years old.

The victim no longer lives in the area but recently disclosed the sexual abuse which led to the investigation.

No other details of the encounters were made known in the press release.

Piearcy is being held without bond in the Manatee County Jail.


BPD Arrested Man for Domestic
Battery by Strangulation


BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Daniel Arty, 30, of 2701 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton.


Daniel Arty

According to the arrest report, Arty and his victim currently live together and have bee dating for the last six years.

On Tuesday, March 24th, at about 5:30 p.m., they were involved in an argument.

Arty allegedly choked the victim twice to the point of where she could not breathe.

An officer observed scratch marks on the victim's forehead and scratches on her legs.

She declined medical attention.

Art was arrested and charged with Domestic Battery by Strangulation.

He posted a $5,000 bail bond and was released from the Manatee County Jail.


Man with Priors Accused of
Theft of Items from Target


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Keith Andrew Owens, 51, of 6631 Lincoln Road, in Bradenton.


Keith Owens

The arrest report said on Tuesday, March 24th, at about 12:15 p.m., Owens entered the Target store located at 6030 14th Street West, Bradenton, and began selecting items valued at $259.89, including a portable speaker and a container of lotion.

He then proceeded to exit the store without paying, but was stopped by Loss Prevention personnel, who had to be assisted by an unknown customer to detain him.

Law enforcement was called and discovered that Owens had three priors for shoplifting.

He was therefore charged with Felony Shoplifting, and Resisting Recovery of Property.

He later paid a $2,000 bail bond and was released from the Manatee County Jail.


CHFR Holds Emergency
Services Open House

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On March 7, 2015, Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue held their annual "Emergency Services Open House."


The event showcased apparatus from many of the local fire, emergency management and law enforcement districts including ladder trucks, fire engines, command trailers, police cars, special airport fire apparatus and a tractor/plow for combating forest fires.

Cedar Hammock also included a multitude of fire safety demonstrations to include a live fire sprinkler simulation, to show the importance of residential sprinkler systems, and a fire safety bounce house for the younger crowd to teach kids a multitude of fire safety tips.

Kids also had the opportunity to dress up as a real firefighter and complete an obstacle course similar to a training course completed by real firefighters.

The event provided free hot dogs and drinks to all and attendance was estimated around 1000 people.

The event concluded with the arrival of Bayflite, a trauma transport helicopter.

Cedar Hammock plans on continuing the event on an annual basis.


Pet Oxygen Masks Donated to
Bradenton Fire Department

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Fire Department will now be among the best equipped fire departments in the nation to save a pet's life, thanks to pet oxygen masks donated today by Invisible Fence of the Gulf Coast.


This donation is part of Invisible Fence(r) Brand's Project Breathetm program, created to help better equip fire departments across the United States and Canada to save pets from smoke inhalation. To date, Invisible Fence(r) Brand has donated more than 10,000 pet oxygen masks to fire departments throughout the country and a reported 120+ pets have been saved by those very masks.

"When a family suffers the tragedy of a fire, lives are turned upside down," said Edward Hoyt, Director of Invisible Fence(r) Brand. "Pets are valued family members, so we want families to know that their pet can be cared for if tragedy strikes."

"We realize that humans are the first-priority, but in many cases, pets can be saved if firefighters have the right equipment," said Hoyt. "Project Breathetm program is simply a way of giving firefighters the tools necessary to save pets' lives."

Over the past several years, the Bradenton Fire Department has used its few pet oxygen masks to assist several rescued pets, including a January 2015 save with Manatee County EMS.

Although the U.S. Fire Administration does not have an official statistic of the number of pets that die in fires; it is estimated 40,000 to 150,000 pets die in fires annually. Most of these deaths are from smoke inhalation. Numerous fire departments across the country do not have the equipment to care for smoke inhalation in pets. The goal of Invisible Fence(r) Brand's Project Breathetm program is to better equip every fire department in the U.S and Canada with pet oxygen masks to help save pets that are rescued from fires.


SSO Makes Child Pornography
Arrest of Man, 42, on 40 Counts


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested a 42-year-old man for possession of child pornography.


Albert Anderson

Detectives determined that a particular Internet Protocol (IP) address was used to download more than 150 images and video files previously identified as containing child pornography.

Detectives confirmed the IP address was leased to the resident of 3986 Hina Drive, Sarasota and conducted surveillance which determined Albert Anderson lived there.

Detectives executed a search warrant at that address on Thursday, March 26th, and seized computers, cell phones and other electronic devices which were found to hold child pornography including images of sexual battery and bondage.

Anderson is charged with 40 counts of Possession: Sexual Performance by a Child. He is currently being held without bond. The investigation is ongoing and more charges are possible.


Planned Compliance Operation
for Second Hand Dealers


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has concluded an operation to ensure pawn shops, gold buyers and secondary metal recycling centers are in compliance with the Second Hand Dealer Ordinance that Sarasota County adopted in 2012.

The four-day operation was designed to combat the cycle of criminal activity that involves the theft and sale of metals and metallic items that are frequently stolen in burglaries. The goal was to maintain the ground gained by adoption and enforcement of the ordinance, which required better documentation and reporting of items that are purchased by scrap yards, gold buyers and pawn shops.

Of the 10 commercial businesses observed, eight received warning notices, primarily for not meeting reporting requirements; one received two Notice to Appear citations; and six businesses received administrative fines or warnings from the Florida Department of Agriculture, which licenses them and therefore provides regulatory oversight.

Deputies arrested eight customers, four of whom had warrants and two who are prolific offenders in Sarasota County. All totaled these eight people have 110 prior felony charges and 92 prior misdemeanor charges.

"We remain committed to deterring criminals who are burglarizing this community and scrapping or pawning stolen goods," said Sheriff Tom Knight. "In addition, ensuring that second hand dealers are adhering to the reporting requirements helps law enforcement solve crimes and locate stolen property for the rightful owner."

The dollar value of metal theft in Sarasota County went from a high of $1.2M in 2011 before the Second Hand Dealer Ordinance was passed to $189,000 in 2013.


School Puts Time Limit
on Bathroom Visits


ZEPHYRHILLS. Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A controversial bathroom policy at a Florida high school is sparking backlash from students, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

The policy requires students at Zephyrhills High School in Pasco County to be escorted to the bathroom and limits the amount of time they can be there.

School leaders said the policy had to be enacted due to students abusing hall passes.

Parents however, said it presents a big problem since there are only five escorts for the school's 1,500 students.

The controversial policy put the school at odds with the Pasco County superintendent, who urged the principal to come up with an alternative solution.

The principal did make some changes, saying "Privilege Passes" will be given out to students who have not had disciplinary or academic issues.


 

~ Thursday's Local/State News ~

Woman Claims She Was
"Rear-Ended" During
Sexual Assault, But
Her Story Changed

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a sexual battery that allegedly occurred on Tuesday, March 24th, at about 4 p.m.


A sheriff's report said that the 34-year-old victim stated that she and her husband were sitting on a bench at Noreen's deli, in the 600 block of 30th Avenue West, when a Hispanic male approached them asking if they needed help.

Her 41-year-old husband walked down the road to get a pen and paper to write down the guy's number.

As he got down the road, the Hispanic male put a knife to victim’s throat and forced her to have anal sex.

The Hispanic male then threw change/coins at the victim’s head and told her to go into the store.

She got confused and started to walk around.

Her husband found her walking on 5th Street, and called 911 when he found out what had happened.

Upon Law Enforcement's arrival, their stories kept changing and the victim then stated that this occurred at 3603 5th Street East in a blue house. Both scenes were secured.

EMS was summoned for the victim.

Detectives were contacted and an investigation is in progress.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-634-TIPS (8477) -- or, to provide an anonymous e-Tip by computer, click here, or text MCSTIPS plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES).

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



Man, 19, Arrested for
Sexual Battery of Girl, 15


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested James W. Gresham, 19, of Anna Maria.


James Gresham

Gresham faces six charges of sexual battery against a 15-year-old girl.

He was arrested at 4:30 p.m. on March 17th after he allegedly confessed to having sexual intercourse with the victim.

Gresham responded to the MCSO at the office of Crimes Against Children, 5651 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, where he was interviewed and arrested.

The sexual activity allegedly occurred in Bradenton at the victim’s father’s home, at Gresham’s Anna Maria residence and at a park in Oneco, according to an MCSO probable cause report.

Gresham is being held in the Manatee County jail on $15,000 bond.

His arraignment is set for 9 a.m. Friday, April 17, at the Manatee Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

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


Woman Arrested for Battery
on a Law Enforcement Officer

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Sylvia Bohn, 37, of 2114 10th Street West, Bradenton.


Sylvia Bohn

The arrest report said on Sunday, March 22nd, at about 5:45 p.m., officers were dispatched to the above address regarding a person with a knife inside the residence.

Officers did not know if it was a hostage situation or not.

Sylvia walked up and stopped in front of the door and was trying to go inside.

She was told ot to, but continued to argue and refused to move.

An officer walked up to her to move her away and she pushed the officer with both hands on his chest, which moved him back.

She was arrested and charged with Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer.


Deputy Arrests Man for
Failure to Pay for Taxi

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Ryan Barret Lualainen, 30, of Bradenton.


Ryan Lualainen

The arrest report said on Sunday, March 22nd, at about 7:45 p.m., a deputy responded to 5800 14th Street West, Bradenton, regarding Ryan not paying his taxi fare.

The taxi driver said he picked up Ryan at the Bridge Tender in Bradenton Beach and drove him to the above location.

Upon arrival, Ryan tried to pay the fare with three different credit cards, all of which were declined.

Then he paid the driver $9 and said he would have to call someone to pay for the balance.

He called his grandmother and his roommate, both of whom refused to pay the fare.

By this time, the unpaid fare was $55.

Ryan was arrested and charged with Petit Theft.


Bradenton Police Department
Promoted Five Officers


BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has promoted five officers who were sworn in on Wednesday, March 25th.

A press release said on Wednesday, March 25th, 2015, at 5:00 p.m., the City of Bradenton Police Department conducted a swearing-in ceremony for the promotion of one (1) Lieutenant to Captain, two (2) Acting Lieutenants to Lieutenant, and two (2) officers to Sergeant. This ceremony was held within the City of Bradenton's City Council Chambers, which is located at 101 12th Street West (Old Main Street), Bradenton, Fl. The ceremony was open to the public to attend.

Promoted were:

~ Lieutenant Josh Cramer promoted to the rank of Captain.

~ Acting Lieutenant William Weldon promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

~ Acting Lieutenant Sean Monahan promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

~ Officer Michael Kriebel promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

~ Officer Danny Bench promoted to the rank of Sergeant.


FHP: "Staying Alive on I-75"
Enforcement This Weekend


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Highway Patrol, Troop F, is committed to promoting safety for motorists using the public highways of the State of Florida and to provide a deterrent for those motorists who violate traffic laws.

In an effort to decrease Interstate 75 (I-75) traffic deaths and increase awareness, Troop F will concentrate on enforcement efforts on I-75 throughout Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, Lee and Collier Counties as well as in high fatal and high crash locations in Hardee, Desoto, Highlands, Glades and Hendry Counties.

Troopers will be conducting various enforcement details from Friday March 27, 2015 through March 29, 2015, focusing on violations to include impaired driving, aggressive driving, speeding, seatbelts, move over law and distracted driving.

FHP reminds motorists that they can report an aggressive or impaired driver, or request roadside assistance at any time, by dialing *FHP (*347) from their cell phone.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles: providing A Safer Florida by securely maintaining the records of more than 19 million registered vehicles and over 15 million licensed drivers, as well as providing safe travel along Florida's highways. To learn more about DHSMV and the services offered, visit www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on Twitter @FLHSMV or find us on Facebook.


UPDATE: Details of Finding
Missing Girl Yesterday


CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A 15-year-old girl who was initially reported over the weekend to have run away from her Punta Gorda area home was initially thought top have been the victim of an abduction. That turned out not to be true.


Sydney Silvernail

She was also possibly alleged to be in the company of two young men. That, too, turned out not to be true.

The girl was located in St. Petersburg.

Silvernail was located by essentially pinging her cell phone.

After Major Crimes detectives ascertained a location in St. Petersburg, detectives contacted St. Petersburg Police Department to assist in trying to locate Silvernail.

She was indeed located and is now safe. There was nobody else with her at the time.

Major Crimes detectives will be continuing their investigation into the alleged abduction.

No further information on that is available at this time.


Judge Lashes Out at Prosecutor
at End of DUI Trial


SEMINOLE COUNTY, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Seminole County Judge Fred Schott went toe to toe with a prosecutor at the end of a trial disagreeing with the jury verdict of a woman accused of a DUI, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Licette Gonzalez, 46, was arrested last fall by Sanford Police Officer Michael Wagner. He spotted her driving with a beer in her hand on St. John's Parkway.

He checked on her DUI citation that her blood alcohol level was above 0.08, the legal limit. But he later admitted in court on March 11, that no one qualified had performed the test and he accidentally checked the wrong box.

The mistake left Gonzalez with a suspended license. Because of that two months later she was pulled over by an Altamonte Springs police officer.

The entire ordeal outraged Schott and he went back and forth for several minutes with Assistant State Attorney Diana Miers.

“Are you trying to nolle pros (drop) that case or am I going to get mad at you today?” Schott asked.

“Perhaps you can get mad at me, your honor,” Miers replied.

Later on during the exchange Schott banged on his desk demanding the officer be punished.

“I want you to take him up for perjury. Will you take him up for perjury?” Schott asked.

“He admitted it was a mistake your honor,” Miers replied.

“He lied, he lied on a sworn citation,” Schott said.

The judge then said he would dismiss the charge.

The Sanford Police Department said the mark was a mistake and called it a “non- issue.”

It's not clear where Gonzalez's case stands now, but Schott has been transferred from the criminal division to the civil division. He is expected to make the shift mid-April, WKMG said.


 

~ Wednesday's Local/State News ~

One Man Killed, Another Injured
in Early Morning Shooting;
3rd Homicide of 2015

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has reported the 3rd homicide of 2015.


A press release said at approximately 1:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, March 24th, deputies responded to a shooting at 3506 14th Street West, #254, Bradenton.

Upon deputies arrival, the victim, Fritho Exantus, 35, was deceased.

A relative of the victim was treated for minor injuries and released from a local hospital.

Deputies were told that three suspects entered the residence and shot the victim.

The investigation continues.

This is the 3rd homicide of 2015; all three murders occurred in unincorporated Manatee County.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at (941) 747-3011, ext. 2547, 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.


Recently Released from Jail,
Man Busted for Domestic
Battery by Strangulation


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Jessie Moreno, 38, of 3308 12th Street Court East, Bradenton.


Jessie Moreno

According to the arrest report, the victim in this case, Janie Moreno, and Jessie Moreno, are married but have no children and have been staying at the above address since they showed up late Thursday night, March 19th.

On Monday, March 23rd, at about 2:30 p.m., deputies were called to the address after 911 received a call from a woman who only gave the address and hung up.

Upon arrival, deputies encountered Janie, who had obvious injuries, who said her husband had just beaten her and took off running after he jumped the fence in the back yard.

Janie said Jessie had just been released from jail on Thursday after spending 10 months in jail for Domestic Battery against her. He somehow found her and beat her and choked her around her neck.

She said she was outside putting clothes on the fence to dry when Jessie grabbed her from behind by her hair and continually struck her. She fought back, but Jessie then grabbed her around her neck and choked her.

A witness told deputies she saw Jessie drag Jamie through her house by the hair and when the victim got away and locked herself in the back bathroom, Jessie kicked the door in completely off
the frame to get at her and then was beating on her with parts of the door frame.

When stopped by a deputy about two hours later, Jessie gave the name of Janie's ex-husband. Later, post-Miranda, Jessie said he gave that name so the victim's ex-husband would get in trouble and it would be funny when it was written in the report and in the newspapers.

Jessie was arrested and charged with Domestic Battery, Domestic Battery by Strangulation, and Resisting Arrest without Violence.

He remains in custody at the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $135,000.


Holmes Beach Man Arrested for
for Heroin, Blames Girlfriend

HOLMES BEACH, Florida [NNT/The Islander] -- A Holmes Beach man was arrested for possessing heroin. He apparently alerted police to paraphernalia after being stopped for driving a vehicle with an expired tag.


William Brown

Longboat Key Police Department arrested William Ariss Brown, 29, March 15 in the 5300 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat Key after determining he was driving a vehicle with an altered tag sticker on a revoked driver’s license.

“You will find paraphernalia in the car,” he told police, according to the affidavit of arresting Longboat Key Sgt. Randall Thompson.

Police allegedly found three small bags with an off-white residue that field-tested positive for alkaloids, less than 1 gram of marijuana, multiple syringes and several spoons.

Brown blamed his girlfriend, who was in jail at the time, for the drugs and paraphernalia, according to the affidavit.

He alternatively told police that the paraphernalia was all hers and both of theirs.

Brown was transported to the Manatee County jail, posted $3,500 in bond and was released.

His arraignment is set for 9 a.m. Friday, April 17, at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

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


Mom Lunges at Son
with Steak Knife


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Christina Sherman, 38, of 910 38th Terrace East, in Bradenton.


Christina Sherman

The arrest report said on Monday, March 23rd, at about 5 p.m., Sherman's son (age unknown) became angry with his mother because she borrowed his debit card and lost it. She also used his car and returned it without fuel.

Christina escalated the situation by throwing a drinking glass and purposely striking him on the left side of his head.

She then barricaded herself in her room and grabbed a steak knife from her dresser.

The two began yelling through the bedroom door until Christina swung the door open and lunged at him with the knife.

He grabbed the knife and bent it in the process of disarming Christina.

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

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


Manatee County Purchases Two Sites
for Sheriff’s Office, Tax Collector;
Both Near MSO Headquarters

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Commissioners on Tuesday, March 24th, unanimously approved purchasing two properties that will be used by Manatee Sheriff’s Office (MSO) and Manatee County Tax Collector’s Office.

The Board voted 7-0 $2.9 million to purchase and renovate the former Bright House building at 3500 Ninth Street W., Bradenton.

The Sheriff’s Office plans to use the facility for Child Protective Services. MSO has proposed using a state grant to provide a lease payment to cover the annual debt service payment for the purchase price.

Recognizing a request from Tax Collector Ken Burton Jr., the Board also unanimously approved the $375,000 purchase of the former ABC Liquor building at 904 West 301 Blvd.

The 7,582-square-foot building is located less than half a mile west of Sheriff’s Office headquarters, 600 U.S. 301.

Plans call to demolish the building and construct an 8,500-square-foot facility for the Tax Collector to better serve the community.

The Tax Collector will reimburse the County from excess fees returned to the County each year.


Bradenton Fire Department to
Receive Pet Oxygen Mask
Kits Donation

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Fire Department will now be among the best equipped fire departments in the nation to save a pet's life. Invisible Fence of the Gulf Coast is donating pet oxygen mask kits to the Bradenton Fire Department in a brief ceremony, with demonstration, at 2pm on March 26, 2015 at Central Station 1; 1010 9th Avenue West.

This donation is part of Invisible Fence(r) Brand's Project Breathetm program, a program created to help better equip fire departments across the United States and Canada to save pets from smoke inhalation. To date, Invisible Fence(r) Brand has donated more than 10,000 pet oxygen masks to fire departments throughout the country and a reported 120+ pets have been saved with those very masks.
"When a family suffers the tragedy of a fire, lives are turned upside down," said Edward Hoyt, Director of Invisible Fence(r) Brand. "Pets are valued family members, so we want families to know that their pet can be cared for if tragedy strikes."

"We realize that humans are the first-priority, but in many cases, pets can be saved if firefighters have the right equipment," said Hoyt. "Project Breathetm program is simply a way of giving firefighters the tools necessary to save pets' lives."

Although the U.S. Fire Administration does not have an official statistic of the number of pets that die in fires; it is estimated 40,000 to 150,000 pets die in fires annually. Most of these deaths are from smoke inhalation. Numerous fire departments across the country do not have the equipment to care for smoke inhalation in pets. The goal of Invisible Fence(r) Brand's Project Breathetm program is to better equip every fire department in the U.S and Canada with pet oxygen masks to help save pets that are rescued from fires.


Girl, 15, Possibly Abducted;
May be in Miami Area


CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A 15-year-old girl who was initially reported over the weekend to have run away from her Punta Gorda area home may have been the victim of an abduction.


Above, L to R, Sydney Silvernail, Ryan Yates and Angelo Cruz

Sydney Alexis Marlene Silvernail was reported to have run away from her Sunkist Drive home before midnight Saturday night. But information gained on Monday indicates she may have been taken from her home against her will. She may also currently be in the Miami area.

Major Crimes detectives are looking for Sydney Silvernail, as well as two persons of interest in this case. Detectives are looking for Ryan “Roach” Yates, 19, of Homestead, and Angelo Jacinto Cruz, 19, of the South Punta Gorda Heights area of Punta Gorda. Both persons of interest are alleged to be acquaintances of Silvernail.

Sydney Silvernail is described as being about 5 ft. 5 inches tall, weighing about 150 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair. It is unknown what clothing she might be wearing.

Yates is about 5 ft. 9 inches tall and weighs about 140 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Cruz is about 5 ft. 6 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

UPDATE: The missing 15-year-old girl who may have been abducted from her Punta Gorda home over the weekend has been located in St. Petersburg.

Cops Search for Gunman after
Barricaded Home Found Vacant

ORLANDO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Deputies are searching for a gunman who they said was barricaded in a home Monday evening.

Deputies surrounded the home on Harrington Drive after the Orange County Sheriff's Office received reports that a man, identified as Michael Prudhomme, pulled a gun on his father there around 5 p.m.

The SWAT team cleared the house Monday night and reported that Prudhomme was not there.

Officials are now trying to track him down.

They said there is now a warrant out for his arrest.

If found, deputies said he will be charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

No other details were immediately released.


 

~ Tuesday's Local/State News ~

Defective Headlight Gets Man
Arrested by PPD for Holding
Over 2 Ounces of Marijuana

PALMETTO, Florida [NMT] -- The Palmetto Police Department has arrested Deonte Travon Huggins, 23, of 1816 5th Street West, Palmetto.


Deonte Huggins

According to the arrest report, on Saturday, March 14th, at about 1:45 a.m., a Palmetto Police Officer conducted a traffic stop on Huggins for a defective left headlight.

When the officer made contact, he smelled the distinctive odor of fresh marijuana coming from the vehicle.

Huggins told the officer he had just smoked some marijuana, but the officer said what he smelled was fresh marijuana.

He placed Huggins in handcuffs while awaiting a backup officer and began to search Huggins, who then told the officer he was holding some marijuana.

The search produced 3 bags of marijuana with a total weight of 60 grams (2.1 ounces).

Even though he said the marijuana was for personal use, Huggins was arrested and charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell.

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

He also received a citation for improper unsafe equipment for the non-working left headlight.


Woman Arrested Driving Stolen
Vehicle Fights with, Bites
Manatee Deputy


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Tasha H. Peters, 34, of 2815 52nd Avenue Terrace West, Bradenton.


Tasha Peters

The arrest report said on Tuesday, March 17th, at about 1 a.m., a deputy observed a Toyota Camry traveling north on 9th Street East. The car was listed as stolen, according to the deputy.

The driver, Peters, pulled into a driveway and she and the deputy exited their vehicles.

The deputy informed Peters that the car was listed as stolen and attempted to detain her.

But Peters struggled with him for quite a while, refusing to be taken into custody.

During the struggle, she bit the deputy on the leg, and punched his right ear and the right side of his face.

He was finally able to subdue Peters and arrest her.

She was charged with Grand Theft Auto, Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Driving While License Suspended.

She remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $103,620.


BPD Cops Arrest Man for
Domestic Battery by
Strangulation


BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Marinely Lopez-Marroquin, 44, of 2017-A 5th Street West, Bradenton.


Marinely Lopez-Marroquin

The arrest report said Lopez and his victim in this case, Melissa Apple, have lived together in a single family dwelling and have been in a domestic relationship for the past four years; they do not have any children together.

On Sunday, March 22nd, at about 5:45 p.m., Lopez came home intoxicated after being away from the residence all day.

Melissa asked Lopez something about receiving a text message or a phone call and he got very angry with her.

He then proceeded to grab Melissa by the neck and throat and apply limited pressure.

Melissa then was able to break free and started yelling and screaming for help.

Law enforcement was called.

Lopez was arrested and charged with Domestic Battery by Strangulation.

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


Male Victim Over 65 Says
Son-in-Law Shoved Him


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Ryan M. Davison, 29, of 4118 62nd Street West, Bradenton.


Ryan Davison

The arrest report says on Sunday, March 22nd, at about 1:45 p.m., deputies were called to the above address regarding an altercation.

According to the victim and witnesses, Davison shoved the unnamed victim, his father-in-law, against the wall after an argument over money.

Davis uttered that he shoved the victim, but only to keep the victim from hitting him with a chair.

Davis told deputies he was aware that the victim was over the age of 65.

He was arrested and charged with Battery on a Person Over 65 Years.

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


Man Tried to Steal
Tablet, Charger
from Walmart


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Urias Eddie Silva, 20, a homeless person.

The arrest report said on Saturday, March 21st, at about 1:45 p.m., Silva entered the Walmart store located at 2911 53rd Avenue West, in Bradenton.

He went to the electronics department and selected a tablet from the display area and attempted to remove it with his hands.

Failing that, he went to the crafts department and obtained a small pair of needle nose pliers.

He opened the tablet package and used the pliers to cut the security cable.

He then selected the appropriate charger and keyboard for the tablet, removing the items from their packages.

He went to the men's department where he concealed the items, then was apprehended when he exited the store without paying.

He was arrested and charged with Petit Theft.

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


Man Found with Bicycle
Stolen in California


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Raymond Laughlin, 57, of 5811 14th Street West, Bradenton.


Raymond Laughlin

The arrest report said on Saturday, March 21st, at about 7:30 a.m., Laughlin was seen riding a 21-speed bicycle and pulling another bicycle.

He was stopped due to the high volume of bicycle thefts in the area.

The bicycle he was pulling was not listed as stolen, but the bike he was riding was stolen out of California State University, valued at $500, according to CSU police.

Some drug paraphernalia was also found on Laughlin.

He was charged with felony Grand Theft and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

He posted a $2,000 bail and was released from the Manatee County Jail.


Decapitated Chickens Found
Outside Cemetery


MICANOPY, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Marion County deputies are investigating a possible Santeria act after three decapitated chickens were found at the entrance of a cemetery, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Deputies said three chickens, two red and one black, were found outside of the Evinston Center Pointe Cemetery on Saturday morning.

Also in front of the cemetery were three pennies, a handful of corn, two plastic bags and a brown bag containing chicken organs, a powdery substance, leaves and the hair from the chickens, according to the report.

Deputies said the suspicious incident is occurring at cemeteries across the United States and it is believed to be a sacrifice to those who follow Santeria.

Residents said they hadn't seen anything suspicious in the area, WKMG said.


Mother Arrested for Killing
Her Three Children


PALM BAY, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A 5-month-old boy died Sunday night at an Orlando hospital, the third child to die in an attack Friday evening in Palm Bay that led to the arrest of the children's mother.

Palm Bay police say Christopher Swist had been kept alive on life support all weekend after he was found by his father Friday afternoon with a cord wrapped around his neck.

According to an arrest report, Palm Bay police say the child's mother, Jessica Lacey McCarty, 33, called 911 on Friday to report she had killed all three of her children and cut her own wrist and neck and needed help at their home on Kenmore Street.

Investigators say McCarty had texted pictures of the bloody scene inside her home to the infant's father, who also called 911 to report something was wrong.

Once police arrived, according to the report, they found McCarty at the front door with a knife in her hand. They say she was apprehended quickly.

Inside the home, Christopher Swist, the infant's father, found his child in a bedroom with a cord wrapped around his neck, police said.

Palm Bay police officers entered the home and found McCarty's oldest son, 6-year-old Phillip, unresponsive in the corner of the living room, with a cord wrapped around his neck, as well.

Officers found 7-year-old Laci, in the same bedroom as the infant, soaking wet. In the bathroom, according to the report, the tub was found full of water and the shower enclosure was shattered on the floor.

Butcher knives were found in several areas of the home, along with blood in the living room and kitchen, officials said.

Philip and Laci were taken to nearby hospitals and were pronounced dead Friday night.

Jessica McCarty was treated for her injuries at Holmes Medical Center and later booked into the Brevard County Jail, where she waived her first appearance on Sunday morning.

Inside the home, police report finding notes McCarty had left, including one addressed to her family apologizing for "what she had to do."

She had also left a note for the infant's father, according to police, which urged him to "keep Christopher's name alive."


 

~ Monday's Local/State News ~

Burglar Flees Cops, Tries to
Take Out MSO K-9 Barley;
K-9 Won, Burglar Busted

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Raul Cortez-Lorenzo, 23, of Bradenton.


Above, MSO K-9 Barley

Dispatch received multiple calls of a reckless driver that was propositioning prostitutes in the area.

Units located the vehicle and stopped it in the 1000 block of 58th Avenue Drive East. After questioning the driver, Cortez, it was determined that Cortez was intoxicated and had no license.

When units attempted to get Cortez out of the vehicle Cortez started the vehicle and fled.

By the time the deputies got back into their vehicles, Cortez had crashed into a parked vehicle and had fled the area about two blocks away.


Raul Cortez-Lorenzo

A perimeter was established and canine responded and began a track.

Canine Barley and handler Dep. Buird obtained a good reference scent and began sweeping the area and quickly began actively tracking.

Barley tracked to 5732 13th Street East where Cortez had broken into the home to hide from pursuing law enforcement but the elder males of the home had been told of the intruder and Cortez was quickly forced to flee the home.

Cortez had run deep into the woods and was bedded down in heavy brush.

Canine Barley tracked straight to Cortez, engaging him in the right leg. Cortez began striking Barley in the head attempting to have the dog release him so Cortez could abscond, but Barley held Cortez until units could bring Cortez under control and into custody.

Cortez was charged with Hit and Run, DUI, Obstruction, Burglary and Battery of a Police Canine.

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


Man Robbed Girlfriend, Struck
Her Son with His Vehicle


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Carl Troiano, 62, of Bradenton.


Carl Troiano

A sheriff's report said Jennifer Lopez, 42, and her boyfriend Carl, are in a relationship and do not live together.

On Thursday, March 19th, at about 9:30 p.m., they were involved in a verbal argument which turned physical when Carl grabbed Jennifer and pried her cell phone from her hand.

During the incident, she was pushed to the ground and she dropped her purse.

Carl took her cell phone, removed items from her purse, then began to leave the area in his vehicle with her property.

When Jennifer's son Gregory attempted to confront Carl about the incident, he drove at Gregory, striking him with the driver's side of his vehicle.

MSO was notified.

Gregory was treated by EMS and released at the scene for minor injuries.

Carl was located, returned Jennifer's property, and he was arrested without incident.

He was charged with Robbery by Sudden Snatching, Battery and Aggravated Domestic Battery.

He later posted a bail bond of $5,500 and was released from the Manatee County Jail.


Neighbors Call Cops after
Two Female Lovers Get
Into a Brawl

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Sonja Lynes McGee, 43, of 3715 14th Street West, Bradenton.


Sonja McGee

The arrest report said Sonja and Dorene Guyauz have been in an intimate relationship for the past two years and live together at the above address.

Earlier on Saturday, March 21st, They were involved in a domestic disturbance. McGee left the residence and began drinking at a friend's house.

McGee returned to their residence around 9:30 p.m., irate with Dorene for contacting the sheriff's office earlier in the day.

McGee began to break miscellaneous items throughout the home and then grabbed Dorene's wrists and pinned her to the bed, preventing her from leaving the residence.

Dorene broke free, however but McGee grabbed her by her neck, leaving a faint red thumb mark on her neck.

Dorene began shouting for help, which was overheard by the neighbors, who called police.

Dorene left the residence and also called police.

McGee was arrested and charged with Domestic Battery.

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


Female Employee Busted for
Embezzlement from Toys R' Us


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Cindy T. Son, 19, of 306 65th Avenue Drive West, in Bradenton.


Cindy Son

According to the arrest report, Cindy was employed by Toys R' Us, 512 Cortez Road.

Since January 30th, she has been creating fake merchandise returns and pocketing the money.

In that time, she managed to steal $1,417.36 in cash, the company's managers said.

Cindy admitted to the thefts and said she did it to pay for a relative's funeral in Viet Nam and to pay for her grandparents plane ticket to the country.

She was arrested and charged with Grand Theft by Embezzlement.

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


Man Arrested for Stealing
Clothing from Walmart


BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Bryce Robert Templer, 24, of 211 63rd Street West, Bradenton.


Bryce Templer

The arrest report said on Saturday, March 21st, at about 7 p.m., Templer entered the Walmart store located at 5315 Cortez Road West, in Bradenton.

He proceeded to select multiple items of clothing off the shelf an remove the tags.

He then concealed the items in his backpack and proceeded to the front of the store.

Templer then passed all points of sale without attempting to purchase the items, where he was apprehended by loss prevention personnel.

The total value of the clothing was $208.02.

He was arrested and charged with misdemeanor Shoplifting.

He was released from the Manatee County Jail on his own recognizance, supervised.


Man Flees after Trying to
Steal Sheriff's Bicycle


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported an attempted burglary that occurred on Friday, March 20th, at about 12:15 p.m. in the 3600 block of Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton.

The complainant, Ryan Moore, of Ringling Bicycles, 3606 Manatee Avenue West, was test riding a customer’s bicycle behind the business when he observed a white bicycle being thrown over the back fence from inside of the rear fenced storage area for the business.

The complainant then observed the suspect climb over the fence in the same area and confronted the White male.

The suspect originally said the bicycle was his, but then admitted that he was hungry and just needed the bicycle to get money.

The complainant grabbed the bicycle and the suspect fled westbound on his own purple beach cruiser bicycle.

The stolen and recovered bicycle is a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office bicycle, owned by the city of Anna Maria and assigned to the Sheriff's Office Anna Maria Island Unit.

The bicycle was in the shop receiving routine maintenance.

The would-be thief was described as being a White male, in his 40s, 5'10" tall, 180 pounds, riding a purple beach cruiser bicycle.


Man Convicted in Online
Predator Sting


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A Sarasota man arrested in April 2014 during Operation Intercept III, has been convicted of multiple sex crimes.


Harry Walters

Operation Intercept III was an initiative to protect Sarasota County children from online predators.

Suspects ranging in age from 20-50 responded to Internet-based ads, online apps or social media sites and engaged in sexually explicit written and verbal conversations. Of the 12 men arrested, all traveled with the intent to have sex with a male or female child.

45-year-old Harry Walters was arrested after he agreed to impregnate a 14-year-old girl he met over the internet.

Walters was charged with Use of a Computer to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts, Travel to Solicit a Child to Commit Sex Acts and Attempted Lewd & Lascivious Battery.

On Friday, March 20th, Walters was found guilty on all three.

He is currently being held at the Sarasota County Jail awaiting his sentencing.


SSO: Armed Home Invasion
Robbery Reported in Sarasota

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- On Saturday, March 21st, at about 1:45 p.m., Sarasota Sheriff's deputies responded to the 5900 block of Lords Avenue to investigate a reported Home Invasion Robbery, Saturday afternoon.

The unidentified suspects, described as one Black male, 25 yoa, cropped hair, tattoo on neck armed with a silver colored handgun, and two White males, no further description, fled the area in a white, late model Dodge van with a disabled veteran's license plate attached, driven by a white female.

Sarasota Sheriff's investigators will continue the investigation.

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


Seatbelt Violation Leads to
Meth Trafficking Arrest


PUNTA GORDA, Florida [NMT] -- On Thursday, March 19, 2015, Punta Gorda Police conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle near the CVS, 2400 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda for a passenger not wearing their seatbelt.


Douglas Quick

During the traffic stop, the department's K-9 Officer and K-9 Spirit responded and subsequently conducted a free-air sniff around the vehicle. K-9 Spirit alerted to the presence of narcotics within the vehicle.

Upon further investigation, a black bag containing approximately 20 grams of Methamphetamine, syringes containing Methamphetamines, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) pills, a digital scale and $465.00 was located. The front-seat passenger, Douglas Troy Quick of 425 Charlotte Street, Punta Gorda was found to be in possession of the aforementioned bag.

In addition, the rear passenger, Robert Andrew Nichols of 3021 Roma Court, Punta Gorda was found to be in possession of Methamphetamine and approximately $224.00. In addition to the drugs and paraphernalia, their money was seized.

Quick was placed under arrest and charged with the Felony offense of Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Possession of Hydromorphone and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Nichols was placed under arrest and charged with the Felony offense of Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.


Worker Electrocuted, Struck
by Motorcycles, Cops Say


MELBOURNE, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A utility worker was killed in Brevard County after being electrocuted while working on storm drains, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Melbourne police say the worker was clearing storm drains on South Harbor City Boulevard when the top of the truck he was working on struck overhead power lines.

The live line then fell onto the road and the worker went to pick up the line without any safety gear, according to police.

Police said he was electrocuted and the shock threw him into oncoming traffic, where two motorcycles hit him.

The worker died at the scene and the two motorcyclist were injured but will be OK, WKMG said.


 

 

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