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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 October 20, 2014 - October 26, 2014

~ Friday's Local/State News ~

Man Arrested for Failure to
Appear on Heroin, Cocaine
and Marijuana Charges
in January of 2013

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Edward B. Perpall, 23, of Goulds, Florida, in Miami-Dade County.


Edward Perpall

As NewsManatee earlier reported, as can be found in our archives, according to the arrest reports for four men and one woman, on Wednesday, Jan. 16th, at about 4:30 p.m., the Bradenton Police narcotics unit served a lawful search warrant at 2006 12th Street West, with the assistance of the BPD Casual Clothes Unit.

All five persons were present at the time of serving the search warrant.

A search of the residence yielded 59.2 grams of heroin, 44.8 grams of rock cocaine, and 32.3 grams of marijuana, as well as several pieces of paraphernalia.

All persons listed above said they had no knowledge of the found narcotics.

A large amount of the listed narcotics were found in the toilet of the residence in what appeared to be an attempt to dispose of the evidence.

Danule Kelson was charged with Trafficking in heroin, Possession of Cocaine and Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell. He was in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $52,500.

Edward Perpall was charged with Trafficking in heroin, Possession of Cocaine and Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell. He was in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $51,000.

Michael Cummings was charged with Trafficking in heroin, Possession of Cocaine and Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell. In addition, his bonds on two earlier charges of Motor Vehicle Theft and Driving on a Suspended License were revoked. He was in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $209,500.

Allen Collie was charged with Trafficking in heroin, Possession of Cocaine and Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell. He was in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $76,000.

Mylkia Cummings was charged with Trafficking in heroin, Possession of Cocaine and Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell. He was in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $57,500.

Perpall failed to appear after he bonded out. He has been charged with Contempt of Court for that Failure to Appear on the drug charges.

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


Allegedly Inebriated Woman
Charged with Battery on a
Law Enforcement Officer


BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The Bradenton Police Department has arrested Gia S. Lancaster, 47, of 302 26th Avenue West, Bradenton.


Gia Lancaster

The arrest report said on Tuesday, Oct. 21st, at about 8 p.m., BPD was called to the above location and spoke with Norma Gable, who said Lancaster was yelling at her and Enrique Luna, telling them to leave. Gable also said Lancaster had been drinking all day.

Gable said they had paid her money this week and they have been staying there for a while.

The officer spoke with Lancaster, who said she wanted Gable and Luna out.

The officer told Lancaster he could not order them to leave and that she (Lancaster) would have to evict them by going to the court house, since it is a civil matter.

Lancaster became belligerent and started yelling and screaming and walked back into the apartment and slammed the door.

The officer knocked on the door and Lancaster opened it. She began yelling and pointing right in the officer's face. He told her if she stuck her finger in his face again she would be placed under arrest.

Lancaster made verbal threats to Gable and Luna, saying that if they stay there, she was going to kill them.

The officer escorted Lancaster outside and advised her to calm down. Lancaster continued to be belligerent toward him and again went back inside the residence, yelling and screaming.

The officer stood between Lancaster and Gable while Lancaster continued to yell and was being belligerent. She then charged at the officer with her body, striking him in the upper chest area and knocking him back a little.

She was placed under arrest and charged with Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer.

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


Woman Accused of $3,000
Theft of Items at Walmart


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Nicole C. Matheos, 25, of 5411 9th Street East, Bradenton.


Nicole Matheos

The arrest report said on Tuesday, Oct. 21st, at about 6:15 a.m., Matheos entered the Walmart store located at 5810 Ranch Lake Blvd. with a White male and a Black male.

She went through the store, loading up $1,903.51 worth of merchandise.

When the male pushing the shopping cart was seen by a Walmart employee, he left the cart and Matheos and her other unnamed friend pushed the car out of the store without paying for the items.

When store security stopped them, the two fled the area. However, she was stopped in front of the nearby Goodyear store hiding behind their sign. A Walmart employee identified Matheos as the person who stole their merchandise.

The employee said this was not the first time Matheos had stolen their merchandise. The same thing happened a week ago when she allegedly stole $1,100 worth of merchandise.

Matheos was transported to the Manatee County Jail, charged with Grand Theft Shoplifting.

When the Walmart employee arrived at the jail to fill out an affidavit and positively identify Matheos, she pleaded with him to just let her go and said she would never return to the store.

That didn't work.

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


LaToya Benton Named Manatee
County Tax Collector’s Most
Valuable Employee 2014

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Manatee County Tax Collector Ken Burton, Jr., has named LaToya Benton as the Most Valuable Employee of 2014.


Above, L to R, Tony Conboy, Director Current Collections; LaToya Benton, MVE; and Ken Burton Jr., Tax Collector

LaToya Benton was selected by her peers as the Manatee County Tax Collector’s Most Valuable Employee 2014. Candidates are nominated by their peers, must be approved by the Senior Team, and then voted on by the entire office. In addition to Ms. Benton, this year’s candidates were Antonia Media, an accountant in Financial Services, and David Brierton, an IT support technician.

An employee since 2007, Latoya is an assistant manager in the Current Collections department, DeSoto office. She is responsible for receptionist training, cash room training and coaches new hires. She received the Employee of the Quarter in 2009.

The employee nominating LaToya wrote, “LaToya is such a great person to work with; she shows empathy and sympathy for both customers and co-workers. There is no other person like her!! LaToya shows up to work every day with a great attitude and with such great patience. The core values she exhibits are Customer Focus, Innovation, Future Focus, Teamwork Excellence and Accountability.”

The MVE award carries with it a certificate, name engraved on the MVE trophy, name listed on the Most Valuable Employee page on www.taxcollector.com, a Java 'n Jive gift certificate, a special lanyard pin, and a bonus uni-leave day.


Theft Charges Filed Against
BPD Deputy Chief of Police
Warren Merriman


BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- The State Attorney's Office has filed three counts of misdemeanor theft against Bradenton Police Department Deputy Police Chief Warren Merriman.

On Tuesday, August 26th, 2014, Chief of Police Michael Radzilowski was made aware of allegations of misconduct against Deputy Chief of Police Warren Merriman involving off-duty employment.

On that same day, due to the nature of these allegations and the Deputy Chief's position with the Bradenton Police Department, Chief Radzilowski contacted the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and requested that they conduct an investigation into the allegations of misconduct on the behalf of the Bradenton Police Department.

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office agreed to conduct the inquiry and opened criminal and internal investigations.

On Monday, September 8th, 2014, Deputy Chief Merriman was placed on paid administrative leave due to the two open investigations involving off-duty employment.

October 6th, 2014, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office forwarded the results of their criminal investigation to the State Attorney's Office for their review.

On Thursday, October 23, 2014, the State Attorney's Office, after careful review of the investigation conducted by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, announced that they filed three counts of misdemeanor theft against Deputy Chief Merriman. Deputy Chief Merriman remains on administrative leave.

As this is an on-going investigation and prosecution, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, the Bradenton Police Department, and the State Attorney's Office will not be able to make any comments.


SSO: Man Charged in
Fatal Shooting Incident


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested Christopher Bane, 36, of 2130 Ernie Shank Court, in Sarasota.


Christopher Bane

The arrest report said on Tuesday, Oct. 21st, at about 5:30 a.m., deputies responded to the above location regarding a fatal shooting.

After preliminary investigation, patrol supervisors called out detectives to the scene to conduct a follow-up investigation.

As NewsManatee originally reported, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office was investigating a fatal shooting at 2130 Ernie Shank Ct., Sarasota, which occurred around 5:40 Tuesday morning, Oct. 21st.


Above, Calvin Yoder, deceased

According to the resident, Christopher Bane, 36, he heard someone breaking in and armed himself for protection from the intruder. His 11-year-old child was also home at the time.

Bane confronted the suspect in the hallway and the suspect fired at Bane, who returned fire, killing the home intruder.

The deceased has been identified as Calvin Yoder, 22, 2407 Booker Ave., Sarasota.

The mug shot above of the deceased suspect is from May of 2014, when he was arrested in Sarasota County for Domestic Battery. Yoder also had a criminal history in Manatee County.

Bane gave an initial statement, and said after the incident he put the gun on his bed, which was later recovered.

Bane had a felony conviction out of Manatee County in 2001 for Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell.

Based on the aforementioned facts, Bane has been charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. He has not been charged with the shooting and killing of Yoder.


SPD Detectives Ask Help to ID
Woman Who Stole Wallet,
Used Credit Cards

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- Detectives with the Sarasota Police Department are asking for help from the public to identify a woman who is a suspect in a wallet theft and credit card fraud case.

The suspect removed a wallet from a woman’s purse inside Bounce Down Under at 935 North Beneva Road in Sarasota on September 27th and then used the victim’s credit cards at two local Wal-Mart stores.

The video from one of the Wal-Mart stores can be viewed at http://youtu.be/sQQ8sz83RaU.

In the video, the woman is seen walking in the front doors, purchasing baby items and then walking out.

The woman is described as White female in her 30’s with light blonde hair and a mark or tattoo on her upper left arm. The woman was last seen wearing a white tank top and had a dark purse.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Dwayne Shellhammer at 941-954-7014 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477) or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.


Fingerprint Ties Burglar
to Drug-Fueled Crime


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested a man for burglarizing a restaurant after his fingerprint tied him to the crime.


Michael Hennes

Someone broke into Fiona's Too Restaurant, 2833 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning and stole several hundred dollars in cash. Deputies were able to collect fingerprints from the glass window that was pushed up to gain entry to the office.

The sheriff's office latent print examiner quickly determined the fingerprints recovered from the crime scene belonged to Michael Hennes, 39.

Hennes has never been arrested in Sarasota County, but his fingerprints are in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) database from prior arrests in the state.

Detectives located Hennes yesterday afternoon walking just a few hundred yards from the restaurant.

He admitted to the crime and blamed a three-day drug binge.

Hennes is charged with one count of Burglary and one count of Grand Theft.


Man Serious after His Own
Pit Bull Attacked Him

COCOA, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A man was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday evening after he was attacked by his pit bull, according to officials, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

The attack occurred on Lucas Lane in Cocoa just before 6 p.m.

Cocoa police say the dog got out of its pen and went to the neighbor's yard where another dog was.

When the owner brought the dog back to his yard, the dog attacked him, according to police.

Witnesses told WKMG the owner was bitten down to the bone and was taken to Wuestoff Hospital with serious injuries.

The dog was taken by animal control. It's not clear if the dog will be euthanized, but animal control is investigating.

No other details were immediately available, WKMG said.

 

~ Thursday's Local/State News ~

Man Accused of Lewd Battery
on Child, Child Porn, Busted
Again for Tampering with
Witness, His Boy's Mother;
Found Guilty: 10 Years

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- According to Manatee County court records, Joseph Chiquet, 35, of Bradenton Beach, on Wednesday, Oct. 22nd, pled No Contest to charges of Lewd and Lascivious Battery on a Minor, Possession and Manufacturing of Child Pornography and Tampering with a Witness. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison plus 10 years sex offender probation.


Joseph Chiquet

As NewsManatee originally reported in 2010, as noted in our archives, Detective Todd Sellitto of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office arrested Joseph Edmund Chiquet, 35, of 503 N. Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach.

The arrest report said on or about July 14, 2009, Joseph Chiquet was arrested on multiple charges of Lewd and Lascivious Battery on a 15-year-old female victim, and Possession and Manufacturing of Child Pornography.

During that investigation, evidence was located via search warrants to include images of the victim in sexually explicit positions on an Apple Computer belonging to Chiquet.

NewsManatee reported that arrest on July 18, 2009, and it is in our archives at www.newsmanateearchive.com.

The trial for the above charges were set for September 7, 2010.

On August 27, 2010, Det. Sellitto received information from Assistant State Attorney Tony Casoria regarding Joseph Chiquet making contact with Else Torres, the mother of Chiquet's male child. She had received a call from Chiquet with a proposition. Det. Sellitto was advised that Ms. Torres would cooperate with law enforcement.

Investigative techniques were coordinated with the Tucson, Arizona, Police Department, Where Ms. Torres resides. Det. Sellitto made contact with Det. Dan Barry of the Tucson Police Department and arranged a controlled phone call to occur on August 27th. According to Ms. Torres, the content of the call was to be regarding Chiquet wanting her to testify that she was the female in the photos in question. Chiquet was allegedly to say on the phone that he would pay Ms. Torres money and they discussed a price tag of approximately $10,000 and that Chiquet would get the money from his father.

During the controlled phone call, Chiquet and Ms. Torres talked in detail on how they could pull the scheme off and Chiquet kept reassuring that Ms. Torres would not get caught.

Ms. Torres said she never had intentions to agree with Chiquet's request and she contacted the Assistant State Attorney as soon as practical to report the activity.

Based on the totality of the facts and evidence brought forth in the investigation, Chiquet was charged with Tampering with a Witness to testify untruthfully in an investigation and in an official proceeding.

Chiquet was arrested at his home in Bradenton Beach and transported to the Manatee County Jail.


Man, 46, Arrested for Lewd
and Lascivious Battery
on Girl, 13 Years Old,
Causing Pregnancy,
Arrested Again

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested William F. Ajeataz, 46, of 3007 15th Street West, in Bradenton.


William Ajeataz

The arrest report said, per the unnamed 13-year-old victim, in 2012 she met William through Facebook.

She began dating him and ran away from her home for about 7 weeks and lived with William, his brother and father in their residence during that time.

While living with William, they engaged in sexual intercourse. She said they always used protection and had sexual intercourse a few times. The sexual intercourse was always consensual and they discussed having a future together, she said.

The victim also told detectives that William knew she was pregnant.

On November 9th, 2012, a detective met with William at his residence. He admitted to knowing the victim. He initially denied having a sexual relationship with the victim.

Later, William recanted when told that the victim was pregnant with his child and said that he does not remember if they had sexual intercourse. He then said that he had sexual intercourse with her one time, "he thinks."

William was arrested at the time and charged with Lewd & Lascivious Battery.

He was arrested again on Monday, October 20th, for Contempt of Court for failure to answer a summons in the case.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $100,000.


Woman Arrested for Battery
on Woman, 78: Her Mother


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Deborah Blum, 46, of 7110 Fairway Bend Lane, in Sarasota.


Deborah Blum

The arrest report said Blum and her 78-year-old mother live together while Deborah finds a new residence. Deborah suffers from schizophrenia and affective disorder and is currently seeing a doctor at Manatee Glens mental health treatment facility.

On Monday, Oct. 20th, about noon, Deborah's vehicle would not start and Deborah became verbally abusive.

Her mother told her that she could not borrow her car, "because she was not acting like this."

Deborah "went crazy" and grabbed her mother's wrist and threw her on her bed.

Her mother tried to stand up and Deborah slapped her mother on the left side of her face so hard that the victim "saw sparks of light."

The victim left and called law enforcement.

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

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


Deputy Arrests Man,
19, for Grand Theft,
Criminal Mischief

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Cody Alexander Burke, 19, of 8813 29th Street East, in Parrish.


Cody Burke

The arrest report said on Monday, Oct. 20th, at about 1 a.m., the victim, Robert Taylor, was inside his home at 8757 28th Street Circle East, Parrish, when he heard a noise outside.

He looked out a window and observed a skinny White male with white shorts and short hair taking property, later determined to be valued at $715 out of his pickup truck. The truck did not have a topper and the items were loose in the back of the truck.

The victim went outside to confront and individual and saw hi leaving in an older model silver Dodge Caravan. The victim attempted to follow, but lost the van as it went eastbound on U.S. 301.

The victim saw a deputy at a nearby convenience store and reported the incident to him.

Another deputy arrived to take the report and, when the Dodge Caravan passed by heading westbound on U.S. 301, the first deputy following it and conducted a traffic stop on it.

The victim positively identified Burke as the individual he saw in his truck taking items out of it.

Burke was arrested and charged with Grand Theft.

Shortly afterward, a handcuffed Burke banged his head on a deputy's cruiser, causing damage to the patrol car's trunk.

He was additionally charged with Criminal Mischief.

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


Man Arrested for Domestic
Battery by Strangulation,
Domestic Battery

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Eduardo Sanchez, 58, of 6303 26th Street West, Bradenton.


Eduardo Sanchez

The arrest report said back on Sept. 27th, at about 8:30 p.m., the unnamed victim and Sanchez were involved in an argument that turned physical when Sanchez bit the victim on her right arm.

Sanchez then hit the woman in the face with an open hand.

Once the victim was knocked down, Sanchez got on top of her and put his hands around her neck and strangled her.

She said she was not able to breathe due to Sanchez choking her.

The woman's 16-year-old daughter confirmed the incident. She attempted to get Sanchez off of her mother, and then Sanchez went back to strangling the victim twice more.

He fled the area prior to the arrival of law enforcement.

Sanchez was arrested on Saturday, Oct. 11th, and charged with Domestic Battery and Domestic Battery by Strangulation.

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


Cops, K-9 Track Teen Who
Stole Pack of Cigarettes

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Shaquielle O. Olmeda-Padillo, 18, of Bradenton.


Shaquielle Olmeda-Padillo and MSO K-9 Timo

A sheriff's report said on Tuesday, Oct. 21st, at about 9 a.m., the victim in this case, George Landers, 43, was in the parking lot at 5137 14th Street West with a $4 pack of cigarettes in his hand.

The offender ran up to the victim and snatched the cigarettes out of his hand, then took off running Southbound from the lot.

The victim described the offender as an Hispanic male, young in age and was wearing a blue hoodie/jacket with feathers around the hood.

Patrol units, along with K-9 Timo and aviation quickly arrived in the area and a perimeter was set up. K-9 began to track, which led to the rear of the Magic Mile Plaza.

The offender (by the description given) was located within minutes, in the East parking lot of the Magic Mile Plaza.

He was positively identified by the victim and placed under arrest without incident.

He was charged with Robbery by Sudden Snatching. He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $7,500.

The victim’s property was also located on the defendant.

There were no injuries in this incident.


Man Arrested for Grand
Theft of U-Haul Truck


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Robert Daniel Copeland, 44, allegedly a homeless person.


Robert Copeland

The arrest report said on Tuesday, Oct. 7th, at about 9:30, a deputy was on routine patrol and was looking for a stolen U-Haul truck.

She saw a U-Haul truck matching the description of the one that was stolen in the 7500 block of Commerce Blvd.

At one point, Copeland stopped the truck and exited it. He was taken down at gunpoint.

A search of Copeland subsequent to his arrest turned up two needles and a spoon from his pockets.

It was later confirmed that Copeland's driver license was not valid due to a suspension and he knew it.

He was charged with Grand Theft Auto, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Driving on a Suspended License.

He remains in custody in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $2,120.


Deputy Helps Save
Injured Bald Eagle

OCALA, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- A Marion County sheriff's deputy came to the rescue of a struggling bald eagle, giving the protected animal a second chance to fly, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

According to the Marion County Sheriff's Office, Deputy O'Cull was off duty when he and a few other witnesses came across an injured bald eagle on the side of the road.

The eagle appeared to have been struck by a car.

O'Cull and others called wildlife officers and protected the bird until help arrived.

Veterinarians and wildlife officers recovered the injured eagle and are now taking care of the bird, WKMG said.

 

~ Wednesday's Local/State News ~

Intoxicated Man Arrested
for Child Neglect with
Great Bodily Harm

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Richard Alan Robinson, 47 of 7094 Chatum Light Run, in Bradenton.


Richard Robinson

According to the arrest report, Robinson is the father of the victim, a 13-year-old boy. Robinson was intoxicated at the time of the following incident.

On Sunday, Oct. 19th, at about 10:45 p.m., the boy and his mother had come home from Orlando, finding Robinson at home and intoxicated.

Gloria, the ex-wife of Robinson, asked him to turn down the TV volume, at which time Robinson said he was going to throw a glass into the TV.

Gloria and her son, the victim, went upstairs to avoid Robinson.

Robinson came upstairs and turned up his TV volume.

The boy asked Robinson to turn the volume down, at which time Robinson refused.

The boy then manually turned the volume down.

Robinson charged the boy and slapped him across the face with an open palm. This left a red mark on the boy's face.

The victim, fearing further violence, armed himself with a ball bat.

Robinson then continued to yell at the boy, saying that he was going to kill the family and then himself.

Robinson was arrested and charged with Child Neglect with Great Bodily Harm.

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


Man Arrested on DV Warrant
Also Charged with Unlawful
Sex with a Minor

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Michael Zabriskie, 29, of 4515 67th Street West, Bradenton.


Michael Zabriskie

The arrest report said on Friday, Oct. 10th, deputies showed up at the above location to arrest Zabriskie on a Contempt of Court warrant for failure to answer a summons on a Domestic Battery charge.

At that time, they found a crack pipe and a piece of crack cocaine in his possession, which he was charged with.

On Monday, Oct. 13th, Zabriskie was interviewed at the jail and detectives learned that in February of 2013, just after the birthday of a 17-year-old girl, she and Zabriskie had sexual intercourse, which resulted in the birth of a baby girl in November of 2013. Zabriskie was 27 years old at the time they had sex.

He has admitted that the baby girl is his.

Zabriskie has been charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Contempt of Court Revoking Bond, and Unlawful Sex with a Minor.

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


Woman with Five Priors
Arrested for Felony
Prostitution

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Michelle Denise Harris, 45, of the 5800 block of 29th Avenue Drive East, Bradenton.


Michelle Harris

The arrest report said on Thursday, Oct. 16th, 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 10:15 p.m., he spotted Harris in the 6100 block of 14th Street West.

He made contact and, after a brief conversation, Harris agreed to give the U/C detective oral sex in exchange for $40.

She was arrested.

A criminal history check revealed Harris had been convicted on five prior occasions for Prostitution.

Therefore, she was charged with Felony Prostitution.

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


Sarasota Resident Shoots, Kills
Home Invader Who Shot at Him


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fatal shooting at 2130 Ernie Shank Ct., Sarasota, which occurred around 5:40 Tuesday morning, Oct. 21st.


Above, Calvin Yoder, deceased

Information released at the scene includes the following:

According to the resident, Christopher Bane, 36, he heard someone breaking in and armed himself for protection from the intruder. His 11-year-old child was also home at the time.

Bane confronted the suspect in the hallway and the suspect fired at Bane, who returned fire, killing the home intruder.

The deceased has been identified as Calvin Yoder, 22, 2407 Booker Ave., Sarasota.

The mug shot above of the deceased suspect is from May of 2014, when he was arrested in Sarasota County for Domestic Battery.

He also has a criminal history in Manatee County.

More information will be released when it becomes available.


Burglary Investigation Leads
to Discovery of Meth Lab

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office charged three people for operating a methamphetamine lab out of a Venice motel after arresting them for burglary.


Above, L to R, Michael Neace, Edman Hughes and Jennifer Harrison

Deputies responded to Blackburn Road in Nokomis Friday when a realtor reported a property he represented had been burglarized. While on scene, a lawn maintenance person approached deputies and told them three people from Kentucky had worked for him and mowed the property on the day of the burglary. Deputies located the suspects' vehicle at Motel 6 in Venice and found stolen items including a television, computer monitor and cash box in their room and car. Detectives also found a makeshift meth lab in the hotel room and nearly two grams of the drug.

Michael Neace, 39, of Kentucky, is charged with Burglary, Manufacturing of Methamphetamine and Possession of Listed Chemicals.

Edman Matthew Hughes, 37, of Kentucky, is charged with Burglary, Principle to Manufacturing Methamphetamine and Possession of Listed Chemicals.

Jennifer Harrison, 36, of Kentucky, is charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, Principle to Manufacturing of Methamphetamine and Possession of Listed Chemicals.


Detectives Attempting to Identify
Suspect Who Made Fraudulent
Cash Withdrawal

SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- Detectives with the Sarasota Police Department are asking for assistance from the public in identifying a man caught on surveillance camera at a Wells Fargo in Sarasota making a fraudulent cash withdrawal.

On September 29, 2014, the man in the photo above walked into the Wells Fargo at 2891 South Tamiami Trail, in Sarasota, and fraudulently made a large cash withdrawal from a business account of a business that is out of Maryland. The suspect presented a California ID card with his picture on it but the name on the ID was my victim’s name. A second form of ID in the victim’s name was presented as well.

The suspect is described as a White male, in his 40’s, with short brown hair, 6 feet tall, a thin build and last seen wearing a dark button down shirt and dark slacks.

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.


Two Dead, One Injured in
Early Morning Shooting

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- A man and a woman are dead and another woman was seriously injured early Tuesday morning, Oct. 21st, in a shooting incident at a trailer park in the Charlotte Harbor area of Port Charlotte.


Above, crime scene at Charlotte Harbor RV Park

Deputies were called to the Charlotte Harbor RV Park, located at 4838 Tamiami Trail, shortly after 6:00 Tuesday morning for a domestic dispute. Shots were reported to have been fired and potentially two people were injured. There were also supposed to have been children present inside the trailer.

A stand- off situation resulted in deputies shutting down US 41 in both directions in front of the park at about 8:00 a.m. While negotiators tried to communicate with the person or people inside the trailer, other deputies used the Sheriff’s Office’s recently acquired armored personnel carrier (APC) vehicle to safely enter the park. They were able to remove a seriously injured woman and four children from the trailer and get them to safety. The woman was transported to the hospital shortly afterward and the children were turned over to the custody of the Department of Children and Families.

After trying unsuccessfully to speak with the remaining occupants in the trailer, deputies entered and found a man and a woman, both deceased. During the stand-off, no Sheriff’s Office personnel fired any weapons other than gas canisters.

After almost five hours, the emergency personnel who were staged near-by returned to normal duties while detectives and crime scene personnel took over the scene. US 41 was re-opened about 11:00 a.m., after having been shut down for almost three hours.

The investigation is still on-going, so further information is not available.


Pump Prices Dip Below $3
in Central Florida


OVIEDO, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Gas prices have dipped below $3 per gallon in Central Florida, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

WKMG on Monday snapped a picture of the RaceTrac located on Alafaya Trail in Oviedo, where the sign advertised $2.99 for a gallon of regular gasoline.

According to AAA, pump prices continue to fall in Orlando. The price dipped to $3.07 Tuesday, a dime lower than seven days ago.

In Daytona Beach, the average price for a gallon of gas fell to $3.14. Last week, the average price was $3.26.

Experts with AAA expect prices at the pump to continue to fall for several weeks, WKMG said.

 

~ Tuesday's Local/State News ~

Man Arrested for Theft by
Embezzlement Arrested
for Contempt of Court

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Richard A. Schauer, 33, of 706 59th Terrace East, Bradenton.


Richard Schauer

According to the original arrest report, Schauer had been an employee of the Walmart store located at 5810 Ranch Lake Blvd., Bradenton, since December of 2013.

An employee of Asset Protection Associated, Walmart's loss prevention company, over a period of three weeks, Schauer was observed concealing items valued at $683.45.

On March 2nd, he selected an i-Pad and a Cannon camera SX40 on his person and exited the store without rendering payment.

On March 7th, Schauer concealed a shirt and shorts from a clothing rack, then passed all points of sale without rendering payment for the merchandise.

On March 11th, Schauer selected two perfume boxes from the store shelves, concealed the perfume on his person and exited the store without rendering payment.

The security company still has to review additional surveillance footage and there may be additional items stolen by Schauer, the report said.

Schauer refused to talk to a deputy about the thefts.

He was arrested and charged with Grand Theft by Embezzlement.

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

Now, on Thursday, Oct. 16th, Schauer was arrested again, this time charged with Contempt of Court for failing to respond to a summons in the case.

He remains in the Manatee County Jail on a bail bond of $25,000.


Convicted Sex Offender, 18,
Arrested Again for Sex
with Girl Under 16

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Eric James Tucker, 18, of 3504 39th Avenue West, Bradenton.


Eric Tucker

According to the arrest report, Tucker began a relationship in October of 2013 when the unnamed victim was 15 years of age and Tucker was 17 years of age.

The victim reported the relationship quickly turned sexual in nature and the two began to have sexual intercourse on a daily basis.

The relationship continued until Tucker was arrested due to violating the conditions of his sexual offender probation.

The victim turned sixteen years of age on February 21, 2014, and said that the sexual intercourse with Tucker was always consensual in nature.

Tucker denied having sex with the girl until she was 16 years old.

He was arrested and charged with Lewd & Lascivious Battery on a Person 12-15 Years of Age.

Tucker remains in custody on a $25,000 bail bond.


Man Arrested for Domestic
Battery by Strangulation


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested William Scott Rainey, 28, of 5600 14th Street West, Bradenton.


William Rainey

The arrest report said the victim, Amy Pierce, is the girlfriend of Rainey. The couple has a child in common and they live together.

On Thursday, Oct. 16th, at about 11 a.m., and for the past four days, they have been arguing.

Rainey has been battering the victim with his hands and slamming her head into the wall, the report said.

On Thursday, Rainey slammed Amy's head into the wall and broke her cell phone.

In Amy's affidavit, she also said that Rainey had choked her to the point where she had difficulty breathing, the report said.

Rainey was arrested and charged with Domestic Battery by Strangulation.

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


Woman Arrested for
Prostitution


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Tereza Gonzalez, 45, of 1400 301 Blvd. East, Bradenton.


Tereza Gonzalez

The arrest report said on Wednesday, Oct. 15th, two undercover detectives attached to the Special Investigations Division Tactical Unit was patrolling the streets of Manatee County, posing as "Johns" in an attempt to arrest prostitutes.

At about 6:15, they spotted Gonzalez in the 1400 block of 301 Blvd.

They made contact and after a brief conversation Gonzalez agreed to give both men oral sex for $20 apiece.

She was arrested and charged with misdemeanor Prostitution.

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


Bradenton Woman Charged
with DUI in Wrong-Way
Head-On Crash


SARASOTA, Florida [NMT] -- According to a press release from the Sarasota Police Department, Precious Wilson, 21, of Bradenton, has been charged with DUI after a vehicle crash in the 5100 block of North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota early Saturday morning, Oct. 18th.


Precious Wilson

At approximately 2:30 a.m., Wilson was driving a vehicle northbound in the southbound lanes and attempted to correct by going over the median.

Wilson overcorrected the vehicle and returned to the northbound lanes, hitting another vehicle head on. No major injuries were reported.

Wilson was charged with DUI with a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.15 or higher. Wilson’s blood alcohol level tested at 0.18.

She was transported to the Sarasota County Jail.


Sarasota Sheriff Releases
Phone Scam Warning


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is warning citizens about a telephone scam that attempts to extort money from innocent individuals who the caller claims is wanted.

A man contacted the sheriff's office Friday and said he received a call from someone claiming to be with the "warrants division" who said his wife was wanted for not appearing for jury duty. The caller said to get a prepaid Green Dot card for $1,163 and call him back with the card information. The Clerk of Court's Office reports receiving similar complaints, but in all cases we are aware of, the residents knew it was a scam and did not comply with the requests but reported them instead.

It is important for all citizens to know that the majority of warrants cannot be satisfied without appearing in person at either the jail or in court; fine amounts are paid to the Clerk of Court; and none of these matters would be handled over the phone.

The Clerk of the Court and County Comptroller for Sarasota County issued a similar scam alert in June of this year, following an alert by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office in December of last year.


CCSO: Alcohol Compliance
Check Nets One Arrest

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- Members of the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office Juveniles Operations, Narcotics and Street Crimes Units conducted a joint operation last Thursday evening, Oct. 16th, to check for compliance with serving alcohol to those underage. One person was arrested.


Susan Adcock

Dduring the joint operation, an underage undercover operative went to four separate establishments that serve alcoholic beverages in the Englewood area. The operative had their own legitimate identification that indicated they were not yet 21 years of age. In each instance, the operative asked for an alcoholic beverage and waited to see if the personnel on duty would ask for identification and deny the purchase.

When they conducted such a check at the White Elephant, located at 1855 Gulf Blvd., the server, Susan Gale Adcock, 44, of 6800 Placida Road in Englewood, allegedly did not ask for identification and served the investigative aide a rum and coke. She was arrested on charges of Serving Alcohol to a Person Under Age 21. She was released on a $1,000 bond.

The units also conducted similar checks at these locations:

Junior’s, 2643 Placida Road
Mookey’s, 4812 Placida Road
Flounders, 1975 Beach Road

The Juvenile Unit conducts frequent random alcohol compliance checks throughout the county. The Narcotics and Street Crimes Units will continue to assist with these checks, particularly as the holiday season approaches.


Daytona Beach Commissioner
Accused of Punching Man


DAYTONA BEACH, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- Daytona Beach Commissioner Robert Gilliland was arrested Saturday after allegedly getting into an altercation with a man and punching him, Orlando television station WKMG reported.

Gilliland reportedly told police when he arrived to the gate of his neighborhood there was a 2013 Corvette in front of his vehicle that wouldn't move. Gilliland honked his horn, the car pulled forward through the gate and then stopped again.

Police said the driver of the Corvette, Alan Robinson, got out of his vehicle, walked over to Gilliland's and removed his keys, accusing Gilliland of being intoxicated.

Police said Robinson told them a similar story, but that he state Gilliland was honking the horn and yelling, "Get the (expletive) out of the way."

Robinson told police that he removed Gilliland's keys from his car, believing that he was intoxicated.

Police said the argument escalated and Gilliland punched Robinson in the right side of his head, leaving his ear red and his eye red and bloodshot.

Robinson's son, who was in his car at the time of the incident, also confirmed Robinson's story.

A 911 call was made after the altercation.

“I need cops over here. There’s a fight at the gate,” the 911 caller, whose name was not released, said. “The guy’s drunk. The guy punched the other guy.”

Robinson reportedly told police that he would be filing charges against Gilliland.

In his arrest Saturday night, Gilliland was charged with battery on a person 65 years old or older, a felony charge.

Calls and emails to Gilliland, the mayor and the city's public information officer have not been returned.

According to the city charter, a felony conviction could result in losing a commissioner's seat, but Gilliland is so far only charged with felony battery, WKMG said.


Gov. Scott: Florida National
Guard Rapid Response Teams
Will Further Prepare for Ebola

ST. AUGUSTINE, Florida [NMT/Governor's Office] -- After meeting with Major General Emmett Titshaw on Monday, Oct. 20th, Governor Scott announced that the Florida National Guard is currently establishing two Rapid Response Teams to further enhance Florida’s Ebola preparedness efforts.

Each National Guard Rapid Response team of 16 will include doctors, nurses and equipment personnel. These two teams are undergoing intensive training and will be ready by the end of the October to assist healthcare workers, if they are ever needed to supplement a hospital’s existing personnel.

Governor Scott said, “Today, I met with General Titshaw on the Florida National Guard’s preparedness efforts – in the event we ever have a case of Ebola in Florida. While our first responders and healthcare workers are the front line of care in the event of an Ebola case, our Florida National Guard is currently establishing two Rapid Response teams that can manage Ebola cases and provide support to hospitals, if needed.

“I want to thank the CDC for working with our healthcare workers on a conference call today and supporting our work to repurpose more than $7 million in federal funding to buy equipment that enhances our preparedness for Ebola. We continue to prepare for any Ebola response in Florida," the Governor is reported to have stated.

According to the press release from Gov. Scott's office, the Department of Health is currently acquiring more high-level PPEs so our healthcare workers on the front lines are protected. Additionally, the personnel at 55 Florida hospitals have completed Ebola preparedness training, and ACHA is continuing to reach out to all 210 hospitals to ensure they are all trained quickly, Scott's office said.

“We are preparing for the worst, while hoping for the best. The Guard’s resources will provide Florida communities with an extra layer of protection – in the event we ever see a case of this horrible disease in our state.”

 

~ Monday's Local/State News ~

Bank Robbery Reported
Friday Afternoon; Cops
Seek Suspect

MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office reported a bank robbery that occurred on Friday, Oct. 17th, at about 3:45 p.m., at the Bank of America branch located at 4545 14th Street West, Bradenton.


Above, a surveillance photo of the suspect

A media release from the sheriff's office said at about 3:45 p.m. the suspect entered the listed Bank of America.

The suspect quietly got in line and waited his turn to get to a teller.

When the suspect got to the teller he said nothing but handed a note to the teller.

The teller handed the suspect money. The suspect took the money left.

The suspect absconded with an unknown amount of money at this time.

He was described as being a White male, 5’5” to 5’7” tall, bald, no facial hair, sunglasses, wearing a tan polo type short and blue jean pants.

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.


Manatee Detective Arrests
Parrish Man, 59, for Molesting
Boy, 4, on Swing in Back Yard


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Noel Salas Gison, 59, of 10114 41st Court East, in Parrish.


Noel Gison

According to the arrest report, Gison is a neighbor of the 4-year-old male victim.

On Wednesday, Oct. 15th, at about 6:30 p.m., the boy's mother was standing on the porch of her house about 0 to 15 feet from the incident location.

She saw Gison sitting next to the boy as the boy was standing in a swing in the back yard.

She then heard Gison asking the victim, "What's that?" and grabbed the boy's genitals with one hand.

The mother screamed "Stop touching my kid!" After the scream, Gison didn't say anything, got up and walked back into his house.

The boy was taken inside the house and was questioned about the incident by his father.

The boy told his father that Gison grabbed his "pee-pee" in the swing.

The 4-year-old victim was playing with two juveniles of the ages of 7 and 4 when the incident occurred, but all three were not interviewed because of their age.

Gison told a detective he did touch the lad, but said it was all accidental.

Gison was arrested and charged with Molestation of a Minor.

He later posted a bail bond of $2,500 and was released from the Manatee County Jail.


Woman Busted for Embezzlement
from Walmart Store


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has arrested Kayla Marie Ramirez, 18, of 2352 21st Street East, Sarasota.


Kayla Ramirez

The arrest report said Ramirez was an employee of the Walmart store located at 8320 Lockwood Ridge Road, in South Manatee County.

On Wednesday, Oct. 15th, at about 10:45 p.m., Ramirez admitted to taking cash from her register on seven different occasions, totaling $1,750.

She supplied a written statement admitted to the thefts.

She was arrested and charged with Grand Theft by Embezzlement.

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


Young Woman Killed
in Single Car Crash


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Highway Patrol reported a single vehicle crash that resulted in a fatality. The incident occurred on Saturday, Oct. 18th, at about 4 a.m., on Cortez Road West at the 44th Avenue connection.

The FHP report said vehicle 1, being driven by Ashelgh Danielle Bond, 21, of Parrish, was traveling eastbound in the inside lane of SR 684 (Cortez Road) approaching the intersection with the 44th Avenue Connection.

The driver of vehicle 1, Miss Bond, failed to negotiate a left hand curve in the roadway. She over-corrected the vehicle to the right, causing the vehicle, a 2001 Toyota Camry, to rotate clockwise.

Vehicle 1 continued to travel in an easterly direction which caused the driver side of vehicle 1 to collide with a concrete utility pole.

After contacting the utility pole, vehicle 1 rotated counterclockwise coming to final rest facing in a northerly direction.

Miss Bond was pronounced dead at the scene.


Pedestrian Struck, Killed
on U.S. 41 Friday Evening


MANATEE COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Florida Highway Patrol reported a fatal accident between a pedestrian and a 2013 Chevy that occurred on Friday, Oct. 17th, at about 8:10 p.m., on U.S. 41 at Bradenton Avenue, Bradenton.

A vehicle being driven by Francis F. Peter, 47, of Bradenton, was northbound on US 41 in the right lane passing Braden Ave.

The pedestrian, since identified as Harry C. Ziegler, 55, of Bradenton, was walking from the west to the east side of the roadway.

The pedestrian entered the path of the Chevy and the Chevy's left front struck the pedestrian. The pedestrian came to final rest in the northbound left lane.

The Chevy came to a controlled stop in the right lane, north of the impact.

Mr. Ziegler was pronounced dead at the scene.


West Bradenton Crime Watch
Fundraising Rummage Sale

BRADENTON, Florida [NMT] -- Attention to all rummage sale attendees, as well as those of you who would like to sell your treasures.


The West Bradenton Crime Watch Inc, a non-profit organization, will have a Fundraising Rummage Sale on November 8, 2014, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3011 19th Avenue West, Bradenton, from 9 am to noon.

You can reserve a booth for $25 by contacting them at (941) 677-3815, or e-mail them at:

BPDNeighborhoods@aol.com

Your profits from your treasures are yours. You are responsible for your own table, chairs, etc., and for set up and take down. We request that all “leftovers” be either taken away when you leave, or we will have a Salvation Army Drop off at the church following the closing of the sale.

Help them raise funds for our award-winning Annual Safe Kids Fair, that teaches children and their families how to be safe in their homes and community (they have just completed their second fair with over 300 attendees), Safe Fair (for adults), and crime prevention classes.

Their neighborhood watch programs have partnered with the Bradenton Police Department for 5 years in bringing safety education to the residents of the City of Bradenton and has assisted in decreasing crime by an average of 20% over those 5 years.

Be a part of a fun day, as well as helping us bring safety to more children and families!

Reserve your booth today.


Miami Area Retail Theft Ring
Arrested in North Port Due to
Alert Citizen's Watchful Eye

SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested four people found in possession of more than $4,000 in stolen merchandise thanks to the watchful eye of a concerned citizen.


Above, L to R, Moises Eskenazi, Olga Eskenazi, Felicita Henriquez, and Vanessa Equisquiza

Deputies responded to the Ross department store at 18139 Tamiami Trail in North Port Thursday afternoon, Oct. 16th, when a citizen reported seeing the suspects remove multiple articles of clothing that they had concealed.

When deputies stopped the suspect's vehicle, they noticed two women in the back seat ripping tags off of clothing and other merchandise in trash bags below their feet.

When the vehicle was searched, deputies discovered $4,287.28 in tagged merchandise.

Loss Prevention at Ross was able to identify 70 pieces of stolen items totaling over $2,000.

The remaining 72 items from TJ Maxx may be connected to a theft in Ft. Myers. When the suspects were arrested, each woman removed multiple layers of spandex and compressive clothing worn to conceal the merchandise.

Moises Eskenazi, 56, Olga Eskenazi, 59, Felicita Henriquez, 55, and Vanessa Equsquiza, 37, were each charged with Grand Theft, Shoplifting and Use of an Antishoplifting Device.

The driver was also charged with not having a Valid License. Combined, the three women have 13 prior charges of Shoplifting.


Suspect Arrested in September
Nokomis Race Trac Robbery;
Cops Seek Two Others


SARASOTA COUNTY, Florida [NMT] -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested a man in connection with an armed robbery and kidnapping that took place at a Nokomis Race Trac gas station in September.


Demarcus Morris

On September 22, after exiting the gas station at 410 N. Tamiami Trail, the victim was approached by three males and held at gunpoint as they demanded he get into their vehicle.

The suspects drove the victim a short distance away when they demanded all of the money in his possession.

When the victim could only come up with $7.00 cash, the suspects drove him to the Suntrust bank at 1000 N. Tamiami Trail and demanded his PIN number.

While the transaction was being made, the victim was able to flee the vehicle and run to a local business for help.

Law Enforcement was able to quickly identify one of the suspects from the surveillance video obtained at the ATM. The other suspects are unknown at this time.

Today, Demarcus Morris, DOB 02/13/73, was taken into custody on charges of Armed Robbery With a Firearm and Armed Kidnapping to Facilitate a Felony. His arrest history includes Possession and Sale of Cocaine, Aggravated Battery on an Elderly Victim, Robbery and Violation of Probation.

Anyone with information related to this crime is encouraged to call Criminal Investigations at 941-861-1719 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477), or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.


Creepy Clown Craze
Comes to Florida


JACKSONVILLE, Florida [NMT/WKMG] -- It's a creepy craze in California: Mysterious clowns are popping up across the state and terrorizing people in the towns, Orlando television station WKMG reported.


Above, allegedly one of the creepy clowns

The odd behavior has now made its way to Jacksonville. For some, it's funny, but others call it frightening.

Surveillance videos in the Springfield area show clowns caught on people's porches and sidewalks. In one video, the clown clearly knew he was being recorded.

The clown on a porch grabs a pumpkin, tears it apart, then stares at the camera before disappearing into the darkness.

Clowning is already quite the craze in California. It started with a photography project, and the pictures have gone viral. Creepy comics are terrorizing some people and humoring others as they pose in front of monuments and prowl the streets. Now the mysterious behavior is spreading.

Doug Vanderlaan's security camera recorded a clown out front of his Market Street home in Springfield.

"It was very weird," Vanderlaan said. "I guess some people are afraid of clowns. I wouldn't say I am, but if you are afraid of clowns, it would be alarming."

Word on the street is the Springfield sightings are just friends pranking friends ahead of some Halloween parties. The clowns know their targets: people who can take a joke and won't freak out.

As far as the pumpkin the jester destroyed, News4Jax was told the clown brought it himself so there'd be no hard feelings.

"I think that it may be some neighbors having fun," Vanderlaan said.

Will the clowns continue? That's still to be determined.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said so far it hasn't gotten any calls or complaints, WKMG said.


Gov. Scott: CDC Agrees to
FL's Preparedness Requests


TALLAHASSEE, Florida [NMT] -- On Saturday, Oct. 18th, Governor Scott announced that the CDC has agreed to two of the state’s requests for enhancing Florida’s Ebola preparedness efforts, including holding a conference call with healthcare workers on best practices and federal approval of the state’s repurpose of more than $7 million in federal grant funding. The CDC, has still not provided the additional 27 testing kits, or contacted the passengers that flew on the Frontier flight from Dallas to Ft. Lauderdale.


Above, the Ebola virus

Governor Scott said, “We want to thank the CDC for agreeing to hold a conference call with Florida hospitals on Monday, October 20th at 3:30pm. Our healthcare workers need to hear directly from the CDC on what happened in Dallas that allowed Ebola to be transmitted to two nurses, and what can be done to protect our healthcare professionals in Florida who are on the front lines. Florida hospitals also have questions of their own and the CDC must provide guidance.

“We appreciate the CDC’s preliminary approval to move forward with redirecting more than $7 million in federal grant funds to purchase the necessary equipment and supplies to protect healthcare workers who may come into contact with Ebola. The CDC indicated that we will receive formal approval next week, but based on this preliminary approval, we have already begun using these funds to enhance our Ebola preparedness efforts.

“While this is great progress, we’re waiting on the CDC to provide additional testing kits. With a population of more than 19 million people, tens of millions of tourists, and numerous ports and international airports, we must ensure Florida can rapidly test any future patients who have the potential for Ebola.

“The CDC still needs to identify, notify, and monitor all of the passengers that flew from Dallas to Ft. Lauderdale after nurse Amber Joy Vinson flew on the same plane. We know she had a low grade-fever when she traveled to Dallas, and the plane then came to Florida. While this risk is low, there have been reports she was potentially symptomatic, and the CDC should take any potential threat seriously – no matter how small. We’re continuing to hope for the best, while preparing for the worst and we expect the CDC to do everything possible to ensure our communities are kept safe.”

The CDC has agreed to hold a conference call with Florida hospitals on Monday, October 20th at 3:30pm. This call will cover critical areas of preparedness and training for our Florida hospitals. Officials with the CDC’s state and local readiness section will be hosting the call with Florida’s hospital executives. The call will provide guidance for proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), safe handling of medical waste and effective clinical strategies within the hospital setting.

 

 

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