Sunday morning crash
leaves one dead,
one critically injured
and one seriously injured

By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 21, 2018 at 3:07 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY --
One woman died, one man suffered critical injuries and one man was seriously injured Sunday morning (Jan. 21) in a crash in Levy County, the FHP said.


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    Jesse Aviles, 19, of Morriston was driving a 2000 Ford F-350 dual flatbed pickup truck on Sunday morning at approximately 6:30 a.m., according to a press release by Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Javon Murphy, based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper Rick Brown and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. J. Roberts.
     Pedro Ponciano De Paz, 25, of Morriston was driving a 2012 Mitsubishi Outlaw SUV, the FHP said. Catarina Matom Raymundo, 21, of Morriston was a passenger in the Outlaw, the FHP said.
     Aviles, driving the Ford truck, was southbound on U.S. Highway 41 just south of Levy County Road 322, the FHP said.
     De Paz, driving the Mitsubishi SUV, northbound on U.S. 41, the FHP said.
     The Ford F350 crossed partially into the northbound lane causing a head-on collision, the FHP said.
     De Paz was critically injured and was taken by a ShandsCair helicopter to Shands UF Hospital in Gainesville, the FHP said.
     Raymundo was pronounced dead at the scene by Levy County Department of Public Safety, the FHP said.
     Aviles the driver of the Ford F350 suffered serious injuries and was transported to Shands UF Hospital in Gainesville, the FHP said.
     Charges are pending completion of the investigation, the FHP said.

 

Suspected firearm thief arrested

Chase Daniel Gerald

Mug Shot By LCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 21, 2018 at 9:27 a.m.
     CHIEFLAND --
The combined efforts of city, county and state law enforcement officers resulted in the arrest of a man suspected of being a thief and a seller of stolen property, according to records.

     Chase Daniel Gerald, 25, of Biloxi, Miss., was arrested Jan. 17 on the charges of grand theft of a firearm and dealing in stolen property, according to records. Initial combined bonds were set at $25,000 for Gerald, according to records.
     Chiefland Police Officer Pete Barnes led the investigation after he responded on Jan. 17 at about 7:37 p.m. to a call from a 72-year-old man who was the victim of theft, according to records. CPD Cpl. Blake Murphy is another city officer involved in this case, according to records.
     Deputy Tom Martin with the Levy County Sheriff's Office is listed as the arrested officer, according to the Levy County Jail log. LCSO Cpl. Carl Rogers is another county law enforcement officer involved in the case, according to records.
     A 72-year-old man who lives in the Chiefland RV Park located on Northwest 11th Avenue in the city told Officer Barnes that at about 11 p.m. on Jan. 16, Gerald came to his residence with two other unknown persons, according to records.
     About an hour after Gerald had gone into the victim's bedroom, the victim discovered his Ruger .45 caliber silver-colored semiautomatic pistol was missing, Barnes reported. There were also two clips for the gun missing. The estimated value of the stolen items was set at $300, according to records.
     The victim said Gerald had his car, which he had allowed him to use, but Gerald did not return it when he said he would return it, Barnes said.
     The victim said Gerald also had taken his morphine medication. At the time of the initial investigation, the victim was unable to give the name of the suspected thief; however, Barnes said, he was able to give the address of the suspect’s grandmother.
     The suspect’s grandmother directed Barnes to the suspect’s father, who identified the suspect, Barnes said. The suspect’s father contacted his son.
     Police received a call that the car and morphine had been returned, but that Gerald had left the residence of the victim, according to records.
     Officer Barnes and Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Marshall Smith found the defendant at his grandparents’ home in Chiefland.
     The officers learned from the suspect that he had sold the gun to Charlie Chisholm of Fanning Springs.
     CPD Cpl. Murphy and CPD Officer Barnes met with LCSO Sgt. Rogers and LCSO Cpl. Martin at Chisholm’s residence.
     The Ruger .45 caliber pistol, the two missing clips, 17 rounds of ammunition and the holster for the pistol were all confiscated from Chisholm and placed into evidence, according to records.
     The suspected thief and gun-seller told investigators that he had sold the weapon and clips for $200 -- $100 in cash and $100 worth of drugs (a mix of marijuana and Molly), according to records.
     Molly is a "street name" for MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), which is also popularly known as ecstasy. It is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that prodcues in its user syptoms that are similar to those of both an amphetamine and a hallucinogen, according to informational sources about illegal drugs.
     Gerald admitted stealing the pistol, clips, holster and rounds, according to record, as well as having sold the stolen items, according to records.

 


Crash claims two teens' lives
By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 20, 2018 at 9:57 a.m.
     MARION COUNTY --
A 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl died early Friday evening (Jan. 19) in a single-car crash in Marion County, the FHP said.

     William Wetherington, 16, of Silver Springs was driving a 2001 Chrysler 300 at 5:51 p.m. on Friday in Marion County, according to a press release from Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Daniel DeWeese, based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper Kyle Worfel and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. Jason Roberts.
     Katherine Livengood, 17, of Belleview was a passenger, the FHP said.
     Wetherington would have turned 17 on Feb. 19, according to records.
     The red-colored Chrysler was eastbound on Northeast 14th Street Road, the FHP said.
     The driver attempted to negotiate a left-hand curve on Northeast 14th Street Road, the FHP said, within the Ocala National Forest.
     For reasons still to be determined, the FHP said, the driver of the vehicle failed to keep the car within the roadway, causing it to travel off of the roadway and onto the south shoulder.
     The Chrysler continued within the shoulder, the FHP said, where it struck a large tree and overturned.
     The passenger was ejected from the vehicle, while the driver remained within the vehicle after the collision, the FHP said.
     Wetherington was pronounced dead at the scene by Marion County Fire Rescue personnel and Livengood was pronounced dead at Ocala Regional Hospital, the FHP said.


Bicyclist hospitalized
after crash in Old Town

By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 19, 2018 at 2:07 a.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
A 31-year-old man who was riding a bicycle was hit by a pickup truck Tuesday night (Jan. 16) in Old Town, the FHP said.

     Laura Ann Morris, 46, of Old Town was driving a 2004 Ford F-150 at 9:19 p.m. in Dixie County, according to a press release from Florida Highway Patrol Lt. P.V. Riordan, based on information from FHP Trooper K. Skelly.
     Earl B. Ward, 31, of Old Town was riding a bicycle near the intersection of Northeast 389th Avenue and 674th Street, the FHP said.
     The two vehicles were in a crash, the FHP said, and the bicyclist was transported by Dixie County EMS to Shands Hospital in Gainesville with non-life threatening injuries.
     Charges are pending completion of the accident investigation, the FHP said.


Trenton woman hurt
in Dixie County crash

By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 19, 2018 at 1:47 a.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
A 33-year-old Trenton woman suffered minor injuries Monday night (Jan. 15) in a two-vehicle crash in Dixie County, the FHP said.
     Amanda Elizabeth Pick, 33, of Trenton was driving a 2005 Honda Odyssey at 9:40 p.m. in Dixie County, according to a press release from Florida Highway Patrol Lt. P.V. Riordan, based on information from FHP Trooper K. Skelly.
     Daniel John Brown, 36, of Old Town was driving a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado, the FHP said.
     Pick was driving the Honda van northbound on State Road 349, the FHP said.
     Brown was driving the Chevrolet pickup truck northbound SR 349, the FHP said, and was in the process of passing the Honda van.
     Pick began a left turn, the FHP said, at which time the left front of the van struck the front right of the truck.
     Pick was taken to North Florida Regional Medical Center with minor injuries, the FHP said, and Brown was not injured. Charges are pending completion of the accident investigation, the FHP said.


Winter weather increases
wildfire potential in Florida

By Ludie Bond of the Florida Forest Service
Published Jan. 18, 2018 at 8:17 a.m.
     GAINESVILLE --
The combination of recent hard freezes with low humidity levels adds up to an increase in wildfire danger.

     Hard freezes kill and dry-out grasses and other light vegetation that contribute to the spread of wildfires.
     “As vegetation dies, wildfires can easily start,” explains Alachua County Forest Area Supervisor Jamie Rittenhouse. “Even though winter wildfires tend to be smaller in size compared to spring/summer wildfires, winter wildfires can still cause injury and destruction.”
     Florida Forest Service Wildland Firefighters need the public’s help. Whether it’s ensuring a campfire or debris burn of leaves and branches is completely extinguished, or keeping a vehicle well maintained to prevent sparks from igniting the dry grass, following just a few simple steps can help prevent wildfires. Florida’s wildfire season is year-round and approximately 75 percent of all wildfires in Florida are caused by human activity.
     For more information on wildfire prevention tips, visit FloridaForestService.com.
     The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service also is responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more at FloridaForestService.com.


Two women found dead
in overturned car

By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 17, 2018 at 4:37 p.m.
     BRADFORD COUNTY --
Two women from Lawtey died and were found in upside-down car in a retention pond at about midnight on Sunday morning (Jan. 14), although it is unknown when the crash happened, the FHP said.

     Heather Dawn Jordan, 33, of Lawtey was driving a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu in Bradford County, according to a press release by Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Kenneth Mark Boatright Jr., based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper Brianna Onorato and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. Austin Bennett.
     Ciara Nicole Kearns, 19, of Lawtey was a passenger, the FHP said.
     The Florida Highway Patrol was dispatched to a vehicle overturned, in a retention pond in the area of State Road 100 at Lakewood Drive in Bradford County.
     Upon arrival of first responders, the FHP said, a gold-colored Chevrolet Malibu was located in the pond with an unknown number of occupants.
     The vehicle was pulled from the pond with the discovery of the two deceased occupants, the FHP said.
     Preliminary investigation indicates the Gold Chevrolet Malibu was traveling in a northerly direction on Lakewood Drive approaching the intersection of State Road 100, the FHP said.
     The vehicle traversed State Road 100 onto the northern dirt/grass shoulder. The vehicle became airborne and landed in a retention pond, the FHP said.
     Both occupants were pronounced dead at the scene, the FHP said.
     The time of this crash is unknown, the FHP said, and the investigation is ongoing. The investigation may lead to changes in information shown in this press release later, the FHP said.


FHP troopers issued Narcan
By FHP Lt. Thomas Pikul
Published Jan. 17, 2018 at 4:17 p.m.
     TALLAHASSEE --
The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), a division of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), is now issuing Narcan to Troopers in an effort to save lives, a strategy by the agency to fight against the opioid epidemic. Naloxone, the life-saving drug commonly known by its brand name Narcan, can take just seconds to revive an overdose victim.

     “The FHP is part of a concerted, collaborative effort to combat the opioid crisis, which has a far-reaching impact,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Safety for our Troopers and those we serve has been and always will be the department’s number one priority, and it’s critical that our members can safely perform their jobs to help prevent any unnecessary injuries or deaths in our state.”
     This week, Troopers in Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Martin and Indian River counties were the first members of FHP to be issued Narcan due to the increasing number of overdose deaths in those counties. Narcan will be issued to additional troopers throughout other areas of the state by the end of February.
     “FHP knows firsthand the seriousness of the opioid crisis and the department is taking the necessary steps to adapt our techniques and arm our Troopers with the tools that will ensure the safety of the public and FHP,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “With the rise of deaths associated with the use of Fentanyl and Carfentanil, it is important to have this antidote available to our troopers, who are often the first to arrive on scene on Florida roadways.”
     The Narcan units will assist FHP members when they encounter an overdose situation while on patrol and help protect first responders who may be accidentally exposed and overcome by the effects of dangerous opioids. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid and is 10,000 times more potent than morphine.
     Extremely small doses of these drugs have been determined to be fatal, and even exposure from minor skin contact has been known to cause severe medical issues including death.


Williston man
arrested for robbery


Willie Sherman

Mug Shot By LCSO

By LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond, Public Information Officer
Published Jan. 17, 2018 at 4:07 p.m.
     WILLISTON --
Sometimes the facts are just the facts and there is no need to embellish.
     On Dec. 23, 2017 a Williston resident “won” an early Christmas present when his scratch off ticket was a winner. His prize was $1,000. And to celebrate he purchased some spirits from a local shop and shared his story with his friend.
     But, the Grinch whom we will call Willie Sherman, 27, decided that winning ticket was too tempting. 
     The victim went to bed after celebrating his winnings, only to be awakened by Sherman pointing a gun in his face. The victim immediately recognized the gun as his own and knew it was loaded. Sherman had taken the victim’s keys while he slept, gone into the victim’s trunk and stolen the winning ticket and his shotgun. Sherman then stole the victim’s prized knife and other personal belongings.
     But wait, the weird story doesn’t end here. Sherman was in a quandary. How do you “cash in” a stolen winning lottery ticket and not get caught? You find a friend and offer to pay him $50. And, to really throw the cops off their game, have the friend wear women’s clothing when cashing it.
     However, investigators with the Levy County Sheriff's Office weren’t deterred. They located video of the ticket being cashed in and although the disguise did slow their progress slightly, they were able to identify the fella in drag. He (whom we can’t identify at this moment) cooperated with investigators and gave up the goods.
     Sherman was located and interviewed by Deputy Adam Hiers. Sherman initially denied knowing the victim, but allowed investigators to search his room. There investigators found the stolen shotgun and the victim’s prized knife under Sherman’s mattress.
     Sherman has been arrested and charged with robbery with a firearm; grand theft of a firearm; grand theft (for stealing the lottery ticket); and burglary of a conveyance.
     He is being held at the Levy County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bond. The added charge of Violation Of Probation, however, is for No Bond.


Lake Weir High School teacher
arrested for sexual assault
on former female student


Jason Michael Tarlton

Mug Shot By MCSO

By Lauren Lettelier, MCSO Public Information Officer
Published Jan. 17, 2018 at 12:47 p.m.
     MARION COUNTY –
On Tuesday (Jan. 16), Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Major Crimes detectives arrested Lake Weir High School (LWHS) teacher Jason Michael Tarlton, 30, for sexually assaulting a 17-year old female student whom he used to teach.

     He turns 31 on Jan. 20.
     The alleged offense was discovered after inappropriate pictures of Tarlton and the victim were uploaded to a social media application and were brought to the attention of the MCSO School Resource Officer assigned to LWHS.
     On Tuesday, MCSO School Resource Officer Erik Deangelis was made aware of several inappropriate images uploaded to the “Afterschool” phone application depicting Tarlton and the alleged victim in a sexual manner.
     One of the pictures showed Tarlton and the girl standing in front of a mirror in a hotel bathroom partially clothed. The other picture was of Tarlton completely nude.
     Detectives made contact with the alleged victim. She told them that she accidentally uploaded the pictures from her phone to the application. The girl said that she is no longer a student at LWHS, but she had Tarlton as a teacher last year.
     She told detectives that they became friends and eventually became sexually involved. She said that Tarlton told her that he loved her and if he ever got caught, he said she was “worth it.”
     Detectives then responded to Tarlton’s residence and placed him under arrest. Upon taking him into custody, detectives observed a printed copy of the Florida Statutes for Chapter 948.30, in plain view on the passenger seat of his vehicle.
     This statute discusses probation and community control for crimes involving sex offenses.
     The paperwork was freshly printed on Jan. 16 at 3:19 p.m., just hours before his arrest.
     Tarlton was charged with one count of sexual assault by a custodian where the victim is between the ages of 12 and 18 years old.
     The suspect has since posted a $10,000 bond and was released from the Marion County Jail.


Sen. Aaron Bean unveils
Unsolved Cases in Florida
website with the FDLE


In this screen capture from the website, the FDLE provides a picture of Eileen Jones. She was found in her mobile home at Windmeadows Mobile Home Park on Jan. 17, 1990. This is an Alachua County Sheriff's Office unsolved homicide case that is 28 years old now.
Screen Shot Captured From FDLE Site

By FDLE Public Information Officer Jeremy Burns
Published Jan. 17, 2018 at 12:17 p.m.
     TALLAHASSEE --
State Sen, Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach, Dist. 4) has unveiled Florida’s new unsolved cases website featuring more than 400 unsolved homicides.

     The Unsolved Cases in Florida website features unsolved homicides that have been submitted by local law enforcement agencies for placement on the website. The website was developed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
     In his prior role as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice, Sen. Bean had the idea for a statewide website featuring unsolved cases. Sen. Bean worked with the FDLE to create the website.
     “In Florida the bad guys are never off the hook,” Sen. Bean said. “Our goal is to arrest the criminals who committed these crimes. By empowering our citizens, they can help local law enforcement agencies by providing tips on these cases.”
     The leader of the FDLE shared his comment about the website.
     “Florida’s local law enforcement agencies work tirelessly on these unsolved cases,” FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said.  “This website allows local agencies to display their unsolved homicide cases to be seen by millions of eyes.”
     Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell chairs the Florida Sheriff's Association's Cold Case Advisory Commission, and Sheriff Darnell spoke about unsolved murder cases.
     “Unsolved homicide cases cause indescribable pain for those closest to the victim, which is why the Florida Sheriffs Association created the Cold Case Advisory Commission in 2015 to provide assistance to local law enforcement agencies,” Sheriff Darnell said. “The Sheriffs of Florida today are very grateful to Sen. Aaron Bean for his passion and energy and to the FDLE for creating a website that will provide the public with access to unsolved cases.”
     The president of the Florida Police Chiefs Association weighed in on the new site.
     “No matter how much time passes, law enforcement will continue to search for answers to bring justice for victims and their families,” said Chief Kevin Lystad, Miami Shores Police Department and President of the Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA). “The FPCA and its members commend Senator Aaron Bean for his idea to create this type of website, another tool for investigators to help find answers in these unsolved cases.”
     The Unsolved Cases in Florida website can be found on FDLE’s website by clicking HERE.
     Sen. Bean represents Senate District 4, which includes parts of Nassau and Duval Counties. He can be contacted in Tallahassee at 850-487-5004 or in his District Office at 904-757-5039.
     The Unsolved Cases in Florida website was developed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. 
     By providing this information, the FDLE's hope is that local law enforcement agencies will receive tips that will help them solve these cases.
     The Unsolved Cases in Florida website provides the investigators' names and telephone numbers for all of the cases. There is an option to provide an anonymous tip directly to the investigative agency. The tips are reported to and managed directly by the investigating agency, not the FDLE.
     People who ask the question "How can I get an unsolved case displayed on the website?" are asked to contact the local law enforcement agency investigating the case and request the unsolved homicide case be considered for submission to the Unsolved Cases in Florida website. 
     Cases will be featured on the website homepage on anniversary month of the homicide, or at the request of the investigative agency. 
     Participation in the Unsolved Cases in Florida Public website is free to any Florida law enforcement agency. They can submit a request to participate to UnsolvedCases@FDLE.State.FL.US.


Alleged camper
invader moved to jail


John Lubin Jr.,

Mug Shot By DCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 17, 2018 at 9:37 a.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
A 24-year-old man who lists Old Town as his city of residence appears to have become involved in an altercation with law enforcement officers, according to information released Tuesday (Jan. 16) by Dixie County Sheriff's Office spokesman Maj. Scott Harden.

     It was Saturday night (Jan. 13), Maj. Harden noted, when the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office received a call from an individual who has a camper parked on Northeast 690th Street in Old Town.
     The caller said that she and her boyfriend received a call from a family member who said there was a male who appeared to be “passed out” in the bed in their camper, Harden said.
     The owner of the camper had given no one permission to be in the camper, Harden said, and the caller asked that deputies respond.
     Deputies found the lock hasp on the camper broken where someone had made entry into the camper, Harden said. Deputies entered the camper where they found John Lubin Jr., 24, inside the residence.
     The deputies instructed Lubin to stand up, Harden said, and to accompany them outside. It was at this point, Harden said, when Lubin just laughed at them.
     Lubin was instructed to stand and place his hands behind his back, Harden said, however again Lubin just laughed at them.
     Deputies attempted to restrain Lubin and take him into custody, Harden said. Lubin began to fight with them, Harden said, and during this time Lubin kicked and “head-butted” two of the deputies while actively fighting with the deputies attempting to restrain him.
     Once Lubin was restrained, Harden said, deputies found him to be in possession of a plastic bag that contained methamphetamine.
     Lubin was booked into the Dixie County Jail and charged with resisting an officer with violence; two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer; burglary of a conveyance; criminal mischief and possession of methamphetamine.
     Lubin's initial combined bond on those charges is set at $35,000, Harden said.


Boy suspected
of being a thief is arrested


Kasen Lee
Mug Shot By DCSO

By DCSO Maj. Scott Harden
Published Jan. 16, 2018 at 3:37 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
On Tuesday, Jan. 9, investigators with the Dixie County Sheriff’s Offices and officers with the Cross City Police Department arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection with several incidents that have occurred in Cross City during the first part of January.

     Kasen Lee, 15, of Cross City was arrested and charged in connection with multiple burglaries to structures and vehicles.
     Lee was charged with burglary of a dwelling; burglary; criminal mischief; armed burglary and grand theft.
     After booking at the Dixie County Jail, Lee was transferred to the custody of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice pending future court appearances.
     Charges are pending against a 16-year-old child in connection with these cases.
     At the time that officers were able to arrest Lee and recover a stolen firearm, the 16-year-old was in an area hospital being treated for injuries suffered during an incident days prior.

 


Family displaced after fire
By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 16, 2018 at 2:47 p.m.
     CHIEFLAND --
A fire at a residence in Chiefland on Saturday night (Jan. 13) caused a family to become displaced, according to records from the Chiefland Fire Rescue Department.

     The CFR responded to a call about a structure fire at 1104 N.W. 16th Ave. at 8:14 p.m., according to records.
     Levy County Department of Public Safety Rescue 7 arrived on scene to find an apartment fully involved, according to records.
     CFR Pumper 71 arrived on scene at 8:21 p.m., and firefighters saw heavy smoke and fire coming from the front and side of the apartment. The crew of Pumper 71 deployed multiple hose lines and initiated a defensive attack, according to records.
     The fire was contained within 30 minutes, but it caused approximately $15,000 of damage to the building -- displacing one family, according to records.
     While an investigation was being performed on scene by an investigator with the Florida Fire Marshal’s Office, it was found that Chiefland Police were on the scene investigating a theft at property near to where the fire occurred, according to records.
    The CPD officer notified dispatch and checked the apartment for occupants.
     The family was not home at the time of the fire and is being assisted by the American Red Cross, according to records The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Florida State Fire Marshal's Office.
     Other responding departments were Bronson Fire Rescue, Trenton Fire Rescue, Fanning Springs Fire Rescue and the Levy County Department of Public Safety.


GCSO EMPLOYEE
BRADLEY LEA


Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz believes it is important for the public to know a little bit about their public safety employees before assistance is needed from those workers. Sheriff Schultz is periodically going to highlight a member of the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office to assist the public in getting to know the members of the GCSO a little better. Communications Officer Bradley Lea, a Bell resident, started his career in public safety in 2014 as a state correctional officer. In 2017, Lea continued his public service and joined the GCSO as a communications officer. Lea said that his path to public service was paved by family members who have served their communities in numerous public safety fields. Lea said he enjoys his job as a communication officer because he likes helping people. He feels great satisfaction when he is able to assist callers who have emergencies by keeping a calm demeanor and getting them the help they need. Thank you Communications Officer Bradley Lea for your dedication to Gilchrist County!
Published Jan. 16, 2018 at 2:27 p.m.

Story and Photo by Sheriff Bobby Schultz

 


Man dies in crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © Jan. 15, 2017 at 6:57 a.m.
* Updated Jan. 16 at 10:37 a.m. with FHP-corrected information
     LEVY COUNTY --
A 33-year-old Williston man died Sunday night (Jan. 14) after a crash in Levy County, the FHP said.

     Matthew Chance Carlisle, 33, of Williston was driving a 1995 Chevrolet pickup truck at 6:52 p.m. according to a Monday morning press release by Florida Highway Patrol David Roberts.
     * C. Marie Justice, 24, of Crystal River was driving a 2013 Jeep Cherokee, the FHP said.
     Mark Charles Cummings, 57, of Inverness was driving a 2012 Freightliner semi tractor-trailer, the FHP said.
     Carlisle was driving the pickup truck eastbound on Levy County Road 326 approaching the stop intersection for State Road 121, the FHP said.
     Chandler was driving the Jeep southbound on SR 121, the FHP said. The front of the Jeep struck the left front of the pickup truck, the FHP said.
     Upon impact, the FHP said, the pickup truck was redirected southbound and came to final rest facing southbound on SR 121.
     Cummings was driving the semi northbound on SR 121, the FHP said.
     Moments after the collision with the Jeep, Carlisle the driver of the pickup truck who had then become a pedestrian, exited his vehicle on foot and walked into the path of oncoming the semi, the FHP said.
     Carlisle was pronounced dead shortly after the crash at Regional General Hospital of Williston, the FHP said. Charges are pending conclusion of homicide investigation aspect of this crash, the FHP said.


Dixie County offers
2018 Fire Fighter I Course;

Initial info meeting Jan. 22
Published Jan. 15, 2018 at 9:47 a.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
Dixie County Fire Services is scheduled to offer a Firefighter I (one) Certification course beginning in February.

     This will be an online course. It will include some classroom activities for skills practice and check-offs as well as Wildland S130/190 (40 Hours), First responder (40 hours) and Hazmat Operations (40 hours). All book materials and testing will be done on-line for the firefighter handbook and will be monitored both locally and through the State Fire Marshal’s Office in Ocala.
    
The DCFS will be holding an initial information meeting on Jan. 22 at the Emergency Operations Center in Cross City.
     The EOC is located at 17600 S.E. U.S. Highway 19, on the west side of the highway before reaching the southern city limits.
     That meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Information regarding all aspects of the course will be discussed.
     Initial assignments will also be given for those interested, as two courses have to be completed to enroll. Medical forms will also be given out on this date.
     Anyone who plans to visit his or her doctor prior to this date, is asked to please call or come by the office and a staff member will be supply you with one early.
     The two courses are on-line and will be due on the first day of February along with the medical evaluation form.  They will be submitted to the Fire College and each participant will be given access to the computer program. 
     Work will be at your own pace in general, but the class is divided into three sections with certain completion goals for each section due to check-offs.
     The last day of class will be June 7th. All Modules and check-offs must be done prior to this date as well as all live fire evolutions.
     If you have questions, you may contact our office at 352-498-1240 Ext 239 or option 8. You may also e-mail questions to darian.brown@dixie.fl.gov.


GCSO EMPLOYEE
SGT. CLINT ANDERSON


Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz believes it is important for the public to know a little bit about their public safety employees before assistance is needed from those workers. So Sheriff Schultz is periodically going to highlight a member of the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office to assist the public in getting to know the members of the GCSO a little better. Sgt. Clint Anderson, a Trenton resident, is an 18-year veteran of law enforcement. Sgt. Anderson joined the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office in 2016. Sgt. Anderson has experience in numerous areas of law enforcement, including corrections, patrol, K-9 handler, and as a School Resource Deputy. Sgt. Anderson is currently assigned to the GCSO Investigations Divison where he serves as a detective sergeant. Sgt. Anderson said that his willingness to serve the community was a natural instinct citing that he is but one of a long list of family members who serve or have served in the the law enforcement field. In his off time, Sgt. Anderson enjoys working with young people. He is an assistant coach with the Trenton Middle High School Varsity Girls Softball Team.
Thank you Sgt. Clint Anderson for your hard work and dedication to Gilchrist County!
Published Jan. 15, 2018 at 8:07 a.m.

Photo and Text Provided by Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz


MOVE OVER FLORIDA,
IT’S THE LAW


Photos Provided

By Florida Highway Patrol Capt. Jeff Bissaninthe
Published Jan. 11, 2018 at 6:47 a.m.

     TALLAHASSEE -- January is Move Over month and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) urges all motorists to move over for emergency and service vehicles stopped along the roadway.
 




     Preliminarily in 2017, there were 212 crashes and almost 17,000 citations issued for motorists failing to move over. DHSMV and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) are partnering with the Florida Police Chiefs Association, Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Department of Transportation and AAA – The Auto Club Group to ensure all law enforcement, first responders, service and utility workers and Road Rangers are safe in 2018.
     “The Move Over Law protects those who work on the side of the roadway each day and ensures that they make it home safely to their families,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Law enforcement, first responders, service and utility vehicles provide critical services to motorists in one of the most dangerous work environments. It is imperative that motorists abide by the law and move over or slow down for these brave professionals so that they can do their job and Arrive Alive.”
     DHSMV educates new and young drivers on the Move Over Law with information in the driver handbook. Statistically, however, it is older drivers (age 30-60) who may have received their license prior to the law going into effect in 2002 who are less likely to move over or slow down. The Move Over Law states that drivers must move over as soon as it is safe to do so for any authorized law enforcement, emergency or service vehicles displaying any visible signals while stopped on the roadside, including Road Rangers, sanitation vehicles and tow trucks.
     “Florida’s Move Over law was enacted to protect those trying to protect Florida’s motorists,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Abide by the Move Over law and help us protect our emergency personnel and their families.”
     When motorists cannot vacate the lane closest to the emergency or service vehicle, they must slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit. Failure to yield or move over puts law enforcement officers, emergency first responders and public service workers in danger while they are on the job protecting and serving the citizens and visitors of Florida.
     Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary Mike Dew said, “Safety is the top priority at the Florida Department of Transportation. FDOT recognizes that every driver has a role to play in keeping our roadways safe. We are committed to improving public awareness of highway safety by educating all road users on sharing the road. We all need to do our part to keep our roadways safe and reduce crashes – Move Over and save a life.”
     “The men and women of our sheriffs’ offices work tirelessly, sometimes under difficult circumstances, to proudly protect the citizens we serve,” said Florida Sheriffs Association President Mike Adkinson. “Our Florida sheriffs applaud and fully support the Move Over, Florida! campaign to protect those who protect us.”
     “The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) and its members are committed to providing quick, efficient, and life-saving services when responding to a traffic accident or assisting drivers and passengers in need on our roadways. However, we lose far too many officers each year when they respond to these calls. In 2017, traffic-related fatalities were the leading cause of officer deaths. In order to effectively serve Florida’s citizens, law enforcement needs drivers’ help, and one simple action is all it takes,” said FPCA President and Miami Shores Police Department Police Chief Kevin Lystad. “Please help to ensure our officers and first responders return home safely to their families by simply slowing down and moving over.”
     “The Move Over Law is in place to protect those who protect us,” said Montrae Waiters, spokeswoman, AAA-The Auto Club Group. “AAA will always fight for the safety of roadside workers that spend every day in harm’s way.”
     To comply with the Move Over Law, drivers must:
Multi-Lane Roadway:
     • Vacate the lane closest to the stationary emergency vehicle, sanitation vehicle, utility service vehicle, Road Ranger or wrecker and always signal the intention to change lanes.
     • Slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit if a driver cannot move over safely.
     • Be prepared to allow those who are attempting to move over into the next lane.
Two-Lane Roadway:
     • Slow down to a speed of 20 mph below the posted speed limit.
     • Travel at 5 mph if the speed limit is 20 mph or less.

     The public is encouraged to report aggressive drivers by dialing *FHP (*347). For more information on the Move Over Law, click HERE.


Threat Response Class

The Levy County Sheriff's Office is offering a free Active Threat Response class to interested individuals. This class is being offered in light of the many tragic active shooter and active threat events. This class is designed to help groups be more prepared by knowing how to respond if they are ever involved in this type of situation. The class is approximately an hour long and includes a question and answer period. It is designed for learners who are 18 years old and older. The LCSO is hosting its first open-to-the public class at the Bronson Middle High School Cafetorium on Jan. 22 (a Monday evening),  beginning at 6:30 p.m. The class will be presented by LCSO Deputy Grant Sandlin. Questions can be directed to Deputy Sandlin at 352-486-5111 or email gsandlin@levyso.com directly. Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum urges all interested persons to take advantage of this free class to be more prepared.
Published Jan. 5, 2018 at 5:17 p.m.
Updated Jan. 21, 2018 at 10:07 a.m.

Information and Graphic Provided by LCSO

 


Following are some common abbreviations:

DUI - Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Some Other Drug
BUI - Boating While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Some Other Drug
DWLSR - Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
RWOV - Resisting Arrest Without Violence
Poss. - Possession
VOP - Violation of Probation
FTA - Failure to Appear


Suspects Arrested
Jan. 8 Through Jan. 14

Updated Jan. 16, 2017 at 2:37 p.m.


JANUARY 8
     Robert Lee Buening Jr., 28, of Bronson was arrested for poss. cocaine, marijuana – not more than 20 grams, drug equipment – poss. and/or use, violate FWC rule or order – level two (ROR). Bond $22,000.
     Chad Matthew Hammock, 39, of Rosewood was arrested for two counts of drug equipment – poss. and/or use, two counts of marijuana – not more than 20grams. No bond amount was given.
JANUARY 9
     Mikell Nicley Garvin, 26, of Gainesville was arrested for non-support of children or spouse. Cash bond $500.
     Robert Wesley Parker, 31, of Williston was arrested for intent threat to do violence. Bond $1,000.
JANUARY 10
     Paul Mangun, 59, of Bronson was arrested for battery – touch or strike. Bond $5,000.
     Donald Paul Smith, 24, of Bronson was arrested for two out-of-county warrants, drug equipment – poss. and/or use, controlled substance without prescription, marijuana – not more than 20 grams. Bond $29,500.
     Christina Elaine Mitchell, 37, of Bronson was arrested for controlled substance without prescription, marijuana – not more than 20 grams, drug equipment – poss. and/or use. Bond $27,000.
JANUARY 11
     Mitchell Thomas McClanton, 57, of Williston was arrested for two counts of controlled substance without prescription, poss. cocaine, DUI – alcohol or drugs.
JANUARY 12
     Jennifer Benjamin, 40, of Williston was arrested for controlled substance without prescription, DWLSR – third or subsequent offense, DUI – alcohol or drugs, drug equipment – poss. and/or use. Bond $19,000.
     James David Carden, 28, of Perry was arrested for obstruct without violence, false ID given to LEO. Bond $10,000.
     Jason William Blanton, 32, of St. Petersburg was arrested for two counts of dealing in stolen property, two counts of false owner info – pawn items less than $300. Bond $70,000.
     David Lewis Jr., 65, of Bronson was arrested for weapon or ammo by convicted Florida felony, marijuana – not more than 20 grams. Bond $31,000.
     Linda Ann Burrill, 59, no address was arrested for battery – touch or strike, violate injunction = protection domestic violence. Bond $10,000.
JANUARY 13
     Tremaine Lee Snead, 29, of Williston was arrested for poss. marijuana – over 20 grams. Bond $10,000.
     Nicholas Paul Austin Frazier, 21, of Bronson was arrested for marijuana – not more than 20 grams, drug equipment – poss. and/or use. ROR.
     Amy Jeanette Durden, 42, of Archer was arrested for battery – touch or strike. No bond amount was given.
     Eric Jerome Colter, 25, of Ocala was arrested for battery – touch or strike. No bond amount was given.
     Elijah Littlebear Butsch, 30, of Archer was arrested for DWLSR – second offense, Poss. cocaine, drug equipment – poss. and/or use, two counts of non-support of children or spouse. Bond $12,000. Cash only Bond $6,970.
     Paul Verlin Baumparth, 64, of Inglis was arrested for fail to leave property upon order by owner. ROR.
JANUARY 14
     Brian Joseph Rock, 35, of Ocala was arrested for battery on officer/ firefighter/ EMT, Etc., fail to leave property upon order by owner, obstruct without violence. Bond $24,000.

 


 


Following are some common abbreviations:

DUI - Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Some Other Drug
DWLSR - Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
RWOV - Resisting Arrest Without Violence
Poss. - Possession
VOP - Violation of Probation
FTA - Failure to Appear


Suspects Arrested
Jan. 8 Through Jan. 14

Updated Jan. 16, 2017 at 2:37 p.m.


JANUARY 8
JANUARY 9

     Sharlee Anna Doke, 37, of Gainesville was arrested for grand theft third degree, poss. of drug paraphernalia. Bond $12,500.
JANUARY 10
     Jeffrey Santiago, 48, no address was arrested for sex offender violation – fail to register. Bond $150,000.
JANUARY 11
JANUARY 12

     Elmer James Lane, 55, of Trenton was arrested for obstructing justice, two counts of aggravated assault, battery – touch or strike. Bond $60,000.
JANUARY 13
JANUARY 14




Following are some common abbreviations:

DUI - Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Some Other Drug
DWLSR - Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
RWOV - Resisting Arrest Without Violence
Poss. - Possession
VOP - Violation of Probation
FTA - Failure to Appear


Suspects Arrested
Jan. 8 Through Jan. 14

Updated Jan. 9, 2017 at 2327 p.m.


JANUARY 8
     Kenneth B. Edmonds, 28, of Old Town was arrested for RWOV, leaving scene of accident. Bond $3,000.
     Lakisha Wana Jenkins, 30, of Cross City was arrested for an out-of-county warrant. No bond amount was given.
     Carlos Eugene Russell, 44, of Horseshoe Beach was arrested for harvest from restricted area. Bond $1,500.
     James Winford Hall, 22, of Old Town was arrested for poss. controlled substance, poss./ use/ mfg./ deliver drug. No bond amount was given.
JANUARY 9
     Kevin B. Floyd, 43, of Old Town was arrested for dealing in stolen property. No bond amount was given.
     A juvenile was arrested for burglary of residence, burglary, criminal mischief, armed burglary, grand theft. No bond amount was given.
     Summer Dawn Skaggs, 34, of Old Town was arrested for sell/ mfg./ deliver/ traffic drugs, control substance - poss./ sell/ mfg., tamper with/ fabricate physical evidence, poss./ use/ mfg./ deliver advertised drug, poss. of firearm while in commission - felony, poss. of cannabis - more than 20 grams. No bond amount was given.
     Micheal Ray Burke, 28, of Cross City was arrested for aggravated battery with deadly weapon, aggravated battery. Bond $15,000.
     Mark Timothy Tooke, 62, of Chiefland was arrested for controlled substance - poss./ sell/ mfg. Bond $2,000.
JANUARY 10
     Christopher C. Davis, 29, of Ft. White was arrested for a Columbia County warrant. No bond amount was given.
JANUARY 11
     William Nelson Osteen II, 41, of Cross City was arrested for grand theft III. Bond $10,000.
     A juvenile was arrested for battery on LEO, resist arrest with violence, domestic battery. No bond amount was given.
     Curtis Stephen Rankin, 52, of Old Town was arrested for domestic battery. Bond $1,500.
JANUARY 12
     Jeffry C. Henson, 25, of Old Town was arrested for flee/ elude LEO, child abuse - intentional, false imprisonment, DWLSR - habitual, reckless driving, attach tag/ not assigned, two VOPs. Bond $50,000.
     Andrew Mason, 27, of Old Town was arrested for dealing in stolen property. Bond $50,000.
     Kimberly L. Cooper, 50, of Cross City was arrested for an Alachua County warrant. No bond amount was given.
JANUARY 13
     John E. Lubin, 24, of Old Town was arrested for resist with violence, two counts of assault/ battery on LEO, burglary to conveyance, criminal mischief, controlled substance - poss./ sell/ mfg.  Bond $35,000.
JANUARY 14
     A juvenile was arrested for domestic battery. No bond amount was given.
     Kariann Lynn Lubin, 31, of Old Town was arrested for writ of bodily attachment. Bond $1,080.

--UPDATED--
MONDAY   Jan. 22  12:37 p.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties




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