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Juvenile arrested as
suspected armed burglar

By DCSO Maj. Scott Harden
Published July 14, 2020 at 12:10 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
On July 10, the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office received a call when a witness saw a juvenile come out of a home on Southeast 768th Street and begin shooting a rifle.

 

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Supervisor of Elections in Levy County Florida HardisonInk.com

 


     When the deputy arrived, the caller was able to identify the juvenile’s home and the deputy responded to that residence where he found the 12-year-old living with his grandmother.
     According to the grandmother, if the juvenile had been firing a rifle, he would have stolen it from somewhere because he did not own one. The owner of the home where the caller saw the juvenile was contacted and returned home where he discovered that he had three firearms stolen.
     Further investigation revealed that the firearms were hidden under a shed at the juvenile’s residence.
 The male juvenile was arrested on the charges of burglary of a dwelling while armed; three counts of grand theft of a firearm; discharging a firearm in public; possession of a firearm by a minor; and improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon.
     The juvenile was booked into the Dixie County Jail on the above charges and then turned over to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

 


Senior citizen busted for meth
John Forehand of Old Town suspected of meth poss HardisonInk.com

 

 


John H. Forehand
Mug Shot By DCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison
© July 14, 2020 at 12:10 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY –
A 67-year-old man from Old Town was arrested July 9 and the most serious of the crimes he is accused of having committed is a felony – possession of methamphetamine, according to information in a July 13 press release from Dixie County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Scott Harden.
     John H. Forehand, 67. of Old Town was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana (a misdemeanor), Harden said.
     At approximately 12:40 Thursday afternoon (July 9), a DCSO deputy was patrolling on Northeast 351, Harden said, when he stopped a car for speeding and for having an obscured temporary license plate.
     Upon making the stop, the deputy identified the driver as Forehand, Harden said. During the stop, the deputy discovered a small amount of marijuana, Harden said, which led to a search of the vehicle and Forehand’s person.
     While searching Forehand, the deputy discovered methamphetamine in Forehand’s shirt pocket, Harden said.

 


Chiefland man
busted in Dixie County

James Schneider drug suspect Hardisonink.com

 

 


James Scheider
Mug Shot By DCSO

 


By Jeff M. Hardison
© July 14, 2020 at 12:10 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY –
An alleged domestic dispute late Saturday night (July 11) led to a 44-year-old Chiefland man being put in the Dixie County Jail on drug charges, according to information in a July 13 press release from Dixie County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Scott Harden.
     James Scheider, 44 of Chiefland, was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and possession of drug equipment, Maj. Harden said.
     At Approximately 11:30 p.m. on July 11 a DCSO deputy was dispatched to a residence on Southeast 374th Street in Old Town, Harden said, regarding a domestic dispute.
     The deputy was given the description of one of the involved parties who already had left the scene, Harden said. While in route, the deputy saw a vehicle on Southeast 371st Street, Harden said, and the deputy noticed that neither the vehicle nor the trailer had license plates attached.
     The deputy stopped the vehicle and learned that the driver was the other party involved in the domestic dispute, Harden said.
     The deputy also learned that the driver was operating the vehicle on an expired driver’s license, Harden said. Further investigation led the deputy to find that Scheider, 44 was in possession of a hypodermic syringe and needle, and a small baggie of methamphetamine, Harden said.

 


Sheriff Dewey Hatcher Sr.
recovering at NFRMC

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 12, 2020 at 3:10 p.m.
     GAINESVILLE –
Dixie County Sheriff Dewey Hatcher Sr. is at North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville, where he is recovering, according to information from DCSO Maj. Scott Harden.
     The major sent a note Sunday afternoon (July 12) to give people an update on the sheriff’s condition.
     “Many of you are aware that approximately 36 hours ago Sheriff Hatcher suffered a medical emergency,” Harden said. “The sheriff was transported to North Florida Regional Medical Center, where he is currently being treated. Although his condition is still very serious, he has shown much improvement during the last 12 hours.”
     The major added that the outpouring of concern for Sheriff’s Hatcher’s recovery is appreciated.
     “On behalf of the Hatcher family and the men and women of the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to thank the community, and our partners in state, federal and local law enforcement around Florida who have reached out to us and the family with your support and prayers,” Harden said.
     “It is comforting to know that so many of you are truly concerned and are praying not just for our sheriff, but our friend.  I ask that you all continue to lift the sheriff, the Hatcher family and the members of the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office in your prayers,” Harden added.

 


MCSO arrests suspected arsonist who allegedly tried to kill people while they were in church
Stepehn Anthony Shields suspected felon in Marion County Florida HardisonInk.com
 

 

 

Steven Anthony Shields
Mug Shot By MCSO

 


By MCSO Sgt. Paul Bloom
MCSO Public Information Office Director
Published July 12, 2020 at 8:10 a.m.
     MARION COUNTY --
Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) deputies responded Saturday (July 11) to Queen of Peace Catholic Church, 6455 S.W. State Road 200, Ocala, after receiving reports of someone setting fire to the sanctuary while several people were inside preparing for a morning mass at about 7:30 a.m.
     Deputies learned that the defendant, Steven Anthony Shields, 24, of Dunnellon, intentionally had crashed a vehicle through the front doors of the church, exited the vehicle and poured gasoline out into the foyer area and then lit it on fire.
     Shields then fled the scene in the vehicle.
     MCSO Deputy Josue Gonzales saw the vehicle leaving the area and began to chase. The defendant fled until Deputy Gonzales was conducted a P.I.T. maneuver (Precision Immobilization Technique) and disabled the fleeing vehicle in the 5900 block of South U.S. Highway 441, where the defendant was taken into custody.
     Clergy, staff and parishioners escaped from the burning church without injury and Marion County Fire Rescue personnel quickly extinguished the fire.
     Shields has been charged with one count of attempted second degree murder, evidencing prejudice, a first‚Äźdegree felony; one count of arson to a structure (where persons are normally present and which the defendant had reasonable grounds to believe to be occupied by a human being), evidencing prejudice, a life felony; one count of burglary of an occupied structure (with intent to commit a forcible felony, with assault while armed, using a motor vehicle as an instrumentality, and causing damage to the structure in excess of $1,000), while evidencing prejudice, a life felony; and one count of felony fleeing or attempting to elude. He is being held in the Marion County Jail on no bond.
     “Our freedom of worship granted in the Constitution is a freedom that we all hold dear,” Sheriff Billy Woods said. “My deputies and I are sworn to protect that right and will always ensure our citizens can worship in peace. I’m proud of my deputies for capturing this man so quickly, and we appreciate the
assistance from all of the state and federal agencies that worked alongside of us during this investigation.”

 


Public Servants
Crash Scene Chiefland Florida July 2020 HardisonInk.com
This recent crash scene at the intersection of Main Street (U.S. Highway 19) and Northwest 19th Avenue (State Road 320 West - Manatee Springs Road) is at the corner where Cash Munny Gun & Pawn, which includes a Class 3 Firearms Dealer, is located. Cash Munny Gun & Pawn is at the southeast corner of that intersection -- to put the picture in perspective. Showing its support for public servants, this business has a sign that says 'Back The Blue.' Beyond the officers of the Chiefland Police Department serving the public here in this scene are members of the Chiefland Fire Rescue Department. Members of the Emergency Medical Service division of the Levy County Department of Public Safety (once known as Levy County Fire Rescue) have completed their work at this scene. They have cleared the area. Three agencies sent personnel to help motorists passing through the area, as well as serving to alleviate the emergency needs of crash victims. The CPD is among three municipal law enforcement agencies in Levy County. The other two are the Williston Police Department and the Cedar Key Police Department. The Levy County Sheriff's Office is countywide. Among the state agencies that enforce traffic laws is the Florida Highway Patrol. Everyone in all of these public service entities, from the dispatchers through the officers, administrators and support staff, including maintenance and custodial staff, are doing their part to help protect life and property. Also helping in this effort are members of a privately funded, versus taxpayer funded, towing company to remove inoperable vehicles. Tow truck drivers are sometimes overlooked for the risks they also take in helping motorists in distress, as they also help motorists passing through the area.

Photo By Jeff M. Hardison © July 11, 2020 at 11:10 a.m.

 


Suspected burglar captured
Michael hammer suspected burglar  HardisonInk.com

 

 


Michael Hammer
Mug Shot By LCSO

 


By Jeff M. Hardison
© July 8, 2020 at 9:10 a.m.
     LEVY COUNTY
– A 37-year-old man from Old Town was apprehended Thursday (July 2) by deputies with the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond noted in a July 6 press release.
     Michael Hammer emerged from a wooded area near Otter Creek after three days on the run, Lt. Tummond, a public information officer with the LCSO, noted.    Hammer’s adventure in the woods, Tummond said, were uncovered after LCSO deputies responded to a report of a suspicious incident in the McGee Branch Hunting Club on Wednesday (July 1).
     A person reported to LCSO that two men went into the McGee Branch Hunting Club to burglarize camp sites late Sunday night/Monday morning (June 28 and 29), Tummond said.
     A witness told the reporting party that they had heard two gunshots, and only one man returned to the vehicle, Tummond said.
     The person believed a murder had been committed and the missing person, Michael Hammer, had not been seen since. Hammer was not reported missing by family members because he was on active probation, Tummond added.
     Deputies located evidence of campsite burglaries and began looking for Hammer, Tummond said. Efforts to locate him were hampered by limited information on the exact location of the alleged murder and high water in this remote location, Tummond said.
     When Hammer was located, Tummond said, he was suffering from minor exposure due to his days on the run in the woods.
     He confessed to LCSO detectives to breaking into campsites and he was arrested, Tummond said.
     Hammer is being held in the Levy County Jail, charged with burglary, grand theft and a probation violation. His bond was set at “No Bond,” Tummond said. On some occasions when a person is on probation and he or she becomes suspected of committing felonies, judges order that those suspects be held without bond.


Reportedly stolen scooter stopped, suspected thief arrested
Kalvin Godbolt Dixie County Suspect HardisonInk.com
 

 

Kalvin Godbolt
Mug Shot By DCSO


By Jeff M. Hardison
© July 7, 2020 at 9:10 a.m.
      CROSS CITY –
Allegedly driving a Honda scooter while not having the headlights lit, a 32-year-old Cross City man reportedly fled a pursuing deputy of the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday morning (July 5), DCSO Maj. Scott Harden noted in a Monday (July 6) press release.
     It was in the early Sunday morning hours when a DCSO on patrol in Cross City observed a Honda scooter being operated without any headlights, Harden said.
     The deputy attempted a traffic stop of the scooter, Harden said, but the driver failed to stop.
     The Honda scooter driver continued for several blocks, Harden said, and even drove through private property as the man fled from law enforcement. After several blocks, the scooter began to slow down, Harden said, and the driver appeared to be preparing to flee.
     The deputy exited his patrol car and subdued the driver, who was identified as Kalvin Godbolt, 32, of Cross City, Harden said.
     A review of the vehicle registration revealed that it was stolen from Gainesville, Harden said.
     Godbolt was arrested for driving while his license was suspended, grand theft of a vehicle, fleeing and eluding law enforcement and misdemeanor possession of marijuana, Harden said.
     This suspect faced more charges, Harden added.
     Godbolt also was charged with felony fleeing and eluding, resisting an officer without violence and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, Harden added.
     These other charges stemmed from a June 29 incident, Harden said, where DCSO deputies attempted to stop a car and the driver fled at high speeds.
     During this pursuit, Harden said, the vehicle fled to the home of the registered owner and once the vehicle was at this property, Godbolt exited the driver’s seat and fled from law enforcement on foot. A search of the vehicle revealed a handgun next to the driver’s position in the car, Harden said, and investigators found evidence to prove Godbolt is suspected of being the man who violated those laws.

 


Three drug suspects arrested
due to vehicular issues

Bays Rutledge Torino suspects in Dixie County HardisonInk.com
(from left) Christina Bays, Leondray Rutledge and Laura Torino

Mug Shots by DCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 6, 2020 at 9:10 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY –
Three people suspected of possessing drugs in Dixie County went to jail last Wednesday (July 1) as members of the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office found reasons to put them there, according to information in three press releases from DCSO Maj. Scott Harden on Monday (July 6).
     These suspects are among the people listed in the June 29 through July 5 jail intake log for the DCSO.
     Christina Bays, 42, of Old Town, Leondray Rutledge, 24, of Gainesville and Laura Torino, 51, of Old Town, all began their short-term residency at the Dixie County Jail due to vehicle issues that led to the discovery of illegal drugs in the vehicles they were driving, Harden noted in the press releases.
     Two were mechanical-oriented and one was operator originated, according to information in the three press releases.
     Shortly before 3 a.m. on the night of July 1, a DCSO deputy was crossing U.S. Highway 19 in Old Town when he observed a vehicle on Southeast 349 being driven with faulty headlights, Harden said.
      The deputy stopped the vehicle for the faulty equipment, Harden said. As the deputy was running a warrants and license check on the Bays, a second deputy with a K-9 arrived and conducted an air sniff of the vehicle, Harden said
     After receiving an alert to the presence of narcotics, the deputies searched the vehicle and Bays, Harden said.
     Bays was found to be in possession of a smoking pipe, Harden said, and the search of the vehicle revealed a baggie containing methamphetamine and several hypodermic syringes with needles.
     Bays was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and possession of drug equipment, Harden said. Once Bays was delivered to the Dixie County Jail, she was charged with the additional count of introduction of contraband into a detention facility, Harden said, when she was discovered to have a small amount of marijuana and a baggie of four yet to be identified pills hidden on her person.
     A different traffic stop on another vehicle for faulty equipment led to the arrest of a passenger -- Rutledge, Harden said.
     This incident occurred when a DCSO deputy noticed the vehicle shortly before 11 p.m. on July 1, Harden said.
     At the time, the deputy saw that the vehicle didn’t have any operational tag lights, Harden said, and the deputy conducted the stop near Northeast 351 Highway and 221st Street.
     Rutledge was found to be in possession of methamphetamine, a smoking pipe and a small amount of marijuana. Rutledge was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance (two counts) and possession of drug equipment, Harden said.
     Torino was another person who went to jail following a similar set of circumstances.
     While the other two suspects had mechanical issues drawing the attention of law enforcement officers, the information Harden shared in a press release showed Torino demonstrated a reason as the human element of the traffic issue.
     Shortly before 10:30 p.m. July 1, a DCSO deputy was patrolling on U.S. Highway 19 when he observed a vehicle being driven northbound, Harden said.
     The deputy noticed that the vehicle failed to maintain a lane of travel and began to observe the vehicle more closely, Harden said.
     As the deputy monitored the vehicle, it continued its failure to maintain a lane of travel and as the vehicle turned onto Southeast 136th Avenue, Harden said, and the deputy conducted a traffic stop.
     The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle was Torino, Harden said.
     A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed the presence of crack cocaine, Harden said. Further investigation revealed that Torino was in possession of a smoking pipe that tested positive for cocaine, Harden said.
     Torino was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance (crack cocaine) and possession of drug equipment, Harden said.

 


7-year-old ATV driver dies;
Two other children
and three men injured

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 5, 2020 at 11:10 a.m.
     PASCO COUNTY –
A 7-year-old boy died and five passengers were injured in an ATV crash Saturday night (July 4), the FHP said.
     As of May of 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped providing names of people involved in crashes as part of its press releases. The FHP formerly provided those public records in press releases.
     The FHP and other law enforcement agencies in Florida are abiding by a version of something known as “Marcy’s Law” allegedly to protect victims of crimes. The Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” was adopted after Florida voters chose to change the state constitution to exempt more public records from view.
     Although not every vehicle crash involves crime, the FHP adopted the blanket exclusion of some information from press releases.
     The crash happened July 4 at 8:02 p.m. when a Kawasaki TERYX4 ATV was being operated in a grass field located at 17106 Powerline Road in Dade City, the FHP said.
     The ATV was occupied by a 7-year-old boy who was driving it with five passengers when it overturned, injuring all of the occupants, the FHP said.
    Transported to a hospital, the 7-year-old driver died from injuries suffered during the crash, the FHP said.
     All of the individuals hurt or killed from injuries in the single-vehicle crash were from Dade City, the FHP said.
     Also injured in the crash were a 2-year-old boy; a 4-year-old girl with minor injuries; a 27-year-old man with minor injuries; and two 34-year-old men, both with minor injuries, the FHP said.


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https://services.flhsmv.gov/CrashReportPurchasing/

Florida Crash Data
https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/

 


WPD sergeant relieved of duty
during LCSO investigation

By Jeff M. Hardison © July 3, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.
     WILLISTON --
A sergeant with the Williston Police Department was relieved of duty today (Friday, July 3) within hours after a social media post came into existence, according to information from WPD Interim Chief of Police Terry Bovaird.
     Bovaird, who is normally the deputy police chief, has accepted the office as interim police chief while WPD Chief Dennis Strow is serving the residents and visitors of Williston as the interim city manager.
     Earlier today, Bovaird noted, the Williston Police Department became aware of a social media post that depicts an encounter between WPD Sgt. Bryan Landis and a man in Williston.
     During this encounter, Bovaird said, the man claims to have been battered by Sgt. Landis. At the request of the WPD, the Levy County Sheriff’s Office has agreed to conduct an independent investigation of the alleged complaint concerning criminal misconduct.
     At the conclusion of the LCSO investigation, the LCSO will present its findings to the Eighth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office for review, Bovaird said.
     While the complaint is being investigated, Sgt. Landis has been relieved of his duties pending the outcome of the investigation and review by the Eighth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office, Bovaird said.

 


Hullabaloo ends with arrest
after domestic issue in Levy Co.

James Rone of Otter Creek suspected of aggravated assault

 

 


James D. Rone
Mug Shot by LCSO

 


By Jeff M. Hardison
© June 30, 2020 at 5:10 p.m.
     TOWN OF OTTER CREEK –
Residents and visitors in, or traveling through, the Town of Otter Creek yesterday (Monday, June 29) may have noticed a significant police presence for a period, according to information provided by Levy County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Scott Tummond, public information officer.
     In the end, James D. Rone, 38, of Otter Creek was put in the Levy County Jail charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, battery and tampering with evidence, Tummond said. As of Tuesday afternoon, Rone was awaiting his first court appearance, where bond will be set on the charges, Tummond said.
     The perceived commotion in the Town Otter Creek happened after the Levy County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 9-1-1 call from a residence on State Road 24 in that town. This state of commotion, excitement or violent disturbance turned out to be domestic in nature; however, there was a potential for a worse outcome than the one that resulted.
     The caller advised that Rone had threatened an adult female inside the residence with a firearm, Tummond said. The caller stated the female and two juveniles were hiding inside the residence, Tummond added.
     It was reported that Rone was inside the residence and in possession of several firearms, including a rifle, Tummond said. Rone reportedly had fired the weapons several times inside the residence, Tummond said.
     A large contingent of LCSO deputies responded quickly to the scene and set up a perimeter, Tummond said, hence leading some area residents and visitors to think pandemonium was afoot.
     Traffic on State Road 24 was closed for a short time, Tummond said. After brief negotiations, Rone surrendered peacefully to the deputies, Tummond said, and he was taken to jail.
     The investigation revealed that the incident was domestic in nature, Tummond said. Minor injuries were reported but no one required transport to a medical facility, Tummond said.  Crime Scene detectives recovered firearms, shell casings and a broken cell phone at the scene.
     Additional interviews are planned as the investigation continues, Lt. Tummond said.

 


Suspected methamphetamine
trafficker arrested

Suspected Meth Trafficker HardisonInk.com


On June 23, Aereal R. Parise, 36, of Old Town was arrested in connection with a drug investigation dating back to late 2019.  During the investigation, Parise sold approximately 85 grams (about three ounces) of methamphetamine to a confidential informant working with the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office. This suspected methamphetamine was delivered to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration Laboratory to be tested. As a result of the positive test results, Parise was charged with two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine). Conviction of trafficking in 28 to 200 grams of methamphetamine comes with a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years in prison, a $100,000 fine, and up to 30 years in prison, according to Florida law.
Published June 30, 2020 at 9:10 p.m.

Information and Photo Provided By DCSO and Florida Statute 893.135


 


Man charged with
2 counts of aggravated battery

Zimmerman blurry mug shot HardisonInk.com

 

 

 

Robert Zimmerman
Mug Shot By DCSO

 

 


By Jeff M. Hardison
© June 30, 2020 at 7:10 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY –
An alleged attack that reportedly included the use of a hammer resulted in a 63-year-old man being arrested for two counts of aggravated battery, DCSO Maj. Scott Harden noted in a press release Monday (June 29).
     Sunday night (June 28) shortly before 11 p.m., a deputy was at an Old Town gas station when he witnessed two vehicles traveling at a high rate of speed southbound on Northeast Dixie County Road 349, Harden said.
     As the two vehicles reached the intersection of U.S. Highway 19, the front vehicle appeared as though the driver attempted to turn north when it was struck in the rear by the second vehicle, Harden said.
     The first vehicle then turned into the station where the deputy was located and the driver told the deputy that the man in the second vehicle was trying to kill him, Harden said.
     The deputy went to the second vehicle and as he was approaching, the driver, Robert Zimmerman, 63, of Old Town exited the vehicle, Harden said.
     Zimmerman was swinging an object in his hand while making threats toward the driver of the first vehicle, Harden said. The deputy told Zimmerman to drop the object and to sit by his truck while he spoke with the driver (victim) of the first vehicle, Harden said. 
     The victim told the deputy that he was at Zimmerman’s home when Zimmerman became angry at him and struck him in the back of the head with a hammer, Harden said.
     After being struck in the head, the victim said he became fearful of Zimmerman and he fled in his vehicle to escape from Zimmerman, Harden said.
     He said that is when Zimmerman began chasing him southbound 349 until they reached the intersection where Zimmerman struck his vehicle, Harden said.
     After obtaining statements from Zimmerman, the apparent attacker was arrested for two counts of aggravated battery, Harden said.

 


Suspected Sunday night
speeder is arrested

Ssupect in Dixie County Florida HardisonInk.com

 

 

Bobby Duffy
Mug Shot By DCSO

 

 


By DCSO Maj. Scott Harden
Published June 30, 2020 at 9:10 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
Shortly before 10 p.m. on Sunday (June 28), a deputy with the Dixie County Sheriff’s office attempted make a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 19 for a traffic violation.
     The vehicle turned onto Northeast 592nd Street and accelerated away from the deputy creating some distance between the two. The deputy drove in excess of 100 m.p.h. as he attempted to overtake the vehicle. Approximately two miles down the road the vehicle stopped and by the time the deputy got stopped, the driver had fled on foot and the two passengers were standing beside the vehicle with their hands in the air.
     During the course of the deputy’s investigation on the scene, he uncovered information that led to the identity of the driver, as well as finding a pill bottle containing crack cocaine in the driver’s door panel.
     Approximately three and one-half hours later, the deputy was on patrol in Old Town when he saw a male subject attempting to conceal himself near some hedges at a business.
     The deputy identified the subject as Bobby Duffy, 39, from Gainesville. Duffy had been identified as the driver of the vehicle.  After interviewing Duffy about his activities, Duffy was arrested and charged with felony fleeing and eluding, willful and wanton reckless driving, possession of a controlled substance (crack cocaine), driving while license suspended or revoked and resisting an officer without violence.

 


Young man suspected
of felony fleeing
and reckless driving

Blurry Mug Shot of Ocala man charged with reckless driving HardisonInk.com

 

 

Jacob Lidlow
Mug Shot By DCSO

 

 


By Jeff M. Hardison
© June 30, 2020 at 7:10 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY –
A 20-year-old Ocala man was arrested and booked into the Dixie County Jail on the charges of felony fleeing and eluding and willful and wanton reckless driving Saturday afternoon (June 27), according to information in a Monday (June 29) press release from Dixie County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Scott Harden.
     Jacob Lidlow, 20, of Ocala is the man suspected of these crimes, according Maj. Harden.
     Lidlow’s sojourn onto the path leading to answering to criminal charges began on Saturday afternoon, Hardens said.
     A DCSO deputy was traveling southbound on Southwest 351 Highway toward Horseshoe when he observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed, Harden said.
     The deputy activated his radar unit and clocked the oncoming vehicle at 86 m.p.h.
     The deputy activated his blue lights as he was continuing to meet the vehicle, but the vehicle continued to speed past, Harden said.
     The deputy turned around to chase the vehicle, Harden said.
     Lidlow was the driver of the suspect vehicle and the Ocala man continued northbound at speeds exceeding 100 m.p.h.
     While traveling northbound, the suspect vehicle traveled across double yellow lines and into oncoming traffic causing oncoming motorist to leave their travel lanes to avoid the suspect vehicle, Harden said.
     When the suspect reached Cross City, he turned onto Southeast 49th Avenue and traveled east, Harden said.
     When the Lidlow’s vehicle reached the end of Northeast 49th Avenue, he failed to negotiate a 90-degree turn and ran into someone’s yard, Harden said.
     As the deputy approached the suspect in an attempt to block his vehicle, the suspect spun around and attempted to exit the property by attempting to go by the deputy, Harden said. At this point, the deputy used his patrol vehicle and struck the fleeing vehicle in the front fender and driver’s door to forcefully stop the fleeing driver, Harden said.
     Once the deputy had the vehicle stopped, he was able to take Lidlow into custody, Harden said. Two 17-year-old girls were in the vehicle with Lidlow, Harden said.
     They were released, Harden added
     Lidlow was arrested and booked into the Dixie County Jail on the charges of felony fleeing and eluding and willful and wanton reckless driving, Harden said.  

 


FHP announces new major
of Law Enforcement Operations

FHP Maj. Cory Harrison  HardisonInk.com

 

 

 


Capt. Joseph ‘Cory’ Harrison, FHP emergency management coordinator, Tallahassee has been promoted to major.
 


Story and Photo Provided
By FLHSMV Office of Communications
Published June 27, 2020 at 9:10 a.m.
TALLAHASSEE --
Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) Director, Colonel Gene Spaulding, has appointed Capt. Joseph “Cory” Harrison as the new major of Law Enforcement Operations, effective yesterday (Friday, June 26).

 


     Harrison began his career with the FHP in 2003 and most recently served as the FHP emergency management coordinator. 
     “Major Harrison’s work ethic and dedication to the Florida Highway Patrol will serve him well in his new position” Col. Spaulding said. “Major Harrison has time and time again demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the citizens and visitors of Florida and the Florida Highway Patrol.”
     Major Harrison is a 20-year veteran of law enforcement who began his law enforcement career as a deputy sheriff in 2000 with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office before being hired by the FHP. Throughout his career, Maj. Harrison has served as a state trooper, district sergeant and district lieutenant within FHP’s Patrol Operations.
     As a lieutenant, Maj. Harrison was assigned to serve as FHP’s homeland security coordinator within the Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Intelligence. Following this assignment, Maj. Harrison was promoted to the rank of captain serving as FHP’s emergency management coordinator and the emergency coordinating officer for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
     Major Harrison has served in several capacities, including as a member of FHP’s Criminal Interdiction Unit, Field training officer lieutenant, statewide FHP Auxiliary coordinator, statewide FHP peer support coordinator, and a member of the Regional Domestic Security Task Force.
     Major Harrison has attended FHP’s Leadership Academy, FHP’s Leadership in Police Organizations and the FDLE Senior Leadership Program, Class 22. Major Harrison is a certified general instructor as well as a federal instructor for the Motor Vehicle Criminal Interdiction Association.
     Major Harrison earned an Associate of Arts degree from Chipola College (Marianna, Florida). Additionally, Maj. Harrison is the vice president of the State Law Enforcement Chiefs Association.
     Major Harrison is a devoted husband and father of three who enjoys spending time with his family, church activities, cooking and fishing.

 


Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant
returns home

Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant in Port Canaveral Florida HardisonInk.com
United States Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant (WMEC-617) crew members package bales of cocaine to be offloaded at Port Everglades, Florida, on June 23. The cutter Vigilant crew seized a total of 122 bales of cocaine, on June 15, in back-to-back interdictions of go-fast vessels just off the coast of Limon, Republic of Costa Rica, Central America.
United States Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Murray

By U.S. Coast Guard
7th District Public Affairs
Published June 25, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.
     CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA —
The United States Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant (WMEC-617) crew returns home to Cape Canaveral, Wednesday (June 24), following a 40-day counter-drug patrol in the Western Caribbean.

 

USCG Cutter Vigilant in Port Canaveral Florida HardisonInk.com
United States Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant (WMEC-617) crew members stand on the deck of the vessel in Port Everglades, Florida, on June 23. The cutter Vigilant crew seized a total of 122 bales of cocaine on June 15, in back-to-back interdictions of go-fast vessels just off the coast of Limon, Republic of Costa Rica, Central America.
United States Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Murray


     During their patrol, the Vigilant’s crew members participated in a four-day multi-national counter narcotics joint operation with the Armed Forces of Honduras and later worked with the Colombian Navy in the interdictions of three suspected drug-smuggling vessels around the Colombian Basin.
     The cutter was augmented by a United States Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron armed helicopter crew capable of disabling drug-smuggling vessels.
     The aircrew assisted in the interdiction of two suspected drug-smuggling vessels in a period of less than 24 hours, which resulted in interdiction of approximately 6,800 pounds of cocaine with an estimated wholesale value of $118.3 million.
     The Vigilant's patrol efforts were in direct support of the President’s enhanced counter-narcotics surge announced in early April. The U.S. Coast Guard, working cooperatively with U.S. Southern Command, began this surge effort in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean putting increased pressure on the drug trafficking organizations operating in Central and South America.
     Before returning home, the crew conducted the narcotics offload in Port Everglades, Florida, Tuesday (June 23). This demonstrates the successful Coast Guard, Navy and partner nations joint counter-drug operations ongoing in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
     The fight against drug cartels in the Caribbean Sea requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by international partners and United States Attorneys Offices in districts across the nation. The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Caribbean Sea is conducted under the authority of the united States Coast Guard 7th District, headquartered in Miami, Florida. The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
     The cutter Vigilant is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter home ported in Cape Canaveral. The cutter crew’s primary missions include search and rescue, illegal drug interdictions, alien migrant interdictions ensuring safety of life at sea and enforcing international and domestic maritime laws.

 


Contractor arrested
for organized fraud

John Hopkins suspected criminal in Citrus County

 

 


John Hopkins
Mug Shot Provided By CCSO

 

 


By Brittney Carman
Community Relations Specialist
Citrus County Sheriff’s Office
Published June 25, 2020 at 9:10 a.m.
     CITRUS COUNTY –
On Monday (June 22), deputies with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office arrested John Hopkins, 39, of Summerfield on three warrants for organized fraud under $20,000 and contracting without a license.
     In all three separate cases, citizens hired Hopkins Concrete Creations to complete work on their residences.
     Hopkins was first hired by victim number one on May 23, 2019. The victim paid the suspect a $500 deposit to complete a sidewalk project. The suspect never started or completed the job.
     Then on June 10, 2019, a second victim paid Hopkins an $800 deposit for a job which Hopkins never started or completed. The victim's bank provided a copy of security footage showing the suspect cashing the victim's check at one of the bank’s branch locations.
     Later, on Aug. 16, 2019, Hopkins was hired by the third victim. The victim paid Hopkins a $600 deposit in cash for a concrete job, with Hopkins even signing a receipt indicating he received the cash for the down payment. Hopkins failed to return or complete any of the mentioned work.    
     Shortly after getting the victims' money, Hopkins stopped communicating with all three victims and never fulfilled the various concrete work he was hired to do. In addition, he never refunded any of the victims their deposit and since moved out of Citrus County. The total amount of money Hopkins was able to obtain from the victims was $1,900.
     "John Hopkins never operated a legitimate business," Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast said. "Instead, he stole the hard-earned money of innocent and trusting people. Never let your guard down when contracting for services, visit the DBPR's (Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s) site to see if your contractor is legally licensed and insured. "
     After multiple attempts of contacting Hopkins to settle their various contracted services, the three victims in each case filed a report with the CCSO.
     During the three investigations, Hopkins was identified by each victim as the person they hired and paid for services that were provided. Working closely with the DBPR, CCSO Det. Rob Ramos obtained an arrest warrant for Hopkins. His bond was set at $9,000.
     Any person who feels they were a victim of fraud by Hopkins or Hopkins Concrete Creations in Citrus County is asked to please contact the CCSO Major Crimes Unit at 352-726-1121 to file a report now.
     Finding a good, trustworthy contractor for a project is important. The CCSO urges people to conduct research before starting a project to find a licensed and insured contractor by visiting the following resource:
     Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Licensee Search -
https://www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp

 


NTSB report shows
plane crash killed five;

Aircraft was on fire as it fell
By Jeff M. Hardison © June 24, 2020 at 3:10 p.m.
     WASHINGTON, D.C. –
The June 5 plane crash that killed five people, including the founder of a trailer-manufacturing company with facilities in Williston and Ocala, was burning and trailing black smoke as it spun and plummeted to the ground in Georgia, federal investigators said in a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
     The NTSB preliminary report published June 18 shows that on June 5, at about 3:20 p.m. eastern daylight time, a Piper model PA-31T was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Eatonton, Georgia.
     The two pilots and the three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight, the NTSB report showed.
     The pilot/owner, who was seated in the left front seat of the airplane, held a private pilot certificate for single and multiengine airplanes with an instrument rating. He had filed an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan and was in contact with air traffic control (ATC) shortly after he departed from Williston Municipal Airport (X60), Williston, Florida, at 2:13 p.m.
      The other pilot, who was seated in the front right seat, held a private pilot certificate for single engine airplanes only and had no instrument rating, the NTSB report showed.
     A review of preliminary ATC communications and radar data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed that the airplane was on a northerly heading to New Castle Henry County Marlatt Field (UWL) New Castle, Indiana, at an altitude of 25,000 feet mean sea level (msl), the NTSB report showed.
     When the airplane was about 50 miles south of Eatonton, Georgia, one of the pilot's told ATC that he was deviating "to the right a little" to avoid weather, the NTSB report showed.
     When the airplane passed over Eatonton, one of the pilot's advised ATC that they wanted to proceed direct to their destination on a 353-degree heading, and ATC approved, the NTSB report showed.
     This was the last communication between ATC and the airplane. About a minute later, the airplane was observed on radar entering a right turn, followed by a rapid descent, the NTSB report showed.
     Radar contact was lost about 3:20 p.m., the NTSB report showed.
     There were no distress calls made by either pilot. Several witnesses observed the airplane as it was descending and took video with their cell phones. A review of these videos revealed the airplane was spinning as it descended, was on fire and trailing black smoke, the NTSB report showed.
     The main wreckage of the airplane impacted densely wooded terrain inverted. The airplane continued to burn and the cockpit, fuselage, empennage, inboard sections of both wings and the right engine sustained extensive fire damage, the NTSB report showed.
    This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors, the NTSB report showed. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed, the NTSB report showed.
     The dead included four family members who were traveling to a funeral in Indiana, according to news reports from Georgia.
     Putnam County (Georgia) Sheriff Howard Sills identified the victims as Larry Ray Pruitt, 67, of Morriston, Florida; Shawn Charles Lamont, 41, of Gainesville, Florida; his wife, Jody Rae Lamont, 43; and their two children, 6-year-old Jayce Lamont and 4-year-old Alice Lamont, all of Gainesville.
     The cause of the crash remains under investigation, according to the NTSB, which noted errors in the preliminary report from June 18 will be corrected in the final report.
     Larry Pruitt was the owner of Shadow Trailers Inc. in Williston and Shadow Trailer World in Ocala, according to an employee of Shadow Trailers who contacted HardisonInk.com to note the daily news website had not reported the June 5 crash in Georgia.
     His son-in-law Charles Lamont held management positions at both the Williston and Ocala locations of the trailer company, an employee said.
     There are 150 employees that depended on Pruitt, as did vendors, the employee noted.
     Pruitt’s Celebration of Life was Saturday (June 24) and Shawn, Jody, Jace, Alice were Friday night (June 23), according to an employee.
     All of the Shadow Trailer employees are devastated from this tragedy, the employee noted.

 


Suspected meth possessor caught
Booby Osteen suspected meth posessor  HardisonInk.com

 

 


Bobby Osteen
Mug Shot By DCSO

 


By DCSO Maj. Scott Harden
Published June 23 at 10:10 a.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
On Sunday afternoon (June 21), deputies with the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office were in the area of Northeast 349 and Northeast 272nd Avenue when they noticed a vehicle parked on power company property.
     When the first deputy approached the vehicle, he asked the driver for his driver’s license.  The driver, Bobby Osteen, turned away from the deputy, but did hand the deputy his license and vehicle registration.
     During this time, the deputy saw Osteen was moving something around in his mouth and inquired about that. Osteen said that he had a tooth ache and again turned away.
     When Osteen turned back, the deputy could see the clear plastic baggie and asked if Osteen had “dope” in his mouth.
     Osteen turned away and the deputy reached in to grasp his arm while telling him to give him the drugs. Osteen replied “No” and was attempted to pull away toward the passenger side when the deputy deployed his taser.
     At this time, a second deputy arrived. When Osteen saw him on the passenger side of the vehicle, he spit the baggie out toward the second deputy.
     Inside the baggie, deputies discovered a slightly more than eight grams of methamphetamine.
     Osteen, 41, of Old Town, was arrested and charged with, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of drug equipment and resisting an officer without violence.

 


Trees trap alleged Jeep thieves
and suspected meth possessors

Suspected thieves and meth holders  HardisonInk.com
William McDuffie (left) and Charles Turner
Mug Shots By DCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © June 23, 2020 at 9:10 a.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY –
Mother Nature appears to have lent the long arm of the law a hand Friday morning (June 19), according to information in a press release from Dixie County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Scott Harden.
     Two suspects were caught between two trees, trapped after allegedly stealing a Jeep in Dixie County, Harden said.
     The alleged driver of the stolen Jeep Charles Turner, 38, and the passenger, William McDuffie, 69, were arrested after apparently sounding an alarm that may not have dawned upon them as drawing attention, Harden said.
     On Friday morning, a Dixie County resident was in his home when he heard his mother’s 1997 Jeep Cherokee crank up and then speed away from the property, Harden said.
     The caller then called the DCSO to report the vehicle as stolen, Harden said.
     While the deputy was at the scene gathering the information from the complainant, Harden said, the deputy and complainant heard a vehicle’s engine revving some distance away in a wooded lot.
     The deputy then left the complainant to investigate the sound of the engine, Harden said, and there he found a freshly made trail into the wooded lot.
     The deputy followed the trail for approximately 200 yards, Harden said, until he found the vehicle wedged between two trees with a driver and occupant inside.
     After removing Turner and McDuffie, the deputy searched them and the vehicle once he determined that it was in fact the stolen vehicle, Harden said.
     During the search, the deputy found both driver Turner and passenger McDuffie to be in possession of methamphetamine.
     McDuffie, 69, of Old Town, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), grand theft (vehicle) and trespassing, Harden said.
     Turner, 38 of Old Town, was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), grand theft (vehicle), felony criminal mischief and trespassing, Harden said.

 


Woman arrested for being suspected of trafficking in drugs
Suspected Drug Trafficker In Levy County Florida HardisonInk.com

 


Katrina A. Veith
Mug Shot By LCSO

 

 


By LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond
Published June 18, 2020 at 6:10 p.m.
     BRONSON --
Levy County Drug Task Force Detectives conducted a traffic stop on Tuesday (June 16) on a known drug distributor who has been arrested eight times since 2013.
     Her arrests include crimes such as driving with a suspended license up to and including a 2019 arrest for a spectrum of drug-related charges.
     Detectives contacted K-9 Sgt. Kevin Kinik and his partner Zombie to assist in the traffic stop investigation. Zombie alerted his handler that he smelled the odor of narcotics in the vehicle.
     The following search of the vehicle located more than 10 grams of the deadly drug Fentanyl, approximately three grams of cocaine and in excess of 15 grams of methamphetamines (ICE) hidden inside.
     Detectives also located a single dose of Narcan in the suspect's purse. Narcan is used to stop the effects of the drug Fentanyl and heroin and is used to prevent death by overdose. All Levy County deputies are issued Narcan and carry it with them while on duty. Deputies have used their issued Narcan multiple times this year alone on individuals who overdosed.
     Detectives arrested the driver Katrina A. Veith, 27, of Bronson, for trafficking in Fentanyl (possession of more than four grams), trafficking in methamphetamines (possession of more than 14 grams), possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
     Detectives seized her vehicle and more than $700 in cash. Veith was booked into the Levy County Jail her combined bonds are $115,000.

 


Two suspected burglars arrested
Two Suspected Burglars From Otter Creek HardisonInk.com
Caleb Scott Coffman (left) and Buck A. Owens

Mug Shots By LCSO


By Jeff M. Hardison © June 16, 2020 at 9:10 p.m.
     BRONSON --
Two young men who live in the Town of Otter Creek are in the Levy County Jail now, because they are suspected of burglarizing property in their town, according to information in a Tuesday (June 16) press release from Levy County Sheriff's Office Lt. Scott Tummond, public information officer.
     LCSO detectives arrested Caleb Scott Coffman, 18, and Buck A. Owens, 23, both of Otter Creek, Lt. Tummond said.
     Coffman is charged with two counts of burglary of a structure or conveyance, grand theft of a firearm, grand theft, dealing in stolen property and grand theft of a vehicle, according to records. Combined bonds for Coffman are $425,000, according to records.
     Owens is charged with two counts of armed burglary of a structure or conveyance, grand theft, grand theft of a firearm, grand theft of a motor vehicle, criminal mischief and dealing in stolen property, according to records. Combined bonds for Owens are $520,000, according to records.
     These two Otter Creek residents are responsible for a recently reported burglary in this community, Tummond said.
     Deputies and detectives responded to a home located on Commissary Road a week ago Saturday (June 6), when the homeowner returned to discover his house and shed had both been burglarized, Tummond said. The victim reported rare bottles of liquor, firearms, various other valuables and a Polaris Ranger UTV were taken, Tummond said.
     Detectives identified Coffman as a person of interest and interviewed him at his home in Otter Creek, Tummond said. Coffman initially denied participating in the burglary but identified Owens as a potential suspect, Tummond said. Coffman surrendered several bottles of liquor and other valuables he said were given to him by Owens, Tummond said.
     Detectives spoke to Owens who initially denied any involvement in the theft and burglary. Owens told detectives that Coffman was responsible for the burglary and provided information that led to the recovery of several items, Tummond said.
     Detectives recovered two of the reported stolen guns and the UTV in a neighboring jurisdiction, Tummond said. During the subsequent investigation, Owens admitted he had lied to detectives, and it was determined that he was an active participant in the burglary, Tummond said.
     A week ago Monday (June 8), Coffman was arrested and a warrant for the arrest of Owens was issued.
     Detectives believe Coffman and Owens are responsible for several more burglaries that have been reported in the Otter Creek community and are still working to resolve these cases, Tummond said.
     Detective Mike McNeil is requesting assistance from the community to solve these crimes. Anyone who has information about these burglaries is asked to call Detective McNeil at 352-486-5111. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-877-349-8477 and offer a tip, Tummond said. Tipsters could be eligible for a cash reward, Tummond added.


 


AdDCSOLogo2016
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
ROR - Released on their Own Recognizance
LEO - Law Enforcement Officer
YOA - Years Of Age



Suspects Arrested

July 6 Through July 12
Published July 13, 2020 at 8:10 p.m.


Dixie County Florida Suspects HardisonInk.com

 




AdGCSOLogo2016

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
ROR -  Release on their Own Recognizance

LEO - Law Enforcement Officer
YOA - Years Of Age



Suspects Arrested
July 6 Through July 12
Published July 13, 2020 at 8:10 p.m



Gilchrist County Suspected Criminals

 

 




AdLCSOLogo2016

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
ROR - Released On their Own Recognizance
LEO - Law Enforcement Officer
YOA - Years Of Age



Suspects Arrested
July 6 Through July 12
Published July 13, 2020 at 8:10 p.m

Levy County Suspects HardisonInk.com

 

--UPDATED--
TUESDAY  JULY 14  12:10 p.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties




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Here, Goldy the cat Hardison
plays dead - he signature trick.
Cat training and video
By Jeff M. Hardison
© 2012-2019 All Rights Reserved





Here Inky the cat Hardison performs three Olympic jumps to rival the athletes in Brazil in 2016. Wait for it -- JUMP!
Cat training and video
By Jeff M. Hardison
© 2011-2019 All Rights Reserved



LCSO Most Wanted Suspended
The Levy County Sheriff's Office has suspended the Most Wanted listings.
Published April 14, 2020 at 5
:10 p.m.

 


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