HardisonInk.com

--UPDATED--
SATURDAY  MAY 15  10:11 a.m.  Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties


Accidental drowning claims man’s life
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 14, 2021 at 3:11 p.m.
     CHIEFLAND –
A 20-year-old Chiefland man drowned last night (Thursday, May 13) from an accident when he was swimming, Chiefland Police Lt. Matthew “Matt” Poppell said.


 

 

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     Evan Collins, 20, of Chiefland was an employee of Chiefland Billiards and three was a tournament scheduled that night, Poppell said. Collins and a female employee took a break before the tournament and went to a lime rock quarry that is nearby.
     Collins took off his shirt, cell phone and wallet and jumped off a cliff into the water. He invited the young woman to join him, Poppell said, but she declined the invitation. He asked her then to meet him on the other side of the lime rock pit, because there is no easy exit on the side where he leapt into the water, Poppell said.
     The woman was not able to see the water in the dark and it took her a while to find what would be an exit point, Poppell said. Collins was not there when she arrived, and at first, she thought he might be playing a trick on her.
     Last night, though, the CPD was called. Eight of the 12-member Levy County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team responded to assist the CPD, Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum said. They did not recover the body.
     This morning, at the request of Sheriff McCallum to the neighboring agency for assistance, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, sent eight divers who did find Collins’ body, McCallum and Poppell said.
     The body was found 15 to 20 feet from the ledge where Collins would have exited the water, Lt. Poppell said. That lime pit is as deep as 40 feet in some areas, the CPD lieutenant said. There are all kinds of debris in the water, including tires and other material that people have illegally dumped there.
     Poppell said this was an accidental drowning.

 


One dead in school bus crash
Fatal School Bus Crash in Citrus County Florida
Photo Provided By FHP

By Jeff M. Hardison © May 13, 2021 at 10:11 p.m.
     CITRUS COUNTY –
An 8-year-old boy or girl died from injuries suffered after a sedan hit the back of a school bus at 3:09 p.m. today (Thursday, May 13) in Citrus County, according to information in a press release from the Florida Highway Patrol.
     That child was not wearing a seatbelt, nor was it in a child restraint seat, the FHP said.
     The crash happened at North Carl G. Rose Highway (State Road 200) at East VFW Lane, the FHP said.
     The Citrus County school bus was driven by a 79-year-old man with an Inverness residential address, the FHP said. There were 30 students in the bus, the FHP said, and none of them suffered injuries.
     The bus was eastbound on SR 200, the FHP said, when it had bus stopped at the intersection of East VFW Lane, the FHP said.
      The bus driver had activated the vehicle’s red stop lights to disembark students from Citrus High School, the FHP said.
     Meanwhile a sedan driven by a 75-year-old man with a Hernando residential address was eastbound on SR 200, the FHP said. That sedan had the 8-year-old boy or girl as a passenger, and a 10-year-old girl as a passenger, the FHP said. While the 8-year-old died, the driver and passenger of the sedan suffered minor injuries, the FHP said. The FHP marked "not applicable" on the press release in regard to whether the 10-year-old boy was wearing a seatbelt. Drivers of both vehicles involved in the crash were wearing seatbelts, the FHP said.
     Both passengers, like the driver, also had Hernando for residential addresses, the FHP said.
     While there is Hernando County in Florida, this Hernando is Hernando is a census-designated place in Citrus County. At one time it was a city, but it was disincorporated in the 1970s, according to records.
     The sedan failed to stop, the FHP said, and it hit the rear of the school bus.
     Transported to a hospital, the child who was traveling unrestrained in the crash died from injuries suffered during the crash, the FHP said. The press release did not have male or female marked for that victim.
     For a year-plus now, as of May of 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped providing names of people and some other information from crashes as part of its press releases.
     Prior to May of 2020, the FHP formerly provided those public records in its press releases.
     The FHP and some other law enforcement agencies in Florida are abiding by a version of something known as “Marcy’s Law” of California, which is allegedly to protect victims of crimes. The Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” was adopted after Florida voters chose to change the Florida Constitution to exempt more public records from view.
     Although not every vehicle crash involves crime victims, which may have been the legislative intent of the Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” approved by voters, the FHP adopted the blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases as it attempts to stay within the bounds of the law while providing the public with information relatively quickly.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department both have provided crash information in press releases, except when there is an actual victim of a crime, as demonstrated in the reports provided to the press since the onset of the FHP revision in its press releases in May of 2020.
Crash Report Purchasing
https://services.flhsmv.gov/CrashReportPurchasing/
Florida Crash Data
https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/
Victims’ Rights Information
https://www.flhsmv.gov/victimsrights/

 


Former deputy arrested
for making false official statements

By MCSO Sgt. Paul Bloom
Public Information Office Director
Published May 13, 2021 at 10:11 p.m.
     MARION COUNTY –
Deputies with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office arrested David Adam Ur, 46, after an investigation revealed he had made false statements in an official report.
     Ur had been suspended from the MCSO in December of 2020 after a routine, internal review of his reports revealed issues with poor report writing and failure to activate his body worn camera according to policy.
     He was then sent to remedial report writing classes. While monitoring Ur’s reports following his suspension, it was discovered that in March, he had put false information into four arrest reports.
     Ur was immediately suspended while an investigation was launched. Sheriff’s Office officials met with 10th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Bill Gladson’s office and determined that misinformation contained in Ur’s reports led to the arrest of four people.
     The State Attorney’s Office immediately dropped those charges and issued against Ur four counts of making a false official statement. Ur turned himself in to the Marion County Jail where he is being held on a $4,000 bond.
     Ur began working at the MCSO in October of 2019 and began working as a patrol deputy in August of 2020. In May, Ur resigned his position with the MCSO while he was under investigation.
     “We have set high standards for ourselves in the Office of the Sheriff,” Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said. “I tell all my deputies that the only person that can take away their integrity, is themselves. As public servants, integrity, honesty and trust are paramount to our character and to the performance of our duties.
    “Each one of my supervisors work hard every day making sure my deputies adhere to what is expected of them,” Sheriff Woods continued. “The poor actions of this one person certainly do not accurately reflect the great job that the rest of these deputies do, day in and day out.”

 


Big tree smacks three vehicles
and takes down powerlines

By Jeff M. Hardison © May 13, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
     MARION COUNTY –
A big tree fell on a highway and caused damage to three vehicles Thursday morning (May 13) in Marion County, according to information in a Florida Highway Patrol press release.
     The names of the drivers were not provided by the FHP.
     A 2003 Chev Impala driven by a 36-year-old woman from Summerfield, and a 2020 Kia Sorrento driven by a 32-year-old woman from Belleview, and a 2016 F150 pickup driven by a 17-year-old boy from Ocklawaha were northbound on U.S. Highway 441, south of Southeast 80th Street, in the left lane at 7:15 on May 13, the FHP said.
     A large tree on the east shoulder fell westward across the roadway and hit all three vehicles, the FHP said.
     In addition, the tree struck and dropped powerlines along the road, the FHP said.
     The woman from Belleview suffered minor injuries, the FHP said, but the other two drivers were not hurt.
     For a year-plus now, as of May of 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped providing names of people and some other information from crashes as part of its press releases.
     Prior to May of 2020, the FHP formerly provided those public records in its press releases.
     The FHP and some other law enforcement agencies in Florida are abiding by a version of something known as “Marcy’s Law” of California, which is allegedly to protect victims of crimes. The Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” was adopted after Florida voters chose to change the Florida Constitution to exempt more public records from view.
     Although not every vehicle crash involves crime victims, which may have been the legislative intent of the Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” approved by voters, the FHP adopted the blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases as it attempts to stay within the bounds of the law while providing the public with information relatively quickly.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department both have provided crash information in press releases, except when there is an actual victim of a crime, as demonstrated in the reports provided to the press since the onset of the FHP revision in its press releases in May of 2020.
Crash Report Purchasing
https://services.flhsmv.gov/CrashReportPurchasing/
Florida Crash Data
https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/
Victims’ Rights Information
https://www.flhsmv.gov/victimsrights/

 


National Safe Boating Week Is May 22-28
Information Provided By
USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 15-1
Published May 12, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY --
For nearly 100 million Americans, boating continues to be a popular recreational activity.
     From coast to coast, and everywhere in between, people are taking to the water and enjoying time together boating, sailing, paddling and fishing.
     During National Safe Boating Week, the United States Coast Guard and its federal, state, and local safe boating partners encourage all boaters to explore and enjoy America’s beautiful waters responsibly.
     Safe boating begins with preparation. The Coast Guard estimates that human error accounts for 70 percent of all boating accidents and that life jackets could prevent nearly 86 percent of boating fatalities.
     Through basic boating safety procedures – carrying lifesaving emergency distress and communications equipment, wearing life jackets, attending safe boating courses, participating in free boat safety checks, and staying sober when navigating – the USCG can help ensure boaters on America’s coastal, inland, and offshore waters stay safe throughout the season.
     National Safe Boating Week is observed to bring attention to important life-saving tips for recreational boaters so that they can have a safer, more fun experience out on the water throughout the year.
     On average, 600 people die each year in boating-related accidents in the U.S.; 79 percent of these are fatalities caused by drowning. The vast majority of these accidents are caused by human error or poor judgment and not by the boat, equipment or environmental factors.
     A significant number of boaters who lose their lives by drowning each year would be alive today, if they had worn their life jackets.
     Don’t be a statistic. Have fun and boat responsibly.

 


DUI and felony charges result
after alleged altercation

Suspected DUI guy from High Springs caught in Gilchrist County Florida

 

 

 


David Cecil Sutton
Mug Shot By GCSO

 

 

By Jeff M. Hardison
© May 11, 2021 at 8:11 a.m.
* Updated May 11, 2021 at 8:11 p.m.
     GILCHRIST COUNTY –
A 39-year-old man with a High Springs (Alachua County) residential address was arrested early Saturday evening (May 8) for driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs (DUI), DUI involving property damage, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence, according to records.
    The total of combined bonds for David Cecil Sutton, 39, of High Springs was set at $210,000 by a judge at first appearance, according to records.
     Sutton’s choices leading to a stay at the Gilchrist County Jail and felony and misdemeanor charges being presented against him appears to have started with a disagreement in a vehicle, according to information provided by one law enforcement agency.
     A deputy with the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office
received a call for service at 5:50 p.m. on May 8, a GCSO lieutenant said during a telephone interview on May 10, as the lieutenant answered questions about the arrest. The deputy was responding to a report of a hit-and-run, the GCSO spokesman said.
     The deputy arrived at the scene at 6:13 p.m., and he began speaking with the alleged victim who called 9-1-1 for help, the GCSO said.
     Sutton is believed to have been in a vehicle where that other person had been driving, the GCSO said. The driver and passenger of the vehicle had an argument and the driver got out of the vehicle, according to the GCSO deputy.
     Sutton allegedly accelerated the vehicle toward the alleged victim before reportedly slamming on brakes just short of hitting that person, the GCSO said. All of this was taking place in the area near the Northwest 400 block of Gilchrist County Road 138, Branford, the GCSO said.
     Branford is a town in Suwannee County; however, the United States Postal Service and other entities sometimes assign locations to addresses in the towns or cities that are considered closest to the address. For instance, sometimes the Florida Department of Health has changed the number for the death toll or hospitalization county from COVID-19, from Levy County to Gilchrist County, or vice versa, after the FDOH data entry person looks more at the actual residential address location in contrast with the USPS record of Florida driver license record of those victims.
     The GCSO deputy located the suspect vehicle relatively close to the location of the caller. Sutton repeatedly refused to obey the lawful verbal commands of the deputy, the GCSO said. Sutton was reportedly completely uncooperative, the GCSO lieutenant said the deputy noted in the report.
     A struggle ensued as the deputy attempted to take the suspect into custody, the GCSO said. After a scuffle, the suspected criminal was taken to the ground, the GCSO said.
     Backup was on the way as the deputy handcuffed the man and brought that part of the arrest to a conclusion even before another law enforcement officer arrived, the GCSO said.
  Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Shane Taylor arrived at the scene, according to information provided by the FHP.
     The deputy told the trooper that Sutton was in custody in the back of the GCSO cruiser, the FHP said. The deputy told the trooper that he saw Sutton throw the car keys into the nearby wooded area.
     Trooper Taylor noted that Sutton was uncooperative. Not only did the alleged previous driver of the car that Sutton crashed into the woods confirm what happened, but another witness spoke with the trooper to substantiate that alleged victim’s statement.
     Two breathalyzer tests showed Sutton had consumed enough alcohol to be deemed as probably intoxicated, and with the observations that the trooper made during a 20-minute period of watching the man, the trooper found reasonable cause to charge the man with DUI and DUI with property damage.
     The trooper left the suspect in the custody of the correctional officers at the Gilchrist County Jail.

 


Man dies after driver fails to notice him
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 8, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
     MARION COUNTY –
A 26-year-old man with an Ocklawaha residential address died Friday evening from injuries he suffered after being struck by an SUV, according to information in a press release from the Florida Highway Patrol.
     Ocklawaha is an unincorporated community in Marion County.
     An SUV was westbound on Marion County Road 42 near the intersection of Southeast 254th Avenue at about 7 p.m. on May 7, according to information in the press release, supplemented with information from FHP Lt. P.V. Riordan.
     FHP Trooper Jordan Wildeman-Stuart was the crash investigator and FHP Cpl. Brett Detweiler was the homicide investigator, FHP Sgt. William Ernst noted in the press release.
     The SUV was driven by a 46-year-old man with an Ocklawaha residential address, the FHP said.
     The 26-year-old pedestrian was in the westbound lane on CR 42 near the intersection of Southeast 254th Avenue, the FHP said.
     The driver failed to observe the pedestrian in the westbound travel lane, the FHP said, and the front of the SUV hit the man.
     The pedestrian came to final rest on the northern grassy shoulder of CR 42, the FHP said, and that is where the SUV stopped too.
     The driver of the SUV suffered no injuries, the FHP said.
     For a year-plus now, as of May of 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped providing names of people and some other information from crashes as part of its press releases.
     Prior to May of 2020, the FHP formerly provided those public records in its press releases.
     The FHP and some other law enforcement agencies in Florida are abiding by a version of something known as “Marcy’s Law” of California, which is allegedly to protect victims of crimes. The Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” was adopted after Florida voters chose to change the Florida Constitution to exempt more public records from view.
     Although not every vehicle crash involves crime victims, which may have been the legislative intent of the Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” approved by voters, the FHP adopted the blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases as it attempts to stay within the bounds of the law while providing the public with information relatively quickly.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department both have provided crash information in press releases, except when there is an actual victim of a crime, as demonstrated in the reports provided to the press since the onset of the FHP revision in its press releases in May of 2020.
Crash Report Purchasing
https://services.flhsmv.gov/CrashReportPurchasing/
Florida Crash Data
https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/
Victims’ Rights Information
https://www.flhsmv.gov/victimsrights/

 


Ocala man arrested for murder,
arson and abuse of a dead body

Murder suspect Ocala Florida

 

 

 

 

 

 


Nicholas Trench
Mug Shot By MCSO


 

 



By MCSO Public Information Officer Zachary Moore
Published May 6, 2021 at 8:11 p.m.
     OCALA –
Today (Thursday, May 6) Marion County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Detective Billy Burleson charged Nicholas James Trench, 31, of Ocala with second degree murder, first degree arson, and abuse of a dead body.
     On March 26, the MCSO responded to a wellbeing check at 10664 S.W. 75th Terrace, where a fire had been set in the home. Marion County Fire Rescue responded, extinguished the fire, and located the body of 77-year-old Alice Trench.
     The victim’s body had been decapitated and her left arm had been removed. It appeared the fire had been set in an attempt to dispose of the victim’s remains.
     Nicholas Trench, who resides at the location, had been arrested nearby while running around a daycare nude. Trench was interviewed about his involvement in the murder, he but stated he could not remember anything prior to being arrested.
     A search warrant for the residence was obtained and Det. Burleson located several cutting tools near the victim’s body, a laundry basket that contained the victim’s severed body parts, and a home surveillance system. In the surveillance footage, Nicholas Trench is seen in the garage retrieving a handsaw, disposing of a garbage bag full of bloody clothing, and starting a fire with accelerants in a container before taking it into the residence.
     Detective Erikson with the Florida Fire Marshal’s Office determined that the fire had been intentionally set inside the home and the Medical Examiner’s Office determined the victim’s cause of death was strangulation and suffocation with contributory factors of blunt force trauma.
     It was further determined that Nicholas Trench was the only person at the residence with the victim at the time of the murder.
     Nicholas Trench was already in custody for indecent exposure, criminal mischief, resisting arrest, false id to law enforcement, and violation of probation. He is held at the Marion County Jail without bond.

 


Law enforcement
agencies' leaders recognized

WPD and LCSO leaders
Seen here are (from left) Williston Police Department Deputy Chief Terry Bovaird, WPD Chief Dennis Strow, Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum, Levey County Sheriff’s Office Col. Mike Sheffield and Levy County Undersheriff Brett Beauchamp.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 5, 2021 at 3:11 p.m.
     BRONSON –
Levy County Commissioner Mike Joyner on Tuesday (May 4) made it an agenda item to recognize the leaders of the Levy County Sheriff’s Office and the Williston Police Department for those agencies’ past work regarding Crab Fest.
     During the weekend of Saturday and Sunday April 24 and 25, when Crab Fest had been planned for this year, law enforcement was not called to respond to any acts of violence or public disturbances in the neighborhood east of Williston where the Crab Fest traditionally has been held annually. Crab Fest also is spelled as CrabFest.
     Representing those agencies, as Commissioner Joyner called them to the front of the auditorium where the County Commission meets regularly twice a month, were WPD Deputy Chief Terry Bovaird, WPD Chief Dennis Strow, Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum, LCSO Col. Mike Sheffield and Levy County Undersheriff Brett Beauchamp.
     These law enforcement leaders, with the men and women under their command, and with help from other assisting law enforcement agencies, Joyner said, professionally protected life and property during the past several years of Crab Fest.
     Despite the immense manpower, there was one death and some people were wounded one year by gunfire.
     Last year, there was no Crab Fest due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the Levy County Commission made it clear to an organizer that this was not an authorized event. Hence, there was no CrabFest 2021.
     As a result of this year’s actions in the community, too, future Crab Fest events will be at a different location and with a better level of safety, while maintaining the cultural flavor that has evolved over the years.
     Meanwhile, though, Commissioner Joyner said the law enforcement community in Levy County is second to none. Joyner, a former award-earning law enforcement officer who has retired from law enforcement, based his opinion about Levy County being the best on his own experience in the profession.
     Since he felt they did not get the recognition they earned, Joyner took those few minutes Tuesday to honor these men.
     When Joyner finished his speech, the audience joined him as everyone gave the honorees a standing ovation.

Levy County Florida Commission
Standing and applauding the men, as they joined the people in the audience on Tuesday (May 4) are (from left) County Commissioner Rock Meeks, County Commissioner Lilly Rooks, County Commission Chairman John Meeks, County Commissioner Mike Joyner and County Commissioner Matt Brooks.

 


Fire in Dixie County
reveals probable murder-suicide

By Jeff M. Hardison © May 5, 2021 at 7:11 a.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
A burning van in the community of Suwannee led to the discovery of three bodies, which are presumed to be a father and two children, according to information from the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.
     The joint murder-suicide investigation is being conducted by the Dixie County Sheriff's Office and the ACSO, according to public information officers for Dixie County Sheriff Darby Butler and Alachua County Sheriff Clovis Watson Jr.
     The set of events leading to the discovery of the three bodies was included in a press release from the ACSO's Public Information Office, which was forwarded by Dixie County Undersheriff Johnny Valentine on Tuesday night (May 4) at 7:20 p.m.
     The three bodies are tentatively identified as Paul Otto Reinhart, 46, of Gainesville
and his children, Rex, 14, and Brody, 11, also of Gainesville, according to information in the press release from ACSO PIO Art Forgey and ACSO Lt. Kaley Behl.
     On Tuesday morning (May 4), shortly before 6 a.m., ACSO deputies responded to a home in the 10000 block of Southwest 27th Avenue after a family member requested a wellbeing check on Paul Reinhart and his children, the ACSO said.
     While responding, deputies learned Paul Reinhart, had been sending several cryptic Facebook posts overnight and sending concerning texts to family, the ACSO said.
     Upon arriving at the home in Alachua County, deputies were unable to locate the man or his two children, the ACSO said.
     His vehicle was not present at the residence, the ACSO said.
     An extensive search was initiated at several locations within Alachua County, the ACSO said. Alachua County deputies learned that Paul Reinhart had a home in Dixie County in the Suwannee Community.
     Dixie County deputies located Reinhart’s van at a residence in Dixie County, the ACSO said. It was on fire.
     After extinguishing the fire, Dixie County deputies discovered three bodies in the residence, the ACSO said. Deputies presume these to be the bodies of Paul Reinhart and his two children, the ACSO said.
     Dixie County authorities and Florida Department of Law Enforcement will work with the Medical Examiner's Office to make positive identification, the ACSO said. 

 


Semi hits car, woman dies
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 5, 2021 at 8:11 a.m.
     ALACHUA COUNTY –
An 82-year-old woman with a Gainesville residential address died Tuesday afternoon (May 4) after a semi hit the car she was driving, according to information in a Florida Highway Patrol press release.
     The woman was eastbound on Alachua County Road 1474, the FHP said, and she had stopped at the intersection of U.S. Highway 301.
     A semi tractor-trailer driven by a 50-year-old man with a Gainesville residential address was southbound on U.S. 301 at 12 p.m. on May 4, the FHP said. The semi was in the right lane of that two-lane part of the highway, the FHP said.
     The woman appears to have failed to observe oncoming traffic, the FHP said, and she drove the car into the path of the semi.
     The truck's front bumper struck the left side of the car, the FHP said.
     The woman was pronounced dead at the scene by personnel from Alachua County Fire Rescue, the FHP said.
     The driver of the truck was not injured, the FHP said.
     For a year now, as of May of 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped providing names of people and some other information from crashes as part of its press releases.
     Prior to May of 2020, the FHP formerly provided those public records in its press releases.
     The FHP and some other law enforcement agencies in Florida are abiding by a version of something known as “Marcy’s Law” of California, which is allegedly to protect victims of crimes. The Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” was adopted after Florida voters chose to change the Florida Constitution to exempt more public records from view.
     Although not every vehicle crash involves crime victims, which may have been the legislative intent of the Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” approved by voters, the FHP adopted the blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases as it attempts to stay within the bounds of the law while providing the public with information relatively quickly.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department both have provided crash information in press releases, except when there is an actual victim of a crime, as demonstrated in the reports provided to the press since the onset of the FHP revision in its press releases in May of 2020.
Crash Report Purchasing
https://services.flhsmv.gov/CrashReportPurchasing/
Florida Crash Data
https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/
Victims’ Rights Information
https://www.flhsmv.gov/victimsrights/

 


Detectives seek help
solving early morning shooting death

By MCSO Sgt. Paul Bloom
Public Information Director
Published May 2, 2021 at 11:11 a.m.
     MARION COUNTY –
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office is seeking help from the public in regard to a shooting death.
     At approximately 2:10 a.m. today (Sunday, May 2), Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a 9-1-1 call at 2020 S.W. Highway 484.
     There had been a disturbance in the parking lot of the Pilot Truck Stop, where a large crowd had gathered.
     Deputies learned that a shooting had just occurred following an argument. Deputies discovered one person dead and another injured by gunfire.
     The dead man was identified as Zion Willis, 21.
     The injured person is being treated at a hospital and is expected to recover.
     Detectives are asking anyone with information about the shooting to please contact the Marion County Sheriff’s Office at 352-732-9111, or to remain anonymous, anyone can call CrimeStoppers of Marion County at 352-368-STOP.

 


Semi hits SUV and woman dies
By Jeff M. Hardison © May 1, 2021 at 9:11 a.m.
     GILCHRIST COUNTY –
A 62-year-old woman died Friday night (April 30) in a crash in Gilchrist County, the Florida Highway Patrol said in a press release.
     A semi tractor-trailer driven by a 60-year-old man with an Ocala residential address was northbound on U.S. Highway 129 near Northwest 175th Street in Gilchrist County on April 30 at 10 p.m., the FHP said.
     The semi was behind a sports utility vehicle (SUV) that was also northbound on U.S. 129, the FHP said. The SUV was driven by a 62-year-old Ocala woman, the FHP said.
     The SUV driver attempted to make a U-turn to go southbound on U.S. 129, the FHP said.
     As she was making a U-turn, the semi continued northbound, the FHP said. The semi’s trailer hit the left side of the SUV, the FHP said.
     The SUV came to final rest underneath the semi’s trailer facing a northwest, the FHP said. The semi came to final rest facing southeast.
     The woman in the SUV was pronounced dead at the scene, the FHP said. The man driving the semi was not injured, the FHP said.
     As of May of 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped providing names of people and some other information from crashes as part of its press releases.
     Prior to May of 2020, the FHP formerly provided those public records in its press releases.
     The FHP and some other law enforcement agencies in Florida are abiding by a version of something known as “Marcy’s Law” of California, which is allegedly to protect victims of crimes. The Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” was adopted after Florida voters chose to change the Florida Constitution to exempt more public records from view.
     Although not every vehicle crash involves crime victims, which may have been the legislative intent of the Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” approved by voters, the FHP adopted the blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases as it attempts to stay within the bounds of the law while providing the public with information relatively quickly.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department both have provided crash information in press releases, except when there is an actual victim of a crime, as demonstrated in the reports provided to the press since the onset of the FHP revision in its press releases in May of 2020.
Crash Report Purchasing
https://services.flhsmv.gov/CrashReportPurchasing/
Florida Crash Data
https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/
Victims’ Rights Information

https://www.flhsmv.gov/victimsrights/

 


Pedestrian dies
after being hit by pickup truck

By Jeff M. Hardison © April 28, 2021 at 10:11 p.m.
     ALACHUA COUNTY –
A 39-year-old man with a Hawthorne residential address died after being hit by a pickup truck on Tuesday night (April 27), according to information in a Florida Highway Patrol press release.
     Tuesday night at approximately 10:50 p.m., the FHP said, the 39-year-old man proceeded into Alachua County Road 346 in front of a pickup truck that was heading southwest on that road, the FHP said.
     A 23-year-old man with a Hawthorne residential address was driving the pickup truck, the FHP said.
     The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene by Alachua County Fire Rescue, the FHP said, and the pickup truck driver suffered minor injuries.
     As of May of 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped providing names of people and some other information from crashes as part of its press releases.
     Prior to May of 2020, the FHP formerly provided those public records in its press releases.
     The FHP and some other law enforcement agencies in Florida are abiding by a version of something known as “Marcy’s Law” of California, which is allegedly to protect victims of crimes. The Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” was adopted after Florida voters chose to change the Florida Constitution to exempt more public records from view.
     Although not every vehicle crash involves crime victims, which may have been the legislative intent of the Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” approved by voters, the FHP adopted the blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases as it attempts to stay within the bounds of the law while providing the public with information relatively quickly.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department both have provided crash information in press releases, except when there is an actual victim of a crime, as demonstrated in the reports provided to the press since the onset of the FHP revision in its press releases in May of 2020.
Crash Report Purchasing
https://services.flhsmv.gov/CrashReportPurchasing/
Florida Crash Data
https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/
Victims’ Rights Information
https://www.flhsmv.gov/victimsrights/

 


Couple arrested for fraud
Suspected of Defrauding the North Central Florida Regional Housing Authority
Boris Lindsey and Teresa Manning

Mug Shots By LCSO

By Levy County Undersheriff Brett Beauchamp
Published April 28, 2021 at 5:11 p.m.
     BRONSON --
On Tuesday (April 27) detectives with the Levy County Sheriff’s Office arrested Boris Lindsey, 54, and Teresa Manning, 48, of Williston for engaging in public aid fraud.
     Based on documentation gathered by the staff of the North Central Florida Regional Housing Authority, the LCSO developed probable cause for the arrests.
     The LCSO investigation revealed that Lindsey and Manning had been scamming the North Central Florida Regional Housing Authority for a period of more than two years. From April 14, 2018 through approximately Sept. 1, 2020, the couple received $21,311 in cash payments of rental assistance.
     According to the arrest affidavit filed by LCSO Cpl. C.J. Perryman, the scam worked this way:
     In 2018, Manning applied for and was granted rental assistance to enable her to rent the residence located at 13816 N.E. 55th St. in Williston. The rental assistance was transferred by direct deposit to Manning’s “landlord” whom she identified as Lindsey.
     Actually, less than one month after the rental assistance was approved, Manning and Lindsey were married. Additionally, the residence is owned exclusively by Manning. Lindsey has no legal interest in the real property.
     As a result of the scam, Manning and Lindsey were able to live together as husband and wife in a residence owned by her for a period of more than two years and receive taxpayer funded payments of $21,311 during that time.
     Manning and Lindsey were booked into the Levy County Detention Center (also known as the Levy County Jail). Manning was released on a $50,000 bond and Lindsey posted the required $43,000 bond.

 


Three-vehicle crash ends one life
and injures three seriously

By Jeff M. Hardison © April 27, 2021 at 11:11 p.m.
     LEVY  COUNTY –
A three-vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon (April 27) claimed one life and sent three other people to one or more hospitals, according to information in a Florida Highway Patrol press release.
     A 39-year-old man with a Morriston residential address was driving a sport utility vehicle (SUV) at 1:05 p.m. on April 27 in Levy County, the FHP said.
     A 22-year-old woman with an Ocala residential address was driving a pickup truck. The FHPO said.
     A 76-year-old woman with a Dunnellon residential address was driving an SUV, the FHP said. A 30-year-old woman with a Dunnellon residential address was a passenger in that SUV, the FHP said.
     The SUV with a man driving was northbound on U.S. Highway 41 near Southeast 11th Place, the FHP said.
     The pickup truck was southbound on U.S. 41, the FHP said.
     The SUV with a woman driving was traveling southbound on U.S. 41 behind the pickup truck, the FHP said.
     The SUV with a man driving went into the southbound lane of U.S. 41 and collided with the pickup truck and the other SUV, the FHP said.
     The man from Morrison, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the SUV, the FHP said. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, the FHP said.
     All three of the other people involved in the crash suffered serious injuries, the FHP said.
     As of May of 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped providing names of people and some other information from crashes as part of its press releases.
     Prior to May of 2020, the FHP formerly provided those public records in its press releases.
     The FHP and some other law enforcement agencies in Florida are abiding by a version of something known as “Marcy’s Law” of California, which is allegedly to protect victims of crimes. The Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” was adopted after Florida voters chose to change the Florida Constitution to exempt more public records from view.
     Although not every vehicle crash involves crime victims, which may have been the legislative intent of the Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” approved by voters, the FHP adopted the blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases as it attempts to stay within the bounds of the law while providing the public with information relatively quickly.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department both have provided crash information in press releases, except when there is an actual victim of a crime, as demonstrated in the reports provided to the press since the onset of the FHP revision in its press releases in May of 2020.
Crash Report Purchasing
https://services.flhsmv.gov/CrashReportPurchasing/
Florida Crash Data
https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/
Victims’ Rights Information
https://www.flhsmv.gov/victimsrights/

 


Allegedly violent man and
allegedly uncooperative woman arrested

LCSO VOP Suspect and cohort Levy County Florida
Danny Demeatrice Jackson and Sarah Muhammad

Mug Shots By LCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © April 28, 2021 at 12:11 a.m.
     BRONSON –
A man and a woman were arrested Monday afternoon (April 26) after an alert detective noticed the passenger of a vehicle as man who was wanted for violation of probation (VOP), Levy County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Scott Tummond noted in a press release Tuesday (April 27.)
     Danny Demeatrice Jackson, 24, of Ocala is being held with NO BOND on the VOP charge from Marion County, Tummond said.
     Jackson is in the Levy County Jail, Tummond noted on four additional charges. He is charged with resisting arrest with violence; obstruction of justice influence/intimidate/hinder a law enforcement officer in the completion of duties; breach of peace and assault on a law enforcement officer, according to records. His bond was set at $225,000, Tummond said.
     Sarah Muhammad, 39, who lists a Norfolk, Connecticut address, was charged with resisting arrest without violence and disturbing the peace. Her bond has been set at $2,500 and she was released on bond today, according to records.
     The set of events landing Jackson in jail and Muhammad having to answer to a judge or jury to decide if she was committing the two crimes of which she was charged started at a gas station, Tummond said.
     An expired tag and an outstanding warrant led to their arrest, Tummond said.
     An LCSO detective observed a silver in color Ford truck driven by Muhammad, Tummond said, as it pulled into the gas station west of Bronson on State Road 24.
     The detective saw the passenger exit the vehicle and recognized him to be Jackson, Tummond said. The detective knew Jackson had an outstanding arrest warrant from Marion County for VOP, and the detective knew Jackson has a history of violent reactions when he has encountered law enforcement officers before, Tummond said.
     The detective discovered the tag attached to the vehicle driven my Muhammad was expired by several months, Tummond said.
     The detective called for assistance from a patrol deputy to before confronting Jackson, Tummond said. The deputy and detective performed a traffic stop away from the store, Tummond said.
     Muhammad refused to provide identification and told the deputy “I ain’t giving you (expletive deleted)!” Tummond said.
     She was immediately detained, Tummond said.
     Jackson exited the vehicle and aggressively approached deputies while hurling racial slurs at them when he saw Muhammad being detained, Tummond said.
     Jackson’s aggressive and confrontational behavior toward the LCSO deputies prompted a radio call for more deputies to be sent to the scene, Tummond said.
     Jackson’s behavior caused a passerby to call 9-1-1 to tell Levy County telecommunicators these deputies needed more help, Tummond said.
     Five deputies responded to this scene. It took all of them to gain control of Jackson who violently resisted arrest, Tummond said.

 


One driver stays, one flees
from fatal hit-and-run crash

By Jeff M. Hardison © April 26, 2021 at 9:11 a.m.
     CITRUS COUNTY --
A man with a Levy County address stayed at the scene of a fatal crash Sunday night (April 25), while an unknown driver fled the scene, according to information in a press release from the Florida Highway Patrol.
     A 35-year-old man with a Morriston residential address was driving a pickup truck in Citrus County at 9:20 p.m. on April 25, the FHP said.
     Morriston is an unincorporated census-designated place in Levy County.
     Passengers in the pickup truck were a 30-year-old woman, a 6-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl, all with Morriston residential addresses, the FHP said.
     The Levy County man was driving eastbound on Citrus County Road 488 (West Dunnellon Road), west of North Springvale Terrace, when the pickup truck hit a 29-year-old man with a City of Crystal River residential address, the FHP said.
     The pedestrian from Crystal River was lying perpendicular in the roadway, the FHP said.
     An eastbound sedan traveling behind the pickup truck also hit the pedestrian, the FHP said, but the driver of the sedan failed to stop or remain at the crash scene.
     The pedestrian died from injuries sustained at the scene of the crash, the FHP said.
     As of May of 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped providing names of people and some other information from crashes as part of its press releases.
     Prior to May of 2020, the FHP formerly provided those public records in its press releases.
     The FHP and some other law enforcement agencies in Florida are abiding by a version of something known as “Marcy’s Law” of California, which is allegedly to protect victims of crimes. The Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” was adopted after Florida voters chose to change the Florida Constitution to exempt more public records from view.
     Although not every vehicle crash involves crime victims, which may have been the legislative intent of the Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” approved by voters, the FHP adopted the blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases as it attempts to stay within the bounds of the law while providing the public with information relatively quickly.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department both have provided crash information in press releases, except when there is an actual victim of a crime, as demonstrated in the reports provided to the press since the onset of the FHP revision in its press releases in May of 2020.
Crash Report Purchasing
https://services.flhsmv.gov/CrashReportPurchasing/
Florida Crash Data
https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/
Victims’ Rights Information

https://www.flhsmv.gov/victimsrights/

 


Teen dies in crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © April 26, 2021 at 8:11 a.m.
     CITRUS COUNTY --
A 19-year-old woman died Sunday afternoon (April 25) from injuries suffered in a crash, according to information in a press release from the Florida Highway Patrol.
     A van driven by a 63-year-old man with a Beverly Hills residential address was northbound on Citus County Road 491 (Lecanto Highway) at 3:05 p.m. on April 25, the FHP said. The van had stopped at the intersection of State Road 200 (Carl G. Rose Highway), the FHP said.
     Beverly Hills is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Citrus County.
     A pickup truck driven by a 19-year-old woman with a Citrus Springs residential address was westbound SR 200, the FHP said, approaching the intersection of CR 491.
     Citrus Springs is a census-designated place in Citrus County.
     Despite a stop sign, the entered the intersection and path of the pickup truck, so as to complete a left turn, the FHP said.
     As a result, the front of van hit the right rear of the pickup truck, the FHP said. Post-impact, the pickup truck rotated, departed the roadway, overturned and collided with a fence before coming to final rest, the FHP said. The van came to rest within the eastbound left turn lane of SR 200, the FHP said.
     The young woman suffered fatal injuries at the scene of the crash, the FHP said. The man suffered no injuries, the FHP said.
     No citation for traffic infraction was noted on the press release.
     As of May of 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol stopped providing names of people and some other information from crashes as part of its press releases.
     Prior to May of 2020, the FHP formerly provided those public records in its press releases.
     The FHP and some other law enforcement agencies in Florida are abiding by a version of something known as “Marcy’s Law” of California, which is allegedly to protect victims of crimes. The Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” was adopted after Florida voters chose to change the Florida Constitution to exempt more public records from view.
     Although not every vehicle crash involves crime victims, which may have been the legislative intent of the Florida version of “Marcy’s Law” approved by voters, the FHP adopted the blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases as it attempts to stay within the bounds of the law while providing the public with information relatively quickly.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department both have provided crash information in press releases, except when there is an actual victim of a crime, as demonstrated in the reports provided to the press since the onset of the FHP revision in its press releases in May of 2020.
Crash Report Purchasing
https://services.flhsmv.gov/CrashReportPurchasing/
Florida Crash Data
https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/
Victims’ Rights Information
https://www.flhsmv.gov/victimsrights/

 


FBI Jacksonville announces
new resident agency leadership

FBI Jacksonville ASAC Balli  HardisonInk.com

 

 

 


Assistant Special Agent in Charge Gilberto “Gil” Balli
 

 


Story and Photo Provided
By FBI Jacksonville
PAO Amanda Warford Videll
Published April 22, 2021
at 10:11 a.m.
     JACKSONVILLE –
Rachel L. Rojas, special agent in charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division, announces the selection of Gilberto “Gil” Balli as the assistant special agent in charge (ASAC) of the FBI Jacksonville Resident Agency (RA) branch.
     ASAC Balli will oversee all operations in seven FBI offices in Daytona Beach, Ocala, Gainesville, Tallahassee, Panama City, Fort Walton and Pensacola. Mr. Balli is the first to hold the ASAC-RA position, which was developed, in part, to help strengthen partnerships with local, state and federal law enforcement executives throughout the FBI Jacksonville Division’s 40-county territory.
     Assistant Special Agent in Charge Balli previously served as a supervisory special agent for the FBI Dallas Field Office where he oversaw violent gang matters. Prior to that role, Mr. Balli led investigations into terrorism matters, public corruption, violent crime, organized crime and drug trafficking, and provided guidance and support for FBI undercover operations nationwide.
     Balli brings more than 24 years of law enforcement experience to the ASAC position, having first served as a Customs and Border Protection border patrol agent before joining the FBI in 1998. He has since held positions at FBI Omaha, FBI Dallas, and in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters, as well as served as assistant legal attaché in Bogota, Colombia, where he managed FBI equities in the South American countries of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.
      “I am excited and honored to have the privilege of serving my country in this new role,” ASAC Balli said. “After more than two decades of government service, I remain steadfast in my commitment to upholding the U.S. Constitution and protecting the rights of all Americans. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I am more committed than ever to working side-by-side with our law enforcement and community partners to protect the communities of North Florida.”

 


Man charged with attempted murder
By Jeff M. Hardison © April 22, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
Shaquille R. Pollock, 26, of Old Town arrested April 16 at 4:11 p.m. for attempted murder, kidnapping, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault, three counts of tampering with a witness, interfering with child custody, and three counts of battery, according to records.
     Information in the arrest affidavit show there was evidence by testimony and physical examination that Pollock put a gun in the mouth of the alleged victim.
     Regarding the many other charges, according to information provided by the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office when that was requested on April 22, the investigator found reason to believe the suspect performed the actions to be charged with those crimes as well.
     Notations for these crimes indicate they are part of domestic violence as well.

 


$8,000 reward offered
in ‘Trump’ manatee case

Information Provided
By Citrus County Crime Stoppers
Published April 20, 2021 at 9:11 p.m.
     CITRUS COUNTY –
Crime Stoppers of Citrus County has partnered with The Animal Legal Defense Fund who has graciously offered an additional $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for writing “Trump” on a manatee in the Blue Hole, headwaters of the Homosassa River.
     The manatee was discovered on Jan. 10 and, per a previous statement released by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, does not appear to be seriously injured as it seems the word was written in algae on the animal’s back.
     “Although the manatee may not have suffered injuries, it is disheartening that someone has disturbed our community through such an ignorant act. Crime Stoppers of Citrus County takes animal cruelty, and harassment, seriously and is asking anyone that may have knowledge of this crime to please contact our program,” said President of Crime Stoppers Debbie Groff. “We are hopeful with the increased reward and guarantee of 100% anonymity that someone will use this opportunity to do the right thing.”
     Manatees are considered a threatened species and are protected under the Endangered Species and the Marine Mammal Protection Acts.
     Under both federal laws, it is illegal to harass, wound, or annoy manatees. “Harassment” includes any act that potentially injures or disturbs an animal or causes a disruption to an animal’s normal behavior.
     The maximum penalty for violating the Endangered Species Act is up to one-year imprisonment or a fine of $50,000, or both.
     The maximum penalty for violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act is up to one-year imprisonment or a fine of $100,000, or both.
      “It’s troubling that someone has interfered with a threatened species and there are laws in place to prevent this type of incident. We hope the additional reward will reinvigorate the case — and a witness will come forward,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “We commend the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for their continued attention to this case and we’re hopeful that the local community will come forward with any information they have regarding this crime.”
     Anyone that has information related to this incident is encouraged to reach out to Crime Stoppers of Citrus County at 1-888-ANY-TIPS or http://www.crimestopperscitrus.com/sitemenu.aspx?ID=433&.
     Tipsters are guaranteed 100 percent anonymity and if the information provided leads to the arrest of the person or people responsible for this crime, the tipster will be eligible for a reward of up to $8,000.

 


 



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