HardisonInk.com

MCSO helps DPD investigate homicide
Public assistance sought

By MCSO Lt. Paul Bloom
Public Information Office Director
Sent Nov. 29, 2022 at 5:07 p.m.
Published Nov. 30, 2022 at 8:12 a.m.
     MARION COUNTY --
On Monday morning (Nov. 28), Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) detectives were called to the scene of a homicide on Walnut Street in Dunnellon at the request of the Dunnellon Police Department (DPD).

 

 


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     MCSO detectives found a dead man whose name is being withheld pending next-of-kin notifications. Detectives are investigating this incident as a homicide.
     Detectives ask that anyone with information regarding this incident to please contact Det. John Lightle at 352-369-6715. Anyone with information who wishes to remain anonymous, is asked to please contact CrimeStoppers of Marion County at 352-368-STOP (7867).

 


Levy County Sheriff's Office
Suspects Jailed In Levy County Florida
Suspects Jailed Nov. 21, 2022 through Nov. 27, 2022
Published Updated Nov. 28, 2022 at 4:12 p.m.

 


Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office logo etc

Gilchrist County Suspects Jailed
Suspects Jailed Nov. 21, 2022 through Nov. 27, 2022
Published Updated Nov. 28, 2022 at 4:12 p.m.

 


DCSO Logo

Dixie County Suspects Jailed
Suspects Jailed Nov. 21, 2022 through Nov. 27, 2022
Published Updated Nov. 28, 2022 at 4:12 p.m.

 


Inmate death under investigation
Information Provided
By MCSO Lt. Paul Bloom
Public Information Director
Published Nov. 25, 2022 at 7:12 p.m.
     MARION COUNTY –
At approximately 7 a.m. this morning (Friday, Nov. 25), several detention deputies at the Marion County Jail responded to the administrative confinement section in response to inmate Scott Whitley III, 46, refusing to cooperate with a routine cell inspection.

     Whitley refused to cooperate with deputies’ efforts to place him in handcuffs for the duration of the inspection. Detention deputies deployed pepper foam and their Electronic Disabling Devices (EDD) to stun Whitley in an effort to gain his compliance but were unsuccessful.
     Ultimately, a group of six detention deputies were required to subdue Whitley.
     After Whitley was brought outside of his cell, it was discovered that he did not appear to be breathing.
     Detention deputies immediately began life-saving measures as medical staff responded. Whitley was transported quickly to AdventHealth Ocala (formerly named Florida Hospital Ocala and Munroe Regional Medical Center), where he was later pronounced dead.
     Whitley, who was being held on charges of resisting an officer with violence and violation of an injunction for protection against exploitation of a vulnerable adult, had been recently transferred to the administrative confinement section of the jail due to previous attempts to escape from his cell and housing unit, as well as for engaging in acts of aggression towards detention staff.
     At the request of Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has responded to the jail and is actively investigating the incident. As is practice, the detention deputies involved have been placed on suspension with pay.
     The detention deputies, who as the apparent victims of a criminal offense have invoked the protection of Marsy’s Law, are not being identified at this time.

 


Sheriff comments on guilty plea
Suspect gets 15-year sentence

Convicted and Sentenced

 

 

 

Thomas Patrick Teehan
Mugshot By LCSO




 

 



By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 24, 2022 at 9:12 a.m.
     BRONSON –
Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum published a comment Nov. 22 about a man who pled guilty 38 days after his Oct. 3 arrest for six counts of sexual assault - lewd lascivious battery on an elderly or disabled person, and one count of a sexual offender failing to register as required, according to public records and a blog website maintained by the Levy County Sheriff’s Office.
     Thomas Patrick Teehan, 48, was sentenced to 15 years in the Florida Department of Corrections prison system, according to information in the LCSO blog site.
     On Oct. 3, the LCSO received a complaint alleging sexual misconduct perpetrated by Teehan, registered sexual offender, the LCSO noted.
     The victim said she was forced to perform sexual acts over a period of several years at a home in the outskirts of the City of Williston, the LCSO said. Detectives interviewed Teehan.
     “Detectives and Victim Services worked tirelessly throughout the night (Oct. 3) ensuring the safe placement of the victim and concluding the investigation with Teehan’s arrest,” the LCSO noted.
     Teehan was held at the Levy County Jail (also known as the Levy County Detention Center) in lieu of a $1.25 million dollar bond until he pled guilty and was sentenced to 15 years in state prison.
     “This plea is a testament to the hard work and dedication these detectives expended and the undeniable strength of the case they were able to make on Teehan,” Sheriff McCallum said on Nov. 22. “An individual, previously convicted of a sexually-based crime who reoffends, knows prison sentences will be more severe. I am proud of how well this case was prepared and that Teehan saw no defense. This led to how quickly he accepted the prison sentence, thus saving the victim from the long and difficult process of testifying in court.”

 


Sheriff accepts money
New assistant introduced

Sheriff Bobby McCallum
Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum speaks to the County Commission on Tuesday morning (Nov. 22) to share information about the Levy County Sheriff’s Office being accredited for the first time in its history. Standing with the sheriff is his new Executive Administrative Assistant Kristan Ritter, who fills the vacancy created after the retirement of Robin Hardee McCracken.

Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 22, 2022 at 5:12 p.m.
     BRONSON –
Levy Cunty Sheriff Bobby McCallum brought the County Commission some happy news Tuesday morning (Nov. 22).

 

Sheriff Bobby McCallum

 


     For the first time since Levy County was formed on March 10, 1845, and became Florida's 27th county, the Levy County Sheriff’s Office is going through the process to be accredited.
     By the way one week before Levy County was formed, on March 3, 1845, Florida joined the United States of America as the 27th state.
     While the state and county have roots of being in America since 1845, it was not until 1995 when the Florida Sheriff’s Association (FSA) pioneered accreditation in the state and was co-founder of the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation – a program that encourages law-enforcement agencies to maintain the highest standards of professional law enforcement for communities.
     The FSA approved the Levy County Sheriff’s Office for an accreditation grant in the amount of $51,630.24, LCSO Col. Mike Sheffield noted in the documents prior to the meeting.
     This FSA grant allows the LCSO to improve and correct required tasks for the agency to become accredited. These improvements were not able to be included in the original LCSO budget request for Fiscal Year 2022-2023. It is not a reoccurring grant and must be applied for every Oct. 1. LCSO will do all reporting for expenses, Col. Sheffield noted in the documents for this matter listed on the agenda.
     The sheriff received a 5-0 vote of approval for his request to amend the budget by accepting this money from the FSA to improve facilities at the LCSO to help it become accredited.
     In another bit of happy news from Sheriff McCallum, he introduced his new Executive Administrative Assistant Kristan Ritter, who fills the vacancy created after the recent retirement of Robin Hardee McCracken.

 



Man allegedly shoots TV and goes to jail
Mug Shot

 

 

 


Ross Martin Marple
LCSO Mugshot

 

 

 

 


By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 21, 2022 at 5:12 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY –
A man allegedly shot a television, but the manner in which he allegedly did this resulted in him being jailed, according to records and information in a press release from the Levy County Sheriff’s Office.
     “He posed a real and dangerous threat to the individuals inside the home, any person outside the home and law enforcement as he fired the gun indiscriminately from inside his home,” LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond noted in regard to the suspect.
     Ross Martin Marple, 30, of Morriston was put in the Levy County Jail (also known as the Levy County Detention Center) when he was booked just after midnight on Nov. 19 for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, a third degree felony; and simple assault on law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical care providers, public transit employees or agents, or other specified officers, a first degree misdemeanor, according to records.
     The weapons charge netted the defendant a $100,000 bond and the simple assault charge brought him a $5,000 bond, according to records.
     His early Saturday morning booking, according to information in a press release from LCSO Lt. Tummond, came after a Friday (Nov. 18) incident concluded with no injuries.
     Deputies with the LCSO responded on Nov. 18 to a home located at 3650 S.E. 197th Court in Morriston as a result of reported gunfire there, Tummond said.
     Deputies found Marple allegedly had used a handgun to threaten a family member inside the home, Tummond said. Marple is alleged to have then fired the gun at the television while issuing additional threats to the family member, Tummond said. 
     The suspected assailant is said, according to the press release from Tummond, also to have broken most of the windows out of the home.
     Deputies attempted to speak to Marple as he threatened them and barricaded himself inside the home, Tummond said.
     Levy County deputies and detectives surrounded the home and blocked access roads for several hours, Tummond said, while they called to Marple over their vehicle public address systems – asking him to surrender.
     Marple failed to respond to any of these requests, Tummond said. The LCSO Tactical Response Unit (TRU) was summoned to the scene to assist, Tummond said.
     The TRU members entered the home and took Marple into custody, Tummond said, without anyone being injured.

 


Veterans Day Shooting In Bell
Woman charged with attempted murder
Bond set at $6 million

Video Statement From The GCSO
Click on the STILL PHOTO ABOVE to see the video released from the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office regarding this suspected criminal who allegedly attempted to kill a person. This video includes Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz.

Video Provided By GCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 18, 2022 at 3:12 p.m.
     TRENTON –
A 31-year-old Bell woman is in the Gilchrist County Jail now as a result of law enforcement officers with the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office finding probable cause to charge her with attempted premeditated murder and felony child abuse, according to information in a press release provided by GCSO Chief Deputy Robert Willis on Nov. 18 at 11:38 a.m


Suspect

 

 

 

 

Samantha Jane Long
Mug Shot Provided By GCSO

 

 

 

 


     Samantha Jane Long, 31, of Bell was arrested Nov. 16 after an arrest warrant was signed that same day, Chief Deputy Willis noted.
     Her arrest came as a result of a shooting incident that happened on Veterans Day 2022 (Nov. 11), Willis said.
     On Nov. 11, shortly after 1 p.m. GCSO deputies responded to 7189 N.W. 52nd St. in Gilchrist County in reference to a domestic disturbance involving a person who had been shot, Willis said. The victim left the scene and encountered Gilchrist County Fire Rescue units who provided life-saving medical attention.
     Deputies continued to the incident location. The GCSO Criminal Investigation Division responded to the scene. The preliminary investigation led to several search warrants being requested, Willis said.
     Upon execution of these search warrants, Willis said, probable cause was developed to arrest the shooter.
     The evidence revealed that Long who had initially claimed self-defense in the shooting, had shot the victim without any provocation and in cold blood more than once with a .40 caliber handgun in front of, and within feet of, a minor child, Willis said.
     “We at the GCSO appreciate the patience of our community and are thankful our citizens understand that the foundation of professional law enforcement is a thorough and complete investigation which is required before information can be released,” Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz said.

 


Woman dies in crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 15, 2021 at 7:12 a.m.
     GILCHRIST COUNTY –
A 49-year-old Trenton woman died in a single-car crash very early this morning (Tuesday, Nov. 15), according to information in a Florida Highway Patrol press release.

     The next of kin were notified before the press release was sent, the FHP said.
     A sedan was southbound at Southeast 80th Avenue somewhere in Gilchrist County at 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 15, according to the press release based on information from crash and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. Nathan Morgan.
     The driver was not wearing a seatbelt, the FHP said.
     The sedan veered left, the FHP said, exiting from the roadway and going into the eastern tree line, where it hit a tree. The vehicle came to rest facing south with its front in contact with
the tree, the FHP said. The driver was pronounced dead 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 that information via 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 used 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 its current blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the Chiefland Police Department, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department all have provided crash information in press releases or traffic crash reports, 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’s revision in its press release practices 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/

 


Hurricane's death toll at 137
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 14, 2022 at 7:12 p.m.
     TALLAHASSEE –
There are now 137 deaths in Florida attributed to Hurricane Ian confirmed by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission (MEC), as of information in a press release from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) sent today (Nov. 14) at 4:25 p.m.

     The Florida District Medical Examiners report hurricane deaths to the Medical Examiners Commission (MEC) following examinations and confirming the death is storm-related, as noted by the FDLE Office of Public Information in the Monday update.
     The FDLE staffs the Florida Medical Examiners Commission.
     Body recovery efforts continue in south Florida from the devastating level of destruction left by the powerful hurricane.  
     Of the 137 deaths attributed to Hurricane Ian confirmed by the MEC, the county-by-county breakdown from the most recent report is shown here: Charlotte-8; Collier-10; DeSoto-1, Hardee-4; Hendry-2; Hillsborough-4; Lake-2; Lee-61; Manatee-5; Martin-1; Miami-Dade- 1; Monroe-7; Orange-3, Osceola-5; Polk-2; Putnam-3; Sarasota-10; St. Lucie- 1; and Volusia-7.
     Additional updates will be provided as they come in, the FDLE Public Information Office noted.

 


Tropical storm death toll at five
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 13, 2022 at 9:12 a.m.
     TALLAHASSEE –
There are five deaths attributed to Tropical Storm Nicole confirmed by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission (MEC), as of information in a press release from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) sent Saturday night (Nov. 12) at 5:40 p.m.

    The Florida District Medical Examiners report hurricane deaths to the MEC following examinations and confirming the death is storm-related, as noted by Gretl Plessinger of the FDLE Office of Public Information in the Saturday night update.
     The FDLE staffs the MEC.
     There were four deaths recorded for Orange County and one death from Duval County, Plessinger noted.
     Additional updates will be provided as they come in, FDLE Public Information Officer Plessinger noted.

 


Pickup hits school bus
at railroad tracks – one child hurt

By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 12, 2022 at 7:12 a.m.
     MARION COUNTY –
A pickup truck ran into the back of a school bus stopped at railroad tracks on Nov. 11 at 4:30 p.m., according to a press release from the Florida Highway Patrol.
     One child was hurt, the FHP said.
     The school bus had stopped in the right northbound lane at the railroad crossing on State Road 35 near the intersection of Southeast 66th Street in Marion County, the FHP said. The Marion County school bus was driven by a 42-year-old woman from Ocala, the FHP said.
     The northbound pickup truck was on SR 35 directly behind the school bus on SR 35 in the right lane, the FHP noted in the press release based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper C. Lanza.
     The pickup truck was driven by a 40-year-old man from Ocala, the FHP said.
     The driver of the pickup truck failed to stop in time, the FHP said, causing the front of the pickup truck to hit the rear of the school bus.
     Both the driver of the pickup truck and of the school bus were wearing seatbelts, the FHP said. Neither of them suffered injuries, the FHP said.
     In addition to the driver of the school bus, there were 49 students and one 24-year-old woman from Ocklawaha who is an aide on the bus at the time of the crash, the FHP said. Ocklawaha is an unincorporated community in Marion County.
     One child was transported to Advent Health with minor 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 that information via 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 used 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 its current blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the Chiefland Police Department, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department all have provided crash information in press releases or traffic crash reports, 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’s revision in its press release practices 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/

 


14-year-old Dixie County girl still missing
FDLE MISSING TEEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Demiah Appling

 

 

 

Story and Photo Provided
By FDLE Office of Public Information
Published Nov. 11, 2022 at 4:12 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY –
Demiah Appling, the 14-year-old Old Town teen who was reported missing in mid-October, has yet to be found.

     The community has shown tremendous support, Dixie County Sheriff Darby Butler said.
     “We want to thank the community for your outpouring of support and countless tips in efforts to bring Demiah home,” Butler said. “We ask for your continued assistance until she is found.”
     The sheriff encourages the people in the community to call the department’s hotline at 877-464-6982 with any information about Appling disappearance.
     The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) continues to assist in the investigation. FDLE issued a Missing Child Alert (MCA) for Appling on Nov. 3.
     The Florida MCA was established in 2003 to provide law enforcement with a tool to quickly disseminate information when a child is missing and believed to be in life-threatening danger, but there is no indication that the child has been abducted.
     For more information on Florida’s Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse (MEPIC) click HERE.

 


Girl dies in crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 9, 2022 at 5:12 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY –
A 17-year-old girl from Old Town died this afternoon (Wednesday, Nov. 9) in a single-vehicle crash in Levy County, according to information provided by the Florida Highway Patrol in a press release.

     The victim’s next-of-kin were notified before the press release was sent, the FHP said.
     The girl was driving a sport utility vehicle (SUV) northbound at 12:29 p.m. on Nov. 9, on Levy County Road 207 near Northwest 28th Avenue, and the vehicle was moving at a high rate of speed, the FHP said in the press release, which was based on information from crash and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. Mark Baker.
     The driver lost control of the vehicle, the FHP said, and SUV went onto the western (left) grassy shoulder, where it hit a utility pole, and overturned.
     The driver received fatal injuries as a result of the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene, 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 that information via 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 used 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 its current blanket exclusion of some information as part of its process in sending press releases.
     Although the FHP adopted this new practice, not every law enforcement agency has done so.
     For instance, the Chiefland Police Department, the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Ocala Police Department all have provided crash information in press releases or traffic crash reports, 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’s revision in its press release practices 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/

     


Marion County closes schools
Thursday due to storm
Veterans Day program canceled

Information Provided
By Marion County Emergency Management
Published Nov. 8, 2022 at 7:12 p.m.
     MARION COUNTY –
The Marion Emergency Management Operations Center is currently monitoring Tropical Storm Nicole.

     At this time, discussions are underway in reference to emergency preparations.
Marion County Public Schools
     • School has been canceled for Thursday, November 10, 2022, and all extra-curricular activities are canceled starting Wednesday afternoon except for Marion Afterschool Programs.
     • The district plans to reopen all schools, departments, and district offices Friday on normal schedules pending weather and safety inspections Thursday afternoon and evening.
     • This decision also cancels MCPS’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony originally scheduled for this Friday at 11 a.m. The event will not be rescheduled.
     • For more information regarding school closures, contact the Public Relations Office of MCPS at 352-671-7555.

City of Ocala
     • The City of Ocala is opening a sandbag station at Tuscawilla Park, located at 800 NE Sanchez Avenue. The site will be open on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
     Marion County Emergency Management officials are encouraging all Marion County citizens to sign up for the emergency notification system, Alert Marion. Sign up for text message alerts, emails, and phone calls for severe weather through Alert Marion at https://alertmarion.com/.

 


DCSO catches drug suspect
Drug Suspect

 

 


Courtney Le Ann (aka Leeann) Hall
Mug Shot By DCSO

 

 

 


By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 8, 2022 at 5:12 p.m.
     CROSS CITY –
A 41-year-old Port Richey woman was arrested for drug charges that led to bonds totaling $500,000, according to records.

     Courtney Le Ann (aka Leeann) Hall, 41, of Port Richey was arrested Nov. 3 after a traffic stop in the late afternoon that day led to the discovery of different drugs that are all on the list of controlled substances, according to records.
     Hall was charged with trafficking in a controlled substance and seven counts of possession of a controlled substance, according to records.
     Dixie County Sheriff’s Office Deputy T. Reed saw Hall driving a small light-blue sedan southbound on U.S. Highway 19 in the 16000 Southeast Block of that road in Cross City, at 4:39 p.m. on Nov. 3, according to records.
     The deputy noticed the driver of the vehicle – later identified as Fallon Shelby Hart -- was not wearing a seatbelt, and as the Florida Highway Patrol has tried to remind drivers in Florida “Click It or Ticket,” meaning it is required for occupants in vehicles in Florida to use seatbelts of child restraint devices.
     The driver pulled into the Marathon gas station on U.S. Highway 19 in Cross City when she saw he had lit the cruiser’s blue lights, according to records.
     Hart showed the deputy her license, registration and proof of insurance when requested, according to records. The deputy told Hart that she was not wearing her seatbelt, which she acknowledged, according to records.
     The passenger – Hall – was asked for her identification, according to records. She lacked ID, but Hall told the deputy her correct name and date of birth, according to records.
     The deputy then obtained consent from the driver and occupant to search the car and them for drugs, according to records.
     A bag in the back seat was noted as belonging to Hart, who was reportedly going to see her boyfriend, according to records.
     While searching the car, the deputy found a cellophane wrapper like those around cigarette packs in the purse that belonged to Hart, according to records. In that wrapper was a small amount of what was tested and was proved to be brown-colored heroin, according to records.
     Further investigation uncovered Clonazepam, Xanax, methamphetamine, hydromorphone hydrochloride and fentanyl. The weight of the fentanyl resulted in the arrest on the charge of trafficking in the drug, according to records.
     The other drugs added to result in seven counts of possession of controlled substances, and the subsequent bail amount of a half-million dollars, according to records.

 


Suspected kidnapper
caught in Chiefland
and held without bond
at the Dixie County Jail

suspected Felon

 

 

 

 


Shawn Tulsie Persaud
Mugshot By LCSO

 

 

 

By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 7, 2022 at 7:12 p.m.
     CHIEFLAND –
A 27-year-old Orlando man who fled from Dixie County was arrested in Chiefland in the early morning hours of Oct. 31, and while he was initially jailed in the Levy County Jail, he is sitting in the Dixie County Jail now, where he is being held without bond, according to records.

     Shawn Tulsie Persaud, 27, of Orlando, was arrested by Dixie County Sheriff’s Sgt. J. Van Zile after the sergeant, several other DCSO deputies, Florida Highway Patrol troopers, Levy County Sheriff’s Office deputies and officers with the Chiefland Police Department brought the search for this suspected felon to a conclusion, according to records.
     As of Nov. 7, Persaud was being held in the Dixie County Jail, charged with kidnapping - no bond; tampering with a witness -$500,000 bond; false imprisonment - $500,000 bond; interference with child custody - $5,000 bond; grand theft - $1,000 bond; willful and wanton reckless driving - $1,000 bond; driving while license suspended or revoked - $1,000 bond); and fleeing in an attempt to elude a law enforcement officer -$100,000 bond, according to records.
     The set of events leading to these charges began in the early morning hours of Oct. 31, when Sgt. Van Zile was conducting security checks at Dixie County parks and boat ramps, according to records.
     That is when he saw a small silver-colored Nissan sedan with fogged windows parked at Dixie County’s Turner Point Boat Ramp and Park, which has a sign posted to show it closes at dusk, according to records.
     Upon contacting the vehicle's occupants to tell them about the violation of a county ordinance, the driver Persaud drove away at a high rate of speed.
     Van Zile saw a female attempt to exit the vehicle, screaming for help. Fearing that the female had been kidnapped, Van Zile chased the vehicle for several miles, until Persaud slowed down and the female exited from the vehicle, according to records.
     Persaud then left again at a high rate of speed, reaching a speed of 130 mph at one point, according to records. 
     During the pursuit, a DCSO deputy attempted to put spike strips in front of the Nissan, to flatten the tires. They were unsuccessful. Persaud and the other deputies went to Levy County and into the city limits of Chiefland, according to records
     Persaud lost deputies when he drove into a Chiefland residential area, where he turned off the vehicle’s lights. Persaud abandoned the vehicle at a residence, where he did not know or have any affiliation with the homeowner.
     A Chiefland Police Department officer found Persaud’s vehicle parked at the residence where the suspect parked it.
     Members of the FHP, LCSO, CPD and DCSO set up a perimeter in the area. A short time later, Persaud was found hiding in the bushes near his vehicle. 
     The female victim, a 16-year-old juvenile, alleged that Persaud had contacted her via social media and lured her from her home under false pretenses, according to records. Persaud gave her a fake name and promised to take her to see her friends. After leaving her residence, Persaud took the victim to a local boat ramp and held her against her will, according to records.
     As she was being taken from the point where the deputy first saw the car, she tried to get away, according to records. At one point during the chase, the suspect took the girl’s cell phone from her and threw it out of the vehicle’s window, according to records.
     Persaud was placed under arrest at 2:45 a.m. on Oct. 31, and he was transported to the Levy County Jail, according to records. On Nov. 1, the defendant was transported to the Dixie County Jail for his first appearance, where bonds were set, according to records.
     The Dixie County Sheriff’s Office provided records to HardisonInk.com within 12 hours of them being requested on Nov. 7.

 


 

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