Officer Corbin responded to a complaint of a civil disturbance at Rocky Bayou State Park. Information was received that an adult male and an adult female were having a heated argument with alcohol consumption. The complainant stated he was concerned that the argument could lead to a physical confrontation. Officer Corbin arrived and spoke with the Park Manager and proceeded to the campsite. An Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived on scene to assist. When the officers arrived, the two individuals involved had left the campsite by vehicle. Officer Corbin searched the park’s grounds and located the vehicle illegally parked with no one inside. The two individuals were eventually located near the boat ramp. The officers were unable to prove that a physical altercation ever occurred between the two individuals. Both individuals were issued a trespass warning.
Officer Nichols received information from Lieutenant Clark regarding a bear knocking over a garbage can in the Mary Esther community off Highway 98. Lieutenant Clark observed the homeowner’s garbage can knocked over in the middle of the road with household garbage spread around. Officer Nichols contacted the homeowner and he denied that a bear knocked over his unsecured garbage can. The homeowner was issued a non-compliance notification letter for failure to secure his garbage can. Further, the homeowner was provided a bear informational brochure and complimentary latches to secure his garbage can.
Officer Nichols responded to a complaint that an individual was over the bag limit of Spanish mackerel at the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier. The officer located the individual on the pier who was in the act of cutting the heads and tails off fish she harvested. A resource inspection revealed the individual harvested 28 Spanish mackerel, 13 fish over the bag limit, with 4 being undersized, and 1 undersized bluefish. The individual was issued a notice to appear citation for over the bag limit and undersized Spanish mackerel and a warning for undersized bluefish.
Officer Corbin observed three individuals leaving the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier carrying rods and reels and each pulling their coolers. The officer contacted the three individuals and got consent to inspect their coolers. They were in possession of undersized Spanish mackerel. They were issued notice to appear citations.
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
Officer Hutchinson obtained information that a deer had been taken illegally by a subject in the Munson area. Officer Hutchinson and Lieutenant Hahr went to the suspect’s residence and located several suspects around their barn. While Officer Hutchinson interviewed suspects, Lieutenant Hahr obtained permission to look in the barn and located a cooler containing two freshly killed deer. One of the suspects admitted to killing a “nice 7-point buck” in velvet and another admitted to killing a spike. Since both deer were killed in Alabama, the officers and two suspects met with Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officers at the state line. The two men were charged with possession of a freshly killed deer out of season in Florida and taking deer at night in Alabama. Two deer and two firearms were seized as evidence.
Officer Jones was responding to a complaint when he observed a vehicle driving erratically in Navarre. While following this vehicle, he observed the vehicle swerving and partially running off the road. Officer Jones contacted the driver, after the driver suddenly stopped on the roadside. After completing an interview and subsequent field sobriety tasks, Officer Jones suspected the driver to be impaired. The driver was placed under arrest for DUI and transported to the Santa Rosa County Jail. The subject provided a breath sample which was four times the legal limit.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
Lieutenant Clark assisted Bear Biologist Green in presenting a bear PowerPoint presentation to a neighborhood organization concerning nuisance bears. The neighborhood/community has concerns with bear and human encounters. The PowerPoint centered on making homeowners and the community aware of the law and their responsibilities in securing food attractants (unsecured garbage cans) to prevent human and bear encounters.
Officers Corbin and Tison teamed up with bear management personnel to conduct bear canvassing efforts. The community/neighborhood targeted had a recent human/bear encounter. The effort was centered on making homeowners and the community aware of the law and their responsibilities in securing food attractants (unsecured garbage cans) in prevention of human and bear encounters.
NORTH CENTRAL REGION
Officers Sweat, Christmas, Culbreth and Waldo responded to a trespassing and theft complaint. When Officer Sweat arrived on scene, two hunters pointed out the location of two suspects lying in thick gall berry and palmetto bushes. The suspects were taken into custody and were in possession of buckets and bags used to harvest palmetto berries. Officers Christmas and Culbreth located five bags of berries hidden in different locations. The drop-off person arrived and admitted to dropping the men off earlier that morning. He stated that he uses small groups of workers to prevent being caught by the landowner and law enforcement. There were 560 pounds of berries recovered. The two violators on the property were booked in the Nassau County Jail on trespassing and theft charges. Other charges are pending.
Investigators Izsak, Holleman and Florida Department of Agriculture Checkpoint (FDAC) Investigator Sanders were conducting inspections on trucks transporting seafood into Florida at the FDAC Inspection Station. An inspection on a refrigerated truck transporting over 16,000 lbs. of rock shrimp from Georgia to Texas, revealed improper invoice information with regards to requirements for the transportation of seafood. A further investigation revealed that the driver’s Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) had been expired since 2012. The driver stated that he had not paid his child support which he suggested as a possible reason for his driver’s license being suspended. The investigators arrested the driver and booked him into the Nassau County Jail.
Officers Johnston and Cline were working directed patrol in response to flooding caused by Hurricane Irma along the Santa Fe River when the officers were flagged down by a citizen stating there was a man lying motionless down a remote road. The officers responded and requested EMS. The officers located an elderly man who appeared to be deceased lying motionless on the ground along a remote dirt road. His vehicle was idling nearby with the door open. The officers made contact, discovered the subject was alive and began providing basic first aid. The officers stabilized the subject’s head and neck and provided him with water. The officers began asking the subject basic questions to keep him alert and talking. The subject stated he stopped to use the restroom, lost his balance and could not get back up. He could not reach his phone to call for help. EMS arrived shortly thereafter and transported the subject to Lake City Medical Center. The officers contacted the subject’s son who was grateful for their response and assistance.
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY
While on patrol, Officers Cybula and Dubose and Lieutenant Lightsey conducted a resource inspection of a vehicle leaving a local Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Their inspection revealed a dead alligator in the boat being towed. After checking the man’s permit it was discovered he had been hunting and was in possession of a freshly killed alligator outside his designated harvest period. A notice to appear was issued for the offense.
Officer Weber was travelling north-bound on 441, when he observed what appeared to be a stroller with a child left unattended on the side of the road. Upon making contact, Officer Weber observed a child in the front part of the stroller slumped over and an additional child laying in the back part of the stroller. There were no adults in the area. EMS was requested because the children were unresponsive and warm to the touch. A short time later, a woman came from an unknown location and stated the children were hers. Officer Weber advised the woman she could not just leave her children unattended. The children were taken to the hospital. This incident was turned over to Tavares Police Department and the Department of Children and Families for further investigation.
Officers Bertolami and Demeter were monitoring the fishing activity from the Ponce Inlet jetties. The officers checked two adult fishermen who had left the jetty for compliance. They were found to be in possession of 12 illegal red drum and 2 illegal mutton snapper. Both were issued major violation criminal mandatory notices to appear.
While on marine fisheries patrol, Officer Winton conducted a resource inspection on a commercial seine netting boat. During the inspection, three seine nets were inspected and measured. It was determined that, although the nets were within the maximum size limit (500 square feet), none of the nets were properly marked. Officer Winton conducted a check of the vessel’s captain through dispatch and it was determined that he had a long history of violations. Officer Winton issued the captain a notice to appear for violation of Florida Administrative Code pertaining to seine nets. Officers Hazelwood and Hardgrove also assisted with the investigation.
While on water patrol near the Boca Grande Causeway, Officers Goggin, Morrison, and Captain Carpenter stopped a boat to conduct a boating safety equipment inspection. During the stop, Officer Morrison observed the operator displaying signs of impairment. After conducting field sobriety tasks the operator was arrested for operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol.
Officer Godfrey was patrolling the Courtney Campbell Causeway when he noticed two individuals fishing and approached to conduct a resource inspection. As he approached, he observed an orange bucket about 30-feet away from the men. After talking with the men, Officer Godfrey determined who the bucket belonged to and was told that there was fish in it. Upon inspection, Officer Godfrey found an undersized red drum measuring 13-inches. The appropriate subject was cited for possession of undersized red drum.
Officer Martinez and Officer Berg were on land patrol at the Domino Boat Ramp in Riverview when they approached a group standing by their vehicles at the boat ramp. As the officers approached, one of the subjects threw a small clear bag behind him attempting to get rid of whatever he had. The officers quickly recovered the bag which contained crack cocaine. The subject was read his rights and he admitted to the substance being crack cocaine. The subject was arrested and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on felony drug charges.
Lieutenant Trees was at the Courtney Campbell Boat Ramp stopping numerous PWCs due to the fact they were out past the legal time. The area is well known for PWC operators operating carelessly and at night. After citing numerous operators, Lieutenant Trees determined one of the operators appeared to be under the influence. Officers Godfrey and Baker arrived to assist and Lieutenant Trees conducted field sobriety exercises with the subject. It was determined the man was impaired and he was arrested for boating under the influence. The man refused to give a sample of his breath and was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail for his violations.
Officer Pulaski was conducting boating safety and fishery inspections on the Gulf of Mexico near Hudson Beach. He observed a vessel that was being operated in a careless manner with a PWC near. Officer Pulaski conducted a vessel stop to address the violation. During the inspection, indicators of impairment were observed. The subject performed poorly on the standard field sobriety tests, and was subsequently arrested for boating under the influence. After being taken into custody, the individual provided a sample of his breath which measured .107 and .106. He was booked into the Pasco County Jail without further incident.
While on land patrol near the Skyway Bridge, Officer Bibeau observed two individuals that were wading in the water attempting to catch blue crab with a net. Officer Bibeau contacted the individuals to conduct a fisheries inspection, and at the conclusion found one of the subjects to be in possession of a 9-inch gag grouper and a 5-inch sheepshead. The subject was issued a misdemeanor citation and warning for the fisheries violations.
While on land patrol at the Fort Desoto Bridge, Officer Bibeau contacted two individuals to conduct a fisheries inspection. During the inspection, a 15-inch gag grouper was located. One of the suspects took ownership of the grouper. The subject was issued a misdemeanor citation for possession of an undersized gag grouper.
Officer Martinez was just starting his day of water patrol when he noticed a vessel violating a speed zone near the War Veterans Memorial. Officer Martinez stopped the vessel and noticed signs of impairment from the operator who stated he was returning from a night of fishing. Officer Bibler arrived to assist and, after completing field sobriety exercises, Officer Martinez arrested the subject for boating under the influence and refusal to give a sample of his breath.
Officers Bibler, Bibeau and Wilkins were on water patrol near Indian Key when they observed a vessel violating a slow speed zone and conducted a stop. During the stop, the occupants were acting nervous. When the subjects were asked if they had any fish on board, the men conceded they did. Three undersized red grouper (all under 15-inches), an undersized and out of season red snapper and one shark not in whole condition were located. The men were read their Miranda Rights and two of the subjects admitted to their respective violations. The two subjects were cited accordingly for all the violations.
Officer Martinez was on road patrol when he observed a vehicle failing to maintain its lane numerous times and initiated a traffic stop. Upon speaking with the operator, numerous signs of impairment were observed and field sobriety exercises were conducted. It was determined the subject was impaired and placed under arrest for driving under the influence. Officers Bibeau, Ferguson and Phillippi arrived to assist and searches of the subject and his vehicle revealed drug paraphernalia and cocaine. The subject refused to give a sample of his breath and was charged for the refusal, driving under the influence, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Officers Baker, Godfrey and Lieutenant Trees were on water patrol near the Gandy Bridge when they observed numerous subjects fishing under the bridge. Officer Baker dropped off Officer Godfrey and Lieutenant Trees on the seawall to complete a resource inspection. As they approached, Lieutenant Trees observed half of the group actively frying fish while the other half continued to fish. The first group had an undersized mangrove snapper they were about to fry, and the other group had multiple undersized sheepshead and a spotted sea trout that was not in whole condition. It was determined that the two groups were together, and the subject preparing all the fish was also the person responsible for the mangrove snapper, sheepshead and spotted sea trout. Officers Phillippi and Ferguson arrived by land to help issue the appropriate citations and warnings.
Officer Carter was on water patrol in Winter Haven Chain of Lakes when he observed a vessel violating the no wake restriction in a canal. When the vessel was stopped, the operator and passenger switched seats. While addressing the no wake violation, operator showed signs of impairment. After conducting field sobriety tests, the operator was placed under arrest. The subject was transported to the Polk County Jail without incident.
Officer Hinds was on land patrol around Pansy Bayou and performed a resource inspection on an individual fishing from the relief bridge at Pansy Bayou Cut. During the course of his inspection, he found that the subject had caught and kept one 12-inch gag grouper and two undersized mangrove snapper. The subject was cited for possession of undersized gag grouper and given a warning for possession of undersized mangrove snapper. He must appear in court for his violation.
Officers DeWeese and Earls responded to a call of an elderly female who fell out of a canoe in a flooded neighborhood near the Peace River. Officer DeWeese launched his powered canoe and both officers began searching for the distressed person. When they located the elderly person, she was not wearing a life jacket and could barely keep her head above water. Officer DeWeese maneuvered his canoe against the swift moving current to get close to the individual in the water. Officer Earls placed the elderly person into the boat and took her to safety where she was treated by emergency personnel.
Officer Adams and Franks responded to a call in a flooded neighborhood near the Peace River. Once on scene, the officers learned that an individual’s canoe had overturned while he was trying to paddle to his residence. Officers Adams and Franks launched their powered canoe and began searching for the individual by yelling out his name. The individual was found clinging to a fence post in the swift moving current. Officer Franks had to motor past the individual and come back upstream because the river current was moving so fast. Eventually, Officer Franks maneuvered the vessel near the individual, and Officer Adams got the person into the vessel. The person was taken to high ground where he was met by fire rescue for further treatment.
FWC officers in the southwest region responded to many calls of service after Hurricane Irma passed through. FWC officers responded to areas flooded along the Peace River, Charlie Creek and Horse Creek. Officers evacuated individuals that were stranded in their homes. In all, FWC officers evacuated 12 people using various types of vessels.
SOUTH REGION A
Forty-two officers responded to Marathon Key in Monroe County to conduct law enforcement patrols in response to the devastation from Hurricane Irma. Officers worked 12-hour shifts, conducting a variety of assignments. There were countless humanitarian missions providing food and water to citizens throughout the Keys. There were also security patrols, check points and waterborne patrols to prevent looting and unauthorized access to residential communities. They worked several vehicle accidents, directed traffic, handled assorted medical issues, enforced curfew restrictions, relocated a 10-foot crocodile and an alligator from the roadway and made an arrest for felony possession of cocaine.
MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
Lt. Laubenberger and Officer Brock responded by vessel, while Officer’s Vacin and Grant responded by vehicle to Surf Road in Hollywood. The call was about a 12-foot beached beaked whale. The Officers that arrived by land met up with a team from M.A.R.S. (Marine Animal Rescue Society). That team was performing a necropsy (animal autopsy) to determine a possible cause of death. The other officers arrived by vessel and took the whale in tow offshore. The cause of death for this whale is believed to be natural causes.
SOUTH REGION B
Officers responded to a crocodile call in Little Havana. Upon contacting the home owner, Officers observed in plain view four speckled caimans; two hatchlings, a one-year-old and a two-year-old. The Officers escorted the man inside to obtain his identification and found a pound and a half of marijuana on the man’s bed. The speckled caimans were transported to the Miami Zoo. The man was charged with possession of non-native wildlife without a permit. The Miami Police Department arrived to assist with an investigation into charges for the possession of marijuana.
All Officers are currently participating in disaster relief for all areas affected during Hurricane Irma in Collier County.
Officers are currently participating in disaster relief for all areas affected during Hurricane Irma in Monroe County.
All Officers are currently participating in disaster relief for all areas affected during Hurricane Irma