Wednesday, March 31, 2010

AG's CyberCrime operation nets 3 arrests in Manatee, 29 in Fla.

Bradenton and Sarasota police departments cooperated in "Operation Broken Heart" along with 13 other Tampa area agencies and the state attorney general's office in a six-week cybercrime operation. The operation resulted in 29 arrests, including one registered sex offender.

Read more:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Delivery driver robbed at gunpoint in Manatee

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cody Rogers charged with beating another inmate

MANATEE — A man awaiting sentencing for attempted armed robbery now faces a charge of battery after he allegedly beat another inmate, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

Cody Rogers, 20, is accused of battering an inmate at the jail March 22 after he and several others dragged another 20-year-old inmate into a cell, according to authorities who viewed video footage from the jail.

The inmate was tied up with bed sheets around his legs and hands, according to the arrest report, and when he started turning blue, he was untied and Rogers allegedly began beating him in the head and side.

When asked about his injuries, the inmate told officials he fell out of bed and hit his head, the report said. He later said the other inmates were, “playing around with him and trying to toughen him up,” according to the report.

Circuit Court Judge Gilbert Smith Jr. set Rogers’ bond at $1,500 Saturday morning on a charge of battery on a detained person.

Rogers is slated for sentencing April 26 for attempted armed robbery.

Rogers was connected to the murder of 19-year-old William White Jr. on July 13, 2008, during a botched robbery.

Rogers and 19-year-old Timothy Brooks, who is serving life on a charge for White’s murder, robbed White and his friend, Jakob Cunnien.

White and Cunnien drove to the 1600 block of 27th Avenue Drive East to buy marijuana when they encountered Brooks and Rogers, according to sheriff’s reports.

Rogers put a gun to Cunnien’s head, while Brooks put a gun to White’s head, reports said. After Brooks allegedly snatched a chain from White’s neck, Cunnien said he hit the gas pedal, reports said.

At the same time, Brooks fired a shot, hitting White in the neck, according to documents.

-- Beth Burger,

Friday, March 26, 2010

Deputy Tasers fleeing man

A Manatee County Sheriff's Office deputy shot a man with a Taser early this morning after he attempted to flee after being stopped for a traffic violation, according to the sheriff's office.

About 3 a.m., a deputy pulled David Harris over in the 5400 block of 14th Street West for driving without headlights on. When Harris stopped in the parking lot of an IHOP, he got out of the car and ran, according to a news release.

The deputy lost sight of the suspect and set up a perimeter.

A short time later, another deputy located Harris on 53rd Avenue East. When Harris tried to run, the deputy shot him with a Taser and arrested him, the sheriff's office said.

Harris, who faces charges of resisting arrest and driving without a license, was being held at the Manatee County jail on bonds totaling $870.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Click It or Ticket leads to 6,550 seat belt citations

TALLAHASSEE --Florida Highway Patrol troopers issued 6,550 seat belt citations across the state during its Click It or Ticket campaign.

From March 1 through 15, FHP participated in the campaign to focused on drivers not wearing safety belts.

Overall, troopers issued 36,858 traffic citations during the 15-day period, including 311 DUI arrests and more than 10,000 speeding tickets. In Manatee County, 120 seat belt tickets were handed out, according to Lt. Chris Miller.

Florida implemented the Dori Slosberg and Katie Marchetti Safety Belt Law on June 30, 2009, which allows law enforcement officers to stop and cite motorists who violate the law.

The law allows for the primary enforcement of Florida’s safety belt requirements, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates will save 124 lives and prevent more than 1,700 serious injuries in Florida annually.

“We are committed to educating motorists and enforcing Florida’s Safety Belt Law to ensure they buckle up,” said Czernis. “The Florida Highway Patrol will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners on such initiatives to pave the way to a safer Florida. The dedicated service and commitment to highway safety that our troopers exhibit makes a difference.”

Couple robbed at gunpoint inside motel

BRADENTON — A man in his 20s robbed a couple at gunpoint inside a motel room Wednesday night, according to the Bradenton Police Department.

The man, clad in all black, forced his way into a room at a motel at 2102 Ninth St. W. before demanding money from the woman at gunpoint. A few hundred dollars was taken just after 9 p.m.

No one was injured.

Police set up a perimeter and searched the area unable to locate the suspect.

Anyone with any information can contact Bradenton Police Detective Alex Ribachuk at 932-9309 or remain anonymous and possibly become eligible for a cash reward by calling Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS(8477).

-- Beth Burger

Monday, March 15, 2010

CourtTV in Bradenton for murder trial

Cynthia Monson

Jury selection began this morning for the murder trial of Cynthia Monson, accused of shooting to death her former lover Patricia Thomas on Jan. 17, 2009.

No explanation may be needed, considering the circumstances of the case, but a crew from CourtTV is in town to cover the trial.

Monson and Thomas had broken up about six months earlier, and at the time of the shooting at Monson's residence in the 6400 block of Second Avenue Northeast, they were reportedly arguing about the past, according to a spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Monson called 911 after the shooting.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Man accused of performing sex acts online

A 27-year-old man remained in jail Saturday night after he allegedly performed sex acts on himself several times in front of a Web cam when he thought a 14-year-old girl was watching, according to a recently released search warrant.

In reality, it was an undercover Citrus County Sheriff’s Office detective who viewed Jeffrey D. Wasik performing the acts from his Palmetto residence, according to the warrant.

The detective worked with local investigators at Manatee County Sheriff’s Office as part of the Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in building a case against Wasik.

Wasik contacted the detective 16 times using Yahoo Messenger beginning in September.

Approximately 10 out of the 16 online chat sessions were steered in a sexual nature by Wasik, according to the warrant.

Read more in Sunday's Herald.

-- Beth Burger

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

4 car burglaries at same apartment complex

There were four reported car burglaries late Tuesday through early Wednesday in an apartment complex at 34th Avenue Drive East, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

All four vehicles were entered by breaking a window, a report said, and it appeared as though the suspect or suspects placed an item in between the window and the door frame to cause the windows to shatter.

Personal property was taken from three of the four vehicles, according to the report.

No suspect information was available.