Saturday, August 27, 2011

Man charged with DWI after backing into a deputy

MANATEE -- A Manatee man was arrested Saturday morning after backing his vehicle into a deputy’s patrol car while under the influence, the sheriff’s office reports.

Deputy Fiuza arrived at El Paisano, in the 5800 block of 15th Street East, at about midnight in response to an assignment, and waited in a parking lot facing south for a vehicle to back out of a parking space, a media release said.

While Fiuza was waiting, Ronaldo Hernandez Reyes, 23, backed his 2001 Toyota Avalon into the front right quarter panel of the patrol vehicle, the release said.

Information on what Reyes was under the influence of was not available right way, but according to the report he was charged two counts of driving while under the influence and damaging property, and one count of driving without a valid license. He is currently in Manatee County jail on a $4,120 bond.

No one was injured as a result of the accident and “very minimal damage” was done to the vehicles.

Bradenton homicide victim identified

A Bradenton man found dead in his home Friday has been identified as Walton Leroy Orum, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office reported Saturday.

Orum, 65, was found at approximately 2:20 p.m., when deputies responded to an open door at Orum’s residence in the 3500 block of 20th Street West.

There was trauma to the body and detectives are treating the case as a homicide. Detectives have developed strong leads in the investigation, but have not made an arrest.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (941) 747-3011, or Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS (8477).

Man arrested after road rage incident

MANATEE A 24-year-old Manatee man was arrested Wednesday after a alleged road rage incident, the sheriff’s office reports.

The incident occurred at about 5 p.m. while the victim was driving with her 4-year-old daughter in the vehicle.

Matthew Britten began to tailgate her on 301 Boulevard East, according to an arrest report said.

 The victim threw her hands in the air and Britten responded with an obscene gesture, the report said. The victim then managed to get out of the way of Britten’s vehicle and jotted down his tag number.

The vehicles then were side-by-side at a red light when Britten pulled out a silver handgun, according to the report, pointed at the victim and cursed after she told him she had her child in the vehicle.

 Out of fear, the victim pulled into a gas station and called 911, the report said.

Britten was later located and after being read his rights stated that the female driver was the one with road rage and alleged that she followed him, the report said.

 He went on to say he pointed the gun at the woman because “she was acting crazy,” the report said, and he was in fear she was going to do something to him.

Britten was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and was released on a $10,000 bond Friday.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Deputies investigate homicide in Bradenton

MANATEE -- Detectives are investigating the death of a man in Bradenton as a homicide, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

About 2:20 p.m. Friday, deputies responded to a report of an open door at the residence in 3512 20th St. W. When they entered, they discovered the body of a white man in his 60s.

"There was trauma to the body, and detectives are treating this case as a homicide," a news release states.

As of 4:30 p.m., the victim had not positively been identified.

Anyone with information about this case can call the sheriff's office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.

1 arrested after shots fired at Sarasota deputy

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office took one person in custody after shots were fired at a deputy investigating an abandoned 9-1-1 call in the 1600 block of Sweetland Street in Nokomis.

The initial call was received at 12:33 a.m. Upon arrival of a uniformed deputy in a marked patrol vehicle, shots were fired. The deputy verbally identified himself as a law enforcement officer and at least one more shot was fired, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

Backup units arrived and the SWAT Team responded to the scene. Negotiators made contact with the residents and at 4:20 a.m. and three people left the home without incident.

No one was injured.

The investigation is ongoing to determine charges against the suspected gunman, according to the sheriff's office.

Bradenton police puts out phone scam alert

BRADENTON -- The Bradenton Police Department has recently received five complaints from citizens in regards to an individual by the name of “Bruce” telephoning them and saying they had won $500,000, Bradenton Police Department reports.

The caller then instructed the victims to purchase a $400 Walmart gift card and telephone him back with the card’s identification number for further prize details, a media release said.

Through an investigation it was discovered the calls are being generated through an untraceable international exchange telephone company.

A department detective was able to call “Bruce,” by using a number provided by a victim, according to Capt. Warren Merriman III.

During the conversation “Bruce” tried to convince the detective that this was not an illegal scam, but was not able to provide any facts that he was employed by a legitimate business, a release said.

The department warns residents not to comply with any requests if they receive such a call.

If you have further questions or concerns, contact BPD at (941) 932-9300.

Man charged with robbing Bradenton adult novelty store

MANATEE--Sheriff’s deputies have arrested a 38-year-old homeless man on charges he robbed an adult novelty store located just a block from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office headquarters.

Larry Junior Counts walked into the Naughty By Night adult novelty store around 11 p.m. Thursday night, according to a sheriff's report.

Officials say he placed two items on the counter and then displayed a “shiny metal object” that appeared to be a small pistol. Counts reportedly told the clerk, “This is a robbery and I have a gun,” the report states.

Counts, according to the report, took the money from the register and fled on foot. He was later spotted walking north on First Street.

The cashier identified Counts, who officials say admitted to the robbery.
Counts was being held without bond at the Manatee County jail.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Veteran Manatee sheriff's lieutenant suspended for three weeks

MANATEE -- A 26-year veteran sheriff’s lieutenant has been suspended for three weeks without pay for not putting in for overtime.
Lt. John Murrell, who oversees 18 school resource officers and two sergeants, was found to have “repeatedly failed to properly document his overtime hours on his time sheet,” according to an internal affairs report.
Murrell didn’t fudge his hours to get more overtime money than he was entitled. He simply didn’t submit his overtime hours for compensation.
“I do what I’m asked to do, and I probably do more, and the more got me in trouble,” he told the Bradenton Herald. “It was something I didn’t think would go to this point.”
Murrell said the discipline came about after he was the subject of an anonymous complaint, which the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office chose to investigate. The unsigned complaint even included criminal allegations.
“Everything else turned out to be unfounded,” he said. “But I still went through an eight-month investigation of the allegations.”
Murrell said he thinks the three-week suspension is a bit harsh.
“I think it’s a little too much, I really do,” he said.
Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube disagrees.
“He’s a lieutenant who is held to a higher standard than rank-and-file employees,” Steube said. “Not only should he have known what he was doing was incorrect, he admits he did know it was incorrect. I don’t think it’s a harsh punishment at all.”

Man seriously injured in road rage incident at school

EAST MANATEE -- An arrest has been made in a road rage incident that led to a serious assault Thursday morning in the parking lot of Braden River Elementary School, the sheriff’s office reports.
John Sabin, 45, was placed in custody at about 6:45 p.m. and charged with aggravated battery after being positively identified by the victim, according to the sheriff’s office.
The 50-year-old victim was driving his 10-year-old son to the school, 6125 River Club Blvd., when he noticed he was being tailgated by a man also in his 50s, driving a black, two-door sports car, a media release said.

Read more: 

No suspects, motive in Bradenton slaying

BRADENTON — Police are still searching for suspects or a possible motive in the slaying of Jason M. Stone, who was killed by a single gunshot to the head at his home in the Courtyard Square community.

Stone, 35, was found by his wife when she returned home at 11:21 p.m. Aug. 18. The killing is Bradenton’s first homicide since 2009. Bradenton Police Capt. Warren Merriman III said the killing is the main priority of his detectives, all 10 of whom are involved in following up leads in the case. So far, they have received more than 50 tips from the public.

“He was well known in the community,” Merriman said. “A lot of people knew him from his work at the gym.”

The killing doesn’t fit the normal homicide patterns. There were no drugs found in the residence, or other signs of wrongdoing. Stone’s wife has been fully cooperative. Merriman said she is not a suspect. Neither can police identify any enemies.

“None that we’ve detected,” Merriman said. “Everyone describes him as a good guy with an outgoing personality.”

Read more

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Palmetto officer facing domestic assault charges

MANATEE — Palmetto police officer David J. Filipiak was arrested Friday morning at his police department by Manatee sheriff’s deputies, and charged with aggravated domestic assault with a deadly weapon, a third-degree felony.

According to court documents, Filipiak’s wife accused him of pointing his police-issued Taser and his privately-owned AR-15 rifle at her and the two children she has from a previous relationship — a 14-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy.

“Since David’s recent suspension from the department, his behavior has become unpredictable and he has been making threats against some of his fellow officers and has placed (his wife) in fear of her life,” the documents state.

Palmetto police spokesman Lt. Scott Tyler said Filipiak’s previous suspension stemmed from a minor violation of administrative rules.

Man injured in Bradenton mugging

MANATEE -- A 33-year-old man early Saturday was knocked off his bicycle and robbed by several men who took his money and his bike, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The mugging took place about 12:56 a.m. in the 5900 block of 12th Street East, according to a news release.

One suspect knocked the man off the bicycle, and two others took his wallet and money from his pockets. They fled on the victim's bike, according to the sheriff's office.

The victim was taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital for treatment of a minor injury to his head suffered in the attack.

Man injured in Palmetto home invasion

MANATEE -- A 57-year-old man was beaten and robbed during a home invasion Friday in Palmetto, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
About 5:15 p.m., the victim answered a knock on the door of his residence in the 1900 block of 17th Street East, Palmetto, and found two men described as being in their 20s.
They entered the residence and beat him up, according to a news release. The residence was ransacked, but it was unknown whether anything was taken.
Anyone with information about this case can call the sheriff's office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.
The man was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg with non-life-threatening injuries.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Manatee jail inmate charged with attempted murder-for-hire

MANATEE -- An inmate at the Manatee County jail has been charged with trying to hire a hitman to kill a witness in his pending criminal case, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Roderick Hamilton, 23, was charged Friday with solicitation for murder.

Detectives began their investigation a week ago after receiving information that Hamilton was trying to put up a contract for a hit, according to a news release.

Hamilton agreed to pay a detective posing as a hitman $6,000 to carry out the killing, the sheriff's office said.
Hamilton was charged last year in connection to a shooting that occurred at the Burger King restaurant at 3803 First St. E., Bradenton.

Bradenton police investigate shooting death

BRADENTON -- Bradenton police are investigating a homicide that occurred just before midnight Thursday in the 2900 block of 29th Avenue West in the Courtyard Square community.

Jason Matthew Stone, 35, was killed by a single gunshot to the front of his head, said Capt. Warren Merriman III.
Detectives recovered one spent casing from a semi-automatic handgun.

Police have no suspects or motive for the killing, Merriman said.

Stone had no criminal history. There were no drugs, weapons or any evidence of wrongdoing found in his home.
The Courtyard Square community is quiet. Crime is rare. The four-plex where Stone lived is well-maintained and quiet.

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Palmetto police officer arrested

MANATEE -- Palmetto Police Officer David Filipiak was arrested this morning by Manatee County Sheriff’s deputies and charged with aggravated domestic assault with a deadly weapon.
Filipiak remains in the county jail. His bond has yet to be set, according to sheriff’s spokesman Dave Bristow.
Filipiak was relieved of duty and placed on administrative leave by the Palmetto Police Department, according to a written statement sent Friday by Lt. Scott Tyler, which states that the action was taken after the agency learned of “alleged incidents of domestic violence committed by Officer Filipiak.”
The officer will remain on administrative leave pending the disposition of his criminal charges, and the conclusion of an internal investigation by Palmetto Police.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bradenton doctor charged with illegal distribution of drugs

TAMPA — A Bradenton physician has been charged with seven counts of illegally distributing drugs, the United States Attorney Office Middle District said in a media release.

If convicted on all counts Aimee Martin faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a media release said. Martin allegedly illegally prescribed Oxycodone and Hydrocodone on seven occasions between September 2009 and May 2010, according to the indictment.

Deputies seek shooting suspect

MANATEE — Deputies are investigating a shooting into unoccupied vehicles that occurred early Thursday morning in the 1200 block of 24th Avenue East in Palmetto.

 A white, newer model SUV with dark-tinted windows was seen in the area when several gunshots were heard. Three vehicles at a nearby business were hit by 8-10 rounds from an unknown caliber weapon.
No injuries were reported.

Anyone with more information is asked to call the sheriff's office at (941) 747-3011.

Manatee couple arrested for stealing from man's mom

MANATEE -- A Manatee man and his girlfriend have been arrested after jewelry was stolen from his mother’s home while she was in Blake Medical Center for respiratory problems, the sheriff’s office reports.
According to an arrest report, Lionel Rodriguez, 26, and Tiffany Bedwell, 23, took jewelry and coins from the victim’s home while she was in the hospital from July 29 to Aug. 7.

On Aug. 4, Rodriguez and Bedwell completed a pawn shop transaction for five pieces of jewelry for $75, the report said.

The victim is still missing three antique wheat pennies (valued at $75), three silver dollars ($120), a two-dollar bill and other jewelry valued at $250, the report said.

Following their arrest Tuesday, both suspects gave investigators different accounts of who took the jewelry and what occurred afterward, the report said.

Since Bedwell’s name was on the pawn ticket, she received charges of dealing in stolen property and defrauding a pawn broker, according to the report.

She is currently in Manatee County jail on those charges, along with grand theft and possession of a controlled substance, the report said. She is being held without bond.

Rodriguez is also at Manatee County jail on a $1,000 bond and has been charged with grand theft.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bradenton man charged with offering child $100 for sex

MANATEE -- A Bradenton man was charged with three sex crimes after police say he offered a child in his apartment complex $100 for sex and then exposed himself after an adult intervened.

Charles Miller, 48, of the 4200 block of 52nd Place West, was arrested Saturday and charged with lewd and lascivious exhibition, lewd and lascivious battery and exposure of sexual organ.

According to court documents, Miller struck up a conversation with the child who was playing outside, telling her she was pretty. At one point, the documents state, Miller began to rub the child’s shoulder, and then offered her $100 to return to his apartment and have sex.

Miller’s actions were witnessed by an adult who saw the touching, heard the offer of sex and then forced Miller’s hand from the child. Miller, according to police, then exposed himself and began to urinate, laugh, wink and make vulgar noises at the pair.

He remains jailed on bonds totaling $7,500.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sarasota man wanted for first degree murder in wife's slaying

A 48-year-old Sarasota woman died Saturday after her husband allegedly shot her before turning the gun on himself, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

As a result the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is pursuing a warrant for first degree murder for the husband, a media release said. 

Both Nancy Olms and her husband Frank Olms, 66, were airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center at about 9 p.m. Friday following the shooting at their home in the 50th block of Beverly Circle in Englewood.

Deputies learned of the incident after Frank Olms ran to a neighbor's door to tell her there had been a shooting and to call 911, according to Wendy Rose, public information officer. 

Both husband and wife were bleeding from the head, according to Rose. 

"He does not have a brain injury," Rose said.

The investigation is still ongoing by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Section.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Criminal Investigations Section at 941-861-4900 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477), or online at or via text message by texting TIP109 plus a message to CRIMES (274637).

Man, 43, shot to death in Bradenton

MANATEE -- A 43-year-old man was shot to death in Bradenton early Saturday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Roman Hall was found lying on the ground outside the back door of his residence in the 5700 block of Seventh Street East shortly after 12:30 a.m. Deputies performed CPR until paramedics arrived, but Hall was pronounced dead at 12:48 a.m., according to a news release.

A witness told deputies they heard a gunshot about 12:30 a.m., and when they stepped outside they saw a possible suspect running through the victim's back yard toward the alley, according to the report.

"There was evidence of drug dealing at the residence, but a motive in the shooting has not been determined at this time," the report states.

The possible suspect was described as having "a medium size afro," and wearing a long black shirt with white lettering and blue shorts, according to the sheriff's office.

Anyone with information about the shooting can call the sheriff's office at (941) 747-3011 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

2 injured in Sarasota shooting

A man and woman were airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg following a Sarasota County shooting Friday night, the sheriff's office reports. 

The shooting occurred at about 7 p.m. in the 50th block of  Beverly Circle in Englewood, a media release said. 

The sheriff's office is investigating the incident and anyone with information is encouraged to call the Criminal Investigations Section at (941) 861-4900 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling (941) 366-TIPS (8477), go online at or text "TIP109" plus a message to CRIMES (274637).

Manatee's sheriff's traffic unit wins motorcycle, car

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office traffic unit won a 2011 Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T as a part of the Florida Department of Transportation's 2010 Click It Or Ticket Challenge.
The sheriff's office also had these honors in the Click It Or Ticket Challenge:

  • Motor Unit Challenge Award: Second place in the state out of about 100 agencies.
  • Click It Or Ticket Award: First place in its tier out of more than 240 agencies.
  • Law Enforcement Challenge: Second place out of 100 agencies.
The traffic unit was recognized at an FDOT awards banquet July 22 in Orlando.

Hate crime numbers down nationwide

The number of hate crimes reported to the National Crime Victimization Survey fell from an estimated 239,400 in 2003 to 148,400 in 2009, according to a media release from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Here are some of Manatees's numbers, according to authorities:

* In Bradenton, there were 33 hate crimes reported in 2007, but only five in 2009.

* The sheriff's office, there were no hate crimes reported in 2003, but one reported in 2009.

* Palmetto has not had a hate crime reported since 1994.

Almost 90 percent of hate crimes were perceived to be motivated by racial or ethnic prejudice or both, the release said, and in about 98 percent of these crimes, the offender used hate-related language.

In about 54 percent of hate crimes nationwide, the offender was a stranger to the victim, the release said.

Suspect in beating of Sister Nora arrested

MANATEE -- The man accused of attacking Sister Nora Brick on Valentine's Day has been arrested, according to authorities.

Eliseo Ortiz, 51, was arrested by the Tarpon Springs Police Department on Thursday on a warrant charging him with aggravated assault, said Dave Bristow, spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Ortiz is currently being held in Pinellas County Jail and is expected to be transferred to the Manatee County Jail where he will await trial.

Read more

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Deputy stuns woman with a Taser

MANATEE -- A 23-year-old woman was stunned with a Taser after she resisted arrest during a traffic stop Thursday morning, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
A deputy stopped Shantee R. Goodson for speeding in the 3000 block of First Street East, Bradenton, about 11:15 a.m. When she was told that she was being arrested for driving with a suspended license, she refused to get out of her vehicle, according to a report.

She continued to resist as the deputy tried to handcuff her, so the deputy drive-stunned her with a Taser.

Goodson also tried to kick out the rear window of the patrol vehicle but was unsuccessful.

She faces charges of driving with a suspended license and resisting arrest.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sheriff’s office ends search for missing Anna Maria woman with no results

ANNA MARIA -- After almost four weeks, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office today ended its search for Sabine Musil-Buehler on Anna Maria Island, the sheriff’s office reports.

“We would have liked to find something,” said sheriff’s spokesman Dave Bristow. “You could say we are disappointed, but you knew going in there was that chance.”

Bristow said it was important for deputies to do everything they could to find the 49-year-old businesswoman, who has been missing since Nov. 4, 2008, and according to the sheriff’s office is presumed dead. No arrests have been made.

“She could be anywhere, and that makes it difficult,” Bristow said.

Bradenton traffic stop yields 5 pounds of marijuana, arrest


MANATEE -- A traffic stop early Wednesday lead to the discovery of more than five pounds of marijuana in the vehicle, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

A deputy stopped Soutsaydone Suphanthamit, 29, of St. Petersburg in the 600 block of U.S. 301 Boulevard at 12:34 a.m. because a tag light was out. The deputy smelled unburnt marijuana and asked where the marijuana was. Suphanthamit removed a joint from his right front pocket and said, "Here it is, sorry, man," a report states.

The deputy search the vehicle and found what was weighed as 5.22 pounds of marijuana, in individual one-pound packages, according to the sheriff's office.

"The suspect advised that it was his for personal use," the report states.

Deputies also found that Suphanthamit was carrying $869 in cash, according to the report.

Suphanthamit faces charges of possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the sheriff's office. He was being held on bonds totaling $3,360.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fight over pain pills leads to woman’s arrest

MANATEE -- A Manatee County woman was arrested Tuesday after an argument over prescription pills, the sheriff’s office reports.

Elizabeth White, 30, who gets her Oxycodone prescription filled at the end of each month frequently trades pills with a woman who gets her medication filled at the beginning of each month, a media release said.

White gets 15 pills from the other woman and returns with interest 30 pills to the other woman at the end of each month, the release said.

But at about 7 p.m. the other woman told White she wasn’t going to give her any more pills, causing White to allegedly attack her in an apartment in the 8400 block of Tamiami Trail, the release said.

The victim then gave White a small container of six Oxycodone pills, the release said. White took the pills and fled, but was later arrested.

White is currently in Manatee County jail.

Sheriff's office: Safe with 23 guns stolen out of Palmetto home

PALMETTO -- A 700-pound safe containing 23 guns valued at $15,000 and a 50-pound safe with approximately $7,000 in cash, $3,000 in jewelry and coins and $3,000 in savings bonds were stolen Tuesday out of a Palmetto home, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office reports.

The resident of the home in the 3000 block of 105th Street East went to work at around 7:30 a.m. and returned at approximately 4:30 p.m. to find a front window smashed and an office and two bedrooms ransacked, a report stated.

There are no known suspects or witnesses at this time.

The victim, 56, is a member of the Manatee gun club. He told deputies that he has no idea who might have committed the crime.