Crime

Florida man arrested in sex assault of girl met on Snapchat

News outlets report 22-year-old Austin Wyatt Altman was arrested Saturday on charges including sexual battery on a child and violating probation. Pasco County deputies say Altman picked her up from her house on Saturday and brought her back to his Spring Hill home, where he assaulted her.

Bradenton woman arrested in hit-and-run crash that left driver injured

Deputies: Naked man wreaked havoc on business, then showered

  Police investigating apparent murder suicide in Sarasota

  Police: Husband kills wife in murder-suicide attempt in Venice, fails to kill himself when gun malfunctions

Three men arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting 15-year-old girl in Bradenton

Two Florida men accused of stealing chainsaws, trying to sell them back to victim

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Florida man charged with burning kid now accused of burning another

Florida police: No active mall shooter, 1 with gunshot wound

Police: Domestic argument between husband and wife ends in murder-suicide in North Port

  Troopers searching for driver in hit-and-run crash on State Road 70 in Manatee County

Three alleged car burglars busted in North Port, linked to a dozen recent burglaries

Bradenton man accused of exposing himself to 10-year-old girl

  Sarasota man who deputies say kept teen-aged girl locked in her bedroom for over a year captured

The sheriff’s office says Dwight Bainbridge and his girlfriend, 39-year-old Jessica Brambilla, kept a teen-aged girl locked in her bedroom in a Sarasota home for more than a year.

16-year-old student arrested over threats of school shooting at Palmetto High School

On Monday evening, police in Palmetto were alerted that a Snapchat post was circulating on social media threatening a school shooting at Palmetto High School the next day.

Officials: Florida man stole car, left disabled dog to die

Wilton Manors Police on Wednesday arrested 19-year-old Jephthe Jean Francois on 15 charges including grand theft auto and animal cruelty.

  Clearwater man sentenced to 20 years in prison in parking lot shooting

Circuit Judge Joseph Bulone called 49-year-old Michael Drejka a "wanna-be" law enforcement officer and a self-appointed "handicapped parking space monitor."

  Man living in Palmer Ranch home charged with possessing obscene material

Almost 30 cars broken into in North Port, all of which were left unlocked

  Bradenton man accused of shooting, killing mother’s boyfriend

  Manatee County man accused of extorting teen-aged girl for nude photos

Man arrested, charged with DUI in fatal crash that claimed life of Manatee County motorcyclist

Teen accused of making hoax call about school shooting

  FBI: Inmate is the deadliest serial killer in US history with more than 90 confessed killings

Some of his victims were on the margins of society. Many were originally deemed overdoses, or attributed to accidental or undetermined causes. Some bodies were never found.

Deputies: No threat to community despite rumors of attempted child abduction over the weekend in Sarasota

Deputies were called to an area near Grace Baptist Church on Bee Ridge Road Saturday morning after two girls told their parents that they were walking through a trail in the woods behind the church when a man yelled to them, "Hey girls, come here."

Police: Florida man beats, rapes pregnant girlfriend to kill fetus

An arrest affidavit says Joseph Bernard J. Combs was arrested Friday on charges that include attempted murder, sexual battery aggravated assault and kidnapping. He remains jailed on a $3.5 million bond.

  Deputies: Florida woman hides in store’s ceiling for six hours to try to avoid shoplifting arrest

Officials say a Florida woman tried to avoid shoplifting charges by climbing into the ceiling of a Big Lots store, leading deputies on a five-hour search.

  Bradenton woman accused of killing disabled grandson charged with second degree murder

A warrant was issued for Lillian Parks last week and she has now been taken into police custody and transported to the Manatee County Jail for processing after being released for a local medical center on Friday afternoon.

  Deputies: Florida woman hides in store’s ceiling for six hours to try to avoid shoplifting arrest

Around 7:30pm Thursday, the manager of a Big Lots store in Port Charlotte called the sheriff's office when she suspected a woman was shoplifting. The manager told deputies that a woman had gone to the restroom with a shopping cart full of items and when the manager went to check on her, she found ga

Florida woman arrested after cache of pipe bombs found

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said Friday that Michelle Louise Kolts was arrested shortly after midnight and charged with 24 counts of making a destructive device with the intent to do bodily harm or property damage, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

  Police looking for man who used baby carrier to steal baby formula

Police in North Port are looking for a man who used an empty baby carrier to steal more than $800 worth of baby formula.

21-year-old Florida man oversleeps jury duty, goes to jail for 10 days

A judge sentenced Deandre Somerville to the jail time, plus one year on probation and 150 hours of community service after he failed to serve on a jury Aug. 21. Somerville was released Sunday and has a hearing scheduled Friday.

  Man sentenced to life in prison for murder in a Lakewood Ranch park

A Manatee County jury convicted Alan Baily earlier this year after deliberating for less than an hour.

  Deputies arrest husband, wife accused of cruising around in a pickup truck, burglarizing vehicles

The sheriff’s office put out photos of the suspect and say tips on social media evidence led them to 27-year-old Joseph McQuillen and his wife, 26-year-old Lindsey McQuillen. Deputies say they found the pair were working together and pawning items.

  Two men accused of beating, stabbing, and robbing victim inside his Sarasota County home

Deputies say Daniel Jacobo and 28-year-old Devon Nelson went into the victim's bedroom, caused a considerable amount of damage to the room, beat up and stabbed the victim and forced him to sign over two vehicle titles to Jacobo.

  Man charged with tampering with electric rental scooters

Authorities say they’ve arrested a Florida man who was cutting the brake lines of electric rental scooters.

  Sarasota woman accused of driving drunk, getting in crash with two young children in her car

Neither driver was injured, but deputies say one of the drivers, 27-year-old Kimberly Toomey, smelled of alcohol and appeared to be drunk. Deputies say she was dropping paperwork, swaying on her feet and walked into her car's bumper while trying to walk to the front of the car.

  Search continues for suspects involved in attempted car burglaries in Manatee County

Suspects at large following attempted car burglaries in Manatee County.

  Family: 15-year-old Florida boy killed while protecting 5-year-old sister from intruder

The sheriff’s office says around 4pm last Thursday, September 26, they were called to Starlite Lane and Ocean Boulevard in Port Charlotte where neighbors said an injured man had been seen walking along the streets.

Homeless woman arrested after allegedly trashing church in Bradenton

Deputies were called to the 4200 block of 26th Street West when someone reported a suspicious person. When they arrived, deputies say they say Amy Cliatt kicking a church’s door repeatedly while she was screaming after an unknown person.

SCSO warns parents of additional apps they should know about after online predators arrest

Weeks ago, Sarasota Sheriff Tom Knight updated and released a list of 15 apps every parent should know about. Some well known like Snapchat, Bumble, TikTok. But now he’s adding six additional platforms a group of men used to communicate with children.

  Florida woman accused of threatening a child, prompting temporary lockdown at an elementary school in Venice

Police say that the child’s parent provided a sworn statement to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office that Kimberly Brazell called his work phone on Monday, Sept. 23 and told him, “You’re going to make this right or I’m going to kill your kid at his school.”

29-year-old man sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting pre-teen girl

A jury convicted Wilfredo Erazo-Turcios on two counts sexual assault upon a child between 12 and 18 years old years of age by a person in familial or custodial authority.

  23 men arrested during sting targeting online predators, human trafficking in Sarasota County

The sheriff’s office says the four-day operation had men ranging in ages from 21 to 77 allegedly responding to internet ads, apps and social media sites. The suspects believed they were speaking to minors, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies: 11 pounds of heroin found in teen’s bag after getting off SCAT bus

The sheriff's office received information that the Texas teen may be traveling to Sarasota County with a large amount of heroin. On Monday, deputies say they saw the teen getting on the bus and made contact with him when he got off the bus.

  Two charged for Sarasota murder, deputies seek more information

The sheriff's office is thanking the community for coming forward and providing anonymous tips that they say led to the arrest of two people responsible for the murder of 26-year-old Christopher Ramos.

  Deputies searching for man who they say kept teen-aged girl locked in her bedroom for over a year

Dwight Bainbridge is wanted on charged of lewd or lascivious molestation, aggravated child abuse and sexual battery of a minor. He’s described as white, 6′ tall and around 220 pounds, with brown hair and eyes.

  Family speaks out after police say Bradenton man with disabilities was murdered by grandmother

“I said, ‘Grams, it doesn’t look like he’s breathing,’" Yvonne Parks recalled. “And that’s when she said clear as day, ‘Because he’s not.’ And I said, ‘What do you mean he’s not? Like what are you talking about?’ And she said, ‘Oh, I’m doing us both in, we’re going together.’”

  Two suspected card skimming devices found on pumps at Sarasota gas station

Police say they were found during a proactive gas pump search in the City of Sarasota, where police and officials from the Department of Agriculture checked all 17 gas stations.

MCSO deputy resigns after reportedly putting woman in chokehold at concert in Tampa

A Manatee County Sheriff's deputy who was accused of putting a woman in a chokehold while off-duty at a concert in Tampa has resigned.

Man caught on video burglarizing a Bradenton daycare center, his tattoo was giveaway for police

A distinctive tattoo is what led deputies to the man they say burglarized a Bradenton daycare on Saturday.

76-year-old Sarasota man sentenced to 25 years in prison for child molestation

A 76-year-old Sarasota man has been convicted of lewd or lascivious molestation on a child under the age of 12.

  Man who faked being teen doctor has been freed from prison

News outlets report Malachi Love-Robinson, known as "Dr. Love," was released Monday, about 20 months into his 3.5-year sentence. He was given credit for time served before his sentencing. Authorities have said Love-Robinson illegally practiced medicine out of a West Palm Beach office and even treate

  Deputies: Sarasota couple kept teen-aged girl locked in her bedroom for over a year

The teen told the sheriff’s office that she was kept locked in her room, only being let out to use the bathroom twice a day and only allowed to bathe once each week. The teen said she was only given two meals a day of oatmeal, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, water and multivitamins.

19-year-old charged with attempting murder during armed robbery in Palmetto

Deven Morris is being charged with Attempted Murder, Armed Robbery with a Firearm, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. Police had been searching for days for the suspect who robbed a victim walking home from the store, shooting him in

Florida woman faces animal cruelty charge after viral video

A Florida woman was charged with felony animal cruelty after police say a video showed her choking and hanging her dog by his leash.

  Manatee County teen sentenced for killing Braden River High School student

James Griffin Jr., 17, was sentenced Friday to shooting and killing Drevian Mays in Newtown in March. Griffin plead no contest to manslaughter in July.

14-year-old student found with loaded gun in Manatee County school

Police say the 14-year-old student was showing off the weapon to other students at Lincoln Memorial Academy in Palmetto. That was reported to teachers, who took the gun away without incident. No injuries were reported.

  Two more arrests for murder during robbery at Bradenton smoke shop

James Brewer, 19, and Michael Hepner, 21, were taken into custody Friday for the murder of 23-year-old Mohammed Hamed.

Former dance studio owner sentenced for sex crimes involving 15-year-old female student

Lauren Debenedetta, 40, founded Haven Dance studio in North Port in 2013 and was sentenced Friday for six sexual crimes including lewd or lascivious conduct, lewd or lascivious molestation, and lewd and lascivious battery.

Florida man gets probation for picking up, transporting 41 turtles

Michael Clemons, 22, will be on probation for a year, have to complete 100 hours of community service, pay court costs and make a $250 donation to the Wildlife Alert Fund after pleading guilty.

Sheriff’s office makes 51 arrests in Sarasota County shoplifting crackdown

Throughout August, the sheriff’s office in Sarasota County monitored the area’s retail corridors to crack down on shoplifters.

Florida woman made over 350 Instagram accounts to threaten, harass former colleagues

Between August 2016 and July 2018, Tammy Marie Steffen of Holiday, Fla. created at least 369 Instagram accounts and 18 email accounts to plague her former colleagues with emails and messages, as well as using several phones numbers to send text messages and make phone calls.

Florida teacher found guilty of selling drugs to middle schoolers

Prosecutors say Maria Otilia Rivera faces up to 35 years in prison when she's sentenced Oct. 16.

Florida man accused of cyberstalking, making racist threats against black activist

Daniel McMahon, 31, of Brandon, Florida, was indicted in Virginia on charges that include bias-motivated interference with a candidate for elective office. McMahon was arrested near Tampa, Florida, after his indictment was unsealed, according to Justice Department spokeswoman Kelly Laco.

  15-year-old arrested, charged with attempted murder in shooting at Bradenton apartment complex

Around 9am on Wednesday, September 11, police were called to the Bradenton Village Apartments on 15th Avenue Circle West where they found a man shot once in the chest inside of an apartment. Detectives quickly determined the unit he was in was not where he was shot.

  Man arrested for murder during robbery at Bradenton smoke shop

Amado Alexander Zeppi was taken into custody by deputies from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, who say evidence places Zeppi at the scene and as the person who shot and killed 23-year-old Mohammed Hamed during a robbery at the Green Galaxy Smoke Shop on the 3000 block of 1st Street West around 1

Florida man who murdered woman, raped her daughter sentenced to death

The State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville announced Wednesday that Donald Hugh Davidson Jr. had waived his right to a jury trial after pleading guilty to charges of first-degree murder, attempted sexual battery on a child over 12, lewd and lascivious molestation, kidnapping and grand theft.

Bail denied for man accused of sabotaging American Airlines plane in Miami

U.S. Magistrate Judge Chris McAliley imposed pretrial detention for Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani at the hearing in Miami federal court.

Police: Pittsburgh Pirates’ All-Star player attempted to have sex with minor

Felipe Vázquez is charged with statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors, all felonies, and a misdemeanor count of indecent assault of a person under 16 years old.

Florida mom who accompanied daughter to court arrested on outstanding warrants

Brianna Gross, 18, was arrested last week. Deputies pulled her over and say she was driving without a license in a vehicle with an expired tag and they found used narcotics paraphernalia and a concealed, loaded .380 caliber pistol in her vehicle.

  Man crashes into Bradenton home after being shot behind the wheel

Deputies say it happened around 9am Wednesday and they were called to the scene by the victim, who told them he had been shot by two black men driving a gold-colored Nissan Altima before he crashed his SUV into a home.

86 percent of vehicle burglaries in Sarasota involved unlocked vehicles

Since the beginning of this year, police say there have been 296 vehicle burglaries in the city and 255 of those, or 86 percent, involved vehicles that were left unlocked by their owners. As a result, 10 firearms were stolen.

North Port Police put out sign saying alleged drug house is “closed for business”

Tuesday morning, officers raided a home on Waltrip Street, afterwards putting up this sign that reads, "This drug house closed for business, courtesy of the North Port Police Department."

  Man murdered during robbery attempt at Bradenton smoke shop

Around 11pm on Tuesday, deputies were called by Mohammed Hamed’s brother, who said he was checking in on the Green Galaxy Smoke Shop on the 3000 block of 1st Street West through the business’s remote video surveillance and could see two people with guns pointed at his brother.

  Deputies: Man broke into 74-year-old Sarasota woman’s home, forced her to perform oral sex

Deputies say around 9pm on Sunday, 22-year-old James Lamar Mitchell came to the victim’s home on Maple Hollow Court, knocked on her door and asked the victim for a glass of water. The victim refused and Mitchell left.

Thieves steal $80,000 in wigs from South Florida warehouse

Police in South Florida say thieves stole up to $80,000 in merchandise from a wig warehouse.

Pirates All-Star closer accused of sending obscene video to Florida teen

Felipe Vázquez was taken into custody Tuesday morning by Pennsylvania State Police on one count of computer pornography/solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minors. Both charges are felonies. His arraignment was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Deputies: Panhandler gets aggressive after being given middle finger

The sheriff's office says on Saturday, a man saw 56-year-old Duane Steele panhandling on the corner of U.S. 301 and Erie Road and declined to give him any money.

North Port Police cruiser hit on I-75 by driver who didn’t move over

Police say it happened over the weekend. An officer was parked off the right side of I-75 while responding to a call and was sideswiped.

STOLEN: Trailer full of thousands of dollars worth of audio, musical equipment

The sheriff's office says it was stolen last Friday around 5:45am from the 400 block of 28th Avenue West and contained thousands of dollars worth of audio and musical equipment.