Crime

Bradenton man arrested for sexual battery and false imprisonment

Florida governor loses latest bid to curtail felon voting

Sheriff’s office looking for help identifying woman suspected of stolen credit card

Sarasota man arrested for child pornography

Officials: Florida boy, 15, plays with gun, shoots teen dead

Police searching for man for allegedly stealing multiple bicycles in Sarasota

Continued Coverage

Bradenton man sentenced to more than 15-years for drug offenses

Suspects wanted for stealing multiple TVs in Bradenton

Store manager accused of stealing over $13K in lottery scratch-offs

Deputies: Victim jumps in canal, swims to safety to flee man intent on rape

Deputies say teens made up story about man who grabbed, chased them in Bradenton

Man accused of groping 13-year-old girl inside Venice grocery store

31-year-old Sarasota man arrested and facing 40 counts of child pornography possession

Police have arrested a 31-year old man from Sarasota and he is facing 40 counts of possession of child pornography.

Florida man lands in jail for allegedly cutting down fence he thought belonged to someone else

After a lengthy operation, deputies questioned Brady Bettis, 33, and say he admitted to cutting them down because he thought the property belonged to someone else he did not like.

Sarasota man arrested for child pornography, possession of Molotov cocktails

Bradley Negron-Cruz, 27, was arrested at his home on the 4200 block of Bell Avenue after detectives say they linked his Skype account to the downloads. While at the home, deputies say they also found breakable glass bottles containing flammable substances often referred to as “Molotov cocktails.”

  Two men accused of using small explosives to rob ATMs in Tampa Bay area and Georgia

Prosecutors say 33-year-old Mawdo Sallah and 34-year-old Kirk Johnson were arrested over the weekend after setting off an explosion at an ATM in Georgia.

  Man shot after bringing gun into booking room of Florida jail

Threats against judges lands Florida man back in jail

Sheriff’s office looking for help identifying serial auto burglar

Watch out for coronavirus scams online, like a malicious live map of COVID-19 cases

Life Sentence Rejected in Juvenile’s Murder of Abuser

Florida sheriff releases 164 inmates to curb spread of virus

Florida man jailed twice for impersonating a cop

Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staley said in a Facebook post that 60-year-old LeRoy Stotelmyer was arrested March 11 after investigators got a tip from a toll bridge attendant.

  Deputies searching for person responsible for meddling with multiple vehicles in a Bradenton neighborhood

Deputies are searching for a person who was caught on surveillance camera interfering with vehicles in a Bradenton neighborhood.

Deputies: Florida man smashed hole in door, attacked woman in domestic violence incident

For the sheriff's office, it started with a frantic 911 call from a woman in a Punta Gorda home who said she was under attack.

  Man pleads guilty to sexual battery of New College student in 1994

Darryl King, Jr. 42, of Sarasota pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexual battery with a deadly weapon. In addition to his jail sentence, he was given lifetime sex offender probation.

TBI finds remains believed to be missing 15-month-old Evelyn Boswell

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says investigators have found remains that are believed to be those of missing 15-month-old Evelyn Boswell.

  Tip leads to arrest of man on federal felony warrant in Sarasota

Around 10:40am Tuesday, police received a tip that Courtney Garner was in the area of 23rd Street and North Osprey Avenue. Garner was wanted on a federal felony warrant for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

  Venice man charged with possessing child porn

Deputies began investigating in December 2019 after receiving a cyber tip from Google that in October 2019, 32 images of suspected child porn depicting a child under the age of 10 were uploaded to Google Photos.

  Parking in handicap spot leads to woman’s arrest on drug charges in Sarasota

Around 9:30am Monday on the 2400 block of Washington Court, officers saw the Mercedes in a handicap spot and ran the license plate. When it came back a mismatch, they spoke to the woman, but she refused to identify herself.

  Deputies: Bicyclists flee but helicopter pursues and spots them ditching drugs

Tuesday night, deputies were in the area of Seminole Boulevard and Tamiami Trail in Venice when they say 33-year-old Frank Crouse and 27-year-old Dylan Rodgers were riding bikes and failed to stop at the stop sign and cut off a marked patrol vehicles.

Sports gambler charged with threatening Tampa Bay Rays players, other athletes

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa announced a charge Wednesday of transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce against 23-year-old Benjamin Tucker Patz.

  Police: Florida woman charged in cold case of baby found dead in 2008

News outlets report 32-year-old Jennifer Sahr was expected in court Wednesday for a bond hearing in the cold case. She is accused in the death of an infant called Baby Boy Horry, whose body was found in December 2008.

  Suspect dies days after being shot by deputies returning fire in Manatee County

Around 5:30pm last Thursday, February 27, the sheriff’s office says 43-year-old Ceceil Truelove fired at deputies on the 1800 block of 47th Terrace East in Bradenton.

  71-year-old Venice man accused of uploading child porn to social media

Last Friday, deputies took 71-year-old William Willis into custody following an investigation that the sheriff’s office says showed he uploaded child pornography to social media from his home on Princeton Road.

  Deputies: Man called 911, threatened first responders with handgun

Just before 2:30pm last Friday, deputies say 911 was called to the 4700 block of Vignette Way in Sarasota on a report of a person with a leg injury. When paramedics arrived, deputies say 21-year-old Jacob Prizio ran into the roadway and aimed a loaded handgun at the ambulance.

  Drugs, weapons seized during raid on Sarasota home; three arrested

Last Thursday, police searched a home on the 3000 block of 31st Way, seizing several guns, ammo, cocaine, several types of prescription pills, and ecstasy. Three people were arrested.

  Reward for info on slain dolphins increases to $54,000

One dolphin was discovered dead in the water off Naples last week. Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the animal was killed by a bullet, stab wounds, or possibly both.

Fugitive in Florida killing captured after 2-year manhunt

A fugitive sought in a Florida slaying has been captured after a two-year manhunt.

Florida teen gets life in prison for rape of 2-year-old

A Florida teenager has been sentenced to life in prison for the 2018 rape of a 2-year-old girl.

  Deputies wound suspect after he fires weapon at them in Manatee County

The sheriff says 43-year-old Ceceil Truelove is a convicted felon wanted on federal indictments for possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking offense, and distribution of a quantity of meth. The FBI and FDLE were searching for him.

  Luke Fleming found guilty of first-degree murder, sexual battery in 1999 Sarasota cold case

For years, Deborah Dalzell’s murder was a mystery. No one knew who or why she was raped and murdered in her Sarasota County home. Then in 2018, Luke Fleming was arrested after his DNA was linked to the case.

Man facing charges in crash that killed moped driver in Bradenton

Troopers say around 11:30pm, 36-year-old Ralphie Moreno of Bradenton was driving southbound on 9th Street East, approaching 301 Boulevard. The driver of a pickup truck, 37-year-old Osvin Velasquez Varela of Bradenton, attempted to turn left in front of Moreno onto 301 and the vehicles collided.

  North Port man charged with child porn possession

The investigation began in February 2019 when a cyber tip was received. Detectives say they connected the IP address to a home on Vogler Lane belonging to 58-year-old Luis Valenzuela.

  Four Florida teens face charges in train depot fire

The Palm Beach Post reports that the fire occurred Tuesday morning in Delray Beach. Delray Beach Fire Rescue spokeswoman Dani Moschella says the Atlantic High School students suspected of starting the blaze face arson and burglary charges.

  Florida woman accused of zipping boyfriend in suitcase, leaving him to die

Sarah Boone, 42, faces a second-degree murder charge after the death of her 42-year-old boyfriend, Jorge Torres Jr., whom she allegedly zipped inside a suitcase.

  Prosecutors seek death penalty for Florida man accused of killing wife, 3 kids

State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced during a news conference Tuesday that an Osceola County grand jury had formally charged Anthony Todt. Florida law requires a grand jury indictment for capital crimes.

  Trial begins for the accused 1999 cold case killer in Sarasota

The accused cold case killer of the 1999 Sarasota murder of Deborah Dalzell is on trial this week. Luke Fleming is charged with murder and sexual battery with great bodily harm.

  Two children save baby sister from their South Florida mom, who’s charged with attempted murder

Ailenys Carmenate wiped back tears before the bond court judge had even called her name. She's facing several charges, including two counts of attempted premeditated murder, after police say she tried to strangle her infant daughter.

  18-year-old charged with second degree murder in connection to fatal shooting in Bradenton

Police say they were called shortly before 6am to a home on the 2800 block of Southern Parkway West after a report of a shooting. There, they found 21-year-old Ryan Booth of Bradenton dead in the front yard from what looked like gunshot wounds.

70 animals removed from home in what Florida sheriff calls “rescue turned hoarder” situation

The Union County Sheriff’s Office announced on Facebook last week that deputies and animal control officers executed a search warrant earlier this month on February 4th at a rural home off CR18 in what they describe as a “rescue turned hoarder” situation.

Jury selected, trial begins Tuesday in the 1999 murder and rape of a Sarasota woman

The trial for the man accused of raping and murdering a Sarasota woman in 1999 begins Tuesday morning. The murder of Deborah Dalzell went cold until detectives cracked the case nearly twenty years later through DNA technology.

  Bradenton Girl Scout troops say girls are receiving counterfeit cash for cookies

Who would steal money from a little girl? It’s essentially the problem that several Girl Scout troops now have after receiving counterfeit cash at several locations selling cookies in the last week.

Officials: Florida man negligently fires gun, kills roommate

Officials say a Florida man shot and killed his roommate while improperly handling a gun in their apartment.

Man sentenced to 8 years in prison for attacking Sarasota County deputy

On April 9, 2019, the sheriff's office was called to South Venice and asked to transport Hosea Harrison III to Coastal Behavioral Healthcare in Sarasota for treatment.

Manatee County man arrested for allegedly threatening neighbors with AR-15

On Thursday, deputies were called to the 900 block of Mill Creek Road. There, they say a man told them that his neighbor, 66-year-old Michael Boston, had come to his front door, angry that there were ruts in his lawn and blaming him for the damage.

  Investigators say man who shot, killed Trooper Joseph Bullock was angry over tow company bill

It was the morning of February 5, 2020 and 42-year-old Trooper Bullock, an Air Force veteran and a 19-year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol, was on duty along I-95. At 9:09am, he stopped in the northbound lanes near mile marker 107 in Palm City to help a disabled motorist.

Server accused of stealing customers’ credit cards from Charlotte County restaurant

Three separate victims came to the sheriff's office earlier this month after finding transactions at Walmart they did not make. Each was charged with $254.94 and the last place each had eaten was at Prime Serious Steak in Port Charlotte.

Man who tried to blame his 80-year-old father for child porn downloads sentenced to 20 years in prison

William Brian Slider, 57, was arrested in June 2019, after agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found an IP address connected to Slider’s home had downloaded 79 videos. The videos were found on a laptop in Slider’s living room and many depicted sexual battery on young children.

  One year since skeletal remains of missing teen Jabez Spann found in Manatee County

Jabez Spann was 14-years-old when he disappeared on Labor Day in 2017. He was last seen at a candlelight vigil on 22nd Street and Palmadelia Avenue in Sarasota, just two blocks away from his home. A witness saw Spann with two other boys at around one in the morning that night.

  Deputies: Man arrested for child porn may have exposed himself on local beaches

The sheriff’s office began investigating in December 2019 after an IP address connected to a home on the 2000 block of Sun Home Street in Sarasota was uploading child porn. Deputies say 65-year-old Gerald Nicolas lived at the home and downloaded the images.

Florida car salesman gets 6+ years for stealing $3M from clients

Court records show that 45-year-old Shiraaz Sookralli was sentenced last week in Fort Lauderdale federal court. He pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

  One year ago: Vandal spray paints #MeToo on Unconditional Surrender statue in downtown Sarasota

Overnight on February 19, 2019, someone spray painted “#MeToo” on the Unconditional Surrender statue alone U.S. 41 near Marina Jacks.

Police looking to identify driver involved in hit-and-run crash in Sarasota

It happened around 8:15pm on February 6 near the intersection of Fruitville and Beneva Road. No one was injured, but police are looking to identify the driver of the vehicle.

  Judge delays decision on whether to reinstate death sentence in case where 11-year-old Sarasota girl was raped, murdered

Joseph Smith was convicted of the February 2004 murder of 11-year-old Carlie Brucia. The case drew national attention after surveillance video showed a man, later identified as Smith, taking Brucia from behind a car wash on Bee Ridge Road.

Florida man charged with DUI manslaughter in high speed crash that ripped vehicle in two

Troopers say Andy Gonzalez was behind the wheel of a 2013 Honda CRV and was driving at a high rate of speed east on Lee Boulevard near Colin Avenue in Lee County when he went off the road, hitting two trees.

Elderly, halfhearted Florida bank robber won’t be jailed

Sandy Hawkins reached an agreement with Palm Beach County prosecutors on Friday. He will spend the next year at a Christian residence for the homeless and if he stays out of trouble the charges will be dropped.

  Suspects who stole trail cameras in North Port sought

Police in North Port say over the weekend, the pair stole trail cameras from a property on Whiptree Circle. They may be traveling in a red truck with a white trailer.

  Deputies: Months after being fired, former CTO “nearly crippled” business by purposely deleting data

Joseph Hennessy, 39, of Sarasota was arrested last week and charged with Computer Crime Damage and Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communication Device. He was previously the chief technology officer of a Suncoast business, which was unnamed in a probable cause affidavit.

Man accused of slashing girls with machete held without bond

Florida authorities say a man accused of slashing two children with a machete is being held in jail without bond on charges that include attempted murder.

  Man arrested following stabbing death of his co-worker at a job site in Bradenton

Stabbing death in Bradenton.

Tree service worker accused of entering Sarasota woman’s home, sexually assaulting her

Police were called to a home on Bay Street in Sarasota around 11am after the woman called to report what happened. She told officers that Frankie's Tree Service had come to her home and an employee, 49-year-old Francisco Leyva of Sarasota, had knocked on the door to discuss the job with her.

Man accused of molesting child under the age of 12 in North Port

In August 2019, deputies were called to the North Port Police Department after the young child told offers she had been molested by 41-year-old William Amodei of Port Charlotte.

  Police: Construction worker accused of stabbing co-worker to death in Bradenton

Police were called to the Main Street Condominiums on the 200 block of 3rd Street West around 10am Friday where they found 48-year-old Rene Escobedo Balditt dead. Police say he had been stabbed several times in the upper body.

  Deputies: Local repair shop finds child porn on Sarasota man’s phone

Detectives say on Monday, while repairing 76-year-old Richard Sundstrom's phone, employees at the repair shop saw images of nude children and alerted the sheriff's office.

  Subcontractor speaks out against Sarasota business owner who was arrested for defrauding his clients of more than $230,000

Sarasota business owner arrested for defrauding his clients.

  Clearwater man convicted in parking lot shooting attacked in prison

A defense lawyer says Michael Drejka was hit in the head Tuesday with a sock that had a lock inside, which caused him to get five stitches. Drejka’s wife told his attorneys he’s now living in fear.

  Owner of Sarasota company that offered cabinets, remodeling accused of defrauding clients of $230,000

A victim came to the sheriff’s office and reported she had given the company a $17,000 deposit in March 2019 to remodel two bathrooms in her condo, but no work had been completed.

Police: Florida woman neglected dogs, tossed their bodies in trash

Devonna Hinds was arrested Wednesday and charged with animal cruelty and improperly disposing of the dogs’ bodies.

  Three teens arrested following high speed chase in Bradenton involving stolen vehicle

Kevin Brown and a pair of young teens leading Manatee County Sheriff deputies on a high speed chase Tuesday night around 10:30. Once deputies spotted the stolen vehicle in the BP gas station parking lot on Manatee Avenue East, the teens sped off at a high rate of speed down 27th Street East.