Monroe County Sheriffs Office
Grassy Key – A Grassy Key man was charged Wednesday with attempting to kill another man in a fight which took place March 10th at a Grassy Key Marina.
41 year old Brian Burke was arrested by Detective Rick Martin Wednesday and charged with attempting to kill 52 year old Michael Weissleader. Weissleader is currently at South Miami Hospital in the intensive care unit. He has severe head and facial injuries. He hasn’t been able to communicate coherently since he was kicked and beaten by Burke on March 10th.
The two men reportedly got into an altercation that day at Peg Legs Marina on Grassy Key. A witness said he saw them arguing, turned away for a minute, and when he turned back, he saw Weissleader on the ground, unconscious. He saw Burke hitting and kicking Weissleader.
When the witness confronted Burke, Burke reportedly said, “You get somebody down, you make sure they don’t get up.”
Burke was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center on attempted murder charges. His bond is set at $300,000.00.
Key Largo – Two Key Largo residents were arrested after detectives from the Sheriff’s Special Investigations served a search warrant at their home on Atlantic Boulevard Monday afternoon.
A search of the residence at #17 Atlantic Boulevard in the Port Largo Subdivision of Key Largo turned up drugs, drug paraphernalia and guns. Detectives found 133 grams of marijuana valued at approximately $650.00, a scale used to weigh the drugs, rolling papers and a pipe with marijuana residue in it.
47 year old Randy James Warford was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. A woman at the residence, 55 year old Linda Keenan Allen, was charged with 26 counts of withholding information from a physician in order to obtain a controlled substance. An ongoing investigation into her activities led detectives to get the search warrant after detectives discovered she had gone to numerous doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions for Oxycontin.
Three guns were also found at the house: a 12 gauge shotgun and two handguns; $990.00 in cash was also seized during the search.
Key Largo – Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority is supplementing the usual Crime Stoppers reward for information leading to the arrest of a person who stole an expensive piece of equipment from their Key Largo plant.
FKAA is offering a $5,000.00 reward on top of the usual Crime Stoppers reward of up to $1,000.00. The total reward is offered for the arrest of a suspect in the case, and/or the recovery of the stolen equipment.
Sometime between March 19th and 20th, suspect(s) entered the fenced storage yard at the plant, located at 305 Magnolia Drive in Key Largo. A Trencher, used by FKAA to dig trenches, was on a large trailer parked at the rear of the property. Whoever stole the item just hooked up to the trailer and drove it away. The 1988 Ditchwitch Trencher is valued at approximately $32,000.00. The trailer is described as yellow in color with the number 224 on each side in reflective material.
Anyone with information about this case should contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Callers to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous, and will be eligible for the monetary reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.
Key Largo – The body of a man, found in a wooded area of Key Largo March 17th by two young boys, has been identified as a Layton man.
Detectives say they identified the man as 60 year old Nabih Asbeh of Layton. An autopsy revealed no signs of foul play, and no obvious cause of death. The medical examiner’s office is still awaiting toxicology reports.
A Greyhound bus ticket and a set of post office keys were instrumental in the identification process. Greyhound was able to tell detectives that the ticket found in Asbeh’s pocket was sold in Layton. Detectives then went to the Layton post office, where they discovered the keys found in Asbeh’s pocket fit a post office box there. From there, post office employees were able to give them Asbeh’s name as the person renting the box. People in the area who knew him where then able to assist in a positive identification.
No next of kin have been found as of yet, although Detective David Carey said he believes Asbeh may have a relative in Miramar, and may have family in Spain. He is attempting to contact them now.
Note: Trauma Star transported two trauma patients from an accident scene in Key Colony Beach Tuesday afternoon. The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the accident, reportedly involving a bike or scooter versus a car. The accident occurred on Coury Drive in Key Colony Beach and was reported to the Sheriff’s Office at 4:29 p.m.
Trauma Star launched at 4:44 p.m. and landed on Ocean Drive at 4:48 p.m. The Sheriff’s Office air ambulance was en route to Miami with the patients at 5:00 p.m. The patients arrived at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center at 5:43 p.m.
Stock Island – The inmate who walked away from the Stock Island Detention Facility Thursday was recaptured Friday afternoon by Sheriff’s deputies.
A woman who works at the Stock Island Chevron Station called Sheriff’s dispatchers on 911 lines at 11:50 a.m. and said a man who looks like Perez just left the convenience store at the station. She gave a description and a direction of travel. She then called the Crime Stoppers hot line with the information, so she would be eligible for a reward.
Just minutes later, 58 year old Oscar Perez was caught by Deputy Frank Gianino as he was riding a bicycle on South Roosevelt Boulevard near the area commonly called “The Triangle”. Deputies Geni Hernandez and James Williams assisted in the apprehension.
Perez was taken into custody and charged with escape. He was booked back into the Monroe County Detention Center. When he arrived, he was asked why he left the facility. His reply: “A guys got to do what a guys got to do.”
Stock Island – The inmate who walked away from a work detail at the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island Thursday is still at large.
58 year old Orlando Perez was in jail on charges of burglary and theft. He was arrested February 7th by Key West Police. He was working as a trusty at the Children’s Animal Park at the Detention Center Thursday morning. It is believed that he walked away from the detail at approximately 10:30 a.m.
Deputies, Corrections Officers, K-9 teams and a helicopter searched the area around the Detention Center, but failed to find Perez. Perez’ last known address is #2 Dolphin Road on Big Coppitt Key.
Anyone with information as to his whereabouts can contact the Sheriff’s Office at 305-292-7075. Those callers who wish to remain anonymous can also call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. IF a tip called in to the hot line leads to an arrest, the caller will be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.
Key Largo – A Key Largo man already facing charges of molesting a three year old has been further charged with lewd acts on or in the presence of an eleven year old girl.
The victim told investigators from the Sheriff’s Crimes Against Women and Children’s Unit that 65 year old George C. “Chuck” Perkins fondled himself in front of her, and also fondled her genitals. These acts took place between January of 1998 and January of 2000.
Perkins is currently in jail. He now faces two counts of lewd and lascivious acts on or in the presence of children. His bond is set at a total of $300,000.
Marathon – A Marathon man shot himself in his trailer after deputies responded to a disturbance call there Tuesday night.
Deputies were called to the trailer at Sister’s Creek trailer park on 25th Street at 9 p.m. A neighbor said he’d heard loud noises coming from trailer #34, belonging to 48 year old Jordan Davis. The neighbor told responding deputies that Davis had recently told him he was going to shoot police officers then shoot himself. Davis was known to possess a number of firearms in the trailer.
When the deputies arrived, they knocked on the door but no one answered. When they looked in a window, they saw what looked like a gun pouch sitting on the bathroom sink. They continued to knock, and Davis finally answered in a mumbled voice from the vicinity of the bathroom. He refused to come out of the trailer and talk to the deputies and because of the possibility of firearms in the residence, combined with his threats to kill police, the deputies decided to call for more assistance. While they were standing by waiting for backup, they heard a gunshot from the residence. They took cover, and other officers at the scene began to evacuate adjacent trailers to keep residents safe should more shots be fired.
Sheriff’s hostage negotiators were called to the scene, along with the Sheriff’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team. The negotiator attempted to make contact with Davis without success. Finally, the SWAT Team fired a gas canister into the trailer to disable Davis and render the situation safer for entry. They then entered the trailer and found Davis dead in the bathroom with a gunshot wound to the head.
Key Largo – The Sheriff’s Office Crimes Against Women and Children’s Unit arrested a Key Largo man Monday for molesting a small child.
65 year old George Charles Perkins was charged with Lewd and Lascivious Molestation on a three year old child. He allegedly touched her genital area with both his hands and with his tongue. The child told her mother what happened and the parent’s then called the Sheriff’s Office.
Perkins was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. The case is still under investigation.
Key Largo – Two young boys walking in a wooded area near the 100 mile marker of highway U.S. One found a dead man. Detectives say the body shows no signs of foul play, but the dead man remains unidentified.
The unidentified man had not been dead very long when he was found – maybe 24 hours according to Detective David Carey. Detective Carey describes the dead man as 40 to 55 years old, five foot ten inches tall, between 190 and 200 pounds in weight. He had black curly hair, a mustache and four or five day’s growth of beard. He wore thick glasses, shorts, a white tank top and red colored jacket.
He had no wallet or identification. He had several keys in his pocket and $100.00 in cash. Deputies interviewed a waitress at a nearby restaurant who said the man occasionally came in for coffee. She said he knew him only as “Charlie”.
An autopsy is scheduled to determine the cause of his death. Anyone with information which might help identify him should contact Detective Carey at the Plantation Key Substation, 305-853-3211.
Tavernier – Sheriff’s deputies responding to reports of a suspicious car in an upper Keys Crime Watch neighborhood arrested a man for burglary and grand theft auto Friday morning.
Deputy Todd Wyatt and Sgt. Donnie Fanelli responded to Blue Waters Trailer Park at 6:45 a.m. after the Crime Watch Chairperson called to report the car as suspicious. As they were investigating, a man walked out of a nearby house. He said he’d been inside, and that he had keys to the residence. The deputies detained him until they could contact the home’s owner.
The homeowner, who lives in Homestead, said the person being detained was his brother, 39 year old Reinaldo Rivero, of Hialeah. He said his brother did not have permission to be in the house, and he wished to have him arrested.
A check on the vehicle parked at the house revealed it to be stolen out of Miami-Dade County. The tags on the vehicle had been switched with another vehicle belonging to a woman who works at Holiday Isle.
Rivero was arrested and charged with burglary, grand theft auto and theft. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
Key West – A New Jersey man, snorkeling just west of Sand Key in the Lower Keys apparently had an epileptic seizure in the water and drowned.
Detective Henry Hamilton said 22 year old Roger Venz of Audubon, New Jersey was visiting Key West with his girlfriend on board a cruise ship when he died. The two were on a snorkeling trip on board the Pacific Fury. Venz was in the water snorkeling when he apparently had a seizure. His girlfriend told Detective Hamilton Venz has a history of epilepsy and had forgotten his medication.
Plantation Key – A Delaware man died Friday while diving on Conch Reef, off of the upper Keys.
Deputies responded to the Tropic Vista Motel where the victim’s body was brought in by the dive boat he was on. The captain told Deputy Nelson Sanchez and Lt. Tom Brazil that 58 year old David Maul was diving alone when the accident happened. Maul was reportedly an experienced diver who the captain has known for at least five years.
According to the captain, he saw the victim surface after he’d been diving for about 20minutes. He signaled to the victim to see if he was O.K., but Maul did not respond. The Captain then signaled to Maul to swim to the current line behind the boat, and he did. He took hold of the rope and began to pull himself toward the boat. He then stopped, became unresponsive and went face down in the water.
The captain jumped in and swam to him. He dropped Maul’s weight belt and inflated his BCD then swam with him to the boat. Once on board, CPR was performed as they returned to shore. He was transported to Mariner’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of his death.
Monroe County – Eight automobile burglaries over the weekend should be a reminder to everyone in Monroe County to keep car doors locked and valuables out of sight.
Sheriff’s deputies took reports of eight burglaries in various areas of the Keys over the weekend:
· On Friday afternoon, an intoxicated man entered a van on Stock Island and stole cigarettes. 44 year old George Austin O’Malley was arrested for auto burglary.
· On Saturday morning, a man called to report his car was broken into while parked at a bridge near the 23 mile marker of the highway. Camera equipment was stolen, along with credit cards and identification.
· On Saturday at noon, a Key Largo man called to report a compressor had been stolen from the back of his truck, parked on Line Drive in the Pamela Villa Subdivision near the 102 mile marker of the highway.
· On Saturday at 2:22 p.m. a woman called to report her car had been burglarized while it was parked at Anne’s Beach in Islamorada. She said her window was smashed and her purse was stolen from inside.
· On Saturday at 5:41 p.m. the Florida Highway Patrol called to report they were out with an automobile which had been burglarized at the south end of the Bahia Honda Bridge.
· On Saturday at 5:49 p.m. a woman called to report her car was burglarized overnight while it was parked outside her house on Diamond Drive, Big Coppitt Key. Someone stole a bottle of liquor from the unlocked vehicle.
· On Saturday at 6:24 p.m. a woman called to report her car burglarized while it was parked in her driveway on Palmetto Drive, Big Coppitt Key. Dive equipment was stolen from inside.
· On Sunday at 6:49 p.m. a woman called to report her car burglarized while it was parked at the old Seven Mile Bridge in Marathon. Two wallets and a bag of quarters were taken.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone that winter and spring in the Keys is prime time for automobile burglaries. In most auto burglary cases, it turns out that the victim either left the car unlocked, left valuables visible in the car, or both. It is simple to avoid becoming a victim of a car burglary: lock your car, and place your valuables somewhere they can’t be seen, like in the trunk.
Upper Keys – Detectives are investigating two deaths which occurred Saturday night and Sunday morning in separate areas of the upper Keys. The deaths are not related.
On Sunday, at 9:41 p.m. deputies and detectives were called to the Marina Del Mar Bayside Resort in Key Largo. When they arrived they found 30 year old Carl Doak Cook of Key Largo dead in one of the rooms. A witness/acquaintance who was staying in the room said Cook had come to his room earlier to visit with him. Cook had reportedly become tired. He laid down on the bed to rest. The witness left for a while and when he returned he found him. Cause of death is still unknown. Detective James Norman is investigating.
On Monday, at 6:33 a.m. deputies and detectives were called to a home on Iroquois Drive, Lower Matecumbe on reports of a person who was not breathing. When we arrived, we found a 29 year old male dead in the house. A witness said he consumed a considerable amount of alcohol the night before, possibly along with a prescription pain reliever. Detectives are investigating.
Autopsies should be done on both men within the next few days, but remember that toxicology tests take up to two months to complete.
Big Coppitt Key – A Big Coppitt Key man barricaded himself in his house after swinging a machete at a Key West Police detective. A Sheriff’s hostage negotiator was able to talk him out and he was taken into custody without further incident.
Detective Frank Duponte was driving his unmarked patrol vehicle on Avenue G, going to see a friend when 49 year old Stanley Bishop stepped into the roadway with a machete in his hand, holding it as if he were about to swing it at the car. Det. Duponte activated his emergency lights and his Public Address system, telling Bishop he didn’t want to swing the weapon at him. Bishop disregarded the warning, and began to swing the machete at Det. Duponte’s car anyway.
Det. DuPonte was able to drive around Bishop. He then called the Sheriff’s Office to report the incident. Sgt. Daryl Hull and Deputies Geni Hernandez and Freddy Rodriguez responded to the area. When they arrived at Bishop’s house on Avenue G, he was outside. He quickly picked up his machete and ran inside the house. He refused to come out when asked to do so, and repeatedly told the deputies to leave. At one point, as the deputies were standing outside the door, they heard the unmistakable sound of a shotgun racked as if Bishop were preparing to fire the weapon. He then yelled to Sgt. Hull that if he didn’t leave he would “blast him”. Bishop stepped out of the door once, with the shotgun in his hand and said “you’d better just shoot me.” He then retreated back inside.
Detective Sgt. Bobby Randolph, who is a trained hostage negotiator, was called to assist. The Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics Team also responded in case it became necessary to remove Bishop from the house against his will.
Det. Sgt. Randolph attempted to talk Bishop out of the house. Bishop refused, and made several references to shooting officers on the scene. After an hour, Sgt. Randolph was finally able to talk Bishop out of his house peacefully. Bishop was arrested, charged with aggravated assault and he was taken to the Monroe County Detention Center.
Key Largo – A Key Largo man was arrested for robbery after he showed a woman his pocket knife, took her car keys and made her get into the back seat of the car. He let her go after she begged him not to hurt her.
The victim told deputies she was leaving a Key Largo bar in the early morning hours when the incident occurred. 28 year old Ronnie Glenn Parker was right behind her as she left. She said he walked up to her as she was getting into her car in the parking lot. He showed her the knife, took her keys from her and forced her to get into the back seat of her car.
The victim begged him to let her go and not to hurt her. He then gave her back her keys and walked away. She ran back into the bar and called the Sheriff’s Office for help.
Parker said he gave the victim back her keys and let her go because he “realized what he was doing was wrong”. Parker was taken into custody and charged with robbery and carrying a concealed weapon. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
Big Pine Key – A Big Pine Key man threatened to shoot a group of kids if they came into his yard to retrieve their ball.
According to the victims, they were playing catch in the street when their ball went into a nearby yard belonging to 51 year old Ronald Joyner. Joyner warned the boys that it was illegal to come into his yard. He then went into his house and came out carrying a handgun. He held it down at his side, and told the boys, “Come in my yard and I’ll shoot you.”
When deputies arrived, they confiscated three guns from Joyner and placed him under arrest. He was charged with aggravated assault and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
Islamorada – A man is under arrest, charged with stealing a tow truck from Big Pine Key Saturday and driving it to Islamorada while under the influence of alcohol.
A citizen who was following the swerving tow truck called the Sheriff’s Office at 3 a.m. He said the truck was crossing the center line into oncoming traffic, swerving off the road frequently and at one point, it ran into a road sign and side swiped the guardrail on a bridge.
When Deputy Adam Rabinowitz caught up with the truck at the 70 mile marker, he also observed the dangerous driving as did Deputy Wilson Williams, who joined the procession at the 73 mile marker. The truck was finally pulled over at the 77 mile marker of the highway.
29 year old Mark Woodrow Lester, who has driver’s licenses from Arizona and Florida, opened the driver’s side door of the truck as Deputy Williams approached it. The deputy smelled a strong odor of alcohol and noticed other signs that Lester had been drinking.
The deputy asked Lester if he’d been drinking and Lester replied, “I’m drunk!” He then said the truck was not his and he didn’t know who it belonged to. He said he’d been drinking in a bar “down south” somewhere, saw the truck with the keys in the ignition, and took it.
The deputy asked Lester to participate in roadside sobriety exercises. Lester refused, saying, “What’s the point? I’m drunk!”. He was then placed under arrest and transported in Deputy Williams’ patrol car to the Plantation Key Detention Center. Once there, the deputy tried to get him out of the car. Lester refused to exit the vehicle, saying “I’m sleeping. Leave me the _____ alone, I told you I was drunk and stole the car. What more do you want?”
He was removed from the car and was booked into the jail. He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and grand theft auto. The truck sustained extensive damage. The Florida Highway Patrol investigated the accidents the truck was report
Investigation by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Crimes against Women and Children (CCAW) unit resulted in the arrest Thursday of a Big Pine Key man on lewd and lascivious battery charges.
39-year old Wilfredo Pulido is charged with having with having anal and oral sexual intercourse with a 12-year old boy on multiple occasions between last November and January of this year. The victim came forward and told investigators about the incidents. Investigators recorded a phone call between Pulido and the victim. During the conversation, Pulido made statements about having sex with the victim.
Pulido is charged with four counts of committing lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 years or older. Pulido is being held in jail under a one hundred thousand-dollar bond.
Members of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit served search warrants at two Marathon residences following investigation of narcotics activity.
The first search warrant was served early Thursday at Lot 58 Key RV Park in Marathon. Investigators found over two hundred dollars worth of cocaine, prescription drugs and narcotics paraphernalia. Arrested were 18-year old Robert Leighton and 22-year old Jeffery Baughn. Leighton is charged with cocaine and paraphernalia possession, and possession of schedule two drugs without a prescription. Baughn is charged with possession of prescription drugs without a prescription. Both men were also charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors after one male and two female minors were found in possession of alcohol inside the residence. The minors were turned over to custody of their parents. Baughn and Leighton were booked into jail.
A Sheriff’s Deputy, making a routine premise check of a Key Largo business early Monday, encountered a man sleeping in nearby bushes. A background check of the suspect’s identification revealed that he was a registered sexual offender in Portland, Oregon. Deputies questioned 49-year old Floyd Boxley, Jr. who stated that he had hitchhiked to the Keys three days ago after spending two weeks in Tallahassee, and was headed to Marathon. Deputies arrested Boxley for failing to register as a sexual offender within 48 hours as required in the state of Florida. Boxley was convicted of rape and has been registered as a sexual offender in Portland, Oregon since 1993. He is now incarcerated in the Monroe County Detention Center.
Two men were arrested last night for trying to purloin spare parts for their disabled vehicle from a car parked on Key Haven. Deputies responded to call shortly after ten p.m. about two suspects trying to steal the tires from a resident’s car on Key Haven Road. Deputies stopped two suspects walking away from the burglary scene. The suspects were identified as 29-year old Dallas L. Guiher of Largo Florida and 29-year old Aaron R. Berger of New York. The suspects stated that their car was parked nearby and had a flat tire. Deputies located the suspect’s car parked near U.S. Highway One. The disabled car’s shredded and flat tire had been removed. Lug nuts and a jack were lying near the tire. After questioning the suspects, Guiher admitted that he had tried to steal lug nuts from the other car in order to repair his vehicle. Deputies arrested Guiher on burglary charges. Berger was charged with being a principle in the first degree.
Sheriff’s Detective David Carey this afternoon arrested 49-year old Andrew F. Grant, of Cooper City, Florida, on charges of cruelty to animals. Grant is accused of stabbing a pelican with a filet knife at an Islamorada marina on Sunday, March 3, 2002. Bystanders called the Sheriff’s Office to report the incident. The witnesses told Deputies that Grant had grabbed the pelican and threw it bleeding into a boat after hitting and stabbing the bird. Grant told deputies that the pelican “hissed” at him and bit him on his left hand, which was covered with a steel mesh glove. Grant admitted hitting and stabbing the bird and then releasing it. Deputies spotted a brown pelican on a nearby boat and also observed blood on the boat’s deck. Deputies said the pelican flew away, so they were unable to ascertain injuries. Detective Carey took over the case and after interviewing witnesses, he obtained a warrant for Grant’s arrest. Grant was taken into custody this afternoon, booked on animal cruelty charges and released on one thousand dollars bond. Detective Carey said that a brown pelican with a stab wound was taken to Wildlife Rescue personnel recently, but they aren’t sure if it is the same bird. The bird at the Rescue Center is recovering, according to Detective Carey.
An investigation of battery charges by the State Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s investigators led to the arrest today of Detention Deputy Shawn Hernandez, 25, who works at the Stock Island Detention Center. The arrest stemmed from an altercation in downtown Key West February 16, 2002. The 23-year old female victim told Key West Police officers that Hernandez had pulled her hair and punched her in the face. The officers reportedly did not observe any bruise marks on the victim. However, witnesses backed up the victim’s statements. Subsequent investigation by the State Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s investigators led to a warrant for Hernandez’s arrest. Hernandez was taken into custody today on misdemeanor battery charges. He was released after posting a 1,500 dollar bond.