September 18, 2003
Marathon man charged with false imprisonment, aggravated assault
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Marathon – A Marathon man was arrested on
an outstanding warrant Wednesday for false imprisonment and aggravated
assault. The charges stem from a domestic incident which occurred in August
during which he threatened to kill his wife, hit her and held a knife to her
The victim called the Sheriff’s Office on the evening of
August 20th. She said her estranged husband, 45 year old William
Christman of Marathon, held her against her will and threatened to kill her
and she was afraid. When Deputy Lin Badman arrived at the victim’s location
to speak with her, the victim said she went to her husband’s trailer to talk
with him earlier in the day. She said she’s still married to him, but no
longer lives with him.
She said he pushed her onto the sofa and put his hands
around her neck, choking her. He hit her several times and when she tried to
leave, he sat at the door holding knives in his hands, telling her she was
not allowed to leave the residence. Over the course of a three hour period,
between 2 p.m and 5 p.m. that day, she said he held her in the trailer
against her will. At one point, she said he held a knife to her throat and
to his own throat. She managed once to run from the trailer, but he chased
her, grabbed her by the hair and dragged her back inside.
A warrant was issued for Christman. He was arrested
Wednesday, charged with false imprisonment, aggravated assault and battery.
He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. Bond on the warrant
is set at $50,000.00.
September 15, 2003
Man dead after domestic dispute in Key Largo
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Key Largo – A Key Largo man is dead of a
knife wound he is believed to have sustained during a domestic dispute with
his girlfriend in the early morning hours Sunday.
50 year old Leon George Gardner, of Key Largo,
reportedly stumbled down the street from his home in Hibiscus Park and
collapsed outside a neighbor’s house. She found him lying outside her door
just before 5 a.m., in a pool of blood. She called the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies rushed to the scene and Gardner was loaded into
an ambulance, but he was pronounced dead at Mariner’s Hospital. It appeared
from initial examinations of his body that he died of a knife wound to the
side of his neck. An autopsy will be done to determine the official cause of
Reports about what happened are sketchy, but detectives
say they believe Gardner received the fatal knife wound during a domestic
dispute with his live-in girlfriend, 45 year old Silvia Milton. The case is
still under investigation. No one has been charged in the case at this time.
Miami man charged with fondling teens
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Islamorada – A 26 year old Miami man who
worked at the Florida Seabase Camp in Islamorada in August was arrested
Thursday for allegedly fondling teenage boys attending the camp.
The incidents took place the afternoon of August 13th.
The victims, four boys age 14 to 15 were interviewed by a Detective with the
Sheriff’s Crimes Against Women and Children’s Unit. They told the detective
they were fondled by Keith Walker while taking a scuba diving class at the
camp. Walker was the scuba instructor for the class. They said Walker
reached under their bathing suits and fondled their genitals with his
fingers during the course of the scuba lessons. After the fondling incidents
took place, the boys reported what happened to their scout leaders at the
camp. The Scout leaders then told the General Manager.
The General Manager, Dennis St. Jean, confronted Walker
and immediately insisted he leave the camp property. He then reported the
incident to authorities.
After extensive investigation of the reports, Detective
Smith drafted a warrant for four counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a
minor. The warrant was signed by Judge Garcia, with bond set at $150,000.00.
The warrant was served by officers from Miami Dade Police Department on
Thursday. Walker is currently being held in a Miami-Dade County Detention
Center. He will be returned to Monroe County to face the charges.
September 12, 2003
Two arrested for boat theft in Islamorada
Islamorada – Two Miami teens were arrested
Thursday, charged with stealing a boat, reportedly in an attempt to go to
According to reports by Deputy Nelson Sanchez, the two
said they were wandering around the Holiday Isle Resort at 1:30 p.m. when
they saw the 24 foot Sea Ray tied to a dock. They jumped in and started it
up, heading out from the dock. At that point, the owner saw his boat leaving
with the two suspects on board. He jumped on another boat and gave chase,
also calling the Sheriff’s Office to report his boat was being stolen.
The couple ran the stolen boat aground almost
immediately. They jumped off and ran across a flats area to the area of the
Whale Harbor bar. Deputies and Detectives arrived in the area and began
searching for them. They had a good description of the suspects from the
owner of the boat.
A short time later, Deputy Sanchez was notified by an
employee of the Whale Harbor bar that the two were hiding in a closet. They
were taken into custody without incident, charged with Grand Theft.
17 year old Lazaro Fernandez-Martinez said he and his
girlfriend, 14 year old Andrea Paredes, ran away together Tuesday. He said
they stole a motorcycle, but were stopped by the Florida Highway Patrol in
Key Largo and the motorcycle was impounded because he didn’t have a
motorcycle endorsement on his license. At that point, the motorcycle had
apparently not been reported stolen, so they were not charged.
He said they walked until they got to Holiday Isle. He
said he was going to go to Cuba on the boat they stole. When Deputy Sanchez
asked the boy if he knew how to get to Cuba, he said he’d done research on
the Internet, and he knew to head due south from Islamorada to get to Cuba.
Big Pine man arrested for shooting dog
Big Pine Key – A Big Pine Key man who shot
a dog to death Thursday was arrested for cruelty to animals.
48 year old Randall Lyons said he’d been bringing the
9mm handgun to the Keys from his home in Michigan specifically because of
the dog that lives at the house next door to his on Marigold Drive. He said
the dog keeps jumping the fence and won’t let him and his wife into their
On this occasion, he said the dog jumped the fence, so
he got the gun out of his car, loaded it and shot the dog. Witnesses say he
chased the dog into the street before firing the gun at the dog twice,
Deputies Chris Duncan, Dave Chavka and Jen LaScala
responded to the scene. Lyons was arrested and charged with cruelty to
animals. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
September 9, 2003
Traffic stop leads to drug arrest
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Key Largo – Detectives and deputies
stopped a car Monday in Key Largo, arresting the driver for possessing a
large amount of cocaine. 83 grams of the drug were prevented from being
distributed on the streets of Monroe County and will, instead, be destroyed.
A Detective with the Special Investigations Division was
following the 1984 Oldsmobile passenger car southbound at 8:10 a.m. when he
saw the car stop and the two people inside change places. The driver, later
identified as 24 year old Taurus Hines of Miami, moved to the passenger seat
and the passenger, later identified as 18 year old Tameka Tubbs of Marathon,
moved to the driver’s seat. The detective ran a check on the license tag,
which came back as belonging to a person with a suspended driver’s license.
A marked patrol unit was nearby and a traffic stop was performed on the car.
A check was done on both Tubbs and Hines. Hines had a
suspended driver’s license and, since the detective saw him driving the car,
he was arrested and charged with driving with a suspended license.
Deputy Tim Hurd, with his K-9, was called to the scene
and did a check of the outside of the vehicle. The dog alerted on the rear
passenger side door, indicating there were drugs in the car.
A search revealed 31 grams of powdered cocaine and 52
grams of crack cocaine in cookie form. The drugs were hidden in a pair of
men’s shorts in the back seat. At that point, Tubbs admitted the drugs
belonged to her. She said she bought the drugs in Perrine, Florida and was
taking them to Marathon to sell.
Tubbs was placed under arrest, charged with trafficking
in cocaine. Both of them were booked into the Monroe County Detention
Man arrested for trying to sell stolen fishing gear
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Marathon – A Marathon man was arrested
Sunday after he was found at a local convenience store selling stolen rods
and reels in the parking lot.
56 year old Elam Robinson was in the parking lot of the
Dion’s Quik Mart in Marathon attempting to sell the stolen rods and reels
when Deputies Andrew Ensminger and Willie Guerra arrived at 7:45 p.m. The
deputies were dispatched to the store on a report of suspicious activity.
The rods and reels fit the description of fishing
equipment stolen from the back of a pickup truck parked at the Buccaneer
Resort last week. They were valued at almost $1,000.00.
According to witnesses, Robinson and another man were in
the parking lot trying to sell the equipment for $40.00. The other man
reportedly left the area just before the deputies arrived.
Robinson was placed under arrest, charged with grand
theft and dealing in stolen property. He was booked into the Monroe County
Miami man dies offshore of Key Largo
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Key Largo – A Miami man died of apparent
drowning off shore of the Key Largo area Monday afternoon.
52 year old Jose Morales of Miami was on an overnight
boat trip, sponging with two friends. According to reports by Deputy Keith
Nyman, they were about four miles off shore, in the vicinity of Card Sound
at 5:30 p.m. when the incident occurred. According to his friends, 61 year
old Demenico Fernandez and 62 year old Carmelo Miranda, they were cooking
dinner on the boat when Morales said he was going for a swim. When he didn’t
return after about 20 minutes, Fernandez went looking for him in a dinghy.
He found him floating a short distance away.
He pulled his body into the dinghy, but the dinghy’s
motor wouldn’t start. Miranda came to get them in the larger boat. He
radioed to the Coast Guard for help and was directed to go to Ocean Reef to
meet paramedics and deputies. By the time they arrived at shore, Morales was
There were no obvious signs of foul play on Morales’
body. An autopsy will be done to confirm the cause of his death.
September 4, 2003
Big Pine man charged with domestic battery, child abuse
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Big Pine Key – A Big Pine Key man has been
arrested charged with domestic battery and child abuse.
21 year old Dustin Clever is accused of beating his wife
on the legs with a leather belt. He is also accused of spanking a small
child with a plastic spoon, leaving numerous welts on the child’s legs. The
abuse cases occurred on August 28th. Deputies and detectives
investigated the incidents.
According to reports, he beat the child because the
child was misbehaving. He said the child used a pen to draw on the walls of
the house. He said he hit his wife with the belt because when he came home
from work, she was sleeping and hadn’t cleaned the house properly before
going to bed.
Clever was booked into the Monroe County Detention
Center Wednesday, charged with domestic battery and felony child abuse.
Total bond on the two charges is $40,000.00.
September 2, 2003
Three arrested for breaking in to Plantation Key home, attacking
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Plantation Key – Three men were arrested
Monday night, charged with breaking in to a Plantation Key home and
attacking the people who live there.
According to the victims, 33 year old Andrea Ross and 42
year old Robert Naids, they were inside their home on Gulfside Drive at 8:30
p.m. when someone knocked on the door. Ross asked who was there and a man
replied, “James”. When she opened the door, three men pushed their way
inside. The men were wearing black ski masks. They were carrying duct tape
and rope, and were carrying latex gloves with them. They shoved her to the
ground and hit her several times.
One man ran upstairs. Naids confronted the man,
struggled with him and pushed him down the stairs. At that point, all three
of the suspects fled the scene, leaving behind two ski masks which had been
ripped off during the struggle, as well as some duct tape and a small piece
of rope. Ross said during the struggle, she heard one of the men yell
“Nelson” several times.
Ross ran outside screaming for help. Neighbors across
the canal came outside in time to see the suspect’s vehicle fleeing from the
scene. Sheriff’s Office dispatchers were called and deputies were dispatched
to the scene. The neighbors were able to give dispatchers a good description
of the car, including the fact that one of the taillights was broken. A
notice to be on the lookout for the car was put out over all police radios.
A Florida Highway Patrol trooper spotted the car near
the 92 mile marker, traveling northbound. Three men were in the car, and
when they saw the trooper’s patrol vehicle, two of them slid down in the
seat. The trooper called for assistance and two more troopers, along with
officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission responded. The
suspect vehicle was stopped at the 100 mile marker of the highway without
incident. The three men inside were detained. Their car was positively
identified by the witnesses who saw it flee the scene on Gulfside Drive. The
three men fit the description the victim’s gave of their attackers and they
were positively identified by the victim’s as the men who attacked them.
All three men were taken into custody. 21 year old
Nelson Johnson, of Tavernier, 14 year old Vladmir Siriac of Sunrise, Florida
and 19 year old Daniel Hernandez of Homestead, Florida were all charged with
Burglary with battery on the occupant. They were booked into the Monroe
County Detention Center.