October 30, 2003
Sheriff’s Office looking for information about stolen school crossing
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Key West – The Monroe County Sheriff’s
Office wants information about school crossing signs which have been stolen
over the past few weeks.
Someone is stealing the signs used to mark school
crossing zones. The orange cones, topped by a small sign marking the speed
limit, have been disappearing overnight from their storage locations near
various Key West schools.
Anyone with information about the location of the signs,
or about who might be stealing them, should contact the Sheriff’s Office or
Key West Police.
California woman arrested for taking child against court order
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Key Largo – A woman was arrested Wednesday
afternoon on an outstanding California warrant for abducting her child from
that state in defiance of a court ordered custody agreement.
The Sheriff’s Office received information the woman and
her young daughter might be staying at a Key Largo hotel. The woman was
wanted out of San Diego County for parental abduction. Detectives from that
area said 46 year old Joyce Murphy was believed to be armed with a handgun
and had made remarks that she would not allow herself and her daughter to be
returned to California.
Deputies and detectives responded to the hotel at 4:30
p.m. The woman’s car was found parked in the parking lot. They asked the
manager to call Murphy’s room and tell her there was a payment problem. He
asked her to come to the front desk to straighten the problem out. When
Murphy left the room with her daughter, officers confronted her. She began
to back away from them, reaching in to a pocket of her purse. A loaded .38
caliber handgun was later found in that purse pocket.
Murphy was taken into custody without incident. She was
booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. Bond on the California
warrant is set at $75,000.00. Her daughter was turned over to the Department
of Children and Family Services.
Summerland Key man charged with attempted murder
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Summerland Key – Sheriff’s deputies
arrested a Summerland Key man who threatened to kill his wife with a gun,
and fired the gun during a struggle with her over the weapon.
37 year old John Wesley Ward is in jail, charged with
attempted murder, aggravated assault and domestic battery. The victim said
the two of them got into an argument just after midnight. She said during
the course of the argument, Ward armed himself with a handgun and threatened
to shoot both himself and her. She said he pointed the gun at her when he
made the threats. She said she struggled with him in an attempted to take
the gun away. The gun when off, and she managed to grab it from him. She
said she threw the gun out of the window so he would no longer have access
She said later she found him in the bathroom with a
rifle, attempting to load it. She said she managed to get the ammunition
clip from him and threw that out the window as well. At one point, she said
he knocked her to the ground and pressed his thumb into her eye, causing a
contusion. The victim barricaded herself in the home’s bathroom and called
the Sheriff’s Office for assistance.
When Deputies Jeremy Davy and Doug Penley arrived, they
could hear Ward inside, but he wouldn’t come to the door. They could hear
him angrily asking his wife if she had called police. They finally convinced
him to open the door and he was taken into custody without further incident.
Ward was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
October 29, 2003
Key West man found dead in waters off of Key West
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Key West – The body of a Key West man was
found this morning about two miles off of the Atlantic side of Key West.
Detectives say there are no obvious signs of foul play in the death.
47 year old Donald McAllister was found at 7 a.m.
floating, fully clothed, with a life preserver on by people on board a boat
called The Sugar Daddy. The United States Coast Guard picked up the body and
brought it to shore, where they were met by Sheriff’s detectives.
Investigations show that McAllister was last seen at 4
p.m. Monday when he left work at Anchor’s Aweigh Club in Key West. He told
people he was going to see friends on Christmas Tree Island. An autopsy is
scheduled for Thursday to determine the cause of his death.
October 27, 2003
Four arrested for purchasing a stolen vehicle
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Marathon – Deputies on routine patrol
Friday night pulled over a car that turned out to be stolen. The four people
inside said they bought the car from someone in Key West for $100.00. They
were arrested for dealing in stolen property.
Deputy Greg Korzen spotted the car acting suspiciously
Friday at 11:10 p.m. in the vicinity of 41st Street in Marathon.
When he checked the car’s license tag, it came back as possibly stolen from
Orange County, Florida. He and Deputy Ernie Paton stopped the car, which had
four people inside. When the deputies asked where they’d gotten the Honda
Prelude, they said they bought it from a guy in a bar in Key West for
$100.00 on Thursday night. The person they bought it from wrote them a bill
of sale on a napkin. They still had the bill of sale in the car with them.
All four people in the car said they knew the car was
worth considerably more than $100.00. They said they didn’t care if it was
stolen or not – they needed transportation, so they paid the guy for it.
The deputies arrested 24 year old Richard Shaw, 19 year
old Arnica Van Norman-Erickson, 22 year old Ami Nicole Jerome, all of
California and 18 year old Mignonette Anne Evans of South Carolina. All four
were charged with dealing in stolen property. They were booked into the
Monroe County Detention Center.
Key Largo man arrested for selling cocaine twice in one week
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Key Largo – Sheriff’s detectives arrested
a Key Largo man for selling crack cocaine twice in the same week.
Detectives from the Special Investigations Division
arrested 21 year old Milo Whitehead on Friday for selling crack cocaine to
an undercover operative twice. The first sale took place on Wednesday. He
reportedly sold the operative $400.00 worth of crack cocaine. Then, on
Friday he again sold a large amount of crack cocaine to an undercover
operative. After the Friday sale, Whitehead was arrested. He was charged
with two counts of sale of cocaine and he was booked into jail.
Miami man charged with stealing, killing bird
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Stock Island – A Miami man was arrested
Saturday just before 11 p.m. for stealing a Macaw from a Stock Island
residence. When he was confronted by the bird’s owners, he killed the bird
and threw it at them.
31 year old Jorge Acosta broke into a fenced yard where
the bird was kept, on 12th Avenue on Stock Island. The four year
old bird, named “Tica” had been raised by the owner’s and was kept in a
large cage in the yard.
The owners were home and heard the bird screaming. They
said they recognized her scream as an “alarm” she only used when there was
trouble of some sort, so they went outside to check on her.
They saw a man walking away from the house carrying Tica.
They pursued him, catching up to him a short distance away. When they
confronted him, he twisted the bird’s head around, then threw her at them.
The bird died a short time later.
When deputies arrived, they found Acosta still in the
vicinity. He fit the description the owners gave of the man who stole and
killed their bird. They positively identified Acosta as the suspect. He was
arrested and charged with burglary, grand theft and cruelty to animals. He
was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
October 24, 2003
Key West man charged with groping bank teller
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Marathon – A man who worked as a security
guard for an armored car company has been arrested for groping a bank teller
at her place of business while he was on duty.
According to the victim, 36 year old Erguin Fernandez of
Key West made improper advances to her and stalked her over a two and a half
year period. Fernandez, who no longer works for the armored car company, was
warned repeatedly by management at the Marathon bank to stop his activities.
He continued to send her love notes, ask her about her sex life and tried to
kiss her and touch her numerous times. When she threatened to defend
herself, he reminded her that he carried a gun.
Finally, on July 11th, Fernandez cornered her in the
vault room of the bank and wouldn’t let her leave. He fondled her against
her will during the incident.
Deputy Dave Simons investigated the accusations, and
obtained a warrant for Fernandez’ arrest for False Imprisonment, battery and
stalking. Fernandez was arrested Thursday and booked into the Monroe County
Detention Center. His bond is set at $30,000.00.
October 23, 2003
Watch out for car repair scam
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Monroe County – The Monroe County
Sheriff’s Office recently took a report of a possible car repair scam.
Two Latin males approached the victim at the Walgreen’s
Pharmacy in Key West. They said they noticed his car had some damage and
offered to repair it for a reasonable price. The two men followed the victim
to his home on Shark Key. Once at the home, the men saw a second vehicle
parked there which also needed repair. They offered to repair the second car
as well. They did some superficial repairs to the vehicles, then told the
victim they’d ordered some replacement parts from an Auto Repair shop in Key
West. They said the parts were scheduled to arrive the following week. They
promised to return and finish the repair job at that time. They gave the
victim what turned out to be a false contact name and phone number.
The victim paid the men $800.00 and he never heard from
them again. A check with the auto repair shop revealed no parts had been
Several other people have reported being approached in
or near the parking lot of the Overseas Market, and at the Days Inn Motel in
Key West with similar proposals.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone to do
a thorough check on anyone doing any type of work for you. Anyone operating
a legitimate business will have a business license, and should produce it if
asked. You should also ask for references and check those references before
agreeing to have any type of work done. Never pay for work that is not
completed, and don’t hesitate to check people’s identification. The bottom
line is – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Marathon man charged with marijuana possession
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Marathon – A Marathon man was arrested
Wednesday after detectives received information he was in possession of
Detectives stopped 49 year old Manuel Suarez of Marathon
after he got off a bus at Coco Plum Drive in Marathon shortly before noon.
The bus was coming from Homestead. The told him they had information he
might be bringing illegal items to the Marathon area on board the bus. He
denied doing so. They asked him for permission to search the bag he was
carrying. He agreed to the search.
Inside the bag the detectives found 108 grams of
marijuana in a plastic bag, wrapped in a shirt. Suarez was arrested, charged
with possession of a felony amount of marijuana, and he was taken to jail.
Big Pine Key man arrested for possessing a gun and knife, and making
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Big Pine Key – A Big Pine Key man was
arrested Tuesday evening after deputies were called to Wilder Road and South
Street on Big Pine Key. The caller reported seeing a man armed with a gun.
When Sgt. Joe Passerelli and Deputy Craig Sparrow
arrived, they saw a man and a woman. The man had his back to the officers
and a gun was stuck in the back of his pants.
The deputies ordered 53 year old James Doersom to put
his hands on his head and to back up slowly. They disarmed him without
incident and searched him for more weapons, finding a knife stuck in the
front of his pants. He was placed under arrest for carrying a concealed
firearm and carrying a concealed weapon.
The woman, who turned out to be his ex-wife, said
Doersom called her and told her he was coming over to “settle this thing
once and for all.” She said he told her he “had nothing to lose.”
Doersom was further charged with aggravated domestic
assault. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.
Tavernier man arrested after struggle with deputies
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Tavernier – Deputies called to a
disturbance at an Islamorada Resort in the early morning hours Tuesday
arrested a man who threatened them and struggled violently with them.
The night clerk at the Pelican Cove Resort called the
Sheriff’s Office at 4:30 a.m. to report being attacked by a guest. He said
he responded to a noise complaint at a room at the resort, but when he
knocked on the door the man inside attacked him. He identified his attacker
as 34 year old John Pandolfe III. Sgt. Roy Bogue tried to find Pandolfe, but
he wasn’t in the room at the time.
They were called back to the resort two hours later
because Pandolfe had reportedly returned and resort employees wanted him
removed from the property. Sgt. Bogue and Deputies Wilfred Higgins, Jason
Madnick and Adam Rabinowitz all responded. They spoke with Pandolfe’s
parents, who agreed to remove him from the premises.
When they tried to get him in the car to leave, he
became belligerent. Pandolfe called his parents and the deputies obscene
names, telling the deputies he wanted them to kill him. He reportedly began
banging his head against concrete pillars saying he wished he was dead.
He began aggressively approaching Sgt. Bogue, so the
other officers took him down to the ground in an attempt to get the
situation under control. Paldolfe struggled with them, biting Sgt. Bogue
twice in the process.
Pandolfe was arrested and charged with battery on a law
enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence and disorderly conduct.
All four officers had to be treated at Mariner’s
Hospital for cuts, bruises and abrasions.
October 20, 2003
Elderly man missing from home, found dead in waterway
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Key Largo – An elderly man, suffering from
Alzheimer ’s disease, was reported missing from his Key largo home Friday
morning. After an extensive search, his body was found floating in the
Walter D. Adams Waterway near the 103 mile marker of the highway.
82 year old Robert Knuck was last seen in the bedroom of
his Bass Avenue home by the woman who lived with him at about 11 p.m.
Thursday. She noticed he was missing the following morning at 7 a.m. and
called the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s helicopters, K-9s and the Sheriff’s
Office dive team assisted in the search for Knuck. A Sheriff’s Office K-9
team found a possible track from Knuck’s residence to the water. The
Sheriff’s Dive Team then began searching the waterway and found Knuck’s body
just after 1 p.m. Friday.
According to detectives there is no evidence that foul
play was involved in Knuck’s death. His death is believed at this time to be
October 17, 2003
Marathon man arrested for attempted murder
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Marathon – A Marathon man has been
arrested for attempting to kill his wife Thursday night.
Deputies and Key Colony Beach Police were dispatched to
the Sea Cove Motel in Marathon just before 9 p.m. to reports of a possible
domestic dispute. When they arrived, they knocked on the door of the motel
room. 40 year old Jason Glazier answered the door. His shorts were
unbuttoned and pulled down from his waist. Behind him, in the room, Deputy
Daniel Marquith could see a woman face down on the bed. She only had a shirt
on and appeared to be unconscious.
Police Officer Hilarie Weiland went into the room to
check on the woman while the deputy took Glazier out in the hall to ask him
what happened. Glazier said he and his wife had been arguing. He indicated
she’d been drinking. He said they did not have a physical confrontation. He
told the officers she was asleep.
The victim was unconscious on the bed. When Officer
Weiland tried to wake her, she was unresponsive. Further investigation
revealed she had a rope wrapped twice around her neck and around her wrist.
There were marks on her neck which may have been from the rope.
When Officer Weiland loosened the rope, the 37 year old
victim regained consciousness and gasped for air. Once she recovered enough
to speak, she told the officer the last she remembers, she and Glazier were
playing cards and got into an argument. She said she does not remember
Glazier was arrested and charged with attempted murder,
aggravated battery and kidnapping. He was taken to the Monroe County
Detention Center. The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment of her
October 10, 2003
Young teller turns himself in, returns money
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Monroe County – The 19 year old bank
teller who went to lunch Wednesday and didn’t return, taking a large amount
of cash with him, has turned himself in to Spokane Police in Washington
Elijah Doyle walked in to a Community Oriented Policing
Services Office in Spokane at 7 p.m. Thursday and asked to talk with a
police officer. The volunteer manning the office asked him why he wanted to
see an officer. According to the volunteer, he opened up a bag he was
carrying and showed her the cash, saying that he’d stolen the money from a
bank in Florida and wanted to turn it, and himself, in.
Doyle used to live in Spokane, and told the woman he was
familiar with the COPS storefront. He said when he was in Spokane previously
he’d always seen police cars parked there and figured it was a good place to
turn himself in. She called for assistance from an officer and Doyle was
taken into custody without incident. The money was also confiscated and will
be returned to the bank.
He is being held in Spokane and will be returned to
Monroe County to face outstanding charges of Grand Theft. Bond on those
charges is currently set at $100,000.00.
Man charged with fondling young girl
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Key Largo – A Key Largo man has been
charged with fondling a young girl.
The fondling incident took place when the victim was
five years old. The now 10 year old victim says 31 year old David Capitos
fondled her while she was in bed. He then told her not to tell anyone or she
would get him into trouble.
Capitos was arrested today (Friday) and charged with
lewd and lascivious acts on a child. He was booked into the Monroe County
Marathon man charged with drug possession
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Marathon – A Marathon man was arrested for
possessing cocaine Thursday just after midnight.
Sheriff’s deputy Andrew Ensminger spotted a truck parked
suspiciously in a dark alley in the vicinity of 107th Street.
When he approached the truck, the two men inside got out and began walking
toward the deputy. The deputy asked to see identification, which the men
produced. The deputy then asked for permission to search the truck. The
driver and owner of the truck, 26 year old Michael Stickney, gave him
The deputy said the truck smelled strongly of alcohol.
Under the driver’s seat was a small scale commonly used to weigh cocaine. A
small plastic bag of the drug was found in the center console of the truck.
Stickney was arrested, charged with possession of
cocaine and drug paraphernalia and he was booked at the Monroe County
October 9, 2003
Young Teller steals cash from Marathon Bank
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Marathon - A 19 year old teller with the
Marathon branch of Bank if America left for lunch yesterday and did not
return. After noticing his absence after lunch, bank employees began looking
around the bank and they discovered a large amount of cash missing.
Elijah David Doyle of 63rd Street in Marathon apparently
took off with the cash for an unknown destination. He may be driving a 1996
Red Dodge Neon. A notice to be on the lookout for him has been issued
Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective
Ron Sylvester with the Sheriff's Office at 289-2430. Callers who wish to
remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads
to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a substantial cash reward.
The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.
October 2, 2003
Big Coppitt Key man commits suicide after standoff with Sheriff’s
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Big Coppitt Key – A Big Coppitt Key man shot himself in the
early morning hours today after a lengthy standoff with Sheriff’s deputies
at his home on Avenue G, Big Coppitt Key.
Deputies went to the home of 50 year old Stanley Bishop at 5 p.m.
Wednesday to arrest him on three outstanding felony warrants. When they
arrived, Bishop refused to give himself up. Instead, he barricaded himself
inside his home holding a handgun to his head, threatening to shoot himself.
Sheriff’s negotiators responded to the scene along with the Sheriff’s
Special Weapons and Tactics Squad and a host of other deputies and
detectives. The negotiators spent almost 12 hours trying to safely talk
Bishop into giving himself up.
Just before 5 a.m., the SWAT team shot two canisters of gas into the
residence in preparation for going inside and taking Bishop into custody.
After the gas canisters were shot inside, there was a gunshot heard from the
When the SWAT team entered, they found Bishop dead of an apparent self
inflicted gun shot wound to his head.
Big Coppitt fire and rescue units assisted on the scene, along with
members of the Key West Police Department Special Response Team.
Bishop was wanted for three outstanding warrants. One for aggravated
assault with a deadly weapon, one for aggravated assault and one for
violation of probation for aggravated assault.
He has numerous past arrests as well. In March of 2002, Bishop chased an
off duty Key West Police Officer down the street with a machete. When
deputies showed up to arrest him for that incident, he again barricaded
himself inside the house, threatening to shoot the deputies. Negotiators and
the SWAT team responded to that scene as well. The negotiator was able to
talk Bishop out after an hour. In another incident, in January of 2002,
Bishop reportedly held a gun to a man’s head and threatened to kill him.
Man charged with lewd and lascivious acts on a minor
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Key Largo – A 20
year old Key Largo man has been arrested for having sexual relations with a
15 year old girl.
20 year old Steven Deatley was
arrested Wednesday on an outstanding warrant for performing lewd and
lascivious acts on a minor. The charges stem from a complaint filed by the
victim’s parents. They reported her missing in early September. She was
found on board a boat with Deatley. The two admitted to having sexual
relations with each other. They said they were boyfriend and girlfriend.
Florida State Statutes make it
illegal for someone over the age of 18 to have sexual relations with someone
under the age of 16 without parental consent. The victim’s parents asked
that charges be filed against Deatley.
Deatley is currently being
held in the Monroe County Detention Center. Bond is set at $20,000.00.