Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report

Issued by the Media Relations Office,
Public Information Officer Deputy Becky Herrin

Click here to read press releases on other Sheriff's Office events and occurrences

 

November 29, 2009

Marathon accident kills one, injures several others
FHP is the investigating agency

Marathon - A three vehicle accident near 23rd Street and U.S. One Saturday night closed the highway for an hour and partially obstructed traffic for several hours more.

According to initial dispatch notes, six people were hurt with one of those six being pronounced dead on the scene; one being airlifted from Fishermen's Hospital to Miami's Ryder Trauma Center and the other four being transported to the hospital for treatment.

FHP is investigating.

Islamorada men charged with break in at Islamorada home

Islamorada - Three Islamorada men are in jail charged with stealing a large amount of dive and fishing equipment.

The victim, who lives on Harbor Drive in Islamorada, woke up on Saturday morning and found someone had smashed glass doors to his garage and had taken approximately $10,000.00 worth of fishing and diving equipment from inside. Some scraps of yellow cloth were found at the scene which the victim said did not belong to him.

Deputies responded and began a canvas of the neighborhood asking if anyone had seen anything. When they arrived at 209 Harbor Drive, they saw scraps of the same yellow cloth outside the house and a spear gun just inside the front door which fit the description of one stolen in the burglary. Further investigation revealed more stolen items in a bedroom belonging to 19 year old Matthew Berry. Berry told officers his friend "Phil" had come to his house in the middle of the night. "Phil" reportedly told Berry he'd "scored" and asked if he could hide some stolen items at Berry's house.

A large number of items stolen from the victim's residence were recovered from Berry's room. Berry was taken into custody.

Upon further questioning, Berry told officers his friends, 20 year old Phillip Lowd and 21 year old Miguel Sanchez were the ones who committed the burglary to his neighbor's house. Deputies went to Sanchez' residence on Tarpon Drive but he wasn't home. They then went to Lowd's residence on Plantation Drive and found Sanchez' vehicle in the driveway. In the vehicle was more stolen property. Sanchez was there and was taken into custody. Lowd was then found at the restaurant where he works and was taken into custody as well. More stolen items were recovered from his bedroom.

All three men were charged with grand theft; Berry was additionally charged with armed burglary. They were all booked into jail.

November 28, 2009

Helicopter crashes off shore of Islamorada

A helicopter (tail #N324GS) crashed into the water offshore of the 77.5 mile marker of Highway U.S. One today.

The pilot was taken to Mariner's Hospital for treatment of minor injuries he received in the crash, which occurred near Robbie's Marina at 2:30 p.m. Someone from the marina reportedly brought the pilot to shore where he was picked up by paramedics for transport to the hospital.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and the Florida Highway Patrol will be doing an accident report. There are no more details available at this time as to why or how the craft crashed.

Marathon man arrested for knife attack

Marathon - A Marathon man is under arrest for attacking another man with a large knife.

The 50 year old victim told Deputy Bradford Colen that 58 year old Florentino Arencibia rode up to him on is bicycle at about 2:10 p.m. Friday. He said Arencibia said he was going to kill him, then took out a large knife and swung it at him, hitting him in the chest. The victim suffered a small cut on his chest, but did not want any medical attention.

Deputies found Arencibia nearby and questioned him about the incident. He repeated his threats about killing the victim. When they asked him why, he said it was because "he stole my mind".

Arencibia was arrested and charged with aggravated battery. He was booked into jail.

November 26, 2009

Teen charged with home burglary

Marathon - An 18 year old Marathon man was arrested Wednesday, charged with burglarizing a home on Gulfstream Boulevard on November 4th.

A witness who had come home for lunch November 4th at a neighboring house saw 18 year old Cameron Warren and another man leaving the burglarized home carrying a pillow case full of items, and a fire safe. He called the Sheriff's Office to report it, but didn't want to meet with deputies. When deputies arrived, the suspects were gone from the area and there were no obvious signs of a break in to any of the homes in the area.

The victims returned home that evening and found laptops, jewelry, electronics and the fire safe with cash and other valuable items inside gone from the home. They told deputies they think the suspects gained entry to the home through an unlocked window.

The witness was able to tentatively identify Warren as the person he saw with the pillow case and safe. When detectives confronted Warren with that information, he confessed to the crime.

A warrant was issued for his arrest. He was picked up on Wednesday. Warren is also one of several suspects arrested in connection with another home burglary and a string of vehicle burglaries in the area this month.

November 25, 2009

Search warrant in Islamorada results in drug arrest

Islamorada - The Sheriff's Special Investigations Division served a search warrant Tuesday afternoon, arresting one person after finding Oxycontin, Morphine, Valium, Xanax and drug paraphernalia.

The warrant was served at 5:20 p.m. at 85361 Old Highway, apartment #3 in Islamorada. The search turned up 77.5 Oxycontin pills, 74 Morphine pills, 1 Valium, and 3 Xanax pills. Also seized in the warrant was $1,474.00 in cash, believed to be proceeds from drug sales; scales and pipes, and other miscellaneous items.

The resident, 37 year old David Richter, was placed under arrest. Richter was charged with, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and 2 counts of sale of controlled substance. Evidence was also found in the apartment possibly linking Richter to a Broward County pain clinic. Investigations into this connection are ongoing.

Assisting with service of the search warrant was upper Keys Criminal Investigative Unit, and Islamorada Road Patrol.

November 22, 2009

Five lower units stolen in Key Colony Beach (see attached pictures)

Key Colony Beach - Five lower units were stolen from two boats in Key Colony Beach last week.

The caretaker of a property on 14th Street said she saw three lower units intact the afternoon of the 18th; on the afternoon of the 19th they were gone. The boat they were attached to was a 35 foot Contender with three 250 horsepower Yamaha engines. The boat was on a lift attached to a dock on the property.

Two more lower units were taken from a vessel kept at a property on Coury Drive in Key Colony Beach. The 250 horsepower Yamaha engines were last seen intact on the vessel on the 17th; They were discovered missing on the afternoon of the 19th. The vessel was kept on a boat lift on the property.

Detectives are investigating.

November 21, 2009

Man shoots girlfriend, then himself

Conch Key - A Conch Key couple is dead and detectives say it appears the man shot his girlfriend in the head, then killed himself with the same gun.

Sgt. Jake Brady responded to the scene at #16 Coral Village mobile home park at 10:15 p.m. Friday after friends found the couple dead. According to Detective Terry Smith, who is investigating the incident, 55 year old Christine Petros had asked her live-in boyfriend and business partner, 62 year old Robert Babic, to move out of their trailer. It appears she was helping him remove his clothes from the bedroom closet when he walked up behind her and shot her in the back of the head with a .357 caliber revolver. He then shot himself in the head with the same gun.

A friend and neighbor of hers had spoken with her earlier in the evening; the friend called her back several times getting no answer and decided to walk down to the trailer to check on her well-being. She found the trailer's door open, went inside and found the Petros and Babic dead.

Several neighbors report hearing gun shots between 5:30 - 5:45 p.m. Autopsies will be performed later today.

The couple had lived together at that location for several years. They owned a Key Largo sign business together called Sign Guyz.

Business burglarized; truck stolen

Tavernier - A Tavernier landscaping business was burglarized, along with several trucks belonging to the business; one truck was apparently loaded up with all the stolen items and it was also stolen.

At 7 a.m. Friday, Deputy Sever Hustad responded to Plantation Tree and Landscaping at the 92 mile marker of the highway. An Employee had arrived for work and found a lock on the main gate had been cut. He then saw five of the work trucks parked outside had been broken into and the main office had been ransacked.

A white 2004 Ford F350 truck was stolen, along with a large safe which held several firearms and numerous tools, including chain saws, blowers and weed eaters.

Detectives are investigating. Anyone with information about the case can call the Sheriff's Office at 305-853-3211 or call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tipster's information leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

November 20, 2009

Stock Island man charged with drug possession

Big Coppitt Key - A Stock Island man was arrested early today after a traffic stop. He was found to be in possession of marijuana and cocaine.

Detectives from the Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Division stopped the white Ford SUV at the 11 mile marker of the highway shortly after midnight because it had a tail light out. When 25 year old Orlando Grimon got out of the vehicle, he immediately said, "What you are looking for is in my front pocket."

In his front pants pocket, the detectives found large plastic bag with a white powdery substance inside that tested positive for cocaine - 56 grams of the illegal drug.

Grimon also had two small plastic bags with small amounts of marijuana inside in his other front pants pocket.

Grimon was arrested, charged with possession of marijuana and trafficking in cocaine, and he was booked into jail.

November 19, 2009

Two arrested for Stock Island burglary

Stock Island - Two Stock Island men have been charged with burglarizing a home on Miriam Street on November 11th.

The victim returned home from work at 2:20 a.m. and found 22 year old Ricardo Blanco and 18 year old Miguel Ginart inside his trailer. They had ransacked the inside and he discovered later that they'd taken cash he had hidden inside.

He chased them out of the house and down the street, but was unable to catch up with them. He called the Sheriff's Office and gave deputies a description of them.

A short time later, Sgt. Charlene Sprinkle-Huff found three men standing on a street corner a few blocks away. Two of them fit the description of the men who broke in to the trailer. She documented their names and asked them what they were doing out at that early hour. She said they appeared agitated and nervous about her questions.

The burglary case was assigned to Detective Juan Llera. He showed the victim a photo line up and he identified Blanco and Ginart as the two men he chased from his trailer. Warrants were issued for their arrest. On Wednesday night, Detectives found the two men and arrested them on the warrants. They were booked into jail on charges of burglary, theft and criminal mischief.

Stock Island woman charged with prostitution, drugs

Stock Island - Detectives from the Sheriff's Special Investigations Division arrested a Stock Island woman after she offered to perform a sex act for cash.

Detectives saw 35 year old Misty Maddox walking back and forth near 5th Avenue and Cross Streets around 8 p.m. Wednesday. One of them approached her and she offered to perform a sex act for him in exchange for cash. After he handed over the money, she was placed under arrest. In her pocket, with the money he paid her, the detectives found two plastic bags with crack cocaine inside.

Maddox was charged with soliciting prostitution and possession of cocaine and she was booked into jail.

November 16, 2009

Tavernier man charged with burglary

Tavernier - A 20 year old TAvernier man was arrested Sunday, charged with taking a laptop computer from a home on Garden Street.

When the residents of the Garden Street home were returning at 4 p.m. Saturday, they saw Freddie Fuentes walking away from their home. He had what looked like a black laptop computer wrapped in a towel under his arm. One of the victims thought it looked like her computer. Both women confronted him, then went inside their home and found the computer missing. They confronted family members of the suspect, who denied having the computer, but allegedly offered the victims money if they wouldn't call police.

The following day, the victims called to report the theft. Deputy Michael Sielicki responded to investigate reports of the theft. He found a neighbor who said he saw someone on the back porch of the victim's house earlier in the day. The deputy talked with Fuentes, who claimed to have a black computer of his own. At first, Fuentes said he was on the back porch of the house because he was visiting with friends; then he denied being there at all, saying he has problems with the people who live there.

Fuentes was arrested. He gave Deputy Selicki an identification card with a different spelling of his name and a different date of birth at first. A check on his name through computers revealed his deception, however. He was charged with burglary, theft and resisting arrest and he was booked into jail.

Miami man charged with stealing boat

Plantation Key - A Miami man was arrested Sunday evening after he was caught towing a stolen boat.

Callers to Sheriff's Office dispatchers reported an older model truck pulling a pontoon boat with a rope, with no trailer lights at 7:15 p.m. Sunday. Deputy Patrick Crozier spotted the truck crossing the Tavernier Creek Bridge and pulled it over. The driver was identified as 45 year old Joseph Franklin Moses. He admitted to having a suspended license and to stealing the boat. The boat trailer had no lights and no license tag.

His license was suspended 12 times for failure to appear, six times for failure to pay and once for failing to go to traffic school. He said he thought the boat was abandoned and that's why he took it from an area behind the tennis courts in Founders Park in Islamorada.

Moses was charged with failure to register a vehicle, driving with license suspended and grand theft. He was booked into jail.

Marathon detectives continue to investigate three men for additional burglaries

Marathon - Three men, arrested on November 12th for a residential burglary, are also under investigation in connection with multiple vehicle burglaries.

Detectives say the three Marathon residents - 18 year old Cameron Warren, 18 year old Edward Kelly and 27 year old Dennis Gonzalez - may have committed between 15 and 19 automobile burglaries the night they were caught after breaking in to a home on Yellowtail Drive in Marathon. The burglaries took place on a number of different streets behind the airport in Marathon.

Investigations are continuing.

November 15, 2009

Woman has trouble while diving; dies later at the hospital

Key Largo - A North Carolina woman who had trouble while on a dive trip off-shore of the upper Keys died later at Mariner's Hospital.

An autopsy will be done to determine why 59 year old Johnsie Hudspeth of Elkin, North Carolina died Friday afternoon. Elkin was on a commercial dive trip on board the Amoray Diver Friday at Molasses Reef off shore of Key Largo. She reportedly surfaced near another dive vessel - the Cheeca View from Horizon Divers - and indicated she was in distress. That dive vessel pulled her on board. They reportedly gave her oxygen and headed toward shore, calling for help while in route. When Deputy Robert Dosh responded to the Port Largo Subdivision, he met the boat and saw Hudspeth, who was reportedly conscious and breathing. He took her dive gear as a precautionary matter.

Paramedics also met the vessel and transported Hudspeth to Mariner's Hospital where she later died. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of her death.

November 14, 2009

Inmate dies after being taken to the hospital

Stock Island - Detectives and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will be looking into the death of an inmate after he was transported to the hospital Friday evening.

According to reports, the 63 year old man was being held in Unit D, General Population at the Stock Island Detention Center. He was in jail on charges of violation of probation. He was found in his cell, unresponsive, shortly after 5 p.m. Paramedics were called and he was transported to Lower Keys Hospital where he died.

His name is not being released pending notification of his next of kin.

Stolen truck report leads to arrest for knife attack

Marathon - A Palm Harbor, Florida Man who called the Sheriff's Office to report his truck being stolen was arrested for aggravated assault early today.

Deputies Monica Young and Chris Gall responded to Banana Bay Resort at 2:45 a.m. and met with 48 year old Mark Sleeman, who said his blue Dodge Dakota truck had just been stolen. Sleeman appeared to be very intoxicated at the time. He admitted to drinking and to taking prescription medications.

Deputy Young left to look for the truck. Deputy Joel Slough arrived to assist. Sleeman said he and several other men were in the area working on a project at West Marine.

The deputies met with Sleeman's co-workers. They said there had been an altercation earlier in the evening. They said at one point, Sleeman became agitated and attacked one of them with a knife, in front of the others. The witnesses broke up the fight before anyone got seriously injured. Sleeman also reportedly threw a full pot of coffee at another co-worker, striking him in the face.

Sleeman's truck was found parked in the parking lot of a Knight's Key restaurant. There was no sign it had ever been stolen. He was placed under arrest for aggravated assault, battery and making a false police report. He was booked into jail.

November 13, 2009

Texas man dies while diving offshore of Key West

Key West - A 51 year old Texas man died while diving in the vicinity of the Vandenburg wreck, offshore of Key West today.

Richard McCoy Jr. from Cypress Texas flew into Miami yesterday with a group of people on an organized dive trip. They were bused down to Key West and were on their first dive of the day on board a commercial dive vessel out of Robbie's Marina. The victim was diving on the Vandenburg with two instructors and been down for about 20 minutes. They were at a depth of about 95 feet at 12:10 p.m. when he reportedly began having trouble for an unknown reason. The two men with him began helping him to the surface. At about 25 feet from the surface, McCoy reportedly stopped breathing. They rushed him the rest of the way to the surface.

The U.S. Coast Guard was notified immediately. Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation was begun right away and he was brought in to shore. Paramedics continued CPR to Lower Keys Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

McCoy's body is currently with the Medical Examiner's Office. His dive equipment has also been taken into custody and will be examined. Cause of death remains unknown until an autopsy can be performed. Investigations continue.

November 12, 2009

Three arrested for burglary in Marathon

Marathon - Three Marathon men were arrested after they were caught following a home burglary early today.

Sheriff's dispatchers received a call from a woman who lives on Yellowtail Drive in Marathon at 3 a.m. She said she woke up suddenly and heard noises outside her house. She said she called out and heard footsteps leaving her property and saw a small car start up outside and pull away from her house. She looked around her house and realized someone had broken in and taken a number of items from inside. She called the Sheriff's Office for help.

When deputies arrived in the area, they began looking for possible suspects. Deputy Juan Martin-Reyes saw two men rummaging around inside a white sport utility vehicle parked on Gulfstream Boulevard and confronted them. The two men fled from him, but he managed to catch one as he ran behind a house on Gulfstream Boulevard; he was identified as 27 year old Dennis Gonzalez. The other suspect got away, but Deputy Martin-Reyes got a clear look at him. He was later identified as 18 year old Cameron Warren.

Deputy Nicholas Whiteman was also in the area patrolling for the suspects. He spotted a car with a young man driving and stopped the car to check it out. The man was identified as 18 year old Edward Kelly. Inside the car, the deputy spotted a pink and black Playboy Bunny purse. The same type of purse was stolen from the residence on Yellowtail Drive. Other stolen property was later recovered from the vehicle as well.

Upon questioning, Kelly admitted to being in the area to "steal stuff" out of cars. A short time later, Warren was spotted by Deputy Trevor Wirth, riding a bike. He was positively identified by Deputy Martin-Reyes as the second suspect who fled from him. and he was detained as well.

All three were taken into custody. Detectives are still investigating the case as well as a number of other vehicle burglary cases these suspects may be involved in. For now, all three have been charged with residential burglary and were booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. More charges may be pending.

Routine document check leads to marijuana arrest

Marathon - Sheriff's detectives assisting Customs agents arrested a man after a routine document check revealed marijuana on his boat Wednesday evening.

Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were conducting a routine document check on board a boat in Boot Key Harbor when they reportedly smelled the odor of marijuana on board. They detained the man on board, 38 year old Omar Rodriguez, and called the Sheriff's Office for assistance.

A detective from the Sheriff's Special Investigations Division responded to assist. 79 grams of marijuana were found hidden under a board in the forward living area of the boat. Drug paraphernalia was also found on board.

Rodriguez said he found the marijuana near the harbor and was keeping it for personal use. He was arrested and charged with possession of a felony amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked into jail.

Little Torch Key man charged with car burglary

Little Torch Key - Deputies responding to reports of a car burglary on Pirates Road, Little Torch Key, caught the man who committed the crime early today.

At about 1 a.m., Deputies Scott Ward and Jon Riggs were dispatched to the call after a woman reported seeing someone going through her Ford F-150 Truck. When they arrived, the deputies discovered a red Kia parked nearby; the hood was hot to the touch. Deputy Ward parked with his lights out watching the Kia while Deputy Riggs went to talk to the victim.

The victim told him she'd heard a "dinging" sound and looked outside. She saw a light inside her truck and a man inside rummaging around. A check of the truck revealed a plastic container of change missing from inside. As Deputy Riggs was talking to her, Deputy Ward reported someone leaving in the red Kia. He turned on his lights and siren and attempted to stop the car. He was able to get a good look at the driver, who refused to stop. The driver of the Kia fled down Meyer Road and then Heck Road, crashing at the end of Heck Road and bailing out of the car. As he jumped out of the car, Deputy Ward was again able to see his face clearly.

Deputy Riggs was familiar with a 37 year old man named Neptune Steele who lives in the same vicinity and who fit the description of the fleeing suspect. Deputies went to his home on Julia Avenue. Steele was positively identified by Deputy Ward as the man who fled from him in the Kia. The plastic container of change was found in the Kia.

Steele was charged with burglary, theft and fleeing from police. He was booked into jail.

November 11, 2009

Teen charged with auto burglary

Plantation Key - A 19 year old was caught in the act of burglarizing a car in front of an Islamorada bar Tuesday night.

The manager of the bar was outside when he saw 19 year old Robert Manning rummaging around in a vehicle he knew belonged to one of his employees. He and one of the men who works security for him detained Manning and called the Sheriff's Office.

When Deputy Patrick Crozier and Sgt. Lee Cowart arrived, they questioned Manning, who claimed the car belonged to a friend of his. The owner of the car was working at the bar. He denied knowing Manning and said he did not give him permission to be in his car, which he said he left unlocked.

Manning had removed the faceplate for the stereo. A number of other items from the car were on the ground nearby and some were found in Manning's pockets. He was arrested and charged with vehicle burglary and theft. He was booked into jail.

Two stolen boats recovered

Islamorada - Two of the three boats stolen from the Islamorada area in the past week have been recovered.

Detectives say the two boats stolen from the Venetian Shores subdivision - the 33 foot Stratos and the 27 foot Triton - were found in that same subdivision a short distance away, in a vacant lot at Venetian Boulevard and Venetian Way. The motors had been stripped from the Triton and an unsuccessful attempt was made to take the motors from the Stratos, which had special bolts and mounting hardware making the engines difficult to remove.

Detectives continue to investigate the cases. Anyone with information should contact the Sheriff's Office at 853-3211. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS or e-tips can be submitted at www.tipsubmit.com.

November 10, 2009

Three boats stolen in Islamorada

Islamorada - Three boats with high end motors have been stolen in the past week from the Islamorada area and detectives are investigating.

On Friday, the owner of a stolen boat waved down Deputy Nelson Sanchez as he was on routine patrol on West Plaza Del Sol in the Port Antigua Subdivision at the 74 mile marker of Highway U.S. One. The owner of the 36 foot open fisherman with twin 300 Horsepower Yamaha engines on it told the deputy his boat had been taken sometime in the last couple of days.The boat was kept on a lift over the canal in back of the house. The keys had reportedly been left in the boat.

On Monday, a boat was reported stolen from a lot on San Remo Drive in Venetian Shores on Plantation Key. The victim owns the lot, and one next door to it which has his house on it. A neighbor reported the boat was gone from the lot, along with the trailer it was stored on. The boat is a 33 foot Stratos open fisherman with twin 250 Horsepower Yamaha engines; the trailer was a triple axle Stratos trailer.

Another boat was reported stolen Monday as well, from Palo De Oro Drive in Venetian Shores. The 27 foot Triton center console had twin 225 Horsepower Mercury engines on it. It was stored on a trailer on a vacant lot. It was reported stolen by a neighbor who said it disappeared from the lot between Sunday night and Monday morning.

Detectives are investigating. Anyone with information about this case should contact the Sheriff's Office or contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Tipsters may remain anonymous and may receive a reward if their information leads to an arrest. Tips can be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com or called in to the Crime Stoppers hot line at 1-800-346-TIPS.

November 2, 2009

Detectives release dead woman's identification

Christine KayeKey Largo - Detectives with the Sheriff's Office homicide division have released the name of a dead Palm Beach County woman. They are hoping members of the public might be able to help them piece together what happened to her. She was found the morning of October 27th wrapped in plastic, washed up in some mangroves in Jewfish Creek, offshore of Key Largo.

The Medical Examiner's Office has not been able to determine the cause of death for 48 year old Christine Marie Kaye, whose last known address was in Lake Park, in Palm Beach County. Detectives say she has not, to date, been reported missing by anyone. She was identified by her fingerprints. Kaye is described as a white female, five foot seven inches tall, 110 pounds. She had light brown collar length hair with blonde highlights and brown eyes.

Anyone with information about Kaye should contact the Sheriff's Office Homicide Unit at 305-289-2410 or contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Tipsters may remain anonymous and may receive a reward if their information leads to an arrest. Tips can be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com or called in to the Crime Stoppers hot line at 1-800-346-TIPS.

Accident wrap up

Sheriff’s deputies responded 28 reported accidents county-wide between Friday morning and Monday morning. Of those, the following were noteworthy:

Deputy hit by reckless car he was searching for

Summerland Key – A Sheriff’s deputy looking for a reckless driver Sunday morning was hit by the vehicle he was searching for.

At 6:30 a.m., Sheriff’s dispatchers received a report of a silver colored Chevrolet Cobalt northbound from the 23 mile marker driving dangerously. Deputy Michael Claudy was southbound at the 32 mile marker when the car swerved into his lane of traffic, hitting him on the side of his car as he tried to avoid a collision. Deputy Claudy’s vehicle was forced off the road and disabled. The reckless vehicle continued northbound, fleeing the scene.

A Border Patrol agent was in the vicinity. He first checked on Deputy Claudy’s condition, then went after the vehicle who hit him. He stopped the car at the 34 mile marker of the highway. Two people were inside. The driver, 21 year old David Danino of Northridge, California appeared to be impaired by alcohol and admitted to drinking prior to driving his car. After field sobriety exercises, he was arrested. As he was being transported to jail, he became combative and, once at the jail, he had to be placed in a restraint chair until he calmed down.

Danino was charged with hit and run and driving under the influence of alcohol. He was booked into jail. Deputy Claudy received minor injuries in the accident.