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
January 31, 2012
Two men go to jail after domestic dispute
Marathon – One Marathon man was arrested for choking his girlfriend; the other for attacking him with a piece of rebar after deputies responded to Trailerama Trailer Park Monday night.
When Deputies Nicholas Abroe and Joshua Brady arrived at the trailer at 10:20 p.m., they found 61 year old Nelson Leon-Quincoses with an injury on his arm. He told them his nephew, 51 year old Hector Acay-Salazar hit him with a piece of rebar.
He said it happened after he had an argument with his girlfriend. He said Acay-Salazar got involved and the two men went outside. He said Acay-Salazar grabbed a piece of rebar and hit him with it.
When deputies spoke with Acay-Salazar, he said he saw the couple arguing and saw Leon-Quincoses throw his girlfriend to the ground and choke her. He said that is when he decided to get involved. He denied hitting the other man, however.
Both men were placed under arrest; Acay-Salazar for domestic battery by strangulation and Leon-Quincoses for aggravated battery. Leon-Quincoses was further charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a weapon after he was found to have a sharp pointed homemade ring made out of a grilling fork on his finger; deputies said they believe he made the ring to be used as a weapon when hitting someone.
Tallahassee man faces more charges
Grassy Key – A Tallahassee man, arrested on January 11th after a Sheriff’s detective stopped the stolen vehicle he was driving on Stock Island is facing further charges today.
When detectives and deputies stopped 40 year old Robert Skinner on the afternoon of the 11th, they found property in his vehicle they suspected came from some burglaries which had taken place just hours before on Grassy Key. They also found pawn slips from Joe’s Cash Flow Pawn Shop in Marathon.
Investigations into the origins of the property in the car and the items Skinner had pawned revealed he’d burglarized four homes that morning – three on Morton Street and one on U.S. One at the 58.6 mile marker. He took electronic equipment, tools, fishing equipment and jewelry from the homes, pawning some of it for cash.
Because he was caught so quickly after committing the crimes, Detective Bobby Burkett, who investigated the burglaries, was able to recover almost all of the stolen items and return them to their owners.
Skinner’s recent charges include three counts of fraud, three counts of dealing in stolen property, four counts each of burglary and theft. He remains in the Monroe County Detention Center.
Detectives investigating more vacation rental fraud cases
Key Largo – Sheriff’s detectives are investigating another suspected vacation rental fraud operation which is using a Key Largo home to defraud would-be vacationers of their money.
Two victims have come forward so far and reported paying money to rent a home at 106 Coastal Drive in Key Largo. They both said they found the property for rent on the internet; they both corresponded with someone using the last name of “Lassiter”; he asked for payment to be wired, in advance, to his bank account. Both victims sent payment to him. One of the victims said the web site she found the home on was “Gulf Coast Rentals”.
One of the victims, who lives in Illinois, said she felt uncomfortable with the transaction and decided to do more research. She found the same house for sale on the internet and contacted the realtor, who told her the house was for sale and the owner was not renting it. It was then that she contacted the Sheriff’s Office to report being scammed out of her money.
Detective Robert Dosh, who is also the lead investigator into the John Williams Vacation Rental Fraud case, will be heading up this investigation as well. Anyone who has been victimized in a similar fashion should contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately. The investigation is continuing.
Three charged with introduction of contraband to a jail facility
Plantation Key – A Monroe County jail inmate and two women from Miami were arrested after detectives uncovered a scheme to smuggle marijuana into the Plantation Key jail facility.
On January 23rd, Corrections Lt. Patrick Major received information that an inmate in his facility conspired with two women to bring marijuana into the jail. He notified Sheriff’s detectives of the information. Investigations showed the inmate, 26 year old Victor Matias of Florida City had contacted 20 year old Julia Infante, of Miami, asking her to bring marijuana to him at the jail.
According to detectives, Infante visited the jail on January 15th along with 18 year old Taylor Rusignuolo, of Miami. Infante visited with inmate Matias; Rusignuolo visited with another male inmate. During the visit, Rusignuolo hid a package of marijuana in a small basket which holds instructional booklets for inmate accounts. The following morning Matias was able to retrieve the marijuana from the basket. The marijuana smuggled in to the facility was never recovered.
After further investigation, detectives made a traffic stop on the two women when they returned to the Keys on January 24th for a court appearance for Matias. They were both arrested. Matias and Rusignuolo were both charged with possession of marijuana and introduction of contraband to a corrections facility. Infante was charged with being a principle in the first degree to the crime.
January 28, 2012
Bay Point man, Sexual Predator, arrested
In a joint operation with the Florida Department of Corrections Friday, Sheriff’s Major Crimes Detectives arrested a Bay Point man who is designated by the courts as a Sexual Predator, for violating his probation.
44 year old Donald Eisenhart was taken into custody after detectives, accompanied by Eisenhart’s Probation Officer, searched his residence and found a large amount of pornography on his computer. Both possessing the computer, and the pornography are violations of the terms of his probation.
The Sheriff’s Office and the DOC routinely conduct Sexual Predator and Sexual Offender checks to verify their addresses and to check compliance with their conditions of release.
January 27, 2012
Man arrested for firing gun during argument
Cudjoe Key – A Cudjoe Key man was arrested early today, charged with firing his gun while arguing with his boyfriend.
Both 54 year old Peter Deluca and 54 year old Michael Cooper told Deputy John Gabay they have been together as a couple for 11 years and are now breaking off the relationship. Just before 1 a.m., they began to argue. Stories differ about what happened, but both men and Deluca’s mother, who was in the next room, say the argument escalated and Deluca fired his gun, shooting a hole through a window in his bedroom.
Following the gunfire, they separated; Deluca locked himself in his room with his mother and called the Sheriff’s Office. Cooper also called the Sheriff’s office for help. When deputies arrived on the scene, they found a .44 magnum revolver on Deluca’s bed; it was fully loaded, with two spent rounds in the chamber.
Deluca was arrested. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and improper exhibition of a firearm. He was booked into jail.
January 26, 2012
Man arrested on drug charges
Stock Island – A Miami man was arrested on drug charges after he fled on foot from officers during a traffic stop.
Deputy Anthony Fuentes was on patrol at 10:20 p.m. Wednesday when he saw suspicious activity on Maloney Avenue, Stock Island. He saw a car pull up and saw the driver talk to a man who has been known to deal drugs; the driver then did an illegal u-turn over a double solid yellow line.
Deputy Fuentes turned on his lights and siren to stop the vehicle, a black BMW. The vehicle stopped and the driver, later identified as 29 year old Gregory Parrish, jumped from the car and ran into a nearby trailer park.
A female passenger in the car told the deputy the driver’s name was “Gregory”. She said she didn’t know him very well. A search of the vehicle turned up several small plastic bags with cocaine inside. Also found was a piece of paper with a woman’s name and address on it. The address was in the trailer park where Parrish had fled.
Deputies Massiel Brimo and Chris Fraser knocked on the door of the address found in the car. The woman who answered the door denied that anyone else was inside. The deputies walked across the street and stood where they couldn’t be seen, to observe the residence. A short time later, a sport utility vehicle pulled up. The driver opened the rear passenger side door, left it open and then went in the trailer. Minutes later, a black male wearing a blond wig ran out of the trailer and dove, head first, into the SUV.
As the SUV left the trailer park, it was stopped. The man wearing the blond wig was identified by Deputy Fuentes as the man who fled from his traffic stop, Gregory Parrish.
Parrish was arrested. He was charged with driving with his license suspended, resisting arrest and possession of cocaine with intent to sell. He was booked into jail.
January 24, 2012
Update on homeless man, found dead in Marathon wooded area
Marathon – Detectives from the Sheriff’s Major Crime Unit, along with the Medical Examiner’s Office, are continuing to investigate the death of a homeless man whose body was found in a wooded area near 62nd Street in Marathon on January 20th.
Detectives say they have notified the family of 41 year old Kenneth Paul Anderson. His body was found by another homeless man who was living in a tent in the wooded area. The Medical Examiner has conducted an autopsy, and tests from that autopsy are still pending. As of today, the cause of Anderson’s death is not clear. He had some visible injuries, but also had an extensive medical history.
January 23, 2012
Teen arrested for molesting young girl
Big Pine Key - A 14 year old Big Pine boy has been arrested, charged with molesting a 9 year old girl.
Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit arrested Steven Earl Raymond Roberts on Saturday at his home on Mercedes Lane. He was charged with lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under the age of 12.
The victim told detectives Roberts fondled her sexually on a number of occasions between June of 2011 and the present day.
January 22, 2012
Man found floating identified as missing Chicago man
Key West – Sheriff’s detectives say the man’s body, found floating near the White Street pier last week, has been identified as a man reported missing in Chicago.
The family of 65 year old John Hanson told Chicago police they last saw him at 8 a.m. on January 9th when he left to go to work. On January 13th, his body was found offshore of the White Street Pier with no identification.
Detectives worked all week, canvassing various places to see if anyone knew who the man was. On Saturday, his family called the Key West Police Department. They said they had received a package in the mail, from Key West, with Hanson’s wallet, identification and other personal items inside. Key West Police put the family in touch with the Medical Examiner’s Office and a positive identification of Hanson was made.
It is still unknown how Hanson died; an autopsy showed signs of drowning, but toxicology tests are still pending. There were no signs of foul play in evidence on the body.
January 21, 2012
Homeless man found dead in wooded area
Marathon – A local homeless man was found dead in a wooded area of Marathon Friday afternoon.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit are investigating along with the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office. Another homeless man, staying in the vicinity, reported finding the body in a wooded area near 62nd Street at 2:30 p.m. There were no obvious signs of foul play in evidence on the body.
The deceased man, who is familiar to law enforcement officers, is not being identified to the public pending notification of his next of kin. The Medical Examiner’s Office will be performing an autopsy to determine the cause of his death.
January 20, 2012
Bank robbery on Big Pine Key
Big Pine Key – Detectives from the Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are working together to investigate a bank robbery this morning at Centennial Bank on Big Pine Key.
At 10 a.m., a man wearing a mask walked into the bank and demanded money from one of the tellers at the bank. He handed her a plastic bag, she placed the money in the bag and he left the bank. Detectives say they believe he left the area in a dark colored, full sized sport utility vehicle.
The suspect is believed to be a Hispanic male, 5’8” to 5’10” tall, approximately 180 pounds. He was wearing a mask over his face, a black colored “hoodie” sweatshirt with a light colored design on the front, dark colored jeans and shoes.
Anyone with information about this robbery should call the Sheriff’s Office immediately. 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 from Crime Stoppers. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may also be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com.
Detectives investigate death in fire
Big Pine Key – A man was found dead inside a motor home which had caught on fire Thursday night. Detectives are investigating.
Deputies Scott Ward and Spenser Bryan responded to reports that a motor home was on fire at Seahorse Campground on Big Pine Key just before 10 p.m. When they arrived, they saw a man walking away from the motor home carrying a fire extinguisher.
They could see smoke coming from the vehicle, but no flames. They attempted to enter the vehicle to check for anyone inside. The heat and smoke made it difficult for the deputies to see anything; they yelled but got no response. They could see what looked like a foot and leg on a mattress inside, but were unable to get any further inside due to the inability to breath in the heat.
They retreated outside; a short time later, they entered again; they found the body of a man inside. Paramedics arrived and confirmed the man was deceased. He has been identified as a 65 year old resident of the campground. His next of kin have not yet been identified.
Detective Deborah Ryan from the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit responded. She will be investigating the death. The Monroe County Medical Examiner will be investigating the cause of the man’s death; the Fire Marshall will investigate the cause of the fire.
Two residents of the park were interviewed; 53 year old Robert Beda told Deputy Ward he saw the flames and put them out with his fire extinguisher; 46 year old Timothy Potter said he saw smoke coming from the vehicle and called the Sheriff’s Office to report it. He said he and a friend then started evacuating neighboring trailers.
January 16, 2012
Airplane makes rough landing when gear fails to lower
Key West – A 2010 Velocity aircraft landed on its belly when the landing gear failed to lower upon landing Sunday afternoon at the Key West International Airport.
The plane had three adults and one small child on board. None were injured during the incident. The runway was closed for about 40 minutes – between 1:03 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. – as the plane was removed.
The pilot of the plane was 37 year old Taras Rud from Vero Beach, Florida. Also on board was Annette Rene-Danigelis of Muskegon, Michigan, Olena Mikhnyk of Vero Beach, Florida and her three year old daughter.
January 13, 2012
Major Crimes detective works two death investigations
Lower Keys – A diver death and a man found floating in the water offshore of Higg’s Beach have kept Major Crimes Detective Manny Cuervo busy this afternoon.
At 11:20 a.m., Detective Cuervo responded to Front Street on Stock Island, where a diver was being brought in unresponsive, not breathing. Paramedics responded as well and transported the Ohio man to Lower Keys Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was on board a commercial dive vessel; he and a group of divers on the boat were doing a “test dive” in about 30 feet of water in preparation for a later dive on the Vandenberg. Other divers in the group said he surfaced and gave the “OK” sign, but when they saw him just minutes later, he was floating on the surface of the water, not breathing. Detective Cuervo is attempting to reach his family to notify them of his death. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.
Just 20 minutes later, Key West Police notified Sheriff’s dispatchers of a man’s body, found about 400 – 500 yards offshore of the Higg’s Beach / White Street Pier area of Key West. A jet skier in that area found the man floating in the water. Key West Police recovered the body and took it to the U.S. Coast Guard station, where Detective Cuervo met them to conduct his investigation.
According to the detective, there is no obvious sign of foul play in evidence on the body. There is also no identification on the body, so Detective Cuervo is hoping someone will recognize his description. He is a white male, late 40s to late 50s with medium length salt and pepper hair. He is about 5’10” to 6’ tall and weighs in the neighborhood of 250 pounds. He is wearing blue jeans, a brown “Key West” t-shirt, tucked in, with a brown belt. On his feet, he was wearing “water shoes”. On his left ring finger is a small key ring, worn like a ring. He may have been in the water anywhere from 6 to 12 hours.
Anyone with information about the man’s identity should contact the Sheriff’s office immediately.
Marathon man charged with gun threats
Marathon – A Marathon man is in jail, charged with threatening another man with a gun.
The charges stem from an incident which took place January 7th in the early morning hours at JJs Doghouse bar. Just after 3 a.m., deputies responded to the bar to reports of a man with a gun.
When they arrived, they met with the victim, who said the suspect, 36 year old Enrique Valdes Jr., had chased him down the street with a gun in his hand.
The two men had a previous altercation, about a week before, during which Valdes was struck in the eye. The victim said when Valdes saw him in the bar he left, telling the victim he’d “be right back”. The victim said he was afraid Valdes was going to get a weapon, so he armed himself with a pool cue. He said when Valdes returned a short time later, he had a gun in his hand. At that point, the victim said he fled on foot down the street with Valdes chasing him.
Witnesses corroborated the victim’s story. An employee of the bar at first refused to make a statement, but later told Sgt. Joel Slough Valdes had shown him a handgun tucked in his waistband. Another witness said he saw the suspect running after the victim carrying a handgun.
A warrant was issued for Valdes; on Thursday, he was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He was booked into jail.
January 12, 2012
Man arrested for stolen auto; investigated for burglary
Stock Island – A Tallahassee man, arrested after he was caught driving a stolen auto, is under investigation for several burglaries.
Detective Donald Catala spotted 40 year old Robert Skinner driving the silver colored Chevrolet Silverado Wednesday afternoon. When Skinner saw the detective’s unmarked law enforcement vehicle, he began acting as if he were nervous; Detective Catala decided to run the truck’s license tag to see if Skinner had reason to be nervous. The tag revealed the truck had been reported stolen from Hillsboro County.
The truck was stopped as it left Key West, over the Cow Key Channel Bridge, by Detectives David Chavka and David Cruz and Deputy Matt Dowling. Skinner was taken into custody on the Hillsboro County grand theft auto charge.
The truck matched the description of a vehicle involved in a Key Largo burglary earlier in the day. Property found in the truck, including laptop computers, cameras, fishing equipment and ammunition, may have come from burglaries committed earlier in the day in Key Largo and on Grassy Key.
Skinner claimed a man he met at the Waffle House in Key West earlier in the day had loaned him the truck and asked him to use it to get him drugs. He also said the same man asked him to take the property in the truck to a pawn shop for him. He could not give detectives the man’s name or description. He also couldn’t explain why he had two credit cards in his wallet that did not belong to him.
Investigations are continuing as detectives attempt to match the items in the truck with the burglaries, and try to locate other items Skinner may have pawned. More charges are pending. According to detectives in Hillsboro County, Skinner is well known to them and has more charges pending there as well.
Miami man charged with burglary
Plantation Key – A Miami man was charged with a residential burglary after his fingerprints were found at the scene.
The burglary took place in February of 2011 at a home on Bessie Road. The homeowner was sleeping in the home when the crime occurred. When he woke the next morning, he found a window and a sliding glass door open. He then found his wallet, a small safe, two guns and cash missing from his home.
Detectives Barney Sajdak and Ralph Williams responded to the home and conducted an investigation, finding fingerprints on the sliding glass door, and on the plastic wrapping from some duct tape found on the floor of the home. They sent the fingerprints to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for database comparison.
In September, FDLE identified the prints as coming from 20 year old Arnold Junior Valdes, of Miami. A warrant was issued for his arrest. On Wednesday, he was booked into the Monroe County jail on the warrant, charged with burglary, grand theft, two counts theft of firearms and grand theft from a person 65 years of age or older.
January 11, 2012
Two Miami woman charged with mortgage fraud; one still at large
Two Miami women were arrested, accused of committing mortgage fraud in the purchase of a Sugarloaf Key home. A third one is wanted on an outstanding warrant.
The women conspired in 2007 to falsify documents regarding the purchase of a home on Pinetree Lane, Sugarloaf Key. The actual house purchase price was $899,000.00; paperwork falsified by the women showed the sale price at $1,940,000.00. Detective Diane Mimosa received an anonymous tip about the crime in February of 2011.
Detective Mimosa’s lengthy and detailed investigations showed that during the process of purchasing the home, the women conspired to take a mortgage out on the property using the falsified and inflated property value; they then paid off the seller, the real estate agent and other costs based on the original sale price, pocketing the remainder of the mortgage amount – about $450,000.00 in all.
Warrants were issued on January 4th for 31 year old Sacha Rodriguez of Miami and 45 year old Alba Fito of Hialeah. They were both booked into jail Tuesday, charged with grand theft over $100,000.00 – a first degree felony, and mortgage fraud, a second degree felony.
A warrant has been issued for a third woman, 43 year old Anayansi Perez of Miami. Perez is accused of knowingly allowing the two other women to use her identity when applying for the fraudulent mortgage. She will also be charged with grand theft and mortgage fraud.
Rodriguez has been convicted of similar crimes in other jurisdictions in Florida; Fito has been charged with similar crimes and cases against her are still ongoing.
January 8, 2012
Miami man caught with fraudulent credit cards
Marathon – A Miami man who tried unsuccessfully to use several fraudulent credit cards at the Marathon Publix grocery store was arrested Saturday afternoon.
Deputy Bradford Colen responded to Publix at 2 p.m. after the manager called to report a man was attempting to use fraudulent credit cards in the store. When the deputy arrived, the manager pointed the man out, handing over two of the cards he tried to use. He said the man had tried to buy two $300 Publix gift cards using several cards, none of which were legitimate cards.
When 35 year old Eladio Gonzalez saw the deputy walk in, he fled from the store with the deputy in pursuit. Gonzalez ran behind the store and into a wooded area. Sgt. Dennis Coleman arrived as back-up; he ran into the wooded area after Gonzalez. The officers caught up with him, with Sgt. Coleman ordering Gonzalez to the ground. Instead of complying with the sergeant’s orders, Gonzalez began reaching into the front of his pants. Fearing the man had a weapon, Deputy Colen deployed his Taser. Gonzalez was then handcuffed and taken into custody.
Gonzalez’ wallet was recovered from a trash can at Publix. Inside, deputies found 19 fraudulent credit cards and a fake Pennsylvania driver’s license. He was charged with possessing the fake license, fraudulent use of a credit card, five counts of passing counterfeited credit cards and resisting arrest. He was booked into jail.
January 5, 2012
Victim of snorkeling accident dies
The victim of what appears to be a snorkeling accident at Sombrero Reef on New Year’s Day has died at Kendall Regional Medical Center.
28 year old Vinayak Devasthali of Massachusetts died on January 3rd while being treated at that hospital. The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy to determine the cause of his death. Tests are still pending. Contact their office for more information.
According to detectives, the death appears to be accidental in nature.
January 4, 2011
Man refuses to stop for deputy; crashes on motorcycle
Marathon – A Marathon man on a motorcycle refused to stop for a deputy trying to pull him over; he crashed and was airlifted to Miami to be treated for injuries related to the crash.
Deputy Thomas Hill was northbound on Highway U.S. One near Sadowski Causeway just before midnight when he saw the motorcycle pull out of the Circle K parking lot and immediately accelerate to 91 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone. As the deputy turned on his lights and siren and attempted to catch up with the bike, the driver accelerated through the red light at Coco Plum Road, traveling at a high rate of speed northbound.
At that point, the deputy decided not to chase the motorcycle for fear it would cause the bike’s rider to drive even more dangerously. Deputy Hill continued north and, when he reached the 56 mile marker, he saw black plastic scattered across the highway and several vehicles stopped with their emergency flashers on. He then saw the motorcycle off the road with the driver lying beside it.
Another vehicle with rear end damage was on the scene; the two people in the vehicle complained of some pain; they were treated on the scene but refused transport to the hospital.
Deputy Hill called for an ambulance and for Florida Highway Patrol to respond to investigate the accident. He then treated the motorcycle driver as he waited for the ambulance. The man identified himself as Charles Motschall of Marathon. Deputy Hill said when the man spoke, he could smell the odor of alcohol on his breath.
A short time later, a man arrived on the scene who also identified himself as Charles Motschall. He told Deputy Hill the injured man was his brother, Daniel. He said he and Daniel own the motorcycle together. He said Daniel probably gave a false name because he did not have a motorcycle endorsement on is license.
25 year old Daniel Motschall was airlifted to Miami for treatment of his injuries. FHP is investigating the case.
January 2, 2012
Accidents of note:
12/30 at 4:15 p.m. three car accident at the 73 mile marker of the highway. Minor injuries. Deputies were on scene getting some traffic through the area, although debris on the roadway made it difficult. Due to heavy traffic, backups were considerable. Road finally opened at 6 p.m. FHP investigated.
1/1 at 2 a.m. – Caller reported a man lying in the street at the 90 mile marker. Reported possible head trauma, possible hit and run accident. FHP responded to investigate. Man was airlifted to the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.
Fireworks: Deputies county-wide responded to 33 calls reporting fireworks between Saturday night and Sunday night.
Man on scooter faces multiple traffic charges
Marathon – A 24 year old Marathon man is in jail after failing to stop his scooter for deputies, then fighting with them as they attempted to handcuff him.
Sheriff’s dispatchers received a call at 8:45 p.m. Saturday of a reckless driver on a motor scooter northbound on U.S. One in Marathon. Deputy Christian Galls was at the stoplight at U. S. One and 55th Street when he saw a vehicle in back of a scooter; the driver of the vehicle flashed his lights and yelled to the deputy that the scooter driver was driving as if he was impaired.
Deputy Galls attempted to stop the scooter as the driver continued on U.S. One to 68th Street. The scooter failed to stop as it turned on 68th Street, then pulled into the driveway of a residence.
Deputy Galls got out of his vehicle yelling at the scooter driver to get off the scooter. The driver, later identified as Brandon Smith, tried to take off on the vehicle, but the deputy grabbed him, dragging him to the ground.
As Smith resisted, Deputy Galls struggled with him finally getting him in handcuffs. At that point, Deputies Danielle Malone and Nicholis Whiteman arrived as back up.
Smith refused medical treatment, refused field sobriety exercises and refused a breathalyzer test. He reportedly appeared to be impaired, had trouble keeping his eyes open and spoke with slurred speech, having trouble answering deputies questions.
Once at the jail, because of his impaired state, Corrections officers insisted he be cleared by the hospital before being booked into jail. After he was cleared at the hospital, Deputy Galls was standing beside him opening the door of his patrol car to put him inside when Smith again began to struggle. During the struggle, he kicked the deputy and grabbed for his gun. Deputy Galls got him back under control and transported him to jail for booking. Once at the jail, he continued to struggle and had to be placed in a restraint chair for his own safety and the safety of the officers involved.
Smith was charged with driving under the influence, fleeing and eluding police, resisting arrest with and without violence and battery on a law enforcement officer.
Snorkeling accident offshore of Marathon
Marathon – A man was airlifted to Miami after a snorkeling accident offshore of Marathon Sunday.
According to reports by Deputy Nancy Torrios, she responded to the Seven Mile Marina to meet a U.S. Coast Guard vessel coming in with a man who’d stopped breathing while he was snorkeling at Sombrero Reef.
According to witness reports, the crew of the vessel “Spirit” had taken a group snorkeling at the reef. When they arrived, they saw a man floating on the water nearby. They pulled him from the water, started CPR and called the Coast Guard for assistance. The Coast Guard responded and brought the man into shore, continuing CPR. It was later found that the victim, 28 year old Vinayak Devasthali, was from another snorkeling vessel, the “Starfish”, which was also at the reef that day.
The crew of the “Starfish” heard on the marine radio about the snorkeler in distress and did a head count of passengers; when they realized they were missing one, they also responded to shore. Devasthali was with a group of people on board the “Starfish” visiting from Massachusetts and New Hampshire; it is unclear from the deputy’s report where Devasthali is from.
Paramedics met the Coast Guard and took the victim to Fishermen’s Hospital. He was revived and airlifted to Kendall Regional Medical Center where he is currently being treated in the ICU unit.