Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report

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

June 25, 2002

North Carolina man charged with fondling young girl

Big Pine Key – A North Carolina man was arrested Monday and charged with fondling a 14 year old girl’s breasts.

36 year old Bruce Wilson was charged with lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 16. The victim told Sheriff’s deputies he asked several times to touch her breasts, and on at least one occasion he did so against her will.

Wilson was arrested at 2:45 p.m. on Big Pine Key and was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

June 24, 2002

Son arrested for stabbing father in the chest

Big Pine Key – A 20 year old man was arrested in the early morning hours for stabbing his father in the chest after an argument.

The father, 45 year old Clifford Fischer, told Deputies Gerald Fisher and Jeremy Davy that his 20 year old son, Derick Kibler, stabbed him with a pocket knife at approximately 10:30 p.m. Sunday. Fischer’s seven year old son witnessed the stabbing, which took place at their home on Cunningham Lane, Big Pine Key.

The dispute began earlier in the evening. The victim’s younger son was visiting his mother at her home on Iris Drive, Big Pine Key. Fischer called her to see how his son would be getting home. She said their older son, Derick would be bringing him home. Fischer objected because he said his older son had been drinking and he didn’t want his younger son riding with someone who was impaired.

Fischer then called the Sheriff’s Office to have a deputy stand by at the mother’s home while he picked up his younger son. When he arrived, people at the household were upset that he had “called the cops” on them. He picked up his younger son and left, going home to his residence on Cunningham Lane.

Later in the evening, his older son, Derick, showed up at the Cunningham Lane home. The two men argued because Derick was upset at his father for bringing a deputy to the mother’s house. The victim said Derick pulled out a pocket knife, opened it and held it in his hand. His father told him he “didn’t have the stones to use it”. The next thing he knew, he said Derick stabbed him with the knife. Derick fled the scene, leaving the father and the younger son alone at the house. The Sheriff’s Office was notified and deputies and an ambulance were dispatched to the scene.

Deputies found Derick at his mother’s house on Iris Drive and placed him under arrest. He was charged with aggravated battery and he was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center. Clifford Fischer was transported to a Miami Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

June 20, 2002

 Press release correction:  Please note that in press release issued earlier today reference Crime Stoppers 5k Run/Walk, the Crime Stopper statistics should be 13 arrests, 18 criminal cases cleared and over twenty thousand dollars worth of drugs, property and cash seized or recovered so far this year.  Also, the phone number for Barbara Wright is 296-7128.  Please make the necessary changes. Thanks.

 Impaired driver arrested after chase and crash

 A pursuit of an impaired driver by Sheriff’s deputies ended last night when the fleeing driver crashed his vehicle at the 92 mile marker and was arrested after a short chase on foot.  The incident started shortly before ten p.m. when deputies tried to get an apparently impaired driver to stop.  However, the driver sped away and was pursued from the 88-mile marker until he wrecked about ten miles north.  The driver tried to flee on foot, but was caught.  42-year old Phillip G. Mueller, of Miami Beach, is charged with DUI, fleeing and eluding, DUI with property damage and resisting an officer.  Mueller was booked at the Plantation Key jail.

 Sheriff’s Trauma Star Helicopter in action again

 The Sheriff’s Trauma Star Helicopter flew two missions Wednesday.  Shortly before 5 p.m., the rescue helicopters crew landed at Fisherman’s Hospital in Marathon to pick up a heart attack patient for transfer to Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach.  Later Wednesday, the rescue chopper landed near the eleven-mile marker to pick up a man who suffered serious injuries in a fall from a roof.  The injured man was flown to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

 Bomb Threat suspect arrested

 The search for a suspect who caused an evacuation of Key West International Airport last October 14, ended Wednesday with the arrest of 22-year old Adam E. Gayton.  Key West Police took him into custody at Bayview Park.  Officer Brenda Sellers apprehended Gayton while checking out a complaint of a suspicious homeless person at the park.  Gayton is accused of leaving a suitcase outside the terminal at the airport.  The Monroe County Sheriff’s bomb squad x-rayed the suitcase and spotted suspicious round cylinders inside.  The deputies used a remote device to open the suitcase, but did not find any explosives. Deputies did find a Gayton’s name on baggage tag attached to the suitcase.  A warrant was issued for his arrest, charging him with the bomb threat hoax.  Gayton is now in county jail, held under a 275 thousand-dollar bond.

 June 13, 2002

Corrections Officer arrested for domestic battery, filing false report

Monroe County – A Monroe County Sheriff’s Detention Deputy was arrested Wednesday, charged with domestic battery and filing a false police report.

27 year old Phyllis Jackson is accused of striking the father of her child, then filing a false report which accused him of hitting her. The dispute stemmed from a custody dispute between the two. The incidents occurred May 24th of this year, at the Monroe County Courthouse in Key West.

Jackson has submitted her resignation with the Sheriff’s Office, effective in July. She will be allowed to continue working in the Detention Center until then because the charges do not stem from a work related incident and because the charges are both misdemeanor crimes. Misdemeanor crimes such as these do not constitute offenses where termination is immediately called for under Sheriff’s Office General Orders.

June 10, 2002

Two arrested for attempting to steal household goods

Tavernier – A man and a woman are under arrest after attempting to take a large amount of electronic equipment from a Tavernier home using a U-Haul truck.

Deputies Laura Garcia and Kristy Jackson responded to reports of an agitated, upset woman who was at a local convenience store Saturday at 3 a.m. After speaking with the woman, they escorted her to her residence, where she reportedly lives with her mother.

When they arrived at the home on Meridian Avenue in Tavernier, they found a U-Haul truck parked outside. A television and a VCR were sitting on the ground beside the truck. The woman said the items were her and she had no idea how they got there. As they walked toward the house, they saw a drawer sitting beside the fence with computer equipment inside. She said the equipment was also hers, and she had no idea how it got there either. They walked up to a sliding glass door and the woman peered inside. She told the deputies it looked like she was being “robbed”.

When the deputies entered the home, they found it had been ransacked. A big screen television set was sitting on the sofa and more computer equipment and a stereo were sitting beside the door, as if someone was getting ready to load the items in the U-Haul truck.

A search of the home turned up 21 year old Joshua Deckard and 24 year old Jane Kuhn, sleeping in the bedroom. They denied any knowledge of the truck, or the items piled beside the door, the fence and the truck. They said the woman had given them permission to stay at the house. The mother, who was contacted later, said she did not give Deckard and Kuhn permission to stay there, or permission to take her things. She said the two were her daughter’s friends.

Deckard and Kuhn were both arrested, charged with attempted grand theft and booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.

Marathon man charged with battery, false imprisonment, fleeing law enforcement

Marathon – A Marathon man was arrested Sunday morning after he battered his girlfriend in front of numerous witnesses, then took off in a dingy, refusing to stop for law enforcement officers.

According to the witnesses, 24 year old Tracy Nichols and his girlfriend got into an argument on board a boat in the Marathon City Marina. She tried to take her dingy and get away from him, but he climbed into the dinghy and wouldn’t let her leave. He began beating on her in the dinghy. He began steering the boat toward the dock, but once there, he continued beating on her until someone on the dock helped her get away from him.

Sgt.s Susan Greenwood and Richard Heber arrived and spotted the dinghy leaving. They ordered Nichols to stop, but he refused. The officers then called Sheriff’s Office dispatchers and requested assistance from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officers. An FWC boat was dispatched. They attempted to stop Nichols near the Seven Mile Bridge, but he refused to stop. An FWC officer boarded the dinghy in an attempted to stop it. Nichols shoved him overboard, narrowly missing him with the still-running motor.

The FWC vessel picked up the officer from the water, then caught up with Nichols. They were able to handcuff him and taken him into custody. Nichols was brought back to shore and turned over to Sheriff’s deputies. He was charged with battery, false imprisonment and resisting arrest with violence. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center.


June 7, 2002

Man injured during attempted robbery

Stock Island – A Stock Island man’s neck and arm were broken when four men tried to rob him in the early morning hours today.

The victim told Deputy Andrew Kempel he was riding his bike home at 12:45 a.m. He said he was on the bike path just north of the Cow Key Channel bridge when he ran into a rope someone had strung across it. He flew off his bike, and four men attacked him attempting to steal his jewelry. He said he only really saw one of the men who tried to take his necklace from him. The man he saw was a white male, five foot eight to five foot ten inches tall, possibly in his 40s. He was wearing a white T-shirt and cut off jean shorts.

The victim punched one of the men and was able to escape, riding home to his residence on Maloney Avenue on Stock Island. Because he thought he had a broken arm, his father took him to the hospital. At the hospital, it was determined that his arm and his neck were both fractured.

The green colored rope which was used in the attack was recovered. Detectives will be investigating the incident.

Anyone with information about the attack should contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Callers to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward if their information leads to an arrest. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

June 5, 2002

Corrections Officer arrested, terminated

Monroe County – A Sheriff’s Office Corrections Deputy was arrested and subsequently terminated from his employment because he punched an inmate for spitting on him.

The inmate was immobilized in a restraint chair at the time of the incident. 26 year old Eric Otero broke his hand when he punched the inmate in the side of the head. Afterward, he told several people about punching the inmate. Another Corrections Deputy, who witnessed the incident, documented it in a “Use of Force” report.

The report was forwarded to the Sheriff’s Office of Internal Affairs. During the investigation, Otero was questioned about his actions. He made false statements to investigators, saying he was simply trying to keep the inmate from spitting on him again. He said he attempted to use a control tactic called a “mandibular angle pressure point”, but missed and hit the chair instead. Further investigation and questioning revealed this statement to be untrue.

Otero was charged with battery, for striking the inmate, and official misconduct for making false statements during the investigation. He was booked into the Monroe County Detention Center Friday, and subsequently terminated from his employment with the Sheriff’s Office.

June 4, 2002

Detectives have composite of aggravated battery suspect

Islamorada –
Sheriff’s detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating a man who battered a 19 year old at the Sandbar off of Islamorada earlier this month. A witness to the incident has assisted detectives with putting together a composite sketch of the suspect in the case.

The 19 year old victim, whose family lives in Islamorada, suffered multiple broken bones in his face from the beating, and may suffer from permanent eye damage. Detective Larry O’Neill said the incident took place May 14th between 5 and 6 p.m. near a boat where a D.J. was playing music. The fight began after the suspect asked a friend of the victim to show him her breasts. She said no, and the suspect reportedly refused to take no for an answer. A short time later the physical confrontation took place.

Witnesses say the suspect first held the victim’s head under water, then hit him in the face. The suspect is described as a white male, 35 to 40 years old, six feet tall, 260 to 300 pounds. He has short, strawberry blonde hair, a brown colored mustache, maybe a light goatee, and was very sunburned. He was wearing a blue and orange shorts-type bathing suit.

Anyone who knows this man, or might be able to provide more information about him, should call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. A caller whose information leads to an arrest may be eligible for a substantial cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS.

Detective investigating theft of firearms

Plantation Key – Seven guns and two silencer/suppressors were stolen from a Plantation Key residence over the weekend. One of the guns was a fully automatic sub-machine gun.

Detective David Carey is currently working with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to follow up possible leads in the case. Illegal possession of a fully automatic weapon or silencer/suppressor is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison.

The son of the guns’ owner called the Sheriff’s Office Sunday. He said he’d had a party at his house on Leoni Drive, Plantation Key on Saturday night. The following day, he noticed the weapons were missing from the house. The missing guns included a High Standard  .22 caliber semi-automatic target pistol, a Para Ordinance P14 .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a Mac 11 .380 fully automatic sub machine gun, a Ithica pump 12 gauge shot gun, two Ruger .22 caliber semi-automatic rifles, a Ruger Mini-14 .223 Caliber semi-automatic rifle, and two silencer/suppressors. The guns and silencers are estimated to be worth $5,200.00.

Anyone with information about the case should contact Detective Carey at the Plantation Key Substation, 305-853-3211. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If the information 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.

Two groups of migrants land

Marathon – Two large groups of migrants each landed in the middle Keys over the last few days.

On Saturday, a group of 31 Cuban migrants landed at west Sisters Creek Rock, near Sombrero Beach in Marathon. The landing was reported at 8:45 a.m. 12 of the group were juveniles. All of them were turned over to the Coast Guard.

Today (Tuesday) a group of 31 refugees landed near the 63.5 mile marker of the highway, near Conch Key just before 8 a.m. Fifteen men, 10 women and six juveniles were handed over to Border Patrol.