floridaduh

The Bizarre World of Florida

Troopers: I-75 wrong-way DUI suspect wanted ride home September 2, 2014

sfl-flduh-wrongway-driver-20140831-001While troopers were on patrol of I-75 early Saturday morning, they spotted a driver in a Chevrolet Impala heading eastbound near Naples at a high rate of speed.  The driver was pulled over after radar estimated the vehicle’s speed at 106 mph in a 70 mph zone.

As they were writing up the driver for excess speed, a driver in a Cadillac was heading westbound in the eastbound lanes.  The troopers managed to flag the driver down and get him to pull over.  It took them several tries for to get the driver to put the car in park and get out of the vehicle.

The troopers believed the driver to be intoxicated based on what they saw, according to the arrest report.

They attempted to conduct a sobriety test which the driver identified as 54-year-old David Johnsen refused to cooperate.  During their interview, the troopers say the driver claimed to be a retired cop from Duluth, MN and wanted a ride home.

Johnsen got a ride to the Collier County Jail on a DUI charge where he posted a $1000 bond.

 

Fast and Fur-ious: Man in police chase, crash, stopped to play with cats

Candace Noonan was getting her son ready for school at their Boca Raton home when a complete stranger walked up and opened the back sliding door.

sfl-flduh-police-chase-crash-cats-20140831-001“I said, ’Excuse me, can I help you?’” Noonan said. “He said, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry. Next door, I’m mowing the lawn. Do you mind if I have a glass of water?'”

Thinking the man was a landscaper, Noonan obliged and went to get the man a bottle of water.

Noonan was unaware that authorities said the man, who was identified as Daniel Pinedo Velapatino, 21, was running from police after leading officers from Delray Beach and Boca Raton on a wild chase, smashing into cars and a police cruiser.

When Noonan came back with a bottle of water, she said Velapatino had entered the house and was lying on the living room floor, playing with her cats.

“It was odd, very odd,” Noonan said. “He was stroking my cat. It almost looked like he either was on drugs or he was mentally handicapped.”

Noonan’s husband started questioning Velapatino, and the stranger fled out the back door.

”We saw cop cars driving around the front of our house, and that’s when we sort of put two and two together,” Noonan said.

Police gave chase, and Velapatino tried to get away by jumping in a canal, but a police boat captured him.

Investigators said Velapatino had been up all night taking drugs at a friend’s place. He is accused of stealing thousands of dollars in cash from a friend’s wallet, crashing a Lexus into a number of cars, including a police cruiser and a fire hydrant before he fled on foot.

Investigators said Velapatino told them he needed the money because he owed his mother $2,000.

 

A question only one state can answer: If you drink more after a crash, can you avoid a DUI? September 1, 2014

Two years ago, a man in a 1973 Rolls-Royce blew through a red light and killed an 81-year-old man driving with his wife to Walmart.

b0s_dui083114c_13766468_8colA Pinellas Park officer suspected Tracy Garon, the driver of the Rolls-Royce, was drunk. The officer led the 59-year-old to a curb and resumed investigating at the crash scene. Left to himself, Garon walked into a Circle K and bought a 24-ounce Miller Lite.

The officer saw Garon leave the convenience store with the beer to his lips and told him to stop drinking. Garon kept swigging. The officer grabbed the beer and placed it on the sidewalk.

“At this point, I had suspicion to believe this act was an attempt to defeat a DUI investigation,” an officer wrote of the Dec. 9, 2012, crash.

Stories of how to beat a DUI test abound. And expert opinions vary on how much people could torpedo a DUI case by drinking after a crash and before a breath or blood test is administered.

“It could certainly muddy the waters,” said Reta Newman, director of the Pinellas County Forensic Lab.

In Garon’s case, both he and the officer knew that the can of Miller Lite could be a key piece of evidence in a DUI manslaughter prosecution.

The officer tried to secure the can as evidence. Before he could, Garon kicked it over, spilling it onto the sidewalk.

The strategy is this: If you drink after a crash and before a test, it will be harder for police to determine your blood alcohol level at the time you committed the supposed crime.

“We have people who when pulled over for driving drunk … throw the key out of the car and pop open a beer,” said Pinellas Park police Sgt. Adam Geissenberger.

This could create a problem for police, because if a blood test shows the person is drunk, how can investigators prove that the alcohol consumed after the crash didn’t put them over the limit?

Clearwater defense lawyer Nicholas Dorsten represented Garon. He also represented another client who tried the same tactic.

In that instance, an officer pulled over a St. Petersburg woman on her way home from a Christmas party. The officer called for a member of the DUI unit so they could determine whether the woman had been drinking. Before the other officer arrived, the woman walked inside her home and drank alcohol, Dorsten said. She returned outside in her pajamas and refused a breath test. Police arrested her, but she later was offered a plea deal that reduced her DUI to reckless driving.

Dorsten said prosecutors would have had a hard time proving how much alcohol she had at the time she was pulled over.

In Garon’s case, because someone died in the accident, officers had a legal right to test his blood.

An officer stood watch over Garon after he bought the beer. An hour later they drew a blood sample. The test indicated Garon had a .25 blood alcohol level. An hour later officers drew another sample, which read .23. And an hour after that he tested at .21. All are about three times the legal limit.

Garon told officers he had just come from a car show and only had a small glass of red wine. Officers could tell Garon’s body had begun metabolizing the alcohol because each blood alcohol reading was lower than the last. This helped save the case.

Garon’s blood alcohol level wasn’t affected by the beer he drank. If it had, it would have spiked the sample on at least one test.

“What juror wouldn’t look at that person and say … ‘what the hell is that?’ ” said Assistant State Attorney Scott Rosenwasser, who prosecuted Garon. “You just killed someone and you’re going to start drinking?”

In court, Garon pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide. He was sentenced in June to 17 years in prison.

But if Garon had drunk more immediately after the crash, it could have spiked his blood alcohol level. Would that have made a difference?

“The biggest thing is (drinking after a crash) would have a hard time making a major impact unless there is a significant amount of time and a significant amount of alcohol,” said Newman.

Newman said if a person could drink enough, and then wait for the alcohol to kick in, a blood alcohol test would not be able to show their level of intoxication at the time of the crash. That’s what might have helped the St. Petersburg woman who drank an unknown amount of alcohol in her home.

Rosenwasser said he doesn’t think the tactic works.

“Depending on the blood alcohol level it wouldn’t change the way I prosecute,” he said. “And in fact, I would use it as consciousness of guilt. They’re trying to play a game by drinking it right after.”

One thing is clear from Garon’s case, and that’s that officers should not allow DUI suspects to slip into a convenience store to chug a beer after a fatal crash.

Geissenberger, the police sergeant, said in this case the severity of the crash and the size of the scene made it hard for the officer to give all his immediate attention to Garon. The officer was not disciplined, Geissenberger said, but they did discuss what went wrong.

“It was just about how we as an organization can do better,” he said.

 

Man accused of exposing himself, shaking genitals at apartments

sfl-flduh-exposing-shaking-genitals-20140828-001 (1)A 60-year-old Fort Walton Beach man is accused of exposing himself in front of a woman and her 2-year-old son at an apartment complex.

Richard Wild pulled his pants down below his knees, placed his hands on his hips, and then began “shaking” his genitals while “yelling incoherently,” according to the arrest report. Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies spoke to the woman, who said she turned herself and her son away to avoid seeing anything further.

Wild said his pants had fallen down because they were loose, according to the report.

He is charged with lewd or lascivious exhibition – intentionally exposing his genitals in the presence of a victim under 16 years old, which is a second degree felony.

 

Kids have imaginary friends — and meth-heads must have imaginary enemies

On 8-24-14 at approximately 0345 hrs. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a newspaper delivery person on Little Dothan Rd. in the northeast portion of Jackson County.

The caller reported three persons yelling for help from the second floor of a residence. The individuals stated that they had been shot at and held hostage for several hours. When the officers arrived the subjects initially refused to come outside because they feared the attackers might still be in the bottom floor of the house.

sfl-flduh-toilet-sink-imaginary-20140828-001

Once contact was made, the two men and one woman reported that they had been attacked by several persons but could not provide any descriptions. The female reported that she had been stabbed and the knife broken off in her abdomen. Further investigation revealed that she only had a superficial scratch to her abdomen. Furthermore, all of the injuries received by the individuals were self-inflicted while attempting to fight off the attackers.

The investigation revealed that there was never anyone at the home beside the three individuals and no one was attempting to cause them harm.

The remnants of a “Shake and Bake” meth lab was found in the residence along with several ingredients and items used to manufacture methamphetamines. Also discovered was a small amount of finished methamphetamine product along with straws and pipes used to ingest, inhale, or smoke illegal narcotics.

It appears in their altered mental state, the subjects were hallucinating and believed that they were being attacked. The three armed themselves with a 12-gauge shotgun and a .22 rifle. Approximately 40 rounds of 12-gauge and an unknown number of .22 rounds were fired from inside the residence.

Numerous windows were shot out and holes were shot in the walls. They completely removed a large rear window from the house on the second floor and threw the bathroom sink at the imaginary attackers. Chunks of sheetrock, wood, firearm parts, and anything they could tear out of the residence was thrown outside including the toilet, which was ripped from the floor. In total, more than $10,000 damage was done to the residence.

All three of the subjects were lodged in the Jackson County Correctional Facility to await first appearance.

Matthew Tyler McDaniel, 30; Damian Joseph Hines, 21; and Madison Star Douglas, 18 were all charged with Possession of Methamphetamines, Attempt to Manufacture Methamphetamines, Felony Criminal Mischief and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

 

His officers are probably getting a bang out of their chief’s blunder August 28, 2014

Filed under: Amazing,Dumb,Guns,Interesting,OK Then .....,Stupid,WTF? — floridaduh @ 2:00 pm

Daytona Beach police Chief Mike Chitwood was stopped by security at Orlando International Airport last week after a gun was found in his carry-on luggage, officials confirmed Wednesday.

sfl-flduh-police-chief-gun-airport-20140827-001Chitwood was stopped at a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint about 8 p.m. Thursday after a screener noticed the gun, police said.

“Chief Chitwood was escorted from the checkpoint to safely secure his weapon before he was allowed to board his flight,” Orlando police said in a statement. The chief was not arrested and is not facing charges.

OPD noted that sworn officers are permitted to travel armed, if they complete the TSA’s Law Enforcement Officers Flying Armed program.

However, officers can only carry on weapons under that program if they “need to have the weapon accessible,” determined on a case-by-case basis, the TSA website states.

Chitwood’s boss, City Manager James Chisholm, said Chitwood is human “like all the rest of us,” adding it was “certainly no cause for us to take any action against the chief.”

Chitwood said the situation resulted from a “stupid oversight” on his part. He said he changed in his department’s locker room after work, before driving to OIA to catch a flight to New Jersey to visit family.

He said he had two bags, one for work clothes and another for civilian clothes. Changing hurriedly, he put his ankle holster and the Remington revolver it held in the wrong bag, he said.

He said officers were “extremely professional,” securing the gun, interviewing him and eventually clearing him to board his flight.

“Outside of being absolutely embarrassed, I thought: ‘I’m getting locked up!'” Chitwood said, recalling his judgmental reaction to stories of others who’ve mistakenly brought guns to the airport.

“I’ve read these things and I’ve always said… ‘How stupid could you be to do that?'”

 

Mom, if you want your kids to experience a scary ride, take them to Disney — don’t do this

UntitledJennifer Mannino of Punta Gorda was stopped Tuesday night for suspected DUI.

When a Charlotte County deputy managed to pull her over near Tamiami Trail and Bayshore Road the deputy said she had already taken the pickup truck over the median and almost hit traffic as she made a right hand turn.

Mannino failed a field sobriety test and her blood alcohol registered three times the legal limit at .025.

Compounding her situation, her 12-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son were in the car at the time.  The daughter, according to the arrest record, was so concerned she called her father.

There was an open container of vodka inside the truck’s cab that the arresting deputy said contributed to the evidence she had been driving while she was driving the pickup.

This was Mannino’s second DUI charge in less than two years according to jail records.  In addition to the DUI, Mannino was charged with child neglect without great bodily harm.

The children were turned over to their guardian who showed up at the scene and took them away.

She remains in Charlotte County jail without bond.

 

 
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