An Islamorada man is under arrest, charged with threatening several people – including a deputy – with a knife.
Deputy Gregg Johnson responded to Ponce DeLeon Boulevard at 4:45 p.m. last Friday after dispatchers received reports a man was disrupting traffic, hitting cars and threatening passersby.
When he arrived, he saw two occupied vehicles stopped on the corner of Ponce De Leon and West Plaza Del Sol. He also saw 29 year old Stuart Ross Paterson with a large knife in his hand, walking toward the two vehicles. He was aggressively swinging the knife from side to side.
Deputy Johnson pulled up near the two other cars, exited his vehicle, drew his gun and identified himself, telling him to drop the knife. Instead, Patterson walked toward the deputy with the knife. The deputy knew Patterson from previous contacts and knew his nickname was “Rossee”. He yelled at him again to drop the knife, this time using the nickname. At this point, Patterson put the knife – an 11 inch long fixed blade weapon – on the ground and complied with orders to lay down so the deputy could safely taken him into custody.
In his pockets Johnson found a plastic bag of cocaine. Both vehicle drivers on scene said Patterson threatened them with the knife and they were in fear he would hurt them.
Patterson was charged with two counts aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The cocaine will be sent to Florida Department of Law Enforcement for analysis after which he may face further charges.
A 62 year old Big Pine Key man was arrested Friday, charged with sexual battery on a 23 year old woman.
The victim told Major Crimes Detective Deb Ryan the suspect, Lazaro Tapia, is a family friend. She said he gave her a ride the night of March 2nd to find a friend of hers she was going to hang out with.
When they couldn’t find the victim’s friend, Tapia asked her to come see his new apartment. Once there, he offered her a beer, then a second beer. She said she suddenly began to feel very tired. Tapia offered to let her sleep in his bed while he slept in a chair.
The victim said she awoke to find him lying on top of her. Her pants had been pulled down and her underwear had been moved and he was attempting to rape her. She screamed and shove him away. She put on her clothing and ran outside, yelling for help. She ran to a nearby house, telling the occupant she’d been raped.
After further investigation, Detective Ryan obtained a warrant for Tapia’s arrest. On Friday, he was charged with sexual battery and he was booked into jail.
Three 19 year old girls were arrested Tuesday, charged with possessing fake driver’s licenses.
Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Strong was taken into federal custody today at his Miami home. He has been indicted on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Government.
Strong was a “Deputy In Country Manager” in Baghdad with defense contractor Security Operations Consulting from January of 2005 to April of 2008 and is reportedly accused of conspiring to steal and sell government property.
“We are assisting federal investigators on this case,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “We will be conducting our own investigation into the circumstances. In the mean time, we were present when he was arrested and we have recovered all Sheriff’s Office property assigned to him. We are still waiting for details and as we gather those details we will determine the future actions we may take in this case.”
“We hate the fact that one of our officers is involved in this case. Although this happened well before he worked for us, it still reflects badly on our agency and on law enforcement as a whole,” said Sheriff Ramsay. “We take great pride in our integrity, honesty and our reputation as a professional law enforcement agency. All the good people working for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office do not deserve to have their reputations tarnished by a few people who have done bad things.”
Captain Don Hiller, Commander of the Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Division was in Miami today standing by to assist as federal authorities arrested Strong and served a search warrant at his home. A large amount of property was seized from the home as the federal investigation continues.
Strong first came to the Sheriff’s Office in October of 2010 as an auxiliary deputy. He was hired as a deputy sheriff in April of 2011, assigned to the city of Marathon. He is currently assigned as a deputy in District Seven in the Upper Keys.
Two Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies have been issued notices to appear in court on traffic related charges. Today, Florida Highway Patrol arrested Darnell Durham and Kyle Page, issuing them notices to appear in court. Durham is charged with reckless driving, criminal mischief and giving false information during a law enforcement investigation; Page is charged with reckless driving.
The charges stem from an incident described by FHP as “road rage” that took place February 19 on the 18 mile stretch in Miami-Dade County, while the two deputies were off duty.
The Florida Highway Patrol report on the incident is attached. Please refer to it for details. Any questions about the report and its contents should be directed to the Florida Highway Patrol.
“We are extremely disappointed that our officers would be involved in an incident like this,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “We are also conducting our own investigation into this incident. We feel strongly that officers who break the law should be held accountable for their actions,” he said.
“We also feel it is important to be open and honest with the public about incidents such as this one, which is why we are issuing this press release,” said Sheriff Ramsay. “As Sheriff, I will always strive to be transparent in my actions, and the actions and activities of this agency.”
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an internal review of the incident. The two officers have been told they are not allowed to carry a gun or their law enforcement credentials except while they are on duty for the duration of the investigation.
Durham has been with the Sheriff’s Office since August of 2005. Page has been with the Sheriff’s Office since January of 2007. Both men work as road patrol deputies for District 7 in the Upper Keys.
A Little Torch Key man was arrested Monday, charged with threatening his son with a stun gun.
During an argument with his son, 58 year old John Arnold allegedly held the stun gun to the son’s head and threatened to shoot him with it. According to Arnold’s wife, he woke up from a nap agitated and angry and eventually confronted the son with the weapon. At one point during the confrontation, Arnold reportedly told the son, “You have to sleep some time.”
After speaking with Arnold, his wife and his son, Arnold was placed under arrest. He was charged with assault and improper exhibition of a weapon. He was taken to jail. The stun gun was seized as evidence in the case.
Deputies took reports Monday morning of six vehicle burglaries in Marathon.
The six vehicles were all parked overnight in the vicinity of 88th and 89th Street Ocean. All the vehicle owners told the deputies their cars were unlocked.
Someone entered the vehicles, taking loose change, a camera, a laptop computer, an Apple IPod, credit cards, gift cards and other miscellaneous items.
Detectives will be investigating. Anyone with information about these thefts should call the Sheriff’s Office at 305-289-2430. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can contact 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. Tips may be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com.
Three Key West men are in jail, charged with trying to steal a boat trailer from a home on Big Coppitt Key.
Deputy Chris Fraser received a report at 12:45 a.m. Tuesday from dispatchers that a man called reporting someone just tried to steal his boat trailer. The trailer was parked on the right of way at #7 Cormorant Lane. The man said he saw several men in a yellow truck hook the trailer up and drive away with it. The trailer was later found abandoned about a block away.
Deputy Fraser spotted the truck southbound near the 5 mile marker of Highway U.S. One. There were three men inside. Sgt. Evan Calhoun arrived as back up. The two officers questioned the three men about the trailer theft.
All three men gave different stories about what they were doing. All three had different explanations for why they had hooked the trailer up to the truck and driven away with it.
45 year old John Liddy, 35 year old Richard Rice and 19 year old Kyle Barbosa were all arrested. They were charged with grand theft and they were booked into jail.
A Stock Island man was arrested last Wednesday after detectives allegedly found he was not complying with the law when it comes to his secondhand dealer’s license.
50 year old Paul Ollariu is the owner of a business called We Buy Gold We Pay More, located on Front Street, Stock Island. On Friday, Sheriff’s Detective Dave Chavka, along with two Key West Police detectives, went to the business to inspect his records and to ensure he was complying with state law.
Their inspection showed Ollariu was only keeping a hand written log of transactions, instead of the computerized records he is required to keep. It appears he was also not in compliance with the requirement to obtain identification and fingerprints of people selling items to him. The scale he used to weigh the items being sold was also not calibrated as required, nor was he holding the items he purchased for the required 15 days.
Ollariu admitted to being trained on the computerized pawn program called RAPID in June of 2012, so he was aware of the requirement that transactions be recorded in that system. His handwritten log showed a total of 24 transactions between November and February which were not in compliance with the law.
Ollariu was arrested and charged with 24 counts of violation of Florida State Statute 538.04, regarding second hand dealer’s licenses.
The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind all businesses holding a second hand dealer’s license that detectives will be periodically inspecting to make sure the businesses are complying with all record keeping requirements. Anyone with questions regarding this issue can call the Sheriff’s Office in their area and ask to speak with the detective sergeant assigned to that area.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its efforts to combat drunk driving under a grant funded by the Monroe County Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free Community. Under the grant, Deputies perform extra patrols on the streets and highways of the county watching out for drivers who are impaired and driving dangerously.
On Saturday, February 16, Deputies Danielle Malone, Andrew Hudson, Jaime Miranda, Juan Martin-Reyes, and Greg Korzen participated in the DUI Saturation Patrol. Deputies actively patrolled the Lower Keys from Key West to Big Pine Key with the emphases on impaired drivers.
The saturation patrol resulted in the following activity:
· 1 DUI arrest
· 1 Felony Possession of 27 Grams of Marijuana arrest
· 1 Driving with suspended driver’s license arrest
· 1 Driver without a driver’s license arrest
· 28 vehicles were stopped
· 25 traffic citations were written
· 7 written warnings were issued