After months of diligent investigation, Detective David Cruz arrested a Key West man in connection with the dog found dead in a cage offshore of Big Coppitt Key in September.
The young cream colored dog with a purple collar was found submerged, in a cage, by the first bridge off U.S. One on Boca Chica Road. A necropsy was inconclusive in determining the cause of the dog’s death due to the condition of the body, although there were indications the dog may have drowned.
Detective Cruz was assigned to investigate. He contacted the company that made the cage the dog was found in and discovered four people in the Lower Keys who had purchased one. After checking with all four cage owners, only one could not tell him where his cage was – 28 year old Darrell Eacholes of Key West. Eacholes said he left the crate at a previous residence when he moved to Key West.
Detective Cruz then visited veterinarians in the Lower Keys area, asking both about the dog and about Eacholes. The Office manager at The Animal Hospital on Second Street, Stock Island, recognized the dog and confirmed the dog’s owner was Eacholes. The dog was an Gordon Setter / American Eskimo mix named “Bella”. She said they had treated the dog just two days before it was found dead.
Eacholes’ wife confirmed to Detective Cruz the dead dog was their dog “Bella”. She said the dog had been very sick and her husband had removed the dog from their residence, not telling her where he took it. Darrell Eacholes then confirmed he’d thrown the dog into the water. He said they did not have the money to treat her for her illness, and she had become non-responsive at the time he did it.
Because the necropsy could not prove the dog was alive at the time she was thrown into the water, Eacholes was arrested and charged with unlawful disposal of a dead animal. He was booked into jail.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind people to consider carefully before acquiring a pet. Many pets – such as pot bellied pigs, rabbits, chickens and ducks – are cute when they are small but soon grow out of that stage and become animals that are not always optimum pets. Dogs and cats are also wonderful companions, but before you take on any kind of pet, consider the cost of feeding and caring for the pet properly and make sure you can afford it. If, in an extreme circumstance, you find you cannot care for your pet, contact your local animal shelter – in the Lower Keys it is the Florida Keys Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (FKSPCA). Disposing of a live pet – or a dead one – improperly is against the law.
A 53 year old Cudjoe Key man was arrested last Saturday, charged with fondling a 12 year old girl.
The victim told deputies and detectives she and her family were on a boat trip with Bobby Brents when the boat broke down. She said during the time they were waiting for a tow to land, Brents fondled her and struggled with her in an effort to remove her clothing.
The victim fought him off and moved to another area of the boat, later telling her mother about the incident.
After an investigation and interviews with everyone concerned, Brents was arrested Saturday. He was charged with lewd and lascivious behavior with the victim between the ages of 12 and 16. He was booked into jail.
Sheriff-elect Rick Ramsay announced today he has chosen current Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Cameron to be his second-in-command when he takes office in January.
In an announcement sent out to his employees Wednesday afternoon, he said: “After long, hard thought and much consideration, I have chosen current Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Cameron for the position. I have known Bill for some time now, having met him four years ago in Tallahassee while attending the conference for New Sheriffs with Sheriff Bob Peryam. Sheriff Peryam and I were both impressed with his intelligence, his diverse law enforcement experience and his depth of education.”
Over the past four years, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office have worked closely together in a number of areas, including overhauling the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Property Division, and on Corrections and Law Enforcement Accreditation inspections. Ramsay said the more he’s worked with Cameron, the more he has come to like and respect him.
“I have continued to be impressed with him both professionally and personally. He has owned a home here in the Keys for a number of years, spending a lot of time here in our county. I know he looks forward to becoming a permanent resident and an involved community member,” said Sheriff-elect Ramsay.
Cameron worked for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for 17 years, working his way up the ranks to Captain. He was appointed to the position of Charlotte County Sheriff by the Governor in December of 2003. He was in that position for a year, before being chosen by the next incoming sheriff as his Chief Deputy. He served as Chief Deputy for four years before being elected Sheriff in 2008. Cameron has a Master’s Degree in Business, a Bachelor’s Degree in Executive Management and an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the National Sheriff’s Institute and the Southern Police Institute.
A 20 year old Key Largo man was arrested, accused of having sexual relations with a 15 year old girl.
Detectives investigating the case found on July 13 the victim went to the Key Largo home of a friend, who is a 17 year old male. Also at the home was 20 year old Joshua Williams. The victim was there for approximately four hours, during which she said she drank three shots of alcohol. She said she began to feel weak and disoriented. She said that is when Williams and the other male took her into the bedroom, where they allegedly had sexual relations with her.
Afterward, the two males told her to stay there; they went to the drug store and purchased a package of “morning after” pills for her. They gave her one and told her to take it. They told her to take the other one 12 hours later.
Williams admitted, during an interview with detectives, that he had sexual relations with the girl and that he knew her age at the time.
A warrant was issued for his arrest and on December 5, he was arrested. He was charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a person older than 12 but less than 16 years of age. He was booked into jail.
Law enforcement agencies across the state are launching special “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdowns to stop impaired drivers and to save lives on Florida’s roadways.
Officers will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers and will arrest anyone caught driving impaired. Enforcement efforts will include sobriety checkpoints and heavy enforcement. The special enforcement crackdown will run from December 12, 2012, through January 1, 2013.
“Lots of folks will be out during this busy holiday season, enjoying themselves and the holiday festivities, and we want everyone to be safe on our roadways” said Lora Hollingsworth, FDOT Chief Safety Officer. “That’s why our law enforcement partners will be stepping up efforts to catch and arrest impaired drivers. If you are caught drinking and driving impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses.”
During 2011 there were 920 alcohol related/suspected fatalities in Florida resulting from motor vehicle traffic crashes. The holiday season is a particularly dangerous time. Nationally, in December, approximately 30 percent of all fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involve alcohol-impaired drivers.
“We want everyone to enjoy their holidays, but we also want our roadways to be safe,” said Colonel Brierton, Florida Highway Patrol. “We will be out in force to help save lives, and we are not going to tolerate impaired driving. So remember, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.’ We will be watching.”
It is illegal in Florida to drive with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 or higher. Violators face jail time, loss of driver license, and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job.
There are three simple steps people can take to stay safe and out of trouble:
1. Plan ahead. If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Designate a sober driver or find another safe way home. Even one drink increases the risk of a crash while driving a motor vehicle.
2. If you are impaired, find another way home. Use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
3. Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.
For more information, please contact: Karen Smith at (850) 245-1519 or email@example.com.
A 19 year old Key West man was arrested for entering his ex girlfriend’s Stock Island residence without being invited and battering her. He was also charged with stealing a boat and selling it to someone.
19 year old Pedro Morales Jr. walked into his ex girlfriend’s home on November 14th without being invited. She confronted him and he pushed her. He then left the house. She called the Sheriff’s Office and a warrant was issued for his arrest for burglary with battery on the occupant.
A warrant was also issued for Morales for an incident that took place in May of this year. Morales’ father lives part time at a home on Blue Gill Lane on Cudjoe Key. His employer owns the property and owns a boat he keeps at the house. On May 26th the father stopped at the house after being gone for a few days. He found the house in disarray, and the boat – 15 feet long with a 50 HP engine on it - missing.
A few days later, the boat was recovered on Stock Island. The man who had the boat said Morales Jr. has sold it to him for $400.00.
The boat was returned to the owner. A warrant was issued for Morales for dealing in stolen property.
On Wednesday, Morales Jr. was arrested. He was charged with burglary with battery on the occupant, dealing in stolen property, and three outstanding warrants for violation of probation and he was booked into jail.
Four people were injured in a single vehicle accident early Monday on Cudjoe Key. The accident, involving a dump truck that went off of the highway into the mangroves, happened at 2:24 a.m. at the 20.9 mile marker of the highway. Southbound lanes of traffic were blocked. The roadway opened up at 4:20 a.m. One person was airlifted to a Miami hospital; dispatch notes indicate three more were taken to Lower Keys Hospital.
A fight Saturday afternoon at the Big Pine Flea Market led to the arrest of a Big Pine Key man for aggravated battery.
The victim, a 71 year old Cudjoe Key man, told Deputy Martin Harbin he was working his booth at the flea market just after 1 p.m. when 56 year old David Maxwell became agitated. The victim said Maxwell kept walking up and down in front of his booth calling the victim a “cheap Jew”. Maxwell reportedly walked through the victim’s booth twice repeating the insult; the victim said he finally told him not to enter the booth again.
According to the victim, and witnesses in the area, Maxwell pushed the victim twice; the victim struck Maxwell in the face. Maxwell pushed the victim again and the victim’s wife started screaming. Two off duty police officers who happened to be in the area – Key West Police Lt. David Smith and Deputy Nicholas Abroe - intervened, holding Maxwell down until Deputy Harbin arrived. Maxwell continued to struggle with the officers while they detained him.
Maxwell was charged with aggravated battery of an elderly person, battery, showing evidence of prejudice in the commission of a crime and resisting arrest. He was booked into jail.
A Marathon man charged with burglaries to unlocked occupied homes on overnight between November 18 and 19 has been charged with two more of the crimes.
28 year old Michael Crawford was charged Wednesday with two outstanding warrants – one for the burglary of a shed and boat on 3rd Avenue Ocean and one for the burglary of a home and a vehicle on 6th Avenue Ocean. He stole fishing equipment and tools from the first location, and stole a purse, cash, sunglasses and prescription medication from the second location.
Most of the stolen property was recovered from Crawford’s residence. Detective Bobby Burkett is the investigator assigned to the cases. The investigation is continuing and more charges are pending against Crawford for additional crimes.
Deputies responded to a fire in Islamorada Sunday afternoon. Firefighters who extinguished the blaze said there were definite indications of arson.
The home, located on West Plaza Granada on Lower Matecumbe Key, had minimal damage. Firefighters told Deputy Martin Digrius it looked like someone set three separate fires inside. They said all the doors and windows had been left either open or unlocked. There were bottles of alcohol left throughout the house.
The owner, who lives in Hialeah, was contacted and notified about the fire. He said he last visited the property a month ago and locked the doors and windows when he left. He said he did not leave the bottles of alcohol inside. He said the house is currently in foreclosure and is for sale and he has not made a payment on it in over a year.
The fire marshal responded and will be investigating the case.