Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Daily Crime and Information Report

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

Follow us on Twitter @mcsonews and on Facebook at MCSO – Florida Keys. All of our press releases can be found on our blog at floridakeyssheriff.blogspot.com

July 30, 2015

Man commits suicide in front of deputy

A man reported missing from Port St. Lucie, Florida shot himself in the head in front of a Sheriff’s deputy early today.

Deputy Jorge Prince was on patrol, checking the end of Old Boca Chica Road on Big Coppitt Key at 12:30 a.m. He saw a Ford F150 truck parked at the barricades, so he got out of his patrol car to check on it.

He spoke with the driver of the truck, telling him he was not allowed to park there at that time. The beach closes at 11 p.m. The man said he was just getting some sleep before heading north. Deputy Prince asked him for his identification and checked it through Sheriff’s Office computers. He discovered the man – 61 year old Terrence Haynes - was reported missing out of Port Saint Lucie, Florida.

He asked Haynes to step out of his truck so he could speak with him further. Haynes became agitated, put the truck in drive and sped away. Deputy Prince ran back to his patrol car, radioed for assistance, and then followed in an attempt to stop Haynes.

He found Haynes’ vehicle down the road, about a half mile from the intersection with highway U.S. One,  with Haynes standing in front of his vehicle, facing away from the deputy. Haynes was smoking a cigarette with one hand, but Deputy Prince could not see Haynes other hand. He ordered Haynes to show him his hands. At that point, Haynes raised a gun to the side of his own head and fired one shot, killing himself.

Deputy Prince called for medical assistance and performed CPR on Haynes until rescue units arrived, but he was declared dead by paramedics.

July 29, 2015

Two charged with counterfeit money

Two Miami men are in jail today charged with possessing several thousand dollars in counterfeit money.

Sgt. Jason Madnick and Deputy Cody Kerns responded to the Circle K gas station at the 99 mile marker at 9 p.m. Tuesday because the clerk discovered someone had passed a fake $20 bill when paying for a soft drink. The officers reviewed video and discovered the man who passed the fake bill was a passenger in a black Honda four door; he was wearing a sleeveless black shirt, black shorts with a green stripe on the side and black shoes.

About an hour later, Sgt. Madnick was southbound when he saw the same car in the parking lot of a pizza restaurant at the 98 mile marker. He pulled in to check it out. The passenger was wearing the same clothing as in the video.

Sgt. Madnick called for backup officers and then knocked on the window of the vehicle. The driver was identified as 19 year old Rafael Dominguez. There were two others in the car. The passenger was identified as 20 year old Rolando Rodriguez. A 16 year old girl was in the back seat. She said she was Dominguez’ girlfriend.

Upon questioning, Dominguez admitted to having counterfeit money in the center console of the vehicle, below the stereo. A total of $2,720 was found in that location. Further investigation revealed the group had been traveling throughout the Keys stopping at convenience stores and using the bills to buy small things. There were a number of small items in the car they purchased, including sodas, juice bottles, dog treats and chewing gum. There was also a separate rolled up bundle of real currency in the driver’s side door totaling $477 – presumably the change from the small transactions they had completed using the counterfeit money. A small amount of marijuana was found in the door as well.

Both men were arrested. They were charged with counterfeiting with intent to defraud, possession of more than 10 counterfeit bulls, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of marijuana. The girl was not charged. Her parents were contacted and they made arrangements for her to be picked up.

July 28, 2015

Diver dead after separation from boat

One diver is dead; the second was rescued after search offshore of the Lower Keys.

The two men were reportedly diving offshore of Boca Chica in the Lower Keys Monday afternoon when they became separated from their boat and drifted away from it. A 17 year old male who stayed on board the boat lost sight of them and called to report them missing at approximately 3:15 p.m.

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Coast Guard searched for the men. The Coast Guard found 70 year old Michael Currie of Key West alive and well and returned him to his boat at approximately 5 p.m. His dive partner, 63 year old Roger Arrowood of Edenton, North Carolina was found a short time later by a good Samaritan floating face down in the water. Arrowood was taken to Lower Keys Hospital, but was pronounced dead.

Sheriff’s Major Crimes detectives are investigating; there is no foul play suspected in the death. The Medical Examiner responded and will be performing an autopsy to determine the cause of Arrowood’s death.

July 27, 2015

Man arrested for misuse of 911

A Stock Island man was arrested Sunday night for repeatedly calling 911 after being warned not to do so. He also threatened to shoot police officers and caused a disturbance  at the trailer where he resides with a number of other people.

The problems with 42 year old Peter Hawxhurst started earlier in the day when he called the Sheriff’s Office angry with his ex-girlfriend. He said she took his keys and said he was going to do something that would cause him to go to jail. His ex-girlfriend then called the Sheriff’s Office to say he would not leave her alone and he was harassing her on the phone and with text messages.

Deputies Wendy Negron and Jorge Prince responded to Roy’s Trailer Park on Stock Island to the trailer where Hawxhurst lives. They warned him to leave her alone. He told the deputies she had his keys, then said she didn’t have them. He became irate and told the officers they would be returning to deal with him later.

His prediction came true when one of the men who lives in the same trailer called just before 10 p.m. to say Hawxhurst was pounding on the walls and yelling. When the deputies responded again and tried to talk to Hawxhurst, he closed his bedroom door in their faces and told them obscenely to leave the property. They tried several more times to talk to him but he refused to come out.

As the deputies were trying to talk with him, Hawxhurst began calling 911. He was advised not to call because he didn’t have an emergency. Sgt. Evan Calhoun then called Hawxhurst himself to tell him to stop calling 911 or he would be arrested. During the phone conversation, Hawxhurst threatened to kill law enforcement officers with guns.

Hawxhurst’s ex-girlfriend showed up on the scene and attempted to calm him. She went into his bedroom with him and the deputies could hear him yelling and screaming at her. Sgt. Calhoun responded to the mobile home. As he was standing outside Hawxhurst’s door, he overheard Hawxhurst say he was going to grab his gun and shoot law enforcement officers. At that point, fearing he might hurt his ex-girlfriend or hurt someone else, the officers forced their way in the door and placed him under arrest.

He began fighting with the deputies who were trying to handcuff him. As he was being transported to jail he made more threats to kill police. He was charged with misuse of the 911 system and resisting arrest.

Marathon man reports being robbed of his wallet

A Marathon man told Sheriff’s deputies he was robbed Sunday in the early morning hours.

The victim told deputies he left the Brass Monkey Bar shortly after 4 a.m. with two other men after they asked him to come home with them and have some beers. He said when they were in the parking lot of Eastwind Apartments, the men attacked him, hitting him in the face and taking his wallet.

The victim was visibly intoxicated and gave several differing descriptions of the men who attacked him. He was treated at Fishermen’s Hospital for bruising to his face. Detectives will be investigating.

July 23, 2015

Warning: attempted scam at bars reported

Sheriff’s detectives want to warn bar owners and bartenders in particular about two men attempting to use Visa gift cards to scam cash.

Over the weekend, two men went into at least two bars in the Marathon area – and perhaps more if rumors turn out to be true. The men ordered a couple of drinks. When it came time to pay, they asked to pay with a gift card. Instead of just paying the amount owed, the men asked the bartenders to charge a larger amount to the card – almost two hundred dollars more. They offered some of the cash as a large tip to the bartender taking the rest of the cash for themselves.

One bar refused the deal and avoided any loss; a second bar accepted the deal. They are out several hundred dollars because the gift card turned out to be fraudulent.

Anyone with information about this should contact the Sheriff’s Office at 305-289-2351. Callers may also contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Tipsters can remain anonymous and, if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may also be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.

July 21, 2015

Illinois man dies snorkeling offshore of Key Largo

A 77 year old man from Morris, Illinois died today while snorkeling offshore of John Pennekamp State Park.

According to his wife, who was also snorkeling, Domingo Setrini had reportedly only been in the water for about 10 minutes when employees on the dive boat Snorkel Express noticed he was floating face down in the water. He was pulled on board the boat and CPR was performed as other snorkelers returned to the boat and the boat returned to shore.

Paramedics met the boat at shore and took over care of Setrini. He was taken to Mariner’s Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Two clerks charged with multiple fraud counts

Sheriff’s detectives arrested two convenience store clerks Monday, charging them with multiple counts of credit card fraud.

Detective Bob Dosh conducted the fraud investigation with the cooperation of the Tom Thumb Food Stores and Capital Bank. The investigation began after the Sheriff’s Office received multiple reports of people using their credit cards at the Tom Thumb store on Plantation Key, where both women work. The victims told Detective Dosh within hours of using their cards at the store, their cards were fraudulently used in other locations.

During the course of the investigation, and with the cooperation of the Tom Thumb  store and corporate office, Detective Dosh reviewed video of the clerks working at the store. He also send an employee of Capital Bank, posing undercover as a customer and using a decoy credit card and observed how the clerks processed the card. He also interviewed employees of the store. All of the information gathered during the investigation led to warrants being issued for 30 year old Magalene Fremont and 26 year old Diamonique Owens, both of Florida City. The investigation revealed the two women would take pictures of customer’s credit cards using smart phones in order to record the credit card information for later use.

In a statement, Tom Thumb Director of Operations Rick Klyczek said, “Tom Thumb is extremely grateful to the Monroe County Sherriff’s Office for allowing us to participate in the undercover investigation of alleged fraud being committed by two Tom Thumb employees. Tom Thumb takes great care in protecting our customers from fraud and we will continue to do so by monitoring our processes and working in partnership with the Monroe County Sherriff’s Office. The two employees arrested do not represent the many outstanding Tom Thumb employees who regularly display a high level of integrity and discipline while serving thousands of customers each day.”

Two charged with giving unlicensed massages

Sheriff’s detectives arrested two woman at an upper Keys massage business who were giving massages without a proper license.

Detectives with the Special Investigations Unit received information about illegal activities taking place at Oriental Massage in Tavernier. Two detectives operating undercover went into the business on Monday to investigate the report. They received massages from two employees of the business. It turned out the two women who gave the massages to the detectives did not have proper licensing from the state to do so.

35 year old Hong Gao and 44 year old Guihua Chen were both arrested. They were charged with fraud – misrepresenting self as a licensed masseur.

July 20, 2015

Marathon man charged with DUI, multiple accidents

A Marathon man was arrested for driving under the influence Friday after being involved in several accidents.

Deputy Garrett Bragg responded to a report of an accident at 11:20 p.m. Friday on 64th Street in Marathon. When he arrived he saw a dark green Ford F-150 doing a u-turn on the highway with both passenger side tires blown hour and the vehicle smoking. As the damaged car began driving northbound, Deputy Bragg turned on his lights and stopped it.

The driver and only occupant of the truck was David Threlkeld. He reportedly smelled of alcohol and showed obvious signs of impairment. As Deputy Bragg was speaking with him, a man walked up and said that Threlkeld had struck his brown Jeep Compass at his residence on 64th Street. Other witnesses later told Deputy Ben Elmore they saw Threlkeld strike yet another vehicle and a mailbox.

At one point, while Deputy Bragg was processing the scene, Threlkeld began to run away but he was caught a short distance away. He struggled with the deputy as he was being handcuffed.

A check of his record showed a previous conviction in Monroe County for DUI – refusal to submit. He again refused to submit to all tests in relation to his intoxication. He was arrested. He was charged with DUI with refusal to submit to testing, refusal to sign a citation, resisting an officer without violence, leaving the scene of a crash with property damage, and DUI involving property damage.

July 17, 2015

Detectives need help IDing suspect

Sheriff’s detectives say they need help identifying a man who stole a debit card and used it to make multiple purchases and cash withdrawals in the Marathon area.

On July 10th, the victim called the Sheriff’s Office after his bank notified him of some ATM withdrawals being made with his debit card. At that point, he realized his wallet was missing. He said he thought he probably left it on the counter of a restaurant in Marathon the night before. The debit card was used at the big Pine Quik Mart, the Valero Gas Station in Marathon and the Home Depot in Marathon.

A photo was obtained from one of those instances where the debit card was illegally used. Detectives need the public’s assistance in identifying who the suspect in the photo is.

Anyone with information about this suspect should contact the Sheriff’s Office. Callers may also contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Tipsters can remain anonymous and, if a tip leads to an arrest in the case, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may also be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.

July 14, 2015

Two charged with damaging mailboxes

Two 18 year olds from Marathon were arrested Monday for their involvement with damaging mailboxes on Duck Key June 30th.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to Duck Key in the early morning hours to reports that at least 17 mailboxes had been damaged by someone wielding a baseball bat or similar instrument. Surveillance video led to the identification of the truck involved and the driver of the driver, 18 year old Mark Keller. Investigations revealed Keller was driving the truck while 18 year old Roberto Garcia, Jr. swung the bat damaging the mailboxes. Three other boys, all 17 year old Marathon residents, were passengers in the truck when the crimes took place.

The bat used by Garcia was recovered not far from the entrance to Duck Key, where Garcia said he discarded it. Both men were arrested Monday and charged with criminal mischief to one of the mailboxes. More charges may be pending as detectives make contact with additional victims.

July 13, 2015

Marathon woman charged with stealing, attempting to use credit card

A Marathon woman is under arrest after she stole a man’s credit card from his wallet and tried to use it at a local grocery store.

The man, visiting the Keys  from Maryland, was alerted to the theft of his card by his credit card company. Deputy James Hager responded to Tranquility Bay Resort Sunday afternoon. The victim said he received a text message from American Express about possible fraudulent activity on his card. He said he checked his room, where he’d left his wallet, and found the card missing.

Deputy Hager went to Winn Dixie in Marathon, where the card use was attempted. He viewed video to see who tried to use the card. The video showed 24 year old Marisleidys Campos Cepeda trying to use the card to purchase groceries. She was identified by the victim and by resort management as the housekeeper who cleaned the victim’s room.

She was arrested at her Marathon residence. She was charged with possession of a stolen credit card, fraudulent use of a credit card and identity theft.

Homestead man charged with illegal lobster

A Homestead man is in jail, charged with undersize, speared and out of season lobster.

Sheriff’s Office Marine Deputy Wilfredo Guerra was on water patrol Sunday afternoon near the Channel 5 Bridge when he saw a man diving without a dive flag near the south end of the bridge. As he approached, he saw the man was spearing a lobster. As the man surfaced with a lobster on his spear, Deputy Guerra identified himself and took the spear from the man – later identified as 32 year old Pascual Castaneda.

Castaneda had two blue dive bags, each containing lobster. Castaneda had a total of eight speared lobster, four of which were undersized.

He was arrested. He was charged with possession of undersized lobster, possession of over the limit lobster, possession of speared lobster, possession of lobster out of season, having no measuring device and spearfishing within 100 yards of a fishing bridge.

July 12, 2015

Man found dead in the water by his houseboat

A Key Largo man was found dead, floating in the water near the houseboat where he lived.

A friend of 53 year old Timothy Johnson said he was on shore at the Murray Nelson Building in Key Largo at 3:40 p.m. Saturday when Johnson’s dog “Buddy” swam to shore. He said he thought something might be wrong, so he went out to Johnson’s houseboat, anchored just offshore.

He told Deputy Christopher Kilmurray he found Johnson face down in the water near the houseboat. He said he checked Johnson and found no pulse so he called the Sheriff’s Office.

Interviews with friends of Johnson and others who live offshore revealed Johnson had last been seen alive at 10 p.m. Friday night, navigating his dinghy toward his houseboat.

No foul play is suspected in Johnson’s death. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death.

July 7, 2015

More marine related crimes, lower and middle Keys

Deputies and detectives took numerous reports of marine related thefts on Cudjoe Key, Big Pine Key and in Marathon recently.

Deputies took reports of six boats burglarized between July 5th and the 6th on Big Pine Key. Numerous GPS units were stolen, as well as lower units from two motors. Most of the boats were docked in canals or on davits behind homes. The vessel burglaries took place on San Remo Drive, Cedar Drive, San Sebastian Drive, Malaga Lane and on San Marco Drive.

Six boats were burglarized on Cudjoe Key between July 4th and the 5th. Most were docked behind homes and had electronics stolen. Two outriggers were also stolen from one boat and another boat was missing two lower units. The burglaries took place on Tortuga Lane, Legrand Lane, John Silver Lane, Jolly Roger Drive and Doubloon Lane.

Deputies took three vessel burglary reports in the Marathon area. Two occurred between July 4th and the 5th. The third took place sometime between June 26th and July 3rd. The burglaries took place on Camino De Vientos, 86th Street Ocean and at the Bonefish Motel. Fishing rods and reels as well as electronics were taken.

Detectives have been assigned to investigate these cases.  Anyone with information about these crimes should contact the Sheriff’s Office. Callers may also contact Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. Tipsters can remain anonymous and, if a tip 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. Tips may also be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.

July 5, 2015

Tavernier man dies after apparent fall from bike

An Tavernier man died Saturday at Mariner’s Hospital, apparently after falling from his bike and hitting his head.

Deputies responded to Mariner’s Hospital after 63 year old Richard Lhommedieu, who lived on West Indies Road in Tavernier = was transported there with a head injury. He was found by a woman on her way to work. He was on Burton Drive in Tavernier, lying next to his bike and bleeding from his head. There were reportedly no other injuries to indicate he was hit by a car and, although there were no witnesses to what happened, the injury he sustained indicated a fall from the bike.

No foul play is suspected.

July 4, 2015

Man in jail for 2013 charges

A Fort Lauderdale man who has been in custody in other jurisdictions since December of 2013 has been returned to Monroe County to face charges here.

21 year old Darrell Bush and four accomplices smashed the windows on eight vehicles and took items from them on July 29th 2013. The cars were parked at the Dolphin Research Center, the Long Key Bridge and Robbie’s Marina. They took property including cell phones, computers, cameras, cash, credit cards and jewelry.

Deputies stopped the car the suspects were traveling in at the 90 mile marker because they had information the car may have been involved in the crimes. The car – with four people inside – fled from the traffic stop.

They turned onto Coconut Row and all four people fled from the car on foot. Two women in the car were found hiding a short distance away. Bush was located at a bus stop nearby and was arrested after he gave deputies a false name.

Further investigation revealed stolen items from the burglaries discarded in the area of Coconut Row, where the suspects fled from the car.

The three other suspects in the case have already been taken into custody for the eight vehicle burglaries and for resisting arrest. Bush was in custody in other jurisdictions on other charges and was finally returned to Monroe County to face his charges here.

The three others arrested in connection with this case:
31 year old Darrion Donaldson of Planation, Florida
23 year old Lawanda Finley of Fort Lauderdale
23 year old Dominique Hill of Fort Lauderdale

July 1, 2015

Juveniles involved in Islamorada crime spree

A group of juveniles ranging in age from 13 to 17 burglarized cars, stole a car and bicycles and caused havoc on Plantation Key between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

One of the juveniles – 15 year old Richard Williams – has been charged with two counts of felony vehicle burglary and theft. A second juvenile – 16 year old Daniel Placide – has been charged with grand theft of a vehicle. Charges may be pending against others as the investigation continues.

Members of the group told Detective Ian Barnett they left the Children’s Shelter on Plantation Key at 9 p.m. Monday. After leaving, members of the group say they entered numerous unlocked cars and took money from inside. They went to Founder’s Park in Islamorada where they swam in the pool after closing hours. They took bicycles from bike racks at the park and scattered them throughout the park.

They entered one unlocked car – a 1998 Toyota - which had the keys in the ignition. They stole the car and drove it to Coral Shores High School, where they left it parked. They returned to the shelter at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Deputy Caridad Bellon responded to a vehicle burglary report Tuesday morning. The victim told her he’d been walking his dog in the early morning hours and heard juveniles swimming in the pool at the park. He said he went out to his car later and found bikes strewn around the park and his vehicle burglarized.

Deputies knew a group of juveniles had been reported missing from the shelter at the same time these crimes were taking place. When they began interviewing the juveniles, who had since returned to the shelter, they discovered the extent of their activities.

After interviews were conducted, Williams was charged with two counts of vehicle burglary and theft. Placide was charged with grand theft of an automobile. More charges may be pending against them and other members of the group.