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

October 28, 2016

Argument leads to knife threats

A Stock Island man is in jail charged with threating his friend with a knife after an argument.

The two men were downtown Key West Thursday night and were on their way home in the early morning hours when they got into an argument at about 2:30 a.m.  The suspect, 23 year old Alberto Hernandez, was driving and pulled up to his 11th Avenue home. The argument continued and became physical; Hernandez hit his friend in the face in the car. They both got out of the car and began to fight.

At some point, Hernandez ran into his house and got a knife. He came out and threatened the victim with it, chasing him down the street. They struggled again and this time, Hernandez held the knife to his friend’s throat and threatened to cut him if he didn’t “shut up or quit insulting him”.

The two finally separated, going different directions. The victim called the Sheriff’s Office after he realized he had a cut on his neck from the knife.

Deputies Boyd Williams and David Lariz responded and spoke to the two men, whose stories were in agreement. Hernandez said he got the knife from his house to defend himself from the victim.

Hernandez was arrested. He was booked into jail on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Woman charged with dui, leaving the scene of a crash

A woman from Winter Park, Florida was arrested Thursday evening after she crashed into another vehicle, fled the scene of the crash and then lied to deputies about it.

32 year old Courtney Helms was intoxicated when she sideswiped another vehicle on the Rockland Key Bridge at the 9 mile marker of the highway at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The driver told Deputy Greg Korzen he had to swerve to avoid being hit head on by the gray Chrysler 200. He was, fortunately, not injured in the accident but his black Mercedes sustained considerable damage.

Deputy Korzen found Helms with her vehicle on the side of the road at the 10 mile marker. There was considerable damage to the vehicle. A witness that had also pulled over told Deputy Korzen he’d followed Helm’s vehicle northbound from the city of Key West and she’d been swerving all over the road. He said he saw the crash on the bridge, which he said was caused by Helms.

Helms told Deputy Korzen she was parked on the side of the road at the 10 mm when an unknown car sideswiped her. There was no evidence on the scene to support her story. A passenger in the car with her told the deputy Helms had been involved in the crash on the Rockland Key Bridge. The driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash responded and identified her and her car as the ones who hit him.

Deputy Korzen saw clear signs Helms was impaired. She smelled of alcohol and there was a small amount of marijuana found in the car and indications she may have been smoking it.

A check on Helms through law enforcement computers showed a previous DUI arrest. Helms was arrested; she was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, DUI with property damage, leaving the scene of an crash, giving false information, failure to show proof of insurance and failure to drive within her designated lane and causing a crash.

October 26, 2016

Woman arrested for making false report

A Marathon woman was arrested Monday in the early morning hours, charged with making a false report about being attacked while at her boyfriend’s residence.

Deputy Deborah Johnson responded to Fisherman’s Hospital at 1 a.m. on Monday where she met with 30 year old Kristin Rutan Skivers. Skivers told Deputy Johnson she was at her boyfriend’s residence behind the trap yard on 20th Street that night. She said they went to bed at 7:45 p.m. Sunday. She said she woke up at 11 p.m. to find a man “dressed like an Arab”. She said he was  holding a gun to her head. She said he forced her to take a blue and white pill he called a “kill pill”. She said her boyfriend then fought with the male and chased him out of the residence. She said her boyfriend told her to drink milk and try to make herself throw up. After she threw up, she said she went to a neighbor’s house and asked the neighbor to take her to the hospital.

She described her attacker as dressed in a long, dark blue garment. She said he had dark hair, a full beard and was wearing a turban on his head. Deputies asked her repeatedly if she was sure this happened; they asked her if she was taking any medication that might cause her to have a vivid dream. She continued to insist the story was true and insisted on signing and swearing to a statement that her story was true.

Sgt. Nick Whiteman and Deputy Annette Simo went to the boyfriend’s residence and spoke to him. He said the two of them were sleeping when Skivers woke up and asked him to take her to the hospital. He said “no” and he went back to sleep. He said she does take prescription medication and goes to the hospital frequently. He said Skivers left the residence at that point. He said at no time did anyone enter the residence or attack Skivers or him.

Skivers was placed under arrest, charged with making a false report to law enforcement.

Stock Island man wanted for stealing boat, altering ID numbers

A Stock Island man is wanted on an outstanding warrant for stealing a boat from a Stock Island marina and changing the Florida ID numbers on it.

The 13 foot Boston Whaler was stolen on October 7th from Hurricane Hole Marina. The boat, with two 50 hp engines on it, was on a trailer at the marina. Surveillance video of the theft shows a light blue Lincoln with a dark blue top towing the vehicle northbound on the highway.

Detective Spencer Curry located both the stolen vessel and the car that was seen towing it at 52 Key Haven Road on Stock Island just a few days later. It had been stripped of its engines and all other equipment. Further investigation by Detective David Chavka revealed 55 year old Marcos Diaz was living on the property in exchange for providing maintenance services for the home’s owner. The owner of the property also owned the car used to steal the boat. She said Diaz did not have permission to use her vehicle.

Witnesses told the detectives they saw Diaz working on the boat. Evidence was found indicating Diaz had changed out the Florida hull numbers; the victim’s engines, battery, bilge pump and other equipment from the stolen boat was found on the property.

A warrant has been issued for Diaz. He is wanted for altering the identification numbers on the boat’s hull, grand theft and vehicle theft. Bond on the warrant is set at $50,000.00.

Anyone with information about this suspect should contact the Sheriff's Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a Crimestoppers tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crimestoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may be made anonymously on line at www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.

Key West man wanted for stealing truck, cement pumping machine

A Key West man is wanted on outstanding warrants accusing him of stealing a work truck and a cement pumping machine from a construction company on Big Coppitt Key.

On October 15th, Detective David Cruz responded to Bella Construction on Big Coppitt Key. The owner wanted to report a work truck stolen from the property. Attached to the hitch of the truck was a cement pumping machine. The truck had been recovered earlier in the morning by Key West Police, crashed at the entrance to the city with no one insie. The cement pumper was later located and recovered at Coconut Mallory on South Roosevelt Boulevard in Key West.

Surveillance video from the property showed a man placing a screwdriver and a hammer on the ground. He then removes a handgun from his waistband and walks out of camera view. A short time later he is seen stealing the truck with the pumper attached. The screwdriver and hammer were recovered at the scene. A man who lives in the neighborhood later identified the items as coming from his workbench under his house. He also reported two vehicles burglarized at the same time. A secondary video showed the same suspect getting out of the stolen truck at the Tom Thumb convenience store on Stock Island a short time later. The man was identified as 26 year old Anthony Diaz.

A warrant was obtained for Diaz on charges of two counts of burglary, theft and vehicle theft. Bond is set at $25,000.00.

Anyone with information about this suspect should contact the Sheriff's Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a Crimestoppers tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crimestoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may be made anonymously on line at www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.

 

October 25, 2016

Two charged with false IDs, fraudulent credit cards

A Hialeah couple is in jail for having fake driver’s licenses and fraudulent credit cards.

Deputy Matthew Cory was on patrol in Marathon at 9:40 a.m. today when he saw a gray colored Mercedes SUV driving erratically. As he watched the vehicle, it turned off of the highway and he followed, finding it parked on the west side of a business in the vicinity of 76th Street. One of the doors was open and he saw a man in the driver’s seat. Deputy Cory approached the man, identifying him as 38 year old Michel Gonzales Suarez. With Suarez was 20 year old Beatriz Morales Saladriga. Deputy David Fernandez responded to the scene to assist.

Suarez told deputies they traveled to the Keys to get out of town together. He said Saladriga was his girlfriend and he did not want his wife to find out about their relationship.

Deputies obtained permission to search Suarez, Saladriga and the vehicle. In the vehicle and in the couple’s possession, the deputies found numerous credit cards that did not belong to them; they also located two driver’s licenses with Suarez’ picture on it, but with someone else’s name on them. A number of the credit cards had the same name as the false identification.

Inside the vehicle, deputies also found 12 plastic grocery bags with various types of cigarettes inside; receipts for the cigarettes were found in the vehicle. Detectives will be continuing to investigate the case to see if the cigarettes were purchased with the false credit cards, using the fake IDs.

Suarez and Saladriga were both charged with fraud – possession of a forged or stolen driver’s license and with trafficking in counterfeited credit cards.  More charges may be pending.

October 23, 2016

Inmate death, Stock Island Detention Center

An inmate at the Stock Island Detention Center died in the early morning hours today.

25 year old Christopher Cox, who was being held on federal firearms charges, was pronounced dead at Lower Keys Hospital at 5:08 a.m.

Cox was housed in a single person cell with no roommate. At 4:10 a.m. this morning, Corrections deputies performing a routine check of inmates found Cox hanging from the neck  in his cell.

They immediately began performing CPR on Cox and called for an ambulance. Cox was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Cox was arrested Wednesday morning after a long standoff with deputies in Marathon.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will be the investigating agency in this case.

Duck Key man charged with battery, false imprisonment

A Duck Key man was arrested Saturday night, charged with injuring his girlfriend, taking her phone away from her after she called 911 and holding her against her will at his home.

Deputy Daniel Hill and other deputies responded to a home on North Bahama Drive on Duck Key at 9 p.m. to a 911 hang up call. When they arrived, they saw a man and woman at the stairs to the residence. It appeared they were arguing.

The 45 year old woman had injuries to her knees and injuries and swelling to her face. She said she and her boyfriend, 49 year old Jeffrey Floyd were arguing in the driveway of the house and he would not let her leave. She said he was trying to take her cell phone away from her. She said after he would not let her leave, she dialed 911 on the phone, but he grabbed her and she fell to the ground hitting her face on the driveway. He then grabbed the phone and threw it toward the side of the house.

Floyd was arrested. He was charged with battery, tampering with a witness, victim or informant and with false imprisonment. He was booked into jail.

Key Largo man charged with aggravated battery, false imprisonment

A Key Largo man was arrested Saturday and charged with punching his girlfriend, taking away her phone so she could not call for help and holding her in their apartment, not allowing her to leave.

Deputy Deanna Torres responded to 212 Atlantic Avenue in Key Largo at 11 a.m. to a report of a domestic dispute. When she and other deputies arrived, no one would answer the door. About 45 minutes later, Sheriff’s dispatchers received another call. The caller said she would meet deputies at the Speedway gas station at the 99 mm.

When she met with deputies, the 23 year old victim had blood on her face, hands and legs.  She said her boyfriend, 36 year old Laurence Rafford punched her in the face. She said the dispute started when she read him a verse from Psalms in the Bible. She said he punched her because he does not believe in God.

After he punched her, she said she used her phone to call 911. She said he grabbed the phone from her and smashed it on the floor. He then told her to go into the bathroom to clean up all the blood she had on her. She said while she was in the bathroom she heard deputies knocking on the door. She said he would not let her out of the bathroom to answer the door.

She said after deputies left, she asked him to let her out of the bathroom to get a glass of water. When he let her out, she grabbed her purse and broken phone, ran out of the apartment and went to the gas station to meet with deputies.

After interviewing the victim, deputies went to the apartment. Rafford’s vehicle was outside, but no one answered the door. The victim was taken to the hospital by her mother to be treated for her injuries. After she was discharged from the hospital, she took deputies to the apartment and let them inside. Rafford was there and was taken into custody.

Rafford was charged with aggravated domestic battery, tampering with a witness, victim or informant and with false imprisonment. He was booked into jail.

Sheriff’s deputy, FWC officers recover stolen boat

A boat, stolen from a storage area at Coconut Cay Resort in Marathon, was recovered during a cooperative effort by the Sheriff’s Office and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers.

The boat – a 25 foot 1997 Sea  Cat catamaran named Kon Tiki - was stolen between the evening of October 7th and the morning of October 8th. It has been stored on a trailer at the storage area prior to the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. The boat had two 150 HP Suzuki engines on it. On the morning of October 8th, Deputy Joshua Baer responded to the boat ramp on Harbor Drive in Marathon after receiving reports a boat trailer had been left in the water at the boat ramp. He found the trailer in the water. The trailer was the one the stolen vessel had been stored on.

Witnesses in the area of the boat ramp said they saw a small pickup truck towing the vessel and putting it in the water. They said they noticed it because the truck was too small to tow such a big boat.

On October 21st, Deputy Wilfredo Guerra, FWC Officer Olly Adams and FWC pilot Daniel Willman conducted a search from the water and the air for any signs of the boat. Pilot Willman spotted the boat from the air offshore of the 57 mile marker, hidden deep in a mangrove area. Deputy Guerra and Officer Adams used Sheriff’s Office waverunners to reach the area where the boat was hidden. They towed the vessel out of the mangroves.

Sheriff’s Detective Rosa DiGiovanni has been assigned to investigation the theft.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact the Sheriff's Office. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a Crimestoppers tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward. The Crimestoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may be made anonymously on line at www.tipsubmit.com or via a text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.

October 19, 2016

Update: Barricaded suspect taken safely into custody

As of 10:45 a.m., 25 year old Christopher Cox was taken into custody. Officers were able to approach the house and detain him after he put down his gun and approached the front door; at that point, he was far enough away from his weapon to make the move a safe one for all involved.

Cox is wanted in Dickson, Tennessee for a felony charge of interference with child custody. He was in the Keys with his girlfriend and her 6 year old son. The child’s father reportedly has full custody of the child. The father is on his way to the Florida Keys to pick up his son, who will be cared for by the Department of Children and Families until he arrives.

“I am happy to report we were able to take the suspect into custody without injury to him, any member of the public or to our officers,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay.

The Sheriff’s Office received assistance during this incident from the Florida Highway Patrol, Customs and Border Protection, Key Colony Beach Police and the Key West Police Department.

Wanted man, armed, refusing to come out of Marathon house

A man wanted in Tennessee for interference with child custody has armed himself and is barricaded inside a Marathon home.

There is no one in the house with 25 year old Chris Cox and no other members of the public are endangered by the ongoing situation. Sheriff’s deputies first responded to the home at 898 50th Street, gulf side in Marathon at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday evening. Cox barricaded himself inside the house when they arrived and refused to come out. He has a handgun and at several times during the course of the incident he has held the gun to his head, threatening to shoot himself.

Hostage negotiators responded to the scene and have been in contact with Cox on and off through the night. Initially, some people living close to the house were evacuated to a safer location, but they have since been allowed to return to their homes and are being kept safe.

The ultimate goal: get Cox to come out of the house peacefully, with no injuries to him or to anyone else.

October 18, 2016

Man arrested for false bomb threat

A homeless Key West man was arrested Monday, charged with making a false bomb threat at the CVS store on Stock Island.

The incident took place on September 22nd. 55 year old Daniel Hernandez entered the CVS store and took a two liter bottle of soda from isle 21. He walked to the checkout line and purchased the soda from a store employee. He then told the employee he’d placed a bomb on isle 21. He left the store and employees of the store called the Sheriff’s Office to report the incident. Deputies checked the store for explosives and none were found.

Video footage showed the suspect at the cash register and copies of still photos were disseminated to deputies working in the community so they could attempt to identify him. Employees of the store reported the suspect returned to the store on October 5th and on the 9th; they took more pictures of him during those encounters. On October 15th, he was located and positively identified as the man who made the threats.

A warrant was obtained for his arrest. He was picked up on Stock Island by Deputy Joshua Gordon and he was booked into jail for falsely reporting a bomb.

Man faces false imprisonment, sexual battery charges

A Marathon man has been charged with holding a woman against her will and attempting sexual acts with her against her will.

The incident took place in a fire pump room of the Walgreen’s pharmacy in Marathon on September 27th. The 17 year old victim told Major Crimes Detective Robert Dosh she was working with the suspect, 47 year old Liukel Fernandez.

She said he asked her to help him get some shelves from the fire pump room. She said once they were inside, he closed and locked the door. She said he would not let her leave the room. She said he unzipped his pants and forcibly placed her hand on his penis. He then ordered her to put his penis in her mouth. She told Detective Dosh she was afraid he was going to rape her so she pushed him and managed to escape from the room.

According to Detective Dosh’ investigation, the suspect had been suspended from his job previously for making sexual statements to other employees and to the victim. According to Detective Dosh, the suspect made previous comments to employees which indicated he knew where there were cameras in the store, and that he knew there were no cameras in the pump room, where he attacked the victim.

Fernandez was arrested today and charged with attempted sexual battery, battery and false imprisonment. He was booked into jail. His bond was set at $250,000.

October 17, 2016

Woman charged with stolen motorcycle, fleeing police

An 18 year old Homestead woman was arrested Friday after she fled from a Sheriff’s deputy on a stolen motorcycle.

Deputy Wilfredo Guerra was southbound in his marked patrol truck in Marathon at 6:10 p.m. Friday when the incident took place. He saw two motorcycles approach him from behind at a high rate of speed and pass him at the 50 mile marker of the highway. There were two people on each motorcycle; one of the motorcycles did not have a license tag.

Deputy Guerra turned on his lights and siren to stop the motorcycles, but instead of stopping, they sped up and fled from him. He followed for a short distance, but broke off the pursuit due to the danger involved.

Deputy Guerra radioed a description of the motorcycles to any officers south of his location. A detective spotted them a short time later. He was driving an unmarked police vehicle. He followed the motorcycle and saw it turn off the highway at the south end of the Bahia Honda Bridge. He followed it into the parking area and, after the motorcycle parked and the driver and passenger got off of the motorcycle, he approached and confronted them identifying himself as a law enforcement officer.

Deputy Guerra responded to that area and identified the motorcycle as one that had fled from him. The driver was 18 year old Taimy Diaz Cruz of Homestead. A check on the motorcycle revealed it had been reported stolen from Broward County.

Cruz was charged with grand theft auto, fleeing and eluding police and operating a motorcycle without a motorcycle endorsement on her driver’s license. She was booked into jail. The female passenger was not charged with any crimes.

October 14, 2016

Two more drug arrests

35 year old Darius Whitehead of Key Largo, AKA “Dub”, was arrested Thursday and charged with an outstanding warrant for sale of cocaine and two outstanding warrants for sale of marijuana. He sold the illegal substances to undercover operatives in March and in May of this year on Hibiscus Lane in Key Largo.

42 year old Andrew Johnson of Homestead was arrested Thursday and charged with an outstanding warrant for sale of cocaine. Johnson sold an undercover operative cocaine in August on Hibiscus Lane in Key Largo.

The sales took place during drug operations set up by the Sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit.

Arrest for mailing drugs to jail

A Duck Key woman was arrested Thursday for mailing drugs to the Monroe County Detention Center.

55 year old Nadine Carroll mailed an envelope containing Buprenorphine to the Stock Island Detention Center in September. The envelope was addressed to her daughter, Shannon Carroll, who was arrested September 15th and is still in jail on charges of driving with a suspended license and possession of cocaine.

The envelope was intercepted by a detention deputy at the facility who noticed a chemical smell from the envelope, and saw an unknown substance on the envelope once he opened it.

Tests revealed the substance to be Buprenorphine, a synthetic opioid.

A warrant was obtained by detectives with the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit and Nadine Carroll was arrested for smuggling contraband into a detention facility. She and her daughter are now both in jail on drug related charges.

October 13, 2016

Six drug related arrests Wednesday

Detectives with the Special Operations Unit spotted 28 year old Taylor Gue of Rock Harbor southbound at the 95 mile marker at 6:30 p.m. They pulled her over because they had an outstanding warrant for her arrest. She was taken into custody on the warrant, which was for failure to comply with pretrial services requirements; the original charges she was arrested for were possession of amphetamines, cocaine, drug paraphernalia and introduction of contraband to a detention facility. In the car she was driving, detectives located 3.7 grams of crack cocaine and a metal pipe with cocaine residue inside. She now faces further charges of possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

Wednesday evening, detectives went to a home at 95165 Overseas Highway in Tavernier to serve outstanding warrants on 38 year old David Cooper of Key Largo. When they arrived at 7 p.m., they found him outside. They identified themselves as law enforcement and he fled inside the house. Detectives made entry to the house and placed him under arrest. The warrants were for two counts sale of cocaine and use of a two way communications device to facilitate a felony. Once inside the house, detectives found marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Cooper was additionally charged with resisting arrest, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Inside the house with him was 38 year old Anthony Price of Key Largo. He was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia so he was also arrested and taken to jail.

Detectives from the Special Operations Unit went to 74 Hibiscus Lane in Key Largo at 9:50 p.m. Wednesday and located 47 year old Johnny Nash, who was wanted on an outstanding warrant. He was taken into custody and charged with the warrant, which was for sale of cocaine. When he was arrested, he had a folded piece of paper with marijuana inside. He was further charged with possession of marijuana.

At 3:15 p.m., Sgt. Jason Madnick pulled over a grey Dodge Durango which was northbound at the 100 mile marker of the highway after he saw the driver was not wearing a seatbelt. The driver, identified as 39 year old Loranzo Scott of Key Largo, has a suspended driver’s license. He was arrested for driving without a valid license. A K-9 team responded to the scene and alerted on the vehicle, indicating the presence of drugs inside. Crack cocaine was found on the floor boards of the vehicle. More cocaine was found in one of Scott’s shoes. A computer search revealed Scott has been designated by the courts as a habitual traffic offender. He was taken to jail for driving with a suspended license and possession of cocaine.

34 year old Dennis Cooper was arrested on an outstanding warrant for sale of cocaine Wednesday. The warrant stems from an incident in September where Cooper was involved in selling cocaine to an undercover operative on Hibiscus Lane in Key Largo.

October 12, 2016

Second man charged after fleeing from detectives

Today, a second suspect was arrested in connection with a search warrant, served on September 22nd in Tavernier.

The warrant was served at 582 Beach Road in Tavernier. 37 year old Francisco Guevara was arrested at the scene on multiple drug charges.

Jeremy Haigh, 40 years old of North Rock Harbor fled on foot from the residence when detectives arrived. As he fled, he threw a cigarette box toward a canal behind the house. The box landed on a boat davit instead of in the water. In the box, detectives found crack cocaine, Oxycodone, heroin and drug paraphernalia.

A warrant was obtained for Haigh’s arrest and he was picked up today and booked into jail. Haigh is charged with fleeing from police, possession of heroin, cocaine, a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. Bond on the warrant is $70,000.

October 10, 2016

Corrections Officer arrested for DUI

A Sheriff’s Corrections Officer was arrested early today by Key West Police for driving under the influence of alcohol.

25 year old Steven Jaroszewski was stopped on Duval Street at 3:30 a.m. After police observed his apparent intoxication, they administered field sobriety exercises, which Jaroszewski could not perform sufficiently. He was arrested, charged with DUI and booked into jail.

Jaroszewski has worked as a Corrections Officer for the Sheriff’s Office since August of 2015. His employment status is currently under review.

October 7, 2016

Death of inmate at detention facility

An inmate at the Stock Island Detention facility died of what appears to be natural causes. An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of his death and detectives will be investigating.

The 65 year old man was arrested by Key West Police in late September on trespassing charges. This was his sixth arrest in 2016. He had hronic medical issues and was housed in the sickbay of the facility. He complained of not being able to breathe well and the detention deputy assigned to the sick bay unit called for a nurse to come check on him. When the nurse arrived, he was unresponsive. Paramedics responded and he was rushed to Lower Keys Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Detectives are asking that his name not be released until they have the opportunity to notify his next of kin about his death.

Man arrested for firing gun on boat

A Marathon man is under arrest accused firing a gun on board his boat after an argument with passengers on the boat.

38 year old Tobias Bybee and four others had gone out fishing and to have drinks at sunset Thursday evening when the incident took place. They were offshore of Marathon Marina when some kind of argument took place. Bybee got a rifle, hit one of the victims in the throat with the stock of the gun and then fired the gun several times, frightening the others on the boat who thought he was going to shoot them.

Bybee then brought the vessel back to shore; on the way, one of the victims called the Sheriff’s Office to report the incident. Bybee’s vessel was met at shore by Sheriff’s deputies who placed him under arrest. Bybee told Deputy John Allen he fired the gun because there had been a “mutiny on board the vessel”.

Two guns were recovered from the vessel. Bybee, who is a convicted felon, was charged with four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. He was booked into jail.

October 5, 2916

South Carolina man faces numerous charges

A South Carolina man, passed out in his car in the drive through of McDonalds Tuesday night, was arrested on multiple charges including a sex offender violation.

An employee of McDonalds in Marathon called the Sheriff’s Office at 10:30 p.m. to report a couple had passed out in a car in the drive through of the restaurant after placing an order. He told deputies he tried to wake them but couldn’t. When deputies arrived, they knocked on the windows of the car and, at first, could not wake the couple up. The female passenger finally did wake up and she, in turn, woke the male driver.

When the couple rolled down the car’s windows, the responding deputies could smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from inside. Neither person in the car could produce a driver’s license. The driver was initially uncooperative and gave the last name of Johnson, spelling it with a “J”; he later admitted his name was spelled differently and identified himself as 28 year old Kevin Yonson of South Carolina. Yonson showed obvious signs of impairment and refused to participate in field sobriety exercises, so he was arrested. A check through  computers revealed Yonson has a suspended driver’s license, three DUI Convictions in the past, and he is a convicted sex offender. He told deputies he has been in Monroe County working for the past five weeks. His computer records showed no signs he had registered as a sex offender in Monroe County, as required by state law.

As he was being handcuffed and placed into a patrol car, he struggled with deputies and, at one point, threw his elbow back, attempting to hit one officer in the head. The officer blocked the elbow with his arm.

Yonson was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a suspended license, battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence, resisting arrest without violence, giving a false name to a law enforcement officer and failing to register as a sex offender. He was booked into jail.

October 3, 2016

Miami man charged with driving recklessly

A Miami man was arrested Saturday night after a deputy saw him driving recklessly, passing vehicles on the shoulder of the roadway in Islamorada.

Deputy Annette Simo was on patrol at 10:45 p.m. at the 83 mile marker when she saw a dark colored pickup truck speeding and passing a number of vehicles on the northbound shoulder of the roadway. When she got behind the truck and turned on her lights and siren, the truck failed to stop. It finally stopped at the 85 mile marker.

The driver was identified as 28 year old James Hogan. As she conducted the traffic stop, he failed to comply with a number of orders given to him. She called for backup and, while she was waiting, she noticed he had a large amount of blood on his person, including on his face, hands and shirt. At first he denied having any blood on him; then he admitted to getting into a fight with his cousin.

As Deputy Simo was writing citations for Hogan, Deputy Caridad Calloway and an FHP Trooper watched Hogan. At one point, he rolled up his windows and locked both the doors of his truck, refusing to unlock the doors. He then began to reach for a backpack that was in the car. The officers ordered him to unlock the doors and to stop reaching for the backpack. He refused to comply. When Deputy Calloway reached through a partially open window to unlock the door, he rolled the window up on her arm.

Another deputy went to Long Key State Park to check on Hogan’s cousin, who he said he’d been in a fight with. Although the cousin had multiple wounds, including a number of bite marks, he refused to press charges.

Hogan finally unlocked the truck and was removed from his vehicle and was handcuffed. As he was being taken into custody, Hogan fought with deputies. Once he was in the back of a patrol car, he tried to bite Sgt. Yunior Galvez.

Hogan was charged with reckless driving, battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence and resisting arrest without violence. He was booked into jail.

Two charged with stealing a car

Two people were arrested early today, charged with stealing a woman’s car.

Deputy John Babula was dispatched to Hibiscus Lane in Key Largo at 4:15 a.m. he met with the owner of a 2007 Honda Accord; she said two people she knew just stole her car. She said she parked the car in the driveway of a friend’s house. She said she was carrying things inside the house and had left the keys in the ignition. She said 32 year old Michelle Dodd of Florida City and 34 year old Dennis Cooper of Key Largo stole the car.

She said ye yelled for them to stop, but they continued to take the car.

The victim had Cooper’s cell phone number so Deputy Titus Hodges called Cooper and told him to return the car. Cooper, who said he was on the way to Homestead, agreed to return the car. The car was stopped at the 105 mile marker, southbound. Dodd and Cooper were in the car and they were placed under arrest. They were charged with grand theft and they were booked into jail. The vehicle was returned to its owner.