Tag Archives: 02-12-2014

Rod & Reel returns to service

It took a bit more than four months of repairs, but the historical Rod & Reel Pier at 875 N. Shore Drive in Anna Maria reopened for business the morning of Feb. 7.

The pier and its restaurant had been closed since Sept. 30 due to an electrical fire, and the repairs had to meet the new Florida Building Code requirements, said manager Dave Cochran.

“Meeting those new requirements made it take longer than we thought. Every time we’d tear down a wall, we’d find more damage that had to be rebuilt to the new code,” Cochran said.

He congratulated Bimini Bay Construction for its help in getting the facility reopened, and all the staff members who pitched in the final week to get the restaurant ready.

Built in 1949, the repairs now make the Rod & Reel Pier look almost new, Cochran said.

“But we’ve still got the same home-town, laid back atmosphere and flavor, and most of the old employees are back,” he said.

During the four-month closure, All Island Denominations assisted out-of-work staff with bills, food, clothing and other living essentials. AID is composed of island churches and does not charge for its services. Additionally, the food pantry at Roser Memorial Community Church was available for the staff.

“It took a lot of work and effort, and many weeks working seven days, but it’s done and we’re back,” Cochran said.

  •         The pier was purchased in 1998 by Mario Schoenfelder, who also leases the Anna Maria City Pier.

Mayor denies property manager’s claims on vacation rentals

An email circulating among Anna Maria Island vacation property owners and managers from Joe Varner of Anna Maria Vacations, 5702 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, contains numerous inaccuracies and misstatements, said Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn.

The email is doing nothing but causing a riff between accommodation owners, managers and city residents, she said.

The email is being sent to island accommodation owners as a Florida House subcommittee considers a bill that would return control of vacation rentals to local governments. A companion bill heard in a Senate subcommittee was approved 8-0.

Currently, under a Florida law that went into effect July 1, 2011, local governments cannot enact laws that would further restrict vacation rental areas beyond the regulations that existed at that time unless the rules applied to all residential properties.

While HB307 has stirred some controversy, SueLynn said Varner’s accusations are simply not true.

In his two-page email, Varner wrote: “There is a group of local Florida municipal politicians (which includes SueLynn and Chuck Webb from the City of Anna Maria as well as Jean Peelen and Carmel Monti from the city of Holmes Beach) who have persuaded a Florida state Senator to sponsor a bill to repeal and replace FL HB 883.” Varner said the state senator is John Thrasher.

“Totally untrue,” said SueLynn. “I’ve never even met Thrasher.”

The impetus for HB307 came from the Florida League of Cities, which had its passage on its legislative agenda, SueLynn said.

She acknowledged that she and Holmes Beach Commissioner Jean Peelen were part of a group of elected officials that met with the FLC after Thrasher proposed his legislation.

Thrasher represents Daytona Beach and St. Augustine.

“Varner is a bit off base with this accusation,” Peelen said.

“We never met with Thrasher and I didn’t even know his name until he introduced his bill. I was delighted that he did,” she said.

Peelen called Varner’s email outrageous, filled with lies and scare tactics.

“We, the commission, are trying to find a balance between residents and visitors and Varner’s email does nothing but cause trouble,” she said.

Varner continued in his email that “Nine months ago, the city of Anna Maria, unannounced at a regular board meeting of commissioners and the mayor, voted (to) change all rentals to a 30-day minimum, and it passed unanimously! And this was even though they were not allowed to do so by state law!

“Fortunately their attorney stepped in and had them reverse this as it was illegal but if they do gain the power to do so, well…”

SueLynn said Varner’s statement about the commission approving such action is another falsehood.

“Absolutely untrue. You can look it up in the minutes. It is statements like this that don’t help relations between governments and the accommodation rental industry.”

She said it’s possible Varner was referring to a motion by Webb about a year ago to have city attorney Jim Dye determine if the city’s hotel/motel ordinance had any control over vacation rentals and if a lawsuit could be filed under that ordinance.

That motion passed 4-0, but SueLynn said there was never any mention of imposing a 30-day minimum.

At the following meeting, Dye reported the city could take legal action in circuit court to determine if its hotel/motel ordinance applied to vacation rentals, but the city would have to choose individual rentals as defendants in any lawsuit, and any decision would apply only to those defendants.

Commissioners rejected pursuing any legal action, 4-1.

“I don’t know where Varner got his information, but it is just totally wrong. This is disinformation and not helping cooperation among the vacation rental industry, the city, and residents,” SueLynn said.

Efforts to reach Varner by telephone and email were unsuccessful.

Pine Avenue Restoration principal Mike Coleman of Anna Maria took a different approach than Varner.

Coleman emailed small-business owners in the city, asking them to contact members of the House committee to disapprove of HB 307 as written.

He said cooperation between accommodation owners and local governments would go a lot further to controlling the rental situation than any political battle that might ensue if HB 307 passed.

He noted Anna Maria’s problems with vacation rentals started several years ago from too many “party rentals” for several nights. This caused a number of noise complaints, but resulted in the creation of the “best practices list” used by accommodation owners, managers and guests.

“These best practices have been working in Anna Maria and there are fewer noise complaints than ever. It just shows that a little cooperation will go a lot further toward harmony among residents, the city and vacation renters than a government statute or regulation,” he said.

Varner, however, might be a bit premature in putting elected officials against the vacation rental industry.

A person at the office of state Rep. Greg Steube, R.-Bradenton said the bill must pass multiple committees before it is presented to the full House for consideration.

The legislative will begin March 4 and there is no timetable for action on HB 307.

Florida Association of Vacation Rental Managers lobbyist Brian Hughes said if HB 307 passed as proposed it would give local governments the ability to institute a 30-day minimum stay for a vacation rental.

“Obviously, it does not mean every local government would enact such an ordinance, but it would give them the right to enact such a law, or something similar. This would really harm Florida’s tourism industry,” Hughes said.

SueLynn said all Anna Maria wants to do is be able to control those vacation rental properties that are rented to “party groups” for the weekend.

“We’ve had good success with our best practices campaign by vacation rental agents and implementing procedures to limit noise. But we do want to have home rule returned to the local governments,” she said.

Anna Maria is not looking to put a 30-day restriction on every vacation rental, SueLynn said, only in ensuring that vacationers respect the rights of residents and other visitors who come to the city to enjoy its peace and quiet.

Efforts to reach FVRMA president Steve Milo in Ponte Vedra Beach for comment were unsuccessful.

Frustration builds over BB pier construction delays

With $1 million waiting in two bank accounts following an agreement between Manatee County and Bradenton Beach to match funding to reconstruct the Historic Bridge Street Pier, further delays are frustrating city officials.

While the resort tax dollars from the county funds were anticipated — but not yet available — Bradenton Beach officials began setting deadlines for the project that was first projected to be completed in August 2013.

The early delays proved to be a blessing as former Mayor John Shaughnessy laid the groundwork to tap into Manatee County Tourism Development Council funding that eventually removed financial obstacles to the project.

For officials who have been discussing this project for more than two years, however, financial freedom to not only restore, but improve, the pier means delays are no longer acceptable.

Mayor Bill Shearon, who closed out Shaughnessy’s deal with the county, set a six-week deadline in early January for ZNS Engineering to have a request for proposal submitted to the city for approval and subsequent release to bidders. That deadline will expire Feb. 19 and city officials do not know where the RFP stands, other than it is being held up due to a lack of a solar lighting plan.

“We should have the drawings fairly soon,” said building official Steve Gilbert. “We’ve been back and forth with Beacon Products on how to attach the poles for the solar lights. That changes the engineering design.”

The frustration was apparent for Police Chief Sam Speciale, who facilitates the pier team.

“We were told we had six weeks to get this RFP out,” said Speciale. “So, who do we need to point the finger at?”

Mayor Bill Shearon reiterated that Feb. 19 is the six-week deadline.

“The agreement was five weeks for an RFP,” said Shearon. “I suggested and gave an extra week. That was our contract. I expect the contract in six weeks. Period. Ready to go. End of conversation.”

Speciale said there was no excuse for the entire project to be on hold because someone can’t figure out whether a solar panel will be attached to a pole or be placed on the roof of a copula.

Shearon agreed, saying, “I’ll make this real simple. Call Beacon and tell them they either present their plans or maybe we need to look into another lighting company.”

Shearon said Beacon is a quality company, “But if they are going to hold things up, we can start from scratch with somebody else.”

Speciale was equally frustrated with ZNS for its lack of information on the RFP.

“Have they even started it?” he asked.

Gilbert said, “I don’t know.”

That led to further frustration.

“We were told we would have the RFP in six weeks,” said Speciale. “Tell him that he’s working for us. If the lighting needs to say it’s going to be subbed out, then put it in there. Holding this up is unacceptable to us. ZNS told us they were going to do this. They are contracted to do it, they need to get it done and all we hear is, “Well, we still need to do this.’”

Public works director Tom Woodard said a Beacon Products representative was going to make a presentation at the Feb. 6 city commission meeting.

A Beacon Products representative attended that meeting, gave a brief history of the company and its products, but did not present anything resembling a formal plan in relation to the pier project.

Commissioners did not ask questions and the presentation concluded.

Bradenton Beach mayor, city entangled in lawsuits

Sarasota attorney Robert Lincoln filed a lawsuit Feb. 6 on behalf of ELRA Inc. alleging Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon has overstepped his authority and has a conflict of interest in the ongoing litigation to terminate a joint development agreement with ELRA, the corporate entity of the Beachhouse Restaurant.

The lawsuit also alleges Shearon is threatening the jobs of some city staff if they do not oppose the agreement with ELRA.

Lincoln then double-dipped, sending the same day a request to city attorney Ricinda Perry for ELRA to join the city defense of the lawsuit brought forward in 2012 by Shearon, Tjet Martin and Jo Ann Meilner that claims the agreement allowing a parking lot on the beach should be thrown out.

Perry said it is likely a judge would grant ELRA’s request to co-defend the lawsuit to nullify the agreement to build a dune and parking lot at the restaurant across Gulf Drive from city hall. She recommended the city allow ELRA to join its defense.

Commissioners unanimously agreed at a Feb. 6 meeting not to fight the ELRA defense request, but Commissioner Jack Clarke asked the obvious question. “So Robert Lincoln is going to sue the mayor and the city is going to pay for (his) defense, but he’s also going to join the suit on the city’s side? Isn’t there any conflict of interest there?” Clarke asked.

Perry said there is no conflict because Lincoln is representing ELRA’s interests, not the city.

“So he’s joining the party, but just not in the same wagon,” said Clarke.

Perry said “Yes.” She also said the commission would need to authorize the mayor’s defense. She recommended that attorney Charles Johnson be retained at what would amount to a reduced cost.

Johnson already is the lead litigant for the city against the development lawsuit.

Perry said she, building official Steve Gilbert, city planner Alan Garrett and other city officials have been named in the lawsuit, so she would be unable to defend it.

The most recent movement on the case was in October 2012, when the city was seeking a judge’s ruling on mediation offered to the plaintiffs, but rejected. The judge was appointed by the late Gov. Lawton Chiles, father of Beachhouse owner Ed Chiles. She recused herself from the case.

“There has been no further movement since then,” said Perry.


The case

The lawsuit filed in June 2012 against the city to terminate the joint development agreement includes former planning and zoning member Meilner as a plaintiff.

Meilner said that for ELRA to join the city to defend the lawsuit changes nothing, noting the lawsuit will move forward.

The suit was filed before Shearon became mayor, and both he and longtime partner Marti  were named plaintiffs with Meilner. Shearon also was a P&Z member at the time the development agreement was recommended for denial by P&Z, but approved during a contentious city commission meeting under the previous administration.

Shearon removed his name from the lawsuit following his election as mayor, acknowledging he would essentially be suing himself.

He pledged to keep out of the case in a postelection interview, but Lincoln maintains the opposite has occurred in a list of allegations against the mayor.

Lincoln alleges Shearon’s ties to Martin as a remaining plaintiff creates a conflict.

He also alleges the city did not undertake due process in the creation of ordinances and resolutions appointing Perry to give the commission legal advice, and alleges the same for Gilbert and Garrett pertaining to their expertise.

Lincoln writes that Shearon has violated the city charter by attempting to become a “strong mayor” by making decisions prior to city commission approval.

He further asserts that Shearon’s reorganizational efforts within city hall are being determined by what the mayor believes to be in the best interest of the city, but without guidance from the city commission.

The suit alleges that Shearon has threatened employees jobs if they do not follow his directions and misused his authority by directing city staff to take a position on the development agreement that is in line with his position as a former plaintiff.

Lincoln cites Gilbert, Garrett and code enforcement officer Gail Garneu as examples of staff being threatened if they don’t follow direction from Shearon.

Lincoln cites as an example, during a period from Dec. 3, 2013, to Jan. 12, 2014, “Shearon communicated with Gilbert and Garrett … insisting they interpret and apply the city’s land development codes to identify additional objections to the application” to the extent that they would have to recommend denial to the city commission.

In an email to the city dated the same day as the lawsuit, Lincoln cautions Shearon against retaliation attempts against city employees.

“I will consider any attempt by you to find out who’s talking or even ask as a threat and hostile act and attempting to interfere with public servants in the performance of their duties,” Lincoln wrote.

Dredge contract talks, renourishment continue

Negotiations between Manatee County and Great Lakes Dredge and Dock to continue the present beach renourishment project are ongoing, according to Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources director Charlie Hunsicker.

Meanwhile, GLDD is continuing to pump sand southward to 13th Street South in Bradenton Beach.

According to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokeswoman Sirisha Rayaprolu, 13th Street South is the end point for the Corps renourishment project.

Two weeks ago, GLDD announced that when it reached Fifth Street South, it would move its equipment from the island to undertake an emergency project in New Orleans.

Meanwhile, a second project, piggybacking on the first, was expected to start when the Corps project ended, taking up at the Corps termination point to pump sand on the shore from 13th Street South to Longboat Pass along Coquina Beach. The second project is headed by Manatee County and the state. It is a $3 million project that involves no federal funds.

GLDD representatives told Hunsicker the company would have to return to renourish Coquina Beach.

The news that GLDD was leaving had Hunsicker scrambling to ensure both projects would be finished in a timely manner — before the start of sea turtle nesting season.

He and other county representatives began negotiations with GLDD to complete renourishment, but had not reached an agreement by Feb. 7.

“Manatee County continues to negotiate with the company to engage them” to remain on site and renourish Coquina Beach, Hunsicker said.

GLDD had completed the beach from 79th Street to 26th Street North in Bradenton Beach by Feb. 7.

Rayaprolu has said GLDD could renourish 1,000 feet of beach daily in good weather conditions. The distance from 26th Street North to 13th Street South is about 8,000 feet as measured by a vehicle traveling on Gulf Drive.

Hunsicker said if negotiations fail, he has no plan for when GLDD would return.

A startup after May 1 would interfere with sea turtle nesting season, and has been a consideration on Anna Maria Island for any renourishment project.

Beach renourishment was performed on Anna Maria Island in 1992, again in 2002 and an emergency renourishment took place in 2005.

Monsters at the point



Bob Patten, a visitor staying in an accommodation near Bean Point the evening of Feb. 1, reported hearing strange noises coming through the fog and had concerns about monsters in the sea. When the fog lifted, he was able to see the “groans” were coming from the barge and dredge used for beach renourishment. He snapped this photo of the “beasts” of Bean Point.

HB charter committee takes input, mayor wants a vote

The Holmes Beach Charter Review Committee saw its biggest audience yet Feb. 6.

“We have an audience for new business today,” Committee chair Bob Johnson said.

The audience included Mayor Carmel Monti, who told the committee the mayor should have the ability to vote when the commission lacks a quorum and in the event of a tie vote by commissioners.

The city presently has a weak mayor form of government, and the mayor has no vote in legislative matters. The mayor, according to the present charter, acts as the administrator, carrying out direction from the commission.

The day’s agenda included scrutinizing the articles covering the mayor, city clerk, city treasurer, city attorney, the police department and the public works and building department, and representatives from the city departments attended.

Johnson solicited comments from the city staff throughout the committee’s review process.

The committee reviewed Article 4 on the mayor and Article 5 on the city clerk.

Changes were suggested by committee members for clarity and consistency throughout Article 4.

Members also commented on term lengths for the mayor, which had been discussed in previous meetings. It was suggested the term lengths for city commissioner and the mayor be longer. The issue already has been added to a list to be given a closer look following the committee’s familiarization process.

Monti also asked the committee to consider adding a monthly expense account of $100 for the mayor, for situations where he attends business meetings or lunches with county officials.

“I’m being paid so little, I don’t feel like I should have to pick up the bill,” Monti said. “I’ve been trying to foster a relationship with Manatee County that hasn’t been done in the last year.”

Responses regarding the expense account across the room varied. City treasurer Laurie Hill said that because of the tax structure of the payments made to the mayor, expenses should come out of the mayor’s salary.

The mayor and city commissioners receive compensation, although in the past it was not considered salary. The mayor is paid $12,000 per year, and commissioners receive $6,000.

“I don’t think it’s addressed in the charter,” said committee member Pam Leckie, “but it should be addressed.”

Committee members agreed the difference in compensation for the mayor and Manatee County commissioners is wide. County commissioners are salaried at more than $80,000 per year, and they are reimbursed for some expenses.

Committee members agreed to put the issue on the list to be revisited and suggested Monti look into other avenues that might allow his expenses.

But Monti’s request for the ability to vote on city commission issues in the instance of a stalemate or the lack of a quorum found little support.

“You’re asking to change the structure of the government here. Every government does it differently, but this is a major change to the charter,” said Johnson.

City Commissioner Jean Peelen and Leckie agreed with Johnson that the mayor should not vote with the city commission.

“I’m surprised you’re asking for the ability to vote,” Leckie said.

Johnson cited the mayor’s veto power, which appears at the end of Article 4. “Look at our national system, it’s checks and balances. I’m not in favor of changing that,” he said. “We have a distribution of roles with checks and balances.”

The issue was put to rest, and committee members began scrutinizing the city clerk’s qualifications and duties, although time ran out before committee members finished the clerk review.

The next Holmes Beach Charter Review Committee meeting will be at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive.


Committee continues search for new member

      The Holmes Beach Charter Review Committee continues to search for a fifth member following the resignation of Travis Casper.

One application for appointment was submitted to city hall between the committee’s Jan. 29 and Feb. 6 meetings and is under review.

Committee members are asking any interested Holmes Beach resident to pick up an application for appointment at Holmes Beach City Hall 5801 Marina Drive, so the vacancy can be filled as soon as possible.

HBPD focuses on enforcement, improper passing

The Holmes Beach Police Department is looking out for motorists who use improper passing techniques while driving.

At a Jan. 28 city commission meeting, Chief Bill Tokajer said he and members of the department would be “strictly enforcing” any illegal passing methods, a violation that carries a fine of $166.

If you travel East Bay Drive, passing Walgreens, Publix and CVS, and use the center turn lane only for turning, to avoid traffic or to make a green light, you’ll likely get a ticket.

Motorists who drive in any center lane for an extended distance are subject to ticketing.

Tokajer also will be looking for people who pass a vehicle on the right side, using the bicycle lane, shoulder or unpaved right of way to pass.

“Passing someone on the right side is a major safety hazard for bicyclists and pedestrians,” he said at the meeting.

Under Florida law, drivers are required to slow down — under the posted speed by 20 mph — when an emergency vehicle or tow truck passes with its emergency lights on.

He said HBPD also would be looking to ticket drivers who violate that law.

Tokajer said that before the HBPD begins enforcing common traffic violations, it attempts to educate the community through the media, meetings and its web presence.

Last month the HBPD issued 84 traffic citations, 32 parking tickets and 22 written warnings, according to the HBPD monthly report. They also worked 12 traffic crashes, a report states.

The HBPD also arrested 20 people on various charges in January — 14 were for alleged criminal traffic violations.

Officers last month responded to 214 calls, the report shows.

Tokajer said the HBPD increases enforcement activities during the nationwide Click It or Ticket campaign. During the most recent effort, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, HBPD officers issued 198 citations for various offenses.

Tokajer said that due to the proactive enforcement activities by HBPD officers during the campaigns, the department received about $19,000 in new equipment at no cost to the city.

The funding provided the department with two dual antenna moving radar units, two laser speed measurement units and a portable breath-test unit from the Florida Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Florida Law Enforcement Liaison Program.

Holmes Beach responds to tree house litigation

Movement in one of the five actions currently flowing through the 12th Judicial Circuit Court in Manatee County took place Jan. 13 with the city filing a response to a show-cause order filed in October 2013 by Sarasota attorney David Levin, representing Lynn Tran and Richard Hazen in regard to what the city has deemed an illegal tree house at their seaside resort.

The city found the tree house at Angelinos Sea Lodge to be in violation of several city and state codes and to have been built without a permit.

In mid-September 2013, the Holmes Beach Code Enforcement Board upheld the building department’s findings and levied a $100 daily fine until the structure is removed or brought into compliance.

Since it was found to be built in the setback for the erosion control line, a state violation, it is unlikely the tree house can be brought into compliance.

According to building official Tom O’Brien, the fine continues to accrue and will only be dissolved if the legal efforts by Hazen and Tran are successful.

In the meantime, the legal wrangling continues. Levin filed an appeal of the code enforcement board’s findings and an appeal of the city’s final administrative order to remove the structure or rectify its non-compliant status.

The city has two cases pending that declare Tran’s and Hazen’s petition initiative null and void, as well as seeking a declaratory judgment that would essentially end the case. The city claims language in state statutes provides the requirements of a building permit that was not applied for or obtained.

The latest legal move is the city’s response to the order imposing the fine.

Anna Maria city attorney Jim Dye, partners with Holmes Beach city attorney Patricia Petruff at their own law firm, is representing Holmes Beach in the tree house matter. He argued that multiple cases regarding Levin’s request for show cause are already before the court.

He also argues that Levin is making factual statements to the court without supporting records.

According to the response, Dye also states the court should deny the motion to stay the administrative order, “as it has been filed in the incorrect proceeding and because the circuit court does not have jurisdiction to stay a lower tribunal’s order,” referring to the code enforcement board’s decision.

Dye states that Levin will get a chance to make that argument in a different proceeding.

While both sides anticipate a drawn out legal process, the fine continues. From the day the code enforcement imposed the fine, which was Sept. 13, 2013, 152 days had passed and the fine is a still accruing on Feb. 12, 2014.

At $100 a day, the fine was $15,200 — and climbing.

Island police blotter – 02-12-2014

Anna Maria

        • Jan. 29, 200 block of Gladiolus Street, domestic disturbance. A Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to a call regarding a couple engaged in a verbal argument. The woman said no physical contact had been made during the argument.

• Feb. 6, 200 block of Gladiolus Street, burglary. An unknown person entered a residence through an unlocked door and stole several items valued at $756.

Anna Maria is policed by the MCSO.

Bradenton Beach

        • Jan. 30, 600 block of 66th Street West, robbery by sudden snatching. A Bradenton Beach woman reported walking west at the listed address when a male came up from behind her and grabbed her wallet out of her hand. The man fled with the wallet that contained cash and the victim’s identification.

• Jan. 21, 60 block of Bay Drive North, Pines Trailer Park, stalking, alleging threatening and harassing behavior. According to the report, the behavior has continued for about a year.

        Bradenton Beach is policed by the BBPD.


• Feb. 2, 4400 block of 125th Street West, domestic disturbance. A 72-year-old woman was arrested for domestic battery after her 46-year-old roommate claimed the woman attacked her as they walked home from a bar. According to the report, the victim said the suspect punched her in the face. She ran home and locked the door, at which time the suspect is alleged to have thrown a chair through the bedroom window. The victim locked herself in the bathroom and called law enforcement. After an MCSO deputy observed injuries to the complainant’s face, the 72-year-old woman was arrested.

• Feb. 4, 2350 Cortez Road W., Home Depot, petit theft. A 39-year-old Cortez man was charged with petit theft after he allegedly placed a $159 range-finder in his pocket. According to the report, the man attempted to leave the store through the garden center, at which time he was stopped and escorted back into the store.

• Jan. 25, 4300 block of 127th Street West, petit theft. A complainant reported someone entered his boat and removed a battery and spotlight.

        Cortez is policed by the MCSO

Holmes Beach

• Jan. 31, 3900 E. Bay Drive, Publix, trespass after warning. A Holmes Beach Police Department officer observed a 53-year-old Bradenton man at Publix after he was confirmed to have been trespassed from the business Jan. 4. The man was arrested for misdemeanor trespass after warning and booked into the Manatee County jail.

• Feb. 6, 8320 Lockwood Ridge Road, Bradenton, Walmart, petit theft. A 39-year-old Holmes Beach man was arrested for petit theft after allegedly attempting to steal a $98 cellphone. According to the report, the man put a packaged cellphone into his pocket and went to the restrooms, where he removed the phone from the package, returned the phone to his pocket and attempted to leave the store. He was stopped and escorted back into the store. An MCSO deputy arrested the man.

• Jan. 18, 100 block of Aqua Lane, battery. A woman observed a couple, who appeared to be intoxicated and drinking alcohol while parked on Aqua Lane. The woman suggested the couple not drive and the suspects told the woman to mind her own business. The man allegedly pushed the complainant before the couple left the area in their vehicle.

• Jan. 19, 5900 Marina Drive, skate park, vehicle burglary. Someone entered an unlocked vehicle and stole a backpack containing items valued at $1,083. The theft was captured on a surveillance camera.

        Holmes Beach is policed by the HBPD.

        Streetlife is based on incident reports and narratives from the Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach police departments and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.