Tag Archives: Police

Man arrested for allegedly attacking BBPD officers

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It is not a good idea to fight with the police.

It’s an even worse idea to try to take on two officers.

Bradenton Beach police arrested James Strader, 26, of Bradenton Beach,  April 22 for felony aggravated battery against two officers.

According to the police report, Strader’s wife approached two officers at the Circle K, 103 Gulf Drive S., about a domestic dispute. She said her husband was destroying their belongings and she asked the police to intervene.

The officers responded to a residence in the 2300 block of Avenue C and found Strader outside.

He refused to speak with the officers and, according to the report, took a “fighter-type stance” and attempted to push past them. He allegedly hit the officers several times.

The officers used tasers three times to subdue Strader, who was arrested and taken to the Manatee County jail.

He posted bond and was released from jail April 23.

A court date was set for 9 a.m. Friday, May 15, at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

— Ryan Paice


Man charged with sex assault of a minor

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A Bradenton man was arrested Feb. 27 on two counts each of capital sexual battery and molestation following allegations that he assaulted a child.

William Erik Bobo, 35, was arrested Feb. 27 in Holmes Beach on four warrants, two for sexual battery on a child less than 12 years of age and two for lewd or lascivious molestation of a child under 12 years of age following an investigation by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office that began in June 2019.

According to the arrest warrant, the alleged victim, an elementary school-aged child, said that on June 26 she and Bobo were sitting on a couch watching a movie when he touched and penetrated her genital area. The child told investigators that the following day Bobo “did the same thing.”

Bobo was released March 3 on $350,000 cash bond, which was posted March 2 by his father, Allen Bobo, a resident of Key Royale in Holmes Beach.

The bond agreement issued Feb. 28 by 12th Judicial Circuit Judge Gilbert A. Smith Jr. states Bobo resides in Bradenton, but he is to be curfewed 24/7 at his parent’s Key Royale home. He also must wear an electronic monitoring device and have no contact with minors, victims or witnesses.

He is allowed to leave the Key Royale residence only for school, work or medical emergency.

Sarasota attorney Peter Aiken of Aiken, O’Halloran & Associates of Sarasota entered a plea for Bobo of not guilty to the four charges at the first appearance hearing, where Smith set the bond amounts.

Aiken requested arraignment be waived and a jury trial.

Aiken also moved to modify the terms of Bobo’s release but, at press time for The Islander March 9, there was no response to his motions.

He argued that Bobo has a 12-year-old son with whom he shares custody with the child’s mother and, on alternating weeks, the child stays with Bobo at his parents’ residence in Holmes Beach.

Aiken requested Bobo be allowed unsupervised contact with his son at his parents’ home.

Aiken also said that there are other relatives, including children, who frequent the family home and asked that Bobo be allowed to have supervised contact with other family members.

Bobo’s next court date is March 20.

MCSO investigates after body found

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office detectives found nothing to indicate foul play in the death of a woman whose body was found in the Intracoastal Waterway.

The body was recovered Feb. 27 off Key Royale in Holmes Beach, according to an MCSO incident report.

The woman was identified as Alice Pamela Mehan, 49, of New Port Richey.

The MCSO deployed its marine and aviation units to the 600 block of Key Royale Drive and the body was taken to the Kingfish Boat Ramp in Holmes Beach.

The scene and the facts are consistent with suicide, according to MCSO spokesman Randy Warren.

— Lisa Neff

Facebook helps Cortez business recover stolen truck

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Who needs luck when you’ve got Facebook?

Capt. Kathe Fannon of Cortez told The Islander Feb. 25 that her husband’s bait truck — stolen Feb. 20 — was recovered thanks to the social media site.

Mike Fannon, who runs Mike’s Live Bait, uses the Ford F-150 truck custom-fitted with a flatbed tank designed to hold live shrimp for deliveries to nearby bait and tackle shops.

The truck was stolen around 2 a.m. Feb. 20 when a crewmember in charge of delivery to the Skyway Bait & Tackle in Terra Ceia exited the vehicle to enter the bait shop and a man jumped in and drove off, according to Kathe Fannon.

Fannon, who runs Captain Kathe and First Mate Pup-Pup Charters, said the truck was carting more than 5,000 live shrimp.

“I even said to the cops, ‘They can have the truck, but we need that flatbed,’” she said. “It would take my husband another two weeks to build that, and you just don’t haul 5,000-8,000 shrimp around. You’ve got to have some really special stuff. You don’t just throw that together.”

The crewmember called Mike Fannon, who picked him up from the delivery stop in his own vehicle, and they searched for the truck until about 5 a.m.

They also searched later that day, to no avail.

Capt. Katie Scarlett Tupin, the Fannons’ daughter and another charter boat captain, posted on Facebook, alerting others to the theft. Her post was shared 744 times and received more than a hundred comments.

The Fannons received a phone call about 6 p.m. the same day from someone who saw the post and also the truck. The witness said the truck was heading into woods in east Bradenton near 18th Avenue East and 47th Terrace East.

Mike Fannon and a crewmember drove to the area and found the truck and the flatbed shrimp tank abandoned near a “homeless camp,” as described by Kathe Fannon.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office was called to recover the truck.

Fannon said law enforcement arrived with dogs, two helicopters and eight police vehicles, but didn’t make an arrest or conduct a search because no suspect was at the scene.

However, several people told deputies a man called “Frankie Two-Tats” stole the truck.

The MCSO arrested Albert Franklin Hill — whose nickname is “Frankie Two-Tats” — Feb. 22 for carjacking without a weapon. He remained in police custody as of Feb. 26.

Kathe Fannon said deputies told her Hill stole the truck after being released from the Manatee County jail because he needed a ride to Somerset about 40 miles away and had no vehicle.

The police released the truck to Mike Fannon, who called the American Automobile Association to fit a new key since the original wasn’t found.

The shrimp in the truck were found dead and rotting.

“The sheriff’s department would have never found that truck. Ever. It was my thanks to my husband, his crewmember and Facebook, that this even happened,” Kathe Fannon said.

Skate park vandalized in Holmes Beach

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Unknown vandals spray-painted graffiti at the new Holmes Beach Community Skate Park and tagged nearby trash cans. The vandalism occurred overnight Feb. 23. Islander Photos: Courtesy Holmes Beach Police Department

Dude, that’s not cool.

Unknown vandals tagged the new skateboarding facilities in the 5800 block of Marina Drive in Holmes Beach spray-painting graffiti overnight Feb. 23.

The vandals also tagged nearby trash cans and public bathrooms with profanities and other slurs and jargon.

According to the police report, the vandalism was discovered early Feb. 24 by Dave Benton, the city’s public works foreman.

However, other anonymous individuals removed the graffiti the night before, Mayor Judy Titsworth said Feb. 25, during a commission meeting.

“Islanders came and they cleaned it up and I am really proud,” she said.

Titsworth requested that whoever cleaned the park tell the city what they used.

“I just want to know what they used, because it worked,” she said, adding that the good Samaritans didn’t completely clean the graffiti, so the city still has some graffiti to remove — or paint over.

The city has since installed a surveillance camera used at the old skate park and has new cameras on order, according to Police Chief Bill Tokajer.

Man charged with DUI in Cortez

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A driver pulled over for undisclosed reasons in Cortez was arrested for driving under the influence and damaging property.

Manatee County Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Bigby arrested Richard Palmer, 62, Feb. 23 at the intersection of Cortez Road West and 119th Street West.

After stopping Palmer, Bigby reportedly smelled alcohol on his breath. Also, Palmer was slurring his speech and swaying while standing, but he denied drinking any alcoholic beverages.

Bigby began field sobriety exercises, and the man failed to complete three tests.

The investigation determined the man was intoxicated, so the deputy arrested him and transported him to the Manatee County jail.

The report did not disclose what property Palmer damaged, other than the property is owned by the Florida Department of Transportation.

The man was twice given the opportunity to take a Breathalyzer test, but declined.

Palmer was issued a uniform criminal traffic citation in reference to DUI.

— Ryan Paice

Anna Maria man arrested for DUI in Holmes Beach

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An Anna Maria man, John Joseph, 75, was arrested Feb. 12 for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Joseph was arrested at 1 a.m. in the 4300 block of Gulf Drive by a Holmes Beach police officer.

According to the HBPD report, the officer was dispatched to Gulf Drive, following a witness report of a reckless driver in a red Mustang convertible that was swerving into oncoming traffic and had side-swiped several signs and a streetlight pole in Bradenton Beach.

An officer stopped the motorist near South Harbor Drive. The officer reported he smelled alcohol on Joseph’s breath, his eyes appeared bloodshot and watery and his speech was slurred.

The officer conducted a field sobriety test, which Joseph failed and two Breathalyzer tests for blood-alcohol level content resulted in BAL of 0.232 and 0.218. The legal alcohol limit is 0.08.

Joseph was arrested for DUI with a blood-alcohol content over 0.15, transported to Manatee County jail and released that day on a $120 bond.

— ChrisAnn Allen


Former HB chief inducted to police hall of fame

Former Holmes Beach Police Chief Jay Romine is a hall of famer.

Romine, the director of the Manatee Technical College Law Enforcement Academy, is a 2020 inductee into the Florida Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame.

The institution was created in 2014 to recognize law enforcement officers “who put their lives on the line for the safety and protection of Florida’s citizens through their works, service and exemplary accomplishments,” according to a press notice.

The Florida Police Chiefs Association nominated Romine, who began his career in law enforcement in 1979 in Holmes Beach, where he rose through the ranks to chief.

During his 20 years in that post, Romine founded the Manatee County Law Enforcement Council, as well as served on the state Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission in 2002, 2006 and 2012 and as chair 2007-10.

He also served as president of the Florida Police Chiefs Association in 2004, coordinating disaster response when several major hurricanes made landfall in the state.

Romine was appointed director of the academy in 2013.

He was elected by his peers to the chair of the Florida Criminal Justice Training Center Directors Association and he is the leader of the 40 certified training centers in the state.

A selection committee that met at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Tallahassee in December named Romine for induction.

The induction ceremony will be held May 16 at the state Capitol in Tallahassee.

— Lisa Neff

Holmes Beach man arrested for fatal stabbing

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Jessie Hernandez, 41

Jessie Hernandez, 41, of Holmes Beach, was arrested Feb. 14 for allegedly stabbing a co-worker while on a job in Bradenton.

The Bradenton Police Department arrived on the scene — the Main Street condominiums in the 200 block of Third Street West in Bradenton — to find Rene Escobido Balditt, 48, of Bradenton, deceased, with stab wounds to his upper body.

Both the suspect and victim were working at the site where Balditt died, according to a news release from the police department.

The investigation is active, the release stated.

Hernandez faces a charge of murder.

The BPD asked that anyone with information about the case contact Detective Jay Gow at 941-932-9373.

Additionally, information can be emailed to crimetips@cityofbradenton.com or, to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward of up to $3,000, call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-634-8744.

As of Feb. 17, Hernandez remained in the Manatee County jail on no bond.

Bradenton man arrested for theft, resisting arrest

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Richard Maher, 50

Richard Maher, 50, of Bradenton, was arrested Feb. 10 by the Holmes Beach Police Department for allegedly stealing $29.41 from a car, fleeing police and resisting arrest.

Officers Lee Diehl and Jason Higgins were dispatched to a burglary in the 3600 block of Gulf Drive, where they found the victim, who witnessed a man stealing from his vehicle, pursuing the suspect on foot.

The officers located Maher on a sand dune near the 3000 block of Avenue E. He attempted to flee, refused to lie on the ground, then tried to escape Higgins’ hold, according to the police report. Higgins used his Taser to stun Maher, then arrested and transported him to the HBPD for processing.

Maher was taken to the Manatee County jail and was being held on $14,250 bail as of Feb. 14.