Tag Archives: Police

HBPD arrests speeder for DUI

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Erika Chetlain, 31

Authorities say a driver in a black Volkswagen spun out of a Holmes Beach bar, sped south on Gulf Drive and nearly struck another vehicle head-on in Bradenton Beach.

The driver, Erika Chetlain, 31, of Bradenton, was arrested at 11:52 p.m. June 19 for driving under the influence of alcohol and refusing to submit to a blood-alcohol test.

According to an HBPD report, Officer Alan DeSantis observed the Volkswagen fishtail from the parking lot of the Anchor Inn, 3007 Gulf Drive, and followed the vehicle. He clocked the vehicle at 46 mph in a 35-mph zone.

Near the S-curve at 22nd Street in Bradenton Beach, DeSantis reported the Volkswagen crossed the center lines into oncoming traffic and caused the driver of a northbound vehicle to swerve to avoid a crash.

The officer activated his emergency lights and stopped the motorist at 17th Street North in Bradenton Beach.

DeSantis then called HBPD Officer Alexander Hurt to perform a DUI investigation while Bradenton Beach Police Officer John Tsakiri assisted with traffic control.

As he interviewed Chetlain, Hurt noted signs of impairment and asked if she would take a field sobriety test.

Chetlain agreed to the test but told Hurt she had a bad knee and other medical problems. So the officer requested she perform a modified test, which she did, according to the report.

Hurt then called on emergency medical services, who cleared Chetlain for testing at the scene.

Meanwhile, DeSantis inventoried items in the vehicle, which included numerous empty cans and bottles of alcohol.

After the roadside test, Hurt took Chetlain to the HBPD station, where she refused to submit to a blood-alcohol breath test, and then to Manatee Memorial Hospital in

Bradenton due to her “high state of intoxication.” She refused treatment at the hospital, according to the report.

From there, Chetlain was transported to the Manatee County jail. She posted $620 bond and was released.

Chetlain entered a not-guilty plea July 2 in 12th Circuit Court through attorney Brett McIntosh.

Her next court date is at 8:25 a.m. Monday, July 22, at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave., W., Bradenton.

Streetlife – 07-10-2019

Anna Maria

June 22, Island Charms, 501 Pine Ave., shoplifting. A merchant reported a theft, providing a store video showing a woman stealing an item valued between $100 and $300 to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

June 23, Anna Maria Beach Cottages, 112 Oak Ave., theft. The rental company reported power tools and bicycles valued between $300 and $5,000 stolen from a storage shed.

June 27, 100 block of Palm Drive, battery. Police arrested a woman after her husband reported she bit him as he slept.

June 28, Bayfront Park, 316 N. Bay Blvd., trespass. An MCSO deputy observed people sitting on a comforter while on a foot patrol of the park. They were issued trespassing warnings and told not to return.

The MCSO polices Anna Maria.

Bradenton Beach

June 28, Bradenton Beach police station, 403 Highland Ave., Baker Act. A 32-year-old man went to the station naked and told police that he wanted to harm himself. An officer transported the man to a medical facility.

June 28, 300 block of Gulf Drive South, Marchman Act. Bradenton Beach police responded to a call about a 32-year-old woman passed out on the beach. The woman showed signs of substance abuse so an officer took her into custody under the act and transported her to a medical facility.

The BBPD polices Bradenton Beach.


June 29, 4400 block of 124th Street Court West, domestic. An argument broke out when a woman threatened to leave a live-in boyfriend. The man told the woman he didn’t want her to take his truck. No injuries were reported.

The MCSO polices Cortez.

Holmes Beach

No reports.

The HBPD polices Holmes Beach.

Streetlife is based on incident reports and narratives from the BBPD, HBPD and MCSO.

Crash flips truck near Haley’s Motel

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A two-vehicle collision at 81st Street and Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach at 5:15 p.m. June 23 upended a white Ford pickup and sent its 17-year-old driver to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton for injuries deemed non-life-threatening, according to a Holmes Beach police report. After an investigation, Officer Josh Betts determined the 53-year-old Avon Park driver of a white Hyuandi, traveling east on 81st Street, caused the crash by failing to yield at the intersection. Islander Photos: Courtesy Trisha White
A two-vehicle collision at 81st Street and Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach at 5:15 p.m. June 23 upended a white Ford pickup and sent its 17-year-old driver to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton for injuries deemed non-life-threatening, according to a Holmes Beach police report. After an investigation, Officer Josh Betts determined the 53-year-old Avon Park driver of a white Hyuandi, traveling east on 81st Street, caused the crash by failing to yield at the intersection. Islander Photos: Courtesy Trisha White

Streetlife – 07-03-2019

Anna Maria

June 22, 400 block of Magnolia Avenue, theft. A man reported the theft of an unsecured bike valued at $100-$300.

The MCSO polices Anna Maria.

Bradenton Beach

June 23, 700 block of Gulf Drive South, robbery. A woman reported being robbed at 11:40 p.m., after meeting a male and two females on the beach. The woman reported she tried to help the man find an item he said he dropped, when he stole her wallet, containing her driver’s license, credit card and $182. The man, who was in his 20s, punched the woman in the chest and head and ran away. The woman chased the man, but tripped, fell and cut her leg. EMS transported the woman to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton for treatment. Police searched the area to no avail.

June 24, Circle K, 103 Gulf Drive S., trespass warning. On patrol, a Bradenton Beach officer observed a male yelling obscenities. The store manager told the officer customers feared the man and she wanted him trespassed. The officer assisted in the trespass. The man was warned to leave and not return.

The BBPD polices Bradenton Beach.


No reports

The MCSO polices Cortez.

Holmes Beach

June 20, 200 block of 65th Street, noise. Holmes Beach police responded to a noise complaint at 12:25 p.m. Officers measured yelling and music between 52 and 67 decibels from a back-yard pool and attempted to contact the occupants at the front door. Getting no response, the officers went to the pool area and asked to speak to the person who signed the rental agreement. The partiers woke up a 40-year-old man from Kansas and police issued him a noise violation. An ordinance restricts noise to 50 decibels 10 p.m.-7 a.m.

June 20, 100 block of 48th Street, noise. Dispatched for a noisy pool party, an officer measured the noise between 53 and 67 decibels and then attempted to contact the occupants. An officer issued a renter from Georgia a noise violation.

June 24, CVS, 611 Manatee Ave., theft. An Apopka woman reported the theft of a $1,000 Samsung cellphone after leaving it in the store bathroom. She told HBPD she observed a woman leaving the store with what she believes was her phone “wrapped up” and confronted the woman, who then fled.

June 24, 100 block of 48th Street, disturbance. An argument broke out about a man trying to drive with his child in the vehicle while he was intoxicated. Family members intervened, blocked his car, calmed the man and transported him to a hotel.

The HBPD polices Holmes Beach.

Streetlife is based on incident reports and narratives from the BBPD, HBPD and MCSO.

Drone confrontation at Holmes Beach event remains a mystery

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Jack Elka’s drone shot June 16 looking south from above the Tachi Palace World’s Strongest Man Competition at the Manatee Public Beach in Holmes Beach, shows a trio of men in black shirts, one of whom has his eyes fixed on Elka’s drone.

More than a week after a news photographer’s drone jammed while shooting the June 16 Tachi Palace World’s Strongest Man Competition in Holmes Beach, there are still no answers as to who — or what — is responsible.

Islander photographer Jack Elka launched his drone to capture aerial shots from private property north of the Manatee Public Beach, where the event took place.

After only a few shots, Elka’s screen froze and camera jammed, displaying the message reading “Communications failure with the drone.”

“Everything froze on the drone,” Elka said. “That’s the first time I ever got a message like that.”

Elka, who holds a Federal Aviation Administration license, knew how to manually retrieve the drone.

“I checked the drone. Shut it down. Restarted it and was getting ready to launch again when I heard the announcement,” Elka wrote to The Islander.

The public address announcement from the beach, also heard and confirmed by Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer, warned anyone flying a drone to cease.

“This is a public safety announcement. Anyone flying a drone must land immediately. You are flying in our airspace,” an announcer said.

“I packed up and left,” Elka said.

Elka, certified in drone photography, has been shooting commercial photos and video on Anna Maria Island since 1980. He is certain his drone was intentionally jammed.

Beth Cullen, chief executive officer of Melon Sky Media of Tampa Bay, dismissed Elka’s claim. Melon specializes in drone shots for commercial real estate and other promotional marketing.

Cullen wrote in a June 20 email to The Islander that Melon was contracted to supply aerial video for the competition, from the parking lot and on the sand at the Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, June 15-16. as well as earlier shooting in Bradenton and at Coquina Beach.

CBS is set to air the competition June 30.

Cullen said she regretted that prior coordination between the newspaper and the production company had not taken place.

“I’m sure they would have been more than willing to accommodate the Anna Maria Islander,” Cullen wrote.

She stated that Melon Sky did not “possess the technology to affect the drone’s flight,” but acknowledged being the source of the announcement.

“I can assure you that nothing at all was done on our end, other than the announcement,” Cullen wrote.

She said the announcement was made out of concern for crowd safety, “as we were flying multiple drones for the majority of the event.”

Without coordination, injuries could have occurred to spectators or staff, Cullen said and FAA regulations regarding close proximity drone flights also were a concern.

Elka said he is licensed and aware of FAA regulations and knows that temporary restricted airspace must be requested and registered with the FAA.

“I never received a notice from the FAA on restricted airspace around the event,” Elka said.

“It’s called geo-fencing. My software tells me when I am near restricted airspace, such as an airport, or when a presidential visit takes place. Airspace restriction must be registered. You can’t just claim it,” Elka said.

An aviation analyst with the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Department said June 20 no airspace in its system had a temporary flight restriction in Holmes Beach or Anna Maria Island airspace. The analyst identified himself as Jonathan, but refused to provide a last name. The FAA press department did not respond before press time for The Islander.

Cullen said perhaps the problem was a communication error between Elka and the drone and “should probably be looked at by the manufacturer.”

Elka disputes that assertion, He said he had no prior issues with the drone and used it again June 21 to film the release of the tagged turtle Bortie Too at Coquina Beach.

“I know this,” Elka said. “They had no exclusive rights on my public beach. Whatever happened was and is a big mystery.”

You heard right: South Carolina man reunited with ear found on beach

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Merritt and Jennifer Yeager of Beaufort, South Carolina, embrace June 12 while vacationing in Holmes Beach. Merritt Yeager’s prosthetic ear washed off in a wave that day, later setting off a scavenger hunt by law enforcement for its owner and a social media sensation. Islander Photo: Courtesy Merritt Yeager

When a woman approached a Holmes Beach police officer at the World’s Strongest Man Competition June 16, she turned over an unusual beach find.

She had found a prosthetic ear on the shoreline near 36th Street, just south of the Manatee Public Beach, where the contest took place.

“It’s the strangest item we ever got,” HBPD Chief Bill Tokajer told The Islander June 20, just hours after the mystery was solved and the ear’s owner located in Beaufort, South Carolina.

“We usually get cellphones, keys, jewelry. But an ear? That was a first,” Tokajer said.

The mystery was solved thanks to social media and a quirky beach story that moved from the HBPD’s Facebook page to local news and then to The Associated Press by the morning of June 20.

Jennifer Yeager was excited when she called HBPD to claim her husband’s prosthetic ear. A friend in Aiken, South Carolina, had read about the found ear on social media and knew her friends had just returned from Anna Maria Island.

The friend contacted Yeager, who phoned the HBPD.

“They have already sent documentation proving it is their ear,” HBPD Detective Sgt. Brian Hall said. “It’s going out in the mail today.”

Merritt Yeager was busy at work June 20, making signs at the family business, All Signs, in Beaufort, when The Islander contacted him.

How did you lose the ear? The Islander asked.

“Oh, I was out riding Marvin the Manatee and I got hit by a big wave. Didn’t they tell you?” he joked.

“Really I just got hit by a wave and it got knocked off. It’s a little horrifying, but there is humor there,” he added.

He was thankful a woman found the ear and turned it in. There was no identifying mark on the prosthesis and no way to locate its owner.

Efforts were made to contact manufacturers in the area by the HBPD and, in a twist, the doctor in Naples who had crafted the ear was one of the contacts.

However, “without serial numbers, he had no way of knowing whose ear had been found,” Yeager said.

“But I am really glad to have it back. They are quite expensive,” he added.

The Yeagers had learned about Anna Maria Island as a destination on Facebook, liked what they saw and came for a summer vacation.

“We live on the coast, but it’s different. We had a great time there. I ate a lot of fish tacos. I was grilling fish at 8 a.m.,” Yeager joked. “It was beautiful.”

As for the ear, Yeager can’t wait to get it back.

“My sunglasses are hanging off on one side,” he said, with a laugh.

Argument over bait at AM pier, motel turns bloody

It wasn’t the best day for fishing.

One man was in stable condition at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton following a fight at a restaurant/fishing pier in Anna Maria.

Manatee County sheriff’s deputies responded to the call about a fight at 9:54 p.m. June 15 in a shared parking lot for the Rod and Reel Pier Resort and the Rod & Reel Pier, which hosts anglers and a restaurant for diners at 877 N. Shore Drive. Four calls about the brawl went to 911 from witnesses.

Law enforcement arrived to find a man bleeding from the mouth and his chest and face covered with blood. Others involved in the fight left the scene and no arrests were made as of June 20.

Hospital personnel reported the victim “had significant facial fractures” and possibly lost teeth, but was stable and expected to recover, according to an MCSO report dated June 15.

A witness told 911 there were about 10 people in the parking lot between the resort and the pier screaming at each other, including one man with a bat and a woman trying to break up the fight.

Anna Maria resident Laurie Jo Higgins of Anna Maria picked up her son there that night.

She said her son was fishing on the pier next to two men, one who “may have been on something,” before they began arguing over bait.

According to MCSO Deputy Christopher Sheffield’s report, the deputy viewed a video shared by a witness and determined the victim appeared to be the “primary aggressor.”

Suspects hit the victim after being struck by him and halted the fight “when he stopped being a threat to them,” the report stated.

Other witnesses told authorities a dark-colored truck left the scene with the men who had been fighting before the authorities arrived.

Holmes Beach police were alerted and searched for the truck to no avail.

Authorities “know who the players are,” MCSO public information officer Randy Warren said in a June 20 email.

Authorities encourage the public to call local law enforcement when they see suspicious activity and, for anonymous tips, Manatee County Crime Stoppers at 866-634-8477 (TIPS).

On the web: To see a video from the incident, go online to islander.org.

Eyes on the road

The Florida Department of Transportation and Manatee County posted the following notices for the week of June 24:

Longboat Pass Bridge: Major repairs on the Longboat Pass Bridge on Gulf Drive between Bradenton Beach and Longboat Key take place through the summer. Overnight work will require decreasing lane sizes, flagging operations and occasional lane closures.

Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach: As part of final restoration activities for the Anna Maria Island pipe replacement project, the county is sealing parking lots at the Imperial House and Bayview Terrace condominiums in Bradenton Beach. The work may impact traffic on Gulf Drive.

Gulf Drive and Cortez Road in Bradenton Beach: Manatee County is sodding and improving a sidewalk in the northeastern right of way at the intersection.

2300 block of Avenue C in Bradenton Beach: Manatee County is overseeing pavement work.

28th Street North from Avenue E to Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach: Manatee County is replacing a sidewalk along the north side of the street.

For the latest road watch information, go online to fl511.com and swflroads.com or dial 511.

Streetlife – 06-26-2019

Anna Maria

May 25, address redacted by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, domestic battery. Deputies arrested a 44-year-old man after they were dispatched to an argument in which the man pushed a woman into a wall, causing her nose to bleed.

      The MCSO polices Anna Maria.

Bradenton Beach

June 11, Bradenton Beach Club, 1702 Gulf Drive S., theft. A rented pop-up tent left outside on a back porch was stolen. The renters paid $80 for the tent rental.

June 11, 100 block of Second Street North, domestic. Bradenton Beach police responded to an argument between a woman and her boyfriend over text messages between the woman and another man. The couple agreed the woman and their son should leave.

June 18, Green Turtle Shell & Gift Shop, 701 Gulf Drive N., domestic battery. Witnesses called police after seeing a woman repeatedly strike a man. When officers arrived, they searched the area for the couple and later found them walking to their vehicle. The man told officers it was a playful exchange. The woman was arrested.

June 19, Coquina Beach South Boat Ramp, 2653 Gulf Drive S., stolen dog. A 10-week-old German shepherd was reported stolen by a cement worker who left the puppy in a cage near other workers while he went to Home Depot. When the owner returned after an hour and half, the puppy and the cage were gone and the other workers said they had not seen the puppy.

      The BBPD polices Bradenton Beach.


      June 7, Florida Maritime Museum, 4415 119th St., sexual battery. An inappropriate touching of an intern was reported. MCSO is investigating.

      The MCSO polices Cortez.

Holmes Beach

June 12, 3200 block of 42nd Street, warrant. Holmes Beach police picked up a 47-year-old man on a warrant related to a derelict vessel in the Bradenton Beach anchorage.

June 14, Holmes Beach police station, 5801 Marina Drive, fraud. A man came to the HBPD and reported a scam after he applied for a fishing license online and gave the company his Social Security number. He told police he paid $67 with a bank card and was sent another email for more money.

June 14, 4800 block of Gulf Drive, Baker Act. Officers were dispatched to a group of people who were following messages from a woman who was texting suicide threats. Relatives told police she was on medication and diagnosed with depression. Police took the subject to a medical facility.

June 14, 500 block of Key Royale Drive, noise. A citation was issued to renters after a noise complaint was called in at 4:51 a.m. Police measured the noise at 35-67 decibels from a neighbor’s backyard. An ordinance limits noise between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. to 50 decibels.

June 16, Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive. A fight broke out in a crowd gathered for the World’s Strongest Man competition. One witness said a man and woman were pushing to gain a better view, starting the fight. An officer separated one man from the others and calmed him down. Police advised the parties to leave the beach and they complied.

June 17, Island Bazaar, theft. Three pairs of Costa sunglasses valued at $605 were stolen. The merchant told police a surveillance video showed an unknown male taking the glasses from a case.

      The HBPD polices Holmes Beach.

        Streetlife is based on incident reports and narratives from the BBPD, HBPD and MCSO.

Streetlife – 06-19-2019

Anna Maria

June 7, 300 block of Magnolia Avenue, grand theft over $100,000. A woman reported the theft of gold coins valued at more than $100,000 from her residence. She said she noticed the coins missing April 22, but was gathering documents before filing a report.

        Anna Maria is policed by MCSO.

Bradenton Beach

June 7, 600 block of Gulf Drive North, property damage. A man reported a passenger window in his vehicle broken. Nothing was reported missing.

        June 7, 1700 Gulf Drive S., Coquina Beach, Baker Act. A man overdosed at the park and told law enforcement he wanted to harm himself. He was taken for treatment under the Baker Act.

        June 8, 121 Bridge St., Blue Marlin, domestic battery. A woman said she was listening to music with friends when her ex-husband approached, grabbed her wrist and whispered expletives. She said her wrist hurt for 30 minutes after she was grabbed. She was issued a domestic violence packet.

June 9, 100 block of Ninth Street North, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. A man threatened a bus driver who refused him service. The man ran away from the scene but was later found yelling outside a bar, where he exposed his buttocks to patrons. He failed to follow directions from officers and had to be restrained. He was transported to Manatee County jail.

Bradenton Beach is policed by BBPD.


        No reports.

Cortez is policed by MCSO.

Holmes Beach

June 6, 100 block of 42nd Street, larceny. A man reported two rented beach bikes disappeared from outside of a rental residence.

June 7, 500 block of 69th Street, larceny. A man reported his handyman took two checks from his checkbook and cashed them for $225 and $206.27. The victim closed the account.

June 11, 4000 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, petit theft. An employee reported a man had stole money from a counter-top tip jar the previous day and had returned to the cafe. Surveillance video showed a suspect taking $20 in tip money. He was located at the public beach and arrested for camping and petit theft.

June 11, 5346 Gulf Drive, Hurricane Hanks restaurant, trespass. The manager requested a man be trespassed after he became belligerent with staff and patrons and refused to leave.

       Holmes Beach is policed by HBPD.

        Streetlife is based on incident reports and narratives from the BBPD, HBPD and MCSO.