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On Patrol Longboat Key – Week ending May 8, 2020

The following are actual police reports as written by Longboat Key Police Officers. They are edited for length, punctuation and to protect privacy.

April 26

Traffic violation

12:33 p.m.

Officer Martinson was with Officer Nagell and they were on routine patrol and stopped in traffic for a red light facing northbound on Gulf of Mexico Drive at Bay Isles Parkway. When the light turned green, Officer Martinson observed the first vehicle stopped in line at the semaphore quickly make an illegal right hand turn onto Bay Isles Parkway from the middle lane of travel crossing over the bike lane and in front of the right turn lane. At this point, Officer Martinson turned on his overhead emergency lights and got behind the vehicle which was a black Mercedes convertible. Officer Martinson then turned on the squad cars siren until the vehicle came to a stop on Bay Isles Parkway facing eastbound.

Officer Martinson made contact with the driver, who was later identified by his driver’s license, and advised him of his traffic violation. The driver provided Officer Martinson with his driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. Officer Martinson ran routine checks and the driver came back as a valid driver and clear of warrants. The driver was given a verbal warning for making an illegal right hand turn and released at the scene.

May 2

Public service

1:09 p.m.

Officer Puccio was dispatched to 4600 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive in reference to a potential non-patron, utilizing their property to access the beach.

Upon arrival, Officer Puccio located the truck given by the listed caller in the north side rear parking lot, a White Dodge 2500 pick up truck. Officer Puccio proceeded out to the beach area and observed a number of people on the beach but could not locate the owner of the vehicle based on the limited information provided by the caller. At that point, Officer Puccio had Sarasota Sheriff’s Office dispatch contact the listed caller and meet him in the parking lot to provide further information. The caller made contact with Officer Puccio and advised that he was not sure who the owner of the vehicle was and did not see the driver or occupants. The caller stated the information was passed onto to him and that the vehicle did not belong to any of his registered guest.

The caller inquired as if Officer Puccio could cite the driver however, he informed him that because the vehicle is on private property, Officer Puccio could not but if he choose to do so, he may summon the assistance of a tow truck and have the vehicle removed. The caller stated the property is signed against parking and not being a guest however he did not think he would select that course of action at this time.

Officer Puccio informed the caller to contact the Longboat Key Police Department if the owner of the vehicle is located and officer could come back and handle the situation at that time.

Brush fire

4:37 p.m.

Officer Puccio was dispatched to N. Shore Road in reference to a brush fire at that location. Upon arrival, Officer Puccio was met by the Longboat Key Fire Department who were attending to the small brush fire caused by the resident of that location who was attempting to clear an area and was concerned of the presence of snakes. The LBK FD advised that the fire began to spread and the resident called 911. The LBK FD advised all was in order at this time and they required no further assistance from the LBK PD.

Traffic violation

6:44 p.m.

Officer Smith observed a Low Speed Vehicle driving north in the 3700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive. The vehicle was impeding traffic by driving well under the speed limit. Officer Smith conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle at the entrance to Bayfront Park located at 4052 Gulf of Mexico Drive.  Officer Smith issued a written warning to the driver for driving the Low Speed Vehicle on Gulf of Mexico Drive. The driver stated he rented the vehicle in Anna Maria Island and was unaware of the restrictions. The traffic stop was video and voice recorded on the L3 Camera System.

May 3

Dog on beach

1:59 p.m.

Officer Puccio while on patrol was dispatched to the Beach Access located at 2825 Gulf of Mexico Drive in reference to a dog on the beach at that location.

Upon arrival, Officer Puccio made contact with the owner of the dog and advised him that dogs were not allowed on the beach. The owner of the dog apologized and related he wasn’t aware of the town ordinance. He was issued a verbal warning and gathered his belongings and the dog and departed without incident.

Parking violation

3:41 p.m.

While on routine patrol, Officer Puccio observed a vehicle parked in the closed public beach access parking lot at 3495 Gulf of Mexico Drive. The vehicle driver had driven over the plastic barricades and signs that indicated the lot was closed due to COVID-19. Upon observing the violation, Officer Puccio issued the vehicle a parking citation for violation of Town of Longboat Key Parking Ordinance 72.01A.

Suspicious person

7:22 p.m.

Officer Smith was dispatched to the beach behind 2700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive for suspicious persons. The complainant stated that there were three or four individuals with a dog on the beach. He added they were smoking marijuana. Officer Smith searched the area along with Officer Ascencio and Officer Carter. The officers did not locate anyone meeting the description.

May 4

Traffic violation

Officer Schoepfer while traveling northbound on Gulf of Mexico Drive observed a southbound vehicle drive through a lighted pedestrian crosswalk in the 1000 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive. Officer Schoepfer turned around and initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. Officer Schoepfer made contact with the driver, and advised her of the reason for the traffic stop. The driver was issued a written warning for the pedestrian crosswalk violation.

May 5

Fire

8:54 a.m.

Officer Martinson was working with Officer Nagell and at approximately were dispatched to the 5300 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive on a call of a fire/odor.

Upon arrival Longboat Key Fire Department was already on scene and asked police to assist in blocking the entrance of the parking lot as they evacuate and search the buildings for the gas leak. Officers stood by blocking the west entrance of the parking lot off of Gulf of Mexico Drive until they were told by Fire Department that they could clear the scene.

Traffic violation

12:55 p.m.

Officer Schoepfer observed a vehicle transport parked in the roadway blocking the bike lane and half of the southbound lane in the 3800 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive.

Officer Schoepfer initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle which was a 2016 red Volvo tractor trailer. Officer Schoepfer then made contact with the driver and advised him of the reason for the traffic stop. The driver stated he was trying to deliver a vehicle.

The driver was issued a citation for Standing or Parking on an Exclusive Bike Lane – Fl Statute 316.1945(1)(b)6. The driver was also issued information on payment/contesting options.

Public service

2:09 p.m.

Officer Tillman responded to 7200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive on a reported person with questions about a dingy that washed ashore a month ago. Upon arrival, Officer Tillman spoke with the complainant who stated that he thought someone would have come by to claim the lost dingy by now. The complainant stated that since no one has claimed the vessel in a month what can be done to track down the owner or claim the property as his own. Officer Tillman advised him that police marine unit was not working this day and that someone from the unit would contact him on May 6.

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