On Patrol Longboat Key – Week ending September 25, 2020

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

Sept. 19

Citizen Assist

11:36 a.m.

Officer Hodo was dispatched to Norton Street, in reference to water leaking from a fire hydrant. Officer Hodo noted that the caller did not want to meet. Officer Hodo arrived and saw the water bubbling on the side of the road. Officer Hodo contacted the on-call Public Works worker and sent him photographs of the water leak.


Noise complaint

1:11 p.m.

Officer Puccio was dispatched to 5200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive regarding a noise complaint of vehicles from a “Trump Parade” honking their horns by a caller who refused to meet with police. Upon arrival, Officer Puccio made a check of the area for the parade of vehicles in question however was unable to locate.


Illegal charter operation

1:30 p.m.

Officer Connors, while on marine patrol in the area of Greer Island (Beer Can Island)  observed the “Fun Life” jungle gym, anchored just off of Greer Island. Officer Connors observed normal activity from the jungle gym, kids jumping and playing, having a good time. As the officer passed the jungle gym, he observed the owner, known to Officer Connors, operating the 26-foot pontoon style vessel. The vessel had no name or homeport visible on the stern or any part of the vessel. The vessel contained approximately 10 teenage boys and a couple teenage girls as the vessel approached the beach area of Greer Island. Once the vessel came to a stop on the beach, Officer Connors observed all occupants exit the pontoon vessel from the bow and the boat reverse from the beach and head towards the Coquina boat ramp (Based on these observations, it appeared to Officer that he may be conducting an illegal charter operation). At that point Officer Connors pulled alongside and questioned him in regards to the occupants that were just dropped off at the beach. He stated that it is a “complimentary service” that he provides for his jungle gym and they did not pay for the boat ride from the Coquina boat ramp. He also stated that no funds were exchanged, meaning on or for the boat ride. Officer Connors advised him that he is using “such vessel” to conduct or to assist with his business and needs a captain’s license as well as all of the requirements for the vessel. He stated that he has checked with the Coast Guard and FWC in the past and they told him that as long as no money was exchanged for the boat ride, then he would be in compliance. Officer Connors advised him that he was given false information, because he did not explain that he was using the vessel for a business. Officer Connors advised him that the incident would be forwarded to the Coast Guard for further investigation. At approximately 5 p.m. on this day, Officer Connors was flagged down by him in the same location. He stated that he doubled checked with FWC and the Coast Guard and they both advised that he was

in compliance and what he was doing was ok. Officer Connors advised him that the information would be forwarded to contact the Coast Guard. On Sunday, September 20, 2020 at approximately 2 p.m. Officer Connors spoke to the contact via phone with Senior Investigating Officer of the Coast Guard. The information was provided, confirmed that the charter was illegal, and would take further action. A copy of the report will be forwarded at a later time.


Boating violation

2:20 p.m.

Officer Connors while on marine patrol in the area of Jewfish Key, observed personal watercraft operating on plane, with an excessive wake, in a posted “Slow Speed, Minimum Wake” zone. Officer Connors conducted a vessel stop and advised the operator of the violation. The operator was unable to produce registration paperwork nor the required boater’s education ID card. Officer Connors issued the operator a verbal warning for the wake zone violation and registration paperwork, but was issued citation for no boater’s education ID card.


Lost property

3:04 p.m.

Officer Puccio was dispatched to Linley Street Boat Ramp in reference to two kayaks missing from that location. Upon arrival, Officer Puccio made contact with the listed complainant who related that he keeps two of his kayaks parked in the area adjacent to the Linley Street Boat Ramp and they were now missing. The complainant related that one of the kayaks was seen by a friend at Fox Street. The complainant related that he had made contact with the resident of that location and validated in fact, that was his kayak. Upon receiving that information, Officer Puccio and Sergeant Cooper proceeded over to Fox Street where we located the complainant’s kayak which is described as an Ascended 14 Foot and Olive Green in color. Officers made contact with the one complainant who related that he had located the kayak when it was stuck in the bay near the incident location approximately 2 weeks ago. The man related that he brought it to shore as is was full of sand. The second witness stated that the other Kayak which the complainant is reporting missing was also there however he did not retrieve it at that time and did not have any knowledge as to its whereabouts. The first witness believes that it may have drifted back out into the bay as it had before. The first witness further related that he made contact with LBK Marine Officer Joshua Connors and asked him what was done when kayaks such as these are not claimed or derelict. The witness stated that Officer Connors related that he could take them if they were derelict. The witness stated that he believed that was the case and retrieved the kayak, where he took it to his residence and cleaned it up. Sergeant Cooper contacted Officer Connors and verified what the witness had stated as fact. The witness stated that when the complainant came over to his residence he cooperated and did not try and conceal the kayak. In speaking to both Officer Connors and the witnesses both related that the Blue Kayak was present prior to the storm which occurred a few days ago and believe that it drifted back into the bay. At that time, the complainant retrieved his kayak from the witnesses without incident and proceeded back to his residence. The complainant was provided with a report case number and a Marsy’s Law Information Confidentiality Brochure which he acknowledged by signature. The complainant stated that he keeps his kayaks at that location because there is no space for storage at the condos.


Boat crash

8:05 p.m.

Officer Smith was dispatched to the beach behind 2300 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive for a report of a boat crash. It was indicated that a boat struck a pier. Upon Arrival, Longboat Key Fire/Rescue was on scene and treating patients with injuries. Two patients were transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital and one patient was treated at the scene. It was learned the nine people were on the boat when the boat struck the concrete groin. This caused damage to the hull of the boat and damage to part of the concrete groin. Officer Ascencio and Officer Smith assisted Longboat Key Fire/Rescue and waited on Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officers to arrive for their investigation. Witness information was given to FWC. Sea Tow was notified by the owner to tow his boat. Officer Smith notified Captain Bourque of the incident. Officer Ascencio and Officer Smith cleared the scene once we were no longer needed. For further information see FWC’s report. Case clear, nothing further needed.


Sept. 20

Suspicious person

5:05 p.m.

Officer Puccio was dispatched to 400 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive in reference to a person in the rear of that location for about 3 hours while the business was closed by a third party caller who did not wish to meet with police. Upon arrival, Officer Puccio, Officer Hodo and Officer Connors made contact with a person who was sitting on the lanai chairs eating a banana and smoking a cigarette. The individual stated that he was homeless and taking a break. Officer Puccio advised the man that the business was closed and that he could not be there as it is private property. Officer Puccio asked the man if we could give him a ride to Ken Thompson Park which was open and had picnic tables where he could rest until the park closes which he replied he would like that. Upon gathering up the man’s belongings, he was transported to Ken Thompson Park by Officer Hodo and Officer Puccio without incident. Officer Puccio again stressed to the man that he could not return to the incident location until it was open for business which he stated he would not. Nothing further to report.


Animal complaint

6:51 p.m.

Officer Ascencio met the complainant who was holding an injured bird in his lap. The bird was wrapped in a towel. The complainant stated he has experience in rescuing assorted animals. The complainant stated the wind knocked the bird from the sky and it made a hard landing in the pool area of the condo. He stated that animal control was en route from Fruitville Road.


Sept. 21


9:05 a.m.

Upon arrival, Officer Martinson met with the complainant regarding an alarm. Officer Martinson took the elevator up to the first floor and spoke with an employee. She stated when she arrived to work the alarm was going off inside the office and she turned it off. She stated she walked around, and nothing appeared to be out of place or missing. She stated that their internet is also down and believes the power might have gone out at some point during the night due to the high winds.


Lost property

9:11 a.m.

Officer Martinson was flagged down by the owner of a lost bicycle at the corner of Broadway and Palm Dr. The owner stated he had left his silver Unis folding bicycle which had a black Schwinn seat unlocked at the bike rack on the corner for the past three weeks. The owner stated he was told by a friend that a county worker had taken the bicycle because they thought it had been abandoned. Officer Martinson gave the owner a business card with the case number. Later as he was typing the lost bicycle report, Officer Martinson found a stolen bicycle report which was taken by Lt. Skinner on 9/12/2020. In the narrative the owner described the exact same bicycle as stolen which he was describing to me as now being lost.

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