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Cedar Key Police Department Reports

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By Chief Bubba Castell

It appears all media outlets continue to influence the "oil market" and I am sure if they quit giving them this notoriety prices of crude oil would drop sharply. They are constantly promoting big business which apparently enhances their price gouging techniques. They do well enough without the media assistance, for sure. I am sure if you looked up greed in the dictionary you would see faces of all the "oil barons" throughout the world. Also, some of the nation's biggest retailers would definitely be among those "rich and famous" photographs.

You know things are bad when the majority of Alachua County gas prices are lower than Levy County prices, and I will not contribute to local greed, since I manage to go into Gainesville at least once each week. I have observed fuel prices being raised even though there were no new deliveries of gasoline in the area. Why can Williston sell their gasoline cheaper than other Levy County retailers? I do not believe the old adage "supply and demand" is the answer anymore.

Gas drive-offs are of the norm lately and will continue to escalate unless local retailers go to the "pay at the pump procedure." I, personally, do not like this process, but the honest people will continue to pay the higher prices, as quite often the clerks are too busy, failing to observe the purchasers at the pump. Therefore, law enforcement responding to the "drive off" does not have a valid vehicle description, resulting in the theft never being solved.

It appears the Democratic Party continues to be too divided and I understand this to a point since they do not have a valid contender in their presidential race. I am not a registered Republican, but their candidate, regardless of his age, can bring a lot more leadership to the table than the two Democratic candidates can, even if they pooled their political backgrounds together. I am not a proponent of war, but we apparently have one in progress and the Democratic candidates have no military background, which is a must for me. Too, the Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces should respect the American flag and what it stands for in America. I am not sure all the candidates for U.S. President currently follow that procedure at this time.

Freedom is never free and we should always respect those who strive daily to protect us from aggressors throughout the world; praying for their safety and welfare at all times. I personally believe these young men and women are proud to serve their country; regardless of the risks they take each and every day they defend our freedom here in America. Cedar Key has always been well represented in previous wars and some of our finest failed to return to their respective families, but if you could ask them I am sure they would proudly say: PRESERVING FREEDOM in the United States is worth the ultimate sacrifice made by all of us. Remember: Pray daily for all our service men and women throughout the world, as well as remembering their family, friends and loved ones, who continue waiting for their safe return to the fold.

Following is the list of arrests made by your Cedar Key Police Department during the month of April:

March 28, approximately 11:30 p.m., Cpl. Eddie Merritt, while monitoring traffic on SR24 observed a vehicle traveling SW on SR24 at a higher rate of speed than the posted 35 mph. Upon engaging his radar Cpl. Eddie locked the radar in at 54 mph. The vehicle was also traveling in the opposite lane of traffic and had to swerve to miss oncoming traffic. Cpl. Merritt, upon stopping the vehicle, observed the driver to have bloodshot eyes, which appeared to be fully dilated eyes. Cpl. Merritt asked the driver, Mr. Scott Lee Fredrickson, age 23, of St. Petersburg, if he had consumed any alcoholic beverages, or taking any medication; to which he replied: No. Cpl. Merritt smelled what appeared to be the scent of marijuana and asked Mr. Fredrickson if he had smoked any marijuana? He replied he had about three hours ago. Cpl. Merritt asked Mr. Fredrickson, who appeared to be very nervous, if he would consent to a search of his vehicle? He replied, "No, not really." He then was asked if he had a little or a lot of contraband? Mr. Fredrickson advised, "A little." He than gave Cpl. Merritt the marijuana and was issued a notice to appear by Cpl. Merritt. The marijuana field tested positive.

April 6, approximately 1:39 a.m., Officer Mike Cosseboom, while monitoring traffic, observed a Ford pickup traveling north (east) on SR24. Officer Mike observed the vehicle cross the fog line on to the grassy shoulder. Officer Mike upon further observing the vehicle saw the driver straddle the fog line; drift across the center double lines on two occasions. Officer Mike effected a traffic stop of the vehicle and the driver, Mr. Dean R. Esposito, age 40, Cedar Key, had a hard time locating his insurance card. At this time Officer Mike detected a strong odor of the impurities of an alcoholic beverage coming from Mr. Esposito's breath. Mr. Esposito's eyes appeared to be watery and bloodshot at the time of Officer Mike's interview. He advised Officer Mike he was coming from Coconuts Bar. He also stated he had had a couple of drinks, but refused to answer any more of Officer Mike's questions about his drinking. Officer Mike observed a six pack of Natural Light Beer in the rear compartment of the truck, which had two (2) missing from the six pack. Mr. Esposito refused to be administered a series of field sobriety tests to determine his ability to drive. He also refused to answer any follow up questions, saying: "Not doing it." He was transported to the Levy County Jail, where he refused to take the Intoxilizer test to determine his blood alcohol content and was booked into the Levy County Jail on Driving Under the Influence of an alcoholic beverage. He awaited first appearance and bond setting procedures.

April 12, approximately 1:03 a.m., Officer Mike Cosseboom, while checking traffic on SR24, observed a vehicle, which passed his location, crossing the fog line. Officer Mike pursued the vehicle and observed it straddle the fog line three times and crossed on to the grassy shoulder twice. Officer Mike initiated a stop of the vehicle and spoke to the driver, Ms. Melinda Beckham, age 27, Cedar Key. Officer Mike then smelled what appeared to be a strong smell of an alcoholic beverage coming from the driver's breath. Ms. Beckham admitted to having had two drinks of alcohol. She consented to perform field sobriety tests to determine her ability to drive a vehicle, but stated she was nervous. She did not properly perform the tests and was arrested for DUI, transported to the Levy County Jail; consented to an Intoxilizer test which determined her BAC to be: 0.191 and 0.187. She was booked in on the aforementioned charge and awaited first appearance.

April 12, approximately 1:03 a.m., Officer Mike Cosseboom, while conducting a DUI traffic investigation was interfered with by the passenger of the vehicle involved in the DUI case. Ms. Libbi Rose Eilola, age 27, Inglis, would interfere with Officer Mike speaking with the driver of the vehicle, as she would attempt to carry on a conversation during Officer Mike's interview with the driver of the suspect vehicle. Ms. Eilola became very loud and profane and appeared to be very intoxicated. She was advised by Officer Mike not to interfere with his on-going investigation, which she failed to do, resulting in her immediate arrest for Disorderly Intoxication and Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer without violence - Obstruction. She was booked into the Levy County Jail on the aforementioned charges and awaited first appearance.

April 12, Approximately 7:35 p.m., Officer Mike Cosseboom was approached by Mr. Casey Michael Buesing, age 23, Cedar Key, reference a complaint about battery. Officer Mike advised Mr. Buesing that Officer David Perry was en route to the Police Department and he will take his complaint. Officer Mike cautioned Mr. Buesing about his loud and profane language, telling him to keep it down or he would be going to jail. After warning Mr. Buesing two more times Officer Mike arrested Mr. Buesing, transported him to the Levy County Jail and booked him in on the aforementioned charge.

April 12, approximately 11:33 p.m. Officer Mike Cosseboom after conducting a traffic stop for speeding, made contact with the passenger, Ms. Juanita Batten, age 44, of Bronson, who admitted to possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia that was found inside the vehicle. Officer Mike gave Ms. Batten a Notice to Appear in Misdemeanor Court at the Levy County Court House.

April 13, approximately 2:16 a.m., Officer Mike Cosseboom observed a gold-colored vehicle traveling east on SR24 at a speed greater than appeared greater than the posted speed limit. Officer Mike asked Officer Tom Whitfield to check the speed of the suspect vehicle and Officer Tom clocked the vehicle at 37 mph in the 30 mph zone. Officer Mike stopped the vehicle as it weaved within the eastbound lane of traffic. The driver, Mr. Guadalupe R. DeLeon Flores, 43, of Alpharetta, GA, when asked for a driver's license could not produce one. Due to the fact Mr. Flores could only speak broken English he was placed under arrest and placed in Officer Mike's vehicle. Officer Whitfield conducting an inventory of the vehicle found a black plastic film container with a green leafy substance which tested positive for marijuana. Mr. Flores was charged with no Valid Driver's License and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana; booked into the jail and awaited first appearance.

April 22, approximately 5:20 p.m. Officers David Perry and Tom Whitfield arrested Mr. Ryan Lee Downey, age 22, Cedar Key, and Ms. Kayla Nicole Cribb, 18, Cedar Key, for aggravated battery in an altercation that had occurred at the Cedar Key City Park earlier in the afternoon. The victim was punched several times in his face, while sitting in his vehicle. The victim then exited his vehicle to defend himself. He and Mr. Downey fell to the ground and the co-defendant, Ms. Cribb, began to kick the victim in his head several times. As a result of the attack by the two defendants the victim suffered a broken jaw and several broken teeth. Mr. Downey was booked into the Levy County Jail on the charge of Aggravated Battery, while the co-defendant, Ms. Cribb was booked in on the charge of Aggravated Battery and Resisting Arrest without Violence.

April 23, approximately 10:42 p.m., Sgt. John McMullen and Officer Steve Ippolito responded to a disturbance call at a residence on SR24. The complainants stated the defendant, Mr. John Anthony Coraci, age 51, Cedar Key, was loud and belligerent toward them, raising a vacuum cleaner at them in a threatening manner. Sgt. John smelled the strong impurities of an alcoholic beverage coming from the defendant's breath; asked him if he had been drinking and he replied: "Yeah, I'm drunk. I'm allowed to drink and do whatever I want in my own house." Mr. Coraci being disrespectful and somewhat threatening to Officer Steve was arrested, transported to the Levy County Jail and booked in on the charge of Disorderly Intoxication. He awaited first appearance.

April 24, approximately 2:30 p.m., Sgt. John McMullen, responding to a request by Chief Bubba Castell to make contact with some transients who were trespassing on private property. Sgt. John made contact with the two individuals advising them of the complaint, telling them if they trespassed on private property they would be arrested. Approximately 2:40 p.m. Sgt. John responded to the SR24 Jiffy Store, meeting with the Manager, Ms. Jan Johnstone, who stated she wanted trespass warnings issued to the two individuals: Ms. Linda Ellen Wytiaz, 56, of Sanford and Mr. Alan D. Szwet, age 41, of Illinois. Also, Ms. Wytiaz had drunk a bottle of beer in the Jiffy Store without paying for it. resulting in her being arrested for Retail Theft, as well as Trespass After Warning for being on private property after Chief Bubba Castell had told her not to. Mr. Szwet was also arrested for Trespass After Warning since he was found on the same property with Ms. Wytiaz. They were booked into the Levy County Jail on the aforementioned charges and awaited first appearance.

April 25, approximately 6:10 p.m. Officer Steve Ippolito responded to the SR24 Jiffy Store reference to a verbal disturbance. Upon Officer Steve's arrival he observed Ms. Linda Wytiaz, who had been previously trespassed from the Jiffy Store, on the store property. Officer Steve told Ms. Wytiaz she was not to be on the property and she stated no one can tell her what to do. At that time Officer Steve placed Ms. Wytiaz under arrest for Trespass after Warning; transported her to the Levy County Jail and booked her in on the aforementioned charge.

April 25, approximately 11:40 p.m. Officer David Perry effected an arrest of Mr. Lloyd Marion Collins, age 42, Cedar Key, on a Child Support Warrant out of Gilchrist County. When Officer David searched Mr. Collins incidental to an arrest he discovered two different pills in a plain white pill bottle in his pocket. One of the pills was pink and two were white. Mr. Collins admitted the pills were his and he does not have a prescription for either one of them. He was transported to the Levy County Jail and booked in on the Gilchrist County Warrant as well as two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance without a prescription, which are Levy County charges.

I can never emphasize enough the importance of wearing your seat belt and being assured your children's car seats are properly buckled because it is too late after we have been involved in an accident. Again, the Ticket or Click-It Campaign will begin in the not too distant future, so please begin practicing the proper procedures at this time.

Friday, May 2, the Cedar Key School Elementary grades will be having a fish fry with all the trimmings in the City Park from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Cost for the meal is $8 and all the funds will go toward a field trip for the grades involved in providing the dinner. We have to eat, so why not contribute to a worthy cause; keeping our children pacified at the same time.

Remember: love your family, friends and loved ones, thanking them each and every day for their kindness, caring and concerns for your safety and welfare. Also, do not forget to give the Lord his praise, as without Him we have no future when our time on this earth is complete.

Thanks for reading The Beacon as it tries to provide all the local happenings in and informative, unbiased manner. Until next time please abide by the rules of the road and treat everyone the way you would want to be treated.