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Cedar Key Police Department Reports

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By Chief Bubba Castell

Corporal Eddie Merritt and Officer David Perry extend their personal gratitude to the volunteer firemen, their wives and other individuals who assisted them in the fingerprinting of our children during the annual Santa Claus gathering at the city Community Center on Dec. 3. Approximately 78 children had their fingerprints, photographs and information completed during the extravaganza, with approximately 25 more cards completed, but time did not permit all of them to be fingerprinted that evening.

If your child?s fingerprinting was not complete, please contact the Police Department and we will make arrangements to fingerprint and photograph them at your convenience. The response was overwhelming and the officers are very appreciative of your participation. Four of our youngsters received new bicycles and our only regret was that we did not have more incentives to offer each and every child who participated in the fingerprinting process.

Also, another local "good Samaritan" has provided two additional bicycles to a young man and a young lady who were in need of transportation to and from school. This was a great gesture and I have personally thanked the family that provided these bikes, wishing them a very healthy and Merry Christmas for their gratitude.

If anyone wishes to assist, the Marine Corps Reserve is accepting new Toys for Tots, with a box placed in City Hall. If you do not have time to purchase toys they will accept cash or checks with which they will purchase the toys themselves. That is what I normally do, as I am not the best shopper around. I am fortunate enough to have a daughter who does my shopping and I think she really enjoys the task; at least I certainly hope she does, as it is her job anyway.

Nov. 27, approximately 7:36 p.m., Officer Mike Cosseboom clocked a vehicle on SR24 at 47 mph in the 35 mph posted zone and initiated a traffic stop by Grove Street. Ms. Mary L. Fritts, age 34, driver of the vehicle, did not have a valid driver's license, stating she had never had a driver's license issued in her name. Levy County Sheriff's Office Communications confirmed that Ms. Fritts did not have a valid driver's license. Officer Mike placed her under arrest at that time and transported her to the Levy County Jail in Bronson, charging her with no valid driver license. She awaited first appearance and bond setting by a committing magistrate.

Dec. 1, approximately 6:07 p.m., Sgt. John McMullen was dispatched to 11822 SR24 in reference to a problem. Upon his arrival he made contact with Ms. Erin Ziegler, complainant, who stated that David B. Trimble, age 20, of the Rosewood area, had cut the front driver's side tire of her vehicle, after a previous argument. Mr. Trimble was located by Sgt. McMullen; he was arrested for Criminal Mischief, transported to the Levy County Jail and booked in on the aforementioned charge.

Dec. 8, approximately 1:08 a.m., Corporal Eddie Merritt observed a van traveling east on SR24 which was driven off the roadway on to the shoulder with both wheels off the roadway. As Cpl. Merritt turned around to pursue the vehicle it crossed into the other lane, almost off the roadway. Cpl. Merritt stopped the vehicle, made contact with the driver, Ms. Donna Y. Miller, age 42, of Cedar Key, and immediately smelled a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Ms. Miller's breath. She also had a slurred speech and droopy eyes, appearing to be intoxicated. Ms. Miller admitted to having at least four shots of tequila, saying she had also taken medication that might make her dizzy. She agreed to perform a battery of field sobriety tests, but stated she couldn't pass them. Ms. Miller attempted to perform the tests, but after failing two of them she stated she did not want to continue anymore. Ms. Miller was arrested and transported to the Levy County Jail where she agreed to take an Intoxilizer exam to determine her blood alcohol content (BAC.) The test results were: 0.189 and 0.178, twice the normal limit as allowed by state statute. Ms. Miller was booked into the jail on driving under the influence and awaited first appearance. She was very cooperative and polite to all officers involved in the process.

Your police officers certainly appreciate everyone's cooperation in keeping our little community safe and prosperous during this year; especially while abiding by the rules of the road. Remember, Cedar Key is the greatest little community in our wonderful country and we should always remember to treat everyone at all times as we want to be treated ourselves. Thank each and every one of you for your moral and physical support as we are only a phone call away.

PLEASE DO NOT FORGET: Our children will be out of school effective Dec. 21 through Jan. 7. Please, drive carefully, giving them the right-of-way, as many of them will receive new bikes for Christmas and they will be on our streets in full force during their two weeks of vacation time. Remember: Respect our elderly, being extremely tolerant with them and our children at all times, assisting each and every one of them when they ask us to help.

There will not be another press release until after the first of the year, as I will be out of town the week after Christmas, which is the next scheduled press release week. I apologize for any inconvenience to everyone and I look forward to starting the New Year off right on Jan. 9. Thank you for your patience, and I hope all of you celebrate Christmas for the right reason.

I certainly hope each and every one of you enjoy the New Year's Celebration in grand style, but refrain from overindulging in alcoholic beverages to the point it impairs your driving.

REMEMBER: WE STILL HAVE ZERO TOLERANCE FOR DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED. Have your designated driver or remember the Taxi Number and do not become a statistic.

May the good Lord continue to keep each and everyone of us safe, providing us with our needs, not especially our wants; always giving him praise for our safety, welfare, good health and above all: thank Him for his great sacrifice, which by believing in Him we have something to look forward to when our time on this earth is done. May your holidays be enjoyable and until next time; be safe, sober; always telling your family, friends and loved ones how much you love them on a daily basis.