Cedar Key Police Department Reports

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By Chief Bubba Castell

I sincerely hope that everyone's Thanksgiving was as enjoyable as mine was. Fortunately I was able to spend time with my family, as well as taking a day to visit with friends in Valdosta, Ga. They were visiting family members, who are also personal friends of mine, there. Although the trip was long and the visit was short, the time was well spent. They are also an exceptional group of people. Also, they are mostly Gators.

We should continue to be thankful for the opportunity of living in the greatest country in the world and to be a part of the most wonderful community in our beloved USA. It is great to be able to congregate in the Lord's House without fear; not to be afraid of worshiping in the Church of our choice at anytime. Also, be thankful for those who are on foreign soil defending these rights, always keeping them in our prayers, asking for their safety and welfare as they continue to defend our freedom. I respectfully request that we not defame those in power who have to make spur of the moment decisions, as without their support our freedom could be short lived in the home of the brave and free.

My sympathy goes out to those families whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice and we should always remember them in our prayers, as their devastating loss has insured our continuing safety here at home. War is never pretty, whether it is declared or undeclared, but it continues to be a way of survival in this very tumultuous world of ours. The hurt, as well as the emptiness, that is endured with the loss of loved one should be shared by each and every one of us, since our continuing safety and welfare depends on these outstanding young men and women unselfishly giving their all. Those who are fortunate enough to return safely home should be welcomed by all of us with open arms, giving them praise for their dedication to our continuing safety and welfare,

Anytime you have any doubts about their dedication feel free to visit the VA Hospital in Gainesville and see the "walking wounded" that abounds in just that one facility. These numbers are astronomical. I had the opportunity to speak to one young Marine (19 years old), who had lost both legs in Iraq and it was unbelievable as to how proud he was to have performed his duties in defending this great nation. He had no regrets, except he could not return to Iraq and continue the fight for our freedom. He only mourned the loss of his buddies, who he described as not being as fortunate as he was, since he was alive and able to move around safely in the country they died for.

Nov. 18, approximately 1:10 a.m., Officer Mike Cosseboom, while monitoring traffic on SR24, observed a small silver colored vehicle turn into traffic on to SR24 off Third Street into the path of a northbound vehicle. The driver of the northbound vehicle had to apply their brakes to avoid contact with the silver vehicle. Officer Mike pursued the two vehicles and observed the silver vehicle cross the ?fog line? several times; at least twice the vehicle crossed the fog line on to the grassy shoulder. Officer Mike conducted a traffic stop, making contact with the driver of the silver vehicle, Ms. Debbie Anne St. John, age 41, of Live Oak. While requesting Ms. St. John?s license, registration and insurance information, Officer Mike detected a strong odor of the impurities of an alcoholic beverage coming from her breath. Ms. St. John's speech was slurred and her eyes were watery. Officer Mike asked Ms. St. John if she had had anything to drink. She stated she had consumed a couple of drinks. Officer Mike received consent to search the vehicle from Ms. St. John and he located four empty beer bottles and one small empty beer can in the back seat; all were cold to the touch, per Officer Mike.

Ms. St. John agreed to perform a battery of field sobriety tests, but she failed to properly follow the instructions as given by Officer Mike. Ms. St. John was placed under arrest by Officer Mike, and transported to the Levy County Jail. After she agreed to take the Intoxilizer test to determine her Blood Alcohol Content, with the results being 0.175 and 0.175, Ms. St. John was booked into the jail on the DUI charge. She then had to await first appearance and bond setting by a local magistrate prior to being released from the jail.

On Monday, Dec. 3, Santa Claus will visit our little community in style. He will arrive at the Community Center approximately 6 p.m. with special gifts for all of our children, hoping none of them are missed. This year your Cedar Key Police Department will be available to fingerprint all children, whose parents will agree to participate. Four bicycles, with very nice helmets, that were made available through donations, will be given to two lucky girls and two lucky boys who will agree to be fingerprinted by your police officers. Those individuals that are fingerprinted will have their names placed in age-appropriate boxes with the winning names to be drawn sometime during the evening program. So, Mom and Dad, you need to get your child fingerprinted and cross your fingers hoping they will be the lucky one to have their name drawn for one of these new bikes.

These bikes will be on display at, or near, the fingerprinting table, encouraging everyone that is age-appropriate to participate in the fingerprinting process. Corporal Eddie Merritt and Officer David Perry will be the ones conducting the fingerprinting of the children. For those parents not familiar with these officers, please, take the time to come by and say hello to them during the fingerprinting process, as they represent each and every one of you on a daily basis, while performing their duties in our City.

Some of our "Winter Visitors" are trickling in and it is great to see them safely return for another visit in our little community. If you see any of them at the Post Office, on the streets, or passing in their vehicles, give them a big hello and welcome them back to their second home. Their presence does not come without some woes, though, as we know our weather is due to change somewhat from the warm temperatures most of us love, to the less desired cooler, or colder, temperatures during the next few months, which some of us have a hard time adjusting to. Anyway, make them feel welcome and let them know they are, as always, appreciated in their second home community.

Until next time, be safe, obey the speed laws, don?t run any stop signs, and call your buddy if you believe you have consumed too much alcohol, if you do not have a designated driver. I appreciate those who take time to read what I must say is my opinion and humbly ask for your support of our police department at all times. We are only guilty of one thing: That is enforcing the laws for the safety of all citizens on a non-biased basis. Be kind to everyone, especially our elderly, our children and our visitors. Thank you for understanding the police department safety goals and rules of the road.