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Dixie County sheriff notes
DCSO modified operations

Published March 30, 2020 at 12:10 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY –
Dixie County Sheriff Dewey H. Hatcher Sr. sent a note at 11:48 a.m. today (Monday, March 30) to tell people about some slightly modified operation by his deputies.

 

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     He noted the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office is taking steps to reduce risk related to COVID-19.
     “The law enforcement profession by nature typically deals with high risk individuals who often times do not practice safe lifestyles,” Sheriff Hatcher noted. “In order to prevent needlessly exposing citizens to any risk that might have occurred from some of these contacts, we have begun processing more complaints by phone when personal contact is not necessary.”
     The sheriff noted that he prefers for his staff to have personal interaction with the county’s residents and visitors, for now he has instructed staff to handle various reports by phone to minimize risks.
     “We will continue our routine patrol,” Sheriff Hatcher noted, “and will by all means respond to any call when requested. However, we will attempt to process many minor complaints by phone unless you specifically want the personal presence of a deputy.
     “I hope you understand that it is my desire to not only protect my staff, but also protect you from anything that we might have been exposed to on a prior response before your complaint arose,” he added.
     The DCSO works 24-hours-a-day to meet the public’s needs for service, Sheriff Hatcher noted, and it will continue to diligently pursue those who fail to live within the law.


Man charged after
allegedly using car for assault

James U Collins of Old Town suspected of domestic battery

James U. Collins

Mug Shot By DCSO

By DCSO Maj. Scott Harden
Published March 30, 2020 at 12:10 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
According to the arrest affidavit filed against James U. Collins, he and a female with whom he is in a domestic relationship, were involved in a dispute while traveling in a vehicle.
     Collins is reported to have stopped the vehicle during this time and after exiting the vehicle went to the passenger side, where he pulled the victim from the car while allegedly striking her in the face.
     After allegedly striking the victim, Collins is said to have returned to the driver’s seat and backed the vehicle toward the victim, forcing her to get out of the way of the vehicle’s path.
     Collins, 40, from Old Town, was arrested and charged on March 23 with battery (domestic) and aggravated assault.

 


Citrus County Sheriff's Office
activates information lines

By Jodi Sanders, CCSO Community Relations Specialist
Published March 30, 2020 at 11:10 a.m.
     CITRUS COUNTY --
To keep Citrus County residents informed on the impacts of COVID-19 in our community, the Citrus County Sheriff's Office activated the Citizen Information Lines (CIL) in partnership with the Florida Department of Health in Citrus County.
     This line is designed to answer questions specific to Citrus County. All residents and visitors with medical questions are still urged to contact the Florida Department of Health in Citrus County at 352-527-0068. Individuals with general COVID-19 questions NOT specific to Citrus County should contact the COVID-19 hotline at 1-866-779-6121. 
     Individuals with Citrus County specific questions, are asked to please contact the CIL at 352-249-2775 where an operator will assist callers Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
     Many general COVID-19 questions can be answered by visiting https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/.
     The Citrus County Sheriff's Office's website for more resources on emergency operations and disaster preparation can be accessed by clicking HERE.

 


Verbal altercation leads to
fatal shooting in Citrus County;

Alleged shooter charged with carrying
a concealed firearm without a permit


By Jodi Sanders, CCSO Community Relations Specialist
Published March 26, 2020 at 11:10 a.m.
     CITRUS COUNTY --
Shortly before 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning (March 25), deputies with the Citrus County Sheriff's Office responded to a Beverly Hills neighborhood in response to shots being fired.
     Upon arrival, deputies contacted witnesses and the 62-year-old alleged shooter. The witnesses stated that the alleged shooter was engaged in an argument with the victim, a 32-year-old resident of the neighborhood. As the incident escalated the shooter fired a weapon at the victim, hitting him in the chest.
     Upon arrival, Emergency Medical Services personnel attempted to perform life-saving measures; however, the victim was pronounced dead by EMS.
     Deputies immediately took the shooter into custody for additional questioning. This case is still developing, with more information pending an autopsy. The shooter has been charged with carrying a concealed firearm without a permit. Updates will be provided to the public as this new information becomes available.
     Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call 352-726-1121 and ask for the Major Crimes Unit. Tips also can be submitted anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 1-888-ANY-TIPS.

 


Levy County party shows people
throwing caution to the wind;

It took more than 45 minutes
to disband the block party

By LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond
Published March 25, 2020 at 12:10 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY --
A few members of the East Williston community chose to promote a block party this past Saturday through social media that flies in the face of all of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and the Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Executive Orders.
     This party saw in excess of 500 people jammed into a confined area in the unincorporated part of Levy County that is east of the City of Williston, possibly exposing those residents and visitors to the COVID-19 virus.
     Most party participants were not from Levy County.
     “It is unfortunate that some citizens chose to ignore every recommendation of the CDC to help stop the spread of this deadly virus,” Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum stated. “I was forced to call additional law enforcement officers to disperse the crowd which took over 45 minutes to clear from the area at three in the morning.
     “I ask the citizens of this community,” Sheriff McCallum concluded, “and all citizens of Levy County, to avoid these types of gatherings. Follow the CDC guidelines and please help keep Levy County HEALTHY!”

 


A meesage from Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum
Published March 24, 2020 at 3:10 p.m.
By Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum
      BRONSON --
As your Sheriff I wanted to take this opportunity to thank our citizens, businesses and civil leaders for the exceptional response and cooperation you are showing during these difficult times regarding COVID-19.
      As I moved around the county late last Friday afternoon (March 21) and evening, I saw a tremendous response from our restaurants and bars in immediately adhering to the governor’s latest Executive Order (20-71). As I continued over the weekend to check on some of our businesses, I saw an even greater response in applying the requirements of the Executive Order. I salute and thank all of our restaurant owners, managers and other business leaders in our county for making this effort to slow the spread of this pandemic.
      To our citizens thank you for your willingness, to the best of your abilities, to adhere to the protective measures that we are asking you to follow. These protective measures are so vitally important to the safety and welfare of all of us. As we move forward in this uncertain and unprecedented time, I ask that all residents and visitors follow all recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), our local Department of Health and mandates ordered in the Governor’s Executive Orders. The list below will serve as a reminder of some protective steps to follow. Additional protective steps and symptoms of COVID-19 can be found on the CDC’s website (https://www.cdc.gov).
      · Please do your best to socially distance with a distance of six feet from other individuals.
      · Please wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
      · Use sanitizers (with at least 60 percent alcohol) when washing hands is not possible.
      · Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
      · Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Immediately wash your hands.
     Most importantly please consult with your doctor and self-isolate if you have the symptoms of COVID-19, and take the test if your doctor or medical provider recommends that.
     I want to thank all of the medical professionals including the Levy County Department of Public Safety EMTs, Paramedics and all of our fire/rescue personnel for all they are doing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are working extremely hard with the pandemic issues on top of their normal everyday emergency situations.
     In addition, I want to thank my deputies, detention officers, 9-1-1 telecommunicators and all of the administrative staff, as well as all of our local police and fire/rescue departments for their continuing effort to serve our residents and visitors during this difficult and precarious time.
     Once again, thank you to all of our citizens for remaining vigilant and cooperative as we battle COVID-19. To all of our individuals, families, workers and especially our restaurant servers and workers who have been laid off or who have had their hours reduced from earning wages -- our prayers are with you, and that we will be able to resolve this disease as soon as possible.
     We are certainly blessed to live in Levy County. We can be thankful that all of our leaders are dedicated to working together to keep our citizens safe. From our judges, county commissioners, constitutional officers, the Florida Department of Health, and the Levy County Emergency Management Department, I can assure you that we are doing everything in our power to protect and serve you.
     But the only reason that we have no confirmed cases in Levy County at this time is not because of us, but because of you, our citizens and your willingness to follow the precautions that are being both mandated and recommended.
     To all of our residents and visitors, please stay safe and call us at the Levy County Sheriff’s Office (352-486-5111) if we can help you in any way. Please use the Levy County Emergency Management website at https://levydisaster.com/ for the latest updated information on COVID-19 for Levy County.

 


Pedestrian dies
in Dixie County crash

By Jeff M. Hardison © March 24, 2020 at 9:10 a.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY –
A 61-year-old man from Old Town died Monday night (March 23) as part of a crash in Dixie County, the FHP said.
     Heather Marie Forehand, 29, of Old Town was driving a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado at 8:46 p.m. on March 23, according to a press release from Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Lena Ward, based on information from crash investigators FHP Trooper Glen Ganus and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. Ethan Sumner.
     A 13-year-old person was a passenger in that vehicle, according to the press release, however Sgt. Ward chose to exclude that individual’s name from the press release.
     The crash investigated by the FHP happened on State Road 349 south of Northeast 341st Avenue, the FHP said.
     Charles Warren Smith, 61, of Old Town was riding a bicycle and had had fallen into the roadway, the FHP said.
     Smith was lying in the southbound lane of SR 349 in the dark, the FHP said.
     The southbound pickup truck was on SR 349, the FHP said, when the bicyclist was struck by the pickup.
     Smith died at the scene, the FHP said. Neither Forehand, nor her unidentified passenger, were injured, the FHP said.
     State Road 349 was shut down for longer than three hours, the FHP said, due to the traffic homicide investigation. The case is under investigation, the FHP said, regarding charges.


Santa Fe’s idle-speed,
no-wake zone is deactivated

By Karen Parker of the FWC
Published March 23, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.
     LAKE CITY --
The Santa Fe River’s idle-speed, no-wake Zone 8 was deactivated today (Monday, March 23).
     There are now no active zones on the Santa Fe or Suwannee, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials.
     Zone 8 was activated March 18 when the gauge at Three Rivers reached 16.25 feet, which is the activation point. Today, the level was at 15.69 feet. This zone begins at an unnamed island approximately 4.25 miles upstream from the confluence of the Santa Fe and Ichetucknee rivers (coordinates: 29° 54.527’ N, 82° 46.074’ W) and ends at the confluence of the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers. This includes the Ichetucknee River upstream to the U.S. 27 Bridge.
     An idle-speed, no-wake zone means a vessel must proceed at a speed no greater than required to maintain steerageway and headway. At no time is any vessel required to proceed so slowly the operator is unable to control it or anything it may be towing.
     No zones on the Santa Fe River are activated at this time.
     To obtain real-time river level information, visit http://mysuwanneeriver.com/.

 


Teen dies in ATV crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © March 23, 2020 at 8:10 a.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY –
A teenager died and his 12-year-old passenger suffered minor injuries after an ATV crash Sunday night (March 22), the FHP said.
     Trystan Lord, 13, of Old Town was driving a 2019 CFMoto ATV at 8:56 p.m. on March 22 in Dixie County, according to a press release from Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. L. Ward, based on information from a crash investigator and a homicide investigator.
     Keith Anderson, 12, of Old Town was a passenger, the FHP said.
     The single-vehicle ATV crash occurred on Northeast 542nd Street in Old Town, the FHP said.
     The ATV was eastbound Northeast 542nd Street, the FHP said, when for reasons unclear at this time, the ATV went to the right off the roadway and crashed into a concrete culvert.
     The ATV overturned, the FHP said.
     The ATV crash resulted in fatal injuries to Lord, the FHP said, who was not wearing a seatbelt harness, and minor injuries to Anderson, who was wearing a seatbelt harness.
     Lord was pronounced dead on scene by Dixie County EMS, the FHP said.

 


Man wounded,
shooter dies at hospital

By Jeff M. Hardison © March 22, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.
     CITRUS COUNTY –
Members of the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office’s Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) Team CCSO Crisis Negotiators concluded a standoff yesterday (Saturday, March 21), according to information in a March 22 press release from CCSO Community Relations Specialist Brittney Carman.
     There was a man who was shot by a 52-year-old shooter who is thought to have been firing randomly, according to the CCSO. That suspected shooter died after he was taken to a hospital, according to information provided by the CCSO.
     The name of the suspected shooter is being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin, Carman said.
     CCSO deputies responded to a residence in the area of West Alamo Drive in Beverly Hills in reference to a shooting yesterday, Carman said.
     One individual inside the residence was shot, with an armed and barricaded subject still inside of the home, she said.
     Two witnesses to the event already had left the residence and were in the safety of the deputies on scene.
     The shooting victim eventually made his way out of the home and received treatment first by two CCSO deputies on scene, and then by EMS personnel the before the victim was taken to a hospital, Carman noted, adding that the victim is in stable condition at a local hospital as of Sunday afternoon.
     The armed subject was confirmed to be the only person still inside of the residence.
     The man had rented a room at the residence, Carman said, and just recently returned from Orlando. Upon his return he was said by witnesses to have been acting strangely, Carman said, and witnesses reported that he was making irrational statements.
     The renter was confronted by the homeowners and asked to calm down, Carman said. The suspect then armed himself with a handgun and began randomly shooting through the door of another individual who also was renting a room from the homeowners, Carman said. One of the rounds shot through the door struck the victim in his upper right chest, the CCSO Community Relations specialist said. 
     Within minutes of the shooting, additional deputies along with both the CCSO SWAT team and Crisis Negotiators arrived on scene to protect the nearby residents and safely de-escalate the situation, Carman said.
     After hours of negotiations and many attempts to get the suspect to comply with commands, the SWAT team deployed less-lethal gas inside the residence in an attempt to persuade the man to exit the home and to surrender to law enforcement, Carman said.
     The suspect continued making irrational statements, Carman said, and it appeared as if the deployed gas did not have the desired effect.
     Consequently, SWAT team members and Crisis Negotiators continued their attempts to encourage the suspect to come to the door and surrender, Carman said.
     As the stand-off continued, SWAT team members saw that the suspect was unarmed, Carman said, and they entered the suspect's bedroom, where he was secured without further incident.
     Due to the suspect's irrational behavior and statements, Carman said, he was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment. About four hours later, doctors at the hospital pronounced the suspect dead, Carman said.
     "During situations such as these, we take every precaution possible for the safety of our community and our citizens," Citrus County Sheriff Mark Prendergast said. "We are extremely thankful the occupants inside the home are safe, and we are fortunate this individual did not harm any of his neighbors.
     “No CCSO personnel were injured during this incident,” the sheriff continued. “Successful conflict resolution doesn't happen in the moment. It begins with the disciplined training by dedicated professionals who prepare for when the moment arrives. This team of professionals seamlessly bring their skills to bear to execute well under pressure to ensure the safest possible outcome for all involved."
     The Medical Examiner’s Office was contacted and will determine the cause of the death, Carman said. The name of the suspect is still being withheld until after making next-of-kin notifications, Carman said.


First Responders Answer Call
crash in Chiefland CFR CPD LCDPS
Chiefland Fire Chief James Harris and Chiefland Firefighter-EMT James Casto make a vehicle involved in a crash Tuesday (March 17) safer.

Crash in Chiefland Fire-Rescue
Other first responders included members from the Chiefland Police Department and the Levy County Department of Public Safety’s EMS Unit. CPD is the investigating agency. Chiefland Fire-Rescue, LCDPS and CPD help save lives and property every day, just as their counterparts in cities and in the unincorporated parts of Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties do. Dixie County Fire-Rescue has an ad on every page of HardisonInk.com noting it has vacancies for firefighters and paramedics. People who think they are qualified candidates can click on that ad to apply for consideration.

Photos By Jeff M. Hardison © March 19, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.

 


Marion County initiates
High Visibility Enforcement
to improve pedestrian
and bicycle safety

By MCSO Public Information Officer
Valerie Strong
Published March 19, 2020 at 3:10 p.m.
     MARION COUNTY --
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) has joined a partnership with the University of North Florida and the Florida Department of Transportation for FDOT's Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow campaign.
     MCSO Traffic Unit deputies will conduct High Visibility Enforcement Details (HVE) in the area of South Pine Avenue/South U.S. Highway 441 from Southeast 17th Street to Southeast 80th Street.
     These areas have seen an increase in traffic crashes resulting in serious and fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists. The enforcement will focus on improving pedestrian and bicycle safety, and continue until Friday, May 15.
     Deputies will be concentrating more on educating our public about traffic laws during this enforcement to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. However, violations may result in warnings or citations depending on the circumstances.
     Citizens should expect to see an increased presence of traffic deputies on these roadways next week.
     The MCSO Traffic Unit would like our citizens to remember several things while they are on the roadways: Drivers, obey speed limits, never drive impaired and always watch for pedestrians and bicyclists, obey traffic laws, ride in the direction of traffic and use lights when riding at night. Pedestrians, cross in crosswalks or at intersections, obey pedestrian signals and make sure you are visible to drivers when walking at night.

 


Drug arrest made
after driver
attempts to elude deputy

Drug suspects arrested in Levy County

Doreen Hayston (left) and Robert Wilson
Mug Shots By LCSO

drugs found in Levy County
Here is what was found and is presented by the LCSO as being from the suspects.

Photo by LCSO

By LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond
March 18, 2020 at 3:10 p.m.
     LEVY COUNTY --
Levy County Sheriff's Office Deputy Mike Sinclair was patrolling his assigned zone yesterday (Tuesday, March 17), when he clocked a vehicle driving at 13 miles an hour over the posted speed limit on Levy County Road 331A just east of Williston.
     He turned on his lights signaling the driver to pull over when the driver made an abrupt turn into a yard then drove through an adjacent field attempting to elude him. Deputy Sinclair saw the passenger door open and a black bag was thrown out by the passenger. The driver ultimately stopped in a nearby driveway immediately exited the vehicle, laid on the ground and surrendered.
     Deputy Sinclair detained the driver identified as Robert Wilson, 40, of Bradenton (Manatee County) and his passenger, Doreen Hayston, 55, of Fort White (Columbia County). The bag thrown from the moving car was recovered and found to contain a large quantity of marijuana (202 grams-seven ounces) and crack cocaine (22.5 grams-slightly more than 3/4ths on one ounce).
     Wilson was arrested for fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement. Hayston was also arrested for possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia in addition to an outstanding warrant for her arrest for possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia. Wilson and Hayston are being held at the Levy County Jail. Wilson’s bond is set at $16,000 and Hayston’s bond is set at $57,200.

 


Levy County Emergency
Management opens text
opt-in service
for COVID-19 information

By Levy County Emergency Management
Assistant Director David Peaton
Published March 18, 2020 at 10:10 a.m.
     BRONSON --
As a way to ensure that Levy County residents and visitors have the ability to receive regular updates about what is going on in Levy County, the Levy County Department of Emergency Management has created a Text Opt-In service for Levy specific COVID-19 information.
     Please note that this WILL NOT replace the AlertLevy Emergency Notification System. Emergency situations and information will still be sent via the standard emergency notification system.
     By signing up, residents and visitors will receive text messages that will contain non-emergency, non-confidential information about COVID-19 issues and information that is specific to Levy County.
     Anyone with a cell phone that has text capability can register, but it is recommended that you only register if you are a resident of Levy County, have family in Levy County, or regularly visit Levy County. Please see below on how to register:
TEXT
CVUPDATE
to
888777
     *Standard text message rates may apply. Text STOP to discontinue notifications.


Alleged arrest resister
avoids taser, still get jailed

Gary L. McCabe Jr. Arrested

 

 

 

Gary L. McCabe Jr.
Mug Shot By DCSO

 


By Jeff M. Hardison
© March 17, 2020 at 11:10 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
A 35-year-old man from Old Town began his short-term residency at the Dixie County Jail Thursday (March 12), despite his alleged resistance against the efforts of deputies with the Dixie County Sheriff's office, according to information in a press release from DCSO Maj. Scott Harden.
     Thursday evening, deputies went to a residence on Northeast 389th Avenue in Old Town to serve an arrest warrant on Gary L. McCabe Jr., Maj. Harden said.
     The arrest warrant was for the charges of robbery, petit theft and assault, Harden said.
     From McCabe’s prior history and an alleged propensity by the man to become violent, Harden said, four deputies went to serve the warrant on McCabe.
     When the deputies arrived, McCabe stepped to the front of the residence and at that time was told that there was an active warrant for his arrest, Harden said. McCabe grabbed a ceramic flower planter and acted as if he was going to throw it at the deputies, while he retreated to the front door of the residence, Harden said.
     As McCabe did this, a deputy pulled his taser and ordered McCabe to stop, Harden said.
     McCabe then grabbed a chair and held it up in front of himself, while he was standing in the doorway, Harden said, thereby blocking the deputy’s ability to deploy the taser.
     McCabe then grabbed a knife from a table just inside the doorway and held the knife while making threats toward the deputies, Harden said.
     After approximately 40 minutes of this standoff, McCabe surrendered the knife and was taken into custody by the deputies, Harden said.
    In addition to the initial charges on the warrant -- robbery, petit theft and assault, McCabe was arrested and charged with four counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and four counts of resisting an officer with violence.

 


Man arrested after allegedly hurting vending machine

Caleb Wells suspected vending machine attacker

 

 

Caleb D. Wells
Mug Shot By DCSO

 

 


By DCSO Maj. Scott Harden
Published March 17, 2020 at 11:10 p.m.

     DIXIE COUNTY -- On Saturday afternoon (March 14) a deputy with the Dixie County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a business regarding to a customer damaging a vending machine.
     During the investigation, it was determined that Caleb D. Wells, 27, of Cross City had in fact damaged a vending machine and cash box.
     After conducting an interview with Wells, the deputy told Wells that he was being arrested for his actions. As the deputy went to place Wells in hand restraints, Wells fled on foot.
     The deputy was unable to catch and subdue Wells. The deputy called for additional units to establish a perimeter surrounding the wooded area into which he ran.
     As deputies were doing this, a deputy noticed a male subject standing on a porch talking to a female at the door of her residence.  When he realized the male subject matched the description, he exited his vehicle and approached Wells.
     Wells again fled on foot with the second deputy giving chase on foot.  The deputy chased Wells approximately 200 yards before overtaking Wells and taking him into custody.
     Wells was arrested and charged with molesting/tampering with a vending machine, criminal mischief, petit theft and two counts of resisting an officer.

 


Levy County sheriff suspends
all onsite visitations
with jail inmates

By LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond
Published March 16, 2020 at 7:10 p.m.
     BRONSON –
Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum along with members of his command staff were involved in multiple briefings today (Monday, March 16) as they relate to COVID-19.
     Currently there are no confirmed reported cases of COVID-19 in Levy County, but all preparations to prevent the spread of this virus are being taken to ensure the public’s safety and the safety of those in custody.
     Based on information obtained during these meetings, Sheriff McCallum decided to suspend all ON-SITE visitations with persons in the custody of the Levy County Jail.
     Family and friends of individuals in custody are still able to contact loved ones by phone and through online video visitation. The instruction on how to establish a secure account to be able to receive phone calls and create an on-line visitation account can be found at https://levyso.com/ and follow the links in the Divisions/Detention Bureau section.
     COVID-19 has interrupted multiple public access and some criminal court processes in Levy County. The most up-to-date information on county facility operation closures can be located at https://levydisaster.com/.
     The Levy County Sheriff’s Office works diligently alongside the Levy County Emergency Management Department to mitigate disasters that affect the residents and visitors of Levy County.
     Sheriff McCallum is committed to ensure the safety of all individuals of Levy County, including those who are in custody or who are the employees of this office.

 


Florida driver licenses expiring
in the next 30 days extended

By FHSMV Communications
Published March 16, 2020 at 7:10 p.m.
     TALLAHASSEE –
At the direction of Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes has issued an Emergency Order extending all Florida driver licenses and identification cards that will expire in the next 30 days.
     All Florida driver licenses, commercial driver licenses and identification cards set to expire in the next 30 days will be granted a 30-day extension beyond their current expiration date.
     The Executive Order, accessible here, authorizes the following:
     ● Extends the effective period of all driver licenses and identification cards that will expire between March 16 and April 15, 2020, for 30 days.
     ● Waives the delinquent renewal fees during the extension period for these driver licenses and identification cards.
     Florida law enforcement agencies have received notification of these extensions.

 


Two die in Newberry crash
By Jeff M. Hardison © March 16, 2020 at 3:10 p.m.
     ALACHUA COUNTY –
A 19-year-old man and a 60-year-old man died in the wee hours this morning (Monday, March 16), The FHP said.
     Evan Scott Finnell, 19, of Newberry was driving a 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander at 4:15 a.m. on March 16, according to information in a press release by Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. J. Murphy, based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper D. Hughes and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. N. Morgan.
     Brett Donavan Bailey, 60, of Newberry was driving a 2000 GMC Jimmy, the FHP said.
     The head-on crash happened on Alachua County Road 235 north of Northwest Sixth Place in Newberry, the FHP said.
     The Mitsubishi Outlander was southbound on CR 235, while the GMC Jimmy was northbound on CR 235, the FHP said. The Mitsubishi crossed the center line and the front of both vehicles hit each other, the FHP said.
     Both drivers were pronounced dead on the scene, the FHP said.


Pedestrian dies
in Marion County

By Jeff M. Hardison © March 16, 2020 at 9:10 a.m.
     MARION COUNTY –
A 43-year-old Ocala woman died Sunday night after being hit by an SUV, the FHP said.
     Gaylord Rowe, 82, of Ocala was driving a 2018 Ford Edge at 9:30 p.m. on March 15, according to information in a press release from Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. J. Murphy, based on information from crash investigator FHP Trooper W. Ernest and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. J. Roberts.
     Rowe was driving the SUV eastbound on State Road 200, when Wendy Cauchi, 43, of Ocala attempted to cross the road as she walked southbound, from the northern shoulder, the FHP said.
     The front of the SUV struck the pedestrian, the FHP said. The pedestrian was pronounced deceased on scene by Marion County Fire Rescue, the FHP said. Rowe was not injured, the FHP said.
     Charges are pending completion of the traffic homicide investigation, the FHP said.


CPD makes arrests at motel;
Woman wanted on FTA
leads to drug arrests, too

Tiki Albritton and Wannell Guyton suspected of crimes in Chiefland
Tiki Monique Albritton (left) and Wannell Guyton Jr.

Mug Shots By LCSO

By Jeff M. Hardison © March 14, 2020 at 10:10 a.m.
     CHIEFLAND –
A 36-year-old woman from Old Town is in the Levy County Jail in lieu of $334,000 in bonds and a 29-year-old man from Trenton is in the same jail in lieu of $380,000 worth of bail bonds, according to jail records, after their arrest on Wednesday (March 11).
     Tiki Monique Albritton, 36, of Old Town is charged with possession of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a place of worship or a school; possession of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a place of worship or a school; two counts of possession of a controlled substance; possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; commission of a felony while in possession of a firearm; conspiracy to traffic in cocaine; habitual offender of driving while license suspended or revoked; and two counts of failure to appear in court, according to jail records.
     Wannell Guyton Jr., 29, of Trenton is charged with two counts of trafficking in cocaine, possession of marijuana with the intent to sell it within 1,000 feet of a place of worship or a school; sales of cocaine; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; possession of a firearm while in the commission of a felony; and conspiracy to traffic in cocaine.
    On March 11 at approximately 9:21 p.m. the Chiefland Police Department Cpl. Melissa Watkins went to Room 212-A of the Days Inn, 809 N.W. 21st Ave. (just south of the Walmart) to apprehend Albritton, who had an active arrest warrant issue for her, according to CPD records.
     Corporal Watkins was joined by Sgt. Cpl. Blake Murphy and CPD Officer D. Crislip, and later by another sergeant.
     Watkins knocked on the door and Albritton opened the door, according to the arrest report.
     Albritton attempted to walk away from the corporal and Watkins detained the her, according to records.
     Meanwhile, Guyton was a bed next to a purple-colored Crown Royal bag and he was attempting to conceal baggies with a white powdery substance, according to records.
     She saw several plastic bags filled with a green leafy substance, later identified as marijuana, according to records.
     Both individuals were then detained and escorted out of the room, according to records. A search warrant was obtained for the room and the room was then searched, according to records, after Sgt. Barnes contacted CPD Sgt. Fronz “D.J.” Macy, who is the investigator who specializes in drug matters, according to the report.
     Subsequent to the search warrant being exercised, CPD found and seized the following articles:
     ● Crack Cocaine weighing approximately 43.19 grams (an ounce and a half)
     ● Powder Cocaine weighing approximately 32.87 grams (1.16 ounces)
     ● Marijuana weighing approximately 27.64 grams (almost one ounce)
     ● Ten Oxycodone pills
Ecstasy (MDMA) approximately 1.5 grams
     ● Six Hydrocodone pills
     ● A stolen .38 caliber special (revolver pistol) loaded with bullets
     ● $535 dollars in cash
     ● Drug paraphernalia, scales and baggies (for drug sales)

 


FWC to boaters:
Slow down to save manatees

manatee in Florida
Story and Photo Provided
By FWC Communications
Published March 13, 2020 at 9:10 a.m.
     TALLAHASSEE --
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds boaters and personal watercraft operators to slow down and keep a keen eye out for manatees as they enjoy Florida’s waterways this spring.
     During this time of year, manatees leave their winter refuges and are more likely to be found in rivers, canals and nearshore waters. The sunny spring weather also appeals to Florida’s boaters, meaning that they are likely to cross paths with the state’s official marine mammal.
      “Spring is one of the best times to be out on the water but it’s also a very active time for manatees,” said Ron Mezich, who heads the FWC’s Imperiled Species Management Section. “Boaters can make a big difference and avoid injuring or killing manatees by slowing down and being alert this spring.”
     Some of the same actions that keep manatees safe also keep people safe. Everyone on the water should be paying attention to surroundings and operating at safe speeds.
     From April 1 through Nov. 15, seasonal manatee zones require boaters to slow down in certain areas to prevent manatees from being struck by motorboats or personal watercrafts. FWC law enforcement officers are on patrol in state waters to remind boaters of the seasonal manatee speed zones, and to take enforcement actions when appropriate.
     Manatees can be difficult to detect when underwater, so it is important for operators of boats and personal watercrafts to be vigilant while out on the water. You can help protect manatees by following these simple guidelines:
•     Wear polarized sunglasses to help spot manatees.
•     Look for large circles on the water, also known as manatee footprints, indicating the presence of a manatee below.
•     Look for a snout sticking up out of the water.
•     Follow posted manatee zones rules while boating.
•     Report injured, distressed, sick or dead manatees to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or dialing #FWC or *FWC on a cellphone.

 


Three-vehicle crash
claims motorcyclist's life

By Jeff M. Hardison © March 13, 2020 at 7:10 a.m.
     MARION COUNTY --
A three-vehicle crash claimed the life of a 36-year-old man early Thursday morning (March 12), the FHP said.
     Don Nicholas Kemp, 26, of Homosassa (Citrus County) was driving a 2007 Dyna Glide Harley-Davidson motorcycle on March 12 at 7:20 a.m. in Citrus County, according to information in a March 12 press release from Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. M. Weber, based on information from crash investigator FHP Cpl. J. Sabo and homicide investigator Cpl. J. Lander.
     Jose Ramon Diaz Rivera, 70, of Ocala was driving a 1994 Dodge Ram, the FHP said.
     Allan Granda, 68, of Valrico (Hillsoborough County) was driving a 2008 Toyota Highlander, the FHP said.
     Kemp was driving the motorcycle northbound on I-75 in the right lane, directly behind the Dodge Ram driven by Rivera, the FHP said. Vehicle 02 was slowing for traffic northbound on I-75 in the right lane.
     Granda was slowing down the Highlander for traffic northbound on I-75 in the right lane directly behind the Ram, the FHP said.
     For unknown reasons, the Kemp failed to slow the motorcycle down in time for the slowing traffic ahead of him, the FHP said, causing the front of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle to hit the rear, right section of the Dodge truck.
     Kemp fell off of the motorcycle into the right northbound lane of I-75, the FHP said.
      Granda didn’t have time to avoid collision with Kemp and struck the motorcyclist with the front, right section of the Highlander SUV, the FHP said.
     Kemp then became lodged under that vehicle's undercarriage as it swerved toward the left. The FHP said.
     The motorcycle came to rest on its right side facing  southwest, partially within the right lane and the eastern paved emergency lane, the FHP said.
     Kemp came to rest lying supine, facing east in the right lane, the FHP said. The pickup truck came to a controlled rest on the eastern paved shoulder emergency lane, facing north, the FHP said. The Highlander came to a controlled rest on the western paved median emergency lane, facing north.
     Kemp suffered fatal injuries during the crash and was pronounced deceased on scene by Marion County Fire Rescue, the FHP said.
     Neither of the two other drivers involved in the crash suffered injuries, the FHP said. This traffic homicide investigation remains under investigation, the FHP noted in the press release under the section where charges are listed.

 


DCSO deputy resigns;
Vehicular homicide charge levied
Bond set at $100,000

By Jeff M. Hardison © March 9, 2019 at 4:10 p.m.
Updated March 11, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
Dixie County Sheriff's Office Maj. Scott Harden announced Monday morning (March 9) that a deputy with the DCSO who was involved in a fatal crash on May 8, 2019 has resigned.
     Dixie County Deputy Scott P. Anderson, 27, of Gainesville resigned Thursday (March 5), Harden noted in the Monday press release after learning of a pending charge of vehicular homicide being brought against him by the State of Florida.
     Anderson’s resignation was submitted just prior to his arrest by the Florida Highway Patrol.
     The arrest stems from the FHP’s investigation the fatal crash in Gilchrist County, in which Anderson hit  a moped, Harden said.
     Anderson was driving a 2018 Ford Explorer, which is a marked DCSO cruiser, at 12:15 a.m. on May 8, according to a Florida Highway Patrol press release from based on information from crash investigator FHP Sgt. J.H. Bedenbaugh and homicide investigator FHP Cpl. S. Lattinville.
     Walter L. Gibson, 30, of Gainesville was driving a 2019 ZHNG Moped (scooter) on State Road 26 west of Gilchrist County Road 313, west of Trenton within Gilchrist County, the FHP said.
     The DCSO Ford Explorer patrol vehicle and the Moped collided
shortly after 12:15 a.m. on May 8 on SR 26, the FHP said.
     Prior to the crash, both vehicles were eastbound on SR 26, with the scooter traveling in front of the cruiser, the FHP said.
     The front of the DCSO vehicle struck the rear of the Moped, the FHP said.
     Upon EMS arrival, the driver of the scooter was pronounced dead as a result of injuries he suffered in the collision, the FHP said. Deputy Anderson refused medical treatment on scene from emergency medical personnel, the FHP said.
    As a result of their investigation, DCSO Maj. Harden said, the FHP investigators met with a representative of the office of Eighth Judicial Circuit State Attorney William Cervone on Thursday morning (March 5) who confirmed the intent to file a charge of vehicular homicide, Harden said.
     Upon learning of the pending charges, Anderson submitted his resignation as a Dixie County deputy, Harden said.
*      UPDATED March 11, 2020 at 3:10 p.m.
     Circuit Court Judge James Colaw set Anderson's bond set at $100,000 after Anderson's arrest on March 5, according to records.
     Arthur Forgey, a public information officer with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, explained that a booking photo was not available of Anderson, because he was a law enforcement officer and officers have the option to not allow their mugshot to be relesaed to the public.
     This is one of the many exemptions that exist to the public records law.
     As Forgey properly noted in explaining why there was no mug shot available for this suspect, Florida Statute 119.071(4)(d)3 allows for the exemption of the booking photo.
     ACSO PIO Forgey provided a link to the Florida Attorney General's Advisory Legal Opinion regarding the issue. That opinion may be viewed by clicking HERE.

 


Man allegedly uses vehicle as weapon;
Bond set at $200,000

Matthew Goins Suspect Levy County Jail




Matthew Goins

Mug Shot By LCSO


By LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond
Published March 11, 2020
at 4:10 p.m.

     BRONSON --
On Sunday (March 8), deputies with the Levy County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home located at 8550 N.W. 120 St., west of Chiefland.
     The deputies had went there after a 9-1-1 caller reported that a person had been run over. The victim, a 39-year-old Chiefland resident, was unable to give a statement to deputies before he was transported by a ShandsCair helicopter to Shands at UF for emergency surgery.
     Deputies discovered the victim was run over in his own driveway. Witnesses were only able to say the vehicle that struck him was a dark-colored SUV.
     Detectives were contacted late on the Tuesday (March 10) by staff members at Shands who said the victim was awake and wanted to speak. The victim told detectives the person who ran him over was known to him by “Matt.”
     Additional investigation led to the identification of Matthew “Matt” Goins, 29, of Chiefland as the driver of the SUV. Goins has an extensive criminal history including eight felony arrests and two sentences in the Florida Department of Corrections.
     Goins was located at 9150 N.W. 127 Place in Chiefland where he was interviewed by detectives. Goins admitted to detectives that he was at the victim’s home and was driving the dark SUV when the victim was struck.
     Statements Goins made for the reason he ran over the victim were inconsistent with evidence discovered at the crime scene and Goins was arrested.
     Goins was booked into the Levy County Jail and has been charged with aggravated battery with a motor vehicle causing great bodily injury. His bond has been set at $200,000.

 


Chiefland man arrested
and held without bond
in Dixie County Jail


Jesse Odom of Chiefland suspected criminal

 

 

 

Jesse J. Odom
Mug Shot By DCSO

 

 

 


By Jeff M. Hardison
© March 8, 2020 at 4:10 p.m.
     DIXIE COUNTY --
A 22-year-old Chiefland man was arrested Tuesday (March 3) on various charges and is awaiting trial in the Dixie County Jail now – under no bond, according information in a Sunday (March 8) press release from Dixie County Sheriff's Office Maj. Scott Harden.
     Jesse J. Odom, 22, of Chiefland is charged with Odom, 22, of Chiefland, was arrested and charged with resisting an officer without violence, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, felony fleeing and eluding, reckless driving with property damage and aggravated stalking.
     Odom racked up these charges as a result of action the DCSO alleged was by him and which reflected the violation of the applicable laws of Florida.
     At approximately 4:30 a.m. on the Tuesday morning (March 3), DCSO deputies were dispatched to a residence on Northeast 482nd Avenue in Old Town, Maj. Harden said, in regard to a female victim who said that she was getting threatening phone calls from her ex-boyfriend.
     The victim presented deputies with a copy of an injunction against the ex-boyfriend Odom, Harden said.  Deputies left the residence and began to search the area to determine if Odom was in the area, Harden said.
     Within minutes, a deputy saw Odom’s vehicle parked at the intersection of Northeast 482nd Avenue and Northeast 580th Street, Harden said.
     The deputy approached the driver and asked to see his driver’s license, Harden said.
     The driver, who later was identified as Odom, refused to produce his license, Harden said. He drove away from the deputy while the deputy was shouting commands for him to stop, Harden said.
     The deputy returned to his patrol car and chased the vehicle being driven by Odom, Harden said, while radioing his location to the second deputy.
     Odom continued to Northeast 351, where he turned onto that road and went to Northeast 538th Street, Harden said, and he began to go toward Northeast 349.
      Odom reached 349 and failed to stop at the stop sign, Harden said, before turning south onto 349.
     At this point, Harden said, the lead deputy attempted to put the patrol car beside Odom’s vehicle in an effort to stop Odom. It was at this point, Harden said, where and when Odom swerved his vehicle toward the deputy’s patrol vehicle.
     The deputy performed a Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT) maneuver on Odom’s vehicle, Harden said, thereby forcing Odom’s vehicle off of the roadway.
     Once the deputies were at Odom’s vehicle, Harden said, he continued to refuse to exit the vehicle. Deputies then physically removed him from the vehicle, Harden said, and took him to jail, where he remains with no bond under the charges he stands accused of as a result of the actions documented by the deputies.

 


Family offers $1,000 reward
for information leading
to locating missing man

Dax Dun In Inglis Florida In February of 2020 HardisonInk.com
John ‘Dax’ Dunn is seen at the Circle K in Inglis on Feb. 15, two days after leaving his home in Georgia. He likes to fish and conducted an Internet search of the Cedar Key area.

Photo Provided By LCSO

By LCSO Lt. Scott Tummond
Published March 7, 2020 at 8:10 a.m.
     LEVY COUNTY --
John Dunn disappeared from his home in Coweta County, Georgia, on Feb. 13.
     Since his disappearance he has not contacted family or friends. His last known location was at the Circle K Convenience store at the intersection of U.S. Highway 19 and Levy County Road 40 in Inglis. where Dunn used his debit card on Feb. 15 to purchase energy drinks, snack food and gasoline.
     The investigation into his disappearance by the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office revealed recent Internet search history where Dunn keyed in on the Cedar Key Area of Levy County. Dunn is an avid fisherman and it was believed he may be traveling to this area.
     No sightings of Dunn have been reported since he used his debit card in Inglis on Feb. 15.
     On March 3, an Inglis resident reported a suspicious vehicle parked in a wooded area near the boat ramp at the end of CR 40 in the western Yankeetown area. Detectives and deputies responded to this location and verified the vehicle found is owned by Dunn. An extensive search of the area by air, water and land did not locate Dunn.
     The LCSO Patrol Division and Investigations Division have been diligently searching in the Inglis and Yankeetown area for any evidence of Dunn since Feb. 15.
     The location where white pickup truck was found had been checked by deputies on Thursday, Feb. 26, and Friday, Feb. 27. Sometime after deputies checked this location on the Feb. 27, someone, possibly Dunn himself, parked the truck there and attempted to conceal it in the woods.
     No evidence of any foul play was discovered in or near his truck. The LCSO and the family of Dunn are asking for the public’s help to locate John “Dax” Dunn.
     Anyone who has information where he can be found is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 352-486-5111. The family has offered a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to Dunn. Anyone who wants to forward a tip but wishes to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 1-877-349-8477. 

 

AdDCSOLogo2016
Following are some common abbreviations:

DUI - Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Some Other Drug
DWLSR - Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
RWOV - Resisting Arrest Without Violence
Poss. - Possession
VOP - Violation of Probation
FTA - Failure to Appear
ROR - Released on their Own Recognizance
LEO - Law Enforcement Officer
YOA - Years Of Age



Suspects Arrested

March 23 Through March 29
Published March 30, 2020 at 3:10 p.m.


Dixie County Suspected Criminals HardisonInk.com

 




AdGCSOLogo2016

Following are some common abbreviations:

DUI - Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Some Other Drug
DWLSR - Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
RWOV - Resisting Arrest Without Violence
Poss. - Possession
VOP - Violation of Probation
FTA - Failure to Appear
ROR -  Release on their Own Recognizance

LEO - Law Enforcement Officer
YOA - Years Of Age



Suspects Arrested
March 23 Through March 29
Published March 30, 2020 at 3:10 p.m.

 

Gilchrist County Florida Suspected Crimonals

 




AdLCSOLogo2016

Following are some common abbreviations:

DUI - Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Some Other Drug
BUI - Boating While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Some Other Drug
DWLSR - Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
RWOV - Resisting Arrest Without Violence
Poss. - Possession
VOP - Violation of Probation
FTA - Failure to Appear
ROR - Released On their Own Recognizance
LEO - Law Enforcement Officer
YOA - Years Of Age



Suspects Arrested
March 23 Through March 29
Published March 30, 2020 at 3:10 p.m.

 

Levy County Suspected Criminals HardisonInk.com

 

--UPDATED--
WEDNESDAY  APRIL 1  8:10 a.m.
Levy, Dixie and Gilchrist counties




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Here, Goldy the cat Hardison
plays dead - he signature trick.
Cat training and video
By Jeff M. Hardison
© 2012-2019 All Rights Reserved





Here Inky the cat Hardison performs three Olympic jumps to rival the athletes in Brazil in 2016. Wait for it -- JUMP!
Cat training and video
By Jeff M. Hardison
© 2011-2019 All Rights Reserved



LCSO Most Wanted Published on HardisonInk.com
The people shown above are the most wanted currently by the Levy County Sheriff's Office.
Published March 23, 2020 at 4
:10 p.m.

 


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