Sarasota Police to host Coffee with a Cop April 4, 2017

SARASOTA, Fla. -- March 27, 2017 -- 11:30 a.m.

On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, from 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m., the Sarasota Police Department will host Coffee with a Cop at Buddy Brew Coffee, 1289 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota.  Members of the public and media are invited. 

Officers and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships and drink coffee.  Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the Sarasota Police Department’s work in the City of Sarasota’s neighborhoods.

The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies or emotional situations.  Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community and some community members may feel that Officers are unapproachable on the street.  Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.  Similar events are being held across the county, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.   The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.  The Sarasota Police Department began holding Coffee with a Cop events in February 2014.

Attempt to Identify Burglary Suspect

SARASOTA, Fla. -- March 24, 2017 -- 3:30 p.m.

Detectives with the Sarasota Police Department are attempting to identify a burglary suspect who walked into a local business and stole a cell phone and a backpack from inside an office. 

At approximately 11 a.m. on March 14, 2017, the suspect entered the office at Florida Classic Car Storage, 1195 Central Avenue, Sarasota, took the backpack and cell phone from inside an office and left the area on foot.

Video of the suspect can be seen on the Sarasota Police Department YouTube page at

The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 25 years old, 5'10", 175 lbs, short hair and was last seen wearing a red short sleeved shirt, dark pants, sunglasses and black and white sneakers.

Anyone with information on this case, please call Detective Darrell Nixon at 941-954-7078 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at


Students charged after firearm located on school bus

SARASOTA, Fla. -- March 24, 2017 -- 10:45 a.m.

At approximately 3pm on Thursday, March 23, 2017, two male juvenile students from Booker Middle School were found in possession of a firearm.  In total, there were three students involved and charged.

The school bus was at North Lockwood Ridge and Jolson Drive in Sarasota when the firearm, a .38 caliber revolver, was recovered.  The revolver was unloaded when Sarasota Police Detectives took possession of it.  No students were injured and it was determined there was no further danger to the students or to the public.

All three students from Booker Middle School, who are all males, have each been charged.  One male is 13 years old and the other two males are 14 years old.

The three juveniles and one adult have also been charged in connection with three residential burglaries and one vehicle burglary that occurred in the 400 block of Signal Pointe Circle, Sarasota, on March 15, 2017.  This is the Bella Sol Apartments.  Two revolvers, including the one found on the school bus, were determined to have been stolen during one of the residential burglaries at the Bella Sol Apartments.  

Through investigation, a fourth juvenile, 14 years old, had taken possession of the revolver and had it while at school.

Charges are as follow:


Juan A. Hernandez, 18, DOB 1/27/1999, 2200 block of Goldenrod Street, Sarasota:


  • 3 counts of armed burglary to an occupied dwelling




One of the 14 year old males:

  • 1 count of armed burglary to an occupied dwelling.


  • 2 counts of unarmed burglary to a unoccupied dwelling.




One of the 14 year old males (student at Booker Middle)

  • 1 count of principal to armed burglary of an occupied dwelling.


  • 1 count of vehicle burglary, unoccupied


  • 1 count of possession of a firearm on school property.




One of the 14 year old males (student at Booker Middle School)

  • 1 count of possession of a firearm on school property.




13 year old male (student at Booker Middle School):

  • 1 count of principal to armed burglary of an occupied dwelling.


  • 1 count of possession of a firearm on school property.



Sarasota Police Swearing-In & Promotional Ceremony Friday, March 17, 2017

SARASOTA, FL. – March 14, 2017   – 1 p.m.

On Friday, March 17, 2017, Chief Bernadette DiPino will hold a swearing-in and promotional ceremony.  The ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. in the 3rd Floor Training Room of the Sarasota Police Department, 2099 Adams Lane, Sarasota.  Six Officers will be sworn-in and one Officer will be promoted.  Family, friends, community members and media are welcome to attend.

The following Officers will join the Sarasota Police Department as 2nd Class Probation:

·       Officer Michael Dreznin

·       Officer Jenna Harper

·       Officer Ryan Howell

·       Officer Nakoda Mercer

·       Officer Molly Spencer

·       Officer Aaron Stoll

The following Officer will be promoted to Sergeant:

·       Officer Andrew Combs


Lane closures for First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay Sunday, March 19, 2017

SARASOTA, FLA. -- March 14, 2017 -- 8:30 a.m.

The First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon and Relay will be held on Sunday, March 19, 2017.  Race day packet pickup begins at 5:30 a.m. with the race beginning at 6:45 a.m.  The race is scheduled to end at 11 a.m. 

The start and finish line is at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.  Due to the race participants sharing the roadway along the race route, there will be temporary lane closures at the following locations:

  • Southbound US 41 from University Park to Gulfstream Avenue
  • Westbound University Parkway at US 41
  • Gulfstream Avenue/ John Ringling Blvd at US 41
  • Westbound John Ringling Blvd from US 41 to St. Armands Circle
  • Eastbound John Ringling Blvd from St. Armands Circle to Bayfront Drive
  • Southbound US 41 and Gulfstream Avenue (Beach traffic will be directed into one lane for Westbound turns)
  • Northbound US 41 and Gulfstream Avenue (One lane for beach traffic, second turn lane will be closed. Both Northbound US 41 lanes will remain open)
  • Southbound John Ringling Parkway will be detoured around St. Armands Circle

Boaters planning to use the 10th Street Boat Ramp on Sunday may wish to use the Ken Thompson Parkway boat launch due to the race traffic. 

Drivers, residents and spectators are asked to have patience before, during and after the race with temporary lane closures.  Drivers are urged to use caution during the event.  Drivers can expect delays due to temporary lane closures and the increase of traffic volume during the late morning hours. 

Neighborhoods affected by the race cause are being asked to plan accordingly.  Sarasota Police Officers and Volunteers will be posted along the route to assist motorists and residents in congested areas and to ensure the safety of the Half Marathon participants. 

Five men arrested in undercover operation targeting prostitution

SARASOTA, FL. – March 13, 2017   – 8:30 a.m.

On Thursday, March 9, 2017, members of the Sarasota Police Department Street Crimes Unit, with the assistance of the Narcotics Unit and Patrol Division, conducted an undercover prostitution operation targeting individuals soliciting prostitutes.

The operation was conducted in the 4200 block of North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.  Five (5) men were arrested and charged with Solicitation of Prostitution.  Three vehicles were seized under City Code 33-271.

Eugene Goode, 73
4760 Royal Dornoch Circle, Bradenton, FL
Charge:  Solicitation of Prostitution  

Eugene Goode

Eugene Goode

Frank Myslinksi, 67
7706 Audry Lane, Ellenton, FL
Charge:  Solicitation of Prostitution  

Frank Myslinksi

Frank Myslinksi

Jeret Bennett, 29
11171 MJ Road, Myakka City, FL
Charge:  Solicitation of Prostitution  

Jeret Bennett

Jeret Bennett

Montel Jackson, 20
3233 Dunbar Drive, Sarasota, FL
Charge:  Solicitation of Prostitution  

Montel Jackson

Montel Jackson

Richard Downey, 58
2402 Cleveland Road, Sebring, FL
Charge:  Solicitation of Prostitution  

Richard Downey

Richard Downey