Boating Safety Inspection Day Saturday, May 27, 2017

SARASOTA, FL. – May 22, 2017   – 4 p.m.

On Saturday, May 27, 2017 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., the Sarasota Police Department and the Civilian Volunteer Marine Program will partner with the United States Coast Guard Flotilla 84 and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission for an Interagency Boating Safety Inspection Day at Centennial Park, 1059 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (also known as the 10th Street Boat Ramp).

“According to the United States Coast Guard, each year, hundreds of lives are lost, thousands are injured and millions of dollars in property damage happens because of preventable recreational boating accidents on our waterways. The Sarasota Police Department wants to make sure everyone has a safe boating season,” said Sergeant Bruce King, Sarasota Police Department.

Families enjoying the Memorial Day weekend may head out for a day on a boat that has seen very little use during the winter. In the excitement of the holiday weekend, safety equipment checks are often overlooked. Families may later find themselves without the necessary equipment in an emergency or be upset when they are cited for violations for local law enforcement.

A boating safety public service announcement from the Sarasota Police Department Marine Patrol Unit can be seen at https://youtu.be/sQimT7mlib4

 

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Memorial Day Parade Road Closures & Holiday Safety Reminders

SARASOTA, FL. – May 22, 2017   – 8:30 a.m.

The Memorial Day Parade will be held on Monday, May 29, 2017 starting at 10 a.m. at Main Street and Osprey Avenue in Sarasota.  There will be several tow away zones and street closure notices that will be in place for the following times:

Monday, May 29, 2017 Street Closures:

·       6 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Gulfstream Avenue closed from Cocoanut Avenue to McAnsh Sq.

·       8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Main Street closed from Links Avenue to Gulfstream Avenue

·       8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Links Avenue closed from 1st Street to Ringling Boulevard

·       8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Osprey Avenue closed from 1st Street to Ringling Boulevard

Vehicles not removed by the posted time will be towed at the owner’s expense.  For information on towed vehicles, please contact Upman’s Towing at 941-365-7084.

The Memorial Day holiday begins on Friday.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Admiration, from 2010 to 2014, more than half of passenger vehicle occupants killed weren’t wearing seat belts.  The Sarasota Police Department is reminding all drivers to slow down, buckle up and drive safely.  In Florida, all motorists are required to wear a seat belt when riding in the front seat and passengers under the age of 18 must use proper seat restraints.  When traveling, Officers ask the public to remember these safety tips:

·       Reduce your speed.  More speeding-related fatalities happen during the summer months than any other time of the year.

·       Refrain from using cell phones or devices when driving.

·       Designate a sober driver or take alternate transportation if you consume alcohol.

·       Drive defensively and exercise caution, especially during bad weather.

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Sarasota Police to Reenact DUI Crash for Booker High School Students

SARASOTA, Fla. -- May 18, 2017 -- 9 a.m.

Today, Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 1 p.m., Booker High School students will witness first-hand the dangers of drinking and driving.  It’s part of a program known as “Every 15 Minutes,” a reconstructed crash as a result of driving under the influence (DUI).  The program is based on the 1980’s statistic that every 15 minutes someone was killed in an alcohol-related incident.

A reconstructed DUI crash scene will be set outside Booker High School, 3201 Orange Avenue, Sarasota.  Two mangled vehicles will be brought to the front of school.  Students, who will be playing the role of the “victims,” will be taken out of class by a grim reaper and will then be positioned inside the vehicles as part of the reconstruction.  Sarasota Police Officers and Sarasota County Fire and EMS will respond and work together to “rescue” the “victims.”  A hearse from Toale Brothers will also arrive on scene to transport a “victim” who is “killed” in the crash.   

Booker High School’s prom is being held on Saturday.  The goal of the program is to encourage students to think about safety when alcohol is involved with driving and how choices can have a lasting effect and impact on friends and family.  In 2015, according to the Florida Department Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, alcohol was suspected in 16,400 crashes in the State of Florida.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, about one in three traffic deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver. 

Tomorrow, Friday, May 19, 2018 at 8 a.m., an assembly will be held at the Booker High School gymnasium to share the outcome of the “crash” with the entire student body.  A video presentation highlighting the crash, arrest, hospital transport, funeral arraignments will be shown and several people will speak with students about the consequences of drinking and driving.  The video presentation will be shared with students throughout Sarasota County before the end of the school year.

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Media is invited and welcome to today’s event and Friday’s event  

Man charged with False Imprisonment & Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon

SARASOTA, FL. – May 17, 2017   – 8 a.m.

Lamar Morris, 29, has been charged with false imprisonment and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after he threatened, tied up and beat another man with knives and chains.

On May 12, 2017, Officers responded to the 2000 block of Mabel Long Way in reference to a report of a robbery.  The victim told Officers he was walking in the area of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and Dixie Avenue when Morris called him over.  The victim and Morris are acquaintances.  Morris asked the victim, “where’s my stuff at?” 

Morris escorted the victim to a shed area in the 2500 block of Dixie Avenue.  Once inside, the victim told Officers Morris became more persistent about “where’s my stuff” and told the victim he “was not going anywhere until his stuff comes up or his homeboy comes here.  Otherwise you are going to die.”

During the encounter, the victim told Officers, Morris placed knives and a dog chain on a table in the shed.  A short time later, two other individuals entered the shed.  The victim told Officers, Morris secured his hands behind his back with the chain and wrapped the chain around his neck to a point where he could not breathe.  During the events, Morris was swinging the chain and striking Evans with it.

Out of fear, the victim lied to Morris about “where his stuff” was.  Morris left while another individual kept an eye on the victim.  The victim was able to free himself and run for the door.  In the process, the individual watching him struck him with a machete but did not cause any injury.  The victim escaped, ran northbound on Dixie Avenue, ran to a home nearby and called 911. 

When Officers responded to the scene, Morris was still at the location, was arrested and booked into the Sarasota County Jail.  He has since bonded out.  Additional charges are pending for the individuals who assisted Morris.

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Lamar Morris, 29

Man arrested for Aggravated Animal Cruelty

SARASOTA, FL. -- May 16, 2017 -- 8 a.m.

On Saturday, May 13, 2017 at approximately 7:45 a.m., Sarasota Police Officers responded to 1156 32nd Street, Sarasota, in reference to a subject kicking a puppy.  When Officers arrived, they observed a large group gathered in front of the location yelling at Toddrick Leverett, age 36.

Witnesses told Officers they saw Leverett arrive at the home and begin kicking the puppy in the front yard at approximately 7:30 a.m.  Witnesses also told Officers they saw Leverett grab the back of the puppy’s neck and drag it through the dirt.  Witnesses said the puppy was chained to a tree and was desperately trying to get away. 

The puppy is a 6 month old black and white female pit bull, weighing approximately 25 pounds.  The puppy appeared very frightened but was very friendly towards Officers.  The puppy sustained a broken left rear leg from the incident.  Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services arrived and took custody of the puppy.  According to Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services, the puppy is currently at an emergency vet clinic.

When Officers spoke with Leverett, he said the dog tried to attack him and he defended himself by kicking the animal.  Leverett had small bleeding on his fingers and right elbow but none of the marks were consistent with dog bites.  Officers could smell a heavy odor of alcohol coming from Leverett’s breath and observed slurred speech.

Leverett was arrested and charged with Aggravated Animal Cruelty.  There are no photos available of the puppy but a booking photo of Leverett is attached.

Toddrick Leverett, age 36

Toddrick Leverett, age 36

UPDATE: Attempt to Locate Occupied Burglary Suspect

SARASOTA, FL -- May 15, 2017 -- 11 a.m.

UPDATE: Attempt to Locate Occupied Burglary Suspect

Detectives with the Sarasota Police Department arrested Devon Evans, 27, on Friday, May 12, 2017 at 4:25 a.m. while he was asleep in a van in the area of 29th Street and Dixie Avenue in Sarasota.  Detectives were tipped off by an anonymous person who called detectives when they spotted Evans in a van.

Evans has been charged with one count of occupied burglary, a felony.  He's being held at the Sarasota County Jail on no bond.  The original news release is below with additional information.  Thank you to everyone who shared this information & helped us get the word out!

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Friday, May 05, 2017 1:45 PM

Subject: Attempt to Locate Occupied Burglary Suspect

Detectives with the Sarasota Police Department are asking for the public's help in locating a suspect who was involved in an occupied burglary that occurred on April 24, 2017.  Devon Evans, 27, is known to frequent the area of 11th Street and Cocoanut Avenue in Sarasota.

In the early morning hours of April 24, 2017, Evans forcibly entered a home in the 1000 block of Cocoanut Avenue, Sarasota, and removed various items of value.  The victims were not injured and were asleep at the time of the burglary.

Anyone with information on this case, please call Detective Anthony DeFrancisco at 941-954-7049 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online 

A photo of Evans is attached.

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