CASE UPDATE: Sarasota Police Arrest Man for Armed Home Invasion & Armed Sexual Battery

SARASOTA, Fla. -- April 29, 2016 -- 1 p.m.

This morning, Herbert Earl Stilley, III, was found guilty on charges of Sexual Battery and Robbery in connection to a case in February 2015.  Stilley was arrested in May 2015 by Sarasota Police Department Detectives after they received DNA evidence linking Stilley to the crime.  The original charges were Armed Home Invasion and Armed Sexual Battery. 

“This conviction is a direct result of the diligent and thorough investigation conducted by Sarasota Police Department Detectives Kim Laster and Steve McDowell.  They did an excellent job,” said Sergeant Johnathan Todd, Criminal Investigations Division.

A sentencing date for Stilley has not been set.  The news release from May 2015 is below.

MAY 21, 2015

On Wednesday, Herbert Earl Stilley, III, 27, of Sarasota, was arrested and taken into custody in the 2100 block of Dixie Avenue in Sarasota.  Stilley was wanted on charges of Felony Armed Home Invasion and Felony Armed Sexual Battery in connection to an incident that occurred in February 2015.

On February 10, 2015 at approximately 2 a.m., a female reported being the victim of an armed home invasion and armed sexual battery.  The crime happened at the victim’s home.  The victim told Officers she was sitting at home with her husband when Stilley entered her home with a small firearm and pointed the firearm at the victim’s face and demanded her phone.  Her husband was outside at the time.  Stilley then asked “Where is the money?”  Both the victim and her husband are deaf but can read lips.  The couple’s children were asleep in a nearby bedroom.

In fear for children’s safety, the victim took Stilley back to her bedroom and gave Stilley her purse.  Stilley then sexually battered the victim.  Due to Stilley having a firearm and being in fear, the victim did not resist.  Following the incident, Stilley ran out of the bedroom and was chased out of the home by the victim’s husband.

Sarasota Police Officers have been actively working on this investigation since February and based on newly received DNA evidence, a warrant was issued for Stilley’s arrest.  Stilley was arrested on Wednesday morning and charged with Felony Armed Home Invasion and Felony Armed Sexual Battery.  He remains in the Sarasota County Jail without bond.

Sarasota Police & Brookside Middle School Host Student Anti-Bullying Meeting

SARASOTA, Fla -- April 28, 2016 -- 8:30 a.m.

At Brookside Middle School, Sarasota Police School Resource Officer Todd Perna works with students twice a month to hold a KAB meeting = Kids Against Bullying.  The KAB acronym was created by Officer Perna.  On Friday, April 29, 2016 at 10:30 a.m., members of the media are invited to attend the last meeting of the school year at Brookside Middle, 3636 South Shade Avenue, Sarasota.

During KAB meetings, Officer Perna and students speak to victims and offenders of bullying and students have an opportunity to speak about the effects and consequences of bullying.  Students take an active role in combating bullying through peer counseling during the meetings.

“Our club members are the eyes and ears of the Brookside Middle School campus,” said Officer Todd Perna.  “Our club members bring any issues to the meetings for discussion and reach out to those students who are involved.  We started this club with the intent to curb the amount of bullying happening on campus and it is working.”

Students share incidents that occur on social media and on campus face to face.  Since KAB formed in January 2016, Officer Perna has seen a dramatic reduction in the amount of reported incidents on and off campus with students.

KAB has 17 student members and two adult Brookside staff members.  The team wears shirts every Friday at school with the KAB logo on them, designed by students.  The shirts identify members of KAB so other students can talk with them about bullying or any other conflicts they might have seen or heard about.  KAB is working to recruit additional members for the next school year. 

Four men arrested in undercover operation targeting prostitution

SARASOTA, Fla. -- April 27, 2016 -- 3 p.m.

On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, the Sarasota Police Department Street Crimes Unit, with the assistance of the Narcotics Unit and Patrol Division, conducted a prostitution operation targeting individuals soliciting prostitutes.  These individuals are known as “Johns.”

The operation was conducted in the 4700 block of North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.  Four (4) men were arrested and charged with Solicitation of Prostitution.  One vehicle was also seized under City Code 33-271.

Donald R. Mandel, 71 2320 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota Charge: Solicitation for Prostitution   

Donald R. Mandel, 71

2320 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota

Charge: Solicitation for Prostitution   

Humberto S. Aguirre, 22 315 60th Avenue East, Bradenton Charge:  Solicitation for Prostitution     

Humberto S. Aguirre, 22

315 60th Avenue East, Bradenton

Charge:  Solicitation for Prostitution     

David J Yoder, 61 3869 TR 162, Sugar Creek, Ohio Charge:  Solicitation for Prostitution

David J Yoder, 61
3869 TR 162, Sugar Creek, Ohio
Charge:  Solicitation for Prostitution

Garry F. McCulloch, 70 800 Ben Franklin Drive, Sarasota Charge:  Solicitation for Prostitution

Garry F. McCulloch, 70

800 Ben Franklin Drive, Sarasota

Charge:  Solicitation for Prostitution

Sarasota Police Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs Saturday

SARASOTA, Fla. -- April 27, 2016 - 11:30 a.m.

On Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Sarasota Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are partnering to give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. 

Residents and citizens are asked to bring pills for disposal to the front lobby of the Sarasota Police Department, 2099 Adams Lane, Sarasota.  (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps; only pills or patches.)  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Medicines that sit in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Other Law Enforcement Drop Off Locations in Sarasota County:
• 2071 Ringling Boulevard (Sarasota); Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office
• 2099 Adams Lane; Sarasota Police Department
• 501 College Drive; New College Police Department
• 1350 Ridgewood Avenue; Venice Police Department
• 4531 State Road 776 (Venice); Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office
• 4980 City Hall Boulevard; North Port Police Department

All locations with the exception of New College Police Department have permanent drop boxes.  Several photos of the permanent drop-box at Sarasota Police Department Headquarters are below.

Governor Scott & Volunteer Florida Present Champion of Service Award to Sarasota Police Volunteer Ambassadors

SARASOTA, Fla. -- April 27, 2016 -- 11 a.m.

On Tuesday during the meeting of the Florida Cabinet in Tallahassee, Florida Governor Rick Scott and Volunteer Florida awarded the Sarasota Police Department Volunteer Ambassadors with the Champion of Service Award.

The Champion of Service Award is the only statewide volunteer recognition award.  This honor is awarded to volunteers and organizations who go above and beyond in service to their community.  Volunteer Florida presents the Champion of Service Award at Cabinet meetings and other events across the state of Florida.

There are 70 Sarasota Police Volunteer Ambassadors in the City of Sarasota.  In the month of March, they gave an all-time department records of 1,809 hours of service.  Sarasota Police Volunteer Ambassadors help at the front desk, deliver mail, send alarm letters, handle trespass signs, track lost patients for Project Lifesaver, patrol neighborhoods, walk along Main Street, conduct citizen surveys, block intersections at parades and marathons and work major events.

“The relationship between our police department and our volunteers exemplifies the definition of partnership policing,” said Sarasota Police Deputy Chief Pat Robinson.  “They provide an additional layer of public safety in our most in-demand areas.  They enhance the ability of our police department to provide excellent public service to our community.”

“Our Volunteer Ambassadors are amazing,” said Michelle Rinaca, Sarasota Police Volunteer Coordinator.  “They volunteer for different reasons but overwhelmingly they do it because they want to find a way to show love, respect and support for the work the men and women of the Sarasota Police Department do every single day.”

“As we continue to celebrate Florida Volunteer Month in April, we are especially proud to recognize the Sarasota Downtown Ambassador Program for connecting volunteers to opportunities to serve,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman They embody service leadership at the community, school and individual level and they are using innovative ways to make volunteering easy and accessible.”


Pictured left to right:  Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Sarasota Police Volunteer Shirley Shaw, Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Rinaca, Volunteer Anne Bianchi, Sarasota Police Deputy Chief Pat Robinson, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.

Bicycle Rodeo Round-Up Saturday, April 30, 2016 at Ed Smith Stadium

SARASOTA, FL. – April 26, 2016   – 2 p.m.

The Sarasota Police Department is inviting all cowboys and cowgirls, ages 5 to 12 years old, to grab their bicycle, bicycle helmet and their parents and come on down to a free Bicycle Rodeo Round-Up hosted by the Sarasota Police Department at Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th Street, Sarasota, on Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

The Bicycle Rodeo Round-Up is an opportunity to teach cowboys and cowgirls the proper way to ride their bicycles, learn the rules of the road and the proper way to wear a helmet, use equipment and how it can all help reduce unintentional injuries by falls.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, more children ages 5 to 14 are seen in emergency rooms for injuries related to biking than any other sport.  Helmets can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by 88 percent.

All Rodeo Round-Up riders will be eligible to enter a drawing for a free bicycle.  A limited supply of bicycle helmets will be available for children who do not own a helmet or whose helmet does not fit.  For more information, contact Sarasota Police Department Crime Prevention Officer Cherie McKeon at 941-364-7345.