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Cops Corner
Longboat Key Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020 2 months ago

Best of Longboat Key Cops Corner: 2020

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A look back at a year of protecting, serving.
by: Eric Garwood Managing Editor

Jan. 4

Driving while discussing

10:30 p.m., 2500 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Traffic: Shortly after receiving a call about a car driving 17 mph below the speed limit while weaving within its own lane, an officer spotted the vehicle driving south. Once stopped, the driver did not appear impaired and denied drinking or using drugs, instead attributing the unusual driving to a heated discussion with a spouse on the phone. The driver was released with an admonition to not drive while arguing.

Jan. 7

Buoy, that happens a lot

8:08 p.m., 7200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Rescue:  Fishermen on the Longboat Pass bridge reported a flashing light as if a boat were signaling distress. A navigational buoy equipped with a flashing light has been similarly misidentified in the past, the officer reported.

Feb. 15

Hungry, but suspicious

6:22 a.m., 6800 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious person: A patron of a business in a shopping center called police to report a man sitting on a bench, peering inside the window of a closed café. When an officer arrived to speak to the man on the bench, he said he believed the café opened at 6 a.m. but was wrong and was waiting for the business to open.

March 14

One tree spill

6:59 a.m., 5300 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Public service: An officer responded to a call about a toppled tree that blocked the exit to a private community. A resident sought help from police in removing the tree to facilitate the beginning of a 12-hour driving trip. The officer explained the tree was on private property and would have to be handled by property management. Management was notified.

March 21

It’s toilet paper, people

8:19 a.m., 500 block of Bay Isles Parkway

Disturbance: The manager of a grocery store called police to report a disturbance over the purchase of toilet paper. The manager said a customer arrived, cut in front of a line to enter the store and grabbed a package of toilet paper. Another customer took exception to this and took the package from the first customer’s cart, paid for it and left. The first customer became angry and argued with the second customer and the manager. The officer calmed everyone down, and the first customer was allowed to resume shopping.

April 6

Dog shopping day

11:30 a.m., 500 block of Bay Isles Parkway

Animal: Police helped reconnect a dog and owner after the golden retriever was reported walking around a shopping center. The owner, who had been shopping inside, said the car window must have been opened far enough for the dog to jump out.

April 21

A tradition like no other

1:24 p.m., 3800 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Public service: A beachfront resident was concerned about a group gathered on the beach and called police. An officer determined a group of about eight people were playing beach golf and maintaining social distance. A group of about six other people who were watching the activity were also maintaining proper distances.

May 2

Snakes alive!

4:37 p.m., 300 block of North Shore Road

Fire: Police and fire-rescue units were sent to the scene of a small brush fire after a resident tried to burn some vegetation out of fear it was a habitat for snakes. When the fire spread, the resident called 911. No property was damaged.

May 16

Catchin’ some ZZZZs

12:14 a.m., 4700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Rescue: Following a report of an unconscious man in a car, police and fire-rescue units arrived and immediately began to render aid. The man, a guest of the resort at which the car was parked, told first responders he had simply fallen asleep in his mother’s car. Fire-rescue medically cleared the man, and police confirmed he was indeed a guest.

June 3

Stolen, not stolen

1:27 p.m., 5600 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious incident: A resident called police to report her kayak stolen. In the course of the officer’s investigation, a neighbor reminded the caller that he had borrowed it and had replaced it in the proper location. The caller then apologized for the mix-up and asked her neighbor to let her know when he borrows the kayak in the future.

June 12

Maybe a bottle, instead?

9:08 p.m., 5700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious incident: Police received a call from a woman who complained about receiving three phone calls from another person who accused her of drinking pool water through a bendy straw. Police attempts to reach the caller to the woman were unsuccessful.

June 14

Out for a ride

9:38 a.m., 600 block of Putter Lane

Suspicious activity: A resident called police to report a pickup truck with a dog in the backseat, driving slowly through their neighborhood. An officer stopped a similar looking vehicle and learned the driver was a town resident who was taking his dog for a ride around the island.

June 20

Weeee!

6:52 p.m., 7100 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Trespassing: No crime was determined to have been committed following police investigation of a report of a man urinating in a parking lot. A caller said the man had used the doors of his car to conceal himself, then headed to the beach nearby. Police got a description of the man, learned his identity from the car's license number and eventually found him returning. The man said he had been forced to stop on the Longboat Pass drawbridge for an extended period, and anxiously thought the management office at  the building at which he parked would have public facilities. He was incorrect. He said he apologized to the person who called police. Officers determined the incident did not meet the criteria of a serious crime, and officers did not witness the lesser offenses taking place.

June 30

Oh, Longboat

1:56 p.m., 600 Cedars Court

Property damage: About $1,500 to $2,000 damage was done to an unoccupied car when it was struck by a runaway golf cart. Police said an employee was unloading sacks of tennis-court clay from the cart when one of them fell on the accelerator, which prompted the cart to surge ahead and hit the car’s rear bumper and quarter panel. There were no injuries.

July 22

Duck, duck, rescue

6:21 p.m., 7000 block of Seabreeze Avenue

Rescue: Police and fire rescue units were called to the beach regarding a pair of swimmers on inflatable duck floats having trouble getting back to shore. The officer directed fire rescue toward the stricken swimmers, but they were able to reach the sand on their own. No injuries were reported.

July 23

To serve and protect

1:28 p.m., North Shore Road

Public service: While parked on the west end of North Shore Road, a police officer watched as a family with a small infant walked off the beach as a storm approached. Their car was parked across the bridge in Bradenton Beach, so the officer gave them a ride to their vehicle.

Aug. 22

What happens on Longboat . . .

5:23 p.m., 4200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious people: Police issued a trespassing order to a couple who were reportedly acting inappropriately at a resort swimming pool. When police arrived and spoke to a resort employee, the officer was told the couple had left the pool area for the beach and that they were no longer welcome. One of the two apologized for the behavior and the other said their vehicle was still on the property. Police allowed them to retrieve their vehicle but were otherwise banned.

Sept. 22

Not welcome

11:36 a.m., 2000 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious incident: The manager of a condominium complex called police upon the discovery of evidence a person had been living in an unlocked equipment room for some time. Food and drinks were left behind, along with rope apparently used to make sure the door couldn’t be opened. Police said they would keep an eye on the location, and the manager requested to be notified if a person is found. Police also advised a lock be installed on the door.

Sept. 25

That was some knock

11:52 a..m., 100 block of Sands Point Road

Suspicious incident: A U.S. Census worker called police to report an open door. The worker said when he knocked on a door, it swung open. Without entering, the worker called police, who checked the residence and found everything in order. Community security said a representative would alert the owners.

Oct. 9

Misunderstanding: Delivered

7:40 p.m., 500 block of Yawl Lane

Suspicious incident: Police responded to a call following a resident’s report that someone unexpected had knocked on the door and said “open the door.’’ On the way to the address, the responding officer was asked to disregard the call because the resident had misunderstood the person at the door. It was a parcel delivery service driver who had knocked and identified his company.

Oct. 14

Stop the steal

4:02 p.m., 600 block of Cedar Street

Suspicious incident: A caller sought police help in investigating the disappearance of political yard signs. The signs had actually been removed by the town’s Code Enforcement officer.

Oct. 18

Unusual find

6:15 p.m., 3700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious incident: Following a search of a rental car for a missing cell phone, a visitor to town discovered a small-caliber pistol lodged between the seats. The caller told police she had rented the vehicle from a national chain and when she arrived in Longboat Key, she couldn’t find her cell phone. When she discovered the weapon instead, she alerted the rental company and called police. Officers took possession of the gun but had no immediate success in connecting it with an owner.

Nov. 7

The long way home

8:48 p.m., 1700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious vehicle: An officer stopped to learn more about why a car was parked on the side of the road with emergency flashers activated. The man inside said he and his spouse had a non-violent argument and the spouse had gotten out to walk home. An officer spoke to the spouse who confirmed the story and expressed an interest in getting back into the car.

Nov. 24

Not cool in the pool

5:14 p.m., 700 block of Penfield St.

Animal call: Residents called police to report a four-foot snake in their swimming pool. An officer netted the snake and released it into a grassy area nearby.

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