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Best of Longboat Key Cops Corner, 2021

It’s been another wacky year on the streets of Longboat Key. Just have a look.

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  • | 1:30 p.m. December 28, 2021
  • Longboat Key
  • Cops Corner
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Raccoons, snakes, dogs and other unruly beasts appear often in Cops Corner. Why? Well, in many cases the official reports involving four-legged or slithery creatures amuse us more than an anonymous report of two children riding bicycles past a home more than twice in 20 minutes ("they're up to no good, I tell you"). So, if you see an oversized sample of wild animals in the Best of Cops Corner 2021, don't think it's because the island has been overrun by the natural world. We enjoy a good chuckle as much as you do.  

Jan. 1

Happy New Year

9 a.m., 800  block of Marbury Lane

Citizen dispute: The driver of a vehicle called police to report an encounter with a resident following an attempt the previous day to turn around on a driveway. The driver reported a resident began yelling at him when he began the maneuver. Another person soon joined the first and also yelled and slapped at the windows of the vehicle. The driver said the street was narrow and turning around took several attempts.

Jan. 11

Fishing break

1:26 p.m., 2200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious incident: The property manager of a condominium community called police to relay a resident’s report of someone relieving themselves in beachside shrubbery. An officer met with a person answering the description, who admitted he had urinated in the landscaping and that he was sorry.  The officer also noted alcoholic beverages in cupholders of the fishing chairs used by the man and another. The officer reminded them that alcohol is never allowed on town beaches.

Jan. 16

Where did it go?

12:27 p.m., 220 Sands Point Road

Citizen assist: A caller to police sought to report a lost phone. The caller said it was possible the phone had been stolen from a resort pool area, and that tracking software pinpointed its location to an address in Sarasota. Police checked on the address indicating the phone’s location and learned it was the resort’s laundry service. The resort made arrangements to have the phone retrieved.

Jan. 18

Calling Mr. Clean . . .

12:51 p.m., 4000 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Public assistance: A visitor to a town park called police to notify them of the unsatisfactory state of a bathroom there. An officer investigated, determined the mess was likely not intentional and placed yellow caution tape at the bathroom door to prevent others from entering. Public Works was notified.

 Jan. 22

Musical chairs

1:46 p.m., 5600 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Citizen dispute: A beachgoer called police to report someone had moved her beach chairs. While an officer spoke with the caller, a man walked up and said he had moved them because he believed they were on his property. The officer explained the sand below the high-tide mark is public. The officer told the man not to touch the chair after the man said he would research beach boundary issues.

 March 17

Rain on the parade

4:23 p.m., Russell Street

Citizen dispute: A caller who did not wish to meet with police called the agency with a complaint about 15 bicyclists, three golf carts and a number of people dressed in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. The officer reported no violations and asked the parade participants to be mindful of blocking traffic.

March 27

Free ride

2:36 a.m., 1200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious person: While on patrol, an officer stopped to talk with a man sitting by the side of the road. The man said he had just gotten off work and was waiting for a bus, though bus service wouldn't be available for hours. A background check indicated no active warrants but the man was a registered sex offender. The officer activated his in-car camera and gave the man a ride to the mainland.

March 30

Oh, Scooter!

8:23 a.m., 500 block of Bay Isles Parkway

Animal complaint: An officer responding to a report of a dog loose in a retail shopping plaza found the dog, but the canine continued to run away from his attempts to catch it, eventually running to the adjacent golf course. With the help of a concerned citizen, the two monitored the dog’s movements and kept it from running away. About 20 minutes later, Scooter’s owner arrived and retrieved the pet.

April 6

"Tell him hi for me"

9:28 a.m., 500 block of Russell Street 

Welfare check: Police were asked to check on the welfare of a resident who hadn't been heard from in a while. An officer sent to the home learned the resident was healthy and in no danger. The officer advised the resident about the call about her well-being, to which she responded "Oh, that's my ex-husband. Tell him hi for me.''

April 9


10:37 p.m., 700 block of St. Judes Drive

Citizen dispute: Police came to a neighborhood to learn more about a dispute between a driver and a pedestrian. No crime was committed, and no injuries were reported. Police learned that a driver turned from Gulf of Mexico Drive and slowed to nearly a stop to allow a pedestrian cross. Words and a peace sign were exchanged. The driver said the pedestrian followed him where more words were exchanged. Before the pedestrian left, the driver told the pedestrian to calm down, but no threats were delivered. The pedestrian said he believed the driver had turned off GMD too quickly. Both parties were told to stay away from each other.

April 28

Oooh, la-la

5:18 p.m., 3400 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Citizen assist: A report of a topless woman sunbathing prompted police to respond to the beach. An officer found a man and woman from overseas, clothed properly, sunbathing. The pair was advised of the complaint and told nudity is not permitted.

May 12

Weeding out the facts

8:03 p.m., 3800 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Citizen dispute: A caller to police complained that a neighbor’s use of medical marijuana was affecting a chronic medical condition and that something needed to be done. The neighbor denied using medical marijuana in the residential unit. Both were told to take the matter up with property management.

May 16

Order on the court

8:43 a.m., 4000 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Citizen dispute: Police were called to a park over a dispute involving tennis courts. A player wished to use a court with a backboard to practice but was unsuccessful in asking a group already on that court to move because of wind issues. Police explained the courts were for public access and were on a first-come, first-served system.

May 27


8:47 p.m., 2600 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Animal call: Staff of a residential complex called police about an unwanted raccoon on the premises. An officer sent to the call reported seeing the animal climbing up and down a tree and jumping back and forth to different levels of nearby scaffolding. The raccoon did not appear aggressive and was reported to be keeping to itself. The staff was advised to possibly seek assistance from Sarasota County Animal Control or a private trapping company.

June 3

What shell we do?

2:06 p.m., 700 block of Dream Island Road

Animal complaint: A caller was concerned about a gopher tortoise that had arrived at his front door. The responding officer carried the animal to a patch of trees and released it, relieving the resident.

June 5

They know their trees

12:05 p.m., 700 block of Marbury Lane

Suspicious incident: A caller suspecting a landscaping crew of damaging protected mangrove trees called police. An officer spoke to the crew and learned their job was to clear invasive Brazilian pepper trees from the future site of a seawall. The officer and a supervisor confirmed the trees were indeed the invasive species, not the protected mangroves. The caller was informed of the police’s findings.

June 18

Mouse, not a man

1:06 a.m., 600 block of Dream Island Road

Suspicious incident: Police responded to a home on an initial report of someone inside the occupied dwelling. Once an officer arrived, he learned it was a mouse, not a human intruder. The officer looked around but saw no mouse, but recommended the resident keep the lights on and contact an exterminator.

June 19

Namaste, just not here

1:07 p.m., 100 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Citizen assist: Police spoke to a yoga instructor at a town park about the rules governing businesses operating on beaches and in parks. The instructor said she had cleared it with a state agency, though the officer said local rules apply. She said she was not aware of the rules and would pack up and leave. She was provided a list of contacts with the town.

June 22

Case clothed

3:46 p.m., 500 block of Bay Isles Road

Suspicious person: Acting on a report of a person changing clothing in a parking lot, police spoke to a couple in a car from out of town. One of them conceded they had changed clothes in the back seat of their small sedan. No criminal wants or warrants were found.

July 11

Arrrr, matey!

10:53 a.m., 6700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious incident: A beachfront resident reported to police finding a black chest buried in the sand about 20 yards into the surf. Several people tried to dig the 2½-foot long by 2 feet wide chest but none were successful. Police reported not seeing the chest in the higher tide. The caller said he would re-establish contact with police if the chest could be seen in lower tide.  

July 19

Fiddling on the roof

3 p.m., 2600 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Animal complaint: A caller to police sought help in removing a raccoon that had been on the roof of a vacation resort for some time, frightening some of the guests. A Sarasota County animal control officer retrieved the animal and set it free in some nearby woods. 

July 30

Computers can fly

4:05 p.m., police headquarters

Found property: Police found the owner of a computer case that had been found by the side of the road. A witness said they saw the case fly off the roof of a passing car. It was recovered before it could be run over. A police employee tracked the owner through papers found in the bag, who said he feared it might have been left on the roof of his car and was lost. The owner came to the police department to recover it.

Let sleeping raccoons be

11 p.m., 5300 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Animal call: The operator of a restaurant called police concerned that a raccoon found sleeping on top of a garbage can was sick. The animal was not showing signs of being aggressive, and the restaurant operator left some food for it. The officer said it was probably best to let the raccoon continue sleeping but told the restaurant operator to call animal control officers if it was still there when morning patrons began to arrive.

Aug. 14

Flying nuisance

1:08 p.m., 3700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious incident: A caller to the police department, who did not wish to be identified, told a supervisor about a remote-controlled drone that flew near her while she was paddleboarding in Sarasota Bay. The caller said the flying machine came close enough that she could have hit it with her paddle, but didn’t. She said the drone flew back toward the shore after she yelled at it. Police checked the area and found no drones or drone operators nearby.

Sept. 2

'Tourist' spoken here

12:14 p.m., police headquarters

Found property: An out of town visitor arrived at the police department with a drivers license which she said was found “on the beach, near Benihana.“ A police department employee deduced that the visitor, who was pointing north, meant she found the license near a landmark oceanfront property with a Polynesian-sounding name, not near a famed Japanese steakhouse location. The police department employee sent word to the license’s owner that the document was behind held for safe-keeping at the police department.  

Sept. 10

Not exactly applying time

10:57 p.m., 200 block of Sands Point Road

Suspicious persons: Security personnel called police for assistance in helping a man and woman from out of town leave the property. There was no problem, but rather the woman had arrived minutes earlier in a ride-sharing car ready to apply for a job at the resort. An officer who responded suggested an hour before midnight might not be the optimal time for such a business engagement. Both the man and woman were given a ride to the property’s main gate, where they were able to catch a new ride. Police routinely checked the couple for wants or warrants and found none.

Sept. 17

Liquid sunshine

8:39 a.m., 4300 block of Exeter Drive

Citizen assist:  A group  called police amid a rainstorm and said they were caught in the downpour and requested a ride home. Upon an officer’s arrival, the group said they had arranged for a friend to collect them.

Oct. 6

Tree tempers

8:33 a.m., 600 block of Cedar Street

Citizen dispute: A dispute over a tree prompted police to sort out the situation. A resident had been cutting down a tree on his own property when a neighbor said something about it, which drew a profane retort. The neighbor called police to file a report, though officers said no crime had taken place.

Oct. 8

A window in time

8:30 a.m., 300 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Citizen dispute: A difference of opinion over the replacement of a condominium window prompted a call to police but no immediate resolution. A maintenance supervisor called police because he said he was denied entry into an owner’s unit to perform scheduled work. A representative for the owner said the work permits for the job were not in order and that the owners would not consent to the work until the paperwork was done correctly.  

Nov. 16


8:20 p.m., 4200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Animal complaint: A pair of police officers were able to coax a three-foot long black and orange snake from a resident’s closet and out the front door of her home. The reptile was last seen disappearing into a bush unharmed.

Nov. 17

Floridian, no longer

8:56 p.m., 0 block of Twin Shores Boulevard

Citizen dispute: A dispute involving a new tenant and a community’s approval process for renters resulted in a man from out of state telling police he was heading back back home. An officer responding to a civil disturbance was told a tenant was moving in without community committee approval. The tenant, who had not yet unpacked, said his Realtor had handled the transaction and he was not aware of the details. The owner of the property said the tenant’s Realtor had not followed the proper steps. The would-be tenant gave the keys back to the owner and said he was returning home to New England.

Nov. 21

Flagpole advice

11:16 a.m., 0 block of Lighthouse Point Drive

Citizen assist: Police went to a residence in connection with a citizen-assistance call over a malfunctioning flag pole. The caller said he was having difficulty with the flag pole’s pulley system and needed an extension ladder to reach 35 feet into the air. The officer replied the police department has no such gear and that the prudent thing to do would be to safely disassemble the mechanism from the ground, as it was permanently installed alongside a boat dock.


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