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Sarasota Cops Corner: Best of 2022

Some of our weekly features top items from the past year.


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  • | 5:00 a.m. December 28, 2022
  • Sarasota
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Lets face it, whether you're a cop in the South Bronx or in Sarasota there are days you're gonna just stop and smile at the world around you. 

OK, maybe fewer in the South Bronx than in Sarasota, but you get what we're saying. 

Those stop-and-smile moments are what we try to capture each week in Cops Corner, a newspaper feature that could easily adopt The Friars' Club mantra of "we kid because we love.''

Hard crime news isn't what we're about at Cops Corner. Making you smile and perhaps tipping our newsprint-folded hat at the men and women who wear a badge is (or are?). 

Here's some of 2022's best.


Settle down, people 

Dropping the hammer

7:40 p.m., Jan. 25, 1000 block of 41st Street

Police responded to a noise disturbance call and were met at the door by a man who explained that the noise was being made by his female roommate, who was using a sledge hammer. Police attempted to speak with the woman, but she refused. The man explained that the woman, who has caused disturbances before, was not a threat to herself or anyone else. It was not clear why she was using a sledge hammer.


Hammer time

2:30 a.m., Feb. 1, 0 block of South Lime Avenue

A man who had previously stolen from a coffee shop returned and poured himself a cup. After drinking the coffee he helped himself to two gingerbread sandwiches. An employee told the man to leave and that police would be called if he did not return the sandwiches or pay. The man did not comply, so the employee called police and locked the shop’s door. The man pulled out a hammer, broke a window, stepped through and ran off.


Too much sun

6 p.m., March 6, 0 block of Marina Place

An officer was rinsing a patrol boat when he was informed of a group of drunken people nearby. He went to check on the group and asked them to find a place to go. One man became angry, raising his fists to fight the officer. The officer told his friends that they needed to take him away from the area or he would have to do so. The angry man's mother was also present, who persuaded him to leave without further incident.


Pacing and panicked

11:35 p.m., March 17, 1800 block of Main Street

Police called a taxi for a man who had become angry because a previous driver refused to take him to his out-of-town home. Once the new taxi arrived, the driver refused to let the man ride up front, which again angered the man. Once the driver agreed, the man refused to ride with him.


Overstaying her welcome

5 a.m., April 17 1500 block of 31st Street

A family offered a woman to spend the night at their home to keep her from sleeping outside, but when the woman arrived, she became angry and threatened to burn the house down. The family contacted the police, who arrived and evaluated the situation. There was a dispute on whether she had to leave the residence she was initially invited to stay, but the woman willingly left the property.


Snack attack

8:23 p.m. July 11, 1400 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way

Responding to a complaint about an unruly customer, officers arrived to find a customer arguing with another customer who earlier had thrown lottery tickets her. She responded by throwing an assortment of plastic-wrapped snacks toward the man. The officer reviewed video of the incident, determined none of the hurled objects struck their intended target, but indicated the woman spit in the direction of the man. The officer examined the man’s shirt where he claimed the woman had spit on him, but found no evidence of “a stain or wet spot or evidence of spit/saliva.”  


Floppy fry fracas

6:45 p.m., Aug. 26, 300 block of Beneva Road

Police responded to a call from a fast-food restaurant because a customer refused to leave the establishment over a complaint about soggy fries. A customer in the drive-through, upset because she did not receive fresh fries, entered the restaurant approximately 10 minutes later demanding the manager’s last name. She was told such identification violated company policy. An officer met with the dissatisfied customer who was sitting in the restaurant’s dining room. The manager did not wish to press trespassing charges providing the officer could successfully remove the customer from the property.


Attire altercation

1:48 a.m., Oct. 9,1400 block of Main Street

A couple being escorted out of a downtown bar because of a dress code violation resulted in an altercation in an alley that caused the destruction of a $500 television. The bar manager told police the controversially clad couple “made a scene” and got into a physical altercation with security personnel in the alley. During the scuffle, the manager said he was “pretty sure” the ejected man knocked down the TV. Although no video evidence exists of the damage, the couple were issued a trespass warning.


There must be some misunderstanding, officer 

Window shady

8:20 a.m., Feb. 3, 1600 block of Pine Tree Lane

Police arrived at a home where a painting that read “Trapped” was visible through a window. A woman inside the home said she was using the painting as a window covering, and she was not actually trapped. She told police she would remove the painting to avoid future confusion.


Russian abduction

6:50 a.m., Feb 9, 100 block of Lime Avenue

Police responded to a call about a woman making suspicious claims to her boyfriend. He said that she believed the Russians were threatening her and implanting things into her body. When police interviewed the woman, she denied all of the man’s claims and appeared to be fine.


Renegade 

8:50 p.m., March 3, 1400 block of Tamiami Trail

While taking a woman to the hospital, she accused actor Lorenzo Lamas of stealing money from her. When an officer informed her that Lorenzo Lamas was a famous actor, she named other celebrities she claimed also have stolen from her. She was transported to the hospital without further issues.


Phone not home

12:30 p.m., May 9, 1100 block of North Washington Boulevard

A man told police that a woman had stolen his cell phone. He claimed that he had hired the woman through an escort service and she stole his phone on the way out of his home. An officer had the man dial his cell phone number while he searched the woman's car. The officer did not hear a ring or vibration.


Putting it bluntly

5:22 p.m., June 12, 1700 block of 25th Street

A man fitting the description of a wanted subject was confronted by Sarasota police officers. He wasn’t the wanted subject, but he wasn’t innocent, either. The misfortunate doppelgänger smelled of marijuana and was caught holding what officers described as a blunt in his right hand. When informed he would be searched for more drugs, the man advised he had more pot tucked into his underwear, after which an officer retrieved a white jar containing marijuana. A sheathed knife was also located on his right hip. The man was issued a marijuana civil citation for possession of marijuana under 20 grams.


Over a barrel

7:33 a.m., Oct. 14, 1200 block of Hillview Street

The Longboat Key marine patrol officer was called to assist Sarasota Police Department in responding to a report of someone clinging to a barrel floating in Sarasota Bay, as reported by someone in the Harbor Acres community. Before the Longboat Key officer could arrive at the scene, it was determined that the barrel/castaway combination was actually a manatee.


Lets agree to disagree

Botanical custody battle

1:05 p.m., March 30, 800 block of Osprey Avenue

A woman called the police and accused her neighbor of stealing a house plant. She claimed that she allowed her neighbor to watch the plant until she found a place to put it, as her apartment complex informed her that it was a fire hazard. The neighbor, however, claimed the house plant was given to her as a gift.


We're number 1

2:30 p.m., April 5, 1000 block of Tamiami Trail

A woman told police that she was being followed by a woman she did not know. When she parked the car, the woman parked closely and an argument ensued. When officers spoke with the other woman, she said she was following her because she was driving poorly. The officer said both women “exchanged middle fingers” and no arrests were made.


No motor, no service

11:58 p.m., July 21, 700 block of South Washington Boulevard

A man in a wheelchair making a midnight burger run learned that people-powered vehicles are not welcome at a fast food drive-through. Police responded to a call about man blocking traffic at the drive-through, refusing to move after learning he would not be served. When the officer arrived, the man said he would not have attempted to use the drive-though had he been aware of the rule. He then asked the officer to call the ride service to be returned home.


Aerial assault

10:03 a.m., Aug. 7, 5000 block of Royal Palm Avenue

A case of gravity versus mischief brought police to a vehicle whose owner complained of a large pine cone landing on the hood while traveling on Royal Palm Avenue. The victim said she heard a loud bang on the hood and immediately stopped, claiming she then heard what she believed to be the closing of a sliding door at a nearby condo building. Dash cam video captured the trajectory of the strike, leading the driver to believe it was thrown from a nearby balcony. Police spoke with the resident of the condo, who was at work at the time, lives alone and had no company.


Great wall of Serta

12:24 p.m.,Sept. 10, 1600 block of Laurel Street

A complaint about a wall fashioned from mattresses brought a patrol officer to a residence where two roommates were involved in a dispute. The caller told the officer his roommate placed the mattresses to create a separation, which also cut off a portion of shared area he could no longer access, specifically the use of a microwave oven. The wall builder placed the microwave on his side of the barricade and told the caller to not come to his side of the room. The officer explained that because it is a shared residence, both parties had the equal right to access common areas, including the appliance, and if they have any future similar disputes they should contact their landlord.


Something suspicious going on here

A bad Valentine

5:55 p.m., Feb. 14, 1900 block of 5th Street

Police arrived at a home where a woman reported a man who was not supposed to be there. He did not have a key or permission to enter the residence, but found a way in anyway. The man, who was intoxicated, told officers that he had been friends with the woman for more than 35 years. The woman acknowledged this but wanted him off her property. The police report noted that the man took a final sip of beer before being escorted out of the house.


Was it a ghost?

5:30 a.m., April 6, 2900 block of Bay Street

A man called police because he saw the silhouette of a someone behind his blinds. He said he also heard a man’s voice, but could not find any disturbance when scanning his yard. Officers could not locate anyone outside and observed that the man’s blinds were closed. The man’s wife told officers she thought the man had just seen the reflection of tree branches, but the man was insistent that he saw the silhouette of a person. No suspects were identified.


Uh, that’s suspicious

8 a.m., April 11, 5000 block of Sunset Circle

Found property: A passer-by notified police upon their discovery of a suspicious package. Police examined the package and found it contained two adult toys, which were taken to police headquarters and placed into property storage.


Fish story

9:08 a.m., Nov. 21, 1600 block of Ken Thompson Parkway

Police took a fish hook and fishing line into evidence to aid in their investigation of a burglary and a bit of improper fishing in a shark tank at a location on City Island, the name of which was redacted in a police incident report, as often is the case with burglary reports. Marine-wildlife experts at the laboratory and aquarium reported finding a four-foot shark in one of its tanks with a baited hook in its mouth and a length of fishing line trailing behind. Experts were able to remove the hook without injury to the shark. Officers were told the likely felonious angler dipped the line overnight while the facility was closed, because no one noticed anything wrong at closing time the evening before.

 

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