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Cops Corner

Longboat bar patron is no master of disguise

Even a change of clothes didn't fool the bar staff when a once-denied man tried to return for a drink. This and other Longboat Key police reports in this week's edition of Cops Corner.

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Friday, Nov. 18

Master of disguise

11:30 p.m., 200 block of Sands Point Road

Citizen dispute: The manager of a bar called police to report trouble with a patron who refused to produce identification before being served. The manager said staff explained to the patron that no alcohol would be served without ID. The male patron became belligerent and demanded he be served. At that point, the patron was told to leave. Several minutes later, the manager said the patron tried to return to the bar wearing different clothes, but staff told him they were calling 911 as a result. The patron left before an officer could arrive.

Saturday, Nov. 19

Body of evidence

12:02 p.m., 1600 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Citizen assist: Police were alerted to the presence of a dead raccoon. Police notified Public Works.

Car, but no ride

11:05 p.m., 6800 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Citizen assist: A woman called police asking for help with a transportation dilemma. She told an officer she had purchased from a friend a day earlier the car next to which she was standing. But she had not been able to transfer the title or registration. An officer had told her it was illegal for her to drive the vehicle in such a state of paperwork limbo and recommended it be towed. But, the woman said, she had been unable to arrange a tow. The new officer confirmed the notion put forth by the previous officer, and the woman said she would figure out a way to get it home without breaking any laws.

Sunday, Nov. 20

Lose your seat?

10:20 p.m., 6300 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Traffic hazard: While on patrol, an officer spotted something ahead that likely would have been a hazard to driving. The officer found it to be a broken folding beach chair. He brought it back to the police station and disposed of it.

Monday, Nov. 21

Running late, sounding not so great

7:31 p.m., 600 block of Neptune Avenue

Noise complaint: A marble and tile craftsman who was setting up to cut and lay tile in a home never got the chance, following the arrival of police officer and a discussion about town rules about permissible work hours. A call about noise prompted the officer’s visit to the residential neighborhood. The worker said he had just arrived and was getting ready to begin work but instead said he would pack up and leave.

Some fish story

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

Burglary of unoccupied building: Sarasota 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.

The experts showed officers the off-limits-to-the-public area where the fishing likely took place. Additional evidence was found there.

Entry to the facility was potentially through the rear delivery door, officials said. Not camera coverage of that area exists, the report said.

Tuesday, Nov. 22

It works

10:09 a.m., 500 block of Harbor Point Road

Alarm: Police and fire department personnel came to a home in response to an activated smoke/carbon monoxide alarm. Fire personnel soon ascertained the alarm was the result of a successful test.

Wednesday, Nov. 23

Blame the dogs

3:39 a.m., 6900 block of Longboat Drive South

Citizen assist: Police came to search the house following a resident’s report of strange goings on. The resident said she and her father locked the door and left for a short time. When they returned, the door was locked by a dress was found on the hallway floor. Certain the dress had not been there previously, the resident was further spooked by odd noises coming from the elevator and called police. An officer sent to investigate theorized that two dogs in the home might have pulled the dress into the hall, which the resident conceded was possible. Valuables in plain sight appeared untouched. The officer checked the whole residence and found nothing out of the ordinary.

Powering up

7:26 a.m., 600 block of Cedar Street

Noise complaints from land: A resident called police to report work noise taking place before the permitted hour of 8 a.m. An officer found a contractor on site and the sound of a power tool in operation inside. The officer explained the violation to the contractor and issued a verbal warning.

Free rounds

11:11 a.m., police headquarters

Found property: A resident brought to the police station a box containing 17 12-gauge shotgun shells he had no use for. The resident offered them to the police as a donation. The shells were placed in the department’s armory.


9:30 p.m., 3100 block of Bayou Sound

Noise complaints from land: A pair of officers were unable to silence a smoke detector in an unoccupied home undergoing repairs, The officers found no sign of smoke or fire and secured the property. A neighbor said he would alert the owner to the alarm situation.

Water rush

11:14 p.m., 3600 block of Bayou Circle

Citizen assist: A police officer alerted the town’s Public Works Department following a call about a broken water main. The on-call staffer at Public Works said a team was on the way.

Thursday, Nov. 24

Not today

8:34 a.m., Firehouse Court

Noise complaint: A lawn crew preparing for work in the morning was told by an officer that such work on a holiday was not permitted.  The lawn crew packed up and left.

Friday, Nov. 25


4:15 a.m., 3400 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious vehicle: A police officer stopped to investigate why a pickup truck was parked in a beach access spot either before (or after) normal operating hours. He found a man and a woman sleeping in the bed of the truck. The officer explained that the beach access spot was closed and they could not sleep in the truck. The couple left.

He knows…

7:38 a.m., 6900 block of Bayside Drive

Noise complaint: Police spoke to an out-of-town worker in the driveway of a home following a noise complaint. The worker told the officer he has worked on sites in the town for years and was aware of the restriction on work noise before 8 a.m. He said he and another worker had arrived a few minutes early and were chatting and drinking coffee when a person approached and said they were talking too loudly and were not allowed on the property until 8 a.m. The worker said no work noise would take place until after 8 a.m., and the person said they were calling the police. No power tools were yet connected and there were no signs of construction in progress.



Eric Garwood

Eric Garwood is the managing editor of the Longboat Observer and the Sarasota Observer. Since graduating from University of South Florida in 1984, he's been a reporter and editor at newspapers in Florida and North Carolina.

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