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Cops Corner

Late-night fisherman vandalizes 'no fishing' sign on Siesta Drive Bridge

A man broke off a no fishing sign and tossed it into Sarasota Bay while yelling at passing cars. This and other Sarasota Police Department reports in this week's Cops Corner.

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Wednesday, April 26

Workplace disturbance

9:46 a.m., 2800 block of Fruitville Road

Disturbance: A fired employee’s boyfriend created a disturbance at her former place of business. An officer met with the complainant at the location who advised he had earlier in the day terminated a female employee. Approximately 30 minutes later, her boyfriend arrived at the office and began cursing at other employees.

The complainant stated the man left after being told multiple times to leave the property and that there were no direct threats made to himself or the staff. The complainant wanted the incident documented for future reference, if necessary.

Parking ticket dispute

4:01 p.m., 400 block of John Ringling Boulevard

Civil dispute: A disputed parking ticket sparked an argument between the driver of the car and a ticket issuer. Upon arrival, the officer met with a complainant who stated the driver was upset about a ticket he issued for failing to pay for parking. He advised the man was blocking the path and “cussing him out.”

The officer spoke with the driver, who said he was trying to explain that he was in the process of paying for parking after escorting his family to a restaurant. The driver further stated the complainant became defensive and said “you’re harassing me” when he was asking for more information regarding the citation. The officer concluded no crime was committed and that the incident is civil in nature.

Friday, April 28

Night fishing

2 a.m., Siesta Drive Bridge

Disturbance: An irate man broke off a sign that read “No Fishing on the Bridge” then tossed it into the water, drawing a police response to the Siesta Drive Bridge. The officer met with the complainant who was in the bridge tender. He reported the suspect — described as approximately 5-foot-9, heavy build and wearing no shirt — appeared to be intoxicated and was yelling at vehicles passing by while fishing off the bridge. During the incident, the irate man broke off the sign, pole still attached, and threw it into the bay. 

The complainant said he did not confront the man, but saw him walking in the direction of the 1300 block of Siesta Drive. The officer located the sign and collected photographic evidence. The suspect was not located and the investigation remained open.

Saturday, April 29

Squatter’s rights

7:04 p.m. 2900 block of Fruitville Road

Civil dispute: A squatter who refused to leave a residence resulted in a dispute when the complainant told police she wanted to have a subject removed from the residence. She said she allowed the subject to stay at the residence beginning in January 2023, but was supposed to stay for only one month. 

An officer told the complainant that she had allowed the subject to effectively establish residency in the unit and would have to pursue civil eviction proceedings.

Monday, May 1

Tracking stolen backpack

1:03 a.m., 700 block of Flint River Court

Vehicle burglary: Officers met with two victims who said a black Lululemon backpack was stolen from their vehicle while they were inside a nearby bar. The owner of the backpack said she tracked her ear buds, which were inside, to the address on Flint River Court, where she went before calling police for assistance. 

She said she did not wish to press charges, but only wanted her belongings returned. In addition to the ear buds, the backpack contained a blue makeup bag, clothing, Gucci slides and a Ford Mustang key.

The male victim said he had left the vehicle unlocked and nothing missing from the vehicle belonged to him. He said he confronted two males regarding the missing items, but after they left the area the tracking of the ear buds showed they remained at the location. 

After officers arrived, they attempted to knock on doors but were only able to make contact with two residents there and were unable to locate missing property. There were no suspects and the case was forwarded to the criminal investigations division. 



Andrew Warfield

Andrew Warfield is the Sarasota Observer city reporter. He is a four-decade veteran of print media. A Florida native, he has spent most of his career in the Carolinas as a writer and editor, nearly a decade as co-founder and editor of a community newspaper in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

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