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Cops Corner

Boaters waving to friends on shore are mistaken for distress signal

Longboat Key PD’s marine patrol unit was sent to investigate a possible vessel in distress. This and other Longboat Key Police reports in this week's Cops Corner.

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Friday, Nov. 10

Reckless boating

11:27 a.m., Beer Can Island 

Boating Citation: While on marine patrol, officers witnessed a vessel operating carelessly with a child riding on the bow. The officers conducted a stop and requested to see registration and identification. The port side of the vessel lacked registration numbers, and the driver was unable to show the proper throwable flotation device and flares. The officers issued a citation for not having the flotation device, and addressed the other violations with warnings. 

Just saying 'hi'

1:22 p.m., 4900 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 

Boat-Miscellaneous: Marine patrol officers were sent to investigate a vessel possibly in distress offshore. Upon arrival, the officers spoke with the vessel’s owner, who said he was just waving to friends on the beach, not waving to signal distress. 

Saturday, Nov. 11

Holiday work 

9:53 a.m., 2700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 

Noise Complaints: An officer on patrol noticed loud construction noise, and upon investigating saw workers on scaffolding with hammers. The officer talked with the site supervisor, who said he was unaware of the ordinance prohibiting work on a holiday. The contractor was issued a warning, and the crew left for the day. 

Delivery service 

10:04 p.m., 6800 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Found Property: Dispatch sent an officer to a report of found property. When the officer arrived at the local business, he was met by a bartender who said a customer had left his wallet behind. The officer reached out to the wallet’s owner, who was staying in town, and the officer delivered the wallet to its owner. 

Monday, Nov. 13 

Construction obstruction 

9:57 a.m., 700 block of Bayport Way

Citizen Assist: A Longboat officer was sent to investigate a possible abandoned vehicle. At the scene, the officer met with the caller, who said the homeowners association was resurfacing the parking lot and a vehicle was parked in the lot. The officer checked the vehicle, which was legally parked in the lot and owned by a rental company. The rental company was unable to locate the person renting the vehicle. In the end, the officer was unable to legally remove the vehicle, and advised the homeowners association staff to contact the rental company. 

Calling for backup 

6:17 p.m., 90 block of Lighthouse Point Drive 

Citizen Assist: Officers were dispatched to a report of a broken water main. The sergeant contacted Public Works and advised them of the water main. Public Works advised that someone would come inspect the leak, and the officers contacted the complainant to update them on the situation. 

Wednesday, Nov. 15 

Found dog 

5:52 p.m., 6500 block of Gulfside Road 

Animal Complaint: Longboat Key Police were sent to meet with a resident who said she found a dog running loose. Dispatch also sent a call to Manatee County Animal Services, who advised they would be responding to the location. 

Thursday, November 16

Runaway kayak 

10:37 a.m., Winslow Place 

Lost Property: A resident reported a lost kayak, and Longboat Key Police officers were sent to get a report from him. He said he didn’t tie down his kayak well enough before the storm the previous night, and went out on another kayak to look for the lost one but was unable to find it. Officers forwarded the case to the marine patrol unit to investigate. 



Carter Weinhofer

Carter Weinhofer is the Longboat Key news reporter for the Observer. Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, he moved to St. Petersburg to attend Eckerd College until graduating in 2023. During his entire undergraduate career, he worked at the student newspaper, The Current, holding positions from science reporter to editor-in-chief.

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