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Cops Corner

Resident starts dispute over private beach, turns out to be public

A civil dispute over what was assumed to be a private beach called for police intervention. This and other Longboat Key Police reports in this week's Cops Corner.

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Friday, Feb. 16

Shine down

5:41 a.m., 700 block of Old Compass Road 

Officer Public Service: An officer was dispatched to talk with a resident who called to report a bright light disturbance. The complainant said that a contractor across the canal was working early in the morning with a bright light that was shining into her home. After taking her statement, the officer met with the contractor who was allegedly unaware of the disturbance the lights were creating. He agreed to redirect the lights. 

Saturday, Feb. 17

Park job checks out 

5:38 p.m., 1000 block of Bogey Lane

Illegal Parking: A resident called police to help with a water truck that was said to be illegally parked in the area. When the officer arrived on scene, there were at least a dozen construction vehicles on-site. But due to the posted construction, no violations were observed and the vehicle in question was found to be legally parked. 

Monday, Feb. 19 

Another raccoon problem

8:08 a.m., 6800 block of Pine Street 

Animal Problem: An injured raccoon in a construction dumpster was the reason for a call. The responding officer requested that dispatch have Manatee County Animal Welfare pick up the raccoon. 

Tuesday, Feb. 20

Impossible traffic control

12:10 p.m., 3700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 

Officer Public Service: A caller reported heavy traffic on Gulf of Mexico Drive. A Longboat Key officer went to investigate the traffic, which was due to Florida Department of Transportation construction projects. The town was aware of the traffic, and no further action was necessary. 

Thursday, Feb. 22

Not-so-private after all  

1:45 p.m., 1000 block of Longboat Club Road

Disturbance: Officers were sent to a civil disturbance. At the scene, one officer met with the complainant, who said she asked a man to leave the beach because it was private property, to which he responded by telling her to get out of his face. The officers checked the property line with a code enforcement officer, who said only the grass leading up to the edge of the sand was private property, so the man was on a public beach. 

Suspicious good samaritans

4:39 p.m., 6300 block of Gulfside Road 

Suspicious Person: An officer on patrol was stopped by residents who reported that suspicious people were hanging around vehicles in the parking lot of the nearby beach access point. Upon arrival at the beach access, the officer spoke with the people, who said they were picking up garbage around the beach. 

Wednesday, Feb. 23

Case of the rear hatch

3:05 a.m., 300 block of North Shore Road 

Suspicious Vehicle: While on routine patrol, an officer noticed a red SUV with the rear hatch open. The officer took a closer look and saw an array of items in the vehicle, but none appeared to be disturbed. A canvass of the area showed that all other vehicles in the area seemed to be secure. The officer closed the hatch and went with another officer to look around the nearby beach. No one was found, and it was assumed that the owner just forgot to close the hatch. 



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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