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Cops Corner

Self-storage staff finds torpedo in repossessed unit

The inert explosive prompted a response from MacDill Air Force Base. This and other Sarasota Police Department reports in this week's Cops Corner.

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  • | 5:00 a.m. January 10, 2024
  • Sarasota
  • Cops Corner
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Friday, Dec. 29

Storage space surprise

11:10 a.m., 2200 block of North Washington Boulevard

Suspicious device: Officers responded to a self-storage business about a suspicious device, where they found a large, blue torpedo complete with U.S. Navy markings advising that it was a “practice bomb, 100-lb. capacity, 5.5 gal.”

The complainants said they found the device as they were preparing the storage unit for an auction of its contents. 

An SPD sergeant activated the department’s Explosives Materials Unit and set a protective perimeter of 300 feet as officers conducted a sweep of the area and secured the scene. Once the EMU arrived, it, along with personnel from MacDill Air Force Base, took over the case.

An officer spoke with the owner of the storage unit, who advised that the inert explosive was a gift and did not wish for it to be disposed. MacDill Air Force Base personnel ultimately took possession of the torpedo for disposal.

Sunday, Dec. 31

Rock the night away

2:46 a.m., 1100 block of North Washington Boulevard

Fight: A physical altercation eventually led to a man being hit in the head by rock. An officer spoke with the victim who advised he was unaware of the identity of the rock-wielding assailant, but a witness to the brawl said he knew the identity of the perpetrator. 

The officer then made contact with the named subject who confirmed that he and the victim, along with several others, were involved in the fight during which he grabbed the man by the arm in an attempt to pull him from the conflict. It was then that he was hit with a rock by another party. He further stated the two men are friends and identified the man who swung the rock.

The officer performed a search of the name provided and was only able to find a subject who lives in another city with a birth date that did not match the estimated age of the unknown assailant. Staff at a nearby building provided video of the fight, but the rock-striking incident was not visible. The victim, who suffered a cut above his right eye, was checked out on scene and was cleared. The nature of the fight was not reported.

Monday, Jan. 1

New Year’s heave-ho

2:47 a.m., 200 block of North Tamiami Trail

Disturbance: Overconsumption during New Year’s Eve activities resulted in a long, loud argument that summoned police to a downtown hotel. An officer was told that a couple in a room were causing a disturbance and had yet to comply when asked several times to stop yelling because they were disturbing other guests.

The officer made contact with a man who said his girlfriend was “off her rocker” because of too much drinking. He further stated he had already ordered an Uber and that they were leaving. The officer then spoke to the woman who confirmed she had too much to drink and was apologetic for law enforcement having to become involved. The officer then informed her the manager requested they leave, but that they would not be trespassed. She said she understood, packed her belongings and the pair left together.

Cat lady

9:52 p.m., 1600 block of Fourth Street

Dispute: All a woman wanted to do was retrieve her two pet cats from her stepfather’s house, a complainant told police. The woman said she lived at the address but was not being allowed inside to take her cats. She gave officers a key to the residence and permission to enter. When they did, the stepfather stepped out from a bedroom and gave officers additional permission to enter. 

He said the woman no longer lived in the home and had moved out in November 2023. He added he had no objection to her taking the animals, which she did, and she left without further incident.

Hips and stones

10:45 a.m., 4600 block of North Tamiami Trail

Civil disturbance: Motel management had asked a guest to leave the property because her grandchild was throwing rocks into the pool. The woman’s daughter had become upset and began yelling at management after the request to vacate, at which time law enforcement was called to the scene.

The manager apologized for getting police involved as tensions were rising, adding the situation had calmed down by the time the officer arrived. The grandmother told the officer her argumentative daughter had already left the property, was apologetic about the disturbance and had no issues with leaving. She added she was unable to move fast enough to stop her grandchild from tossing rocks in the pool because of her bad hips.


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