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Cops Corner

Man swindled with bail bond sob story

Man meets woman. Woman says bond soon to be revoked. Man gives $350. Woman vanishes into the night. This and other Sarasota Police Department reports in this week's Cops Corner.

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  • | 5:00 a.m. March 13, 2024
  • Sarasota
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Wednesday, Feb. 28

High school drama 

2:38 p.m., 2900 block of Palmedelia Avenue

Disturbance: A high school campus dispute spilled over into a nearby neighborhood as a complainant advised that her two nieces were in her front yard yelling at a third girl while streaming themselves on social media. The argument was related to “high school relationship drama” according to the incident report.

The complainant advised that a third niece, age 34, was yelling at the girls encouraging them to fight. Neither of the juveniles were present when the officer arrived. The officer determined the three girls left the school at 2:15 p.m., the complainant's nieces following and yelling at the third girl while recording the incident. Despite the adult encouragement, no fight occurred.

The officer reports no specific threats of violence were articulated to the third girl, but rather veiled threats to fight were made on school grounds. The officer made contact with Sarasota County Schools Police Department officers, who advised they will intervene and address the issue on campus.

Friday, March 1

No free lunch

4:04 p.m. 1300 block of Main Street

Dispute: A man entered a downtown restaurant, stated that he was on Facebook Live and demanded a free chicken sandwich, according to the manager. When the sandwich was not provided, the subject became irate and accused the restaurant of being a military operation. He then briefly held the door shut, blocking customers from leaving or entering before eventually walking away.

The subject was contacted nearby by an officer and the restaurant manager responded to that location where a trespassing warning was issued. The subject stated he understood and would not return.

Saturday, March 2

Concerned husband

2:58 a.m., 1500 block of Main Street

Family dispute: During a night on the town, a man called police because his husband, he said, was following him and would not leave him alone. He said he called law enforcement to prevent escalation into a physical encounter.

The subject told an officer he was not aware the complainant was out that night and learned through a third party that he was intoxicated. He said he was concerned for his husband's safety because he has a history of drunkenly wandering the streets alone. Both men stated there was no physical altercation, but the subject said he did not want to go home with his concerned husband and agreed to be transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital for a medical evaluation “due to his minor level of intoxication,” according to the report.

Sunday, March 3

Trouble with the HOA

9:29 p.m., 3700 block of Amherst Way

Residential burglary: What was reported as a burglary turned out to be a construction worker spending the night inside a house he was renovating, with the permission of the property manager, apparently running afoul of the homeowners association's covenants and restrictions.

Officers spoke with the suspect who said he had nowhere to go and had asked the property manager if he could spend the night there. The property manager granted permission under the condition that no one else was permitted in the house. 

An officer called the complainant who stated that no one is supposed to be on the property because it was under construction, per HOA policy. The officer explained to her that the matter was civil in nature. Another officer spoke with the property manager said a complaining neighbor is the problem, adding that there have been burglaries on the property and allowing the construction worker to stay provided a measure of security. 

The property manager said he was not aware that was in violation of HOA policy. Officers advised him to contact the HOA to resolve the issue. Meanwhile, the construction worker was advised that he was allowed to stay because he had permission.

Monday, March 4

Bless his heart

4:27 p.m., 2200 block of Ringling Boulevard

Civil dispute: After a man gave a woman $350 to allegedly pay her bail bondsman, he called police suspecting he had been swindled. The complainant said he had met a woman downtown the day prior and they had been texting frequently. He said she divulged that she was out of jail on bond and that she owed her bondsman $378.50. If she didn't pay, her bond would be revoked and she would return to jail.

The man advised that began to feel sorry for the woman because she said she had a daughter. As communications continued, he invited her to his apartment to “hang out and watch movies.” She arrived around 3 a.m. and eventually the subject of the bail bondsman was raised. The complainant said he decided to give her the money to pay the bondsman "out of the goodness of his heart," according to the police report. 

The complainant advised a man that she said was her uncle arrived in his vehicle and drove them to a nearby convenience store where he retrieved the cash from an ATM. After returning to his apartment complex, he gave the woman the cash and was then abruptly told by the uncle — who apparently was not concerned enough about the woman's plight to pay the bail bondsman on her behalf — to exit the vehicle. 

He told an officer there was no condition made on giving the woman the money, however he hoped they could continue to "hang out" together. After leaving the man, she no longer responded to his attempts to contact her. As he finally concluded the entire encounter was a ruse, he called police.

Although he said he wished to press charges, the complainant was advised that because he willingly gave the woman the money that no crime had occurred. Undetermined was whether the cash was for bail, if she actually had a daughter and if the man driving them to the ATM was actually her uncle. 


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