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Cops Corner

Man claims he was served spiked drinks

A regular patron says a bartender siding with his estranged wife served drinks that made him sick. This and other Sarasota Police Department reports in this week's Cops Corner.

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  • | 5:00 a.m. May 1, 2024
  • Sarasota
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Friday, April 19

No drinking, buddy

12:15 a.m., 800 block of Benjamin Franklin Drive

Dispute: She wasn’t supposed to be drinking, but the owner of a condo wanted his female friend removed from the residence because of her penchant for imbibing adult beverages. The complainant told an officer the friend had been living in the residence for more than a month and wanted her out because she violated house rules.

Whether the complainant also resided there and why the no-drinking rule was applied was not specified in the incident report.

Because residency has been established, the complainant was informed the woman could not be forcibly removed by law enforcement, and that the dispute is civil in nature. The woman said she was not leaving unless the complainant has her evicted. He was advised on the process of eviction. Both subjects refused to separate for the night.

No shirt, no service

2:10 p.m., 100 block of North Lemon Avenue

Assault: Because he was harassing customers as they were leaving a restaurant, the manager told an officer responding to a possible battery that he and an employee escorted the nuisance man off the property. 

That’s when the situation escalated. The manager explained he told the subject to cease and desist his behavior, after which he turned to go back inside when the subject grabbed his arm and threatened to beat him up. The manager was then joined by an employee who physically removed the subject, at which point he fell to the ground. That’s when the manager called law enforcement.

The subject had left the scene by the time an officer arrived, but he was easy to find based on the manager’s detailed description: a white male, skinny, no shirt, wearing jeans and the unique characteristic of a musical note and a star tattooed on his chest. 

The man was indeed located a few blocks away, appeared to be intoxicated and had small abrasions on his shoulder and hand. He told the officer he was attacked for no reason, but he was unable to explain further. The subject was then issued a trespassing warning.

Saturday, April 20

Choosing sides

12:42 p.m., 1400 block of Main Street

Disturbance: It’s a story as old as the dissolution of marriage itself: servers at a local watering hole allegedly choosing sides in a divorce and spiking a drink in retribution. 

Workers at a restaurant were accused by a man who said he was drugged while throwing back some liquid therapy for reasons unexplained other than the bartenders must like his estranged wife more than him. The complainant explained he and his would-be formerly betrothed were very loyal customers, and on this day he believes someone introduced a foreign substance into his drink because, inexplicably, when he arrived at home afterward he began purging the libations in an unpleasant manner.

According to the incident report, he never lost consciousness, nor did he seek medical attention to confirm his suspicions. Contacted by officers outside of the establishment, he continued to exhibit signs of agitation while being interviewed, then he left the area without following through on his complaint.

The restaurant manager informed an officer the embattled pair have been longtime patrons and are known to staff, adding the man’s behavior had become erratic since his impending divorce proceedings began. He said he viewed video footage from the three hours the man was present and saw no evidence of a drink being spiked, and that multiple vodka tonics — which may explain the gastro-intestinal response — were poured directly in front of him.

Sunday, April 21

Timing is key

6:19 p.m., 500 block of Signal Pointe Drive

Disturbance: A case of missing rental car keys resulted in a police response to a family dispute. The complainant told an officer her on-again, off-again boyfriend took the keys and drove the vehicle to his residence, and then claimed to have misplaced them. The rental car was in the woman’s name.

The complainant said she didn’t want to press charges, but that she only wanted the keys returned. Officers arrived at the man’s address at the time he exited the apartment with keys in hand and apologized for the miscue. The woman left with the rental car and the apparently now off-again boyfriend returned to his residence.


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