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Cops Corner

Man who forgot how to use his phone worries daughter

A woman called police to conduct a welfare check on her father, who had turned his phone off and forgotten how to turn it on. This and other Longboat Key Police reports in this week's Cops Corner.

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Friday, April 26

Repeat offender 

11:32 a.m., 1200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Vehicle Stop: License plate readers alerted Longboat Key Police to a driver with a suspended license. An officer ran a check on the vehicle’s registration, finding that there was also no insurance on the vehicle. Once the officer located and stopped the vehicle, the driver said he did not know his license was suspended. But the officer saw a traffic warning issued to the driver a month previously for the same violation. The officer issued the driver a notice to appear and had the vehicle towed. 

Just waiting for the tide

12:21 p.m., Longboat Pass

Officer Public Service: An officer on marine patrol checked on a vessel anchored close to the Longboat Pass Bridge. The occupants said everything was fine, and that the anchor was fouled on the bottom. The group said they were waiting for the tide to loosen the anchor and there was no need for police assistance. 

Saturday, April 27

Marine fender bender 

12:19 p.m., Cortez Bridge

Assist Other Agency: A marine patrol officer was asked to assist with a report of a disabled vehicle that struck the Cortez Bridge fenders. Upon the officer’s arrival, it was concluded that there were no injuries, and officers were just needed to supervise the commercial tow. 

Sunday, April 28 

Technical support 

11:56 a.m., 4500 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Officer Public Service: Dispatch sent an officer to a welfare check. The caller told the officer that her father had not answered the phone in 24 hours. The officer went to her father’s house and found him in good health. He said he did not have his cellphone turned on and had forgotten how to use it. The officer gave the man a quick cellphone lesson and said his daughter was trying to reach him. 

Boaters try to be slick 

12 p.m., Jewfish Key 

Vehicle Stop: While on marine patrol, an officer spotted a vessel with no registration numbers or stickers. The officer stopped the vehicle and asked the officer for paperwork or a bill of sale for the vessel, which the operator was unable to show. Then, the officer conducted a safety check and the operator did not have the required personal flotation devices (PFDs) for everyone on board. With those violations and bad weather on the horizon, the officer asked him to navigate back to shore while he continued looking for the PFDs. While the operator was heading back to shore, the officer witnessed the operator’s friend from a nearby boat throw PFDs over to his boat. When the officer met the operator back on shore, he said he saw the sleight of hand trick and issued a citation to the operator. 

Monday, April 29 

Dog on beach OK, but needs leash 

1:36 p.m., 100 block of Broadway Street 

Animal Problem: A caller reported a dog running off-leash on the beach. When an officer responded, he found the dog — with a service dog collar — off-leash. The officer spoke with the owner, who said the dog was a service dog and offered to show the proper paperwork. While service dogs are allowed on the beach, the officer said it still needed to be on a leash, which the owner complied with. 

Tuesday, April 30

Out-of-state warrant 

2:57 a.m., 400 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Suspicious Person: An officer on patrol noticed a man standing near a garbage can outside of a closed business and decided to investigate. As the officer drove toward the man, he walked closer to the patrol vehicle. The officer spoke to the man and got his name while other officers arrived on scene. A warrant check turned up a warrant from Texas for the man, which was listed as an in-state extradition only. The warrant was confirmed as an in-state pickup only, so he was let go and left Longboat Key toward Sarasota. 

Wednesday, May 1

'Stay off the road'

9:13 a.m., 6700 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Vehicle Stop: A landscaping vehicle emitting a “large amount” of black diesel fumes for an extended period of time prompted an officer to conduct a traffic stop. The driver provided a Mexican identification card and said he did not have a driver’s license. The officer confirmed that with a database check, and issued the driver a notice to appear. The driver said his boss was on the way to remove the vehicle, and the officer advised him to not drive again until he got a license. 

In unfamiliar territory 

5:20 p.m., 3200 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Trespassing: Upon arrival at the scene of a reported trespassing, an officer spoke with a man out on the beach with his family. The man admitted the family rode their bikes through the parking lot, which was private condominium property. The officer informed him it was private property and that they needed to use the public beach access to exit whenever they were ready to leave. The family is not from around here, the man said, and didn’t know the access was private. 

Thursday, May 2

Pelican problem

7:54 p.m., 3800 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive

Animal Problem: Dispatch sent an officer to investigate an injured pelican on the beach. Upon arrival, the officer met with the complainant who showed the location of the injured pelican. The pelican was unable to move, and the officer stayed with it at the scene until someone came to transport the pelican to Venice. 



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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