A 21-year-old man tried to take off from an attempted traffic stop on Easter morning, only to collide with a turning vehicle as he sped away: and surveillance cameras caught the dramatic collision on video. It’s a stark and scary reminder of the violence when one more more vehicles is travelling at a high rate of speed. Miraculously, the motorcycle driver, Joey Pinheiro of North Fort Myers, survived, and will likely be facing criminal charges.
Robert Hayden Jr., via LCSO
There was another high-profile fleeing case on Easter, as a man riding an ATV in traffic on Palm Beach also fled from an attempted traffic stop. That man also ended up crashing his vehicle, though he ended up stuck in a ditch, and with less serious injuries. Robert Hayden Jr. was charged with fleeing, as well as possession of marijuana and for gun charges. Failing to stop for law enforcement officers is a felony in Florida: so many times the fleeing charge ends up being more serious than whatever infraction for which the cops initially tried to stop somebody.
Posted in Criminal Law, Florida, Fort Myers / Lee County / Southwest Florida #SWFL, North Fort Myers / Southwest Florida
Tagged accident, atv, drugs, firearm, fleeing, fort myers, fort myers beach, joey pinheiro, marijuana, motorcycle, North Fort Myers, robert hayden
Ashley Bills was arrested this week after she tried to defraud her friend. She claimed a deputy tried to extort money from her, or that she’d be arrested. The victim gave her some money, but when she tried to mooch some more, he called a lawyer. The lawyer was worried about police misconduct, so the FPMD pulled the tape! The video showed that Bills was making the extortion claim up, and she ended up getting arrested.
The video is evidence that helps us find justice…
UPDATE: corrected to indicate it was FMPD that pulled the tape, and solved the crime! Good job.
There’s a comment here about the interim chief not being afraid to get his hands dirty… I’m sure. Eads was called over by a citizen who was worried that a hispanic man appeared to be ill. The man happened to be local infamous homeless crazy-person Victor Casiano. When the chief and another officer located Casiano, his drawers were down, as he was pooping in the woods. Eads and the other officer arrested him for indecent exposure.
While we might admire the chief’s willingness to jump to duty, Crimcourts would like to point out it is not illegal to shit in the woods. Bill Bryson is relieved. To qualify as Indecent Exposure, under Florida law, there must be some “lacsiviousness”. Merely pooping, especially if he tried to discreet himself in the woods, is not a crime. Fortunately, Mr. Casiano was released on his own recognizance, but not after spending a night in jail. It’s a bad look that the department still doesn’t use better judgment over when to arrest people, especially after the Nate Allen fiasco just last year.
Related Update: It’s also not illegal to check your mail naked, but it will get the cops called on you, as this guy found out in Collier County. For the behavior to be criminalized, there has to be more, and Collier Sheriff’s Deputies showed a little more, correct, restraint.
Tammy Lynn Powers was arrested Saturday in Fort Myers, FL after allegedly having public sex in a residential neighborhood. Deputies responded to, and I’m not making this up, the intersection of Kentucky Road and New Jersey Boulevard regarding reports of a naked man walking around. When they arrived, they saw the man and Ms. Powers engaged in sex against the side of the man’s pickup truck… because there had to be a pickup truck involved in this story. And beer… they were visibly intoxicated.
The responding deputy questioned the man, who cooperated and was released. Powers, however, tried walking away, ignored the deputies orders, refused to provide her ID and cursed at the deputy. She was ultimately arrested for indecent exposure and resisting arrest.
Her reluctance to cooperate was due to an outstanding warrant for a violation of her Collier County probation.
Posted in Criminal Law, DUI, Florida, Fort Myers / Lee County / Southwest Florida #SWFL
Tagged fort myers, indecent exposure, kentucky, lcso, new jersey, resist arrest, sexcrime, sexonthebeach, tammy powers
Konstantinos Georgiou Mug Shot
Once again, the cover-up/aftermath was worse than the crime. Konstantinos Georgiou fled from the scene of a crash. He tried to commandeer a couple of people’s vehicles, before jumping off the bridge and into the Caloosahatchee River to evade officers. The marine units finally caught up to him, clinging to the bridge supports, and had to take him to the hospital.
The sad irony here is that the crash itself was not a crime, leaving the scene of the crash is only a misdemeanor… but trying to break into other peoples’ cars is a serious felony. Reports indicate he actually fought with the occupants of at least one vehicle, which makes the offense a Burglary with Battery, a Punishable by Life Felony (or PBL). His escape attempt is likely to land him in prison for many years; while the initial offense was relatively minor. He was lucky that officers located him and saved him from the river, it could have ended a lot worse after jumping off the bridge!
UPDATE: It’s extra dangerous to jump in the water in Florida, he wouldn’t have been the first to get caught by an alligator: https://crimcourts.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/man-flees-cops-is-caught-by-alligator/
UPDATE 2: The News-Press spoke to a witness who indicates that the suspect did run down to where the bridge gets closer to the water before he jumped in. (Also, photos added)
Caloosahatchee Bridge, from the Fort Myers River District, looking North
Last night in Fort Myers, police allege Erin Kilch called 911 to report that her drug dealer didn’t give her as much marijuana as she had paid for. Police responded and arrested her for misuse of the 911 system… and for the bag of marijuana that was in her vehicle. Andrea Hubbell from NBC-2 owned this story by find local man Michael Atherton to comment on this situation. He said she needs to, “Cut it back a little bit. She’s smoking a little bit too much… That’s pretty ridiculous, that’s pretty smart of her.” Well said, Michael.
Former Chief Doug Baker
The City of Fort Myers announced the termination of FMPD police chief Doug Baker today. Mayor Henderson has been quoted saying that untruthfulness was the reason for the termination. City manager William Mitchell also indicated he was concerned about the state of morale at the department. The investigation indicated that Baker claimed to have called Captain Perry while local NFL player Nate Allen was being detained, and told them to let him go, though he was held for quite some time after that. The investigation revealed that the phone call Baker made was a missed call, and that he actually didn’t speak to to Perry until sometime later. Perry’s statement was consistent with the phone records.
The irony, as always, is that the cover-up is worse than the infraction. It wasn’t Baker’s direct fault that Allen was held to long, and he didn’t have any need to claim that he directed the release to Perry. It’s even more ironic, because Baker ordered this internal investigation, which ultimately led to his own downfall.
The termination had to happen, once evidence revealed that the chief was dishonest. It’s unfortunate on many levels, but will hopefully provide an opportunity for positive change at FMPD. Credibility of police officers is paramount, not only for developing trust in the community, but because we rely so heavily on their reliability in the courtroom. Further, it appears from the investigation that Baker was punishing other officers, meanwhile being untruthful about his own involvement. Since the department has terminated other officers for dishonesty, that policy must also extend to the supervisors. Credibility can only be built if it is consistently enforced from the top down. I commend Mr. Mitchell and the city leaders for doing the right and necessary thing.