Tag Archives: polk

High-Speed Chase ends poorly for Truck and Police Car

Austin Westgate fled a Polk County deputy this weekend, initiating a high speed chase that ended up with his vehicle on top of a deputy’s patrol vehicle. Fortunately, nobody was hurt, and deputies were able to arrest the suspect sitting on top of their car.
austin-westgate-1Deputies responded to a possible burglary, and a suspect jumped into the gold truck. He fled, evaded stop sticks, took out some mailboxes and ultimately struck a steel support cable, causing the rear of his vehicle to pop in the air. Deputies arrested the driver, Austin Westgate, and learned he already had an outstanding warrant for fleeing. Suffice to say he took a bad situation and made it much, much worse.

3-Year Old Cold Case Closed with Murder Charges Against Former Football Star

Hayzel Obando was found dead in her Fort Myers apartment on Valentine’s Day, 2016. Now, more than three years later, her husband has been arrested and charged with her murder. Earl Antonio “Tony” Joiner was arrested last week in Polk county and charged with Second Degree Murder. The case presented challenges from the start, as it was two months before her death was ruled a homicide. This week, a crew from the TV show ‘Cold Justice’ was in Florida, assisting with the investigation.

Tony Joiner played for the Florida Gators on their National Championship team in 2006, and was a captain his senior year in 2007. As NBC-2 points out, he’s the second member of that team to be charged with murder, after Aaron Hernandez.

Early Antonio “Tony” Joiner, via NBC-2

Exotic Dancer Arrested for Threatening a Mass Shooting

brien basarich

Brein (Brien) Basarich

An exotic dancer from Lakeland, Florida was arrested last week for allegedly posting threats about a possible mass shooting online. Brein Basarich posted on Tumblr under the username “taking lives” that she was thinking about purchasing An AR-15 and had a “vision” of a bar or club with one way out and plans and firing that rifle into a crowd. Her name has also been reported as “Brien Basarich”, I’m not sure which one is correct.

This is a poor criminal case against her… the ‘threats’ that she posted probably do not qualify as threats under Florida law. While posting something on the internet is sufficient to satisfy the “written” element, generally threats must be pretty specific, and not just generalized talk about her “visions” or conditional claims that she could do something. She will say that musing about her fantasies is not a threat, and that she has a Constitutional right under the first amendment to write about her musings, even if they might be violent or unpleasant. That fist amendment protection does not extends to “true threats“, if this qualifies. Obviously law enforcement is sensitive to the through of a shooting at a club, especially so close to where the Pulse tragedy occurred, but they would likely need something more to sustain a prosecution than has been reported so far. Without that, the prosecutors may be forced to drop the charges. It will probably be a few weeks before the filing decision is made.

Florida Man Hides Legless Fugitive Girlfriend in Plastic Tote

kystle lee anderson

Krystle Anerson

Krystle Lee Anderson lost her legs after she used a BB gun to hold some people hostage, resulting in a shootout with law enforcement that caused her disability. That didn’t keep her from getting into trouble, as she failed to appear in court on the armed kidnapping and assault charges that stemmed from her Burger King shootout in 2015. Law enforcement got a tip that she was hiding at the Winter Haven home of her boyfriend, John Carr Jr.

john robert carr jr

John Robert Carr Jr.

When marshals arrived at his home, Carr claimed that she wasn’t in the home, but one of the officers knew better: he saw Carr through the window as he stuffed Anderson into a plastic storage container. Officers located her and took her into custody. Carr was also charged with resisting arrest/obstruction of justice. Florida doesn’t have a specific law against harboring a fugitive, but he could be charged as an accessory after the fact, which would be a felony. Anderson faces life in prison for her charges.

Florida Woman Charged with DUI on a Horse!

donna byrne

Donna Byrne 

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has charged Donna Byrne with a DUI on a horse, after she was caught riding in the road, and blew a .161, which is twice the legal limit for driving. Here’s the thing, the DUI statute specifically says driving or in actual control of a vehicle. We’ve talked about it before– the law in Florida does not provide for a DUI on a horse. She has also been charged with animal neglect and failing to provide proper protection for the horse. I doubt this qualifies as animal neglect where there is no harm to the horse (unless she did something inherently dangerous like taking it out on the highway). She may be guilty of something, but I think she can beat the DUI!

Crazy Florida Keeps Acting Crazy

Naked Guy from NAPLES

Naked Guy from NAPLES

The downside of being busy and not getting to keep up with the blog the past few weeks, is that craziness, in particular that Hiaasen-style only-in-Florida craziness endemic to the Sunshine State, has provided so many incidents that I can’t keep up. Just in the news today, a naked man tackled an old guy in Naples. Didn’t rob him, nothing sexual. Some drunk guy just got naked and tackled an old guy.  He got himself a felony for Battery on a Person over 65. Just another day in Florida…

Human Pterodactyl from Legoland

Human Pterodactyl from Legoland

That’s not as bad as the guy in Polk County, who ran around Legoland’s water park claiming to be a Pterodactyl, squawking like a giant flying dinosaur. He’s also a SW Florida original, visiting the park from Port Charlotte. He was also drunk. Richard Campagna managed to earn himself a felony for Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, for splashing the cop that tried to catch him in the Lazy River, plus disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, etc.

Accused Molester Raymond Frolander

Accused Molester Raymond Frolander

National news covered the father who beat up another man that he says he walked in on sexually abusing his son. This is absolutely not a humorous story, but dad’s stark honesty is amazing.  He made no apologies for rearranging the guy’s face: when the cops asked if he had used a weapon, he said no, just his fists and his foot, and says he would have killed him but for his son’s pleas for mercy. He told the dispatcher, “He is nice and knocked out on the floor for you, I dragged him into the living room,’ the father said. ‘Send an ambulance. He is going to need one.” The cops didn’t begrudge him for his actions, and have not charged him with anything. The alleged accuser, Raymond Frolander, 18, apparently admitted that he had been abusing the boy for several years. The dad could be in trouble for beating the abuser, as discovery of abuse is not a defense to the crime of battery: legally Defense of Others is a defense, but it is only valid while the danger is imminent. And you would be hard pressed to find a law enforcement agency that would want to prosecute under those circumstances.

Michael Doster

Michael Doster

However, the craziest story out of Florida in the past week is the man who’s wife died after confronting him over a sexual encounter on a nude beach the other day. Apparently, Pamela Doster caught Michael Doster and another man giving each other oral sex, which understandably did not sit well with her. After that, a bizarre confrontation ensued, that may have involved him striking her and knocking her off their jet ski several times. He gave a statement to police that she refused to get back on the jet ski, and that he called 911, who sent officers out to the sand bar to collect her. She was taken to the hospital and later died, though the cause is unclear. He has been arrested for domestic battery, but could end up facing a murder charge if he actions directly led to her death. It will be interesting to see if there was something intervening that caused her death, or if he caused it, whether he will be charged with manslaughter or murder. It’s a bizarre case that won’t be resolved for a while, though authorities are calling him a suspect in her death. Police are also looking to speak with the other man from the sexual encounter. It also occurred in Manatee County, which just had another public sex situation in the news. Only in Florida…