Ocala, FLORIDA police arrested a 23-year-old woman who they say stole an electric shopping cart from a GROCERY STORE and attempted to ride it home. Michelle Nichols has been charged with grand theft after police say she went to the Publix on SE 17th Street on Wednesday night at around 8 p.m., used the electric shopping cart to buy her groceries and then drove off with it. Publix employees contacted police, who found Nichols riding on the scooter with several bags of groceries down SW 11th Street, according to the report. When asked if she knew the cart didn't belong to her, Nichols said her feet were hurting so she took the cart so she didn't have to walk, police said. She was arrested and taken to Marion County Jail. The cart was valued at $3,000.
A driver who was pulled over Friday night by an Ocala police corporal sped away with the officer's feet hanging out the driver's side door of his Volkswagen convertible. The driver, Bradford Sheldon, 44, of Gainesville, also tried to push Cpl.George Hunley out of the car as he drove at speeds in excess of 80 mph, according to the Police Department. Hunley, Sheldon and Officer Matt Sams, whose foot was run over, received minor injuries. Sheldon was charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, kidnapping, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence, two counts of resisting arrest without violence, reckless driving and driving on a suspended license. He declined an interview request from the Starbanner. Here's an account of the episode based on information from the Police Department: It all started shortly before 11 p.m. Friday, when Hunley noticed a blown headlight on a Volkswagen convertible in the 600 block of Northwest 10th Street. Hunley, who had been traveling in the opposite direction, turned around and stopped the VW in the 800 block of North Pine Avenue. Sheldon told the officer that he did not have his driver's license. He reportedly told Hunley it was a valid license and then gave him a name and Social Security number. Hunley checked the information, learned that it was false and called for backup. Then Hunley approached Sheldon, who buckled in the driver's seat, and asked for the keys. Sheldon refused to hand them over. Hunley reached in and tried to get Sheldon out of the car. Then a dashcam video shows the corporal, along with Officer Matt Sams, trying once again to remove Sheldon from the car. During the struggle, Sheldon drove off. A back tire rolled over one of Sams' feet. Hunley's upper body was in the car as the two continued to struggle. His feet were dangling outside. Hunley repeatedly told Sheldon to stop the car, but Sheldon continued to drive, telling the officer to "just get out," a police report says. They continued to struggle, with both men holding onto the steering wheel, the car door open and the VW traveling more than 80 mph. The report says Sheldon swerved the vehicle toward a guard rail at the bridge in the 600 block of North Pine Avenue. The car was damaged when it hit a raised median in the 900 block of South Pine Avenue. Hunley then turned the steering wheel to the left, which made the car turn onto Southwest 10th Street, where it stopped. Sheldon crawled out the passenger side window to escape. Hunley pulled out his Taser and stunned him. It appeared to have no effect, as Sheldon continued to resist. Hunley tackled him and placed him under arrest. Sheldon had just been release on Oct. 24 from Marion Correction Institution after serving more than a year for credit card fraud and cocaine possession.
OCALA - Ocala police tried to pull over an Ocala man driving a tow truck Monday morning to question him about a sex crime reportedly committed earlier in the day. Ten minutes and nine miles later, the driver faced several unrelated felony charges. Bret A. Wass, 28, driving the tow truck and pulling a sports utility vehicle, led police officers and Marion County sheriff's deputies on a 9-mile chase through Ocala just after 9 a.m, according to police reports. Wass raced the tow truck from State Road 200 and 17th Street to County Road 475 where, after almost striking a sheriff's deputy, the vehicle slammed into a tree at the entrance to the Brookstone subdivision, the report said. "We recognized his vehicle and wanted to question him," said Ocala police spokesman Sgt. Lou Biondi. "We tried to do a traffic stop, but he didn't stop." Biondi said Wass was a suspect in a sexual assault case that occurred around 8 a.m. Monday morning. The victim told police what kind of vehicle the suspect was driving. During the chase, officers said Wass was traveling at speeds up to 60 mph. Marion County Sheriff Sgt. Jeff Gold responded to the chase and got ahead of Wass on County Road 475 to lay down stop sticks. He then came face to face with Wass, who allegedly turned to miss the spike strips and reportedly barreled straight toward him. "They were coming up northbound on 475 and I looked straight at him," Gold said. "I saw him look right at me and cut the wheel." Gold dove out of the path of Wass, who slammed into Gold's car before running into a tree. "There's no doubt in my mind he was intentionally aiming at me, I mean, he missed me by inches," Gold said. "I've been doing this for about 18 years now, but I have never been more scared for my life. "It was a mighty big vehicle to have running down on you." Wass suffered multiple injuries in the crash and was taken under police escort to Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Biondi said he will be charged with felony fleeing and eluding, attempted murder and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. The investigation into the sexual assault case is ongoing.
A man broke into a drug rehab facility and when he was confronted by someone he ran away and stole a van from the center. He then led police on a chase and there is police video of the man jumping out of the stolen van during the chase. The van careened into an apartment building and exploded.
An Ocala, FLORIDA woman was arrested after officer said she rammed two patrol cars and then fled from them. Robin Kennedy, 24, is charged with aggravated battery on law enforcement, leaving the scene of a crash with property damage, fleeing and eluding, DUI and resisting an officer without violence. Authorities said they were conducting a traffic stop near Southwest 7th Place and Southwest 20th Avenue when a silver Mercury Sable driven by Kennedy drove head-on into an officer's patrol car. Kennedy hit the patrol car twice before leaving the area, according to the arrest report. "If anyone would go and try to run into a police car, certainly they create a danger to the public," said Ocala Police Sgt. Chas Maier. Officers said they asked Kennedy several times to stop while she was backing away from the patrol car, but she failed to comply with their requests. While leaving the area, Kennedy also hit and damaged a mailbox, according to officials. According to the arrest affidavit, Kennedy drove through the streets of Ocala not stopping for officers as they tried to pull her over. At one point Kennedy stopped in a cul de sac, and when the officer left his vehicle to speak with her she made a U-turn and tried to leave the scene, police said. Officers said Kennedy again struck the officer's patrol car as she left the area. Kennedy continued to flee from the police and hit an entrance gate as she pulled into a horse farm, the arrest report said. Authorities said Kennedy finally stopped in front of horse stables and exited her vehicle with her hands in the air. According to the arrest affidavit, Kennedy had a strong odor of alcohol on her breath, her eyes were bloodshot and her speech was slurred. The arresting officer said that while in the holding cell at the Marion County Jail, Kennedy answered his questions sarcastically and in a foreign language. Kennedy was arrested in 2009 for public indecency.
OCALA - Victor Walker, the 22-year-old man accused of firing an assault rifle at two Marion County deputies on Monday afternoon, said the charges are “just accusations” and he wasn’t the shooter. But a woman also making a first court appearance via video link from the jail Tuesday morning said she was in the car with him and it was him. Walker wore heavier restraints than most inmates Tuesday morning. He was wearing shackles on his legs and a chain around his waist to restrain his arms. He had bandages on his left and right elbows and was dressed in a red jail uniform. With short, sharp, snappy answers, Walker told County Judge Steven G. Rogers that he needed an appointed lawyer. He said he had been out of work for about a month. Walker told the judge he had been “barely making it.” Rogers appointed a public defender to represent him and ordered him held without bail on several serious charges, including two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and two counts of attempted murder on a law enforcement official. Outside of the jailhouse courtroom after his first appearance, Walker at first denied interview requests by reporters. Later he said: “These are just accusations.” Walker said he wasn’t the one who shot at the deputies. Katy Radney was at the jail, too, charged with violating her probation for retail theft. Radney said she was in the Nissan Altima with Walker just before the shooting and said she saw him do it. However, the Sheriff's Office account appears to indicate Walker may have traveled some distance after letting her out of the care when the shooting occurred. She knows Walker from Ohio, Radney said, and all the people in the Nissan – Walker, her, her fiancé Allen Butler and their 5-month-old son – had come to Marion County from Ohio on April 7. She and her family had been at her mother’s house in Florida Highlands on Monday when Walker called. They were getting together to discuss their return to Ohio. During the drive, Walker failed to stop at a four-way stop sign. That was when a deputy pulled them over, she said. Walker gave the deputy a false name, something like “Jeremy,” Radney said. And the deputy soon called for backup. As the second deputy’s car was coming around the corner, Walker sped away. Radney said she and her fiancé screamed at him, telling him to let them out. After a couple of blocks, she said, he stopped and let them leave the car. Then, Radney said, she saw Walker fire five or six shots at the deputies. A Sheriff's Office report indicates 19 casings were found from an AK-47. Radney said she had not known Walker might have violent tendencies and said she’s mad at him for putting her family’s lives in danger.
Video from a dashboard camera shows how a Marion County deputy was nearly run over by a suspected drunk driver last week. Deputy Alan Jones had just let one driver go with a warning when, he says, another driver, Sally Davidson, nearly side-swiped him. Deputy Jones said his encounter was the closest he's come to the emergency room in his three years with the Marion County Sheriff's Office. On Friday, June 4, Deputy Jones was wrapping up a traffic stop along south Hwy-441 with a warning to the driver when he was forced to take his own advice. "Here you go, just make sure you're paying attention," Jones told the driver he had pulled over and was sending on their way with a warning. "Alright, I will," the driver replied. "Alright, that's alright, have a good one," he said. Jones said Thursday, if he'd hesitated, he would've been struck. "At first, I saw the headlights and thought maybe someone's pulling behind me to ask for some directions. Then it hit me, they're not slowing down," Deputy Jones said. "A car almost hit me!" Jones can be heard saying in the dash cam video. Jones pursued the driver of the vehicle that weaved onto the shoulder of the road. About a mile away, he pulled over 67-year-old Sally Davidson. "Ma’am, do you have your driver's license on you?" he asked Davidson. "Yes, what did I do wrong?" she asked. "You almost hit me," he replied. "Are you kidding me?" "No ma’am, I’m not kidding you," he said. "You almost ran me over on the side of the road." "I'm sorry, I didn't see you," she said. Davidson was apologetic, but Deputy Jones said she also admitted to drinking some wine, which lead to a sobriety test. The sheriff's office said Davidson's blood-alcohol level was .095, just over the legal limit. Davidson, who has no criminal history, was charged with DUI. The sheriff's office said she could have also been fined for failure to follow the state's "Move Over Law," which requires drivers to make way for emergency vehicles. Deputy Jones just hopes the video serves as a reminder to others to be more aware when driving and to always get over a lane when passing stopped emergency vehicles.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office stands by its decision to chase an armed-robbery suspect through downtown Ocala on Tuesday, a chase that left a motorist with severe injuries after the suspect slammed his car into hers. Eddie Rocker, 32, was arrested after a foot chase following the crash and remains in the Marion County Jail with no bail. Rescue workers had to cut open Kimberly Lynn Bergman's car to get the 26-year-old out of the wreckage. Her condition has improved and she was listed in fair condition Thursday at Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Like all vehicle pursuits involving the Sheriff's Office, the incident is being reviewed by supervisors, said sheriff's Capt. Dennis Strow, assistant bureau chief of community policing. Strow added that, while sheriff's officials regret that Bergman was injured, he believes deputies followed proper protocol and made the right choice. Strow said the entire pursuit took place in just 23 seconds, so law enforcement officers had to decide quickly how to handle the situation, including whether to back off. "That's a lot to to be processed in 23 seconds," he said. Rocker had a warrant out for his arrest after being accused of robbing a Walgreens at gunpoint on State Road 200 in August. The incident began Tuesday at about 7 p.m., when sheriff's deputies spotted Rocker in a 2002 Hyundai Elantra. He sped off west on Silver Springs Boulevard when deputies turned on their flashing lights. Deputies said he sped through red lights, at an estimated speed of 70 mph in a posted 30 mph zone. His car collided with Bergman's Toyota Corolla, which was traveling south on Magnolia Avenue. A videotape of the incident released by deputies Thursday shows a spiked stop stick being thrown onto the street that failed to slow him down. The tape also shows the collision, which left both cars in the median and debris scattered over the street. According to the Sheriff's Office policy, "a vehicle pursuit is justifiable when the necessity of immediate apprehension of the suspect(s) outweighs the danger to the community created by the pursuit." The responsibility for initiating a vehicle pursuit rests with the individual deputy, although it can be canceled by a supervisor. "We consider any armed-robbery a trigger pull from murder," Strow said. It is unlikely he would have stopped running, even if the deputy had backed off, said Sue Livoti, a Sheriff's Office spokeswoman. "He told deputies when they caught him, 'I wasn't going to stop, because I didn't want to go to jail," Livoti said. Family members have been by Bergman's side since the accident. Ray Gilmore, who is related to Bergman by marriage, called her a "wonderful person." He described the deputies' chase as "cowboy mentality" and that the Sheriff's Office policy needs a "very serious overhaul." "It was a blundered job of search and capture and, with a bit of patience, could have been handled much more professionally without a chase," Gilmore said. Joe Gilmore, Bergman's husband's grandfather, said she was removed from a medically induced coma on Wednesday. The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the accident. But FHP officials on the scene of the accident said they hold Rocker responsible for the crash. He has also been charged with two counts of resisting arrest. Strow said the Sheriff's Office has been in constant contact with Bergman's family since the accident.
Florida Spike Strip and Crash
Police are called to a housing unit because a guy is raising hell with the other tenants. The police arrive and the guy takes off and the pursuit is on! It later turns out that the guy also had warrants out for his arrest. At the end of the pursuit the suspect ends up crashing into 2 cars. DRIVER : LAMAR LEON SCOTT
OCALA - Sheila Miller told investigators Monday she thought the men accused of killing her mother and wounding her father during a home invasion Friday would be bringing her a present when she gave them directions to her parents' home. She was acquainted with two of the three men, Marion County sheriff's officials said. The violence erupted within 90 minutes of their arrival at the Villages of Springdale home on Southeast 179th Wesley Street in the south Marion County retirement community. Sheila Miller told detectives during an interview Monday that she met Renaldo D. McGirth, 18, and Theodore C. Huston, 17, two years ago through an acquaintance. They had helped her move, sheriff's Capt. James Pogue said. She told detectives she hadn't seen or talked to them since. That was until Friday, when she received a phone call from one of the men, who was sympathizing about a recent car accident that left her in a wheelchair and wanted to bring her a gift. When the men arrived, detectives said, there was a third man, later identified as Jarrord M. Roberts, 20, whom she had never seen. She invited the men inside. Sheila Miller's mother, Diana Miller, was first shot in the chest and later, fatally, in the head. James Miller, who was also interviewed Monday, told investigators he felt his daughter knew the men and didn't feel threatened when he went to take a shower. When he got out, his wife was dead. One of the men shot him in the head and left him for dead. They kidnapped Sheila Miller and fled in her parents' Ford Windstar van, stopping at automatic teller machines in The Villages, Belleview and Gainesville, sheriff's officials said. In a surveillance video from The Oaks Mall in Gainesville, Sheila Miller can be seen being pushed around the mall as they tried to get more money out of ATMs, officials said. All three men were charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery, armed kidnapping and resisting an officer without violence. Investigators continue to investigate how Sheila Miller knew the suspects and whether she had prior knowledge of the robbery. "We have no evidence at this time to indicate she had anything to do with it," Pogue said. Pogue said that, though Sheila Miller is listed as a victim, investigators are trying to corroborate her story. Considering Sheila Miller's criminal background, Pogue said, they will continue investigating her relationship with the men. "It's definitely part of the investigation to look at this (background) and take it all into consideration," said Pogue, whose news release states Sheila Miller was arrested in Roscommon County, Mich., on drug charges in 1990. She was also arrested last year on aggravated battery charges after she used her truck to strike her ex-boyfriend, Joe Carpenter, who was walking on the side of Southeast 44th Street near Belleview. Carpenter, who sustained minor injuries, later asked prosecutors to drop the charges, which they did.