Showing posts with label Merritt Island. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Merritt Island. Show all posts

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Florida Man Steals Cable Truck, Knocks Out Service For Thousands

COCOA, Florida – A Florida man knocked out cable service for thousands of customers when he allegedly stole a cable truck that workers were using to feed new fiber optic cables lines in a neighborhood in Cocoa, Florida.

According to police, a worker was performing repair work inside a trailer attached to the truck parked on the side of South Fiske Boulevard when he felt the trailer start to rock and move. The worker then jumped out of the trailer and watched the truck speed away with the trailer. 

As the truck traveled southbound, the cable that was being fed from the trailer was yanked off of the utility pole, causing over $10,000 in damage to the fiber optic lines and knocking out service for 7,000 customers, including the Rockledge and Cocoa Police Departments.

Several minutes later, 25-year-old Shane Edward Younger of Melbourne, Florida allegedly parked the truck in front of the restaurant so as to prevent other customers from being able to park. A chef in the restaurant asked Younger to move the truck but Younger denied that the truck was his.

Younger also allegedly told his waitress that people were trying to kill him. 

The Denny’s employees then called the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office who later notified the Cocoa Police Department that the truck had been located at a Denny’s in Merritt Island, Florida.

Younger was arrested and charged with Grand Theft, Felony Criminal Mischief, Driving While License Suspended, and Violation of Probation.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

$103,000 Fantasy Five Ticket Sold On Merritt Island

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida — The Florida Lottery announced that one of two winning tickets which matched all five numbers drawn in last night’s Fantasy 5 game was sold on Merritt Island, Florida.

The winning ticket worth $103,970.74 was sold at a Publix supermarket located at 1850 North Courtenay Parkway. 

The winning Fantasy 5 numbers for Tuesday, March 6, 2018, are: 02-04-13-19-33.

The odds of picking all five winning Fantasy Five numbers are 1 in 376,992.

There were also 277 players who picked four out of five numbers to win $121.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Pedestrian Killed On State Road 520 In Merritt Island

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida – A pedestrian was struck and killed Friday night while attempting to cross State Road 520 near the intersection of Newfound Harbor Drive in Merritt Island, Florida.

Around 8:40 p.m. on February 9, 2017, 55-year-old Richard Gyomber of Weaver, Alabama, was attempting to cross State Road 520 from north to south. 

Meanwhile, 24-year-old Vanessa Suarez of Merritt Island, Florida, was driving a 2012 Nissan when the front of the vehicle struck the pedestrian.

Suarez was wearing her seat belt at the time of the crash and alcohol was not a factor in the accident, according to FHP reports.

Gyomber was transported to Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

WATCH LIVE: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Countdown and Launch

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Demonstration Launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – SpaceX is poised to make space history once again with the launch its Falcon 9 Heavy rocket carrying a midnight cherry Tesla roadster into a Martian solar orbit.

The most powerful rocket since the Saturn V lunar missions is scheduled to liftoff at 2:50 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The launch was pushed back from 1:30 p.m. due to high winds.

The launch window remains open until 4 p.m.

Launch Weather 80% ‘GO’

According to the latest forecast from the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron, there is an 80% chance of favorable weather for the launch. The primary concerns are liftoff winds and thick clouds.

Booster Rockets Ground Landing, Double Sonic Booms

After first booster separation from the core, SpaceX will attempt to land two Falcon Heavy booster rockets on land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Landing Zones 1 and 2.

Landing Zones 1 and 2 are built on the former site of Space Launch Complex 13, a Cold War-Era U.S. Air Force rocket and missile testing range last used in 1978.

Residents of the communities of Cape Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island, Mims, Port Canaveral, Port St. John, Rockledge, Scottsmoor, Sharpes, and Titusville, Florida, are most likely to hear a sonic boom, although what Brevard County residents experience will depend on weather conditions and other factors.

Attempted Core Rocket Landing On Drone Ship

Following stage separation, the core rocket of the Falcon Heavy will attempt a landing on the Of Course I Still Love You autonomous drone ship downrange in the Atlantic Ocean.

Image and video credit: SpaceX


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Two Separate Shootings At Tropical Manor Apartments Within 72 Hours

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida – Two separate shootings occurred within 72 hours of each other at Tropical Manor Apartments located at 1165 Jordan Road in Merritt Island, Florida.

According to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, 28-year-old Morgan Booth told deputies that she went to Tropical Manor Apartments with her boyfriend to buy some ‘weed’ around 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 28, 2018.

While at the apartment complex, Booth had an argument with an unknown female in front of the ‘K’ building. Booth then sat in the passenger seat of a black Chevrolet Impala rental car driven by her boyfriend. Just before the Impala left the parking lot, Booth allegedly exited the vehicle to obtain a silver handgun from the Impala’s trunk.

Deputies say that Booth then returned to the passenger seat but left the car door open and fired several rounds at the ‘K’ building. An unknown person also fired rounds at the Impala, striking the vehicle’s rear driver’s side.

Booth was later arrested on the charges of Discharging a firearm from a vehicle, Shooting into an occupied dwelling, and violation of felony probation.

Less than 72 hours later, a separate shooting occurred at Tropical Manor Apartment around 4 a.m. on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

One man suffered non-life-threatening injuries during the second shooting. So far, no arrests have been made related to the second incident.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Men Charged With Using Gill Nets In Indian River Lagoon

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida – Four men were arrested for allegedly fishing with an illegal gill net in the Indian River Lagoon on Sunday.

Gill nets are designed to allow fish to get only their head through the netting, but not their body. The fish’s gills then get caught in the mesh as the fish tries to back out of the net. As the fish struggles to free itself, it becomes more and more entangled.

Gill nets pose a hazard to endangered species because dolphins and sea turtles can become entangled in the net and drown.

The men were allegedly fishing with a gill net in excess of 2,000 square feet, a third-degree felony, in the Banana River near Pineda Causeway off of south Merritt Island, Florida.

Florida Fish and Wildlife also charged the men for illegal possession of snook out of season; undersized red fish, stone crab, and sheeps head; and over the bag limits of sheeps head, red fish, and mullet; and failure to display a fishing license. 

All four men were booked in the Brevard County Jail on bonds exceeding $10,000.

Silver Springs, Maryland

Silver Springs, Maryland

Carlos Pineda- Durantes
Charlotte, North Carolina

David Santiago Salinas-Lopez
Orlando, Florida

Friday, January 12, 2018

Circuit City Set To Re-Launch After Bankruptcy

Closed Circuit City In Merritt Island, Florida

Electronics retailer Circuit City is set to re-launch after filing for bankruptcy and closing its stores in 2009.

According to the technology and consumer industry publication, Circuit City will relaunch first as a e-commerce website on February 15, 2018 and later deploy kiosks and showrooms in brick-and-mortar locations.

Under new leadership, the company announced a partnership with IBM Watson commerce, which incorporates AI and other new retail technologies to its web platform.

Once the “go-to” electronics store in the 1990’s, the chain found itself playing catch up in the early 2000’s on both store design and pricing with big box retailers such as Walmart and head-to-head competitor Best Buy. 

Before closing its doors, Circuit City had 49 locations in Florida, including two in Brevard County on Merritt Island and in Melbourne, Florida.

Image credit: Google

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

2017 Merritt Island Christmas Parade Winners

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida – The Central Area of Brevard County Parks and Recreation announced the winners of the 2017 Merritt Island Holiday Parade, which was held on Saturday, December 2, 2017.

Dr. Fair’s Office

1ST PLACE: MILA Elementary
2ND PLACE: Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School Dance Team
3RD PLACE: Merritt Island Christian School Showstoppers

1ST PLACE: Merritt Island High & Edgewood Jr./ Sr.  High School Marching Bands
2ND PLACE: Jefferson Middle & Merritt Island High School Orchestras
3RD PLACE: No Entry

1ST PLACE: YMCA Adventure Maidens
2ND PLACE: Merritt Island Rotary Club
3RD PLACE: Teen Missions International

1ST PLACE: Girl Scouts Sparkling Rivers
2ND PLACE: Cub Scout Pack 701
3RD PLACE: Merritt Island Pop Warner Youth Cheer

1ST PLACE: Mini’s of Brevard
2ND PLACE: Space Coast Seafarers Ministry
3RD PLACE: Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation

1ST PLACE: Dussich Dance Studio
2ND PLACE: Trinnity Fitness Merritt Island
3RD PLACE: DJ Gene & Karaoke Machine

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2017 Merritt Island Christmas Parade December 2

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida – The Central Area of Brevard County Parks and Recreation will host the 2017 Merritt Island Holiday Parade, “Holiday By the Shore,” starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 2, 2017.

The parade will start at Merritt Island High School at Grove Boulevard and continue south on Courtenay Parkway (State Road 3) to East Merritt Avenue and end at Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School.

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office will close Courtenay Parkway (SR3) from Grove Boulevard to Merritt Avenue and Merritt Avenue east to Plumosa Avenue at 9:30 a.m. until approximately 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 2, for the Merritt Island Holiday Parade.

Traffic will be re-routed to Tropical Trail, State Road 520 and State Road 528. Motorists wishing to drive through the area are cautioned to allow extra time.

For additional information about the parade please call 321-633-1874. If you wish to participate in the parade, applications are available on the Brevard County government website under Forms and Documents at 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

24-Year-Old Merritt Island Man Killed In Crash

ORANGE COUNTY, Florida – 24-year-old Trevor Cobb of Merritt Island, Florida died as a result of injuries he sustained in a vehicle crash that occurred Monday night on State Road 528 near mile marker 22.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Cobb was driving a 2006 Chevy SUV westbound on State Road 528 and approaching the exit ramp to Monument Parkway around 10:18 p.m. on October 2, 2017.

For an unknown reason, the Chevy traveled off the roadway onto the right shoulder and then struck a tree.

Cobb, who FHP says was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected during the crash. 

Cobb was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center were he was pronounced deceased.

The crash remains under investigation.

Image credit: Google

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Brevard County Commission Passes Resolution For Emergency Repairs To Sykes Creek Bridge


MERRITT ISLAND, Florida – The Brevard County Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution to implement emergency repairs on the Sea Ray Drive/Sykes Creek Bridge, which has been closed since September 10 due to damages from Hurricane Irma.

The resolution is required for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin temporary repairs of the bridge to stabilize the critical water and sewer mains and to reduce the threat of failure. The Direct Federal Assistance mission will eliminate or lessen immediate threats of significant additional damage.

“The bridge provides support for critical water and sewer mains between the mainland and coastal communities, and a nearby sub-aqueous water main also sustained damage as a result of Hurricane Irma, and the compromised structural integrity of the bridge poses an immediate public health and safety threat,” the resolution stated.

The emergency resolution, as requested by the state through the Florida Department of Transportation and Florida Division of Emergency Management, also requires a projected timeline for permanent restoration work that will be handled by the County with potential for reimbursement through FEMA.

According to the resolution, Brevard County firmly commits to work expeditiously toward a permanent restorative and rehabilitative solution for the bridge as follows:

1) To restore or rehabilitate the bridge to its pre-disaster function (which may include FEMA reimbursement);

2) To continue working in a collaborative and supportive manner with the City of Cocoa as it makes necessary repairs to restore a nearby key sub-aqueous water main to is pre-disaster function (which may include FEMA reimbursement);

3) To address pertinent damages or deterioration to the bridge not caused by a disaster (which would not include FEMA reimbursement); and

4) Brevard County agrees to give best efforts to meet the following project timelines:

(a) To begin preliminary survey, investigation and design work as soon as possible but not later than 30 days after completion of the USACE DFA mission;

(b) To begin construction within six months, subject to compliance with the required procurement regulations, permitting regulations and FDOT reviews, and

(c) To complete construction with 12 to 18 months of construction initiation.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Brevard County Hurricane Shelter Locations For Irma

Hurricane Irma


Two Brevard County evacuation shelters that opened in advance of Hurricane Irma’s arrival closed Monday.

Those that closed Monday were:

Space Coast Junior/Senior High, which closed due to low census. Anyone seeking shelter there will be redirected to Imperial Elementary School, 900 Imperial Estates Lane, Titusville.

Heritage High School also closed due to low census. Anyone seeking shelter there will be redirected to Bayside High School, 1901 DeGroodt Road, Palm Bay.

Previous Story:

BREVARD COUNTY, FL. — Brevard County has announced a mandatory evacuation order starting at 3 p.m. on Friday, September 8, 2017 in advance of approaching Hurricane Irma. This order is for Evacuation Zone A which includes the barrier islands, Merritt Island and some mainland low-lying areas along the Indian River Lagoon.

Also, those who live in mobile or manufactured homes or in other flood-prone areas are vulnerable and should evacuate, whether on the mainland or the barrier islands.

The evacuation order is effective at 3 p.m. on Friday so that residents and visitors have a minimum of 24 hours in which to prepare their homes and take shelter before the arrival of tropical storm-force winds, which are expected overnight Saturday night.

The following shelters will open at 3 p.m. on Friday:

Port St. John Community Center, 6650 Corto Road, Port St. John
Viera Regional Community Center, 2300 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera
Wickham Park Community Center, 2815 Leisure Way, Melbourne
Ted Whitlock Community Center at Fred Poppe Regional Park, 1951 Malabar Rd NW, Palm Bay

General Population

Apollo Elementary School, 3085 Knox McRae Dr., Titusville
Imperial Estates Elementary School, 900 Imperial Estates Lane, Titusville
Space Coast Junior/Senior High, 6150 Banyan Street, Port St John
Walter Butler Community Center at Bernice Jackson Park, 4201 US Highway 1, Cocoa
Manatee Elementary School, 3425 Viera Blvd., Viera
Sherwood Elementary School, 2541 Post Road, Melbourne
Melbourne High School, 74 Bulldog Blvd., Melbourne
Meadowlane Intermediate Elementary, 2700 Wingate Blvd., West Melbourne
Heritage High School 2351 Malabar Rd., Palm Bay
Bayside High School, 1901 DeGroodt Rd. S.W. Palm Bay
South Mainland Community Center, 3700 Allen Ave., Micco

Special needs shelters will also open on Friday; telephone calls to registered clients will begin today, as County staffers determine which residents will require transportation via Space Coast Area Transit buses.

Although shelters will provide food, residents going to shelters will need to take their own supplies, including bedding, folding chairs or sleeping bags; any needed medications; multiple changes of clothing and sturdy shoes; personal hygiene items; and entertainment items, like games, cards, books, or magazines.

Residents who do not plan to stay in public shelters are encouraged to stay with family or friends on the mainland, and to evacuate tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles, as traffic on highways and interstates is likely to be heavier.

For information about this and other Hurricane Irma questions, call the Community Information Hotline at 2-1-1.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Smelly, Bad Tasting, Drinking Water In Brevard County

City of Cocoa Water Tower

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida – The Cocoa Utilities Department has recently received several complaints about the taste and odor of the drinking water throughout their service area (Central Brevard County).

The city’s water department has sent crews out to various areas in their system to flush pipes while lab technicians have been out testing the water quality. 

“We are continually monitoring and testing our water to provide the safest possible water to our customers,” the City of Cocoa said in a release. 

“All of the tests have shown the water meets all drinking water quality standards and is safe to drink.”

If you notice an unusual odor or taste to your water, the City of Cocoa is asking customers to please report it to their Water Quality Lab at 321-433-8707.

Photo credit: City of Cocoa

Friday, August 18, 2017

Brevard County Public Schools Teacher Pleads Guilty To Molesting Student

BREVARD COUNTY, Florida – A Brevard County Public Schools teacher was sentenced to 8 years in prison and 10 years of probation by Brevard County Circuit Court Judge David Dugan on Wednesday after he plead guilty to two counts of lewd and lascivious acts upon a child under 14 years of age, one count of molesting a child 12 to 16 years of age, four counts of possession of material depicting a sexual conduct by a child, and one count of using an electronic device to transmit harmful material to a minor.

In August 2015, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office arrested Andrew Bayard of Merritt Island, Florida, after he traveled to a prearranged location in Brevard County to meet what he thought was a teenage girl for the purpose of engaging in a sexual relationship.

The investigation began in July 2015, after a former student of Bayard’s reported that she had previously had an inappropriate relationship that began when he was her teacher at Suntree Elementary.

The student had since moved out of state and reported the relationship to her father after the 34-year-old teacher began texting her and sent her an obscene video of himself.

A Sheriff’s Office Agent assumed the teen’s communication with Bayard. During these conversations, the Agent, acting as the child, advised Bayard that the teenager would be in Brevard County on the weekend of August 28, 2015.  Investigators say that Bayard then contacted the Agent for the purpose of meeting the teenage girl for sex.

Bayard then made arrangements to meet the girl at a prearranged location and was arrested after he arrived at the location by Agents.

Bayard was employed with the Brevard County School system during the 2013-14 school year at Kennedy Middle School and Suntree Elementary and 2014-15 at Viera High School.

Bayard’s contract with Brevard County Public Schools was not renewed following his arrest.

Bayard is among a long list of Brevard Public School employees who have been charged with sexual offenses related to children in recent years.

In July 2017, a former BPS bus driver and substitute teacher was arrested on allegations of child molestation.

Just last month, a Satellite High School teacher was charged with lewd and lascivious conduct and promotion of sexual performance of a child under 16 years of age.

In June 2016, a Spessard Holland Elementary School principal was arrested for possession of child pornography.

In May 2016, an Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School teacher plead guilty to having sex with a 15-year-old student.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fatal Fiery Crash Knocks Out Power In Merritt Island

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida – A Brevard County man died after a car that he was driving impacted a utility pole, split in half, burst into flames, and knocked out power for over 200 people on Newfound Harbor Drive in Merritt Island, Florida.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 36-year-old Richard Seborowski of Merritt Island, Florida was driving a 2017 Chevy northbound on Newfound Harbour Drive at a high rate of speed just before midnight on Tuesday.

When the Chevy approached the intersection of Keokuk Street, Seborowski drove right of the center and onto the unpaved east shoulder, striking a power pole with the front of vehicle.

Power lines and a transformer fell as a result of the force of the impact. The Chevy then rotated clockwise, striking a tree with the vehicle’s left side, and split into two halves.

The Chevy’s rear half struck a stop sign and came to final rest in the yard of 480 Newfound Harbour Drive. The front half came to final rest facing south on the eastbound travel lane of Keokuk Street.

A nearby residence then caught on fire which was later extinguished by Brevard County Fire Rescue crews. 

Seborowski was ejected during the crash and was later airlifted by medical helicopter to a trauma center at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Florida where he later died.

FPL says that power will be restored to residences affected by the crash later this morning.

Photo credit: BCFR

Monday, July 3, 2017

Former Brevard Public Schools Substitute Teacher, Bus Driver Arrested For Child Molestation

VIERA, Florida – An owner of a children’s gymnastic club in Brevard County was arrested and charged with sexual battery of a child under 12 Thursday night.

39-year-old Ronald Henry Hartsfield of Merritt Island, Florida was arrested by Rockledge police and booked into the Brevard County Jail under a “no bond” status.

According to Brevard Public Schools spokesman Matt Reed, Hartsfield was also a bus driver from 2013 until his resignation in January 2016.

In addition to being a bus driver, Hartsfield was registered as a substitute teacher for Brevard Public Schools but was removed from the pool of substitute teachers in June due to inactivity.

Hartsfield is the owner of Viera Gymnastics located in Rockledge, Florida that caters to teaching young girls competitive gymnastics.

According to the Rockledge Police Department, Hartsfield went on a road trip with one of his female students to Texas in May when the sexual battery occurred.

In March, the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce named Viera Gymnastics “Business Champion of the Month.”

According to State of Florida records, Viera Gymnastics was started in August 2015.

This is how Viera Gymnastics describes itself on its website:

“Our focus is on training our athletes for local, regional and national competitions. Our primary focus is Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (WAG).  We follow the USAG Junior Olympic Compulsory and Optionals Program.

We provide a small class setting (1:6 teach/student ratio) to allow athletes ample time on apparatus and attention from coaches.

Though we are focused on the competitive aspects of gymnastics we also strive to make it a safe, fun environment where smiles and laughter are often encouraged.”

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Man Arrested For Merritt Island Drive-By Retaliation Shooting

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida – The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 18-year-old Joshua Joseph Rodriguez, of Rockledge, Florida for a shooting that occurred on Saturday, June 24, 2017, in the 500 block of Lincoln Avenue in Merritt Island, Florida.

The investigation began after deputies responded to Lincoln Avenue concerning an emergency 9-1-1 call reporting a male had been shot in a drive-by shooting.

When deputies arrived, they  located the gunshot victim and provided medical treatment to his non-life threatening injuries until Brevard County Fire Rescue arrived and transported him to a local hospital.

Deputies then began to interview witnesses in the area and learned the suspect of the drive-by shooting had fled the area in a maroon Nissan SUV. Moments after receiving this information, East Precinct deputies located a vehicle matching the description and conducted a traffic stop. The driver, and sole occupant was identified as Rodriguez, and was also found to be in possession of a .380 handgun.

Investigators say that statements attributed the Merritt Island shooting as retaliation for a previous shooting in Cocoa, Florida.

Rodriguez was charged with Attempted Murder, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, Discharging a Firearm from a Motor Vehicle, and is currently being held at the Brevard County Jail on No Bond.

Anyone who may have information about Rodriguez or the incident is asked to please call Agent Raonel Barrial of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office East Precinct General Crimes Unit at 321-454-6640 or CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

All calls to CRIMELINE are confidential and callers can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Two Men Found Dead In Port Saint John

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a homicide investigation at a residence in the 6900 block of Ackerman Avenue in Port Saint John, Florida.

The Sheriff’s Office was notified on Saturday, June 16, 2017, of two men who were last seen in the area of Merritt Island and were considered missing.

At approximately 9:16 p.m. on  Tuesday, June 20, 2017, the same person who reported the men missing before contacted the Sheriff’s Office again to report that he had located the deceased men at the Port Saint John residence.

The identities of the two men are being withheld at this time.

The investigation remains ongoing as members of the Crime Scene and Homicide Units are still collecting evidence and conducting interviews to determine the leading up to the men’s deaths.

Investigators are asking anyone who may have information about this crime to please call Agent Don Reynolds of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit at 321-633-8413 or CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

All calls to CRIMELINE are confidential and callers can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward.

Image credit: Google

Friday, June 9, 2017

Florida Man Threatens Man With Machete To Go Steal Beer From Walmart

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida – A Florida man is in jail after he allegedly threatened another man with a machete to make him to steal beer from a Walmart in Merritt Island, Florida.

The victim was inside his friend’s boat in a wooded area near Kiwanis Island park that is just west of the Walmart Supercenter located at 1500 East Merritt Island Causeway.

According to Brevard County Sheriff’s deputies, 51-year-old Michael Richard Laplante approached the boat around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday and pulled a long metal machete with a serrated edge from a duffel bag.  Laplante then allegedly demanded that the victim give him a bicycle that was inside the boat and ordered the victim to take the bicycle from the wooded area to Merritt Island Causeway.

After the two men had cleared the woods, Laplante ordered the victim to go inside the nearby Walmart and steal two six packs of beer, according to the arrest affidavit.

The victim then walked towards the Walmart but went inside Molly’s Seafood Shack, a restaurant adjacent to the Walmart parking lot, and called law enforcement.

The responding deputies were able to locate Laplante and also recovered the machete.

Laplante was charged with kidnapping and robbery with a weapon. He was booked into the Brevard County Jail under a no bond status.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Florida Man Calls 911 For Ride To Hooters, Gets Ride To Jail Instead

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida – A Florida man allegedly made a false 911 call to get a ride from Brevard County Sheriff’s deputies to a Hooters restaurant in Merritt Island, Florida.

According to sheriff’s deputies, 28-year-old Jonathan Clayton Hinkle of Merritt Island, Florida called 911 and told dispatchers that his elderly grandmother was having a stroke in the parking lot of Hooters and that he needed to get to her to assist her.

Hinkle allegedly told the 911 operator that he was running as fast as he could from south Merritt Island in order to get to his grandmother and help her. He then allegedly asked the dispatcher if he could obtain a ride from deputies in exchange for money so that he could assist his grandmother.

However, the responding deputies were unable to locate Hinkle’s grandmother after an extensive search for about an hour around the restaurant.

Three hours after the initial 911 call, deputies were able to locate Hinkle’s grandmother. The grandmother stated in a sworn interview with deputies that she never called Hinkle to say that she was in distress or needed medical attention.

Deputies then arrested Hinkle and gave him a ride to the Brevard County Jail in Sharpes, Florida where he was charged with misuse of the 911 system, his fourth offense.