A 35-year old Key West man previously convicted for shooting an AR-style rifle on Truman Avenue in 2011 was arrested Monday morning. A tip from a concerned citizen led Key West police to the man, who was riding a scooter with an assault rifle, a pistol and two hundred rounds of ammo hidden in a guitar case and a military styled backpack.
Key West Police officers are often called upon to rescue dogs and sometimes kittens, but this week they had a call that could only happen while protecting paradise. Around 5 a.m. Wednesday, a concerned citizen reported seeing a loggerhead turtle laying her eggs on the Bridle Path across the street from Smather’s Beach. When officers arrived, they found the gigantic animal attempting to cross the four-lane South Roosevelt Blvd. and return to the ocean. They immediately set up a perimeter – blocking traffic to ensure [continue reading…]
People all over the nation sleep a little easier at night knowing that law enforcement officers are out there keeping them safe. These officers dedicate their lives protecting and serving their communities so that residents lives are safe and peaceful. Yet, every year some of them make the ultimate sacrifice for the ease and the security the rest of us enjoy. On Friday, May 19th the community will have the opportunity to pay tribute to those brave men and women who have fallen in the [continue reading…]
The Key West Police Athletic League and the Key West Police Department is urging the community to participate in Saturday’s Cops N Kids 5K walk/run starting at 8 a.m. at Horace O Bryant School. Participants can sign up on line at www.themeruns.com or sign up the morning of the event. PAL’s programs are designed to get children involved in sports and in educational programs. It provides a safe place where kids can go after school and on weekends. It encourages teamwork and strong self-esteem. Members [continue reading…]
Key West Police have obtained a warrant for a Miami man who went on a tagging rampage in the Keys last weekend. Sunrise resident Tyler Edward Forgatsch, 23, is suspected for spray painting graffiti on several Old Town buildings on April 29th. A couple out walking downtown on April 29th noticed the smell of spray paint in the air. As they came around the corner of Front and Whitehead streets, they saw a man spray painting a wall. The witness quickly took a picture of [continue reading…]
The Key West Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit has arrested a suspected drug dealer who was operating on the 1000 block of Emma Street. Due to numerous complaints in the area, the detectives, with the assistance of the Monroe County Sheriff Office, conducted an undercover operation in the area. The undercover officer made contact with a subject identified as Samuel Farley on the 1000 block of Emma St. near Truman Ave. and purchased crack cocaine from Farley. As the undercover officer walked away, detectives who [continue reading…]
Key West Police have obtained an arrest warrant for the arrest of Lacy Marie Morris, 32, on charges of DUI manslaughter following the April 8th crash that killed off-duty Delray Beach Police Officer Christine Braswell and critically injured Delray Beach Police Officer Bernenda Marcs. She also faces additional charges of DUI serious bodily injury, DUI property damage and possession of marijuana.
An alleged drug dealer, out on bond after being arrested in October, is back in jail facing further felony charges. Benjamin Lawrence, 31, was facing three felony counts for selling crack cocaine and two other felony charges for using a communication device for drug sales. After Lawrence posted $145,000 in bail, the Key West Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit purchased crack cocaine from Lawrence during an undercover operation.
Police Chief Donie Lee welcomed Phillip Rossborough, of Kennebunk, Maine, to Key West today. The high school student was in town on vacation with his family, and had a special gift to present to the Key West Police Department. Rossborough wove Thin Blue Line wristbands for every Key West Police officer. He started making the bands after the ambush-killing of five police officers in Dallas. Nine other officers were injured in the 2016 incident. Rossborough says that attack and other unrest around the country moved [continue reading…]
The Key West Women’s Club donated box-loads of healing happiness to the Key West Police Department today. Clark and Jean Shannon presented Chief Donie Lee with a slew of teddy bears that will be used by officers to comfort kids in difficult situations. Our sincere thanks to the Key West Women’s Club!
March 29, 2017 This just in from Chief Donie Lee: “Key West Police detectives are investigating the death of a male and female found dead in their apartment on the 900 block of White St. KWPD officers were dispatched to 921 White St. at approx. 9: 16 a.m., after receiving a call from the landlord who discovered the male deceased. Officers entered the apartment and found the deceased male in a room and then entered a separate room and located a deceased female. Detectives are [continue reading…]
This week the Blue Paper received a copy of KWPD’s investigation of the controversial arrest of a homeless man in front of the Key Plaza Publix grocery store on February 4th. The review by the Professional Standards Division resulted in a reprimand of Michael Chaustit, one of the officers involved. At the time, a legitimate story about use of force turned into an intense argument between Trump supporters and liberals on our Facebook page with the ‘blind yelling at the deaf’, about what the police should [continue reading…]
Key West Police Detectives arrested a man wanted in Cobb County Georgia for an assortment of violent crimes. On March 15th, the KPWD Criminal Investigations Unit was informed by the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office that Jamaal Seymour, 37, was possibly in Key West. Seymour was wanted on a number of counts, including aggravated assault with a weapon, false imprisonment, felony strangulation and possession of a firearm by a felon. A “be on the lookout” noted that Seymour should be considered armed and dangerous. Intelligence showed [continue reading…]
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. A Blue Paper report about the rough arrest of Kristopher Knight in front of Key West’s Publix grocery store last month created quite a stir among our readers. The initial bystander video showed Mr. Knight screaming in pain while Key West police officers were handling him. His hands were already cuffed and his legs had been tied with some sort of leash [a hobble strap]. It was not clear what kind of resistance the short 25-year-old would still have been able to [continue reading…]
Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. Policing democracy is tough. Tasked to ‘protect and serve,’ police carry out their work within a political system that often makes them an instrument of competing political and economic interests. Far too commonly, police take the fall for the irregular, shifting, and highly political expectations of government officials. Case in point ‘management’ of the homeless. “Economic development,” which of course includes building and protecting tourism, has a very specific aesthetic: There should be no visibly homeless people in Key West’s “One [continue reading…]
During an awards ceremony at the Grand Key Resort on Tuesday, Key West Police Chief Donie Lee commended Office Kuniko Keohane for expertise in an emergency. On November 2nd, Officer Keohane responded to a medical emergency involving a 16 month old child having a seizure. With the EMTs on scene, Officer Keohane’s long career in the medical field dovetailed with their expertise and together they ensured that the child cared for. “Officer Keohane’s continuous dedication to the community, her experience and professionalism are an invaluable [continue reading…]
Key West Police Chief Donie Lee, in an awards ceremony at the Grand Key Resort yesterday, named dispatcher Kristi Chaustit as the Civilian Employee of the Year 2016. Chaustit came to the Key West Police Department in 2010 and serves an invaluable role as a Telecommunicator II. “As a supervisor, she consistently sets a standard of professionalism consistent with the core values of the Department,” said Lee. “Her calm, compassionate and professional demeanor have aided the community during their most difficult times, whether she is [continue reading…]
Key West Police Chief Donie Lee, in an awards ceremony at the Grand Key Resort yesterday, named Officer Nicholas Revoredo as the Officer of the Year 2016. Officer Revoredo first came to the Key West Police Department in 2005 as a department-sponsored cadet in the academy. Upon graduation, he was sworn in and began as a road patrol officer. He has also served as a mounted patrol officer and is currently a member of the Marine Unit. He is the point person for our port [continue reading…]
During an awards ceremony at the Grand Key Resort on Tuesday, Key West Police Chief Donie Lee commended three officers whose patience and professionalism may have averted a violent situation. On January 31st Officers Katie Hansell, Julio Gomez and Michael Malgrat were called to assist twice at DePoo Hospital. Hospital staff was struggling with a patient who was refusing medications, and the situation looked like the patient might act out violently. “These officers were able to establish a rapport with the patient which allowed a [continue reading…]
Crime in Key West has been dropping continuously over the past few years, and it dropped by 18 percent in 2016. The Key West Police Department’s end of year report to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows an overall drop in both violent and non-violent crime. The most dramatic drop was a 37 percent decrease in violent crime over the previous year. Non-violent crime dropped by 15.5 percent. Each year the Key West Police Department reports its crime statistics to the Florida Department of [continue reading…]
Stock Island man arrested for burglary A Stock Island man was arrested and charged with breaking into a Sugarloaf Key residence and stealing jewelry. Deputy Freddy Rodriguez responded to a home on Flying Fish Lane, Sugarloaf Key on February 2nd to a report of a burglary. The residents of the home left around 11 a.m. and returned home at 3 p.m. to find someone had broken in. Approximately $6,000 worth of jewelry was taken from inside. It appears the suspect broke in through a window [continue reading…]
Composted horse manure is available this Saturday, February 11th from 10 a.m. until at the pink PAL gym near the entrance to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. The horses have been busy filling the City’s manure composting bins, and we have a load that’s fully cooked and garden ready. Bring a container and, if you’re so included, a donation and leave with locally produced compost. It can be mixed straight in with your garden veggies or added to your landscaping.
Wednesday morning Jane Gardner, proprietor of ‘Jane’ on Simonton Street, presented the Key West Police Mounted Unit with cupcakes, carrots and $2000 worth of new specialty tack and equipment, the result of fundraising efforts the local businesswoman conducted over the holidays. Jane, in turn, was presented with a plaque from the Unit, thanking her for her contribution and support. Why a fundraiser for the horses? The City budget provides for the stable at the Truman Waterfront, feed, hay, and basic equipment. But it is public [continue reading…]
Three Key West children were saved from drowning Saturday by quick-thinking Good Samaritans. Rev. Daniel John Anspach had just come home to his West Isle apartment when he noticed three kids at the pool. From his second floor balcony, he observed them jump into the pool’s deep end. He watched for a few seconds and realized they did not surface. His nearby neighbor Diana Reshetko Rosa and her father Anatoly Reshetko also saw the incident, and all three heroes bolted to the children’s rescue. Anspach [continue reading…]
The Key West Police Department is looking for motivated candidates who want to become police officers. The police department is looking to sponsor several academy recruits in the upcoming session of the Law Enforcement Academy at the Florida Keys Community College Institute of Criminal Justice. These sponsorships are a rare opportunity to be hired by the Key West Police Department and earn a salary while working toward becoming a sworn officer. In addition, these academy recruits will not have to worry about tuition, uniforms, fees, [continue reading…]
A Key West woman is facing a felony charge and several misdemeanors after she attempted to run down a City employee with her car. Katerina Devlin, 37, has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, battery, criminal mischief and a municipal ordinance violation, all stemming from her wanting to use a private bathroom. Devlin was attempting to access private bathrooms at Land End Village, and public works employees directed her to the public bathrooms. Devlin became angry and began screaming at them, then [continue reading…]
Key West Police Chief Donie Lee announced the Officer of the Year for 2016 at the December Key West Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Officer Nicholas Revoredo first came to the Key West Police Department in 2005 as a department-sponsored cadet in the academy. Upon graduation, he was sworn in and began as a road patrol officer. He has also served as a mounted patrol officer and is currently a member of the Marine Unit. He is the point person for port security operations, and he [continue reading…]
Some Key West residents got a big surprise on Wednesday when Key West Police Officers pulled them over but, instead of ticketing them, gave them $100 bills! A generous and anonymous donor provided the Department with $5000 for a community give-back program. This afternoon, led by Chief Donie Lee and Captains Sean Brandenburg and JR Torres, officers approached random members of the community and gave them cards containing the money and this message, which came from the donor: “Greetings, My wife and I have the money [continue reading…]
Key West Police Captain Sean Brandenburg is one of an exclusive class of law enforcement officers who graduated this month from the FBI National Academy Program at Quantico, Virginia. “We are fortunate to have another FBI Academy graduate return to our department,” said Key West Police Chief Donie Lee. “This exceptional opportunity is highly sought by thousands of police managers and executives. I’m sure that Capt. Brandenburg will bring this new knowledge and experience to compliment his leadership role in the department.” Two hundred and [continue reading…]
Key West Police Chief Donie Lee this week presented Reverend Antonio Magwood, pastor of the Bethel A.M.E. Church with a check for $500 in support of the church’s Success Through Empowerment Program. The money comes from the Key West Police Department’s forfeiture fund. The STEP program partners the church with the Department of Juvenile Justice to empower kids and help them make positive decisions and improve life skills. The program provides testimonies and insight from the community, explaining to juveniles their rights and teaching them [continue reading…]
Key West Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit has been conducting undercover drug operations that have resulted in 26 recent arrests, and several more arrest warrants. The unit was assisted by Homeland Security Investigations, the DEA, the Monroe County Sherriff’s Office and Customs and Border Protection. The joint operations combine undercover detectives, special agents and confidential informants making narcotics purchases on the streets of Key West. Most of the resulting charges were for the sale of cocaine, however a few were for the sale of controlled [continue reading…]
Key West Police Chief, during last night’s City Commission meeting, swore in Jason Castillo as the Department’s newest sergeant. Sgt. Castillo started with the Department in 2002 and has most recently served as the accreditation manager. He has served as a road patrol officer, school resource officer and a youth division detective. He was born and raised in Key West and is the son of Housing Authority Executive Director Manual Castillo.
It may sound strange, but candy safety is an important consideration at the upcoming Holiday Parade. The parade begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, and as is the annual tradition, many of the entrants will be tossing candy to the kids that line the parade route. The City of Key West wants to remind parents to keep their children out of the streets and let the candy come to them. Anxious little ones tend to move into the parade route looking for goodies, so parents need [continue reading…]
by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. A Hillsborough County firefighter and active member of the Outlaw motorcycle gang has been identified as one of the assailants in a bar room brawl that occurred during the annual Poker Run in Key West in September. Clinton Neal Walker, 33, was captured on surveillance video at Rumors Lounge on September 27th punching a man repeatedly in the face. Law enforcement agencies had been forewarned that members of the Outlaw motorcycle gang would be coming to Key West during the [continue reading…]