October 9, 2015

Marathon Homecoming Parade will cause delays

The Marathon Homecoming Parade is scheduled for Friday, October 16th at 1 p.m. The parade route will be from Knight’s Key in Marathon to 53rd Street. The parade is expected to last approximately one hour and is expected to cause northbound traffic delays. Please plan your travel accordingly.

Marathon Halloween and trick-or-treating Information

The ever increasing popularity of Halloween behind the airport in Marathon has garnered some safety concerns. Having this in mind Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Marathon are working closely to reduce and/or eliminate such concerns.

In past years motorists have parked on the right-of-way shoulder and on the bike path running parallel along Aviation Blvd. This year parking will be prohibited on the right-of-way in this area. Parking arrangements have been made with the airport manager and parking for this event will take place at the south end or west end of the airport property.

Visitors will enter the gate located on Aviation Blvd; the Sheriff's Office will have an officer present to direct you to the proper parking area. Two county school buses have been hired to shuttle all trick or treat visitors from this parking location to the neighborhood event. The shuttles will run from 6pm to 11pm. Those who choose to park and walk may do so by utilizing the bike path.

The Sheriff’s Office will also limit vehicular traffic through the neighborhood. Those who live in the area and can produce valid Identification showing their residence address will be permitted.

Safety during community events such as this one is a primary factor for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Marathon. We ask that you share this information and help us keep this event fun and safe for everyone.

Officers will be working throughout the “Fish Bowl” area to maintain order, assure safety to give directions to motorists. Thank you for your cooperation.          

October 8, 2015

Crime prevention equipment goes to KWPD

The Sheriff’s Office turned over $64,000 worth of crime prevention related equipment to the Key West Police Department today. The equipment – meant to benefit both the KWPD and the citizens of Key West – was purchased using county crime prevention funds from fees collected on criminal court cases.
The items purchased for KWPD included:
A large speed monitoring trailer.
Six Rapid ID fingerprint scanners.
10 desktop computers to be used for Police Athletic League after school tutoring.
360 bike helmets, bike locks and bike lights.

The speed monitoring trailer is normally parked alongside a roadway and measures the speed of cars approaching. The sign tells the driver his or her speed, flashing red to warn speeding drivers to slow down. Law enforcement agencies commonly use them in areas where they have received many speeding complaints. It can record the number of cars passing and their speeds as well, so officers can assess how serious the problem in that area might be.

The Rapid ID fingerprint scanners allow officers in the field to take someone’s fingerprint and run it through national and state fingerprint databases.

Some of the same equipment was also purchased for the Sheriff’s Office use, including fingerprint scanners and speed monitoring signs.

“The goal of our agencies is the same: to help protect people and to prevent crime whenever possible,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “To that end, we all win when our collective agencies are well equipped and have the right tools,” he said. “Criminals don’t pay attention to jurisdictional boundaries. We deal with many of the same people and many of the same types of crime and preventing a crime in the city or the county benefits us all.”

October 7, 2015

Anniversary of Deputy Frank Adams' line-of-duty death

 in the photos, the Sheriff's Office held a ceremony in
March of 2006 at the Key West Cemetery to
memorialize Frank Adams with a headstone at the cemetery.
 Today is the anniversary of the death of Deputy Frank Adams,  killed in the line of duty on October 7th, 1901.  Deputy Frank Adams was the first of seven Sheriff’s deputies killed in the line of duty in Monroe County.

Deputy Adams was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man who had interfered with him in the discharge of his duty. The shooting occurred after two drunken men started fighting near Jackson Square in Key West. They separated and one of the men began to use profane language as he walked up Thomas Street. Deputy Adams, who was sitting near the corner of Southard and Thomas Streets, arrested the man and attempted to take him to jail, but the man resisted and Deputy Adams called out for assistance.

Two men named Fleming and Gabriel took hold of the man to assist Adams. Another man pushed some bystanders aside and said that he would not allow them to arrest his brother. Deputy Adams released the first man he had arrested and grabbed the man who interfered. They began to struggle, and a pistol shot rang out. When the first shot rang out all the bystanders with the exception of one, a mate on the steamer Laurel, ran away; the two men holding the arrested man let him go and fled also.

Adams had been shot in the arm, and he fell to the ground, with the man who shot him falling on top of him. The man shot Adams several more times, with one bullet hitting him in the left chest, penetrating his heart and another wounding him in the face. After shooting Adams, the man got up and ran down Southard Street toward what was then the Government Reservation.

A large crowd soon gathered around the body of Deputy Adams and the mate from the Laurel - the only one to stay at the scene. The mate told the crowd how the murder had happened. Deputy Adam’s body was taken home. The following day the shooter, Robert J. Frank, was caught and identified by the mate from the Laurel as the person who shot and killed Adams. He was arrested for and charged with murdering the deputy. At the preliminary hearing Robert Frank admitted to the shooting and said that he was sorry for it. He said that had anyone attempted to arrest him, he would have shot them as well. When searched he had some empty cartridges and a loaded pistol, with extra ammunition in his pocket.

October 6, 2015

Farm open Sunday

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm is open to the public this Sunday from 1 – 3 p.m. The farm is free of charge; donations are welcome.

The Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm has over 200 animals, most of which were abandoned, abused or otherwise surrendered by their owners. The animals at the farm include farm animals like pigs, goats, a steer, horses, a donkey, turkeys and rabbits. The farm also has a number of more exotic animals including a lemur, kinkajous, sloths, a family of Patagonian cavies, alpacas, an Emu, pythons, a bearded dragon, prairie dogs, a skunk and a chameleon.

The farm is a wonderful place where kids and adults alike can get up close and personal with many animals they would not normally encounter here in the Florida Keys. It is located underneath the Monroe County Detention Center, at 5501 College Road on Stock Island. It is open on second and fourth Sundays from 1 – 3 p.m.

October 2, 2015

Sheriff's Office busy with cleanups, events

 The Sheriff's Office was busy with cleanups and special events around the Keys. We held cleanups on Big Pine Key, Marathon and Islamorada; participated in the Scenic Corridor county-wide cleanup, unloaded pumpkins at the MARC House in Key West; attended Safety Day at the Key Largo KMart and had riders in the ReMARCable Tour de Keys. Here are just a few of the pictures from all of the events.

Georgia man dies while on dive trip

A Georgia man died while on a dive trip offshore of Key Largo Thursday.

According to reports from Sheriff’s detectives, 50 year old Morris Mitchell Lamb of Covington, Georgia was visiting his brother in Key Largo. They were on a boat with a neighbor near Carysfort Reef Light at about 11:40 a.m. Lamb entered the water wearing scuba gear. He had not even gone underwater when he reportedly appeared to be in distress. Wave heights were reported to be about three feet, and there was a strong current in the area.

He yelled for help. The neighbor and the brother, who had remained in the vessel, jumped in the water and attempted to assist him but experienced difficulties with the current, which was strong and began swiftly taking them away from the vessel toward the light. Another person on the boat called for help.

United States Coast Guard and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded. Lamb and the other two men were pulled from the water. Lamb was taken to Mercy Hospital in Miami, where he was pronounced dead. The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner will be performing an autopsy on him. The other two men were reported to be uninjured.

October 1, 2015

Man arrested after running Sheriff Ramsay and others off the road

A man from Beijing, China was arrested Wednesday for driving recklessly.

Sheriff Rick Ramsay was southbound in his Sheriff’s Office vehicle just before 10 a.m. on Big Pine Key when he saw a vehicle in front of him swerve suddenly. He then saw a grey Jeep sport utility vehicle northbound in the southbound lanes of the highway passing vehicles recklessly. The area is a no passing zone.

Sheriff Ramsay had to swerve off the road to avoid an accident with the Jeep. He then turned on his lights and siren and pulled the vehicle over, calling for backup.

Deputy Kim Trullender responded. The driver of the Jeep, 34 year old Shan Huang, said he was late to check out of his hotel in Marathon and was in a hurry. Huang was arrested. He was charged with reckless driving and he was booked into jail.

Marathon man flees from officers, crashes his car

A Marathon man was arrested after he fled from law enforcement, crashing his car in the process.

Deputy Ben Elmore was on patrol at 2:40 a.m. today when he saw a silver Chrysler sedan turn on to the highway at 116th Street and drive north in the southbound lanes. The car then turned onto 117th Street Ocean. The deputy followed, activating his lights and siren in an attempt to pull it over.

The driver, later identified as 30 year old Raymond Martinez, turned onto Aviation Boulevard and stopped briefly, the continued on at a high rate of speed. The deputy stopped his pursuit of the car, but continued in the direction the vehicle fled. He found the car at the end of 6th Avenue and 109th Street Gulf, crashed into a fence, a pole and a tree. Martinez had fled from the vehicle on foot.

More deputies arrived to assist, along with a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper, Key Colony Beach Police Officer Petrick and a Customs and Border Protection officer. Martinez was located in a yard on 109th Street. 

The car, a rental vehicle,  caught fire after the crash, which was investigated by FHP. Martinez was taken to Fishermen’s Hospital to be checked for injuries. He was issued citations for fleeing and eluding police, resisting arrest, leaving the scene of a crash and driving on the wrong side of the road. He is currently hospitalized for his injuries.

Two arrested for condo burglary

Two teens were arrested Wednesday in Islamorada, charged with burglarizing a condo at the Executive Bay Club.

The condo’s owner called the Sheriff’s Office at 6:30 p.m. to report he’d caught the two boys committing the crime. He told Deputy Tony Conde he returned home to find 18 year old Kyle Gates outside of his condo, talking on a two way radio and thought it was suspicious. He then saw a younger boy inside the front porch area of his condo . He confronted the younger one, asking what he was doing there. They boy said he was trying to break into the condo to steal alcohol.

Further investigation revealed the two boys had entered the same condo the night before after finding no one home. They said they entered through an unlocked sliding glass door and took beer and other alcohol from inside. They returned on Wednesday during the day to take more. They were using the hand held two way radios to communicate with each other.

They were both charged with burglary, theft and unlawful use of a two way communications device to facilitate a felony. 

September 29, 2015

Long Key Bridge scheduled closures

Got the following message from FDOT about scheduled closures for the Long Key Bridge this week:

Please be advised of the following as it relates to upcoming  bridge closures on Long Key Bridge.

One hour full length lane closures will be conducted to accommodate cutting operations and deliveries. Full length closures will be implemented to allow for vehicles to turn around if necessary during closures without having to attempt U-turns on the bridge. In the case of actual emergencies, operations will pause to allow emergency response vehicles to pass.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 – Bridge closures will occur for one hour between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. for jacking/cutting operations

Friday, October 2, 2015 – Bridge closures will occur for one hour between 1 a.m. and 2  a.m. for deliveries.

Please do not hesitate to contact Jordan Salinger at 954-658-9259 or 813-520-4391 should you have any questions or concerns regarding this information.

Fire burns Plantation Key trailer

Sadly, shortly after noon this trailer in Seabreeze Trailer Park on Plantation Key caught fire and was destroyed. Islamorada firefighters responded and deputies were on scene to ensure no one was inside and that neighboring properties were evacuated just in case. Fortunately, there were no injuries as a result of the fire.