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Catherine Rodriguez

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The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is thankful to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) for an $8,000 grant.  Investigator Breezy Adkinson applied for a grant with the ASPCA to help offset expenses the Sheriff’s Office incurred after rescuing multiple animals from a case that stemmed back from 2013.  One of the animals, “Noble” was taken from 1426 JW Hollington Road, Freeport, after the owner was charged with multiple felony counts of animal cruelty. 

The Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to cases involving animal abuse, abandonment and neglect.  We are committed to educating owners of domestic pets and livestock on providing medical care, appropriate diet and proper living conditions. 

The first photo is of Noble when he was rescued.  The second is of him today. 


The Walton County Sheriff’s Office met with members of the State Attorney’s Office this morning in reference to the incident that occurred New Year’s Day that put a local man in the hospital and 40 dogs were rescued.  All the dogs taken from the residence located at 60 Orange Avenue, DeFuniak Springs, were turned over to the Sheriff’s Office by the owners and are currently being evaluated by a veterinarian so they can be put up for adoption.  The dogs who were a part of the attack are in quarantine and will be assessed after ten days.  While law enforcement officers were on scene, an adult dog died and three puppies died later at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Animal Shelter.  These dogs will be sent to Gainesville for necropsy.  The Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office will review the medical findings, once complete, and will determine if there will be charges brought.  The timeline for the completion of the necropsy and obtaining a report is not available at his time since this will be determined by the case load of the veterinarian performing the exams.  




The Sheriff’s Office Patrol Unit spent two hours on scene where the attack occurred.  Sheriff’s Office Investigators and Animal Control Officers spent an additional twelve hours at the residence gathering evidence for possible charges. 



An investigator with the WCSO Special Victims Unit arrested Joseph Michael Gibbs, 27, of 159 L Street, Santa Rosa Beach, on Thursday, January 8, 2015.  Gibbs communicated with a 12 year old female on Kik Messenger using an electronic device between the dates of October 9, 2014 and November 5, 2014.  Gibbs solicited the juvenile numerous times to send explicit pictures to him and also sent an explicit picture of himself to the female.

Gibbs is charged with transmission of harmful material to a minor. 



David Gordon O’Brien, 45, of 1226 Railroad Ave, DeFuniak Springs, a former bus driver with Walton County, was arrested by WCSO Investigators today at his current place of employment, Graceville Correctional Facility in Jackson County.  The Walton County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Bureau opened an investigation on O’Brien after allegations of sexual misconduct were made by multiple children to the school authorities. The school contacted us immediately after the allegations were made.


A sexual battery was discovered during a subsequent investigation where O’Brien made inappropriate comments and was touching a victim in a sexual manner while on the school bus. O’Brien pulled off the side of a road and sexually assaulted the victim once all the other children had been dropped off.



O’Brien is charged with capital sexual battery by a person in a custodial authority on a victim 12 years of age or older, but less than 18.  This is a first degree felony. The investigation is ongoing.


Did you know that teen drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash as other drivers?  The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is committed to the safety of our young drivers and is offering a program called the Teen Driver Challenge.  It is a free course designed to help teens boost their driving skills and lessen the chances of being involved in a crash.  The program will provide a mixture of classroom instruction and hands-on driver training.  The classroom portion will take place on Friday, February 20th at Freeport High School, located at 12615 Business Hwy 331, Freeport, in room 201 from 5 pm to 9 pm.  The driving portion will take place at 8 am on Saturday, February 21st, at Freeport High School.  Lunch and refreshments will be provided. 



Teens 15-19 are eligible and MUST have a valid Learner’s Permit/Florida Operators License for at least 6 months and participants must provide their own car. A current copy of a driver license, vehicle registration and insurance is required.  The class is limited to 12 students and all others will be placed on a waiting list for future classes.


The Teen Driver Challenge is not an advanced driving course. It is a defensive driving program that covers the following topics and driving exercises:


Classroom Topics (4 Hours)

·         Vehicle Dynamics

·         Human Factors

·         Responsibility

·         Liability

·         Drug and Alcohol Use

·         Night Driving

·         Aggressive Driving and Road Rage

Driving Range Exercises (8 Hours)

·         Threshold, ABS, and Emergency Breaking

·         Evasive Maneuvers

·         Cornering

·         Backing

·         Forward and Reverse Serpentine

·         Figure 8

·         Off Road Recovery

·         Skid Control


The program is backed by the Florida Sheriff’s Association (FSA) and supported by the Sheriff.  For more information please contact your student’s School Resource Deputy.  Or visit our website to fill out the forms and give to your students School Resource Deputy at







At approximately 1 a.m., on Saturday, January 3rd, a WCSO K9 Unit spotted a vehicle traveling north on Hwy 331 that matched a description of a vehicle that was involved in a residential burglary in Freeport.  As the deputy activated his emergency lights and initiated a traffic stop on Hwy 331 and West Indian Creek Road, the deputy observed the passenger throw something out the window.  Contact was made with both the driver and the passenger who were identified as Timothy Roger Jefferson, 22, of Smith Station, AL and Brandy Wade Ward, 22, of Freeport, FL.  Both were read their Miranda Rights and deputies advised both suspects as to why they were pulled over.  Dispatch advised deputies that Jefferson, who was driving, had a suspended license since July of 2014.  Deputies located a marijuana “blunt” that was thrown from the window as described by the suspect. 




The victims of the burglary were brought to the scene and were able to identify Jefferson and Ward as the individuals who were found inside their home.  When the victims entered the residence, they observed Jefferson and Ward exiting through the back door.  A struggle took place among the victim and Ward prior to both suspects fleeing in a vehicle.  One of the victims was able to obtain the license plate number and relayed it to the Sheriff’s Office along with a vehicle description.  A check of the scene revealed that drawers, cabinets, closets in multiple rooms had been opened and rummaged through, in an apparent attempt to locate items to steal.



Jefferson and Ward are both charged with burglary to an unoccupied dwelling and criminal mischief.  In addition, Jefferson is charged with driving while license suspended or revoked and Ward is charged with marijuana possession.  

L to R: Jefferson and Ward 


On Thursday, January 1st, deputies responded to the area of Girlscout Rd, North of US Hwy 90W, in reference to four dogs who attacked a white male causing several injuries all over his body. The dogs responsible for the attack, and their owner, were located at 60 Orange Avenue, DeFuniak Springs.  Further investigation revealed that there were multiple dogs at this location living in unsuitable conditions.  A search warrant was executed at the residence/property occupied by Jessica Calvert and Geraldine Pearce.  During the execution of the search warrant, approximately 40 dogs were seized to include the ones which attacked the victim.  The animals were living in unsanitary conditions due to structure, feces and garbage.  There were several bones of dogs located on the property as well.


The investigation is still on going and future charges are expected.


On the eve of Wednesday, December 31st, 2014, Deputies responded to a domestic violence call at 580 Piney Point Road, Freeport.  It was discovered that Bryon Edward Babbs, 55, battered the victim and had an active warrant for felony violation of probation for driving while license suspended or revoked.  Babbs fled on foot before deputies arrived, wearing camo clothing and armed with two revolvers, a Smith and Wesson .38 and Ruger .357.  A perimeter was established near the home and deputies conducted a search of the area.  A gunshot went off close to where the deputies were walking and immediately took cover.  Deputies called for Babbs to surrender and Babbs was later seen walking from the wood line where he was apprehended.  Babbs stated that he could see and hear deputies during the incident.  Babbs was under the influence of alcohol at the time he fired the pistol and a breath sample indicated his blood alcohol level was at 0.15.



Babbs was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and use of a firearm while under the influence. 


Sheriff Mike Adkinson stated “Great restraint and professionalism by our deputies to bring an armed man into custody without anyone getting hurt.”



On Tuesday, December 30, 2014, members of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics Unit executed a probable cause search warrant at 97 Martineck Lane.  Narcotics Investigators were called to the scene after members of the Sheriff’s Office North Patrol Bureau went to the house to arrest the resident, Edgar Allen Martineck, 56, on an outstanding warrant. Information obtained from Patrol Deputies was used to prepare a search warrant for the property. Over 14 grams of suspected methamphetamine oil was located inside of the residence along with a methamphetamine cook vessel, methamphetamine smoking devices, various items used in the production of methamphetamine and finished methamphetamine.



Martineck was charged with Trafficking in methamphetamine, production of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.




The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is teaming up with Grayton Beer and Sunshine Shuttle and Limousine to increase safety and reduce DUIs on New Year’s Eve.  Representatives from the three organizations met this morning to kick off the effort.  South District Lieutenant Doc Savage stated, “Safety is a must when we celebrate the New Year.  More people will be driving under the influence on this particular night, so avoid a potentially dangerous accident by staying off the road.  If you do drink, make sure you have a plan in place to get home safely. Otherwise, be alert, drive defensively and buckle up.”


“Make your holiday season GRAYT by drinking responsibly.  Please don’t drink and drive"– Jamey Price, President of Grayton Beer Company


"Sunshine Shuttle & Limousine supports Grayton Beer and the Walton County Sheriff's efforts to discourage drinking and driving during New Year's Eve. Leave the car at home, call Sunshine and celebrate to your heart's delight! We are the professional Designated Drivers for the Emerald Coast” – Alan Roberts, VP, Sales and Marketing


For more information please visit, and


Pictured l to r: Lieutenant Doc Savage, Alan Roberts, Jamey Price and Captain Audie Rowell