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Catherine Rodriguez

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Deputy Tammy Henderson was named Sworn Employee of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2014.  The announcement was made during an awards ceremony held this afternoon.  Deputy Henderson responded to a DeFuniak Springs home for a welfare check on February 26th and found the individual to be in need of basic necessities such as food and telephone service.  Deputy Henderson contacted the telephone company to re-establish service and went to the store to buy food for the individual and his dog until Adult Services could meet with him.  Lead Communications Officer, Rhonda Roberson, stated “This is an unselfish act Deputy Henderson took upon herself to help an elderly man and she can take special pride in knowing that her efforts positively affect the quality of life in Walton County.”  Deputy Henderson has been back out to visit with the individual who is now receiving assistance from the Department of Children and Families.  Fellow co-worker, Maggie Heelan, stated “I feel that these actions are above and beyond the call of duty.  I feel that Deputy Henderson’s selfless actions displays the kind of altruistic character that this department strives to show.”

 

 

Leah Snaith was named non-sworn employee of the quarter for the first quarter of 2014.  Leah started with the agency as one of its first volunteers when Sheriff Adkinson took office.  Investigator April Hantzis stated the following, “Without accepting compensation, Leah gladly puts in hours upon hours of her precious time to come and assist deputies.  She is constantly asked to help out for last minute events, she has been called out on her days off to work a busy intersection when the lights are down, and she will be the first one to jump up and eagerly answer a 911 hang up or illegal parking call.  Leah patrols the county and takes pride in her role with the Sheriff’s Office.  She is always willing to learn, lead and help out whenever she can.  Leah deserves to be recognized for her undying desire to improve the Sheriff’s Office, her unwavering need to render aid and help others, and for consistently putting the needs of others above her own.  She has embraced every challenge sent her way and goes after it with everything she has.  With a never quit attitude and determination she sets the bar for others to achieve.”

 

 

Sworn Employee of the Second Quarter

 

Deputy Wayne Grandstaff was named Sworn Employee of the Quarter for the second quarter of 2014.  Deputy Grandstaff is a member of the Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP), which was assigned to provide focused law enforcement during Spring Break 2014.  From March 8 to April 17, 773 arrests and notices to appear were given.  Of these, Deputy Grandstaff was responsible for 109 individual arrests for underage alcohol violations.  Deputy Grandstaff was nominated by his supervisor, Sergeant Mark Wendell, who stated, “Wayne was extremely pro-active riding his department issued bicycle upon the streets, alley ways, and throughout neighborhoods in the south end of the county.  Wayne’s community policing tactics were highly evident in his constant communicating with residents in neighborhoods, with managers of business establishments, tourist, vacationers and spring breakers upon the boardwalks.”  Deputy Grandstaff also assisted in several other operations including monitoring suspicious activity at several businesses, working several shifts to supplement the WCSO Patrol Bureau and assisting Investigator Breezy Adkinson with the care of 5 horses seized by the agency.  Deputy Grandstaff committed himself on and off duty to make sure all the animals were properly fed and cared for.

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Sworn Employee of the Quarter

 

 

 

Beth Robertson was named non-sworn employee of the quarter for the second quarter of 2014.  Beth Robertson has been the victim advocate for the Walton County Sheriff’s Office since 2009.  During the last month, Beth worked with 34 victims of domestic violence and 16 victims of child abuse.  Not only did she help victims obtain domestic violence injunctions, but she attended court hearings with victims providing support to them.  Beth volunteered on her time off at the Children’s Advocacy Center and was described by Lisa Cotton, as “amazing” and always goes the extra mile to assist all victims.  Captain Chari Rivers stated, “Beth is an advocate for the vulnerable citizens of this county.  She is an asset to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office and deserves recognition for her continued excellence.”

 

 

Life Saving Medal

 

Deputy Trevor Howell was awarded the WCSO Life Saving Medal for his actions on May 25th, 2014 when responding to a medical assist at a residence in DeFuniak Springs.  Upon arrival, Deputy Howell found an elderly male who was unconscious and not breathing.  Deputy Howell began chest compressions and utilized his issued automatic defibulator.  The man was revived at the scene and transported to North Okaloosa Medical Center.  While on scene, paramedics advised Deputy Howell’s supervisor that the man would have died if it were not for Deputy Howell’s prompt actions.

 

 

Deputy Stephen Tector was also awarded the WCSO Life Saving Medal for his actions on February 16th, 2014, in response to a single vehicle traffic accident.  While enroute, Deputy Tector was informed that the driver was not breathing and possibly deceased.  Arriving on the scene, Deputy Tector found the driver slumped over in the driver seat with a faint pulse but not breathing.  Due to the damage of the vehicle, the victim could not be stabilized properly nor could CPR be started.  With the assistance of an Escambia County EMT, Matthew Lee, Deputy Tector took the victim out of the vehicle, stabilizing her neck and head and placing her on the ground.  Deputy Tector held the victim’s head in place while Mr. Lee administered rescue breathing.  The victim immediately gasped for air and began breathing on her own though remaining unconscious.  Deputy Tector and Mr. Lee continued to monitor the victims breathing while stabilizing her head and neck until EMS arrived on scene.

 

Life Saving Medal – Civilian

 

Greg Brack, a volunteer for the athletic department at Walton High School, has received the WCSO Life Saving Medal for his prompt and selfless actions on March 3, 2014 at Walton County High School.  On this day, 14-year-old Kole Bengston collapsed on the field during baseball practice.  Mr. Brack immediately came to the aide of Kole giving rescue breaths and chest compressions.  He continued with CPR for seven minutes until an athletic trainer came who assisted for an additional four minutes until EMS arrived.  Kole was transported by ambulance to North Okaloosa Medical Center, then flown to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola and later taken to Jacksonville, Florida where open-heart surgery was performed.  Doctors stated that Kole would have died on the baseball field if not for the swift actions of Mr. Brack.

 

Posted by on in Press Releases

 

Human Resources Assistant Marti Sherrouse, with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, is helping “Jacko” find a forever loving home and family. Marti says “ Jacko  is full of spunk, extremely loving, well behaved and would make a fantastic companion for anyone –no matter the age.” Jacko is a Mixed Breed, neutered Male, weighing 41lbs. Jacko was one of three dogs turned into the Animal Shelter by their owner. We are delighted to say the other two  were adopted. It is Jacko’s time to find that forever home so if you are interested in visiting or adopting “Jacko” please come by the animal shelter, we look forward to your visit.

 

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office Criminal investigation’s Bureau in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office completed a yearlong fraud investigation of 53 year old Griffin Scott Littlefield of 3157 Club Drive, Miramar Beach.  According to the complaint, Littlefield had conned a local investor to invest $200,000 into his business, First Class Facility Maintenance LLC.  Littlefield made false promises and misrepresentations of future acts to obtain the funds and squandered the money.  Littlefield was also stealing from his own employees of the company, by failing to make payroll payments and withholding health insurance payments without providing a health insurance plan. Through a systematic, ongoing course of events, Littlefield stole $218,488 from 4 victims.  Upon discovering that the criminal investigation was underway, Littlefield fled the area to Birmingham, Alabama, and was arrested by the Trussville Police Department on June 19th.   On Tuesday, July 8th, Littlefield was arrested and booked into the Walton County Jail on a $50,000 bond.  Littlefield was charged with Grand Theft 1st Degree and Scheme to Defraud.

 

 

Lawrence Erik Alexander, 25, of 328 Margaret Boulevard, DeFuniak Springs, was arrested July 6th, for 3 counts of sexual assault on a victim over 12 years of age, failure to report vacating permanent residence and failure to comply with the registration law.  The victim disclosed to law enforcement and the Child Protective Investigator, that she had sex with Alexander on June 27th and July 5th.  Deputies conducted an address check and found that Alexander was in violation of Florida State Statute 943.0435, failing to register his current address with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. 

 

On February 6, 2014, Alexander was adjudicated for lewd and lascivious exhibition on a victim under 16 in Walton County.

 

There are currently 152 registered sex offenders/predators living in Walton County.

 

The WCSO encourages families to visit www.flsexoffender.net to subscribe to receive e-mail alert notifications when registered sexual offenders or predators move into neighborhoods.  WCSO also encourages citizens to use the neighborhood search feature prior to signing up for alerts to identify registered sexual offenders and predators currently living in neighborhoods.

 

A preliminary investigation by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office indicates the death of a 63 year old white male from Atlanta is likely a suicide.  Investigators are in communication with the family and identification of the individual is being withheld.  The 63 year old was found at the base of Grand Dunes, Miramar Beach around 7 a.m. this morning. 

Posted by on in Press Releases

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office is currentlyy investigating a death of a man found at the base of Grand Dunes, Miramar Beach.  He was found this morning around 7 am.  Patrol deputies and the WCSO Crime Scene Unit is onscene.  More informartion will be released once it becomes available. 

Posted by on in Press Releases

Communications Officer Paige Merrifield Kypfer and her son are helping “Conner” find a home. Conner was picked up by animal control as a stray from 331N. He is a pit bull and very people friendly. Anyone interested may inquire or visit Conner at the Walton County Animal Shelter 850-892-8758.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau and Patrol Bureau can add four more arrests to “Operation Avalanche.”  Two individuals were arrested yesterday at a meth lab in Choctaw Beach.  Glen Mel Hunter, 44, of 73 Eastern Street, Freeport, was arrested for drug production, trafficking in methamphetamine, narcotic equipment possession and conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine.  Hunter procured and delivered red phosphorus (a chemical used to manufacture methamphetamine) to Charles Lewis Alford, who was arrested on June 16th, during Operation Avalanche.  Brittany Cecile Via, 24, of 596 Williams Road, DeFuniak Springs, was also arrested at the residence for drug possession and narcotic equipment possession.

 

In addition, Charlie “CJ” James Rhodes, 35, of 162 Pine Hill Road, DeFuniak Springs, and Sabrina Marie Thompson, 41, of 330 S 18th Street, DeFuniak Springs, were both charged with the production of methamphetamine and drug possession.  Investigators revealed that Rhodes had been purchasing and procuring iodine, an essential chemical in the manufacture of methamphetamine, and delivering it to Charles Lewis Alford.  Thompson was purchasing and procuring pseudoephedrine and delivering it to Charles Lewis Alford in order for Alford to manufacture methamphetamine. 

 

To date, 30 arrests have been made in Operation Avalanche.  This investigation is still on-going and more arrests are pending.   

 

On July 1, 2014, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office VICE/Narcotics Unit and members of the Problem Oriented Policing Unit, executed a search warrant at 73 Eastern Street, Freeport.  During the search, several items commonly used to possess, ingest and inject illegal narcotics were found.  Four plastic bottles, containing 1,500 grams of bi-layer liquid, containing methamphetamine and a one pot cook vessel was also located.  The resident, Glen Mel Hunter, 44, was arrested for drug production, trafficking in methamphetamine and narcotic equipment possession.  Hunter, is also charged with conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine.  Hunter procured and delivered red phosphorus (a chemical used to manufacture methamphetamine) to

Charles Lewis Alford. Alford was arrested on June 16th, during Operation Avalanche, which is an ongoing investigation.  

Brittany Cecile Via, 24, of 596 Williams Road, DeFuniak Springs, was also arrested at the residence for drug possession and narcotic equipment possession.