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On January 13, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and told of an unknown person impersonating a law enforcement officer and conducting traffic stops. The caller stated that on January 13, at approximately 6:20pm, while in the area of County Hwy 0605, DeFuniak Springs, a black Chevy Impala stopped the caller and wanted to know why they were driving so slowly. Once the subject realized that the caller was the wife of an officer, he left the scene.

The vehicle is described as a black Chevy Impala, possibly a 2002 model, with red, white and blue lights located on the dash.

The driver is described as White male, Approx. 45 years old, dark brown full beard and moustache, approx. ½ to 1” in length. Possibly brown eyes, under 6 feet tall and a fit build. He was wearing a navy or black polo shirt that had the name “Litchen” embroidered in yellow on the upper left chest area of the shirt.  No other words were on shirt. He was wearing a black windbreaker and knit cap that covered his head and ears.  His pants were navy or black BDU pants and his shoes were dark colored.  He had a badge attached to his belt on the left front side.

Anyone with information as to the identity of this subject is urged to contact the Walton County Sheriff’s Office at 850-892-8186 or anonymously at Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers by calling 1-888-654-TIPS or Text "TIP214 plus your message" to CRIMES (274637).

 

If you feel that you are being stopped by someone who is not a law enforcement officer, before pulling over make sure you are in a well-lit area, if there is not an area available, continue at a safe speed until you find one, and contact the Sheriff’s office before stopping.

 

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office quickly apprehended Jonathan Hillard Davis, 31, of 64 E Tulip Avenue, DeFuniak Springs, after a victim returned to her home off Walden Road, DeFuniak Springs, and saw Davis run from the residence.  The victim advised the Sheriff’s Office that she entered into the garage, heard a loud noise and noticed a window screen on the ground and the window glass broken.  The victim saw the suspect run from her residence and was able to give a description of what the suspect was wearing and that he was running North on Walden Road.  The victim saw the suspect drop several items that were taken from the home.  Deputies responded, canvassed the area and located Davis at his home.  Two individuals witnessed Davis run out of the woods, carrying a Toshiba Laptop in his hand and several photographs were taken which were given to law enforcement.  A search of Davis’s home lead to the retrieval of the victim’s laptop and jewelry, which was found in Davis’s pocket. 

 

Davis was arrested for burglary of an occupied dwelling, larceny and criminal mischief. 

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 http://waltonso.org/citizen-services/teen-driver-challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.”