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Last night deputies responded to 180 Miami Street, Miramar Beach, in reference to an armed robbery.  Deputies were advised by the victim, 22 year old Christopher Catlett of Hot Springs, AZ, that two men approached him while he was in his front yard and attempted to rob him.  Deputies detained an individual based on a description given by Catlett.  The WCSO K9 Unit responded to the area to begin a track to locate the other suspect, but was unsuccessful.  Investigators advised Mr. Catlett that a full investigation into the matter would be conducted to verify the accounts of his story.  At that time, Catlett became very nervous and had a hard time articulating how the armed robbery took place.  Catlett revealed to investigators that he had fabricated the story because he was drunk.  The male detained by deputies was released.

 

Sheriff Adkinson stated "This is a serious offense and no joking matter.  A citizen was detained by law enforcement because of Mr. Catlett's deception and he should be held accountable."

 

Catlett was charged with misuse of 911 and providing a false statement to law enforcement.  He was booked into the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Jail.

Sheriff Adkinson honored a Walton County resident today by presenting Mr. Michael Brower the Florida Sheriff's Association Distinguished Service Award. Sheriff Adkinson stated, "I am very proud to present this award to Mr. Brower who has supported the law enforcement community and FSA over the last 25 years.”

 

 

On January 31st, 2015, around 12:15 pm, C W Roberts employee, Mr. Eric Wright, a flag man, was manning a lane closure off SR 20 near Basin Bayou, while his co-workers were laying sod along the shoulder of the road.  A Mercedes, which was stopped at the flag station, was rear ended and then side swiped by a Chevrolet SUV.  The SUV came to a rest in the water on the North side of SR 20 in Basin Bayou.  Mr. Wright made sure all traffic was stopped and checked to see if the woman in the Mercedes was injured.  He notified his supervisor of the accident and without hesitation, swam out to the SUV to help the individual.  When Mr. Wright reached the SUV he was unable to open the door, but instructed the driver to roll down the window.  Mr. Wright pulled the driver through the window and safely got him back to shore.  The driver suffered a medical issue and was unable to tell Mr. Wright if anyone was still in the SUV.  Mr. Wright swam back, went in through the window and searched the vehicle and did not find anyone else.  The driver was treated by EMS personnel on scene and refused transport. 

 

C W Roberts Safety Director, Ronnie Bell, recalls asking Eric "Why did you do it" and his response was "Mr. Ronnie, that man needed help.”

 

 

Sheriff Adkinson stated, “I am extremely proud of this young man and I am proud to live in a community where individuals like Mr. Wright are not afraid to put themselves in harm’s way to help a fellow citizen.”

 

 

 

Pictured L to R: C W Roberts President Bob Flowers, Eric Wright, Sheriff Mike Adkinson and  C W Roberts Vice-President Darryl Carpenter

Within 17 minutes, Deputy Jeff McIntosh was able to locate a 92 year old female utilizing Project LifeSaver equipment.  The caretaker called the Sheriff’s Office around 11:30 am on Sunday, March 15, stating that the 92 year old, who had just become a client with Project Lifesaver five days earlier, had walked away from her Santa Rosa Beach home.  Deputy McIntosh responded to the area with the mobile tracking system and was able to locate her due to the pings that were transmitting from the clients personalized wristband.  She was found in good health, sitting in a vehicle and was returned to her loved ones.  Sheriff Mike Adkinson stated, “Minutes count when it comes to searching for a loved one and I am pleased that we have certified members in our agency to answer the call to locate a missing person in our community.”

 

Project LifeSaver, was developed in 1999 by the 43rd Virginia Search and Rescue in Chesapeake, Virginia. This technology allows law enforcement and search and rescue teams to use radio frequencies to locate a lost patient. A transmitter – about the size of a watch – is placed on the patient's wrist or ankle. Should the patient wander away, the caregiver notifies 911 and a search is begun immediately.  Enrolled members wear a personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal. The signal is tracked on the ground or in the air over several miles (approximately 1 mile from the air and 5-6 miles on the ground). When caregivers notify the Sheriff’s office that the person is missing, a search team responds to the loved ones area and starts searching with the mobile locator tracking system.

 

For information on client enrolment, please contact Volunteer Coordinator, Leah Snaith at (850) 892-8186.

 

 

 

The Sheriff's Office is continuing saturation patrols in Miramar Beach with regard to the sexual battery of two teenagers by a white male who jumped out of the bushes wearing a green thong, flip flops, a ball cap and a sweatshirt. The incident occurred last night around 10 pm in the area of South Holiday Road and Scenic Gulf Drive. If anyone knows the identity of the individual in the picture, please call the Sheriff's Office immediately at 850.892.8111 or Crime Stoppers at 863-TIPS.

 


 

Deputies are conducting saturated patrols in the area of South Holiday Road and Scenic Gulf Drive in Miramar Beach.  Around 10 pm this evening, a white male jumped out of the bushes wearing a green thong, flip flops, a ball cap and a sweatshirt, approached a group of females who are in their late teens and assaulted two of them.  The male is described to be in his late forties.  If anyone knows this individual, we are asking them to call the Sheriff’s Office immediately at 850.892.8111 or anonymously at emeraldcoastcrimestoppers.com or 863.TIPS.

 

 

 

While patrolling west bound on Scenic Gulf Drive on March 11, Deputy Tommy Thillet noticed a maroon GMC Terrain east bound where the driver was not wearing his safety belt.  A female passenger was also seen by Deputy Thillet sitting on a male passenger's lap in the single person front passenger seat. A traffic stop was conducted and a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage was detected coming from the vehicle.  The driver of the vehicle was asked for his license, registration and insurance.  Deputy Thillet asked if anyone in the vehicle was over the legal drinking age of 21 and all the occupants advised they were under 21 years of age.  Upon observing the occupants of the vehicle, Deputy Thillet noticed they were attempting to conceal bottles of alcohol.  At that time, he asked all of them to exit the vehicle.  Taylor Medeiros, 19, Olivia Hosey, 19, both of Mobile, AL and Tristan Campbell, 18, of Jackson, MS, were placed under arrest for minor in possession of alcohol. 

 

The driver, John Robert Franklin, 19, of Mobile, AL, gave consent to Deputy Thillet to search a bag that was found in the vehicle.  During the search a set of throwing knives, a digital scale, a small empty plastic baggy and a small bag containing a white powdery substance (that tested positive for cocaine) that was tied in a knot at the top was found. Franklin was advised of his Constitutional Rights, agreed to speak with law enforcement and upon questioning he advised the bag was his.  While speaking with deputies, Franklin admitted to purchasing $150.00 worth of cocaine while in town for spring break.  He also told deputies that there was a container underneath the front seat that contained a marijuana pipe and grinder.  A black glass smoking device with what appeared to be burnt marijuana residue, a cigar cutter, along with numerous pills were also found in the bag. 

 

Franklin was placed under arrest and charged with cocaine possession, two counts of drug possession, four counts for possession of narcotic equipment and minor in possession of alcohol.  All four were transported to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Jail.

 

“We emphasize to our deputies that communication is more effective than anything on their gun belt”

-Sheriff Mike Adkinson

 

On a daily basis, law enforcement officers are expected to make split second decisions to enforce the law, protect the public and bring suspects to justice.  A Use of Force Report is a tool most law enforcement agencies use to capture data such as type of force used in an incident, whether it was deadly or less-lethal and injuries sustained whether by the deputy, suspect or a victim.  Annually, the WCSO reviews all incidents involving use of force.  In 2014, over 3,700 arrests were reviewed, along with 106 incidents involving use of force.  Force was only used against 1 % of individuals while effecting an arrest in 2014.  Force used against individuals already incarcerated at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Jail accounts for the other 1.6%.

 

All use of force incidents were justified within agency guidelines and in accordance with Florida State Statutes.  A contributing factor to the low percentage is strong policies that are in place to provide guidance to deputies in making force decisions and continuous training. Training, as well as interpersonal skills, plays a very critical role as it has the effect to deescalate a tense situation and reduce injury to all persons involved.  At all times, deputies must be appropriate in their actions but must act quickly as the reaction time can become a critical, life-saving factor, in a fast evolving use of force confrontation. 

 

A 19 year old was arrested on Tuesday, March 10, for possession of marijuana and giving law enforcement identification that belonged to his 22 year old brother.  While deputies were on scene investigating a reported theft at 9300 W US Highway 98, Miramar Beach, Omotoyosi Sanni, 19, of Oxford, GA, fit the description of a possible suspect involved in the theft.  A deputy made contact with Sanni and asked for his identification.  Sanni reached into his pocket and when he pulled out his identification card, a wadded up $20 bill, cigarette lighter and a partially burnt marijuana cigarette fell out of his pocket.  Upon further investigation, Sanni pulled out a plastic Ziploc bag from his left jacket pocket, which contained several marijuana cigarettes.  Sanni was arrested and transported to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Jail.  While being processed at the jail, Sanni informed deputies that the identification card belonged to his brother. 

 

Sanni is charged with possession of marijuana not more than 20 grams, giving false identification by person lawfully detained, knowingly having in his possession an instrument in the similitude of an identification card for the purpose of indicating his true name and age and resisting officer without violence.

 

Two adult chaperones were arrested early this morning after a call came into dispatch regarding a noise complaint at a house party located at 100 Miami Street, Miramar Beach.  Three deputies arrived at the house and made multiple attempts to get someone to answer the front door but was unsuccessful due to the loud music.  Deputies observed through a window multiple juveniles with cans of beer and solo cups in their hands.   An adult was seen standing at the kitchen counter with approximately 20 teenagers drinking beer and liquor while more teenagers were seen in the back of the house drinking and jumping into the pool.  A juvenile was told by deputies to go inside the house to get an adult and contact was made with Pamela Carroll, 44, and Victoria Senn, 46, both of Madison, Mississippi.  Both admitted to renting the house for the week and were chaperoning the group.  All the juveniles on scene were under the age of 18 and as young as 15 and were released to their parents.  The rental property was contacted and all alcohol was destroyed. 

 

An hour before the noise complaint was received, a deputy working a traffic accident near the home at 100 Miami Street, heard the music and saw multiple juveniles around the house.  After the crash was released to FHP, contact was made with two adults at the home.  The deputy explained the county noise ordinance and warned the adults about having an open house party and underage drinking. 


 

Carroll and Senn were arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and booked into the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Jail.