Month: May 2011

High School Students See The Harsh Reality Of Drinking & Driving

MEDIA RELEASE   Date:                May 31, 2011 Time:                6:45 PM   On May 25, 2011 the Levy County Sheriff’s Office & the Levy County School Board sponsored, Renee Napier the founder of “The Meagan Napier Foundation”.  Ms. Napier spoke to Bronson High School students about her mission in life which is to share the message of the seriousness and the consequences of drinking and driving. While sharing the message, Napier also showed a short video and brought with her a trailer carrying the actual car that her daughter was in on the night she was hit by a drunk driver so the students could see.   The nightmare began on May 11, 2002 when Eric Smallridge decided to drink and drive.  That decision changed the lives of many.  Meagan Napier (Renee’s daughter) and friend, Lisa Dickson was driving home when Smallridge struck their vehicle sending it out of control.  In that moment two lives were lost and Smallridge was arrested for DUI manslaughter.  Smallridge had a blood alcohol level of 0.202.  Smallridge was sentenced to 22 years in the Department of Corrections.   After Napier spoke to the students, Eric Smallridge was escorted by deputies in an inmate uniform, ankle shackles and handcuffs.  Smallridge talked about his life growing up and he never expected that this could happen to him.  He explained to the students that this could happen to them if they choose to drink and drive.    This presentation by Napier and Smallridge was extremely touching. In 26 years of law enforcement I have never seen a more heartfelt and compelling presentation. It not only drove home the consequences of drinking and driving but also the healing power of forgiveness.   With graduation upon us, the Levy County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the students to be wise, and not drink and drive.  Also remember friends do not let friends drink and drive.          If you would like to watch the video you can go to www.youtube.com and search Eric Smallridge.  The foundation web address is at www.themeagannapierfoundation.com.       ###


Major Evan Sullivan
Levy County Sheriff's Office
FBI-National Academy 183rd Session
Office: 352-486-5446
Cell:    352-577-4218

Memorial Day

MEDIA RELEASE Memorial Day Date:                May 30, 2011 The last Monday in May United States observes Memorial Day.  The holiday was formerly known as Decoration Day and it commemorates U.S. Service Members who died while in the military service.  The Levy County Sheriff’s Office honors the men and women that have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  We pray for God to bless all of our service men/women, their families and a safe return home to our great Nation.   We ask that you do not drink and drive and have wonderful day.   God Bless America!     ###


Major Evan Sullivan
Levy County Sheriff's Office
FBI-National Academy 183rd Session
Office: 352-486-5446
Cell:    352-577-4218

Otter Creek Man Arrested

MEDIA RELEASE   Date:                May 30, 2011 Time:                8:15 AM   On Saturday, 5/28/11, at approximately 12:58 AM, James George a family member of the recently deceased owner of Hershel's Quick Stop, in Otter Creek reported a burglary in progress.  George stated to deputies that he had a bad feeling that someone might attempt to break into the store, so he remained inside the store after the business closed.  George reported that he heard glass breakage three times and seen Brian Smetana running towards the business armed with a fence post.  Smetana hurled the fence post through the window and George armed himself with a 44 caliber pistol.  George gave a verbal warning and then fired one round not trying to hit Smetana.  After the shot was fired Smetana immediately ran on foot and was later located by deputies at his residence in Otter Creek.   Smetana stated to Investigator Roger Bell that his mother used to work at the store and was let go.  Smetana advised that he shot three times with a BB gun into the store.  Smetana then armed himself with a fence post and through the post through the glass door.  Smetana told Investigators that he was surprised that someone was inside the store and they fired a shot in his direction.  Smetana stated that he had no intentions to entering the store, but was mad that his mother was terminated from the store.   Smetana was arrested for shooting into an occupied dwelling.  Smetana bonded out ($15,000) of jail on May 28, 2011.   On May 29, 2011 the Levy County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call in the Cedar Key area.  A mother, of a 15 year old child reported that Brian Smetana used a ladder and entered her daughter’s bedroom. The complainant found Smetana naked in her daughter’s bedroom and held him at gun point until deputies arrived on the scene.   The investigation revealed that the victim knew Smetana and they have been having sexual intercourse for the past two months.  Smetana admitted to having sex with the 15 year old and he was arrested for lewd & lascivious sexual battery with a child.   Defendant:   Brian Anthony Smetana 250 N. Otter Creek Ave. Otter Creek, Fl W/M, 07/02/1992   ###  


Major Evan Sullivan
Levy County Sheriff's Office
FBI-National Academy 183rd Session
Office: 352-486-5446
Cell:    352-577-4218

Williston Man Arrested At Horse Hole Mud Boggs

MEDIA RELEASE
 
Date:               May 29, 2011
While working the Horse Hole Mud Boggs Deputy Willie Barnes observed a white male inside the park yelling and screaming at his girlfriend.  The defendant, Anthony Dale Musslewhite had been drinking all day and was very intoxicated. 
 
Barnes advised Musslewhite to calm down several times and return to his tent.  Musslewhite refused to calm down and began screaming and disturbing other citizens that were attempting to sleep. 
 
Musslewhite was placed under arrest for disorderly intoxication and transported to the Levy County Jail.
 
Defendant:
Anthony Dale Musslewhite
33 N.E. 2nd Avenue
Williston, Fl
W/M, 06/02/1969

###

Major Evan Sullivan
Levy County Sheriff's Office
FBI-National Academy 183rd Session
Office: 352-486-5446
Cell:    352-577-4218

15 Year Old Stabs a Man To Death

MEDIA RELEASE   Date:                May 29, 2011 Time:                12:45 PM   On May 28, 2011 deputies were working a detail at the Horse Hole Mud Boggs at 13210 SE Hwy 19 Inglis. Citizens notified the deputies and advised that a stabbing occurred in the mud pit.  Within minutes deputies arrived on the scene and they identified the stabbing victim as 24 year old, Roderic L. Sparks.  Emergency personnel were working on the victim and an eye witnesses advised that the person that stabbed him was in a blue Jeep.  Citizens blocked the suspects with their vehicle preventing the suspect from leaving the scene.    Witnesses identified 15 year old, Christopher Sutherlin as the suspect.  The investigation revealed that Christopher J Sutherlin’s father was involved in verbal altercation with the victim about revving his engine.  Sutherlin Sr. threw a beer can at the victim, which resulted in a physical confrontation.  The victim was getting the best of the Sutherlin Sr. and his son, Sutherlin Jr., with the use of a knife stabbed the victim in the upper torso.  The victim was transported to Seven Rivers hospital where he was pronounced dead.   Efforts to locate the murder weapon were unsuccessful last night. It is believed that the murder weapon was thrown in the mud pit and the Horse Hole Mud Boggs has been shut down.    On May 29, 2011 Investigators resumed the search for the murder weapon and located the knife in the mud pit.   Sutherlin Jr. was been charged with manslaughter.         Defendant: Christopher J Sutherlin 7848 Fashion Loop New Port Richey, Fl W/M 02/14/1996     ###  


Major Evan Sullivan
Levy County Sheriff's Office
FBI-National Academy 183rd Session
Office: 352-486-5446
Cell:    352-577-4218