Month: December 2017

Update – East Williston Thanksgiving Shooting

UPDATE:  On November
28, 2017, LCSO published details of a reported shooting that occurred on
November 24, 2017 at the business known as “Melvin and Alice’s Restaurant.”  The investigation revealed that two victims
had been wounded by shotgun rounds fired by an unknown suspect.  Based on an extensive investigation, LCSO
Investigator Justin Douglas was able to obtain an arrest warrant for Anthony
Walter Vessels (7-19-91) for two counts of attempted murder. 

On December
11, 2017, members of the U.S. Marshal’s Service Florida Regional Fugitive Task
Force located and arrested Vessels in Broward County, Florida.  Vessels will be held at the Levy County
Detention Facility on a bond of four million dollars.  Sheriff McCallum said he is very proud of the
investigative work by LCSO personnel and appreciative of the assistance
provided by the Fugitive Task Force and others in this investigation. 

Investigators
have already interviewed Vessels and the case remains active.  LCSO urges anyone with information regarding
this incident to contact Investigator Justin Douglas or Justin VanDuren. 
 
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Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch Burglar Arrested

December 7, 2017
The Levy County Sheriff’s Office Uniformed Patrol Division
and the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) formally charged John William
Gardenier (9-28-93) Tuesday, December 5, 2017. Mr. Gardenier was a person of
interest in several burglary and theft investigations in the Inglis area of
Levy County as well as a suspect in a burglary reported on November 9th
by the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch – Caruth Camp which is located north of
the Town of Inglis on US Hwy 19.
The Uniformed Patrol Division was actively seeking Gardenier
to arrest him and on November 17th Deputy Lee Prine spotted him
riding a bicycle in Inglis near the Circle K located at the intersection of US
19 and SR 40. Deputy Prine attempted to stop and arrest Gardenier, but
Gardenier had other plans and ran. Gardenier was able to escape into a nearby
wooded lot and was not captured.
On November 21st CID applied for a warrant for
Gardenier’s arrest based upon evidence obtained through their investigation at
the Caruth Camp. A warrant was issued for Gardenier’s arrest for burglary,
grand theft and grand theft of a motor vehicle. A $100,000.00 bond assigned to
this warrant.
On November 27th, Deputy Prine spotted an
unregistered motorcycle being ridden on SR 40 in Inglis. Deputy Prine activated
his emergency lights, signaling the driver of the motorcycle to stop. The
driver did stop, but as Deputy Prine exited his patrol vehicle the driver
turned toward him, made a departing (not so nice) statement and sped away.
Deputy Prine was able to identify the driver of the motorcycle as Gardenier.
Gardenier fled into a nearby parking lot where he ditched the motorcycle and
fled on foot. He was able to evade capture again.
Gardenier’s luck ran out on December 1st when an
alert Citrus County deputy located and arrested him for the active Levy County
warrant. Gardenier was placed in the Citrus County Detention Facility and later
transferred to the Levy County Detention Facility on December 5th.
When Gardenier arrived at the Levy County Detention Facility additional charges
were filed by Deputy Prine.
Currently, Gardenier is being held in the Levy County
Detention Facility and has been formally charged with burglary, grand theft,
grand theft of a motor vehicle, fleeing and attempting to elude a law
enforcement officer, failure to register a motor vehicle, operating a
motorcycle without proper endorsement and three counts of resisting arrest
without violence. His total bond is $195,500.00.
The Criminal Investigations Division is still actively
working on additional cases in which Gardenier is a suspect. Anyone with
information that could assist these investigations is asked to contact
Investigator Mike McNeil at 352-486-5111, extension 266. Or, if you wish to
remain anonymous, please contact LevyCrimeStoppers at 1-877-349-8477. You could
be eligible for a cash reward.  

Free Active Threat Training – Offered by the Levy County Sheriff’s Office

Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum is offering a free Active
Threat Response class to interested citizen groups. This class is being offered
in light of the many tragic active shooter and active threat events that are
occurring in our country and around the world. This class will help our citizen
groups be more prepared by knowing how to respond if ever involved in this type
of situation. The class is approximately an hour long and includes a question
and answer period, and is designed for citizens over 18 years old.
Classes will be offered by the Levy County Sheriff’s Office Community
Relations Division once our citizen interest groups have been established and a
schedule can be designed. These classes are currently being offered to
businesses, churches or civic groups. Sheriff McCallum urges each of these groups
to take advantage of this free class so that you can be more prepared.
Please contact Deputy Grant Sandlin to inquire about class
scheduling or to schedule an event for your business, church or civic group by calling
the Levy County Sheriff’s Office at 352-486-5111 or email gsandlin@levyso.com directly. 

**Update – Deputy Involved Shooting November 16, 2017

December 4, 2017
On November 16, 2017 three Levy County Deputy Sheriffs
responded to 7450 NW 110 Street in Chiefland to a reported domestic violence
complaint with an armed subject. Deputies arrived and confronted Michael Wesley
Goodale (7-21-83) at the front door of this residence. Goodale was armed with
two knives and refused to comply with all lawful orders given by deputies.
Deputies deployed Tasers in an attempt to disarm Goodale, but the Tasers were
ineffective. Goodale attacked our Deputies which forced them to use their
agency issued handguns to stop this attack. Goodale was struck by two bullets
fired by our deputies and did not survive his injuries. Two deputies sustained
minor injuries during the altercation.
The Levy County Deputies involved in this incident were
placed on administrative leave with pay that same evening in compliance with
our agency policy. Sheriff McCallum contacted the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement (FDLE) and requested they conduct an independent investigation into
this incident. Sheriff McCallum was recently updated on the progress of the
FDLE investigation and has authorized all three deputies to return to duty.
On the date this incident was reported by the complainant,
who called 911 to report the emergency, the LCSO Communications Division
dispatched the nearest unit available and back-up units. Deputy Robert “Bob”
Cannon was the first to arrive on scene. K-9 Sergeant Kevin Kinik and K-9
Deputy Gary Garboski arrived within two minutes of Deputy Cannon’s arrival.
Deputy Cannon has been employed with the LCSO since May of 2005
with prior experience as a Police Officer with the Chiefland Police Department
and as a Correctional Officer with the Florida Department of Corrections. Sergeant
Kinik began his career with the LCSO in January of 2004 and has four years of
prior experience with the Chiefland Police Department. Deputy Garboski began
his second career in law enforcement with the LCSO in November of 2015 after completing
a full career with the Tampa Police Department.
This deadly encounter is the only time Levy County deputies
have been forced to engage a criminal suspect with deadly force since 2005. In
both these instances the lives of our deputies and our community were
endangered. This is a tragedy for all involved. Our deputies, as well as every
other law enforcement officer across this nation, have to make the most difficult
decisions in a split second to preserve life.
The family of Mr. Goodale was forever altered that night and
these deputy’s lives have also been affected. Our thoughts and prayers are with
our men and women who have taken an oath to protect those in our community who
entrust us with their safety, and with the Goodale family.