Month: September 2018

Williston Man Arrested for Neglect of Elderly

September 25, 2018
The Levy County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations
Division (CID) arrested Alex Hernandez (11-18-69) of Williston on September 24th
for neglect of an elderly person and false imprisonment. Hernandez was the caretaker
and living with a 67 year old female who suffered from the early stages of
dementia and COPD. The victim often suffered “incidents,” during which she
would unclothe herself and act strangely. Hernandez attempted to intervene when
the victim was suffering from an “incident” and called for assistance from a
friend because he was not able to control her.
Hernandez had to travel to Gainesville to pick up this
friend because she did not have a vehicle. Hernandez locked the victim inside a
bedroom without her oxygen, no access to a phone or restroom facilities and left
the residence for over an hour. Hernandez even stopped at a local convenience
store in Gainesville to buy snacks and drinks on his way back to the home. When
he and the friend arrived at the home they discovered the victim injured and in
immediate need of medical treatment.
EMS responded and observed the victim was unconscious, had
lacerations on her face and arms, bruising on her legs and arms and was
suffering from head trauma. The victim was treated at a local emergency
hospital and her injuries were determined to be life threatening. After
multiple days in ICU she did regain consciousness and was able to make a
statement to law enforcement. Based upon her statement combined with her
medical condition and Hernandez’s own admissions, investigators determined
Hernandez allowed these injuries to occur.
Hernandez is being held at the Levy County Detention
Facility in lieu of a $350,000.00 bond.

No Threat Identified

September 25, 2018
A facility member at the Bronson Middle/High School located
an unfired.22 caliber bullet on the ground in the bus loop this morning. This
discovery was made before any students were on campus and no threats to
students have been identified. School staff members have received several phone
calls from concerned parents who were contacted by their children. Students are
expressing fears about a rumor there is a gun on campus. No credible
information has been discovered by staff members or School Resource Deputies
during their investigation and it appears the rumors were started and are being
spread by the students.
The Bronson Middle/High School Principal is currently addressing
students in an attempt to stifle the rumor and ease their fears. The Principal
and SRO deputies have no information that would warrant the school being placed
in a “safe campus” or “lock down” status.   

Commissioner Mike Joyner Honored

September 19, 2018
The Florida Intelligence Unit (FIU), one of the oldest
established law enforcement associations in Florida, bestowed their highest
honor on Commissioner Mike Joyner last night during the Levy County Board of
County Commissioners meeting. The newly named “Mike Joyner Officer of the Year”
award was presented by FIU President Tully Sparkman and FIU Legal Counsel Paula
Sparkman and highlighted just of few of the many accomplishments Commissioner
Joyner attained during his 30 plus years of service as a dedicated law
enforcement officer in Florida. Commissioner Joyner is one of only a select few
that are “life time” members of the FIU.
Commission Joyner began his law enforcement career in
Jefferson County, Florida in 1973. He is attributed with saving four lives in
three separate events and was awarded for these acts of heroism. In 1986 while
employed with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office he spearheaded an undercover
operation lasting over 18 months that netted 72 arrests with a 100% conviction
rate. He went undercover seven times in state prisons in four different states
and gained information that solved multiple cold case homicides. Commissioner
Joyner is also credited with gaining critical information during an undercover operation
that ultimately led to the arrest and conviction of serial killer Aileen
Wuornos. 
Commissioner Joyner retired from law enforcement in 2005
after serving with the Levy County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s
Office, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office and Marion County Sheriff’s Office, but
continues his service to all of these communities and law enforcement agencies that
he worked for throughout these years. Continuing his commitment to community
and deeply entrenched in Levy County, Commissioner Joyner also enjoys the time
he is now able to spend with family and friends. In dedication to the growth
and development of the Levy County community as our commissioner, he also enjoys
farming and working with his cattle.  
Pictured with his now forever named “Mike Joyner Officer of the
Year” award, Commissioner Joyner spoke that he would have never been able to
attain any of these accomplishments had it not been for the support of his wife
and children. He then said they deserved the award more than he and presented
the statue, made in his likeness to his wife, Diane.  

In Custody Death

September 15, 2018
This morning at approximately 4:15 a.m. Levy County
Detention staff discovered a female inmate deceased in her cell. Megan R
Downing (9-28-80) of Williston was in custody after her arrest on September 12,
2018 by the Williston Police Department.
Downing was being housed in the medical department
at the Levy County Detention Facility for unspecified medical issues. She was
under constant video monitoring throughout the night. Staff did not notice any
unusual occurrences.
The Levy County Sheriff’s Office Criminal
Investigations Division in cooperation with the 8th Circuit Medical
Examiner’s Office is conducting a thorough investigation. At this time the
cause of death has not been determined. No suspicious circumstances have been
discovered.
Mrs. Downing is survived by her husband and four
children. Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers. 

Tired, Muddy and Tased

September 12, 2018
Stephen Baker (7-5-91) of Inglis was a wanted man until he
turned into the wrong driveway. Corporal Franco Almeida responded to 18351 SE
Butler Road in Inglis on September 2nd to a report of theft. Baker
drove through the main gate of the property in a jacked up Dodge truck while
Corporal Almeida was on scene conducting his investigation. Corporal Almeida
recognized Baker from past professional contacts and knew he did not have a
valid driver’s license and had warrants for his arrest.  
Baker attempted to flee the property after seeing our
deputy, but became stuck in the mud in a low lying area of the property. Upon
exiting his vehicle he tried to run away. This is when he got to experience a
tool of our trade, the Taser. Corporal Almeida ordered Baker to surrender, and
when he didn’t, utilized his Taser to stop his attempt to flee. 
Sheriff’s Office policy states that after someone has been
shot with a Taser, EMS will be summoned to evaluate the subject and remove the
Taser probes. This is exactly what Corporal Almeida did. Muddy and handcuffed,
Baker attempted to escape again. Running out of the back of the ambulance with
his hands cuffed behind his back; he thought by fleeing into a flooded area of
the property Corporal Almeida wouldn’t follow. He grossly underestimated the
determination of our deputy and was quickly apprehended again. 
Baker went to jail tired, muddy and tased, and with a few
more criminal charges. Added to the charges on his warrant (fleeing and
attempting to elude LEO and DWLSR habitual) were resisting arrest without
violence and escape. He is being held in the custody of the Levy County
Detention Facility in lieu of a $160,000.00 bond.