Month: May 2019

Jealous Much?

May 22, 2019
Levy County Sheriff’s Office Detective Justin Douglas was
returning to the office Friday afternoon May 17th and noticed a fire
in the parking lot at Weeks Marathon gas station in Bronson. He turned his
unmarked patrol vehicle into the parking area and saw a Harley Davidson
motorcycle fully engulfed in flames. He and the store clerk attacked the blaze
with fire extinguishers and were able to put the fire out.
Detective Douglas was then approached in the parking lot by
a female. She offered information that she knew how the fire started and told
Detective Douglas she saw David Knutson pour something on the motorcycle and
ignite it. She also said she saw Knutson walk away from the scene toward the
rear of the gas station. 
Detective Douglas began his investigation and discovered the
clerk from the Marathon station and Knutson were involved in a dispute over a woman.
Knutson was the jilted lover and in his efforts to set the record straight, he
set the clerk’s Harley on fire. 
Knutson was located in his vehicle a short distance from the
scene by Detective Justin Vanduren. He smelled strongly of gasoline during his
arrest. Knutson must not have been aware of the security video that recorded
him pouring a flammable liquid on the motorcycle prior to lighting it, nor did
he know this same video captured his images as he attempted to hide evidence by
throwing the container he had full of gas into a nearby dumpster.
David Leroy Knutson 5/12/1956 of Bronson was booked into the
Levy County Detention Facility and is being held on a $50,000.00 bond for 2nd
Degree Arson. The motorcycle in this case was damaged in spite of Detective
Douglas and the owner’s quick efforts.

Williston Man Arrested on Sex Offenses Against Minors

May 6, 2019
On Saturday, May 4, 2019 Levy County Detective C.J. Perryman
responded to a home in Williston to a report of sexual misconduct. Detective
Perryman met with the mother of two children who are under 12 years old who
reported that her children said they had been sexually abused by Kyle Raudis
Detective Perryman spoke to both of the children who
described the sexual abuse. Detective Perryman also located and spoke to Raudis.
Raudis made several contradictory statements then later admitted he had been
sexually inappropriate in the presence of the children. 
Raudis was arrested and charged with two counts of lewd and
lascivious molestation and two counts of lewd or lascivious exhibition. He was
booked in at the Levy County Detention Facility where he is being held in lieu
of a $2.5 million dollar bond.

Chiefland Woman Arrested for Stabbing Husband

May 6, 2019
On April 29, 2019 Levy County Deputies responded to a home
located at 6250 NW 20 Street south of Chiefland after receiving a call from a
male who said he was involved in a domestic dispute. A second 911 call was made
by a third party reporting she located a bloody female walking down a road. The
caller said this female told her she and her husband had been in a fight.
Deputies arrived to find the husband was suffering from a
stab wound to his abdomen. The female, identified as Ashley Kasco (11-10-85),
was also injured. She had a laceration to her scalp and told deputies she had
been struck by her husband with a metal pipe. Both parties were transported to
a local medical facility to receive treatment.
On Friday, May 3, 2019 LCSO Detectives arrested Ashley Kasco
for aggravated domestic battery when the investigation determined she was the
primary aggressor in the domestic dispute. She was book in at the Levy County
Detention Facility where she is being held in lieu of a $50,000.00 bond.  

Dunnellon Man Arrested for Molestation

May 6, 2019
Levy County Sheriff’s Office Detectives and the Florida
Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) worked together and their
investigation led to the arrest of a man for molesting a child.  A report filed to the DCF Abuse Hotline launched
the investigation. A forensic interview with the child provided information
that Evan Barkley (11-13-43) was responsible for lewd and lascivious molestation
of the child who is under 12 years old. 
Detectives located and interviewed Barkley on Friday, May 3,
2019 at his home located in South Levy County. Detective Justin Douglas
arrested Barkley at the conclusion of this interview. Barkley was book in at
the Levy County Detention Facility where he is being held in lieu of a
$100,000.00 bond.

Crimes of Opportunity

May 2, 2019
Multiple vehicle burglaries and thefts were reported during
the week of April 22 to the Levy County Sheriff’s Office and the Williston
Police Department. Deputies were scrambling to identify the suspect and an alert
citizen who is also a victim provided the lead needed.
Deputy Matt Davis responded to the convenience store across
from the Bronson Racetrack on April 29th to take a theft report from
yet another victim. After which he viewed the store’s surveillance video which captured
the suspect in the act. This video was used to make a positive identification
of the suspect vehicle, but the thief could not be positively identified. 
The following day Deputy Davis located the suspect vehicle
on US Hwy 27 in Bronson. He activated his emergency equipment signaling the
driver to pull over. The driver did stop in the parking lot of Drummond
Community Bank, but as Deputy Davis exited his vehicle, the driver sped away. A
short car chase ensued and after a few turns by the suspect in his attempt to
elude Deputy Davis, he abandoned his car and fled on foot. He was located a
short distance away from his car and apprehended by Deputy Davis.
The fleeing driver and burglary suspect was identified as
Faron Dwayne Brannen (1-16-60) of Bronson. Deputy Davis’ investigation revealed
Brannen was homeless and living in the suspect vehicle. Brannen is also
reported to be addicted to illegal narcotics, and it is presumed he committed
crimes of opportunity by burglarizing unlocked vehicles looking for valuables to
support his drug habit. 
As seen in this video, this was a true crime of opportunity.
Brannen did not use any cunning or even work hard to enter the vehicle. Every
other report taken by both the Sheriff’s Office and the Williston Police
Department were burglaries to unlocked vehicles and thefts which were committed
without much effort. This case should be a reminder to all…. Lock YOUR CAR,
take your valuables inside and protect your hard earned property, no matter
where you are.
This is an on-going investigation and stolen property is
still being found by citizens. Stolen items, which were obviously discarded,
have been found in various areas of Levy County between Bronson and Williston.
The Levy County Sheriff’s Office is asking our citizens to report any found property
to our office by calling 352-486-5111.