The Voice of the Gem City

JULY 11, 2019

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED IN A DEATH INVESTIGATION IN PUTNAM COUNTY ARNOLD CHOAT, 72, WAS FOUND DECEASED JULY 2 AT HIS 118 HEIDT ROAD RESIDENCE IN PALATKA. HIS DEATH IS CONSIDERED SUSPICIOUS.

ANYONE WITH INFORMATION REGARDING MR. CHOAT OR ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS THAT OCCURRED IN THE AREA HEIDT ROAD IN THE MORNING AND AFTERNOON HOURS OF JULY 2 IS ASKED TO CONTACT THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE AT 386-329-0800 OR CRIMESTOPPERS OF NE FLORIDA AT 1-888-277-

 

A FLAGLER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE DEPUTY ATTEMPTED A TRAFFIC STOP ON A MOTORHOME FOR SPEEDING AND HAVING A LEFT TAIL LIGHT OUT LAST NIGHT. AFTER A SHORT CHASE THE DRIVER JUMPED OUT OF THE MOTORHOME AND FLED ON FOOT INTO A HOUSE ON WALNUT AVE.

THE OWNER OF THE RESIDENCE SAID THAT 57 YEAR OLD JAMES LAUTERBACH HAD BEEN STAYING ON THE PROPERTY IN THE MOTORHOME FOR APPROXIMATELY THREE WEEKS AND THAT A TRUCK ALSO BELONGED TO LAUTERBACH WAS PARKED OUT BACK. DEPUTIES OBSERVED LAUTERBACH ENTERING THE TRUCK. HE WAS GIVEN LOUD VERBAL COMMANDS BY DEPUTIES TO STOP BUT HE FAILED TO DO SO. HE BEGAN DRIVING THE TRUCK AROUND THE PROPERTY AND CRASHED THROUGH A CLOSED FRONT GATE AND DROVE THE TRUCK RECKLESSLY AT 70 MPH IN A 30 MPH ZONE WITH THE HEADLIGHTS OFF. HE SIDE SWIPED A TRUCK AND CONTINUED DRIVING RECKLESSLY UNTIL A DEPUTY SUCCESSFULLY DEPLOYED STOP STICKS NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF COUNTY ROAD 305. LAUTERBACH FLED ON FOOT. DEPUTIES CHASED HIM AND USED TASERS AND SECURED HIM IN HANDCUFFS. IN THE MOTORHOME, DEPUTIES LOCATED A 9MM FIREARM WITH  MAGAZINES WITH LIVE ROUNDS OF  AMMUNITION. AND WAS CHARGED WITH TWO COUNTS OF FLEEING AND ELUDING LAW ENFORCEMENT, TWO COUNTS OF RESISTING AN OFFICER WITHOUT VIOLENCE, AND LEAVING THE SCENE OF A CRASH WITH PROPERTY DAMAGE. HE WAS ALSO ARRESTED FOR TWO OUT OF COUNTY WARRANTS. HE WAS BOOKED AND IS BEING HELD WITHOUT BOND.

GEORGIA-PACIFIC HAS DONATED $5,000 TOWARDS THE NEW VETERANS VILLAGE PROJECT TO BE BUILT IN PALATKA. RAMICAH JOHNSON AND PUTNAM HABITAT FOR HUMANITY ARE LEADING THE PROJECT WHICH WILL EVENTUALLY HAVE FIVE HOMES TARGETED FOR VETERANS.

 

 

A ST JOHNS COUNTY PROBATION OFFICER UNCOVERED MASS QUANTITIES OF ILLEGAL STEROIDS.

THE OFFICER MADE THE DISCOVERY WHILE CHECKING UP ON RUSSELL FARRELL, WHO HAS BEEN ON FELONY PROBATION, AT A ST. JOHNS HOME.  48 YEAR OLD FARRELL WAS ARRESTED ON A PROBATION VIOLATION CHARGE.

BUT THE OFFICER NOTED IN THE REPORT THAT HE FOUND MULTIPLE TYPES OF STEROIDS IN MULTIPLE BOXES AND BOTTLES.

 

SPACE FOR FLAGLER COUNTY SHERIFF RICK STALEY’S OPERATIONS CENTER CONTINUES TO BE A PRESSING NEED. FLAGLER CLERK OF COURT TOM BEXLEY HAS BEEN TOLD TO “MAKE AVAILABLE AN ADDITIONAL 5,000 SQUARE FEET ON THE FIRST FLOOR” OF THE COUNTY COURTHOUSE FOR STALEY. THE SHERIFFS OFFICE WAS FORCED OUT OF ITS HEADQUARTERS BY MOLD ISSUES. BEXLEY HAS SAID HE DOES NOT HAVE THE NEEDED SPACE.

 

A 14-YEAR-OLD ST. JOHNS COUNTY YOUTH HOSPITALIZED TUESDAY AFTER FALLING OFF THE BACK OF A GOLF CART IS IMPROVING. LUKE TABOR’S CONDITION WAS UPGRADED FROM CRITICAL TO GOOD. TABOR WAS RIDING WITH FIVE OTHER FRIENDS ON A GOLF CART WHEN FIREWORKS WERE SET OFF ON THE CART. HE WAS STARTLED AND FELL.  THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED ON NORTH DURBIN PARKWAY IN THE DURBIN CREEK SUBDIVISION. ST. JOHNS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE SAYS THAT’S NOT AN AREA WHERE GOLF CARTS ARE APPROVED FOR THE ROADWAY. PARKWAY SPEED LIMIT IS 30 MPH AND GOLF CARTS CAN ONLY GO 25.

 

IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO COULD USE A LITTLE HELP, THE COMMUNITY FOOD PANTRY FOOD GIVEAWAY IS THIS ORNING STARTING AT 9AM AT THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH PARKING LOT IN PALATKKA AT 501 OAK STREET  ITS BROUGHT TO YOU BY FARM SHARE AND DOWNTOWN CHURCHES.  THE FOOD DISTRIBUTION BGINS AT 9AM AND GOES UNTIL ALL THE FOOD IS GIVEN AWAY.

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