Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Public safety

Port Richey men found asleep in road, arrested

Mark Yerkes

Mark Yerkes, 29

Jonathan Ortiz

Jonathan Ortiz, 22

NEW PORT RICHEY — Deputies found the men asleep lying on an American flag, in the middle of the road, adjacent to a school bus stop that was filling with children.

When authorities asked questions, states a Pasco sheriff's report, Jonathan Paul Ortiz, 22, began yelling profanities.

But eventually Ortiz and Mark Keith Yerkes, 29, calmed down enough to explain to the deputies how they came to be in their predicament.

The night before, they were walking from a Taco Bell, or McDonald's (Yerkes and Ortiz differ on this detail) near Little Road and Ridge Road and stopped at a friend's house for beers. Later they went to a gas station for cigarettes and lost their way in the neighborhood, the report states.

Reasoning that it would be easier to find the way in daylight, they found an American flag (the report does not list the origins of this flag), stretched it out on the pavement of Amazon Drive and Sacramento Drive, and bedded down for the night.

Neither man was able to explain why several nearby mailboxes had been smashed during the night, the report states.

Ortiz, of 8923 Sterling Lane in Port Richey, and Yerkes, of 9130 Crabtree Lane, were each charged with disorderly conduct and later released from jail on their own recognizance.

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