Monday, February 19, 2018
Public safety

Pasco Sheriff's Office honors employees with quarterly awards

PORT RICHEY — Deputies know it as a Signal 2 — or drunken pedestrian. A typical call in their rounds. On Aug. 3, Deputy Craig Meissner went to McDonald's at Little Road and Embassy Boulevard where a belligerent man was yelling at customers and spitting on their cars. Then the call turned dangerous.

The man told deputies he had a gun. He wouldn't take his hands from his pockets.

Another deputy grabbed the man's wrists. Meissner came to help, but the man yanked him into the scuffle by his shirt.

Meissner punched the man in the head to subdue him. Eventually, the two deputies wrestled the man into handcuffs. Meissner broke his right hand at some point in the struggle and had to have surgery and therapy.

For this, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office gave Meissner a Purple Heart Medal last week at the agency's quarterly awards ceremony.

Other awards included:

Meritorious Service Medal for Courage

Deputy John Brown helped stop a suspect who managed to kick out the window of his patrol car Jan. 3 on the way to the Land O'Lakes jail. The suspect, Osvaldo Flores, 30, looped his handcuffs around Brown's neck and was attempting to strangle him before a bystander, Anthony Stinnett, stepped in to help the deputy. The two then subdued Flores.

Deputy Anthony Graham stopped a girl from cutting herself with a razor blade. He grabbed the girl by her wrists and took her into custody for mental health evaluation.

Meritorious Service Award

Lt. Brian Prescott implemented the Intelligence-Led Policing philosophy at the agency over two years. His work included creating an extensive offender database and mapping probationer locations.

Deputies Christine Dzikonski and John Thomas helped a woman whose car had flipped on Interstate 95. The deputies applied pressure to the woman's bleeding head wound and calmed her until paramedics arrived.

Lindsay D'Ascenzio, a child protective investigator, supported the family of a mentally disabled and mentally ill 14-year-old-boy who had several run-ins with the law. D'Ascenzio ensured that the boy was admitted to lock-down residential mental health care after his arrest.

Lifesaving award

Deputy Ryan Nye gave chest compressions to an unconscious 55-year-old man until paramedics arrived to take the man to a local hospital.

Deputies Keith Dillon and Patrick Marshello kept a Land O'Lakes jail inmate from strangling himself in his cell. The deputies cut away a makeshift rope that the inmate had made from his bedding.

Deputy Daniel Berberich and 11-year-old Brittney Barrett helped save Brittney's 18-month-old brother's life. Brittney pulled the infant from a pool and Berberich slapped the child on his back, making him spit up water he'd swallowed.

Deputy Joshua Peters deployed his Taser to stop a man from slitting his own throat.

Deputies Sascha Vanderwaall, Travis Gondek and Russell Hemmendinger broke into a house, where an unverified 911 call had been made, to save a 17-year-old girl who was overdosing on medication.

Lt. Stacey Jenkins, Cpl. Lawrence Warden, Deputies Durriel Aiken, Jeffrey Johnson, Patrick DeSousa, Katrina Pereira, and Sean Powers, and nurses Dina Erickson, Victoria Bromwell and Tammy Farrell saved an inmate from an apparent suicide attempt. They found the inmate in a noose fashioned from a pillow case. They cut the makeshift rope and gave the inmate CPR until paramedics arrived.

Sheriff's Special Service Award

Cpls. David Rodriguez and Mary Guyer organized the Law Enforcement Torch Run in Dade City for the Special Olympics. The two recruited members from other agencies and county schools for the largest Torch Run turnout ever in Pasco County.

Incentive Awards

Frank Darienzo, who works in the property section at the Land O'Lakes jail, was honored for his ability to spot contraband items, including narcotics and weapons among inmates' property. Most recently, he found a switchblade in a purse.

Detective James Berberich helped the Intelligence-Led Policing section and road patrol deputies make arrests in several burglaries earlier this year.

Detention Deputy Kurt Gardner supervised inmates on projects including building two evidence containers for the Clerk of the Court and removing damaged furniture, carpet and drywall at the Sheriff's Office after Tropical Storm Debbie.

Damien Linebaugh and Nicolas Sanchez, both emergency medical technicians, helped a deputy arrest a fleeing suspect. The two saw the deputy struggling with the suspect at a McDonald's and helped subdue the suspect so the deputy could put him in handcuffs.

Contact Alex Orlando at [email protected] or (727) 869-6247.

Comments
Girl, 12, sister of murder victim, reported missing in Manatee County

Girl, 12, sister of murder victim, reported missing in Manatee County

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is searching for the 12-year-old sister of a murder victim who was reported missing on Sunday night.Deputies say Jalyssa Shannon left her Manatee County home around 9 p.m. Her mother, Michelle Mosley, reported her ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
‘We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know.’

‘We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know.’

Nikolas Cruz was immature, quirky and depressed when James and Kimberly Snead took him into their Parkland home. But he was pleasant and seemed to be growing happier, they said.How the 19-year-old turned into a man now arrested and charged with 17 co...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Parkland students to march on Florida Capitol to demand changes to gun laws

Parkland students to march on Florida Capitol to demand changes to gun laws

TALLAHASSEE A hundred students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland will travel to Tallahassee for a march on the state Capitol on Wednesday in the first organized protest of their #NeverAgain movement. Their demand: that Florida l...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Broward program will give small-time offenders a big break

Broward program will give small-time offenders a big break

FORT LAUDERDALE — Pot smokers aren’t the only law breakers able to get a second chance in South Florida. Underage adults buying alcohol, those stealing property worth less than $300 and people nabbed for trespassing, loitering or disorderly conduct a...
Updated: 11 hours ago
As victims are mourned in Florida, a search for solace, and action

As victims are mourned in Florida, a search for solace, and action

PARKLAND — On the Sunday after Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School lost 17 of its own, a minister in Parkland implored his flock not to let the horrific shootings lead them away from their faith."Our world is broken, but Jesus is not," the Rev. Eddi...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Pinellas Park man tries to stop people breaking into his car, is shot in arm

PINELLAS PARK — A man saw people trying to break into his vehicle and chased them away, before one of the attempted burglars shot him in the arm, police said.Alexander Weaver, 28, was at his home on the 6200 block of 106th Avenue N early Sunday morni...
Published: 02/18/18

Deputies: Woman charged with DUI manslaughter hit St. Pete Beach pedestrian

ST. PETE BEACH — Deputies say a driver killed a man walking on a sidewalk and fled the scene before causing a second crash Saturday night.Carolyn Yovan, 51 of St. Pete Beach, now faces felony charges of driving under the influence manslaughter and le...
Published: 02/18/18
Pinellas Sheriff’s Office accuses 14-year-old of copycat Snapchat school threat

Pinellas Sheriff’s Office accuses 14-year-old of copycat Snapchat school threat

PINELLAS PARK — The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office late Saturday said detectives arrested a 14-year-old boy and accused him of posting a threat to a school on his Snapchat account.Edward Charles Osgood, who attends Lealman Innovation Academy, was a...
Published: 02/17/18
Updated: 02/18/18

Man found dead in flaming mobile home

TAMPA — Firefighters found a man dead inside a burned-down mobile home Saturday.Tampa Fire Rescue got a call just after 4:30 p.m. that a single-wide mobile home at the 100 block of East Linebaugh Avenue was in flames.The man’s identity was not releas...
Published: 02/17/18
‘I’m going to watch you bleed’: Nikolas Cruz threatened ex’s new boyfriend, report says

‘I’m going to watch you bleed’: Nikolas Cruz threatened ex’s new boyfriend, report says

Warning: This story quotes graphic material.Before he killed 17 people at a South Florida high school, Nikolas Cruz repeatedly threatened an ex-classmate who had started dating his former girlfriend, according to a report in Buzzfeed News."I’m going ...
Published: 02/17/18