Orange Park native killed in weekend crash
BRADFORD COUNTY – An Orange Park native died over the weekend in a head-on traffic crash that occurred in Bradford County, according to the Florida …
Orange Park native killed in weekend crash
BRADFORD COUNTY – An Orange Park native died over the weekend in a head-on traffic crash that occurred in Bradford County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Seth Howard, 24, of Gainesville, was driving a 2010 Toyota Corolla northbound at 11:20 p.m. on Dec. 29 on Southwest State Road 231 when his car crossed the center line and struck a southbound 2014 Toyota Camry head-on.
FHP said the Camry was driven by Antonio M. Flaherty, 24, of Lake Butler, who received serious injuries in the crash along with his passenger, infant son, Neymar Flaherty. Both Flaherty and his son were transported to UF Health Shands hospital in Gainesville for treatment, while Howard was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to FHP, Howard’s Corolla rotated and traveled onto the west shoulder and came to final rest facing in a southwesterly direction.
Howard is a 2012 graduate of Ridgeview High and has a degree in engineering from the University of Florida.
Family and friends have launched a GoFundMe page to help the Howard family with funeral expenses. To make a donation, go to www.gofundme.com/seth-howard-memorial-relief-fund.
Christmas Eve shooting under investigation
ORANGE PARK – The Orange Park Police Department is investigating a shooting that took place Dec. 24 at approximately 8 p.m. in the Floyd Circle area of town.
When they arrived at the scene, officers found Kendrick Lenard Walker, 41, who was transported to Orange Park Medical Center where he was pronounced dead from a gunshot.
OPPD detectives confirmed that Walker was shot while leaving the Floyd Circle area in a vehicle.
According to a social media posting, detectives have been diligently working on the case since it occurred and have interviewed witnesses and are following up on different leads.
“We believe this incident to be isolated and currently there no longer exists any immediate safety concerns for those who reside in this area,” states the post.
Residents with information about the shooting are asked to call the Orange Park Police Department at (904) 264-5555 or leave an anonymous tip with First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).
No bond in aggravated assault case
MIDDLEBURG – A Middleburg man faces aggravated assault charges while being held without bond in the Clay County Jail.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Richard Allen Webb Sr., 60, on Dec. 23, at 2:12 p.m., after he allegedly threatened to strike another person with a blunt object.
On Dec. 23, the victim of the assault was at the Winn Dixie at 2721 Blanding Boulevard, where they told police Webb approached him with a blunt object in hand.
The victim and Webb got into a verbal argument, according to the police report. During the argument, Webb attempted to strike the victim with the blunt object. The police report states that a Winn Dixie employee witnessed the fracas. Afraid for his safety, the victim left the area and went home, where he called the police.
Police interviewed Webb at his home in the 3900 block of Appaloosa Road in Middleburg and, shortly after, arrested him, charged with aggravated assault and transported to the Clay County jail where he remains at press time.
Doctors Inlet man charged with auto theft
DOCTORS INLET – Authorities charged a Doctors Inlet man with grand theft auto after a brief investigation.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Anthony Michael Fluhart, 39, on Dec. 21 at 10:11 a.m. after responding to a call about a vehicle that was allegedly stolen from a home in the 1700 block of Wells Road.
Once there, police spoke with the victim who stated he let Fluhart stay the night at his place on Dec. 20 as Fluhart didn’t have a place to stay otherwise.
When the victim woke up, he discovered that his 2017 Hyundai Sonata was missing and that Fluhart was gone. On Dec. 21, around 7:51 a.m., police responded to 1710 Wells Road in regarding a white male wearing a black hoodie and sweat pants sleeping in the breezeway with no shoes on, according to the police report. This description matched the description that victim gave regarding Fluhart.
After police named Fluhart their suspect, they began to search for him, according to the police report. Police found Fluhart at 1690 Wells Road and arrested him there. He was charged with grand theft auto. He also faces two counts of petit theft and one count of credit card fraud in an unrelated case.
At press time, he remained in the Clay County Jail where his bond is set at $32,509.
Teen charged with punching cop
ORANGE PARK – An Orange Park man faces charges of striking a police officer in the eye during a getaway attempt.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Gabriel Colon Vega, 19, on Dec. 22, at 12:26 p.m. and charged him with strangulation, violence on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, tampering and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill.
According to the police report, around 12:01 p.m. on Dec. 22, police arrived at Vega’s home in 1800 block of 88 Kingsley Avenue where they were called about a disturbance in progress.
The victim told police that Vega threatened her with a knife before stabbing holes in the wall of the apartment and strangling her. While police checked the surrounding area for Vega, police heard on the patrol radio that Vega, the child and the victim had returned to the residence.
The officer said he saw Vega run away from the other officers, which prompted a foot chase. After about 50 yards, Vega turned around and punched one of the officers in the left eye.
While trying to apprehend Vega, the same officer was struck in the forehead. Another officer attempted to intervene, according to the police report, but Vega continued to resist. One of the officers drew their taser from its holster and fired it at Vega, which allowed them to handcuff Vega.
While handcuffed and on the ground, Vega attempted to spit on multiple officers. When he was placed in the patrol car, he continued to verbally harass and taunt the deputies on the scene.
Vega was charged with strangulation, resisting an officer with violence, tampering and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without the intent to kill.
At press time, he remained in the Clay County Jail where bond is set at $65,015.
Middleburg woman faces officer battery charge
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A dispute over how many people are allowed in a convenience store restroom at a time ended Christmas weekend in the arrest of a Middleburg woman.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Oshea Lhieanne Beaver, 26, on Dec. 23, at 3:49 a.m., on charges of petit theft, resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer.
According to the police report, on Dec. 23, Beaver and three other customers entered the Circle K located at 2000 State Road 16 West. The customers attempted to enter the bathrooms in the Circle K in pair, which the clerk said was not allowed. While exiting the store, one of the females, grabbed three bags of popcorn and a bag of candy and left the store without paying, according to the police report.
The clerk called police who said, when they approached Beaver, they smelled alcohol on her breath.
When police attempted to place Beaver into custody, she pulled her arms away and attempted to push the officer away, so she could leave. Beaver failed and once placed in the back of the police car, she violently kicked the back driver’s window of the police vehicle.
When police attempted to stop Beaver from kicking, she kicked an officer in the right leg and spit on his face.
Another officer who attempted to restrain was also kicked in the right jaw, head-butted on his right brow and spit in his face.
Beaver was charged with retail petit theft, resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer. At press time, she remained in the Clay County Jail where her bond is set at $37,508.