Police Briefs 9/14/17

Clay County Sheriff's Office
Posted 9/14/17

OP driver strikes, kills pedestrianJACKSONVILE – The Florida Highway Patrol reports that an Orange Park woman struck and killed a pedestrian alongside Interstate 295 on Sept. 12 at 8:13 …

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Police Briefs 9/14/17


OP driver strikes, kills pedestrian

JACKSONVILE – The Florida Highway Patrol reports that an Orange Park woman struck and killed a pedestrian alongside Interstate 295 on Sept. 12 at 8:13 p.m.

Police said Natasha Atkinson, 27, of Orange Park was driving southbound on I-295 in a 2017 Toyota Camry when, according to witnesses, the pedestrian’s dog somehow jumped out of the car she was traveling in. When the pedestrian, Sylvia Taylor, 56, of Jacksonville, got out of her vehicle to rescue the dog, she was struck by the right front of Atkinson’s vehicle.

FHP said charges are pending and two passenger’s in Atkinson’s vehicle were not injured nor was Atkinson.

FDOT and FLHSMV Monitoring Santa Fe River at I-75 for

unprecedented flooding

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Transportation is actively monitoring a small bridge on Interstate 75 at mile marker 408 crossing the Santa Fe River on the northern border of Alachua County.

The river is expected to crest at historic and unprecedented levels presenting a potential threat to safe travel on the bridge. The Santa Fe River under I-75 has rapidly risen 15 feet within the past 36 hours due to the heavy rainfall over North Florida from Hurricane Irma.

An additional rise is expected within the coming days as water levels from upstream move southward down the river. The river level is currently safe at 55 feet. However, if the river were to rise to an unsafe level, the bridge would become impassable both northbound and southbound, and would be closed immediately.

At this time, I-75 remains safe and passable. Floridians that are traveling home should monitor this situation and remain aware of travel conditions. Www.FL511.com has up-to-date info on road closures and travel routes.

Mall clothes thief collared

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A man arrested in Duval County last Wednesday was transferred to the Clay County Jail on a warrant issued after he stole clothes from a Clay County department store.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office booked Bennie Joe Johnson Jr., 23, of Jacksonville, after he was transferred from the Duval County Jail.

In mid-June, Johnson allegedly entered the Dillard’s store at the Orange Park Mall and began collecting several pieces of clothing from the men’s department. An employee noticed Johnson had begun acting strange and moved toward one of the store’s exits. After approaching Johnson, the employee was shoved in her chest and fell onto a wooden display where she received multiple cuts and bruises, which required hospitalization.

A mall employee chased Johnson into the parking lot where he dropped the stolen merchandise and a car pulled up to pick him up. The driver yelled to the employee that Johnson had a gun so the employee let him go and the suspect fled the scene.

Johnson faces three felonies for grand theft, battery, and armed robbery. He is being held on about $100,000 bond and will appear in court on Oct. 11.

Alleged Moped thief busted

MIDDLEBURG – A Middleburg man was arrested last Wednesday after attempting to steal a moped from a Dollar Tree employee.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Christopher Shaun Padgett, 39, of Middleburg, after he was found at the Middleburg Dollar Tree where he had attempted to steal an employee’s vehicle.

The Dollar Tree worker had exited the business, started his moped and lit a cigarette. According to police, Padgett then approached the employee and asked for a cigarette. As soon as Padgett was given a cigarette, he punched the man in the face and got onto the moped. Padgett attempted to leave when the man grabbed his legs and dragged him off the moped. After the scooter’s owner retrieved his vehicle, he circled to the front of the store and called police.

Padgett was found behind the Dollar Tree sitting on the curb with minor scrapes from falling off the stolen moped. He was booked into the Clay County Jail.

Padgett faces a felony for unarmed robbery, and is being held on a $100,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 11.


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