Police Briefs 7/22/21

Clay County Sheriff's Office
Posted 7/21/21

Local man arrested for boating under the influence at Spring Park PierGREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Green Cove Springs man was arrested after he tried to swim away from Clay County Sheriff’s …

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Police Briefs 7/22/21


Local man arrested for boating under the influence at Spring Park Pier
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Green Cove Springs man was arrested after he tried to swim away from Clay County Sheriff’s Office and Green Cove Springs Police Department deputies on July 18 instead of taking a blood alcohol test.
Mark David Morgan, 53, was charged with refusal to take a blood alcohol or field sobriety test and operating a boat under the influence after another boater flagged down GCSPD with concerns about the man’s safety at the Spring Park Pier. When the officer arrived, Morgan refused to follow commands, according to the arrest report. He tried to escape on a boat, but it wouldn’t start. He then jumped into the St. Johns River but he was quickly apprehended when he became tired.

Expired tag triggers arrest of two for methamphetamine, Oxycodone
ORANGE PARK – A tag that expired three years ago prompted a traffic stop on Blanding Boulevard – and the arrest of two men for possession of methamphetamine and Oxycodone.
Thomas Anthony Crews, 47, of Hilliard, also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, while Joe Eugene Loving, 52, of Jacksonville, was charged with driving with a suspended license after a Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputy noticed the tag on Loving’s car expired in 2018. During the stop, K-9 Cash alerted deputies of the probable presence of illegal drugs inside the car. A search turned up both methamphetamine and Oxycodone.

FDOT and FHP announce 
‘Operation Southern Shield’
 TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Transportation, in collaboration with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and its division of the Florida Highway Patrol, are participating in “Operation Southern Shield,” a joint effort with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the southeastern states of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. State and local law enforcement agencies in all five states will be conducting a week-long speed enforcement campaign, and FHP will be specifically focused on detecting and citing drivers for exceeding the posted speed limits across Florida’s interstate corridors.
“Nationwide, there is a dangerous trend in fatalities and crashes caused by excessive speed, and, though it may seem harmless, the choice to speed is a deadly one,” said FDOT Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. “FDOT remains committed to the goal of zero fatalities on Florida’s roadways, and we are proud to join ‘Operation Southern Shield’ as well as support our law enforcement partners in this life-saving effort.”
According to NHTSA, in 2019, speeding killed more than 9,000 people nationwide, with nearly 47% of speeding drivers in these fatal crashes failing to wear a seat belt. One of the primary reasons that speed-related crashes have such detrimental effects is that the increased velocity and force of impact works against the usefulness of safety equipment, such as seat belts and airbags. Speeding and driving aggressively translate to less vehicle control, increased stopping distances, and greater risk to others on or near the roadway.

Preliminary 2020 data from FLHSMV shows traffic fatalities increased by 4.67% from 2019 to 2020, despite a 15.31% decrease in total crashes statewide. In 2020, speeding was a contributing factor in approximately 12% of traffic crash fatalities statewide, resulting in nearly 400 fatalities.
“Speeding endangers not only the life of the speeder, but all road users around them, including law enforcement officers and other public safety workers,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “The Florida Highway Patrol is pleased to partner with our neighboring states and local law enforcement agencies in our continued effort to make Florida’s roadways safer for all.”
As you travel, here are some tips to stay safe on Florida’s roadways this summer:
• Anticipate increased traffic during peak travel periods. Plan ahead and give yourself ample drive time.
• Buckle up and make sure all passengers are buckled up the entire trip.
• Slow down in construction zones. Keep in mind that construction increases during the summer season.
No matter how eager you are to get to your destination, speeding and driving aggressively is dangerous. Stay patient and give other road users plenty of space.
If you observe aggressive driving, do not engage with the other driver. Dial * FHP (*347) or 911 for local law enforcement.