CCSO: Man charged with
attempted murder after
shooting his girlfriend’s father
OAKLEAF – A 25-year-old man was arrested after he shot the father of his girlfriend while she packed her belongings following a breakup.
Brandon-Javier Terell Long, of Oakleaf, was charged with attempted premeditated second-degree murder. He was taken to the Clay County Jail without bond.
According to the arrest report, the girlfriend was with her parents and her 1-year-old son to collect her things. Long arrived at the residence and argued with the family. When the father grabbed the child and started to leave, Long fired a 9mm pistol at the father. The father was struck in the left forearm while he held his grandson in his right arm, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office said.
Long left the house with his mother and another relative. The mother called CCSO and during questioning, Long “changed his story multiple times,” the agency said.
Man arrested for burning
down neighbor’s house
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – A man trying to find a cat was arrested for setting his neighbor’s house on fire.
Richard Eugene Bates, 56, was charged with second-degree arson after Clay County Sheriff’s Office investigators learned he set the fire on Sept. 5 while trying to find a cat under a house. His bond was set at $250,003.
According to the arrest report, Bates was walking on a wooded trail picking up cans to sell when he saw a cat run across his neighbor’s yard. The cat ran under the home on Campo Drive, Bates said. He tried to scare it out by throwing water on it, and then he lit a piece of cardboard to see if the cat was still under the house. The flaming cardboard then set the residence on fire, CCSO reported.
However, the fire marshal said gasoline was used as an accelerant and the fire started inside the house. The investigation also revealed the victim had the power turned off at Bates house to get him to leave the property. CCSO also said there was video surveillance showing Bates at the victim’s house.
Bad tag light leads to drug
bust on Sandridge Road
LAKE ASBURY – A traffic stop for a burned-out tag light resulted in two people being arrested for possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine.
The Clay County Sheriff’s office charged Karen Lynn Rodriguez, 46, and Lloyd J. Hamilton, 55, both of Green Cove Springs, on Sept. 30 after they were stopped near the intersection of Henley and Sandridge roads. The tag on their SUV was registered to a trailer, and it expired nearly a year ago.
Deputies used K-9 Cash to do a preliminary sniff search outside the truck and the dog alerted them of the likely presence of illegal drugs. A search uncovered the drug, glass pipe and plastic baggies.
Rodriguez also was given a citation for driving without a valid license.
Both were taken to the Clay County Jail, where they were being held on a $102,508 bond.
Driver uses his taxi as getaway car during four robberies
CLAY COUNTY – A Jacksonville man was charged with using his zTrip taxi as the getaway driver during four robberies of 113 rolls of copper wire worth $19,094 from two local Home Depot stores.
Patrice Uwitonze Gonza, 34, was charged with four counts of retail theft of more than $300 at multiple locations after he drove six thieves away from stores located on Branan Field and Wells roads after they walked out with rolls of copper wire, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office said.
On June 22, the gang took 38 rolls of wire from the Branan store that cost $6,236.27.
On July 4, they took 23 rolls worth $3,960 from the Wells Road store. On July 17, CCSO said they took 28 rolls from the Branan store worth $4,480 and on July 19, they returned to Branan and took another 24 rolls worth $4,417.44.
Each time, the gang filled empty carts with the copper wire and walked out to Gonza’s waiting car without paying. Home Depot employees took a photo of Gonza’s zTrip car as he drove them away, according to the arrest warrant.
Thomas Pellicier was arrested after being identified as one of the thieves, CCSO said. He is in the Duval County Jail, and he told detectives Gonza typically paid $150 for each ride.
A manager at zTrip said his in-car camera showed all six men accused of taking the wire in the car. The video also shows Gonza taking the crew to a scrapyard following the thefts on July 17 and 19.
Gonza was taken to the Clay County Jail with a $65,012 bond.