During the Labor Day holiday weekend through Monday, Sept. 2, county traffic deputies will be looking for those driving drunk, breaking speed limits, not wearing seat belts and for those distracted on the road.
Labor Day traditionally marks the end of summer and back to school for many Florida residents and visitors.
The rate of auto accidents involving drunk drivers goes up over any long holiday weekend, particularly one like Labor Day that involves parties and alcohol consumption, the sheriff’s office reports.
AAA Motor Club is projecting that 34.1 million Americans will travel over this Labor Day weekend.
The number of Americans using the holiday for a getaway at least
50 miles from home represents a
4.2 percent increase over the
32.7 million who traveled during last year’s Labor Day weekend.
In 2011, Florida had 716 drunken driving related deaths, which represents 30 percent off the total number of traffic fatalities in the state, according to www.aaa.com.
Sheriff Grady Judd recommends all people driving in Polk County over Labor Day weekend take these precautions:
Observe and obey all speed limits.
Drive sober, and only sober.
Have a designated driver or contact a local sober ride program such as AAA Tow To Go.
Remember and observe the Move Over Law.
A 38-year-old man who was pulled over at about 4 a.m. Aug. 15 for having a tag light not working was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia, the Bartow Police Department reported.
Nolan Ross Page, of 1995 S. Kissingen Ave., was booked into the Polk County Jail on the charges after a K9 sniffed the drugs in his car, the police report.
Patrolling the area of south Oak Avenue and East Stanford in reference to suspicious people walking in the area, Officer Leeshawn Sanders reported he saw people get into a white Infiniti G20 on Stanford.
With the tag light not working the car was pulled over but not before the driver tried to avoid that, police reported. It sped up and turned east onto East Pearl Street, then the driver turned off the lights and pulled into a driveway.
When Sanders went to the car and asked Page to come out, reports say he gave the officer the right to search the car. However, when asked if it was OK to search the car, Page allegedly said, “No I don’t know what’s in my vehicle.”
That’s when the K9 Hasj was called to sniff around the car, police report. The dog was alerted to the driver’s side and when a black bag which was laying on the center floorboard was found, it tested positive for methamphetamine, police reported.
Page denied ownership of the bag, but a passenger, when asked, said he had thrown in bag into the back seat area when the car was pulled over, police report.
He was then arrested.
He said he had no drugs, but drugs found
Garrick Jarroid Griffin, 29 of 1535 Sailpoint Drive, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of alprazolam on Aug. 16 after he was found in Nye Jordan after hours, the Bartow Police Department reports.
Officer Randy Velez was dispatched to the part at 3:11 a.m. where he found Griffin and a woman in the park.
After asking if he could search the pair, he was given consent and Griffin said he didn’t have any drugs or weapons on him, police report. However, Velez found in his front left pocket a bag of several pills which he said belonged to his cousin, police report.
Upon doing a check, Velez found out they were illegal drugs and arrested him, police report.
Possession of pot charged
Jason Murphy Phillips, 27 of 1575 Imperial Ave., was charged with possession of pot of less than
20 grams on Aug. 16, the Bartow Police Department reports.
During a traffic stop, Officer Eric Sudhoff saw Phillips in a car on
U.S. 17 South at East Magnolia Street with a green leafy substance in a plastic baggie. Phillips kept trying to cover the package with a four-pack of Budweiser Light bottles, the police report.
Sudhoff instructed Phillips to put his hands on the steering wheel, but police say he kept reaching with his right hand behind his back. At that time, Sudhoff secured Phillips because he did not have the opportunity to frisk him for weapons, he reported.
When the bag was seized it was tested and reports say it came back as positive for pot. It weighed
2.5 grams, police reported.
Man charged with domestic violence
Billy Christopher Brannan, 42, was charged with domestic violence after he allegedly choked and grabbed his girlfriend’s shirt, tearing it after she woke him up, the Bartow Police Department reports.
On Aug. 18, Kathy Ann Ayers, who lives with Brannan, got involved in a verbal argument with Brannan after he became angry when she woke him up, police reported.
She told police Brannan grabbed her around the neck and said, “I should break your ------ neck.” She then said Brannan grabbed her shirt in the neck area and tore that and her undergarment.
After police got the same story from Brannan and observed red marks on Ayers which didn’t need medical attention, police reported, Brannan was charged with the misdemeanor and booked into the Polk County Jail.
Serving warrant leads
to additional charges
Upon serving a warrant to a suspect on Aug. 18, Keith Tyrone White, 25, of 485 S. 5th Ave., was charged with resisting arrested without violence for not following police orders and later for banging his head on the window of a police car after he was arrested, Bartow police report.
When the officer went to White’s house to serve the warrant, he found him laying in bed and asked him to stand up and place his hands to be handcuffed informing why he was there, police reported.
White allegedly refused to do after being asked several times. Then when White did stand up, police say the officer tried to handcuff him, but White allegedly pulled away. White was eventually restrained, handcuffed and taken to the car, police reported. Once put into the back seat, reports say White began to bang his head on the window of the car, and police say he was asked to stop several times.
There was no reported injuries to either White or the car, police report.
Man gets extra charges after giving false name
A 32-year-old man was issued a handful of traffic tickets after he allegedly gave police officers false information about who he was when he was pulled over on Aug. 20, the Bartow Police Department reported.
Michael Allen Campbell, of 22 Pine Ave., S., Fort Meade, was also charged with forgery and giving false information to law enforcement in the incident, police report.
When Officer Jose Joglar pulled over a Dodge pick up truck at about 11:40 p.m. Aug. 19 on U.S. 98 by Van Fleet Drive, the driver told him his name was Richard Chapple and gave a birth date of Nov. 3, 1970, telling the officer he left his wallet at the house and didn’t have his driver’s license.
After the traffic stop, the passenger, Jammie W. Bourassa, called the sheriff’s office and told them Campbell had given the police false name, police reported. It is also reported that the two switched positions in the car and Bourassa started driving toward Fort Meade.
While in the car, the two began to argue and Campbell battered Bourassa, police reported.
The next day, Aug. 20, two deputies with the sheriff’s office, told Bartow police that they’d been given an incorrect identification by Campbell.
Campbell was found and issued traffic tickets for improper backing and for not carrying a driver’s license. The driver signed both citations with the name Richard D. Chapple, police reported. Campbell was also charged with driving with a suspended license, police report.