Let’s check in with Sheriff Rick Ramsay

Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5 this morning to talk about what’s been going on in the county.

A robbery of a mentally challenged individual happened last week. The man was trying to get to the Miami airport and asked a couple to give him a ride, saying he would give them $300 to get to the airport.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “The ride was nefarious. The intention was to rob him. The driver had two other friends up around Rockland Key in a really dark area waiting on the side of the road.”

The victim was kicked out of the car where the other two were waiting. The driver and the others attacked the man, beat him up, stole $2,000 in cash, rifled through his luggage and left him on the side of the road, bleeding, battered and injured.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “He was found by a passing motorist who saw him waving down traffic, all full of blood. A motorist stopped to check on him, render aid, called the sheriff’s office. We got our friends in fire rescue out there to check on him, get him some medical attention.”

An officer from MCPD noticed a suspicious taxicab, stopped it and discovered two of the three men who beat the victim.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “One had blood all over his hands and fingernails from the attack. We were able to pretty quickly make a case.”

Inside the cab, cocaine, heroin and other drugs were discovered as well. One of the men was out on parole, had an active warrant for his arrest. The two were arrested on a variety of charges.

The third suspect is still at large, but the identity is known and a warrant is out for his arrest.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “Really sad case. Quick closure, but we’re sad to see this individual had to go through this really horrific event with these terrible people. Thought he was asking for a ride, was going to pay someone a reasonable amount only to become the victim of a crime.”

A home burglary occurred last week in Key Largo as well. Two people entered an unoccupied home through an unlocked back door. One of the suspects knew the residents very casually.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “They were just staying in the house. We found both individuals in the house.”

The owners pressed charges.

An 11-year-old boy from New Jersey who was making threats to a Key Largo school was arrested on Thursday.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “Every time we get threats against schools, we’re going to take them serious, no matter who it is, no matter how old they are and no matter where they live. This was a very detailed threat with pictures and words about killing and shooting and taking people out. So we did eventually get a warrant for this individual’s arrest.”

The boy will be extradited to Monroe County to face charges in a Florida court.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We’re going to hold him accountable to the courts in Florida. This individual clearly needs some mental health, needs some court oversite. Obviously what he’s getting at home is not enough to keep this child from making these death threats and this is only going to get worse unless we get together in this community, hold him accountable, get him the care, treatment that he needs to try to hopefully correct his behavior before something really tragic happens.”

Some people questioned taking an 11 year old to jail.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We keep saying, what’s the age? Is that too young? Okay, is it 12? Is it 13? Is it 14? Is it 15? How old? We saw a 6-year-old child a couple weeks ago come to school with a gun and shoot a teacher. We have to take every threat as a viable threat. No matter how old you are, no matter where you live, we cannot risk the safety of our children in the schools and we’re going to err on the side of caution and we’re going to send a strong message to our citizens here, to any student here or anywhere else who think they’re going to threaten our schools, if you do, for every action there’s a reaction and our reaction is going to be to put you in jail and hold you accountable and stop this behavior from occurring and ensure the safety of our children in schools and the teachers and the other people at these facilities.”

The boy will have due process and be represented in court.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We don’t know if he could have carried out this threat closer to home and me looking back saying well I knew and I could have prevented it. No. I’m not going to be in that situation. I’m going to do everything I can to prevent it here or anywhere else and that’s just the way it’s going to be. My job is to protect our citizens and children and I take it very serious and I’m going to do it.”

The hope is to get the child and the family the help they need.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “I always tell parents to look at the kid’s computers, to clone their phones. You can mirror their phones so whatever is on their phone, you can read and see. The same thing on these computers. The parents own the computers and the phone. You should know what your kids are writing, looking into, researching, who they’re talking to. The electronic era is so dangerous for our kids. I think parents need to have a harder line on it. Sometimes parents tell me they don’t want to be invading the privacy of the children. That’s not an invasion of privacy. That’s good parenting. We have to protect our kids from a lot of people who want to do nefarious stuff.”

Migrations seem to have dipped a bit recently.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “The manpower that we’ve got from the state, local, federal has been amazing. Everything I’ve asked for we’ve gotten.”

Even Secretary of Homeland Secuirty Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas called Sheriff Ramsay and as a result of the cooperation between the governor and Senators, the landings have decreased.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “They’re being intercepted early out. Less targets are leaving Cuba and Haiti. The deterrent is good. The message is good. It’s a strong message about don’t come because you’re likely to be intercepted. The strategy plan is working and the proof is in the pudding.”