Let’s check in with Sheriff Rick Ramsay

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

Thanksgiving saw an arrest of a 34-year-old man for multiple lobster related violations.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We were out there with FWC as well who witnessed some harvesting going on. We did go up this male from Dade County, who was spearing, and that’s a no spear zone, that’s part of the protected zone. So you’re not allowed to spear. He speared a gag grouper, he speared a barracuda and he speared lobster. He had multiple violations in that area. We’re always good to partner up with our friends at FWC. We work so well with our law enforcement partners. But again, we have to keep doing our part to try to protect our environment. We keep talking about these people come down and just destroying the environment and they’re not saving any product for the future generations. So we have to be vigilant. We want to protect our resources and I love seeing my officers go out and do additional stuff which is kind of above their normal daily duties.”

A vehicle was burglarized last week in Marathon and drug charges were also included.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We encourage our patrol officers to try to investigate cases and try to get solvability factor. We want our cases solved and solved fast. We encourage our officers to try to learn, do more and go above and beyond. Again, part of our proactive approach is not just take the report, but try to be vigilant, to investigate, solve it, hold people accountable, and arrest these people as quickly as you can and stop these crime sprees from occurring.”

A man in Marathon was recently charged with threatening law enforcement officers.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “We got called about this person being agitated, violent, making threats. In the beginning, we first encountered him in Marathon, around the community park area, and continued to be combative, violent, making threats, making threats to kill, harm, injure, kill my officers. At some point in time he was placed under arrest and struggled and resisted, was fighting with the officers, was handcuffed. The officer stands behind the handcuffed individual generally, as you’re trying to escort them. The officer was behind them and all sudden felt and noticed someone grabbing and tugging on his gun, trying to pull his gun out of his holster. Looked down the handcuffed person had maneuvered his body right up against what the gun was, and had his hands wrapped around the butt of the gun and was trying to take the gun out of the holster. We had two officers there, they were able to secure their weapon and secure him. Again, it just continues to tell you how difficult, challenging it is to be a police officer. Once you’re handcuffed, the threat doesn’t go away. People still try to spit on you, head-butt you, kick you, try to grab your gun. So just because someone’s handcuffed doesn’t stop the threat, you still have to have your guard up, you still have to be concerned about safety, well being of yourself and your partner. And here we have them making death threats to police officers, which doesn’t go over well. It’s against the law. We’re always going to charge people who make threats of violence against persons. If I can charge somebody, I will. It’s a difficult challenging job. It can be a tough job all day long. People are mad, if they’re mad, they’re threatening to kill you and your family. It can be a tough, depressing job at times. I love the job, but it is not for everybody.”

Mike Stapleford of KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM said, “I fully respect those of you in law enforcement who work every day to keep the rest of us safe. That’s the bottom line and you do a fantastic job of it.”

A man in possession of a taser brought it out during an argument with another man recently.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “Tasers are considered a potential weapon and there are rules and regulations about possession, use of these tasers. Again, it’s people who are making poor decisions under anger management and doing an action which just makes the situation worse. You’re bringing an electronic weapon into an altercation and then making threats so these are more challenging for our people. This is a handheld device. It wasn’t one shooting darts out but it was a taser where you see the arc going between the two and you’re having to apply it to a person. These are temporary incapacitation weapons, so they’re dangerous for the men and women in the sheriff’s office, too, because it could make our officers rendered incapacitated. These are regulated weapons that have a limited place and should be used for self defense type use only. Overall it just goes to show how much we see and how we never know when we’re coming whether a person intends to hurt us with hands, feet, whether it be a taser, whether it be a weapon, whether it be a club. We always tell people not to escalate the situation. The best chance we want our citizens to do is deescalate, try to call the law enforcement, 911, right away. Try not to take these situations in their own hands. Let us be there to try to deal with it. Hopefully the presence of an officer itself would deescalate situation most of the time.”

On the same day, a man was arrested for using a flare gun against someone.

Sheriff Ramsay noted, “We’ve actually seen a lot of flare gun cases down here over the years because we have such a high boating population. We have such a large liveaboard population in various parts of the county. So we deal with more than you would think flare gun altercations, where people get in altercations and pull out a flare gun and actually pull and shoot the flare. When you shoot a flare gun at somebody, it’s just like you’re shooting a bullet you could hit and kill that person. You could burn something down, but you’re going to be charged with the same level of crime on these situations.”

Two Lower Keys teenagers were arrested recently for a break in.

Sheriff Ramsay said, “Cases of juveniles are always concerning cases because we want to try to correct behavior before they become adults, and they ruin their lives. But this is a 15 and 17 year old male. They were actually wearing masks, which are a little more concerning that they were that well thought out. They did enter an unlocked unoccupied dwelling, residential structure, which had security cameras. So they were seen going in the house and then coming out with a large amount of alcohol. So these area a little bit challenging cases because they had their faces blocked and covered. Soon we were able to identify the suspects and contacted the parents. We’re really thankful that both parents were very cooperative. A lot of times the parents are not cooperative and they’re very defensive here. The parents got involved, they were concerned, they helped aiding and assisting. We identified that these were the kids, the kids ultimately confessed to the crimes and ultimately we did arrest them for the burglary and theft charges. The victim here wanted to press charges. We had some surveillance videos he said, but also it’s important to get the courts involved, to get the judges involved. This helps the families deal with these situations when there’s court oversight, sometimes it’s hard for parents to deal with juveniles who are doing these type of things. You can only do so much. With the court intervention, I think it’s a good thing. Hopefully we send the message to these kids that will stop them from doing wrong behavior and get back on the track because we want them to do the right thing and learn from bad behaviors and bad decisions and become good parts of our community. So good job to get immediate closure, solve the case, arrested persons involved, get the courts involved. Again, I want to thank the parents for being involved and being supportive, being part of the solution not part of the problem, which we deal with all the time.”