Man uses ‘sophisticated’ system to store stolen gas, detectives say

Detectives accused Alex Perez of using fraudulent cards and a “sophisticated” pump system to steal more than 178 gallons of diesel gasoline, the Hollywood Police Department announced Friday on Facebook.

The 35-year-old truck driver purchased about $480 of fuel at Racetrac, 5800 Hollywood Blvd. When a gas station employee grew suspicious of the modus operandi, he called police. 

“The Hollywood Police Department has investigated several cases similar to this, where suspects utilize fraudulent cards and pump diesel gas into the gas truck,” the city spokesperson wrote on Facebook. “They activate a suction pump which pushes the fuel into the hidden containers.”

Detectives reported finding the truck was equipped with a suction pump to feed three hidden containers. They arrested Perez Oct. 2. He faces charges of unlawful conveyance of fuel, obtaining fuel fraudulently and grand theft.

 

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Man found unconscious in roadway after hit-and-run reported in Pompano Beach

Broward Sheriff’s Office Traffic Homicide Investigation detectives are investigating a fatal hit-and-run crash that was reported early Thursday in Pompano Beach. 

The hit-and-run was reported just before 12:45 a.m. at North Federal Highway and Northeast 10th Street.

Deputies said they found the victim lying in the roadway, unconscious with visible injuries to his head.

Pompano Beach Fire Rescue transported the victim to Broward Health North, where he died.

The victim’s identity has not been released as authorities work to notify his relatives.

Anyone with information or who witnessed the hit-and-run is asked to call Detective Donnard Huneke at 954-321-4842 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.
 

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BSO deputy accused of sexually assaulting teenager

A Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy was arrested Thursday on accusations that he sexually assaulted a teenager, BSO confirmed on Friday.

Deputy Leon Andrae Campbell, 37, was arrested by Lauderhill police on charges of sexual assault on a victim who is 16 or 17, and promoting the sexual activity of a victim less than 16.

Campbell was released from jail Friday afternoon after posting $15,000 bail. He refused to speak with Local 10 News reporter Jeff Weinsier as he left the jail.  

BSO officials said Campbell, who works in the Pompano Beach area, has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

He has been employed with BSO since January 2008. 

No other details about his arrest were immediately released.

Watch Local 10 News or refresh this page for updates. 

 

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Lyft driver held without bond after being arrested on sexual battery charge

A Lyft driver accused of forcing a teenage boy to perform oral sex on him appeared in court Friday morning.

A Miami-Dade County judge ordered Julio Perez, 43, to be held without bond until he’s picked up and sent back to Broward County to face his charges.  

Lyft representatives said the company is “horrified” by the allegations and “stands ready to support” the victim and his family.

The company said the Perez was deactivated from its system as soon as the company found out about the allegations.

Police said Perez lured his way into a 16-year-old boy’s house in Davie after driving the teen home.

“Once inside, he forced the boy to perform oral sex on him,” Davie police Capt. Dale Engle said.

The boy told his mother what happened when she got home, remembering the Lyft driver’s name and other information from the app.

Police said Perez later confessed after he was tracked down in Hialeah on Wednesday.

Authorities said he thought the boy was younger.

“Mr. Perez indicated he thought the boy was 12 years old,” Engle said. 

Detectives said Lyft did not make it easy to find their driver. 

“Lyft was not as cooperative as other apps on releasing information on who the driver was. We were able to get it the next day,” Engle said. “Parents need to be aware that these services may be questionable and the drivers may be questionable.”

Lyft’s policy states that minors are to be accompanied by adults when hailing a ride.

Lyft says the driver was screened and passed a thorough background and sex offender check.

Police fear there may be other victims, so they’re encouraging parents to talk to their children and call police if they suspect they’ve been victimized.
  

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Man struck in head with PVC pipe at homeless camp in Marathon

A Marathon man was arrested Thursday night for striking another man in the head with a PVC pipe, authorities said.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said two deputies were called about 11:20 p.m. to a homeless camp in a wooded area at 6350 Overseas Highway in Marathon.

Herrin said the deputies found the suspect, John Cadwallader, 57, in a tent in the woods.

She said the 58-year-old victim was a short distance further into the woods, bleeding profusely from a cut on his forehead.

Herrin said there was also a lot of blood on a nearby walking trail and on plastic tarps on the ground. She said there were sections of PVC pipe in the area.

The victim told deputies that Cadwallader had hit him in the head with a piece of the pipe.

Herrin said Cadwallader was uncooperative and refused to follow the deputies’s instructions to walk out of the woods.

He was arrested on charges of aggravated battery and resisting arrest.

The victim was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

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Judge rejects motion to clear former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s conviction

A federal judge on Thursday rejected Joe Arpaio’s request to erase a criminal contempt conviction from his record, saying a presidential pardon of the former sheriff didn’t change the facts of the case.

Arpaio, the former top lawman in Maricopa County, Arizona, for more than two decades, was spared a jail sentence when he was pardoned by President Donald Trump in August after being convicted of criminal contempt.

The 85-year-old was accused of violating a court order in a 2007 racial profiling case by continuing patrols targeting immigrants. The former sheriff claimed the court wasn’t clear and he didn’t intend to violate it.

Soon after the President’s pardon, Arpaio’s attorneys filed a motion seeking to erase all record of the conviction, but U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton denied the request.

“The power to pardon is an executive prerogative of mercy, not of judicial recordkeeping,” Bolton wrote in the document. “To vacate all rulings in this case would run afoul of this important distinction.”

“The pardon undoubtedly spared Defendant from any punishment that might otherwise have been imposed. It did not, however, ‘revise the historical facts’ of this case,” she wrote.

Bolton handed down a guilty verdict in the former sheriff’s criminal contempt case in July. Arpaio, who lost a bid for his seventh term in 2016, faced up to six months in jail. Sentencing was set for October 5.

Jack Wilenchik, one of Arpaio’s attorneys, said they plan to appeal Bolton’s order.

“The sheriff views it as a form of resistance to the President’s pardon, and I view it as a resistance to the law,” Wilenchik told CNN late Thursday.

Wilenchik explained there is legal precedence that says the judge has to vacate the rulings in the case because it was pardoned.

“We think the law is very clear and think it will be interesting to see what the government decides since they have already agreed with us on this case,” he said.

The former sheriff was a vocal proponent of Trump’s candidacy, and used his national platform to advocate for Trump’s similarly aggressive stance on deportations and border security.

The President’s pardon drew an outcry from civil rights groups, which accused the former sheriff of violating the constitution in his crackdown on illegal immigration.

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