Woman hits man in groin with umbrella during attempted kidnapping, deputies say

A South Florida woman struck a man in the groin with her umbrella last week as he tried to force her into his car, Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies said.

The attempted kidnapping was reported just after 3 p.m. Wednesday in the 4000 block of Northwest First Place.

Deputies said the woman was walking in the area when a man who was driving a dark gray Nissan Altima yelled out to her to get into his car.

The victim refused and continued to walk away.

Authorities said the man began yelling obscenities at the woman and then got out of his car, grabbed her by the arms and tried to force her into his vehicle.

“He grabbed me by my arms and tried to force me toward the passenger side of the vehicle,” the victim, who did not want to be identified, said. 

Deputies said the two struggled and the man punched the victim in the face several times.

During the struggle, the woman used her umbrella to strike her attacker “forcefully in the groin,” deputies said.

“At that point, I took my umbrella and I stabbed him in the groin area,” the victim said. 

Authorities said the man threw the woman to the ground and she ran to safety.

“Somebody else may not fight back like I did and, (for) somebody else, it may end a lot worse for them,” the victim said. 

Anyone with information about the man’s identity is asked to call Detective Larry Heath at 954-321-4719 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

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Remorseful thief returns iPad to Deerfield Beach McDonald’s, deputies say

A remorseful thief returned a stolen iPad this week to its rightful owner, one week after multiple news outlets reported on the theft, authorities said.

Surveillance video shows a woman taking the iPad June 12 from the counter of a McDonald’s in Deerfield Beach after its owner accidentally left it there.  

Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion said the thief coordinated to have the iPad returned to its rightful owner on Tuesday.

Concepcion said a man, who was wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses and was keeping his head down, walked into the fast food restaurant and placed a small blue gift bag on the counter.

The manager retrieved the bag and discovered that the stolen iPad was inside with a handwritten note that said, “To whom it may concern, this was an honest mistake. I am returning iPad to manager of McDonald’s. iPad that belongs to Daniel Rodriguez.”

Concepcion said the manager notified authorities and a deputy retrieved the bag.

The iPad was then turned over to Rodriguez.

Detectives said they still want to identify the woman seen on surveillance video taking the iPad.

Anyone with information about her identity is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. 


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Coach accused of providing laxative to teen player has lengthy arrest record

Just before the recent Deerfield Beach Bison game against the Pompano Beach Chiefs, Ebony Lawson was worried about her teenage son. She said she noticed his sharp cheekbones and jaw. His cold, sweaty skin looked muggy. 

To make the 160-pound weight limit to play in the game, Lawson said his coach, Darron Bostic, risked her son’s life. She said he ordered her son Jerome to take the powerful laxative magnesium citrate, eat only vegetables, fruits and water, work out in the evenings after practice. 

Lawson said Bostic gave Jerome, who was 15, four bottles of magnesium citrate to hasten the process. During the game, she learned there was a $20,000 bet wagered on the game. Jerome, who was 15, said he heard the same thing from his teammates.

“We were talking about it while we were getting dressed,” Jerome said. 

After the game, Lawson said Jerome was staggering. When he sat down, both arms and both legs locked up with powerful cramps and he started curling. She said she thought he was having a stroke, so she rushed him to North Broward Medical Center. 

Jerome was crying and screaming. 

“While I’m driving on I-95 all I could do was cry, because I couldn’t help him I couldn’t do anything to take away the pain,” Lawson said.”The doctor told me if I would have even tried to even make it home he would have died in the back of your car.”

Doctors transferred him to Broward General Hospital’s pediatric unit, where Lawson said a physician told her the magnesium citrate had caused enzymes in his stomach to break down, causing serious kidney damage and risking kidney failure. Jerome was in the hospital for three days. 

Lawson said she then learned of Bostic’s past. He was charged with cocaine dealing in 2015 and was arrested for allegedly gambling on youth football in 2012.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office charged Bostic and eight others on an investigation sparked by an ESPN “Outside the Lines” broadcast about youth football gambling in South Florida. The charges against the defendants was later dropped after the defense demanded the identity of a confidential informant at the heart of the case. 

The charges in the 2015 cocaine case were also declined by the State Attorney’s Office. It was the second time crack cocaine dealing charges filed against Bostic were dropped. His past, according to prosecutors, includes a conviction for misdemeanor battery and Bostic pleaded no contest to a felony charge for aggressively fleeing police officers.  Prosecutors also alleged Bostic was a documented gang member. 

Despite that record, the City of Deerfield Beach allowed Bostic to coach in the Bison youth football program, which was voted in by the Deerfield Beach commission last year and awarded $45,000 in taxpayers funding. 

The family’s attorney, Donald Norton, said he is planning to file a lawsuit against the city and team in the case, alleging that Bostic’s history should have kept him off the field. 

“We are hearing there was rampant use of magnesium citrate,” Norton said. “We’ve heard there was gambling of five figures — over $10,000 to $20000 — for big games and we’ve heard there were abuses of telling kids to go on crash diets.” 

Deerfield Beach Mayor Bill Ganz said Bostic passed the city’s  Level Two background check despite the arrest record, because he wasn’t convicted of the bookmaking or the crack cocaine charges. 

Ganz said the city wasn’t the “judge and jury” and he retained confidence in Stockar McDougle, the former NFL player who runs the program and allowed Bostic to coach in his league. 

“If they are approved, then they have the ability to come out and work with the kids,” said McDougle, who claimed he wasn’t aware of Bostic’s arrest record and refused to answer further questions.

Ganz claimed his city had as stringent a youth football screening policy as any in Broward and challenged Local 10 to find a city that would have restricted Bostic from coaching. The City of Pembroke Pines in fact has a policy restricting coaches from its league if it has certain arrests — including those involving violence and narcotics — regardless of conviction. Bostic would not have passed that background test and would have had to have entered an appeals process to have any hope of getting on the field. 

Norton said his client’s case should be a “wake-up call” for football leagues across the country. 

“This cannot go on,” he said. 

Bostic has denied wrongdoing. Tomorrow, in the third and final installment of this series, you can see what he has to say — and you might be surprised where investigative reporter Bob Norman managed to find the coach. 

Local 10 News’ Andrea Torres contributed to this story. 

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Thief steals wallet from hotel room as father, son slept inside, deputies say

Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies are searching for two women, who they said were involved in a burglary last week at a hotel in Deerfield Beach.

The incident was reported Aug. 2 at the Embassy Suites at 950 S. Ocean Drive.

Deputies said a man and his son were taking a late-afternoon nap while his wife and daughter were out.

Authorities said the family left the door to their hotel room unlocked and a woman entered while the father and son were sleeping.

The father woke up at about 5:45 p.m. and received a call that his debit card had been fraudulently used. His credit cards had also been compromised, authorities said.

Deputies said a few minutes after the victim discovered that his wallet had been stolen, the woman was captured by the hotel’s security video leaving the hotel and getting into a yellow cab.

Authorities said the same woman, who was wearing sunglasses, tried to purchase more than $800 worth of gift cards at a Publix at 150 S. Federal Highway.

But the cashier asked the woman for an ID and the woman claimed that she was using her husband’s card, deputies said.

Authorities said the woman left the store after the cashier attempted to call over the store’s manager.

Surveillance video shows the woman returning to the hotel at about 6:15 p.m.

Detectives linked the thief to another woman who had checked into the hotel a few days prior and was staying in a room on the same floor as the victims. 

Detectives searched the woman’s room and found the victim’s wallet, as well as property from an Oakland Park burglary and a Pompano Beach burglary, authorities said.

Both burglaries were reported in July.

Authorities said the woman who checked into the hotel drove a black Mustang that was possibly a rental car.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Detective Scott Whittom at 954-480-4286 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. A reward of up to $3,000 is offered for information that leads to an arrest. 

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Woman leaves Deerfield Beach McDonald’s with Happy Meal, iPad, deputies say

Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies are searching for a woman who they said stole a man’s iPad after he left it on the counter at a McDonald’s restaurant in Deerfield Beach.

Deputies said surveillance video shows the thief inside the restaurant at about 7:15 p.m. June 12.

The woman, who arrived in a white SUV, placed her order and then stepped away to use the bathroom.

Deputies said another customer stepped up to the counter after her and placed his sweater and iPad on the counter as he placed his order.

The man then took his sweater and walked over to the soda machine to fill his cup, but accidentally left his iPad behind.

Authorities said the woman approached the counter to pick up her Happy Meal and spotted the iPad.

Deputies said she looked around, grabbed the device and then left the store.

The woman arrived alone, but left with a young girl who had been inside the restaurant with another woman, deputies said.

Anyone with information about the woman’s identity is asked to call Detective Chris Caldwell at 954-480-4287 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

A reward of up to $3,000 is offered for information that leads to an arrest.



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75-year-old man attacked, robbed at Deerfield Beach park

A 75-year-old insurance salesman was assaulted by three men on Tuesday when he stopped to use the restroom at a Deerfield Beach park, authorities said.

“I felt it was the end,” the victim, identified only as Bert, said. 

Bert suffered cuts and bruises on his body following a terrifying stop at Johnny Mckeithen Park.

Bert said he was running early for a nearby appointment, so he stopped at the park to use the restroom. But he said he was soon cornered by three men in the park’s bathroom.

“I was in trouble, and I was grabbed by my neck, thrown to the ground. He’s 25 to 30 years old and I’m 75. I didn’t have a chance,” Bert said. 

Deputies said Bert laid on the ground unconscious as the thieves rifled through his pockets.

“He must’ve put me out, because when I got up, they were gone (and) my wallet was gone,” Bert said.

Bloody and bruised, Bert stumbled to his next appointment, where someone called police.

The 75-year old grandfather and Army veteran was treated at the hospital for his injuries, and is now using his energy to help catch the crooks.

“We need to get these people off the street,” he said.

Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

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