Teen helps get alleged stalker off the streets
Published: Thursday, January 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 at 11:10 p.m.
Police are praising the actions of a 13-year-old girl who they say helped get an alleged child stalker off the street.
A man started following and watching the girl every morning in early December as she took her young brother to day care in the 800 block of NW 5th Avenue, Gainesville police Sgt. Keith Kameg said.
Over the next two weeks, the man started talking to her and then one day told her to get in his truck.
She ignored him.
But the next day, when he ordered her to get in or he'd stop and drag her in, she ran away and called 911.
The girl had memorized the tag number and make of the 2001 blue Nissan truck. The information led police to Roggelio Herrera, 50, of Fort White.
Police called Herrera and asked him to come to the police station for an interview, but he refused, Kameg said. Officer Steve Bristo got a warrant and Herrera was booked into jail on charges of aggravated stalking.
"We were so impressed with the girl's ability to do everything correctly," Kameg said. "We're glad it only got to the level of aggravated stalking. This could have been worse."
A man in traffic court did some creative arithmetic recently but it still added up to a speeding ticket.
The man was pulled over in Waldo for speeding 15 mph over the speed limit. While fighting the ticket in traffic court recently, the man told the judge he thought it was OK because the state gives you 5 mph over the speed limit and Waldo gives you 10, said Gainesville Police Sgt. Bruce Giles.
It's true an officer can't arrest anyone going 5 mph or less over the speed limit, Giles said. And the man had also heard Waldo police don't ticket anyone unless they're going at least 10 mph over the limit.
So in his mind, it added up to a free 15 mph over the limit, Giles said.
The judge didn't agree and the man was found guilty of speeding.
And while most tickets Waldo police issue are to people speeding at least 15 mph over the limit, Waldo has no policy giving a free 10 mph, Waldo Police Chief A.W. Smith said.
A Gainesville Police employee will attend a new academy this month that was set up with the goal of standardizing crime statistics and thwarting terrorism.
Ericka Jackson, a Gainesville police crime analyst, will attend the academy courses in Tallahassee, Sgt. Keith Kameg said.
The academy was created by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Domestic Security Oversight Board.
It's designed to establish and provide uniform training for law enforcement analysts.
"They're giving her the ability to bring back to GPD a way to interface with the state," Kameg said.
One goal is to learn how to use crime analysis to predict and prevent terrorism.
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