Around the region


Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

Man accused of sexual contact with minor

* Starke Police arrested a Jacksonville man over the weekend for traveling to Bradford County and having sexual contact with a minor, officers reported.

Malique R. Gamble, 19, was charged with lewd and lascivious act on a person 12 to 15-years-old, according to Bradford County jail records.

Gamble had met the girl on a Web site, she told police.

Gamble said they exchanged phone numbers and she invited him to meet her Saturday, said Lt. Barry Warren.

He went to her home and was in her bedroom when her relatives discovered them.

Warren said Gamble told officers the girl had told him she was older than she actually is.

Gamble was being held at the Bradford County jail Tuesday on a $50,000 bond.

- Lise Fisher

Man dies of injuries from University wreck

* A Lake City man whose vehicle crashed into a utility pole along W. University Avenue at midday Monday died Monday evening, according to his wife.

Darrell Brady, 52, died around 7:30 p.m. after undergoing several hours of surgery followed the wreck that occurred just before noon, said the man's wife, Debra Brady.

Police reported that Brady suffered only minor injuries in the crash Monday, but his wife said surgeons at Shands at the University of Florida told her his injuries were extensive.

The crash occurred in the 3000 block of W. University Avenue and caused the road to be shut down for more than five hours.

Police also reported that a medical condition may have caused the accident, and Debra Brady said her husband told police that he suffered some heart pain and then blacked out just before the crash.

But she said surgeons indicated that her husband injuries, not heart problems, were the cause of her husband's death.

- Alice Wallace

Man accused of lewd battery with young girl

* A Keystone Heights man was being held without bond at the Clay County jail after he was accused of lewd battery involving a girl, according to an arrest report.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office arrested Michael Adam Steiber, 36, on Monday.

Officers were contacted after the victim told her mother that Steiber had engaged in sexual contact with her, the report stated.

The girl, who was interviewed by a forensic child protection team, said she was 6 years old when the man began having sex with her.

- Lise Fisher

Man suffers injuries after striking semi

* A Gainesville man was seriously injured when his vehicle struck the back of a semi on Interstate 75 early Tuesday, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.

Brett James Stradomski, 25, was taken to Shands at the University of Florida following the crash, which occurred shortly after midnight, according to troopers.

Stradomski was listed in good condition at the hospital later Tuesday.

Officers reported Stradomski had been driving north on the interstate, south of Newberry Road, at a "high rate of speed." He drove up behind a semi, also headed north.

Stradomski tried to shift left to avoid the semi, which was in front of him in the right lane, according to FHP. But his vehicle struck the rear of the semi's trailer.

Troopers listed the crash as alcohol-related after seeing alcohol containers inside the vehicle, according to the agency. An investigation is ongoing, with officers awaiting toxicology results.

Gainesville Police assisted in detouring traffic in the area of the crash, said Sgt. Steve Baker. Traffic was impacted for more than one hour.

- Lise Fisher

Keystone man accused of sexual misconduct

* Clay County sheriff's deputies arrested a Keystone Heights man after officers alleged he had sexual contact with a girl under 16.

James David Long, 27, was being held at the Clay County jail Tuesday on a charge of lewd and lascivious on a child under 16, according to the Sheriff's Office. A $10,000 bond had been set.

Officers are investigating claims that Long had sex with two girls under 16, one in late 2006 until early 2007 and another in late 2007. Additional charges may be filed after the investigation is complete, the Sheriff's Office reported.

The two girls had consensual sex with Long, but he is facing charges due to the girls' ages, according to the Sheriff's Office.

- Lise Fisher

Man charged with involvement in robbery

* A man was arrested Tuesday for involvement in a robbery earlier this month in which a store manager was punched in the nose, according to police.

Larry Brand, 43, was identified via a surveillance video from the CVS Drug Store, 901 N. Main St. Detectives from the Gainesville Police Department spotted Brand Tuesday and questioned him about the robbery, which occurred Jan. 5.

During an interview, Brand admitted he was in the store at the time, but denied stealing anything.

Brand also admitted he elbowed the store manager in the face when the manager tried to detain him that day, but the manager told police he was punched in the face. Police reported the manager suffered a bloody nose.

Brand was arrested and charged with unarmed robbery.

- Alice Wallace

Man arrested in DUI while with 7-year-old

* An Archer man was arrested on DUI and child abuse charges Tuesday after he was pulled over for erratic driving, according to an arrest report.

Robert Michael Perron, 49, was pulled over along SW 34th Street near Williston Road around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday because the Alachua County Sheriff's Office received a complaint about an erratic driver.

Perron reportedly performed poorly on field sobriety tests, and the deputy noticed a liquor bottle behind the driver's seat.

Perron denied having drunk anything Tuesday, but he was arrested. Deputies also charged him with child abuse because his 7-year-old stepson was in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, according to the report.

- Alice Wallace

Early Learning Coalition to hold meeting Friday

* The Early Learning Coalition's Board of Directors Committee meets Friday at noon.

The meeting will be held in the training room of the Early Learning Coalition's Office at 4424 NW 13th Street.

- Alice Wallace

Whooping cranes to land in Gilchrist today

* A group of 17 endangered whooping cranes, led by four ultralight aircraft, landed Tuesday in Hamilton County.

The cranes and planes are part of Operation Migration - an effort that helps crane chicks make the 1,250-mile migration from central Wisconsin to the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge near Crystal River.

The crew plans to land today in Gilchrist County before making its final stop at the Dunellon/Marion County Airport. The migration started Oct. 13.

"This is the longest migration we've ever had," said Liz Condie of Operation Migration.

Last year's migration took 76 days, arriving Dec. 19.

Whooping cranes were on the verge of extinction in the 1940s. Today, there are about 350 in the wild.

The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership advises members of the public to keep away from whooping cranes that they see in the wild.

The partnership recommends keeping 200 yards away if on foot and 100 yards away in a vehicle.

For more information about the partnership, visit www.bringbackthecranes.org.

- Nathan Crabbe

Man arraigned in quadruple slaying case

* MARIANNA - A man accused in the slayings of his former girlfriend and her three sons was arraigned Tuesday in Jackson County.

Wesley Jonathan Williams was arraigned on four first-degree murder charges in the 2005 deaths of Danielle Baker and her sons - Amad Baker, 3, Amarion Baker, 1, and 3-week-old Aaron Baker.

A worker making a routine inspection found the bodies.

- The Associated Press

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