State Attorney’s Investigative Report on Bunnell Police Department and City Commissioner Jimmy Flynt:
Part 2 of 6
FlaglerLive | August 15, 2010
For an analysis of the report, see
“State Report Details Disturbing Patterns at Bunnell PD and Favors For Commissioner Jimmy Flynt“
His office was in obvious disarray as I observed him searching for the missing paperwork. I commented on the condition of Murray’s office and was advised by Chief Jones that Lt. Murray was also the BPD Evidence Custodian. He said Lt. Murray’s office was a secure location for evidence and/or equipment prior to it being transported to the SAO or the off- sight storage facility. Lt. Murray was unable to locate the report and advised me that Sgt. David Barbee had completed it. I requested Sgt. Barbee to be called in to obtain the missing packet. Sgt. Barbee responded to the BPD and searched his office. He said he knew one was completed but also could not locate it. I then asked Lt. Murray and Sgt. Barbee which of them had the operational packet. Both pointed at each other and did not seem to know where it was. I asked if it mysteriously disappeared or inadvertently destroyed because it was the source of the wrecker complaint and public records request. Neither Murray nor Barbee had a response and Chief Jones apologized for the confusion. SÃO Harrell and I left the BPD and responded to the Flagler SAO.
At approximately 1540 hrs, same date, Investigator Harrell and I, while conducting our follow-up at the Flagler SAO, observed a female in the office lobby. I recognized her from the Driver and Vehicle Information Database (DAVID) photos we attached to the wrecker tow forms (a subject that had her vehicle towed by the BPD). I spoke with Zuheiay Roman Rosado (phone number deleted). She said that she was stopped and arrested by the BPD (BPD case# 09-8764). She said she asked if her mother could retrieve her car (her mother lives in Bunnell). She said the unknown officer took her cell phone, would not allow her to call anyone and towed her car. She said she was forced to pay $350.00 to the BPD before she could get her car from Saxon’s Wrecker. She said because she did not immediately have the $350.00 she ultimately paid $800.00 to Saxon’s just to get her car released (excess storage fees). She said she is very upset about the fees charged by the BPD and the wrecker company. She said she is a single mother with small children and only works at Taco Bell. She said does not understand why they do that in Bunnell. I thanked her and advised that I may need a taped statement later.
Writers note: I began to compile of list of people stopped by the BPD where their vehicle was towed and/or seized out of rotation by Saxon’s Wrecker, where there was a discrepancy in the FCSO rotation schedule or when a person stopped was required to pay a $350.00 administrative fee (whether or not they were arrested) to the BPD. This was in addition to varying and/or inconsistent fees imposed by Saxon’s Wrecker. Please refer to the following list of individuals identified during this investigation. Although several people were contacted and provided sworn testimony, many could not be located or refused to cooperate out of fear of retribution by the BPD:
1- Thomas E. Antrum Jr. stopped 01/25/2009 not located
2- Amber M. Burl stopped 10/17/2009 sworn testimony
3- Marc A. Boco stopped 12/13/2008 not located
4- Jennifer A. Cauldwell stopped 10/30/2008 sworn testimony
5- Kenneth A. Cook stopped 10/13/2009 verbal testimony-lives out of town
6- David E. Car/son stopped 03/25/2009 not located
7- David M. Chandler stopped 01/01/2009 sworn testimony
8- Norman Van-Echteld stopped 10/28/2008 not located
9- David A. Freckleton stopped 0 1/09/2009 sworn testimony
10- Pan fib Garcia stopped 12/09/2008 not located
11- Michael A. Gordon & Brittany Reiter stopped 0 1/20/2009 sworn testimony
12- Unknown driver (Patricia Harris owner) stopped 01/01/2009 refused
13- Ryan B. Hernaez stopped 01/31/2009 sworn testimony
14- Clarence Jordon Jr. stopped 01/20/2009 refused
15- Valeri Kouzine stopped 01/24/2009 not located
16- Megan E. LaBounty stopped 01/25/2009 sworn testimony
17- Loraine Y. London stopped 01/24/2009 not located
18- Todd R. McCoy stopped 10/15/2009 verbal testimony (Saxons)
19- Derick D. McKay stopped 01/19/2009 incarcerated
20- Carlo Marra (Tarah Minchew owner) stopped 10/18/2009 not located
21- John A. Munafo stopped 0 1/24/2009 not located
22- Jason B. Neal stopped 01/29/2008 verbal testimony-refused
23- Douglas J. Peterson stopped 11/21/2008 not located
24- Zuheily R. Rosado stopped 11/15/2009 verbal testimony
25- Adonius T. Russell stopped 01/01/2009 not located
26- Patricia E. Swiatkowski stopped 01/31/2009 verbal testimony
27- Daniel A. Sousa stopped 02/02/2009 verbal testimony (Saxons)
28- Credolius L. Ware stopped 0 1/09/2009 sworn testimony
29- Dennis Williams stopped 10/29/2008 sworn testimony
Every individual contacted from this list stated they were never given a wrecker option or asked if they had a wrecker preference. The two individuals that did request Saxon’s Wrecker did so because they knew the owner. Once this list of people was compiled I mailed out individual SAO letters requesting contact regarding this investigation. A subpoena list was also completed to include several BPD officers and staff.
April 6, 2010, at approximately 1005 hrs, I responded to 208 S. Stone St. and met with the mother of Tarah Michelle Minchew (Tarah Minchew’s vehicle: 2000 green Jeep SUV, stopped and towed on October 18, 2009). Mrs. Minchew said her daughter no longer lived there and was currently in and out of drug rehabilitation centers throughout Palm Coast and Daytona. She did not have an address but said that her daughter would stop by her house from time to time and she would give her my number to call. I received a call that evening from Tarah Minchew. I asked her about her the person, Gioseppe Marra that was driving her vehicle on October 18, 2009 (BPD case# 09-8005). She said she used to date him and he fled to Michigan as soon as he got out of jail here. She said that was not his real name and she no longer has that vehicle. She said she believes “Carlo” was his real name but could not offer any other information about him.
Writers note: The significance of this information was that Sgt. Barbee testified in his statement that he was present and believed this tow was completed by John Murray utilizing Saxon’s Wrecker out of rotation.
At approximately 1535 hrs, same date, I called Ponce Inlet P.D. Officer Laura Barnes (phone number deleted). Officer Barnes was formerly employed by BPD. I left a message for her to contact me.
April 8, 2010, at approximately 0830 hrs, I contacted Sgt. David Barbee of the BPD by telephone and briefly explained the nature of my investigation. I asked Sgt. Barbee if he was willing to be interviewed regarding this investigation. He agreed to come to HIU North in St. Augustine on April 12, 2010. I also contacted former BPD Officer Nicholas Massaro and requested he respond to HIU North on April 13, 2010.
April 9, 2010, at approximately 1045 hrs, I responded to the BPD and provided subpoenas for Sgt. Barbee, Officer Hristakopolous, Office Wolfle and Officer Matt Mortimer (Officer Mortimer later requested a date change due to a family scheduling conflict).
At approximately 1600 hrs, same date, I received a call from Mr. Dennis Williams (BM 05-07-67, phone number deleted). I had previously received Mr. Williams’ BPD traffic stop and tow information directly from Chief Jones. Chief Jones said that Mr. Williams came to him requesting the $350.00 administrative fee waived but was denied to maintain consistency with past requests. Mr. Williams was one of the subjects stopped (1996 blue Chevrolet Lumina towed October 29, 2008) during the October 2008 traffic deployment. Mr. Williams said he was stopped by BPD officers as he pulled into the Citco at US-I and SR 100 (BPD case# 08-7387). He said he thought he was stopped because he had a white female in the car. He said he was told he was stopped for running a stop sign and no seat belt but was only issued a ticket for the seat belt. Mr. Williams said he was drinking a cup of beer but the officers ignored the beer and searched his car. He said they located a small piece of metal pipe in the back seat and said it was drug paraphernalia and needed to tow his car. Mr. Williams said his car was in the parking space at the Citco and he couldn’t understand why they needed to tow it. Mr. Williams said his friend’s girlfriend was with him and she could have driven but said they towed it anyway. He said the officers told him they had a right to tow his car because they found drug paraphernalia. Mr. Williams said he was taken to the BPD while the officer wrote him-a seat belt ticket. He said the officer was writing another report and said it was for the drug paraphernalia but he was eventually released and told to walk home. Mr. Williams said he later tried to obtain his car and discovered that he had to pay $350.00 to the BPD. He said he met with Chief Jones but was denied a waiver of the administrative fee. He said he responded on several occasions to the Flagler SAO regarding his paraphernalia chargé. He said one there could find a record of any violation, Notice to Appear or anything charging Mr. Williams with any crime. Mr. Williams said he went to Saxon’s Wrecker and was told he owed $700.00 and that he had to pay the BPD before he could pay Saxon’s Wrecker. Mr. Williams said he was out of work and did not have the money to pay the fees so Saxon’s Wrecker eventually sold his car at auction. Mr. Williams said he paid $3500.00 for his car and that’s all the transportation he had. He said he was very upset about loosing his car over a seat belt ticket but and didn’t know what else to do. I told Mr. Williams that I would need to take a sworn statement from him at a later date and that my office was conducting an investigation into this complaint as well as others. He was very appreciative and would come in for a statement whenever I needed him.
Writers note: After a thorough review of SAO records it was discovered that no 707 charging affidavit or NTA, against Mr. Williams, was ever submitted to the SAO by the BPD. On May 4, 2010, Mr. Williams responded to the Flagler SAO and provided a sworn videotaped statement. Please refer to the videotape for exact details.
April 12, 2010, at approximately 0910 hrs, Sgt. David Barbee (phone number deleted) responded to HIU North for a sworn videotaped statement. According to Sgt. Barbee he was present during the traffic deployments. He said he did complete the information on the missing October 2008 operation which was turned over to Lt. Murray. During the course of the statement Sgt. Barbee acknowledged there were some instances of Lt. Murray utilizing Saxon’s Wrecker out of rotation contrary to the rotational wrecker procedure. Sgt. Barbee said during the October 2009 deployment Lt. Murray arrested a biker coming from Biketoberfest in Daytona. He said the biker was passed out drunk in the back seat of his (Barbee) patrol car. He said Lt. Murray called an owners request to Saxon’s Wrecker when Roger’s was on rotation. Please refer to the videotape for exact details.
I later reviewed the BPD tow sheets and identified the subject Sgt. Barbee mentioned during the October 2009 traffic stop. It was discovered that Kenneth Allen Cook (VVM 08-07-59, 6116 Autumn Bluff Rd. Powhatan VA 23139 phone number deleted) was stopped by BPD on October 13, 2009, and arrested for DUI (BPD case# 09-7829). On April 23, 2010, I spoke with Mr. Cook on the telephone after talking with his attorney, Sue Kessler 804-622-0313. He said he was passing through Bunnell returning from Daytona when he was stopped and arrested for DUI. Mr. Cook said he remembered that an officer suggested Saxon’s Wrecker to him when he was told his motorcycle was being towed. He said he then agreed. He said he remembered that he only had to pay $100.00 to get his motorcycle and was glad to get out of town. Mr. Cook said he doubts he will ever come back and that his permanent residence is in Powhatan VA.
At approximately 1748 hrs, same date, I received a call from Amber M. Burl (WF 06-10-89, 5071/2 Ora St. Daytona Beach FL 32118 phone number deleted). She asked about the letter I mailed to her parent’s house in Ormond Beach. I explained my investigation and asked her about her arrest in Bunnell. She said she and her friend were driving through Bunnell when she was stopped by a female Corporal with the BPD (BPD case# 09-7967). She said the officer asked to search her car and found a very small amount of marijuana (twisted in the bottom corner of a cellophane cigarette wrapper) and a multicolored pipe. She said the officer arrested her and towed her car. She said she was never asked about a wrecker preference but said she asked if her mother could come get the car. No one would talk to her and Saxon’s Wrecker (called out of rotation by BPD Officer Barbagallo at the direction of Lt. Murray) arrived and towed her car. She said the female officer kept telling her to shut-up and quit whining. Ms. Burl said she was arrested for possession of the marijuana and pipe. She said when she got out of jail her and her mother, Ruby Thompson (73 Lucky Dr. Ormond Beach FL 32176, phone number deleted), went to Saxon’s Wrecker to pick-up her car. She learned that she had to first go to the BPD and pay $350.00 then go back to the wrecker company and pay an additional $260.00 to get her car. She said after she and her mother picked up her car they went to a hotdog restaurant in Bunnell and had lunch. She said her mother sat in her car while they ate. She said that is when her mother discovered the marijuana in the cellophane wrapper and the multicolored pipe in the back area of her car. Ms. Burl said she was afraid because she thought she was being set-up and her mother told her to through it in the trash can at the restaurant. She said after she threw away the marijuana and pipe they both left Bunnell immediately. Ms. Burl said as a result she was sentenced to probation and drug counseling classes and has been attending them since. I told her I would need a sworn statement from both her and her mother at a later date.
Writers note: SAO Investigator Jack Bisland was assigned to assist in this investigation. After learning of this information we later discovered the BPD Evidence/Property Receipt form, signed by Corporal Lisa Murray, placing the marijuana and multicolored pipe in the BPD property locker. A review and inventory of the BPD evidence submission, along with a physical search, revealed that the listed items (marijuana and multicolored pipe) were never placed in BPD property and evidence as signed for by Lisa Murray. On May 5, 2010, Amber Burl responded to the Flagler SAO and provided a sworn videotaped statement. On May 7, 2010, Ruby Thompson a/so responded to the Flagler SAO and provided a sworn videotaped statement. Please refer to the videotape for exact details. April13, 2010, at approximately 1150 hrs, Investigator Bisland and I interviewed former BPD Officer Nicholas Massaro (WM 12-11-1984, 15 Llaes P1. Palm Coast FL, phone number deleted) at HIU North in St. Augustine. Mr. Massaro had previously contacted me advising that he had information that related to my investigation and was willing to come in and make a statement. Investigator Bisland completed the investigative report detailing this interview:
For an analysis of the report, see
“State Report Details Disturbing Patterns at Bunnell PD and Favors For Commissioner Jimmy Flynt“