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Weekend crime round-up

BY JENNIFER CABRERA from GPD Press Release

Armed robbery on SE Hawthorne Road

On Monday, January 20, GPD officers responded to an armed robbery that occurred in the 2700 block of SE Hawthorne Road. The victim, who was walking in the area, was approached by a black male who produced a handgun and demanded the victim’s wallet. The wallet was found a short distance away, with the victim’s credit card missing. After a thorough search by an Alachua Sheriff’s Office K9, the suspect was not located. 

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A short time later inside Family Dollar, an employee saw a man who was a suspect in a robbery at that store that was reported on January 9th and called 911. Officers Mones and McCarty responded and saw the suspect fleeing from the business into Tiger Bay Apartments. Officers Mones, McCarty, Clark, Nellis, Huerta, Brice, Hendry, Salafrio, and Cpl. Hayes-Morrison, along with Acting Sgt. Lardner and Sgt. Litchfield, isolated and surrounded the building the suspect fled to. Officers then methodically searched the area, confirming that citizens were safe. 

When the officers reached apartment 265, the residents advised that the suspect was not inside, but they consented to a search of the apartment. Joshua Sams, 19, was found hiding in a bedroom closet. The armed robbery victim’s credit card was found inside the closet, and the weapon used for the robbery was also located. It was discovered that the firearm had been stolen in Clay County during a vehicle burglary. Sams was found to have an active warrant out of Clay County for burglary. Sams confessed to the January 20 robbery and also to the January 9 Family Dollar armed robbery.

Father shoots son

Just after midnight on January 20, multiple units responded to 2901 NE 12th Street, where they found Torrance Lee, 25, lying in the roadway with a gunshot to the leg/calf. Officers treated Torrance on-scene with a trauma kit. The suspect, Wallace Lee, 63, who is Torrance’s father, admitted to the officers on scene that he had just shot Torrance in the leg.  

Witnesses stated that Torrance has been heavy into the drug SCRAM and has been hostile towards his father lately. Apparently Torrance began attacking Wallace, and Wallace obtained a gun from an unknown subject at the residence and shot Torrance in the leg. Torrance was treated on scene by EMS and transported to Shands. Torrance was found to have a local ASO warrant for domestic battery. Torrance was released from the hospital and transported to jail on the warrant. The firearm has not been located at this time.

Attempted break-in at Dollar General on NW 13th Street

Officers responded to a silent glass break burglar alarm at Dollar General, 2011 NW 13th Street. Upon arrival, Officer Russano observed a young black male, dressed in all black, in the immediate area of the business, attempting to walk away. The subject, later identified as Charmie L. Owens, 30, was briefly detained, as a large broken rock was lying next to the front window. Officers observed Owens on video, attempting to break the front window glass at the Dollar General with the large rock. This is the same MO as multiple burglaries at this and other businesses. Upon entry into jail, Owens was found to have 0.2 g of MDMA and 1 g of cocaine on his person. He was charged with a Business Burglary Attempt and Introduction of Contraband into a County Detention Facility.

Woman and daughter attack “nail girl”

Officer Manini’s investigation determined that Felicia S. Foxworth, 41, saw her former “nail girl” at the 8th Avenue Food Store on January 19 and began to argue with her about nail services from 2 years ago that she felt she was “upcharged” for. During the argument, Foxworth called her daughter, Shabrika O. Wright, 27, who arrived on scene a few minutes later. As the victim was seated in her vehicle, Wright began pummeling her through the open driver’s door window. Foxworth joined the melee, and the victim reported being struck by her as well. Fearing for her safety, the victim, who has a CCW permit, fired one round from her 9mm to protect herself and her three small children, who were also in the car. No one was struck by the round. Foxworth and Wright were arrested.

Large fight in Duval area with shots fired

Around 6:30 p.m. on January 18, the Combined Communications Center received numerous calls of a large fight involving approximately 20-30 people in the street at 2546 NE 11th Place. The call was upgraded to an “active shooter” when gunshots rang out. The suspects were in a  blue Chrysler and brown Mercury, which sped away.  

Some of the involved parties identified two of the involved subjects as Robert C. Jackson, 20, and a juvenile from Lamplighter. Jackson was located less than an hour later by Officer Ripley, as he was returning to Lamplighter in the blue Chrysler. A felony stop was conducted on the vehicle, and Jackson was found to be alone in the vehicle. The officer also found that Jackson had an active local warrant for Felony Battery, stemming from a fight at Lamplighter on November 20, 2019. The juvenile was later located in Gardenia and came voluntarily to the station to be interviewed.  Both gave similar accounts, that Jackson was beat up in Lamplighter around 4:30 p.m. Jackson and the juvenile later saw the people who beat up Jackson in Duval, and they all decided to have “Round 2.”  

After a brief fight, Jackson and his companions left. Shortly afterward, they returned for “Round 3.” This time, Jackson brought more associates. A car full of people who are friends of one of Jackson’s passengers joined in, and one of them eventually fired several shots in the air, in the middle of “Round 3.”  Shell casings from 2 different guns were located on-scene. The yet-to-be-identified shooter was described as a dark-skinned black male in his early 30’s with a “dreaded Mohawk,” coned chin hair, and a large forehead tattoo, which might be a cross. Jackson was taken to jail on the existing warrant, and the investigation is continuing.   

UF student steals GRU truck 

Around 1:30 a.m. on January 19, several GPD officers were directing traffic at the intersection at SW Williston Rd. and S. Main St. while GRU line workers were replacing a pole that was damaged in a traffic crash.  

The officers noticed Joel Gonzalez, a 20-year-old UF student, driving a marked GRU waste truck without headlights and with significant front end damage. Gonzalez exited the vehicle and stated, “I was taken, held hostage, held against my will, taken to a cement company, I stole a truck, and I struck a vehicle prior to seeing your flashing lights and came to you for safety.” 

After reviewing the surveillance video of the wastewater facility, officers were able to determine that Gonzalez entered the fenced-in compound of the facility and that the gate of the facility was damaged by the truck exiting the property. Gonzalez was seen on electronic surveillance video riding a bike onto the compound, finding the unlocked truck, and driving the truck on the compound. The estimated damage to the gate and the vehicle is approximately $20,000. Gonzalez spontaneously stated that he remembers riding a bike, accessing an unlocked vehicle, finding the keys in the center console, and driving through a gate after ramming it to exit the facility. There was no evidence that Gonzalez was a victim of a crime. Gonzalez was arrested on charges of burglary with property damage over $1000, grand theft of a vehicle, damage to property with criminal mischief.