Citrus County Sheriff’s Office authorities took 20 locals into custody during a two-day operation targeting alleged offenders of domestic-related crimes.
Operation Step Up was the sheriff’s office’s response to the Citrus Abuse Shelter Association, or CASA, asking its community to “step it up” for survivors of family violence during Domestic Violence Awareness in October, according to the sheriff’s office.
More than 10 million adults across the U.S. experience domestic violence each year, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families, or DCF.
Those experiencing or witnessing domestic abuse can contact either the sheriff’s office at 352-249-2790 or CASA at 352-344-8111.
In 2020, 106,515 crimes of domestic violence were reported to Florida law enforcement agencies, resulting in 63,217 arrests, with 831 of those reported crimes originating from Citrus County, according to the sheriff’s office.
During Operation Step Up from Oct. 20 to Oct. 21, the sheriff’s Behavioral Health, Tactical Impact, Community Crimes, Aviation and K-9 units searched throughout the county for individuals with outstanding warrants for familial offenses.
“The Behavioral Health Unit, specifically our Domestic Violence Unit,” Sheriff Mike Prendergast said, “works diligently to reduce domestic violence across the county by working with our community partners, like CASA, to intervene and stop the cycle of violence.”
Those warrants were for domestic violence, interfering with emergency calls, failing to pay child support, child abuse, violating restraining orders, elder abuse and for violating pretrial release conditions.
“We here at the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office want these offenders to know their actions are unacceptable, and they will be held accountable,” Prendergast said. “We will not sit idly by; we will take a steadfast approach and stop the power and control these individuals have over their victims.”
Sheriff’s office authorities tried to serve 69 arrest warrants during the operation, netting the arrests of:
Marty Taylor, 42, of Homosassa, for domestic battery and for domestic battery involving strangulation, no bond;
Carl Collier, 41, of Beverly Hills, for felony battery and for domestic battery involving strangulation, no bond;
Nicholas Sullivan, 32, Hernando, for domestic battery involving strangulation, no bond;
Donald Cash, 45, of Homosassa, for failing to pay child support and for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon that also had an altered serial number, $15,485 bond;
Devin Picard, 28, of Hernando, for child neglect without great bodily harm, $2,000 bond;
Eric Luckey, 38, of Beverly Hills, for violating probation on original charges of theft and possessing fentanyl, no bond;
Shamy Tommie, 37, of Crystal River, for domestic battery, no bond;
Leah Barnes, 27, of Crystal River, for violating probation on an original charge of battery, evaded arrest for over a year, no bond;
Katlyn O’Brien, 29, of Hernando, for failing to appear to court on a charge of battery, evaded arrest for over two years, $4,500 bond;
Emily Perez, 34, of Inverness, for violating pretrial release conditions and for violating probation on an original charge of violating a restraining order, no bond;
Joshua Fitzwater, 37, of Homosassa, for violating probation on an original charge of possessing drug paraphernalia, $500 bond;
Jamey Waters, 49, of Hernando, for violating pretrial release conditions and for violating a restraining order, no bond;
Jeremy Martin, 37, of Lecanto, for violating pretrial release conditions, no bond;
Dawn McDonald, 53, of Lecanto, for violating pretrial release conditions, no bond;
Kevin Kelly, 39, of Inverness, for violating pretrial release conditions, no bond;
Jamie Mullen, 45, of Floral City, for failing to pay child support, $1,678 bond;
Jessica Cadett, 37, of Dunnellon, for failing to pay child support, $1,178 bond;
David Scheibelhoffer, 41, of Homosassa, for failing to pay child support, $1,178 bond;
Shawn Lapointe, 48, of Beverly Hills, for failing to pay child support, $2,178 bond;
David Smith, 53, of Hernando, for failing to pay child support, $1,178 bond.
“Thanks to our dedicated team,” Prendergast said, “Citrus County started off this week a little safer than last.”
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