News Cast for January 7th:

An Okeechobee man is facing some serious charges after being stopped on his bicycle the night of New Year’s Eve. Sheriff’s deputies stopped 38 year old Zarnell Lacorise Fitzgerald’s bike on the seven hundred block of NW 7th Street just after 11:15 because it had no lights on it and his dark clothing made it hard for motorists to see him at night. Deputies say Fitzgerald instead gave them a false name and he was also keeping his hands in his jacket. As another deputy arrived on scene, Fitzgerald took off on his bike. Deputies used a shot from a taser to stop Fitzgerald after repeated attempts to tell him to stop but his thick jacket made the taser shots ineffective.  Fitzgerald was finally apprehended on the nine hundred block of NW 9th Street. A search of Fitzgerald revealed a clear piece of straw that had cocaine on it. He was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest. He was released from county jail after posting a $25 hundred dollar bond.

Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies have an Orlando man in county jail on a host of charges following an incident on an Amtrak train Thursday morning. Deputies arrested 24 year old Marc Anthony Perez at the Amtrak Train Station on North Parrott Avenue just after eleven o’clock after train officials were forced to eject Perez from the train for being unruly to train employees. Based on reports from the train conductor, Perez was shouting racial slurs at train employees in the passenger car. Perez was reportedly slurring his speech and had watery eyes, indicating he had been drinking alcohol. Deputies arrested Perez and removed him from the train after several attempts by Perez to not allow him to be removed. Perez was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and trespassing. His bond is set at three thousand dollars.

Late last month, an officer from the Highlands County Sheriff’s Department graduated from the prestigious FBI National Training Academy Program in Quantico, VA. Darin Hood, a major of the law enforcement bureau at the sheriff’s department, completed the eleven week program which teaches advanced communication, leadership and more. Spokesperson Scott Dressel says this kind of program is normally for officers who have designs on going straight to the top in their respective departments and Major Hood is definitely one of those people based on his drive and work ethic. Dressel says the program isn’t just lectures and classroom study; it also involves physical fitness training as evidenced by Major Hood’s trek on the FBI’s famous “Yellow Brick Road”.  On average, the officers chosen for this program have over twenty years’ experience as a law officer. Officers from all fifty states and 23 countries were chosen to participate.

On the arrest report:

52 year old Douglas Frank McGinnis of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies on a fugitive warrant from Indiana for failing to pay child support. He’s being held without bond.

28 year old Hector Adolfo Canales Carbajal of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia and driving without a license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a $75 hundred dollar bond.

18 year old Maynard Fuse of Okeechobee, who is an inmate at the TrueCore facility, was arrested for battery on the staff and false imprisonment when he locked a staff member in a holding cell. His bond has not been set.

50 year old Charles Alton Stratton Junior of Okeechobee was arrested for robbery and aggravated battery on a person over the age of 65. His bond is set at $150 thousand dollars.