Man recovered from Lake Asbury retention pond
LAKE ASBURY – Friends and family started looking for a man early Monday after he was last seen on Sunday. They found him in his yellow Corvette submerged in a retention pond on Henley Road.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 58-year-old man died in a single-car crash. His car was upside-down on the west side of the roadway after it appeared he drove from Russell Road, crossed Henley and continued into the pond.
Friends were looking for the man and someone noticed a street sign was knocked down at the intersection. They also noticed small car parts on the side of the road.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office dive team recovered the body Monday afternoon.
FHP doesn’t release the names of anyone involved in car accidents, citing Marcy’s Law, which was created to protect the identities of victims of child, sexual and domestic abuse.
Sexual predator found with more child pornography
ORANGE PARK – A man being arrested for not registering his email and four social media addresses, car and telephone number as a sexual predator also was caught with two videos of children engaging in sexual conduct.
According to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Chad Clinton Kyle, 39, of Orange Park, was arrested on Jan. 7 after the agency received two cyber tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about child pornography being downloaded at Kyle’s house.
Kyle was arrested on April 6, 2009, in Martin County for sending harmful material to someone he believed to be a child, according to the arrest report. He was ordered in 2010 to register as a sexual predator in Clay County. That order mandated he report any changes to his physical, telephone or social media addresses within 48 hours. Kyle told deputies he bought a new car more than 10 days earlier after obtaining a month ago.
Kirk remains in the Clay County Jail with a $450,027 bond
Man caught having relationship, electronically setting up dates with 14-year-old
CLAY COUNTY – A St. Augustine man was arrested for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old Clay County girl and using his cellphone or computer to set up dates with the minor.
Brandon Vincente Diaz, 19, was charged with lewd and lascivious battery, traveling to meet a minor to do unlawful acts, soliciting a child via a computer and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.
A warrant was issued on Jan. 6 following an investigation that dated back to Sept. 5-8, 2020, after investigators with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office Crimes Against Children Unit and Homeland Security learned Diaz sent the girl a cellphone to set up a date for a sexual encounter. When presented with those facts, Diaz turned himself at the Clay County Jail on Jan. 7, according to the arrest report.
Diaz’s bond was set at $175,012.
Habitual felon caught with stolen truck, rifle, drugs
ORANGE PARK – Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped a truck that was reported stolen in Jacksonville on Jan. 5, and in the process wound up discovering drugs, paraphernalia and an illegal weapon.
Joshua Aaron Brunke, 37, of Jacksonville was taken to the Clay County Jail with a $232,525 bond after being charged with two counts of grand theft auto, committing a felony with a weapon, possession of marijuana, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, two counts of possession of a weapon or ammo by a convicted felon and being a habitual offender of driving with a suspended license.
According to the arrest report, deputies were alerted of a stolen pickup and trailer in the Wells Road-Blanding Boulevard area. They stopped the vehicle at Blanding and Kettering Way.
After the driver and passenger were detained for the stolen truck, deputies found a syringe loaded with methamphetamine and a bag of meth in Brunke’s right-front pocket.
Two K-9 dogs were used to detect more methamphetamine and marijuana inside the truck. Deputies also found a rifle, ammo, scale, grinder, metal spoon, mirror and two syringes already filled with methamphetamine inside the truck.
The passenger was released without being charged.
A check confirmed Brunke is a seven-time convicted felon.
Brunke’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 31.
Man finally to get sentenced for 2019 child molestation
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A man charged with molesting a 13-year-old child in 2019 was transported from Putnam County to face charges in Clay County.
Mark Allen Vankirk, 54, of Keystone Heights, was booked for an unlawful act of lewd and lascivious behavior on a child between the ages of 12 and 15.
Vankirk was romantically involved to the guardian of the victim, according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. In the final two months of 2019, the victim was molested five times. The inappropriate behavior usually started with play-wrestling or snuggling and ended with him groping her.
Vankirk was arrested on May 22, 2020, but he was released after posting a $50,003 bond. Vankirk pled guilty to the crime on Oct. 5, 2021, but a warrant for his arrest was issued on Nov. 18, 2021, after he failed to appear for court sentencing. He was arrested in Putnam County on the Clay warrant.
Vankirk’s bond was revoked.
Woman arrested after crash leaves child with fractured skull
MIDDLEBURG – A woman was arrested on Jan. 9 following a crash that left a “small child” with a skull fracture.
Kashayla Yvonne Johnson, 22, of Jacksonville, wasn’t wearing her seatbelt when she crossed the centerline on County Road 220 and ran over a street sign and into a tree and the child wasn’t restrained in a car seat.
She was charged with driving with a suspended license leading to serious injury of a person, child neglect by not using a car seat or booster, reckless driving and not wearing a seatbelt. She also was charged with battery on law enforcement after CCSO said she pushed one of its deputies at the Orange Park Medical Center.
According to the arrest report, Johnson was driving westbound on CR 220 when her car left the roadway after crossing a center-raised median and the eastbound lane. She hit a school zone sign and slammed into a tree approximately 60 feet off the roadway.
Once she was at OPMC, she tried to leave through the emergency room exit. When she was detained, she grabbed the doorway and refused to come back into the hospital. She also pushed the deputy to try to leave, according to a separate arrest report.
Johnson’s bond was set at $160,009.