Armed man arrested in jail parking lot while attempting ‘citizen’s arrest’ of Sheriff Cook
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Two Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputies wrestled an armed man to the ground in the parking lot of the county jail after he demanded to meet with Sheriff Michelle Cook on March 6. According to two arrest reports, Robert Thomas Abel, 55, of Green Cove Springs, was charged with corruption by threatening a public servant, carrying an illegal firearm and resisting arrest after deputies noticed he had a .40-caliber handgun holstered to his shoulder. He called the agency on March 4 and demanded to see Cook by 9 a.m. two days later or “there would be hell to pay.”
Abel told deputies he worked for the President of the United States. He also demanded Cook to resign for “abandoning her post.” Abel was wearing a green polo shirt, camouflage pants and tactical boots. Abel wasn’t able to produce any law enforcement credentials and when deputies noticed the gun, they attempted to disarm him, according to CCSO.Abel said he was at the jail to make a citizen’s arrest because he wanted to confront the sheriff about previous burglaries at his house.
Once Abel was detained, deputies found a ballistic plate carrier, loose .40-caliber ammunition, several military ready-to-eat kits, coffee and snacks.
Abel’s bond was set at $75,003.
Homeowner uses gun to detain burglar until sheriff deputies arrive
MIDDLEBURG – A homeowner held a burglary suspect at gunpoint until Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputies could arrive after he caught the man taking things from his master bedroom.
Kenneth George Oliver, 28, was charged with grand theft, burglary and possessing a firearm by a convicted felon after deputies said he entered a home on Alligator Boulevard on March 1. He originally took a bottle of beer and drank it on the back porch before re-entering the house to rummage through the bedroom. He had taken loose change, jewelry, cigarettes, two cellphones, two knives and a handgun before the homeowner returned to the house and caught him. The homeowner had his own handgun and he held it on Oliver until deputies arrived.
Oliver’s bond was set at $150,009.
Orange Park man guilty of possessing more than 200 photos of child sex
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Clay County jury found an Orange Park man guilty on 20 counts of child pornography and one count of transmitting child pornography with an electronic device.
Rodney Thomas Ternovsky, 44, will be sentenced on April 6 after the jury determined Ternovsky controlled 20 thumb drives or discs, each with at least 10 obscene materials depicting a child sexual act. They also convicted him of sharing child porn online.
Ternovsky took the stand for 70 minutes in his own defense. The jury clearly wasn’t swayed because it took it only 57 minutes to reach its verdict.
Each count is punishable up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Orange Park man indicted for point laser at Coast Guard helicopter
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced the return of an indictment charging Justin Marland Fisher, 41, of Orange Park, with knowingly aiming a laser at an aircraft. If convicted, Fisher faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
According to the indictment, on Sept. 1, 2021, Fisher knowingly aimed the beam of a laser pointer at a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter while it was conducting a training mission in Green Cove Springs.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, dangerous laser strikes topped all previous records in 2021. The FAA received 9,723 reports from pilots last year, a 41% increase over 2020. Laser strikes on aircraft remain a serious threat to aviation safety. Intentionally aiming lasers at aircrafts poses a safety threat to pilots and violates federal law. Many high-powered lasers can incapacitate pilots flying aircraft that may be carrying hundreds of passengers. Please visit https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/lasers/laws for additional information.
This case was investigated by the Coast Guard Investigative Service. It will be prosecuted by Asst. U.S. Attorney John Cannizzaro.
Woman charged with making 17 false 911 calls to county
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – A 29-year-old woman was arrested for calling the county’s 911 system 17 times in less than four months claiming her family had been harmed or killed.
Kady Leigh Freeman, of Keystone Heights, was arrested and charged with making false 911 calls after deputies were called to a store on Lawrence Boulevard after Freeman called 911 and told dispatchers her family had been killed by a man named “Shorty.” She said she believed they were harmed because they didn’t answer her phone calls, according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
CCSO: Grocery employee caught making fake transactions
MIDDLEBURG – A cashier at Winn-Dixie was arrested on March 1 after store security surveillance showed her making fraudulent overrides and refunds, as well as issuing discounts for fake coupons since Nov. 30, 2021.
Emily Brooke Gurskey, 18, of Middleburg, was charged with 11 counts of fraud after the store provided transactions and video showing her making refunds or activating gift cards totaling $293.33.