Florida is #1 Sex Offender State
The state of Florida has more than 57,000 registered sexual offenders, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The state also has the dubious distinction of having one of the highest proportions of sex offenders by population. In 2011, the Sentinel said, there were 307 registered offenders per 100,000 residents, topping both California and Texas for population density.
The Three Gentlemen stepped in to help a 68-year-old Woman.
A 45-year-old Winter Haven man spent Christmas night behind bars courtesy of three good Samaritans who came to the rescue of a 68-year-old woman who was being robbed.
According to the Winter Haven Police Department, the crime in question took place around 5:45 p.m. as Valerie Melzer was returning to her vehicle after enjoying Christmas dinner with friends at a restaurant. When she approached the car, police said, Larry S. Kent Jr. ran up behind her and tried to snatch her purse. Melzer wasn’t such an easy target, Kent discovered.
Police say she began screaming and wouldn’t give up her purse. When they heard her screams, two of Mezler’s friends “sprang into action,” police wrote in an email to media. “At this time, Kent was dragging the victim at least 15 feet across the parking lot,” the email said. “The witnesses, 66 year-old Marvin Hotakainen and 73 year-old Paul Murray tackled Kent, pinning him to the ground while Melzer was able to break free.”
At this time, Patrick Cameron, 67, was leaving the restaurant and heard the commotion. When witnesses started yelling that Kent had a gun, “Cameron ran to assist holding Kent’s legs while Hotakainen and Murray held his upper body to the ground and retrieved the gun.” Kent’s weapon turned out to be a BB gun, but the men held him for special delivery to police officers anyway.
Melzer suffered minor cuts during the attack and was treated at the scene. Kent, however, had to take a side trip to Winter Haven Hospital for treatment of a broken rib and a few minor injuries, police noted. While making the pit stop, police found a clear baggie in Kent’s possession. That baggie contained .9 grams of methamphetamine, police said.
Kent was eventually booked into the Polk County Jail on robbery with a firearm, battery on a person 65 or older, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia charges. He was being held without bond Friday morning. Kent, police say, is no stranger to Florida law enforcement. He has been arrested 17 times in Polk County and has served 4 years in Florida State Prison for grand theft auto, forgery and grand theft convictions.
Will Victims Win $3M Lotto Won By Predator????
Two of the former Florida man’s victims have filed a lawsuit against the scratch-off ticket winner.
Timothy Poole’s luck might be changing.
The Florida convicted sexual predator won $3 million on a lottery scratch-off ticket earlier this month is now facing a lawsuit filed on behalf of two of his former victims, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The suit was filed on Monday and lists two victims, who were 9 and 5 at the time of their attacks, as the plaintiffs, Click Orlando reported. The suit asks for an undisclosed amount of damages.
Poole, 43, took a lump-sum payment of $2.2 million in return for his winning lottery ticket in early December. It is unclear how much of Poole’s haul the lawsuit seeks.
Poole has been arrested 12 times in Florida, according to the Orlando Sentinel. He was arrested in 2001 on charges of sexual battery on a girl under the age of 12, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website indicates. He’s also been arrested for stealing nearly $20,000 in food stamps, the paper pointed out.
While Poole lived in Mount Dora before his big lottery win, FDLE’s website indicates he’s since moved to Mineral Wells, W. Va.
Poole’s win created quite a stir when the announcement of his windfall was posted and then subsequently taken down on the Florida Lottery’s website. While Florida law doesn’t stop a convicted felon from winning a big prize, lottery officials felt it best to remove Poole’s information.
“We chose to not draw additional attention to this particular winner,” Shelly Gerteisen, communications manager for the Florida Lottery, told the Sentinel.