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Mannequin, pot bust, biting case — a quirky night in the Keys

By buseman, Jun 21, 2010 | Updated: Jun 22, 2010 | |
  1. buseman
    Saturday night began with a call to police about a mummfied body on an abandoned boat, included a woman who said she bit a child on the cheek to teach her a lesson, and ended early Sunday with the arrest of a man who stuffed a brick of marijuana down his pantsleg and told a deputy it was his wallet.

    A typical evening in the Florida Keys?

    It certainly does demonstrate a side of the Keys that could be called quirky, deadpanned Becky Herrin, a spokeswoman for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. You can have nights when nothing happens, and others when you can't keep up.

    The call about the mummy came from a young couple who told deputies they approached an abandoned boat off Sugarloaf Key with the intention of claiming it, when they noticed what looked like a long-dead body aboard. The legs were so thin, the couple told a Sheriff's Office dispatcher, they thought the body was mummified.

    Herrin said homicide detectives were notified, as was the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    When officers arrived, they found the suspected mummy was a mannequin.

    No arrests were made.

    Deputies also reponded to a call in Key Largo, where a woman admitted biting a 6-year-old girl on the cheek. Danielle Dudley, 26, told deputies the girl had been biting others, and she bit her back so she would know how it felt.

    Dudley was arrested and charged with child abuse.

    And finally, Deputy Danielle Malone was patrolling on Cudjoe Key just before 3 a.m. Sunday when she saw a speeding car. After she turned on her lights and siren, the car began swerving before eventually pulling to a stop.

    When Malone asked driver Julio Abella, 26, of Key West, for his identification, she noticed a black garbage bag on the passenger side of the car. After discovering that Abella's driver's license was suspended, she asked passenger Anthony Williams, 22, if he had a license.

    Then Malone noticed that the garbage bag was gone from the floor and that Williams suddenly had a large bulge in his pants leg, according to Herrin's account. Williams told Malone the bulge was his wallet.

    Doubtful, Malone called for backup. When other officers arrived, they found two large compressed bricks of marijuana weighing an estimated 6 to 8 pounds, along with several smaller amounts in the vehicle. In the trunk of the car, deputies found a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun.

    The men were arrested on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. Abella was also charged with driving with a suspended license.

    Said Herrin: These were unusual calls, but there is no oil on the beaches, so people should continue to visit the Keys and enjoy our quirkiness.
    Mike Clary
    June 20, 2010


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