Category Archives: weird

Erin Boyd: Once-missing woman charged in motel abduction lie, cops say

Erin Boyd jail photo
Erin Boyd jail photo

An Orange City woman who went missing this week was arrested for lying about being abducted, deputies say.

Erin Boyd, 31, is accused of two charges related to falsely reporting a crime, according to the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach.

Her boyfriend reported her missing Sunday.  She was found safe and alone at the Chimney Corner Motel in DeLand, according to Andrew Gant, a spokesman for the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

“Initially, Boyd was evasive on the circumstances around her disappearance,” Gant said in a statement.

She pretended to she was being held hostage, even calling 911 while deputies were on the scene, Gant said.

While deputies were on scene at the motel, she called 911 from her room asking for deputies to let her out, as if she was being held against her will.

“She then attempted to report to a deputy on scene that she was intimidated into leaving home and coming to the motel, and that she had been deprived of her phone,” Gant added.

A deputy later found her phone in the motel-room toilet.

“Boyd alleged again Friday that she was imprisoned against her will, and her claim was disproved,” Gant said. “She is being charged with two misdemeanors: making a false report to law enforcement and making a false official statement.”

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DeBary may pay $2K to settle suit against ex-Mayor Clint Johnson

A $2,000 settlement is being proposed to resolve a lawsuit filed by DeBary resident Colette Rowley against former Mayor Clint Johnson for an alleged verbal assault in 2015.

“On June 24, 2015 the plaintiff and Mayor Johnson got into an altercation that resulted [in the] plaintiff filing a suit against Mayor Johnson alleging ‘assault’ and ‘slander’ and the plaintiff demanding damages in the amount of $15,000.00,” a DeBary city staff report says.Clint Johnson

As others watched at City Hall, Johnson moved close to Rowley while telling her loudly she couldn’t attend a meeting because she spreads lies about him online, records allege.

The case is set for trial in February. DeBary staffers are recommending approval of the settlement. A message to Johnson wasn’t immediately returned.

The City Council is expected to act on the proposal Wednesday, Jan. 17.

A majority on the City Council removed Johnson from office in August 2016, saying he violated the charter by telling staffers what to do.

Johnson unsuccessfully challenged his removal by filing a lawsuit against the city.

Details of the alleged conflict between Rowley and Johnson are outlined in the court document below:

Colette Rowley vs Clint Johnson

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Coyote spotted in DeBary, prompting concerns

DeBary residents are more accustomed to seeing bears in their neighborhoods. So Thursday’s rare coyote sighting prompted concerns from residents in the River City.

A driver snapped a photo of a coyote on Sanford Avenue near Wilson Road and posted it on the DeBary Proud Facebook page Thursday afternoon.

“Be careful with your pets and kids,” Evelyn Rodriguez wrote. “He didn’t seem scared at all by us stopping and taking a picture.”

FWC takes report

DeBary Life reported the coyote to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission just before 1 p.m.

An officer who took the call said there was nothing the agency would do other than taking a report.

However, if a coyote is on your property, the officer said, the owner can trap or euthanize the intruder a humane way or hire someone to do it.

The agency says online that coyotes have been documented in all of Florida’s 67 counties.

‘Fear of people’

“Encounters between people and coyotes in Florida are occurring more often,” FWC says online. “As coyotes become used to people, they may lose some fear of people, so sightings of coyotes during the day may increase.”

You can report the animals at 888-404-3922.

People who responded to the Facebook post said coyotes have attacked their pets or chickens.

“Out in the middle of the day, absolutely no fear of human contact. Something that definitely needs to be addressed,” David Connors wrote on Facebook.

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SunRail announces special services on Dec. 28, Jan. 1

SunRail on Wednesday announced special train services on Dec 28 and Jan. 1.

The services are options for Orlando Bowl Game traffic on both days.

The Camping World Bowl will be at Camping World Stadium on Dec. 28. Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State are competing.

Overton’s Citrus Bowl, also at the same stadium, is on Jan. 1.

Special night trains on Dec. 28 will leave from LYNX Central Station at the following times:

Northbound

  • 9:28 p.m.
  • 10:18 p.m.

Southbound

  • 8:48 p.m.
  • 9:49 p.m.

SunRail added: “On New Year’s Day, SunRail is offering more than 11 hours of special service, with the first southbound train leaving DeBary at 8 a.m., and the last northbound train leaving Sand Lake Road at 6:15 p.m., arriving in DeBary at 7:18 p.m.”

Check for details at www.sunrail.com.

“This New Year’s Day special service provides a transportation option to those attending the Overton’s Citrus Bowl game featuring Notre Dame vs LSU at Camping World stadium in downtown Orlando,” SunRail noted.

“It also provides a transportation option for those who wish to try the train and tour local sites along the SunRail service area on New Year’s Day,” the agency added.

Shuttle bus service will be available between LYNX Central Station and Camping World Stadium for both athletic events.

Get details at www.golynx.com

DeBary felon flips off deputy, gets tires flattened

A DeBary felon flipped off a deputy before officers flattened the tires of his SUV on Interstate 4 in Deltona, records show.

Jonathan Kral, 42, remained behind bars after his alleged crime spree Friday.

Jonathan KralAfter stopping, Kral yelled at officers to shoot him and a deputy had to tackle him to get him into handcuffs.

Kral was charged with fleeing and eluding, resisting an officer with violence and other crimes.

Kral’s second arrest this month

It was his second arrest this month. He was arrested Dec. 6 in DeBary, accusing of driving without a valid license.

He threatened to kill officers and said a Jihad was coming to take out citizens, records show.

Kral is being held without bond at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach.

Behind the wheel

Kral was behind the wheel of a red Ford Explorer that passed too close a deputy conducting a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 17-92 and Saxon Boulevard just before 7 a.m. Dec. 16.

Sgt. Keith Peck attempted to stop the SUV at Saxon Boulevard east of Enterprise Road, but the vehicle continued moving.

Peck used his spotlight to get the driver’s attention. He later activated his siren, which was also ignored.

As the vehicle got into the turn lane to go east on Interstate 4, Peck turned off the siren and pulled alongside the vehicle when it was stopped for traffic.

Giving the ‘middle finger’

“Sgt. Peck pointed the spotlight into the driver’s area and could clearly see the driver eating something and then he gave Sgt. Peck the middle finger and continued to get on the highway,” a report said.

Peck followed, going under the speed limit, about 60 to 64 miles per hour, while other officers set up tire-deflating stop sticks on the highway at I-4 and State Road 472.

The sticks hit the right side tires and the right rear went flat.

The SUV pulled over at Mile Marker 115.

Kral got out and Peck drew his handgun, ordering the suspect to the ground. He refused and yelled at Peck to shoot him. Kral was talking to someone on his cellphone.

Officer tackled Kral

Peck holstered his firearm and drew his stun gun. But Kral was wearing a heavy coat – a factor that could impede the stun-gun’s impact.

Peck ran up behind Kral and tackled him to the ground and held him there until other officers arrived. He continued to resist, trying to throw off Peck. When after backup arrived, Kral continued to fight back, moving his head back and forth and scraping his face on the ground.

He was eventually cuffed and placed in a patrol vehicle. He threatened to kill deputies and fight them.

Deputies found marijuana, pot pipes and pills.

Long criminal history

Deputies later determined he had a 27-page criminal history, including 10 felonies, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

He served less than a year in state prison for an October 2012 charge of aggravated assault and a May 2013 child-abuse charge, records show.

He was taken into state custody in July 2013 and released in March 2014.

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DeBary bomb-making suspect: I’m not guilty

A DeBary man accused of hoarding bodily fluids and bomb-making materials declared himself not guilty in paperwork filed with the Volusia County Courthouse.

Christopher Langer, 31, was arrested in November after an argument with his parents in their home in the Saxon Woods community.

Langer was accused of making/possessing a destructive device and was taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach.

State Attorney R.J. Larizza for the 7th Judicial Circuit officially filed that charge against Langer on Nov. 27.

Langer’s not-guilty plea was issued on Dec. 1. He remains jailed without bond.

Christopher Langer

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood told TV reporters that Langer was building a weapon of mass destruction and wanted to harm first responders.

Langer rigged a SpongeBob SquarePants lunch box as a booby trap in the backyard, Chitwood said.

Investigators also found a metal pineapple-style grenade with a paperclip in place to hold the lever and keep it from exploding.

They also found a booby-trap in the backyard covered by a toy.

Sherrif Mike Chitwood

Chitwood said Langer has been involuntarily committed four times under the state’s Baker Act. He described the suspect as an anti-government heroin addict.

Two weeks earlier, deputies responded to the same home and administered two antidotes after Langer overdosed on heroin.

A domestic disturbance led to the discovery of an array of potentially explosive devices and substances, prompting a bomb squad response that lasted into the next day.

Deputies arrived at 124 Bradwick Circle around 4:11 p.m. Nov. 12 in response to an argument between Langer and his parents. During the argument, an intoxicated Langer told his parents he had put an explosive substance inside a grenade.

Langer initially denied the grenade existed. But then he acknowledged he had thrown it outside, showing it to the deputy. The deputy found a metal pineapple-style grenade with a paperclip in place to hold the lever and keep it from exploding.

Deputies evacuated the house, launched an investigation and obtained a search warrant. About 200 containers were found in the house containing unknown powders, acids and other materials.

Many (about 79) were placed into a containment area later determined not to be bomb-making materials but bodily fluids.

Langer has a criminal past.

In April 2011, he entered no-contest pleas to charges of attempting to obtain controlled substance by fraud and possession of Scheduled II substance. Both are third-degree felonies.

He was placed on two years drug offender probation and ordered to complete a treatment diversion program.

He was discharged from the program after two months for drinking alcohol. He was also back into the program and completed it in October 2012.

A judge terminated his probation that month.

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Christopher Langer’s dad in 2011: “My son is a drug addict”

Six years ago, when his son was facing a possible prison sentence for drug-trafficking charges, Scott Langer of DeBary appealed to a judge for leniency.

“My son is a drug addict,” the elder Langer said of then 24-year-old Christopher Langer. “He is a new father, and he has a good heart. He is not a violent person, and would not hurt a flea. But he is a drug addict.”

Christopher Langer, now 31, remains at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach as an investigation continues into the explosives and containers of bodily fluids found in the house he shares with his parents in Saxon Woods.

Mass Destruction

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood told TV reporters that Langer was building a weapon of mass destruction and wanted to harm first responders.

Langer rigged a SpongeBob SquarePants lunch box as a booby trap in the backyard, Chitwood said.

Investigators also found a metal pineapple-style grenade with a paperclip in place to hold the lever and keep it from exploding.

They also found a booby-trap in the backyard covered by a toy.

Chitwood said Langer has been involuntarily committed four times under the state’s Baker Act. He described the suspect as an anti-government heroin addict.

Two weeks ago, deputies responded to the same home and administered two antidotes after Langer overdosed on heroin.

Domestic Disturbance

A domestic disturbance that started Sunday led to the discovery of an array of potentially explosive devices and substances, prompting a bomb squad response that lasted through the night and into Monday morning.

Volusia County sheriff’s deputies, detectives, Hazmat units from Volusia County and Deltona fire departments and members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms responded.

Deputies arrived at 124 Bradwick Circle around 4:11 p.m. Sunday in response to an argument between Langer and his parents. During the argument, an intoxicated Langer told his parents he had put an explosive substance inside a grenade.

Langer initially denied the grenade existed. But then he acknowledged he had thrown it outside, showing it to the deputy. The deputy found a metal pineapple-style grenade with a paperclip in place to hold the lever and keep it from exploding.

Deputies evacuated the house and began an investigation and obtained a search warrant. About 200 containers were found in the house containing unknown powders, acids and other materials.

Many of them (about 79) have been placed into a containment area, and many have been determined not to be bomb-making materials but bodily fluids.

A bomb robot used to examine a hole in the back yard discovered a small explosive device, and a second possible explosive device was found in a lunchbox.

Some neighboring homes in the area were evacuated in the initial stages of the call, but those residents returned to their homes Sunday evening.

Back in Jail

Langer has been charged with making/possessing a destructive device and was transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail, where he was being held Sunday morning on $5,000 bail. (Note: that bail was later revoked by a judge.)

Two additional charges stemming from an August case involving Langer were added. He is accused of stealing a laptop and generator from his father and pawning the items for drug money. The additional pre-trial release charges are for grand theft and dealing in stolen property.

In April 2011, he entered no-contest pleas to charges of attempting to obtain controlled substance by fraud and possession of Scheduled II substance. Both are third-degree felonies.

He was placed on two years drug offender probation and ordered to complete a treatment diversion program. He was discharged from the program after two months for drinking alcohol.  He was also back into the program and completed it in October 2012.

A judge terminated his probation that month.

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Dead people quoted for DeBary Hall ‘haunted history’ story

Dead people are quoted in a questionable online article that attempts to recast the history of DeBary Hall as one with a legacy of spooky happenings.

Ghosts are not part of the standard narrative of the historic property managed by Volusia County except in October for Halloween-themed candlelight tours.

[os-widget path=”/kevinconnolly2/is-debary-hall-haunted” of=”kevinconnolly2″ comments=”false”]

“The tours are designed to startle and activate the imagination,” the county said in a news release.

The medium.com article by Robin Peroldo, released just before Halloween with a black and white photo of DeBary Hall, does not include any direct quotes from anyone to support the writer’s premise that “plenty” of people have scary stories about DeBary Hall.

New York City wine importer Frederick deBary arrived in the area in 1870 and built DeBary Hall a year later for a winter retreat offering hunting and fishing off the St. Johns River.

The medium.com article lists two sources for the article published on Oct. 21: A 1997 article by former Orlando Sentinel Volusia County columnist Bo Poertner and a 2001 book by now-deceased author Jack Powell titled Haunting Sunshine. 

Dead Sources

The medium.com article repeats information from Poertner’s column, including quotes from two people who died since his column was published. There’s no indication in the text of the article clearly stating that key two sources, Don Valente and Rocky Beall, were quoted by Poertner two decades ago. Valente and Beall are now dead.

“DeBary Hall is renowned as being haunted and there are plenty of personal accounts to go around,” Robin Peroldo wrote.

To support that premise,  Peroldo requotes Valente, an area supervisor for Volusia County parks and recreation who once claimed to have felt a presence in the house during one of his visits. “Just walking inside has an eeriness to it. One time I went through the house with nobody there, and the doors opened by themselves, or they closed — and I mean slammed. And this was on a calm day.’’

Valente died in 2014.

‘Friendly Spirits’

Rochelle ”Rocky” Beall moved into the mansion’s caretaker house on 1996 Halloween night and stayed for several months, according to Poertner’s column and Peroldo’s article.

Although she didn’t see anything suspicious at the mansion, Rocky Beall said she too believes it is haunted.

”I believe there’s friendly spirits there, yeah,” she is quoted as saying. ”Just because it’s such a magic place. It’s so beautiful, I would never want to leave there.”

That’s another direct quote from Poertner’s column. Beall died in 2003, according to her obituary.

The medium.com article does not include a key detail from  Poertner’s column. Beall’s father didn’t believe the ghost stories.

Jesse Beall was the city’s historian before his death in 2011.

Similar Passages

Then there’s the similarity between Peroldo’s copy and  Powell’s book. Peroldo wrote:

“A Canadian writer once asked permission to spend the night at DeBary Hall. Although her request was denied she managed to sneak on the grounds to spend the night on the porch. Late that night she woke to a faint vibration within the floor beneath her. A loud moan sounded from within a few feet of her. She turned to look, and saw a ” ‘pale, fleet movement through the window, gone before I could define it.’ ”

This is how it is written in Powell’s book:

“A Canadian writer once asked permission to spend the night in the house. She didn’t get it, but she did slip onto the grounds one night and sleep on the veranda. Late that night she woke to a faint vibration within the floor beneath her. A loud moan sounded from within a few feet of her. She turned to look, and saw a ‘pale, fleet movement through the window, gone before I could define it.’ ”

Two Books

Powell died at his Lakeland home from heart failure on Sept. 8, 2010., according to his obituary in the Lakeland Ledger.

“He loved to write and published two books in his lifetime,” the obit said.

The other book was Time Traveler’s Guide to Florida.

Haunting Sunshine was mocked in a March 4, 2001 review in the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Coat on Girl?

David Money’s article ran under the headline Haunting Ranks Low on Boo-Meter.

“Powell asked people in DeBary if DeBary Hall is haunted. He was told it was not,” the article said. “But Powell did a little research and found out about someone seeing a girl on the second floor. Get this — the girl was wearing a coat that should have been downstairs in a closet at the time it was seen on the girl.”

“Shudder,” Money added.

‘Eerie feeling’

The story appears to be a variation of a story recounted in Poertner’s 1997 column and attributed to a man identified as Pete Scovone. A man with the same name and similar age who used to live in Deltona later died in California, records show.

“Pete Scovone was trimming trees at DeBary Hall when he suddenly had the eerie feeling that someone was watching him,” the Poertner column said. “He looked up at the old mansion and saw a young girl in a dark coat looking down at him from a second-story window.”

In his review of Powell’s book, Money wrote that Powell credited newspaper stories for his research, adding that he attempted to contact journalists.

“Oddly, no member of the Florida press has ever returned a call or note from me,” Powell wrote.

DeBary crash after chase ends with 3 arrests


An urgent voice crackled over the airwaves.

“They’re getting off at Dirksen. They’re getting off at Dirksen.”

Minutes later, three suspects – accused Ormond Beach cell-phone store robbers  — roared off Interstate 4 and crashed in DeBary as a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office chopper captured the action.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood spotted the suspects’ vehicle — a white Dodge — heading south on Interstate 95.

Daraja Adero Tinsley
Sheldric J Slater
Wendell Harp

Cops were looking for the vehicle after three suspects robbed an AT&T store in Ormond Beach on Aug. 29.

The store’s clerk was shoved into a counter and several iPhones were stolen.

Chitwood spotted the getaway vehicle and called in a description and tag number.

The driver refused to stop for a traffic stop. Chitwood radioed in that it failed to stop and started to flee on Interstate 4 heading west.

“Sheriff Chitwood authorized a vehicle pursuit for his agency and pursued the vehicle with marked VCSO Deputy Sheriffs car and FHP marked patrol car,” a report said.

Chitwood said the vehicle then got off at Dirksen Drive heading west.

“The vehicle then crashed near Dirksen Drive/Grande Vista Street. The three occupants of the vehicle then started to run on foot from within the vehicle,” the report said.

Deputies told them to stop – but only two did: Wendell Harp, 18, and Sheldric J. Slater, 19.

Daraja Adero Tinsley, 20,  ran, according to a report and chopper video.

Deputies with two K-9 police dogs later took Tinsley later down near Dirksen and Agua Vista drives in DeBary.” A report said he was taken for medical treatment but details were not released.

A report said he was taken for medical treatment but details were not released.

All three remained at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach on Saturday.

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DeBary dog killer arrested for violations amid ‘cleansing ritual,’ records show

 

A DeBary man convicted of animal cruelty in the hanging death of his mom’s Chihuahua last year is behind bars again.

David Rivera, 25, is the man who underwent a “cleansing ritual” last month through the beheading sacrifice of chickens and other animals, records show.

No one was arrested for the sacrifice. But Rivera is on community control for the dog’s death and he was recently arrested for three probation violations.

Rivera is accused of failing to check in with his probation officer twice and moving without notifying officials.

He denied violating his probation during a hearing May 31, records show.

“The defendant is unstable and a threat to society,” a probation officer wrote in a report.

Rivera is being held without bond at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach.

A violation of probation hearing is set for June 21 before Circuit Court Judge James R. Clayton in DeLand.

Animal cruelty

Rivera entered a plea of no contest to a felony charge of animal cruelty after he was accused of hanging his mom’s dog in April 2016.

He was sentenced to five years of probation, according to records at the Volusia County Courthouse.

The attack on the dog happened April 14, 2016. Deputies were called to a home on Dirksen Drive about 11 a.m. that day.

Rivera’s mother told deputies she and her son had been arguing about his unemployment. She told him he would have to leave if he didn’t get a job, a spokesman for the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said at the time.

During the argument, Rivera climbed an oak tree and hanged her 5-year-old male Chihuahua using a metal dog chain.

He then climbed about 30 feet up the same tree and threatened to hang himself. Deputies and the Sheriff’s Office Hostage Negotiation Team responded.

He gave up peacefully and came down after 8 hours.

‘Cleansing of bad spirits’

Last month, Rivera failed to check in with his probation officer, prompting officials to look for him.

Two probation officers went to his last known address — the house on Dirksen Drive — on May 16 and found Rivera with blood on his head, a report said.

“This officer inquired about the blood and was told he and other family friends were conducting a spiritual/ritual ceremony,” a report said. The ceremony involved “a cleansing of bad spirits and talking to the dead” and sacrifice of chickens.

Rivera led his probation officer to the place where the ritual cleansing was performed, according to clickorlando.com.

Numerous headless animals were found, along with family members, where the ritual was performed, an incident report said.

A bicyclist called 911 after finding a bin with these beheaded animals: five chickens, two pigeons, one goat and one turtle.

Rivera was involuntarily committed for a mental evaluation under the state’s Baker Act on May 17 after calling a probation officer and saying he wanted to kill himself.

Call to Rivera

On May 23, after Rivera missed another probation check-in, a probation officer went to the house on Dirksen Drive. No one answered then or during a second attempt that evening.

The officer went to a neighbor’s house, where the resident called Rivera while the officer stood by.

The officer spoke over the phone with Rivera, who said he “does not and cannot live” at the house on Dirksen Drive and has been staying with a friend.  The officer told Rivera to check-in at the probation office the next day, which he did.

He told the officer he had been living in a tent in Gemini Springs Park, an unverified claim. He also asked the officer if he could hear his thoughts.

The probation officer requested an arrest warrant for Rivera, saying he twice missed probation-office appointments and moved somewhere without notification.

David Rivera

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