The Sanford man accused of fatally stabbing a DeBary woman in her home left behind a profanity-laced message on his ex-girlfriend’s answering machine, a new document shows.
Anton Sanders, 45, is being held without bond in the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach on a charge of first-degree murder.
The ex-boyfriend is accused of killing 51-year Lisa Bresie in her home on Lantana Drive.
In his arrest affidavit, released this week, deputies said they found her body and spotted multiple stab wounds while conducting a well-being check. They also found a message from Sanders on her answering machine, the affidavit said.
It was mostly profanity.
A family member and a friend told deputies Sanders had abused Bresie in the past and they broke up sometime this summer. They had not seen her since Nov. 1 and were concerned about her safety.
Sanders was with her vehicle when the Florida Highway Patrol responded to a report of an impaired man showing signs of distress along Interstate 275 in Pinellas County on Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office said.
He had her blood-spattered Hyundai and the keys to her vehicle.
Sanders, also wearing blood-stained clothing, tried to throw himself over a wall that separated the highway from the water below during questioning by the Florida Highway Patrol.
He was transported to a hospital in St. Petersburg as a precaution.
“Sanders was transported to a local hospital for medical evaluation and subsequently admitted to the hospital due to a high amount of cocaine in this body,” a report released this week said
During an interview with officers at the hospital on Nov. 6, he admitted they were no longer a couple but said she would let him drive her car on times.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office on Monday said a fingerprint found in blood inside the house came back as a match to Sanders.
Join thousands of others across the country today by cleaning out your medicine cabinets of unwanted and unneeded prescription drugs during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
The dropoff location in DeBary is at the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office district station at 79 S. Charles Beall Blvd., DeBary. Call (386) 668-3830 for details.
It’s easy. It’s free. It’s safe.
“No questions asked. This is a great way to prevent drug addiction, overdose deaths or accidental ingestion by children,” Laura Williams, a spokeswoman for the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
The DeBary location is among roughly 5,000 across the country participating in the drug-safety, environmentally friendly initiative.
“Disposing of leftover painkillers or other addictive medicines in the house is one of the best ways to prevent a member of your family from becoming a victim of the opioid epidemic,” DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson said in a statement. “More people start down the path of addiction through the misuse of opioid prescription drugs than any other substance. The abuse of these prescription drugs has fueled the nation’s opioid epidemic, which has led to the largest rate of overdose deaths this country has ever seen.”
Three other locations in Volusia County are also taking unwanted pills:
1691 Providence Blvd., Deltona; (386) 860-7030
1435 U.S. 1, Suite D-3, Ormond Beach; (386) 323-0151
101 E. Canal Street, New Smyrna Beach; (386) 423-3301
The dropoffs are open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“For those who miss Saturday’s event, the Sheriff’s Office offers a continuous program where residents can drop off unwanted prescription drugs at a district office or make arrangements to have a deputy pick up their unwanted prescription medicine by calling the Sheriff’s Office’s Communications Center (386-248-1777),” Williams said.
More than 4,000 jurisdictions — including local, tribal, and community partners — are participating, the DEA said.
“The effort will help prevent these drugs, including opioids, from falling into the wrong hands and contributing to a lethal drug abuse epidemic in the United States,” the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.
“The DEA action comes just days after President Donald J. Trump announced the mobilization of his entire Administration to address drug addiction and opioid abuse by directing the declaration of a Nationwide Public Health Emergency to address the opioids crisis,” the statement added.
More than 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs were turned in at nearly 5,500 dropoffs in April.
“Today the United States is facing the worst drug crisis in our history, as more Americans are dying from drug overdoses than ever before,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “We lose one American life to drugs every nine minutes. This crisis affects every American, as it is filling up our emergency rooms, our foster homes, and our cemeteries.”
The felon accused in last week’s armed robbery at the DeBary Burger King has a violent criminal past, both as a juvenile and an adult, records show.
Mathew H. Juan, 32, is being held on $150,000 bond at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach.
Juan was arrested minutes after Wednesday’s robbery and faces charges of robbery with a firearm/deadly weapon and false imprisonment.
Records show Juan served more than three years in state prison before he was released in December 2012.
He was adjudicated guilty in Volusia County in 2007 after pleading no contest to charges of aggravated battery and aggravated assault.
Juan was accused of attacking his wife’s brother with a baseball bat in Edgewater.
He was placed on probation in 2007 case but was charged the following year for violating his probation. That was for his arrest on a misdemeanor domestic-violence charge.
Details of that case weren’t immediately available. However, his wife testified during a hearing that Juan placed his hand over her mouth while they were arguing. She said she couldn’t breathe and she bit his hand. Neighbors realized they were fighting and called police.
At that hearing, a prosecutor said Juan had an extensive juvenile arrest record, including arrests for criminal mischief, aggravated assault/battery, carrying a concealed weapon and possession
of alcohol by a person less than 21.
The hearing was a day before Juan’s 24th birthday.
During her testimony, his wife defended Juan saying his violence in both cases — the baseball-bat attack and the domestic-violence incident — were caused by Xanax (alprazolam).
He took the anti-anxiety drug because of depression following a friend’s murder, she testified.
But sedative made him violent, she added. She begged a judge to keep him out of prison so he could get treatment and help raise their then 2-year-old child.
A different judge later sentenced Juan to five years in prison with credit for 153 days in jail and five years of probation.
Letter to judge
He entered the state prison system in March 2009 and left in December 2012.
In December 2015, Juan sent a letter to a Volusia County judge, seeking early termination of his probation. Juan, then an Orlando resident, said he hadn’t gotten in trouble and he was following all of the court orders.
He said he wanted to go to France to meet his in-laws. His wife, who wasn’t named in the letter, was the love of his life. And they were expecting a child, he wrote.
He started a successful business, bought his first home and had never before felt so happy and blessed.
The judge terminated the probation the following month.
Burger King robbery
In the most recent case, deputies were called to the Burger King at 11:33 a.m. June 21
“Witnesses told responding deputies a male suspect displayed a gun, robbed the employees at two registers and ran out with cash,” the Sheriff’s Office said. The robber fled into nearby woods.
A silver Ford SUV later took off out of those same woods.
“At 11:46 a.m., an Orange City police officer spotted the suspect vehicle in the area of Saxon Boulevard and Threadgill Place in Orange City and conducted a traffic stop,” the Sheriff’s Office said.
2 witnesses ID suspect
Deputies responded to the scene with two witnesses who identified Juan as the suspect. Deputies said they think he was homeless.
“Deputies also recovered cash from the wooded area near the Burger King where the SUV had been parked,” the Sheriff’s Office report said. “At the scene of the traffic stop, deputies noticed a piece greenery stuck to the back of the vehicle, as if it had been recently parked amid some brush and vegetation.”
Even though DeBary is inland, a roughly 40-minute drive from the nearest beach, hurricanes remain a threat. Storm veterans remember the River City’s flooding in 2004 and 2008.
Now, even after the city installed $30 million with of stormwater upgrades, the flooding threat remains, Public Works Director Alan Williamson told the City Council on Wednesday.
Tropical Storm Fay dumped close to 24 inches of rain in 24 hours on parts of West Volusia in 2008, overflowing lakes, putting streets underwater and flooding 130 homes in DeBary.
This hurricane season, which started June 1 but typically doesn’t kick into high gear until August and September, is expected to be a “little more than active,” Williamson said.
Weather officials are predicting 14 named storms, with 7 of those turning into hurricanes and three of those becoming major hurricanes, Williamson said.
DeBary’s fledging stormwater system is doing a good job with routine storms. But a 2-foot deluge in one day would overwhelm the city’s system of pipes, pumps, ponds, hoses and lakes.
“If we have another Tropical Storm Fay, we’re going to have flooding, even though we’ve spent a lot of money and we’ve put in a lot of infrastructure. Now, the flooding won’t be as bad. We can move the water much more quickly but we still have a lot of low areas in DeBary,” Williamson said.
He’s concerned about residents’ level of preparedness.
“The public won’t be ready. The public’s not ready. There’s a lot of complacency within the nation. ‘This disaster won’t happen to me. It can’t happen to me.’ Why not?” he asked rhetorically, “Whenever there’s a disaster in a small area, you always hear people say, ‘we didn’t think it would happen here.’ Why not? you need to assume the worst everywhere.”
He said the city has taken other steps besides makingthe stormwater upgrades. Officials have contracts in place with businesses to remove debris quickly after the storm.
A temporary disposal site has been identified. The Orange City Fire Department and the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office will provide whatever services is needed from their agencies, according to Williamson said.
The city has pumps to move water out of local ponds and generators to power traffic lights if they go out.
But residents need to prepare for their specific needs in case of storms.
“That’s what we expect them to do: Help themselves,” Williamson said.
When the winds get too fast, emergency responders will be grounded until conditions improve. Residents should prepare to fend for themselves for as long as 72 hours until the storms die down, he said.
The city’s major concern during storms is in the southeast quadrant because residents are on wells. If the power goes out, those residents won’t be able to get water pumped out of their wells.
“It doesn’t even take a storm to knock power out because if I had told you a week ago a snake will crawl into an electrical outlet or electrical component and black out 6,000 people you would have laughed at me,” Williamson said. Well, happened last week. So it doesn’t take a storm to cause problems.”
A snake caused a power outage after crawling into a Duke Energy facility on DeBary Avenue in Enterprise on Sunday, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Duke Energy said 6,131 customers, mostly DeBary-area ones, lost power at 9:42 p.m. and the outages lasted from 38 to 54 minutes.
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.
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.
She said the thief almost hit her with her own car as he headed south toward Sanford. She said she didn’t lock her car “because I was standing right there and if you lock it you can’t open the gas cap.”
Kerkhof said her insurance company and the Sanford Infiniti dealership are trying to “undo” the damage to the vehicle.
“It’s not wrecked but was abused and filthy and did have some damage,” she said recently in Facebook. “I have felt some pretty strong emotions and right now [and I] am mad that some of us work very hard for what we have and that someone feels free to steal it.”
A 60-year-old DeBary woman said she is heartbroken after her car was stolen while she was pumping gas at the Kangaroo station at U.S. Highway 17-92 and Dirksen Drive on Thursday.
“My purse, phone and computer were in the car,” Sue Kerkhof said on Facebook. “I ran screaming after my car.”
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said the case is still active.
The white vehicle, a 2016 Infiniti QX50 SUV with a Florida State University vanity plates (SQ449), was taken by a man who was loitering outside the store at 399 S. U.S. Highway 17-92 at about 4:30 p.m., according to Kerkhof.
Kerkhof said the thief almost hit her with her own car as he headed south toward Sanford.
“I am mortified and sick that my personal information/purse, cell phone and bag and computer went with the sick sick…” she wrote. “I have never felt as helpless and sick.”
She wants her personal items returned.
“I had a piece of paper in my wallet that I have had from my son that passed away a year ago with the words Gam Gam on it in his writing,” she wrote. “Irreplaceable.”
She said she didn’t lock her car “because I was standing right there and if you lock it you can’t open the gas cap.”
She posted on the DeBary Proud page on Facebook.
“It can happen to any of us,” commented Facebook user Sally Dilts Chiodo. “It’s terrible that we have to look out for the scum of the earth when we walk out the door of our house. I am so sorry that it happened to you. Let’s all look out for each other.”
The alleged driveway repair scammer who is accused of ripping off a 90-year-old DeBary woman has been arrested, officials said Friday.
Gary Mitchell, 29, was arrested in Broward County and brought to Volusia County, where he is being held in the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach.
Mitchell is being held on a $50,000 bond, said Volusia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Gary Davidson.
He was wanted on an arrest warrant for charges of elderly exploitation and scheme to defraud,
Mitchell pressured the woman into paying $3,000 for what turned out to be “shoddy and unprofessional work,” the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said.
In January, Mitchell allegedly solicited the 90-year-old DeBary woman by “telling her that her driveway was in bad shape and then offering to resurface it,” Davidson said.
She initially said no. But then she eventually agreed after the man persisted.
She said the $3,000 price tag was too high but she wrote him a check anyway.
“Later that day, the woman became increasingly uneasy about the transaction and called her bank to try to stop payment on the check, but it had already been cashed,” Davidson said. “The check was written out to Mitchell, who was captured on surveillance video cashing it at the bank.”
Experts said it appeared that her driveway “had been painted over with a watered-down concrete mix and that the material was applied incorrectly and is of very poor quality and the work was grossly overpriced,” Davidson said.
Detectives think Mitchell also tried to scam an 88-year-old DeBary man.
Mitchell was convicted in Arizona of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
Thirty wigs were found as a suspect in the Gemini Springs Park car break-ins was arrested again, this time in Orlando.
At least one of the wings was worn by suspect Dianne Garrett while impersonating a victim to cash a stolen check, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
An investigation continues into the crimes last month at the DeBary park, and investigators suspect Garrett is part of a larger theft ring.
Garrett was arrested April 1 in Broward County on an arrest warrant out of Volusia County. She was charged with three counts of fraudulent use of personal identification information and one count of uttering a forgery for two vehicle break-ins March 18 at Gemini Springs.
Garrett was taken into custody again Thursday on International Drive in Orlando after bailing out of the Broward County Jail
Garrett now faces additional charges related to two more vehicle burglaries at Gemini Springs Park.
“Garrett’s latest charges are two counts of fraudulent use of personal identification information in connection to a pair of March 23 break-ins,” the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said Monday. “Detectives obtained surveillance video of Garrett cashing stolen checks at banks in South Lakeland and Auburndale. Each time, she wore a blonde wig in order to resemble the victim’s ID photo.”
At an Orlando hotel, detectives with a search warrant found about 30 wigs, 10 high-end purses with wallets and IDs believed to be stolen from the Orange County area.
They also recovered more than 20 other IDs and checkbooks and several bank receipts, Volusia officials said.