Monday August 15, 2022

Florida teens killed after fleeing deputies, crashing into canal

Two teens are dead after they fled from Hendry deputies during a high-speed chase and crashed into a canal embankment early Saturday morning.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a 19-year-old Clewiston man was driving a 2019 Maserati on County Road 835 at a high rate of speed.

As he approached the intersection of Roberts Road, the driver failed to negotiate a curve and continued straight into the edge of a canal.

The Maserati became airborne, crossed the canal and struck the southern embankment and then fell into the canal, troopers said.

The driver and a 17-year-old girl, of Hialeah, were pronounced dead on scene.

The Florida Highway Patrol’s Advanced Investigation & Reconstruction are continuing to investigate the crash.

The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office said the roadway was closed for hours.

3 accused of kidnapping, beating man in Immokalee

A man and two women were arrested by Collier deputies after they allegedly beat a man, forced him to dance in a dress and then robbed him of $3,000.

Betsy Ann DeJesus and Blanca Mejia-Medina face charges of kidnapping-inflicting bodily harm, robbery with a firearm, aggravated battery and kidnapping-false imprisonment. Noah Navarro faces an aggravated assault charge and a kidnapping charge of false imprisonment.

The kidnapping occurred on Monday on N. 3rd St. near 2nd Ave. in Immokalee, according to an arrest report by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies were called after the victim arrived at Hendry County Regional Hospital with severe facial swelling. He was so badly beaten that he had to be flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach for treatment, the arrest report states.

He told authorities he was driven around for about 20 to 30 minutes in a tan-colored SUV before they stopped at an unknown house. Inside the home, he was pistol-whipped and a woman cut his face with a knife, he said. He said he was forced to wear a woman’s dress, and made to dance, all while filming it, according to the arrest report

He was then dropped off on the side of the road near a church in Glades County. He was going to be beaten again, he told authorities, but he fled on foot.

He was able to escape because the suspects fled when a vehicle was driving in their direction, he said.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by an anonymous source who said someone had released the video of the beating to the public.

According to an arrest report, 37-year-old DeJesus paid $300 to facilitate the crime and was responsible for recording it.

She told authorities she had dated the victim for four months but he left their shared home together about three weeks ago. DeJesus accused him of stealing her money. She later recanted the statement.

Navarro, 39, told authorities he was not involved in the beating of the man, but that the women took the victim to his home where he gave the man a dress to wear.

Mejia-Medina, 46, was accused of participating in the beating. She declined to speak with authorities and requested an attorney, according to her arrest report.

They were taken to Naples Jail Center, where they all remain as of Saturday afternoon, jail records show.

 Important Taxpayer Deadline for Collier and Palm Beach County, including Immokalee, Pahokee/Belle Glade& South Bay.

It’s time for the Value Adjustment Board process to begin. The Property Appraiser notifies taxpayers in August of their property’s assessed and market values in a Truth in Millage (Trim) notice. If a taxpayer feels the Property Appraiser’s assessment classification or exemption status for their property is incorrect, they may contact the Property Appraiser’s Office.

 If the taxpayer is unsatisfied, they may file a petition to appeal the assessment with the County’s Value Adjustment Board (VAB) through the Clerk’s Office. Petitions can be filed online or in-person

The Value Adjustment Board receives, and processes petitions, maintains a VAB database, and schedules and records the hearings. “The 2022 Value Adjustment Board petitions are due by 5:00 p.m. on September 9, 2022; staff is available to assist taxpayers in the process.”.