Fun — and arrests — mark Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day weekend filled waterways and roads in the Florida Keys as residents and visitors savored the first major holiday of the summer season.

A spate of crashes and arrests kept law enforcement on the move throughout the three-day weekend but no one died in a holiday-related accident, according to information available at press time.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers made five arrests for boating under the influence, all while keeping watch over the Sandbar, a popular anchoring spot off Whale Harbor in Islamorada.

“It was extremely busy at the Sandbar,” said FWC Officer Bobby Dube. “There were a lot more people and boats than in recent years, maybe more than I’ve ever seen.”

Three drunk-boating arrests were made Monday after two on Sunday.

A crowded boat capsized Monday off Whale Harbor, throwing several people into the water but no one was injured. Another boat returning from the Sandbar late Monday crashed into mangroves on Windley Key, sending two men to Mariners Hospital with moderate injuries, including broken ribs, Dube said. The crash was not reported immediately so investigation continued Tuesday, Dube said.

“There were some scuffles and silly things out there but for most part, it was relatively safe,” Dube said.

The FWC arrested three Middle Keys residents late Monday on grand-theft charges after a personal watercraft reportedly was towed from the Sunshine Key Camping Resort at the south end of the Seven Mile Bridge.

“It looks like they hooked up the PWC to their boat, then ran aground when they were trying to get away,” Dube said. “Investigators are still working on what happened.”

Marathon residents Daniel Estenio Reguera, 44, and Bobby Dickson, 30, and John Antaramian, 30, of Grassy Key, are charged with grand theft involving property worth more than $5,000.

A Hialeah man, Eliezer Lopez Rojas, 41, was charged Sunday with multiple lobster-poaching counts after being found snorkeling off the bayside of the Channel 5 Bridge near mile marker 72.

FWC Lt. Liz Riesz was checking fishing catches along the shore when she saw Rojas diving without a required flag. Before he came ashore, the diver discarded a speargun and catch bag, Riesz reported.

After another officer recovered the bag and speargun, the defendant was arrested for possessing eight lobster out of season, five of which were undersized. Rojas Lopez also was charged with spearfishing in a restricted area and interfering with an FWC officer.

Fiesta Key stabbing

Lazaro Ayala, 41, of Homestead was arrested Sunday night after a stabbing at the Fiesta Key RV Resort on Long Key. The victim told Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies that Ayala slashed at him with a knife during a fight.

Deputies Jeffrey Deluca and Wilfredo Guerra said the man suffered “cuts on his face, stomach, chest and left arm,” but was released after treatment at Mariners Hospital. Cause of the dispute was not known. Ayala was charged with aggravated battery, a felony.

In a separate arrest involving a knife attack, Stock Island liveaboard Robert Smith, 35, was charged Saturday with felony false imprisonment and aggravated assault. Smith’s girlfriend said the defendant held a knife to her throat, threatened her life and forcibly prevented her from leaving their boat.

A witness told officers she “saw Smith pull [the girlfriend] back inside” the boat when the victim tried to leave.

Around 1:45 a.m. Monday, deputies used an electric stun gun to subdue a Winter Park man after he became violent and unruly outside the Brass Monkey Lounge in Marathon, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.

Jeffrey B. Causey, 50, faces felony charges of assault and battery on a police officer, and misdemeanor count of disorderly intoxication.

Causey — described as standing 6-foot-2 and weighing around 260 pounds — made threats against deputies and emergency-medical technicians who were trying to help a woman who fell and struck her head, a report says.

Deputy Mark Jones said Causey cursed at him and others, then shoved the officer when Jones tried to keep him away from the fallen woman. Other deputies reported that Causey struggled and kicked during his arrest.

Body found on dock

Sheriff’s Office detectives are looking into the death of Faith Deutermann, 66, of Marathon. Her body, clad in a bathing suit, was found on her dock Saturday.

“Detectives say she’d been dead for some time, and there were no obvious signs of foul play,” agency spokeswoman Becky Herrin said.

Deutermann’s husband reportedly traveled to their Maryland home several days earlier, according to reports. Cause of death was pending an autopsy by the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office noted that 30 vehicle accidents, most of which were described as “relatively minor,” were reported countywide between Saturday and Monday morning.

Four people from three separate accidents in the Upper Keys were treated for injuries at Mariners Hospital.

A motorcyclist was hurt in a crash around 9:42 p.m. Sunday near mile marker 99. No other vehicles were involved. A two-car crash near mile marker 101.5 at 8:36 p.m. Saturday sent one person to Mariners. Two people were injured in a 4:37 p.m. Saturday accident near mile marker 102.2.

No other details of the crashes were available.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers, Key West Police and Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a total of seven people for driving under the influence during the holiday weekend.

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