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Florida man arrested for ramming main gate at Mayport Naval Station with stolen dump truck
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The driver of a dump truck stolen from a Palm Coast landscaping company tried to smash through the main gate at Mayport Naval Station Tuesday morning but was stopped cold by a steel barrier activated by U.S. Navy sentries, according to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office
Rodney Simeon, a former Alabama State University basketball player from Miami, is under arrest on a Flagler County warrant for auto theft and burglary as the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigate the incident. His bail was set at $25,000, according to his Jacksonville arrest report.
Although no possible motive was provided, the Flagler County Sheriff's Office said a ski mask and a gun were found inside the stolen truck, believed to belong to Simeon. The 24-year-old also was arrested June 3 on charges of destruction of evidence, suspended license, possession of marijuana and no car registration in Orange County, according to court records.
Mayport spokesman Bill Austin said the forced entry attempt occurred about 9:30 a.m. at the main gate on Mayport Road, the driver reportedly ignoring repeated commands to stop at the gate and prompting security personnel to deploy a barrier.
"A civilian male showed up at the main gate with no credentials and accelerated past the sentry," Austin said. "They deployed the barrier. ... He was in a stolen truck."
"This guy appeared to be on a mission and wasn't going to let anyone or anything stand in his way," Sheriff Rick Staly added. "We still do not know his intent or what caused him to steal a heavy-duty truck and try to force his way onto a naval base."
The tale began just after 7:30 a.m., when deputies were called to Corey Enterprises Lawn and Landscape Inc. on Hargrove Grade in Palm Coast to investigate the theft of a white Ford F350 dump truck, the sheriff's office said. Employees said a man just walked through the business, grabbed the truck keys and drove north on U.S. 1, then onto Interstate 95.
After Simeon was arrested, deputies found his black Toyota Corolla at Corey Enterprises without a license plate, then towed it away as evidence, the sheriff's office said.
Just because the truck was gone didn't mean no one knew where it was going, the sheriff's office said. The white Ford had a GPS tracking system. An employee tracked it heading north and alerted deputies, who then notified the St. Johns County and Jacksonville sheriff's offices, as well as Florida Highway Patrol, as the truck fled. The truck also left its mark as it drove on I-95, causing numerous crashes in St. Johns and Duval counties, Flagler officials said.
The final GPS location showed the truck parked outside Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville, as U.S. Navy and Jacksonville Sheriff's Office authorities alerted Flagler County to his arrest after a barricade system was deployed to prevent him from driving onto the base. Taken into custody by Jacksonville officers and military personnel, Simeon was taken to the hospital for a medical evaluation before his arrest, Flagler officials said.
The 6-foot-5 guard led the Alabama State Hornets in scoring in his 2016-17 season at 12.2 points per game in 30 games with 25 starts. He tapered off in his senior season, averaging 7.3 points.
©2019 The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"
This 400-pound feral hog is one of more than 1,200 that have invaded a Texas Air Force base since 2016
At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.
A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.
In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."
A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.
In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.