Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
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.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Iron Mountain. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Iron Mountain is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.
Jackie Melendrez couldn't be prouder of her husband, her sons, and the fact that she works for the trucking company Iron Mountain. This regional router has been a Mountaineer since 2017, and says the support she receives as a military spouse and mother is unparalleled.
Master Sgt. Larry Hawks, a retired engineer sergeant who served with 3rd Special Forces Group, is being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on Friday for "valorous actions" in Afghanistan in 2005.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 40-foot-tall (12 meters) cross-shaped war memorial standing on public land in Maryland does not constitute government endorsement of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that leaves unanswered questions about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.
The justices were divided on many of the legal issues but the vote was 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that had declared the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg unconstitutional in a legal challenge mounted by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for secular governance. The concrete cross was erected in 1925 as a memorial to troops killed in World War One.
The ruling made it clear that a long-standing monument in the shape of a Christian cross on public land was permissible but the justices were divided over whether other types of religious displays and symbols on government property would be allowed. Those issues are likely to come before the court in future cases.
A relative of the man who opened fire outside downtown Dallas' federal building this week warned the FBI in 2016 that he shouldn't be allowed to buy a gun because he was depressed and suicidal, his mother said Thursday.
Brian Clyde's half-brother called the FBI about his concerns, their mother Nubia Brede Solis said. Clyde was in the Army at the time.
On Monday, Clyde opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle at the Earle Cabell Federal Building. He was fatally shot by federal law enforcement. No one else was seriously injured. His family believes Clyde wanted to be killed.