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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.
Once again, the United States and the Taliban are apparently close to striking a peace deal. Such a peace agreement has been rumored to be in the works longer than the latest "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" sequel. (The difference is Keanu Reeves has fewer f**ks to give than U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.)
Both sides appeared to be close to reaching an agreement in September until the Taliban took credit for an attack that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. That prompted President Donald Trump to angrily cancel a planned summit with the Taliban that had been scheduled to take place at Camp David, Maryland, on Sept. 8.
Now Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has told a Pakistani newspaper that he is "optimistic" that the Taliban could reach an agreement with U.S. negotiators by the end of January.
75 years ago, Audie Murphy earned his Medal of Honor with nothing but a burning tank destroyer's .50 cal and insane bravery
Editor's note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018
On January 26, 1945, the most decorated U.S. service member of World War II earned his legacy in a fiery fashion.
Florida senators are pushing for Purple Hearts for service members wounded in the NAS Pensacola shooting
Florida's two senators are pushing the Defense Department to award Purple Hearts to the U.S. service members wounded in the December shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
The Navy Department is in the middle of a new force-structure review, which could change the number and types of ships the sea services say they'll need to fight future conflicts. But instead of trying to project what they will need three decades out, which has been the case in past assessments, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the services will take a shorter view.
"I don't know what the threat's going to be 30 years from now, but if we're building a force structure for 30 years from now, I would suggest we're probably not building the right one," he said Friday at a National Defense Industrial Association event.
The Navy completed its last force-structure assessment in 2016. That 30-year plan called for a 355-ship fleet.
When Oscar Jesus Temores showed up to work at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story each day, his colleagues in base security knew they were in for a treat.
Temores was a master-at-arms who loved his job and cracking corny jokes.
"He just he just had that personality that you can go up to him and talk to him about anything. It was goofy and weird, and he always had jokes," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek Lopez, a fellow base patrolman. "Sometimes he'd make you cry from laughter and other times you'd just want to cringe because of how dumb his joke was. But that's what made him more approachable and easy to be around."
That ability to make others laugh and put people at ease is just one of the ways Temores is remembered by his colleagues. It has been seven weeks since the 23-year-old married father of one was killed when a civilian intruder crashed his pickup truck into Temores' vehicle at Fort Story.