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Former New York Yankee Johnny Damon mentioned his support for former President Donald Trump and the “Blue Lives Matter movement” during a traffic stop and subsequent DWI arrest on February 19.

From the report of Windermere Police Officer Griffin Hebel, edited for clarity and brevity:

On February 19, 2021 at approximately 0123 hours, I was monitoring traffic near Conroy Windermere Road and Horizon Circle in the Town of Windermere, Florida and sitting facing westbound on the westbound shoulder of Conroy Windermere Road in a fully marked Windermere Police Department patrol vehicle. I observed a dark in color SUV traveling westbound past me with its left two tires on the double-yellow line on the left side of the westbound lane of Conroy Windermere Road. I observed the vehicle’s left tires then drift back toward the right side of the of lane, continuing westbound on Conroy Windermere Road.

As we approached the intersection of Chase Road and Bridgehouse Road, I called out traffic stop on the vehicle via the radio to Dispatch, then activated my emergency lights and siren to initiate a traffic stop on the black Lincoln SUV and the vehicle yielded, entering the right turn lane then turning onto Bridgehouse Road and stopping just prior to the resident entry gate for Lake Butler Sound. As I approached the vehicle on the driver’s side, I observed the driver’s door swing open and I began giving verbal commands to the driver close his door. As I was giving commands to the driver, I observed a white female standing at the right rear of the vehicle in a short skirt and white top and I ordered her to get back in the vehicle. At this time, I asked Officer Tuck to respond to assist. The female then walked back to the front passenger door and got back in the vehicle. I then gave the driver commands to turn the vehicle off and hen step to the back of his vehicle.

I asked the male what was going on out with both of them stepping out of the vehicle, and the male, later identified by his Florida driver’s license as Johnny Damon, advised “Um, because we saw you following us…” I advised Damon that I was there because the interaction was a traffic stop and he then asked “What traffic stop?” I asked if he could see the police lights, which he confirmed he could, stating that they “…started back there…” while pointing toward the entrance to the turn lane where I had initially turned my lights and sirens on.

As observed Damon, he was extremely unsteady on his feet and his speech was extremely slurred. detected the odor of alcoholic impurities coming from his person as we stood the rear of his vehicle. I explained to Damon that would continue speaking with him about the reasons for the stop after backup officer arrived on scene. At this time, I asked Damon how much he had to drink during the evening. and he stated “…just little bit.” White motioning with his left hand and fingers in a small pinching motion.

I began explaining to Damon that while I had been traveling behind him, his vehicle had left its lane multiple times and struck the curb while traveling on Main on Street. While explaining this to Damon, the passenger door of the vehicle begin to open. I began giving the white female passenger verbal commands to stay the vehicle and shut the door. The female disobeyed my commands to stay in the vehicle, stepping out and stating that she didn’t need to listen to me.

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Crime

Rockland County Man Convicted for Felony Illegal Commercialization of Ivory

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ROCKLAND COUNTY, NY – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and New York County District Attorney’s (DA) Office today announced the conviction of a Rockland County man for felony illegal commercialization of elephant ivory worth approximately $70,000, concluding a joint investigation that first began in 2020. On Feb. 8, defendant Kenneth Kerner, 59, from the town of Clarkstown pleaded guilty to a class D Felony for the illegal commercialization of ivory over $25,000. The judge’s sentence mandated five years’ probation, 200 hours of community service, an obligation to donate $10,000 to a wildlife Non-Governmental Organization, relinquishing the three ivory pool cues offered during the illicit sale, and reimbursing the DA’s Office for the $15,000 cash. Kerner was also compelled to post a public statement on his social media account to increase awareness and discourage the illegal ivory trade.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “I applaud the hard work, diligence, and dedication of DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement and our partners at the New York County District Attorney’s Office in investigating this case and bringing the defendant to justice. The fight to protect the world’s wild elephant population is ongoing and New York remains on the front lines of that fight as we bust the businesses that fuel the illegal ivory trade and promote, directly or indirectly, the horrific and senseless poaching of these awe-inspiring animals.”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said, “Kenneth Kerner illegally sold and offered for sale $70,000 in pool cues manufactured from elephant ivory. In Manhattan, we will continue to hold those accountable who attempt to take part in the illegal ivory trade. I thank our law enforcement partners for their partnership in this case.”

Investigators from the New York County District Attorney’s Office and DEC Division of Law Enforcement Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigators (BECI) began a joint investigation in summer 2020 into the illegal commercialization of billiard cues made of elephant ivory. The high-end items, with asking prices as high as $45,000, were offered for sale on social media sites. Undercover Investigators contacted the seller and arranged an in-person buy in September 2020. The seller offered three ivory cues for sale, one of them for $15,000. Once the BECI Investigator cleared the sale, Officers with the District Attorney’s Office arrested the seller.

DEC Division of Law Enforcement Director Karen Przyklek said, “A precise and coordinated effort by two elite law enforcement divisions resulted in the shutdown of another lucrative illegal ivory operation. I hope this serves as a message to other sellers of illegal ivory in New York City and beyond that my Officers will investigate these cases thoroughly and ensure lawbreakers are held accountable.”

John F. Calvelli, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said, “We congratulate the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and New York County District Attorney’s Office for their continued efforts to enforce laws around the sale of elephant ivory. This effort in New York State is vital to efforts to protect elephants in Africa and Asia. We were proud to partner with DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos on our ’96 Elephants’ campaign to strengthen the law banning the sale of elephant ivory in New York State. At WCS, our teams in the elephant range countries have seen the positive effects of governments across the world taking stands to end the sale of elephant ivory.”

Wild elephant populations worldwide number fewer than 500,000 and are listed as endangered species. New York’s Environmental Conservation Law makes the sale of ivory without a permit illegal.

In 2014, New York State strengthened its laws on interstate ivory sales, increasing penalties against buyers and sellers whose actions further endanger elephant populations worldwide. Since the law took effect, DEC has focused on the illegal ivory trade and charged several corporations and individuals, including those brought down during “Operation White Gold,” an undercover operation launched by DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement from 2015 to 2018 in New York City focused on high-end antique dealers and wholesale distributors throughout the five boroughs. The ivory seized during the undercover operation weighed two tons and had a combined market value of more than $12 million. DEC destroyed most of the seized ivory in a massive crush in New York City’s Central Park in 2017.

In May, 2023, just prior to Endangered Species Day, DEC partnered with the New York State Museum to announce a new display featuring some of the remaining ivory as a reminder of the rampant and continued slaughter of the African elephant, rhinoceros, and other majestic endangered species that fuel the transnational illegal trade in wildlife. The display remains at the New York State Museum for visitors to observe. More information is on DEC’s website and at the New York State Museum website.

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Crime

Ramapo PD Makes Arrest Following Larceny at Mechanic Shop in Airmont

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ROCKLAND COUNTY, NY – On February 14, 2024, Ramapo Police detectives were assigned to investigate a stolen vehicle from a mechanic shop located in the Village of Airmont. The victim reported that the 2021 Nissan was removed from the parking lot unlawfully.

Through investigative work, detectives were able to identify the suspect and link the 23-year-old male to another larceny that occurred at Walmart in Suffern several hours earlier. On February 15th, the above suspect was arrested by the NYPD while still in possession of the stolen vehicle.

Ramapo Detectives took custody of the above male on the open charges and the vehicle was returned to the owner. The charges against the suspect included Grand Larceny 3rd Degree (Felony), Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle, (Misd.) and Petit Larceny (Misd.).

The suspect was arraigned and issued an Appearance Ticket pending a future court appearance.

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