VIDEO: Boynton officer lassos gator outside home, releases it in canal

Screenshot of a Boynton Beach Police video showing an officer lasso an alligator.

A Boynton Beach police officer has been named the department’s alligator wrestler after he lassoed one on a porch this month and filmed it on his body camera.

A Hunter’s Run resident called police July 10 when he found the gator outside his front door. Lucky for that man, Officer Alfredo Vargas showed up with the proper tools and even more important- training on how to handle the reptiles.

After a few tries, the officer successfully threw a rope around the gator’s head and swung the body around to get the mouth away from him. Then he threw a jacket on the head and held the mouth closed while another officer tied it shut.

Vargas called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. But facing a long wait time and likely a death sentence for the gator, Vargas decided to take the gator on a short ride to a nearby canal and let him roam free.

 

Sit down with a Boynton cop and have free coffee at this event

From L to R: Boynton Beach Police Officer Jivanet Rivera, Crime Analyst Deanna Richardson, Chief Jeffrey Katz, and Det. Marco Villari. Photo taken at Intracoastal Park Clubhouse by Alexandra Seltzer on April 11, 2017.

Boynton Beach police officers will be at Starbucks on Tuesday for the Coffee with a Cop event.

Read: Aerospace engineer now one of state’s top teachers in Boynton

Attendees will receive a free cup of coffee, and a conversation with an officer, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the store at 1500 Gateway Blvd.

 

Boynton names 16-year vet to replace retiring assistant police chief

Captain Joe DeGiulio (R) and Chief Jeffrey Katz of the Boynton Beach police department inform media during a press conference Monday, May 8, 2017 that the department’s officers will now be wearing Axon Body 2 body cameras when at work in the field. Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

Boynton Beach Police will have a new assistant police chief starting May 31.

Assistant Chief Suzanne Crawford will retire, and will be replaced by Joe DeGiulio, currently a captain, said police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater. DeGiulio has worked for Boynton since 2001, according to the city’s Human Resources department. Crawford has been with Boynton since 1996.

Chief Jeffrey Katz has three assistant police chiefs. The two others are Vanessa Snow, who started with Boynton about two years ago, and Kelly Harris, who started in 1997.

Katz also promoted Paul Deale from lieutenant to captain. He replaces Mike Johnson, who was promoted to major. He replaces Thomas Wallace, who was fired in March.

The department has 150 sworn officers, according to Slater.

VIDEO: Burglars steal money from Boynton barber shop

Screenshot of YouTube video provided by Boynton Beach Police

Boynton Beach Police have released surveillance video of one of four break-ins that happened earlier this month, and that police think are connected.

The video shows what appears to be two men stealing from No Limit Kutz barber shop on Friday, April 14. The burglars broke the front glass door, walked inside and stole about $120 in cash.The front door cost about $1,000, and the burglars also stole two registers. The total value of everything is about $2,120. The store is in Paz Plaza on Boynton Beach Boulevard near Congress Avenue.

Police believe the men responsible for this burglary are also responsible for three other break-ins: Renzo’s Cafe and Pizzeria in Cross Creek Centre; Wing Wah Express in Boynton Plaza; and Dean Anthony’s Pizzeria in Boynton Commons

Read more about the break-ins here. 

Anyone with information should call Inv. Jennifer Worrell at (561) 732-8116 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 800-458-TIPS. You can also submit info anonymously via the MyPD App and www.bbpd.org.

Boynton police investigating break-ins that appear to be connected

Boynton Beach Police officers are investigating four break-ins at businesses that they say all appear to be connected.

The burglaries happened sometime between late last Thursday to early Friday morning, according to police reports. In all cases, the glass door was shattered. In most cases, the burglar(s) stole cash.

Here are the businesses:

  • No Limit Kutz: 3301 W. Boynton Beach Blvd.
  • Wing Wah Exxpress: 115 N. Congress Ave.
  • Dean Anthony’s Pizzeria:  357 N. Congress Ave.
  • Renzo’s Cafe and Pizzeria: 1313 W. Boynton Beach Blvd.

Read the updated story here:  Smash and grab: Four Boynton businesses near Congress Ave. broken into

 

Boynton Beach police arrest armed 5-time felon

Billy Jean Brown Jr. (PBSO blotter)

A 36-year-old 5-time felon was arrested in Boynton on Saturday after police found him with a gun and ammunition, according to a city police spokeswoman.

Billy Jean Brown Jr. was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of carrying a concealed firearm, felon in possession of a firearm, nine counts of felon in possession of ammunition, resisting arrest without violence, possession of marijuana and entering a closed park pursuant to city ordinance.

Officers were on patrol in front of the Z Food Meat Market at 1005 N. Seacrest Blvd. when Brown quickly walked away and entered a closed city park. Officer Aramis Grigorian told Brown to stop, but he continued.

Handout: Boynton Beach Police

Brown tripped and Grigorian tried to take him into custody but couldn’t. Then the officer deployed his Taser. Brown fell to the ground and a black semi-automatic handgun fell out of his waistband and onto the ground.

Grigorian had to use his Taser three times to get Brown handcuffed.

Brown has been sent to prison on drug charges and charges including burglary, grand theft, and battery on a law enforcement officer or paramedic, according to the state Department of Corrections.

Police: Card skimmers found at five Boynton Beach gas stations

Card skimmers were found at five Boynton Beach gas stations. Photo handout: Boynton Beach Police

Anyone who has bought gas in Boynton Beach in the past month should check their bank statements.

Read: PBSO: Credit card skimmer found at suburban Lake Worth gas station

City police say skimmers were found at pumps at five gas stations:

  • Exxon Mobil, 290 N. Congress Ave.
  • Chevron, 645 W. Boynton Beach Blvd.
  • Sunoco, 2403 S. Federal Highway
  • Shell, 111 E. Woolbright Rd.
  • 7-Eleven, 7044 Lawrence Rd.

“If you are going to use a credit card, we recommend that you to go inside the gas station to pay,” Police Spokeswoman Stephanie Slater wrote in a Facebook post. “Always look for the security sticker on the gas pump. If there is no sticker or it is torn, we encourage you to either use another pump or pay inside.”

Card skimmers were found at five Boynton Beach gas stations. Photo handout: Boynton Beach Police

How is the Boynton Police Department celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday?

030201 NPB Readathon CLO-staff photo by Shannon O'Brien Alex Maxson (center) tries to get a better look at the Cat in the Hat story book as he, Jarrod Bozeman (back) and Joseph Hennessey (foreground) as well as the rest of the first grade class at Crystal Lakes Elementary get treated to a story.
030201 staff photo by Shannon O’Brien Alex Maxson (center) tries to get a better look at the Cat in the Hat story book as he, Jarrod Bozeman (back) and Joseph Hennessey (foreground) as well as the rest of the first grade class at Crystal Lakes Elementary get treated to a story.

The Boynton Beach Police Department is hosting a book drive from now until Tuesday. The drive is in honor of National Read Across America Day, which is Thursday and the birthday of Dr. Seuss.

New and gently-used books for children up to age 5 will be accepted.

The books can be dropped off at the police lobby, 100 E. Boynton Beach Blvd. They will be donated to daycares and preschools in Boynton.

Boynton Beach police chief cancels Town Hall meeting for this week

Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz (center) speaks to members of the media about the city's recent gun violence Wednesday, January 25, 2017 as Mayor Steven B. Grant (left) and District 4 Commissioner Joe Casello (right) look on. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz (center) speaks to members of the media about the city’s recent gun violence Wednesday, January 25, 2017 as Mayor Steven B. Grant (left) and District 4 Commissioner Joe Casello (right) look on. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Boynton Beach Police Chief Jeffrey Katz’s Town Hall meeting has been cancelled.

The meeting was supposed to be Thursday at Seagate of Gulfstream.

Police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said the meeting was cancelled “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

The department is working to reschedule.

BREAKING: Boynton Beach police plan to use body cameras in March

An Axon Body 2 is displayed during a body-worn camera show and tell at the Delray Beach Police Department's Seacrest Training Center Friday, July 1, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
An Axon Body 2 is displayed during a body-worn camera show and tell at the Delray Beach Police Department’s Seacrest Training Center Friday, July 1, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Boynton Beach will buy body cameras, and the police department will start using them in March, city officials said Tuesday.

The city is buying 80 cameras, and each road patrol officer will have one. The officers will also have cameras for when they are off duty, Chief Jeffrey Katz said at the city commission meeting.

Read the full story here: Boynton becomes fourth county municipality to use police body cameras

“By having a (body warn camera) program, the department has the opportunity to provide the full unedited version of an incident video from the officer’s perspective. The program will also increase transparency and police legitimacy,” Katz wrote in a memo to City Manager Lori LaVerriere. “Transparency leads to public trust and trust benefits the community.”

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Body cameras have been talked about in Palm Beach County for a while, but efforts to buy them gained momentum after the officer-involved shooting death of Corey Jones in Palm Beach Gardens, officials have said.

Jones’ uncle Kenneth Banks attended the commission meeting and praised the officials for supporting the program. He said the cameras will prevent the public from “not knowing.”

“One of the worst things is not knowing, not knowing what happened. I live here so I want that security not just for me but for others. We need to know, to protect the officers and also the citizens,” Banks said.

Banks said he hopes all law enforcement agencies in the county start to use them. Already, in Palm Beach Gardens, every sworn officer except for seven members of the command staff started wearing the cameras last summer. West Palm Beach Police also use the cameras. And in Delray Beach, Police Chief Jeff Goldman said all field officers will be equipped with the cameras by 2018. Meanwhile, 20 officers started to use them in July.

In Boynton, the Taser International, Inc. cameras and Evidence.com program software will cost about $561,783 over five years, according to city documents. The police department plans to put about $49,737 toward the cost from its Federal Forfeiture Law Enforcement Trust Fund.