Officials: Curfew continues through weekend for Putnam County residents

Since Wednesday evening, law enforcement officials said five people were arrested for violation of a curfew set by Putnam County commissioners.

Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Col. Joe Wells said deputies have used discretion in conducting traffic stops for motorists traveling after the now-11 p.m. curfew.

Violation of curfew during a state of emergency is a second-degree misdemeanor, Wells said. The curfew is from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. through the weekend.

One person arrested and charged with violation of curfew was given a warning and continued to violate curfew, sheriff’s office reports said.

A sheriff’s office report Wednesday evening said Deputy Thomas Jowers saw a suspicious vehicle parked in front of a retail boat business in East Palatka.

Jowers said when he approached the vehicle, he saw a 32-year-old Palatka woman walk around the business, look at him and his patrol vehicle, and run behind the business, the report said. The suspect tripped and fell, the report said.

The suspect told Jowers she ran because she thought she had an arrest warrant in St. Johns County. The suspect was arrested and charged with violation of curfew during a state of emergency and resisting an officer without violence. She was taken to the Putnam County Jail and held without bond for an unrelated charge.

In the early morning hours Thursday, Sgt Nick Vieira conducted a traffic stop on a 61-year-old man driving after curfew.

In the report, Vieira said he told the suspect, “He must travel straight home unless a dire emergency,” the report said.

Vieira said he observed the suspect leave the traffic stop, and drive the opposite direction of the suspect’s listed home address, the report said.

Vieira said he conducted another traffic stop and the suspect told him he “thought” he could take a passenger somewhere first, the report said.

The suspect was arrested and taken to the Putnam County Jail. He was released on $250 bond.

Wells said a 43-year-old woman arrested and charged Thursday with violation of curfew had an extensive criminal history, including drug possession and theft. She was released on $200 bond.

Wells said Friday a 27-year-old woman and 32-year-old man from East Palatka were arrested after deputies conducted a traffic stop early Friday morning for curfew violations. The man was held on $500 bond. The woman was also charged with driving without a valid license and held on $1,000 bond.

Wells said early analysis comparing the same seven-day period in 2015 and 2016 does not show a spike in crime during Hurricane Irma.

“We did see a slight spike in business burglary,” Wells said. “There were two Dollar Stores where glass was broken. In one store, nothing was reported missing. In the other store, diapers were taken.”

Wells said normally the sheriff’s office handles two business burglaries a month.