The Sarasota County’s Sheriff’s Office has been unable to locate the alleged victim of a Siesta Key mugging reported early Saturday morning, June 2, which purportedly was elaborated upon in a Craigslist notice posted over the weekend, a Sheriff’s Office lieutenant told The Sarasota News Leader.
Furthermore, no other incidents of a similar nature were reported on the island over the weekend, Lt. Tom Stroud told the News Leader June 4. He added that the Craigslist notice also had been removed from the website.
According to the Sheriff’s Office report, a security guard at the Gulf and Bay Club on Midnight Pass Road called the Sheriff’s Office at 7:23 a.m. June 2 to say that a man he did not know had come to the gatehouse to report that an elderly male jogger had just been robbed “near the church” on Midnight Pass Road.
Both St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church and St. Boniface Episcopal Church are located on Midnight Pass Road near the Beach Road intersection.
The man told the security guard that two white male juveniles, both about 5 feet 8 inches tall, had come out of the church parking lot and shoved the elderly man to the ground and taken his wallet, the report continues.
The man told the security guard that one of the attackers was bald and the other had slicked-back black hair, the report says.
The security guard told the man he would call the Sheriff’s Office, and the man left.
According to the Sheriff’s Office report, the last time the guard saw the man, he was heading south on the beach.
A deputy searched the area around both St. Boniface, at 5615 Midnight Pass Road, and St. Michael’s, at 5394 Midnight Pass Road, but he found no elderly victim, the report says.
The deputy did find two young men, ages 16 and 19, walking in the area, but they denied any involvement or knowledge of the alleged crime, the report says.
One of those young men had black hair, and the other had brown hair. One was 5 feet 11 inches tall, while the other was 5 feet 9 inches tall, according to the report.
“At this time there is no known victim in this case and the original witness could not be located,” the report concludes.
About 11 a.m. Sunday, June 5, Siesta Key Association President Catherine Luckner took a photo of a printout of the Craigslist notice seeking the alleged assailants in several muggings. It was posted on a tree trunk on the trail at Beach Access 10, she reported.
The Craigslist notice says, “there are two kids on the beach who were doing cocaine and ecstasy on siesta beach near the public park. Then they went and robbed/mugged some runners and kids in the park. they have weapons and drugs. police were notified but no one knew what they looked like.”
It adds that one of the alleged muggers resembled Daren Kagasoff, an actor who has a role in the TV series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.” The listing included a copy of Kagasoff’s photo.
The message concluded with, “PLEASE CALL 911 ASAP if you see them. They are armed as far as i know.”
Luckner said she was alarmed not only at the possibility of such incidents having occurred on the island, but also at the use of the actor’s image, as it could lead to a false identification. She pointed out that someone could be accosted or injured as a result, she told the News Leader.
She contacted the Sheriff’s Office about the poster.
Stroud had conveyed to her the same information he told the News Leader June 4, she said.
“I sure hope the incident wasn’t factual,” she added.