Paging Doctor Sleep

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Published Sunday, March 30, 2014 12:05 am

I remember watching the movie The Shining as a child. It was one of those films created to scare the bejeezus out of you, so bad that you remember your reaction even in adulthood.

Screen shot 2014-03-29 at 6.08.03 PMEveryone has a generational movie that scared the living daylights out of him or her. Both of my parents were most affected by The Exorcist even though they didn’t’ know each other at the time.

After seeing the movie, my mother made my uncle sleep with her at her apartment, even though they were adults. My father said he had visions on the drive home after witnessing 12-year-old Regan become possessed by her childhood friend “Captain Howdy.”

To me, The Shining was even more frightening. I remember closing my eyes, just as Danny Torrance had done in the movie, and waiting for the hallucinations that only Hollywood could create to disappear from my room (think leprosy woman in room 237).

But the movie was nothing. The book was much worse. In middle school, just as my fears of the leprosy woman had faded, I decided to read the book, by legendary author Stephen King. Suddenly leprosy woman was back in my room, only this time there were others, such as undead people taking over my dreams in the middle of the night.

Remember in Friends when Joey hides the book in the freezer?

Why did I put myself through this trauma? Well, because it was fun. Being scared, especially in your teen years, is the most legit “thrill” your parents will allow.

I could almost imagine my father packing up our family and moving to a resort in Colorado where we would be snowed in for the rest of the winter with roomies that happened to be un-living.

We had been snowed in once before, on a family vacation to North Carolina. That experience was as close to the nightmare at the Overlook Hotel as I ever wanted to get. While the horror we experienced was a little different from that of the Torrance family, the water heater broke, the car was stuck in the snow and the only movie available to watch was Weekend at Bernie’s. It was still quite a dreadful experience for a Florida family.

In the movie, isolation in the mountains gave the dad, Jack Torrance, a kind of cabin fever brought on by a spiritual presence in the hotel. The little boy, Danny, starts seeing ghosts because of a sixth sense he possessed. The Overlook had it too, and so did the cook, Dick Halloran, who gave the psychological gifts a name. He called it “the Shining.” Dick warned Danny it would come out at the hotel. He told him to close his eyes to make the visions go away.

And there I was, 14 years old and following Halloran’s instructions. I closed my eyes waiting in my dark room until leprosy lady went away.

The shining allowed Danny to see the undead lingering around the facility. Or were they dead? I mean ghosts don’t usually leave residue in the shower do they?

They do in King’s 2013 novel Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining.

The book starts with Danny as an adult. The first part developing him as an alcoholic transient moving from one town to the next in hopes of drowning his experience at the Overlook at the bottom of a bottle of booze.

The Shining is such a famous novel that King was smart enough to take a different approach with the sequel. Dan doesn’t revisit the Overlook Hotel, at least, not in its former state. And although he is dealing with skeletons of his  childhood, the book focuses instead on Dan’s psychic ability.

Leprosy lady only shows up once, while Danny is still a child and he and his mother, Wendy Torrance, are living in Tampa. That’s when Halloran comes up from the Florida Keys and tells Danny he has to put his ultimate fears, or those Overlook characters that can use his mind to manifest into the real world, into a lockbox in his head.

That’s the last we see of ol’ Halloran. The book follows Dan Torrance to until he’s middle aged. He now has a steady job in New Hampshire, is sober and frequents AA meetings, applying the twelve steps to his daily life and his mental abilities.

He also applies the shining to his new career at Hospice. The boy once known as “doc” due to his love of Bugs Bunny now becomes “Doctor Sleep” in adulthood.

With the help of a death-predicting cat, Dan helps patients pass on to the next world, but Dan’s real calling is to rescue a twelve-year-old girl, Abra Stone, from being taken by tribe of undead people called the True Knot who use the shining to gain immortality and prey on pre-teens in their prime state of paranormal psyche.

Stone has the brightest shining the True Knot have ever seen and they believe she will save their clan from an outbreak of measles that seems to be killing them one by one. Dan pairs up with the girl to defeat the clan in a classic tale of good verses evil.

While the tale The Shining is one unsurpassable in the minds of horror enthusiasts, it’s refreshing to see that King didn’t try to make a sequel similar to the plot of the legendary book. Instead, it’s a totally new take on Dan Torrance and I think it was the right call,

Woman dives from pier, escapes police

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By Merab-Michal Favorite, Islander Reporter

A handcuffed Holmes Beach woman was arrested March 28 after she escaped from police custody by running on the Historic Bridge Street Pier in Bradenton Beach and jumping into the water.



Rani Kristina Thurman, 33, is facing a charge of escape and three counts of contempt of court for not answering a court summons.

An officer had made contact with Thurman on Bridge Street around 1 a.m. after learning there was an outstanding warrant for her arrest.

She was placed in handcuffs but took off running before the officer could get her into the patrol car, according to a police report.

Thurman allegedly ran onto the pier and adjacent floating dinghy dock and jumped into the water to escape.

BBPD officers yelled several times for her to stop, before Officer John Tsakiri gave chase, jumping in the water after her, the report said.

However, Tsakiri was unable to locate Thurman.

BBPD called in the aid of the U.S. Coast Guard from the Cortez station and conducted a search of several boats anchored nearby.

The clothes Thurman had been wearing were found on one sailboat, while she was located on another boat, the report said.

Thurman told officers she had nothing to lose. As they took her into custody, she said, “I could’ve gotten away if I kept swimming but the water was just too damn cold.”

This isn’t the first time Thurman has evaded law enforcement. She has a history of violating probation and not answering court summons, according to court documents.

Thurman’s contempt of court charges relate to a case that has been reopened after she failed to appear for a March 19 hearing at the Manatee County Judicial Center.

She was originally charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest in 2012 after two Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies were injured while trying to pry a broken crack pipe from her hand.

The MCSO said Thurman was walking in the 2600 block of 13th Street West in Bradenton when MCSO deputies stopped her for not using the sidewalk.

When deputies asked if she had anything on her, she said “no,” then emptied her pockets revealing a small glass pipe, according to the report.

Thurman attempted to flee, but fell down and broke the pipe.

She was convicted March 28, 2013.

As of Islander press time, Thurman remained in custody at the Manatee County jail on a $30,000 bond. Her arraignment is scheduled for 8:20 a.m., April 29 at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave., Bradenton.

2 BBPD officers injured while making arrest

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By Merab-Michal Favorite, Islander Reporter

Police arrested a Bradenton woman March 29 after she allegedly bit one Bradenton Beach Police officer and caused another to break his hand while placing her in custody.



Katlin Marie Pettigrew, 22, faces charges of resisting arrest with violence, disorderly intoxication and two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer after her alleged erratic behavior sent the officers to the emergency room.

Around 11 p.m., BBPD responded to reports of a fight in the 100 block of Bridge Street.

When officers arrived, about 50-75 people were standing in front of Sports Lounge observing a verbal altercation between Pettigrew and a man, according to the police report.

BBPD Sgt. James Gill reported he told Pettigrew to stop yelling and to sit on the curb so officers could assess the situation, but Pettigrew, who appeared intoxicated, acted aggressively toward Gill.

When he tried to restrain her, she swung her arms erratically and yelled obscenities, the report said.

At that point, Officer John Tsakiri aided Gill by grabbing Pettigrew’s other arm, and she bit his right bicep, according to the report.

The officers reported they took Pettigrew to the ground and put one handcuff on her, but had trouble placing the other cuff on her wrist because she was squirming.

At some point, Gill’s hand was broken.

Many spectators were taking video of the incident, the report said.

When the two officers tried to lift Pettigrew, she again began kicking and screaming and required further restraint before she could be placed in the patrol car.

West Manatee Fire Rescue and Emergency Medical Service were called to treat Tsakiri’s bite. However, while medics were treating him, Pettigrew escaped from one handcuff and smashed her head against the window of the patrol car.

Pettigrew was pepper-sprayed and re-cuffed, the report said.

She was treated by EMS for a facial laceration.

After Pettigrew was controlled, Tsakiri noticed abrasions to his knee and that the sole of his shoe had been ripped off.

Witnesses told police that Pettigrew bit at least two other people inside the bar and also punched several people.

EMS transported both officers and Pettigrew to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton.

During the trip, Pettigrew said she had been celebrating because she got a new job.

She was cleared of any injuries and was taken to the Manatee County jail where she remained on $8,620 bond. Her arraignment will take place at 9 a.m. Friday, April 25, at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton


New BB noise ordinance causes confusion, complaints

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By Merab-Michal Favorite, Islander Reporter

Bradenton Beach folks are making some noise.

Business owners are confused and residents have complained about a noise ordinance that was adopted March 20 by the Bradenton Beach City Commission.

Frank Padula plays accordion in the food court at the Red Barn Flea Market in Bradenton April 5 — at a fluctuating decibel level of 90-plus and minus any complaints. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy - See more at:

Frank Padula plays accordion in the food court at the Red Barn Flea Market in Bradenton April 5 — at a fluctuating decibel level of 90-plus and minus any complaints. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy

During public comment at the commission’s April 3 meeting, several business owners voiced concern about where the decibel reading should be measured in the event of a complaint.

“As the law is written, someone can stand outside my bar with a decibel-reader application on their cellphone and, if it’s over the legal limit, they can call police,” Joe Cuervo, owner of Drift In, said during public comment. “Am I right? Because it seems to me like that’s the way this law is written. ”

Mayor Bill Shearon said he didn’t plan to discuss the ordinance because it was not on the agenda, but there have been a lot of complaints in reference to the new ordinance. He said where the decibel level can be read is “still to be determined.”

According to Steve Gilbert, city building official, two references in the ordinance have created confusion and could be subject to legal interpretation.

“The first reference is fairly clear, in that it points to taking the sound-level measurements ‘at the receiving land,’ which I would interpret to mean the property where the person making the complaint resides,” Gilbert wrote in an email.

However, Gilbert added, the second reference of “receiving land” now appears “ambiguous in nature due to revisions made to the ordinance during the public hearings.”

In the original ordinance, officials were planning to take measurements at the property line of the noise source, and also at the property line of the receiving land, so they could accurately frame the noise based on the distance, weather conditions and other factors.

“One could make the argument that the “receiving land” could be just across the street, or even on the sidewalk,” Gilbert said. “However, the intent was to refer to the residence or business of the person making the complaint.”

Amanda Escobio, who spoke on behalf of the Bridge Street Merchants, said there has been nothing but confusion since the ordinance was passed.

“Our position when we came here on March 20 was to take some more time passing the ordinance and it was the commission that insisted on voting that day,” she said. “I’m wondering why and how, if it’s law, there are still things ‘to be determined,’ as you said, mayor.”

Commissioners unanimously approved the new noise ordinance with a clause allowing the decibel levels to be measured from the property line of the complainant rather than at the source of the sound at their March 20 meeting, after hearing more than an hour of public comment on the topic inside chambers.

While commissioners were in favor of the sliding scale of allowed decibel levels, they said they would allow the sound to be read from the complainant’s property line rather than from the source.

The ordinance became law that day, as it was the final advertised public reading of the ordinance.

Under the new noise ordinance, outdoor music is allowed until 10 p.m., and live indoor music can take place until 1 a.m. Establishments can provide music at 85 decibels 7 a.m.-7 p.m., but that number shrinks to 75 decibels between the hours of 7-10 p.m., and then must be turned down to 65 decibels 10 p.m.-2 a.m. It decreases again to 55 decibels 2-7 a.m.

The original version of the ordinance would have lowered the allowable commercial decibel levels in order to address resident’s concerns related to live entertainment and amplified music offered at and around businesses in the Bridge Street area.

The city planning and zoning board held several meetings on the topic and recommended lowering the decibel levels in the commercial district, but after hearing more than 50 business owners who opposed the measure, commissioners entered a last-minute clause that some say ended up allowing increased the decibel levels of music rather than lowering the sound.

The city commission decided to consider the matter further at a future meeting.


Man drowns while fishing

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By Merab-Michal Favorite, Islander Reporter

ANNA MARIA — A 72-year-old Canadian man drowned April 3, after falling into Tampa Bay while fishing from a residential dock.

Luciano Ranieri of Ontario fell from the dock of a home on the 700 block of Key Royal Drive. His foot became wedged between two planks causing him to hang upside down, half submerged in the water, according to the police report.

Holmes Beach Police Officer Josh Fleischer was the first to respond around 4 p.m., in reference to a dropped 911 call.

When he arrived at the home, he could hear screaming at the back of the house.

Fleischer called for backup, then went to the waterfront where he saw several people trying to help Ranieri.

A woman was in the water trying to hold his head up and others had attempted to tie a rope around him to pull him up, however both attempts were unsuccessful, the report states.

“The water was really deep there, so it was difficult for them to be able to do anything because they couldn’t touch ground,” Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer said.

Fleischer, who is more than 6 feet tall, jumped in the bay, barely touching the bottom and held the victim’s head above water until more help arrived, according Tokajer.

When West Manatee Fire Rescue and Emergency Medical Services arrived, they used the rope to release the tension from Ranieri’s foot, finally getting it free, according to the report.

He was lifted onto a neighbor’s kayak. A lifeguard, who had arrived on scene, and one of the medics, immediately started CPR while others steadied the kayak, the report stated.

Officials used a nearby boatlift to raise Ranieri on the kayak from the water, the report said.

The victim was taken to Blake Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, Tokajer said.

The home belongs to Ilona Bankuty. She said Ranieri and his wife, Eva Ranieri, were visiting that afternoon. They were all relaxing on the dock when he fell in, she said.

Bankuty, who has known the victim more than 50 years, said he often fishes from the dock when the weather is nice.

“He was a very dear friend and what happened to him was just horrific,” she told The Islander.

Eva Ranieri said she and her husband own a winter home in Bradenton and visit the Bankuty’s as much as they can when they are in town.

“We love to go over there and fish and play cards,” she said. “It’s just so nice being on the water and they are like family to us.”

Eva said she plans to hold funeral services for her husband in Ontario.

“We just want to take him home,” she said.

Eva said her husband was a wonderful man who would have done anything for his family.

“He will be missed,” she said.

HBPD thwarts murder attempt

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By Merab-Michal Favorite

A man was arrested March 14 after he allegedly stabbed a woman multiple times after learning she had an intimate relationship with their roommate, according to the Holmes Beach Police Department.



Andrew Helderman, 23, of the 300 block of Clark Drive, faces charges of attempted second-degree murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after police found him covered in blood, straddling a woman in the bathtub. The victim was found with a “medium-sized pocket knife” protruding from her neck, according to a press release from Chief Bill Tokajer.

Around 11 p.m., officers arrived at Helderman’s home in response to a 911 call.  When they entered the home, they could hear a woman calling for help from the bathroom, the report said.

Officer Steve Ogline forced entry into the bathroom, allegedly finding Helderman straddling the 31-year-old woman.

The woman had suffered multiple stab wounds to her body.

Ogline ordered Helderman at gunpoint to stop and stand up. He complied and was led to the living room, where he was taken into custody, the report said.

The 39-year-old roommate, who called 911, told police the three of them reside together at the Clark Drive address.

Prior to the attack, the male roommate told police, all three of them had a discussion about the woman “hooking up” with them. He told police that everything seemed fine following their conversation, but then Helderman began attacking the woman.

The witness said he tried to intervene several times, at one point picking up the shower curtain rod from the floor and hitting Helderman in the head.

Tokajer said the male victim also told police that he videotaped the attack with his cell phone before calling 911.

All of the parties involved were treated by EMS. Both Helderman and the victim were transported to Blake Medical Center.

The female victim was in reported to be in serious but stable condition and was initially moved to an intensive care unit.

Helderman was cleared and taken to the Manatee County jail, where he is being held without bond.

The second victim suffered minor cuts from trying to stop Helderman during the attack.

Tokajer said the suspect and the victims have been the subject of numerous complaints prior to this incident.

HBPD: 2 rapes among 2013 crime statistics

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By Merab-Michal Favorite, Islander Reporter

Two cases of sexual battery were investigated in Holmes Beach in 2013 and, while no arrests have been made, the Holmes Beach Police Department is pursuing warrants for both suspects.

The incident reports were made available Feb. 20 from the HBPD, after being noted among the annual Crime in Florida report provided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement based on data through Jan. 21, which was released Feb. 19 by Holmes Beach Chief of Police Bill Tokajer.

The first incident occurred July 5, 2013, at West Manatee Fire District Station No. 1, 6001 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

The second alleged rape took place Dec. 22, 2013, on the beach in the 5600 block of Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, according to HBPD reports, which were only made public Feb. 20.

Rape by co-worker

The first of two female victims in the reports told police that while on duty overnight at the fire station, her co-worker raped her.

The victim, an EMS medic, filed a report with the Manatee County Human Resources Department Aug. 14, 2013. She said the suspect entered her bunk while she was trying to sleep and raped her while choking her.

According to the report, she and the Bradenton man were running calls until around 1 a.m., when she tried to go to sleep and was sexually battered. The two had not previously worked together.

The victim told police that throughout the day they had been joking about things of a sexual nature. The victim told police she was not offended until the man began showing her nude pictures of himself on his cellphone.

In one of the pictures, she alleged, the man held a mouthwash bottle over his genitals.

She said she tried to ignore him, but he proceeded to show another more explicit photo.

The man allegedly made several other sexual advances and the woman told him sexual behavior “was not going to happen,” the report said.

The victim said she got very uncomfortable and tried to avoid the man the rest of the evening, hanging out on the opposite side of the fire station until it was time to sleep. She was in her bunk when he reportedly got up, closed the door and climbed in bed with her. That’s when he allegedly held her so she couldn’t move, started choking and sexually assaulted her.

The victim did not immediately report the incident, telling police “it was her word against his,” the report states, but after confiding in a friend, she filed a complaint.

According to Pat Labarr of the Manatee County Human Resources Department, the suspect was dismissed in September following the incident with a stipulation that he cannot be rehired for three years.

HBPD Chief Bill Tokajer said the department has submitted evidence to the state attorney’s office and is waiting for the approval of an arrest warrant for the suspect.

 Beach rape

The second account of sexual battery Dec. 22, 2013, involved a tourist and a man who worked at the time as a waiter for the Gulf Drive Cafe in Bradenton Beach, the report stated.

According to the report, the victim alleged that the man raped her on the beach after a night of barhopping with friends.

The victim told police she was out with her brother and another brother and sister they met that night. The foursome had been to several bars including two on Bridge Street and to D.Coy Ducks Tavern in Holmes Beach, the report said.

While at the tavern, the victim’s brother and the suspect’s sister were kissing, the report said. The victim said she had been getting along with the suspect, and they walked to the beach.

According to the victim’s sworn statement to HBPD officers, “before she knew what was happening, (the suspect) was allegedly on top of her trying to (have sex) with her.” She told police he held her hands down at her sides and forcibly had sex with her, the report said.

The victim reported the incident immediately, but did not know the suspect’s last name or exact location where the rape occurred, but she remembered him saying he was a waiter at a local restaurant, the report said.

The victim gave police officers a picture she had taken of the suspect on her cellphone and HBPD tracked the picture to a server at Gulf Drive Cafe, the report stated. He was questioned by police in the manager’s office.

The suspect allegedly stated that he and the victim had “really hit it off” and were making out on a bench outside D.Coy Ducks before deciding go have sex on the beach. He said the sex was mutual and afterward he walked her to her vacation home, but not all the way, the report stated.

The man said the woman did not have a local phone number so he told her to come by where he works, hoping to see her again.

HBPD found probable cause to arrest the suspect after it obtained a text from the victim on the suspect’s phone stating she made it home OK, but that she was not OK with what had happened.

The time of the text was 4:23 a.m.

Tokajer said the department submitted evidence to the state attorney’s office and is awaiting an arrest warrant, saying the long process follows standard protocol when dealing with sexual battery charges.

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