A maintenance worker was found dead Thursday under a four-wheeler in a retention pond at an apartment complex on Jacksonville’s Southside Boulevard. Police are investigating the incident as an accidental drowning.


Officers responded to The Preserve at Paradise Island complex at 8787 Southside about 6:50 p.m. after a report that the man was found in the pond, said Sgt. J.T. Carey.

The man worked for an outside vendor and was riding the four-wheeler as part of his job when it apparently toppled into the pond, Carey said. He said the man was about 50 years old.

The apartment complex is located about a mile south of Baymeadows Road.

Joe Daraskevich

Woman is shot; condition not good

A 35-year-old woman was taken to a hospital Wednesday night in life-threatening condition after a shooting on Jacksonville’s Northwest side.

Officers responded to the 5600 block of Potomac Avenue about 7:30 p.m. after reports that a woman had been shot, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Authorities found the woman on the ground with a gunshot wound to a forearm and chest area, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Authorities are looking for a man about 60 years old in a dark gray or black Chevrolet Cavalier possibly involved in the shooting.

Joe Daraskevich

Man fatally shot
has been identified

A Jacksonville man found shot to death on Wednesday, slumped over the wheel of a Ford Fusion, has been identified as 30-year-old Anthony E. Bencivenga, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Bencivenga, whose last known address was on River Hills Court West in Arlington, was shot while driving the car at West 55th Street off the 6500 block of North Main Street. After he was shot, he drove down to the 100 block of Andress Street, where he died from his injuries, the Sheriff's Office said. The street is just west of North Main.

Witnesses told police they saw someone shooting into the air just after 12:30 p.m., then firing at a dark-colored car on West 55th Street. Neighbors called police to report the gunfire and a gray vehicle speeding away, Sgt. Dan Janson said.

Police searched the area and found Bencivenga’s car stopped in a yard. The car's engine was running, and a binder and paperwork were in his lap, according to the incident report.

Police gave no indication of a motive. Duval County jail records do not show Bencivenga as having any local arrests.

Bill Bortzfield

Images of suspects in shooting released

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is asking for help in identifying two young men who robbed and shot a youth Sunday in the 1100 block of Murray Drive.

Officers were called to the Murray Hill neighborhood about 7 p.m. The victim said two men demanded his wallet and cellphone and shot him when he ran away, police previously said. The robbers ran east on Alpha Avenue and escaped.

The two men are believed to frequent the Murray Hill area and possibly live there, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Police provided security camera images of the two men.

Anyone with information in the case can contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at (904) 630-0500 or via email at JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward, call Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-8477 (TIPS).

Dan Scanlan

SWAT situation ends with apparent suicide

A Jacksonville SWAT situation ended Thursday afternoon with the man dead from what police said is a self-inflicted gunshot.

Police evacuated homes in the Aztec Drive/East Otter Lake Court community in the morning. It started with an initial call about 8 a.m. for a distraught man at a doctor’s office in the10000 block of North Centurion Parkway, police spokesman Christian Hancock said.

The man left and was tracked to his home off Atlantic Boulevard between Hodges and Kernan boulevards. Police believed he had a gun and was suicidal but did not have anyone else in the home. He barricaded himself inside as police tried to talk him out.

Eventually they went in after losing contact with him and found the man dead. Chief Michelle Cook said officers did not fire any weapons.

The unidentified man is thought to be about 50. It was not released why he went to the doctor’s office or what news he got there.

Scott Butler

Vandals strike at athletic facility

An act of vandalism over the weekend at the Fort Caroline Athletic Association in Jacksonville left a shattered press box window, broken light fixtures and several smashed trophies to be cleaned up.

A witness called police Saturday morning when he found several trophies were broken and thrown out a press box window at the athletic facility at 11751 McCormick Road the night before, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The witness told police the vandals climbed to the second floor of the press box and broke the window to get in, according to the incident report.

Joe Daraskevich

Man convicted in 1992 sexual assault

A man who tied up a woman at gunpoint in Atlantic Beach in 1992 and then sexually assaulted her was convicted Thursday and faces up to life in prison, according to the State Attorney’s Office.

Kenneth Alfred Bicking III was found guilty of armed sexual battery and kidnapping with a weapon, according State Attorney’s Office.

He entered the victim’s home that April without permission, showed a gun, tied her up and put duct tape over her eyes and mouth before sexually assaulting her, prosecutors said. A follow-up investigation in 2011 linked DNA from the victim to Bicking.

A sentencing date has not been set, but he faces up to life in prison.

Joe Daraskevich

Man who was walking shot in the knee

A 21-year-old man was shot in the knee Thursday night in the Talleyrand area of Jacksonville and taken to a hospital in non-life-threatening condition.

The man was walking in the 3600 block of Buckman Street when he heard several gunshots, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The man realized he was shot in the right knee and ran to a neighbor’s house, police said.

The victim did not give a suspect description and was not sure exactly where he was shot, police said.

He was taken to UF Health Jacksonville with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Joe Daraskevich


Motorcyclist killed
in traffic crash

A fatal crash involving a Callahan man and a motorcyclist is being investigated by law enforcement authorities, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

George Watson, 45, had stopped his pickup truck on the shoulder of County Road 561 in Lake County before he pulled in front of the motorcycle of 67-year-old Paul Steinke of Leesburg, according to the Highway Patrol.

The front of Steinke’s motorcycle impacted Watson’s pickup truck about 2:40 p.m. Thursday, the Highway Patrol said.

Steinke, who was wearing a helmet, died at the scene.

Derek Gilliam


Boater who died
has been identified

A boater who died Wednesday afternoon after an apparent accident in western Putnam County has been identified as 39-year-old Kyle C. Parker of Hawthorne.

He was alone in the boat Wednesday on Cowpen Lake, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Family members found him about 6 p.m.

Commission spokesman Greg Workman said the agency is investigating to determine how Parker died.

Dana Treen