1

Suspect in Celtic Ray Shooting in Police Custody

Posted: February 2, 2022

The suspect in the Celtic Ray shooting that occurred on January 21, 2022, 28 year old Carlos Colon-Parrilla of Fort Myers, was taken into custody yesterday by the New Britain Police Department after turning himself in in New Britain, Connecticut.

On January 21, 2022, just before midnight, witnesses state that Colon-Parrilla was asked to leave the Celtic Ray Public House, located at 145 East Marion Avenue, after causing a disturbance. Colon-Parrilla left the establishment and got into his vehicle. Witnesses stated they saw Colon-Parrilla firing a weapon described as an AR-15 style rifle into the air from his vehicle and then toward the building where patrons were. Witnesses stated they continued to hear gunshots as Colon-Parrilla was driving over the northbound bridge into Port Charlotte.

There were no injuries reported. There is no indication that there is any further threat to the public or that this incident is tied to other criminal or gang related activity. Colon-Parrilla is being charged with Discharging a Firearm in Public from a Vehicle with 1000 feet of a Person and two counts of Shooting into an Occupied/Unoccupied Building. He will be held awaiting extradition back to Charlotte County.




Suspect Identified in Celtic Ray Shooting

Posted: January 24, 2022

On January 21, 2022, at approximately 11:47 p.m. a customer was asked to leave the Celtic Ray Public House, located at 145 East Marion Avenue, after causing a disturbance. The individual left the establishment and got into his vehicle. He exited the parking lot with his vehicle lights off and turned north on Nesbit Street and then west on East Marion Avenue firing a weapon that witnesses described as a dark in color AR-15 style rifle into the air. As he continued westbound on East Marion Avenue he fired toward the open Celtic Ray Public House striking the brick veneer of the building below the dining area window and a separate office space next door. Witnesses say he fired additional shots as he turned north onto Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41) and that they heard more shots being fired as he drove over the northbound bridge into Port Charlotte. There were no injuries reported. It is believed that this was an isolated incident and the suspect acted in retaliation for being forced to leave the bar. There is no indication that there is any further threat to the public or that this incident is tied to other criminal or gang related activity.

The suspect has been identified by detectives as 28 year old Carlos Colon-Parrilla, who has addresses listed in both Lakeland, Florida and Fort Myers, Florida. It is believed that Colon-Parrilla fled the area. An arrest warrant has been issued for Colon-Parrilla for Discharging a Firearm in Public from a Vehicle with 1000 feet of a Person and two counts of Shooting into an Occupied/Unoccupied Building.

If you have any information about this case or information about the whereabouts of Carlos Colon-Parrilla, please contact Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-780-TIPS or by using the P3 Tips mobile app. You can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward for information leading to an arrest. If you see Colon-Parrilla call 911. Do not approach him as he is considered armed and dangerous.




Punta Gorda Police and ABT Team Up for Underage Alcoholic Beverage Sales Enforcement Sweep

Posted: November 22, 2021

Punta Gorda Police Detectives and State Investigators from the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT) Bureau of Law Enforcement teamed up on November 18, 2021 for an enforcement sweep in the City of Punta Gorda targeting the sales of alcoholic beverages to minors. The operation included compliance checks at eight local commercial establishments in the City of Punta Gorda licensed to sell alcoholic beverages. Seven of the eight establishments that were open for business were found to be in compliance, and one establishment was out of compliance.

Florida ABT & Punta Gorda Police

The commercial establishments that were found to be in compliance and did NOT sell alcohol to a minor were:

  • Circle K/Shell (3035 Tamiami Trail)
  • PGI Liquor (615 Cross Street)
  • Circle K/Mobil (3949 Tamiami Trail)
  • Dollar General (1300 Tamiami Trail)
  • CVS (1949 Tamiami Trail)
  • Publix (2310 Tamiami Trail)
  • 7-Eleven (3139 Tamiami Trail)

The commercial establishment that was found NOT to be in compliance and DID sell alcohol to a minor was:

  • The Famous Corner of Punta Gorda (1002 Tamiami Trail)

This operation was the result of a continuing partnership between ABT and the Punta Gorda Police Department to curb the illegal sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco to minors. The Punta Gorda Police Department, along with Drug Free Charlotte County and ABT, will continue to work constructively with local retail establishments where violations occur to ensure that employees are educated regarding Florida law. Operations like this one will continue.

Chief Pam Davis urges all individuals to report the illegal sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco to law enforcement. Violations within the incorporated city limits of Punta Gorda can be reported to the Punta Gorda Police Department by calling 941-639-4111.




Suspect Arrested in Arson Investigation

Posted: November 5, 2021

On August 29, 2021, the Punta Gorda Police Department and the Punta Gorda Fire Department responded to the Park Hill community, located at 10101 Burnt Store Road, in reference to a home and vehicle fire. The resident was in the home asleep when the sound of the fire woke them and they were able to escape without injury. It was determined that the fire started with the resident’s vehicle, which had been parked in the carport. It was also determined that the fire was a result of arson.

After an extensive investigation that included assistance from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Bureau of Fire, Arson, and Explosives, Wayne Ellery Steier, of Midway Boulevard in Port Charlotte, was placed under arrest earlier today and charged with Arson of Dwelling or Structure Where People Present. Detectives are still looking for additional information on this case. If you have information, please contact the police department by calling the non-emergency number at 941-639-4111 and asking to speak with a detective during business hours.




Halloween Road Closures in Punta Gorda

Posted: October 18, 2021

On Sunday, October 31, 2021, thousands of trick-or-treaters from all over will descend on Punta Gorda’s Historic District to celebrate Halloween. This has been a long standing tradition and in order to ensure that everyone has a safe and happy Halloween night, the following roadways will be closed beginning at 5:00 p.m. until approximately 9:00 p.m. depending on the number of attendees:

West Marion Avenue: West Marion Avenue will be closed for vehicular traffic from Cross Street (US 41) to Shreve Street.

West Retta Esplanade: The east bound lane of West Retta Esplanade will be closed, but the west bound lane will remain open to allow traffic into Punta Gorda Isles.

Side Streets: Harvey Street, Durrance Street, Gill Street, Gilchrist Street, McGregor Street, Chasteen Street, Dolly Street, and Berry Street will be closed from West Retta Esplanade to West Olympia Avenue. Only residents with proof of residency will be allowed to drive on closed streets to return or leave their homes with the assistance of an officer for safety.

As always the police department will have plenty of officers and volunteers in the area to assist with traffic, provide security, and ensure the safety of everyone. The police department will also be handing out candy in front of City Hall! We hope that everyone has a very safe and very happy Halloween this year!




Pedestrian Fatality Crash in Punta Gorda

Posted: September 20, 2021

Officers responded this morning to the intersection of East Olympia Avenue and Cooper Street in reference to a vehicle crash involving a pedestrian. Sixty-four year old Mark Andrew Harvey of Port Charlotte was crossing Cooper Street when he was struck by a vehicle. Harvey was taken to the Emergency Room at Bayfront Health Punta Gorda and succumbed to his injuries only a short time later. This is still an ongoing investigation and no further information is available at this time.




Punta Gorda Police and ABT Team Up for Underage Alcoholic Beverage Sales Enforcement Sweep

Posted: July 22, 2021

Punta Gorda Police Detectives and State Investigators from the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT) Bureau of Law Enforcement teamed up on July 14, 2021 for an enforcement sweep in the City of Punta Gorda targeting the sales of alcoholic beverages to minors. The operation included compliance checks at eight local commercial establishments in the City of Punta Gorda licensed to sell alcoholic beverages. One of the establishments was closed, five of the establishments open for business were found to be in compliance, and one establishment was out of compliance.

Florida ABT & Punta Gorda Police

The commercial establishments that were found to be in compliance and did NOT sell alcohol to a minor were:

  • Village Fish Market (1200 W. Retta Esplanade)
  • Harpoon Harry’s (1200 W. Retta Esplanade)
  • TT’s Tiki Bar (33 Tamiami Trail)
  • Leroy’s Southern Kitchen & Bar (201 W. Marion Avenue)
  • Manatee’s Pizza (408 Tamiami Trail)

The commercial establishment that was found NOT to be in compliance and DID sell alcohol to a minor was:

  • Hurricane Charley’s Raw Bar & Grill (300 W. Retta Esplanade)

This operation was the result of a continuing partnership between ABT and the Punta Gorda Police Department to curb the illegal sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco to minors. The Punta Gorda Police Department, along with Drug Free Charlotte County and ABT, will continue to work constructively with local retail establishments where violations occur to ensure that employees are educated regarding Florida law. Operations like this one will continue.

Chief Pam Davis urges all individuals to report the illegal sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco to law enforcement. Violations within the incorporated city limits of Punta Gorda can be reported to the Punta Gorda Police Department by calling 941-639-4111.




Tropical Storm Elsa Update

Posted: July 6, 2021

As Tropical Storm Elsa continues to move toward our area, the Punta Gorda Fire Department and Punta Gorda Police Department want to provide an update to let residents know what they should expect.

NOAA Storm Map

The current forecast shows that we will likely experience tropical storm force winds and heavy rain beginning this afternoon and continuing through the evening. Overnight, we will likely experience the effects of storm surge, which may cause localized flooding, especially in the downtown area, the Historic District, roadways along the river, and other low lying areas along the coast. There is also the possibility for sporadic tornadoes to develop.

Please keep the following in mind both during and after the storm:

  • Remain indoors and avoid driving if possible.
  • Do not drive vehicles down roadways with standing water. Water is often deeper than it appears and can cause substantial damage to your vehicle and leave you stranded. This can also tie up emergency personnel who may be needed elsewhere.
  • The Florida Department of Transportation will deem bridges closed should sustained winds reach 40 miles per hour.
  • Should you lose power, do not operate generators indoors, in garages, or near open windows or doors. Generators should only be used in open spaces as far from your home as possible.
  • Avoid fallen power lines, even if you believe they are not active.

Update: July 7, 2021 5:15 a.m.

We are currently experiencing localized flooding in the downtown area and on the roadways along the river. We do not anticipate that the water will begin to receed until 6:15 a.m. at the earliest and we expect that water will remain throughout part the morning. Please avoid the area and do not drive vehicles down roadways with standing water. It can cause serious damage to  vehicles and leave you stranded.




Fourth of July Traffic

Posted: June 30, 2021

We know that everyone is excited that Fourth of July celebrations are back on this year! As we anticipate our usual large crowds in Punta Gorda to be even larger this year, we wanted to make sure that residents and visitors can plan ahead for a safe and happy holiday. There will be several traffic changes implemented Sunday night in an effort to minimize traffic congestion after the fireworks display as follows:

  • Traffic leaving from the areas east of Tamiami Trail (US-41 North), including Laishley Park, will be directed south to East Olympia Avenue (US-17 East) and then east to I-75. Traffic can then go north or south on the interstate. Traffic leaving from this area will not be able to access Tamiami Trail (US-41).
  • Traffic leaving from the areas west of Tamiami Trail (US-41 North), except as specified below, will be directed to Cross Street (US-41 South). Traffic may then continue south toward Fort Myers or will be allowed to turn east onto Carmalita Street, north on Cooper Street, and east on East Olympia Avenue (US-17 East) toward I-75. Traffic man then go north or south on the interstate.
  • Traffic leaving from City Market Place will be directed north on to Tamiami Trail (US-41 North) toward Port Charlotte.
  • Traffic leaving the Herald Court Center parking garage will not be permitted to turn right toward Tamaimi Trail (US-41 North). Traffic will need to turn left towards Taylor Street and will be directed one of two ways depending on traffic congestion. Traffic may be directed to West Olympia Avenue (US-17 East) toward I-75 where traffic may go north or south on the interstate. Traffic may also be directed to West Marion Avenue (US-17 East) toward Cross Street (US-41 South) where traffic may then continue south toward Fort Myers or will be allowed to turn east onto Carmalita Street, north on Cooper Street, and east on East Olympia Avenue (US-17 East) toward I-75.

Please keep in mind that thousands of people come into Punta Gorda to see the fireworks display and most people are trying to leave at the same time. These changes are meant to minimize congestion, but there is no way to eliminate it. We do expect substantial delays that can last one to two hours after the fireworks display ends, so please plan accordingly!

In addition to the traffic changes it is also important to note that the Laishley boat ramp will be closed beginning 30 minutes prior to the fireworks display. However, the Ponce Park boat ramp will remain open until 11:00 p.m. to provide an alternative to residents and visitors.

We hope that everyone has a safe, happy, and fun Independence Day!




Three Arrested on Drug Charges After Search Warrant

Posted: June 16, 2021

Over the course of the past month, officers have conducted an undercover narcotics investigation regarding suspected drug activity at 1124 Coronado Drive in Punta Gorda. Based on evidence gathered during the investigation a search warrant for the residence was obtained, which was executed earlier this morning. The following individuals were arrested as a result of the search:

Gina Cheyenne Cooper (DOB 09/12/1992)
Possession of Methamphetamine
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Grand Theft Auto (CCSO)

Heather Maree Sanders (DOB 11/26/1985)
Possession of Methamphetamine
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Introduction of Contraband into Jail Facility

Taylor Nicole Fairfax (DOB 12/20/1994)
Possession of Methamphetamine
Possession of Fentanyl
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

All three were booked into the Charlotte County Jail on their charges.