Homeless man charged with masturbating in front of mother, 3 children


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — A 56-year-old homeless man has been charged with publicly masturbating in front of a mother and her three girls.

Richard Orzechowski is named in a charging affidavit provided by the St. Augustine Police Department and is being charged with a felony for a lewd or lascivious act in the presence of a child.

The unnamed 46-year-old victim was traveling with her three girls, aged 10, 15 and 18, Saturday afternoon when Orzechowski reportedly exposed himself to them at the Visitors Information Center near Huguenot Cemetery on East Castillo Road.

The mother and her children told police they were taking photos of the cemetery when she first saw Orzechowski sitting on a bench.

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Bird thief caught on video arrested in St. Augustine


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — An Oklahoma woman was arrested Friday afternoon after stealing a parrot on Thursday, St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said.

Dawn Christine Griman, 47, of Ada, Oklahoma was seen entering Pet World, a pet story on U.S. 1, and left with a white-eyed Conure parrot valued at $600.

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The owner of the pet store, Daniel Conlin, showed police a surveillance video wherein Griman opens the animal's cage and leaves with an adult male and juvenile male.

Conlin told First Coast News, "It's disgusting that this adult is teaching a kid to steal."

The conure was starving, according to the store owner, and ate for about an hour.

Suspects sought in St. Augustine home invasion


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- St. Johns County Sheriff's deputies are searching for a pair of men and a black Volkswagen following a home invasion turned armed robbery at a St. Augustine home over the weekend.

The victim, who was joined by his wife and her 12-year-old son, had just returned home before 10 p.m. Saturday when a pair of men barged into his garage and robbed him at gunpoint, according to the Sheriff's Office. Now investigators are searching for two men and a vehicle seen leaving the home.

The victim had just gotten out of his car and was in his garage, located on Paradise Pond Road, when the suspects jumped him and threw him to the ground, deputies said. One of them struck him with a handgun and demanded money, the victim told investigators.

The pair left with some cash, jewelry and a woman's purse.

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Building St. Augustine's Great Cross


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — There is one thing in St. Augustine that literally stands above the rest: The Great Cross.

Most people see it when they drive through St. Augustine, but few know the story behind it.

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The Great Cross is as tall as a 20 story building. It stands above the tree tops and can be seen for miles.

"It is the exclamation point to the skyline in St. Augustine," Warren Clark said. He's my father. He and I enjoy visiting The Mission of Nombre de Dios where the cross stands.

We both agree that when we visit The Great Cross we have a feeling of connection there.

Skeletal remains found by fishermen near San Sebastian River


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Skeletal remains were discovered by two fishermen in the San Sebastian River on Sunday, officials said.

The St. Augustine Police Department is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone with information that could lead to the identification of the remains.

In an official report from the St. Augustine Police Department, two men fishing near the northern end of the San Sebastian River by the new US 1 bridge discovered human remains at the shoreline at 9:30 a.m.

The skeletal remains could not help in any way identify who the person found was, according to SAPD. The medical examiner on scene estimated that the body had been there for a year.

The report also lists the area they found the body as an old transient camp.

If you have information relating to this case, the St. Augustine Police Department can be reached at 904-825-1070.


St. Augustine Mayor calls for audit of 450th contracts


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The mayor of St. Augustine is asking for something that the rest of the city commission is not so sure about: an audit.

Newly elected Mayor Nancy Shaver is calling for all city contracts dealing with the 450th celebration be audited.

Shaver raised the issue at the tail end of the last city commission meeting and the other four commissioners did not support it. Some were concerned about how much time and money it would cost.

Shaver placed the issue on Monday's city commission agenda.

She said she wanted to ask the city manager about "how to proceed" and about "options" in order to review the 450th contracts.