Sneakers Lead to Arrest of Two Home Invasion Suspects
Bradenton's officer of the month searched criminal archives to find a matching description of the sneakers that ultimately led to a confession.
An expensive pair of sneakers and thorough detective work helped Bradenton police capture a pair of suspected violent criminals.
Detective James Curulla was named officer of the month for September for his work in putting all of the pieces together to capture two men who are suspected in a home invasion robbery. One of the men is also accused of sexual battery.
Lenorris Brown, 25, who was wearing the high-end sneakers was charged with armed robbery. Alex D. Johnson, 19, was charged with armed robbery and sexual battery. Curullu is also investigating whether he was involved in several other similar crimes nearby.
Curulla said capturing the pair was a case of everyone doing an exceptional job of gathering all the right information and of the victim's providing great descriptions. It was the girl who was sexually battered who gave Curulla a description of the shoes.
The detective said it is rare for trauma victims to remember details but she provided the key to the case. Curulla then asked neighbors if they knew of anyone who wore the high-end Ken Griffey sneakers. One of the neighbors gave him a nickname.
Curulla took the information and searched a database for the nickname. When he couldn't find it, he went to several officers to see if anyone was familiar with the name. Lt. Racky recognized the nickname and was able to give Curulla the next piece he needed. Curulla then searched for the name and the shoe description and discovered that Officer Carrie Ward had conducted a field interview in May, which included a detailed tennis shoe description.
From there they had a name and address. The suspects also had one of the victim's cell phones. The cell phone had the GPS turned on and that information combined with everything else was enough to get them a search warrant.
One detectives found Brown with items from the home invasion robbery, Brown confessed, according to Chief Michael Radzilowski, and detectives were able to capture Johnson based on the information they gathered.
"Detective Curulla took the initiative to review archived Field Interviews, and found such a small detail as a shoe description to continue his follow-up investigation," Radzilowski said. "Detective Curulla’s actions resulted in the arrest of a violent offender, and relief to the victims of such a heinous crime."