Judge Joseph Will Shocked By Behavior Of Holly Hill PD

Judge Joseph Will was not impressed with the way the Holly Hill Police Department handled the arrest of former Daytona Beach Officer Janet Hawkins. You be the judge!

Judge refused to drop charge even though information about arresting officer had been withheld


Judge Joseph Will says he was shocked by the behavior of the Holly Hill Police Department in the handling of the arrest of a former Daytona Beach police officer. However, he refused to dismiss charges against Janet Hawkins, sentencing her to 12 months’ probation for resisting arrest without violence. The sentence was for an encounter Hawkins had with two officers of the Holly Hill police force two years ago.

altJudge Joseph Will

Will acknowledged that the Holly Hill Police Department did not turn information over to the State Attorney’s office that might have resulted in a different verdict from the jury that found Hawkins guilty.

Hawkins’ attorney Gayle Graziano, a former Volusia County circuit judge, filed a motion on Aug. 19 prior to sentencing for dismissal of the verdict, citing a Brady violation.

Hawkins, 47, of Ormond Beach was arrested by the two Holly Hill officers on Sept. 23, 2009, after she was accused of running a stop sign at high speed. She also is accused of fighting with and injuring the officers.

Evidence withheld

A Brady motion is a defendant’s request for evidence concerning a material witness, which is favorable to the defense and to which the defense may be entitled. Favorable evidence includes not only evidence that tends to exculpate the accused, but also evidence that may impeach the credibility of a government witness.

altJanet Hawkins is shown after her arrest by the Holly Hill Police Department.

A Brady violation occurs where the failure to disclose evidence to the defense deprives the defendant of a fair trial.

Will agreed that Graziano was able to prove that evidence was withheld from the State Attorney’s office about arresting officer Romel Scalf.

Arresting officer fired

Graziano found the information on her own about Scalf’s illegal use of a Taser and other information about him while he was a police officer with Holly Hill.

“What we have is Romel Scalf. Look at his history. Thought he was God. When he approaches you, you better follow his order. … You better do what he says or else. Who does he target? They are Black people. He doesn’t do this with White people,” said Graziano about the officer who was fired by the Holly Hill Police Department (HHPD) soon after the arrest of Hawkins because of his actions while with the force.

Graziano told the judge that the “the prosecutor had the obligation to seek justice,’’ stating that the information should have been presented to the defense. “Government held back. Government did not provide us with all information.’’

The judge said the HHPD not providing the information “has nothing to do with the State Attorney’s office. The State Attorney did nothing wrong; the City of Holly Hill did.”

Matter of race?

Graziano later exclusively told the Times that she considered race a factor.

“You know how racist this community is. If she had been a White male, no charges would have been filed.”

However, the judge said during the sentencing: “I think the jury was fairly forgiving. If there is a racial overtone, I didn’t know anything about it,’’ adding that the jury is not asked to consider racial overtones.

“Two persons (who) did not mesh well ran into each other. I think attitudes led to the problem. We have a she-bear and a bully,” elaborated Will, referring to Hawkins and Scalf.

Hawkins said she never resisted arrest.

She was later fired for violating Daytona Beach police policies. Hawkins had been responding to a call from her son, Brandall Hawkins, who had been arrested on a charge of trespassing at an apartment complex. He later was found not guilty by a jury.

Went looking for son

Hawkins, a 15-year veteran of the Daytona Beach police, was off duty while on the way to the Holly Point Apartments parking lot on 15th Street, looking for her 25-year-old son.

“As a mother, I had a right to go to the police station. I didn’t understand. When this is over, I have to look at my son and say there is justice. I was victimized by him (Scalf). I can’t be bitter. My family has suffered enough. How did I get to where I was to where I am? I still believe there is justice.”

Scalf’s side of the story

Scalf, in his arrest report, described how he thought Hawkins was a danger behind the wheel. When she jumped back in her sport utility vehicle after being stopped, Scalf said he tried to place Hawkins under arrest but she resisted.

He and another officer, Walter Melton, used Tasers on Hawkins during her arrest.

Last April, an all-White jury found Hawkins guilty of resisting arrest without violence. Her sentencing was delayed until last week because of a death in Graziano’s family.

“This woman (Hawkins) has been punished enough. She was fired. She was terminated. Why wasn’t she suspended? She has fought racism and sexism. She has been punished more than anybody else. If you’re female, you have to be devastated,” said Graziano.

Attorney: Client probably overreacted

Graziano said she did not understand how the jury could find Hawkins guilty of resisting arrest without violence.

“The officer asked her to remove her vehicle. She was not obstructing traffic; the police officers’ vehicles were obstructing traffic. She parked in a place that was unobstructed. Jury misapplied the law if they thought she did,” said Graziano, who filed an appeal to overturn the verdict.

While doing so, Graziano also withdrew as Hawkins’ attorney because of what she said was an understanding with the former office when she took on the case.

Graziano admitted Hawkins could have probably behaved differently when she was stopped by the police.

“She is like a lot of mothers. She overreacted. When her son is in danger, she goes with vengeance. She was trying to get to the police station. She was familiar with how law enforcement treats young Black men,” added Graziano.

Daytona Beach Makes Massive Arrests in Major Drug Crackdown

February 23rd 2011 Daytona Beach Fl make 40 arrests on massive drug crackdown. Operation Trojan Horse made sweeping arrests of multiple repeat dangerous drug dealing felons. Because of the murder of St.Petersburg Fl Dave Crawford by a 16 year old ,officers are warned to be careful while arresting. There have been many police deaths in Florida and across the country in recent months. With this knowledge police have been warned to be very careful.What about the children who play in the playgrounds that Judge Will and many others will mandate these very people to attend Daytona AA/NA? Is anyone taking into consideration the children? NO! Why? That is what the community wants to know. The police officers and judges know how dangerous these criminals are.They are downright scared of them. Yet they allow meetings of convicted felons to meet in our parks and playgrounds in Holly Hill Fl.This article exposes the knowledge the police know-yet protect the felons instead of the children who play on the swings nearby.Don’t forget the children and teens who attend the actual meetings themselves with the parent charged or convicted of violent felony crimes.

Daytona Beach Police Make Arrests in Prostitution Ring Sting

Looks like Chief Chitwood is on a roll trying to clean up his streets of crime. Many prostitutes do this for drugs. Many prostitutes are sent to Daytona Beach Narcotics Anonymous and Daytona Area AA Intergroup for help. Women and the men who seek their services do not need to be getting help in our playgrounds at Sunrise Park, Hollyland Park and Centennial Park located in Holly Hill Fl .Chief Chitwood does not have Daytona NA AA meeting in his playgrounds!

 September 2011 
DAYTONA BEACH — Eight women were arrested in a citywide prostitution sting.

The women, whose ages ranged from 29 to 50, were arrested and charged Monday with solicitation to commit prostitution, said Daytona Beach police spokesman Jimmie Flynt. Arrests occurred at locations throughout the city, including several intersections along Ridgewood Avenue.

The arrests are part of an initiative to “increase the quality of life” in the city, Flynt said.

One of the women, who refused to give her name but was later identified by authorities as 23-year-old Ciera Hankins, was charged with possession of cocaine, possession of narcotic paraphernalia and resisting arrest without violence.

The others arrested in the sting were identified by authorities as Donna Blankenship, 43, Lisa Wawrzyniak, 40, Matilda Brewer, 46, Laurie Markley, 50, Gina Jennings, 43, Jennifer Lahive, 29, and 35-year-old Wendy Keyes.

The sting comes on the heels of a reverse prostitution roundup held Friday involving an undercover female police officer who posed as a prostitute in the area of north and south Ridgewood Avenue. Six men were arrested including 82-year-old John Miller.