and Video Courtesy of Channel 9 WFTV
By Karla Ray and Sarah
Published February 15, 2020
KISSIMMEE — The Florida Highway Patrol has terminated
a contract for off-duty patrols inside a Kissimmee community after a
trooper was asked to enforce a fake trespass warning to a homeowner.
Channel 9 investigative reporter Karla Ray has been
following a back and forth legal battle between neighbors and the home
owners association management company in the Turnberry Reserve
neighborhood for months.
Only law enforcement can issue a trespass warning, but the property
management and security team in the community have issued so-called
“trespass notices” to homeowners here before.
And in at least two incidents caught on camera, they tried, and failed,
to have actual law enforcement back them up.
Cellphone video taken last week in the playground and pool area of
Turnberry Reserve shows a Florida Highway Patrol trooper approaching
homeowner Waleska Herzog.
According to the trooper’s incident report, security officer Ailyn
Depena said that Herzog was violating a trespass warning.
The Florida Highway Patrol has terminated a
contract for off-duty patrols inside a Kissimmee community after
a trooper was asked to enforce a fake trespass warning to a
Herzog said the notice was issued to her by the Turnberry HOA property
management company, Management 35 Firm.
“This is not an actual trespass. I would be the one to issue a
trespass,” the trooper says when shown the notice.
Herzog said she wasn’t doing anything wrong.
“I am not trespassing. I'm not breaking any laws. I'm just there playing
with my kids,” she said.
A week before that incident, video was taken of an Osceola County deputy
clearly explaining the law to Management 35 owner Sherry Raposo.
Raposo: “You’re saying it’s a civil matter because they live here?”
Deputy: “It's an HOA and they pay dues.”
Raposo: “I'm sorry, so if I go get her ledger and show she hasn't paid
Deputy: “It's a civil matter as well.”
Deputy: “It’s a homeowners’ association, not a ‘you’ association.”
In the video above, you can hear an Osceola Sheriff’s Deputy explain to
Sherry Raposo why she cannot issue a trespass unless she’s law
enforcement, and why he cannot trespass someone from property they
co-own as an HOA member. This video was taken on January 27.
FHP said its troopers will not be used to bully or intimidate
Lt. Kim Montes said she now questions whether hiring her agency for an
off-duty-detail was merely an attempt by Management 35 to obtain a real
trespass warning against Herzog.
“He was put out there, and, when he was asked to do this, was possibly
there to intimidate those homeowners, and we’re not going to participate
in that,” Montes said. “We will not be doing anything else with
FHP says they terminated their off-duty contract with Turnberry
following the incident and will never work with them again. No trespass
was actually issued.
There is an ongoing state investigation into the property management
company and its security manager, Joseph Conover.
Conover is a convicted felon who is now accused of performing security
work without a license.