By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
According to state authorities, agents confiscated $364.45 and more than 40 bottles of liquor. Yodice says she started the party with $175 in cash for change and that actual donations totaled only $185.45. She also accuses the law enforcement agents of of stealing an additional $6000 from a bureau drawer in her bedroom. She has since lodged a complaint with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department's internal affairs division.
Spokesmen for the police and for the state's Division of Alcoholic Beverages refuse to comment about Yodice's allegations of missing cash. Cheryl Donisi, a Fort Lauderdale police detective, says the investigation was triggered by dozens of calls from neighbors complaining about problems with parking and noise created by the parties, which usually lasted from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. According to Donisi, the neighbors also alerted Metro-Dade after they noticed Walker's squad car parked outside the residence.
State agents offer a slightly different explanation of the intercounty involvement. Beverage supervisor Owsiany says she briefed Metro-Dade after she learned one of that department's officers was likely to be arrested. "Metro-Dade has nothing to do with this, although they were contacted as a courtesy to let them know this was going on," she comments.
Sgt. Gary Sellers of Metro-Dade's internal affairs office was present at the raid and says his department normally sends someone to the scene if there is an incident involving one of its officers. According to Walker's supervisor, she will continue to fulfill her regular duties while the department investigates the incident.
Five different neighbors, all of whom refused to give their names, complained to police that the women had been creating a disturbance. None, however, had bothered to talk to Yodice and her housemates before calling the police. "They're not the sort of people you want to approach," says a man who lives next door to the women.
The complaints about noise strike Yodice as disingenuous. "They don't like us because we're lesbians," she maintains, asserting that the tires on her car and those belonging to her housemates have been flattened at least four times within the past four months, that a flag sporting the rainbow colors of gay pride was stolen twice, that gay pride stickers have been scraped off her bumper, and that neighborhood kids have made a sport of ringing the doorbell and running off and of yelling "fucking dykes" at the occupants of the house. "The only place they get that from is their parents," Yodice says.
She and her friends have already started to correct the code violations. This past Friday they purchased a city occupational license. They say they'll invite county inspectors to see them, as well. "We're willing to overcompensate," says Yodice. "We don't have a problem with that."
But she is amazed at the amount of resources expended on the raid -- from the overtime wages paid to the personnel to the aerial surveillance photos of the property attached to the search warrant.
"The taxpayers of Fort Lauderdale should be very happy that they have spent their money to bust a pool party," she observes.