Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Investigative Operations Bureau
Patrol Operations Bureau
Support Services Bureau
-Crime Scene Investigation Unit
Department of Environmental Protection
James Clifton Barnes (Injured)
Address: 805 Elkan Drive, Tarpon Springs
Paula Yount (Barnes’ Aunt; with Barnes at Honeymoon Island when incident occurred)
Address: 805 Elkan Drive, Tarpon Spring
Officer Joseph Tactuk (Department of Environmental Protection)
Hire Date: 2010
Deputy Kenneth Kubler (Assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit)
Hire Date: 11/18/1982
Detectives have released additional information regarding the incident on the north end of Honeymoon Island on the afternoon of March 17th 2012.
The incident occurred at about 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 17, 2012.
The incident occurred on the north end of Honeymoon Island State Park.
***Update Begins At 5:55p.m. on 3/19/2012***
Detectives have confirmed that James Clifton Barnes has died. Barnes was pronounced at 4:51 p.m. today at Bayfront Medical Center.
The Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.
Detectives are asking that anyone who may have been on Honeymoon Island on Saturday at the time of the incident and has information that may assist them in this investigation to contact Detective Jeff Capra of the Robbery Homicide Unit at 727-582-6200.
The investigation continues.
***End of Update***
According to detectives, 38-year-old James Clifton Barnes had received some bad news regarding a relationship he was involved in; and while on Honeymoon Island had asked his Aunt, Paula Yount to help him cleanse himself.
Detectives say that while the two were in the water, Barnes became physically violent towards his aunt and began using profanity against her.
Officer Tactuk of the Department of Environmental Protection, who was on routine patrol on Honeymoon Island saw Barnes’ actions against Yount and approached to assist. Detectives say the officer was unable to get Barnes to comply with his commands. As Officer Tactuk attempted to arrest Barnes for battery on his aunt; Barnes became violent towards the officer and the two became engaged in a violent struggle.
Deputy Ken Kubler of the Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit arrived on scene to assist as did other Sheriff’s Office Patrol Units. Deputy Kubler issued verbal commands to Barnes to calm down and announced to him that he would be using his electronic control device if he did not comply. While Officer Tactuk had placed Barnes in handcuffs, detectives say the handcuffs were not able to be placed or secured properly and Barnes was able to continue to struggle violently with the DEP Officer using his elbows, head and legs.
In order to subdue Barnes, Deputy Kubler deployed his electronic control device. Barnes was out of the water.
Barnes was transported to Bayfront Medical Center for treatment of life-threatening injuries.
The investigation continues.
For further information see press release # 12-052.
Anyone with information that may assist detectives in this investigation is asked to contact the Robbery/Homicide Unit at 727-582-6200.