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WFTS General Manager Arrested; What Happens to Leadership at Ch. 28?



BillcareymugimageaspUPDATE: According to WFTS' Web site, Carey's attorney has released this statement:

""Wednesday night, William Carey, General Manager of WFTS TV in Tampa, was involved in an automobile accident during inclement weather at the construction area of Courtney Campbell Causeway and the Veterans Expressway.

"As a result of the accident, charges were filed against Mr. Carey that led to him being placed on paid leave from the television station.  Mr. Carey has turned himself into authorities and is cooperating with the investigation into the automobile accident.  We are confident that this misunderstanding will be cleared up.

"We ask that the media respect Mr. Carey and his family's privacy and allow the legal process to run its course.  Mr. Carey maintains that this unfortunate incident will be resolved once the facts are presented and the authorities conclude their investigation."

Seems Bill Carey, general manager at WFTS-Ch. 28, has turned himself in the Tampa police in connection with a hit-and-run incident on the Courtney Campbell Causeway Wednesday in which police allege Carey fled the scene after accosting the other party.

I began hearing rumors about this incident yesterday, which I passed on to our Tampa bureau -- hopingBillcarey  they might be able to get more from Tampa police than I could. But police wouldn't confirm that the Carey involved in this alleged incident was the same Bill Carey who worked at WFTS until today, when we put a story on our Web site with a little more detail than what we were hearing yesterday.

According to my colleague Justin George, Carey posted $25,000 bond shortly after turning himself in today to Tampa police on charges of auto burglary and hit and run with property damage. WFTS parent company Scripps Howard says Carey is on paid leave while they investigate. WFTS reported on the arrest in their 5 p.m. newscast, saying Carey was also charged with battery.

Here's the text of the police report -- Carey is the suspect and Lutz resident Ok Yi is the victim:

"The victim was driving her Mercedes on Memorial Highway when her vehicle was rear ended by the suspect's 2006 Ford Explorer.  The victim followed the suspect for approximately one-mile honking her horn until the suspect pulled over.  The suspect approached the victim's car and handed her his driver's license through her car window.  The victim was holding the suspect's license and said she was going to call the police.  He became agitated, reached through the window and tried to grab the driver's license.  A struggle ensued over the license and when the suspect couldn't get his license from the victim, he grabbed her arms and tried to pull her through the window.  Because she was wearing her seatbelt, he was unable to pull her out of the car. He opened the car door, grabbed her shirt and once again attempted to pull her out of the car.  She unbuckled the seatbelt, exited the car and started running down Memorial Highway.  The suspect was chasing after her.  After a short distance, the suspect returned the victim's car, rummaging through her vehicle.  The victim's husband arrived on scene and the suspect fled in his vehicle."

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:40pm]


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