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Teen trying to steal copper wire electrocuted, officials say

A central Florida teen is in critical condition after he was electrocuted when he and his older sister tried to steal copper wire, authorities say.

Siblings Samantha Fowler and Bryant Cody allegedly trespassed onto the Mims Corp. property south of Mulberry on Wednesday. Deputies say Cody, 18, climbed on top of a large transformer and was electrocuted.

Fowler told investigators she saw her brother fall. He was knocked unconscious. She was able to revive him, put him in their vehicle and drive to a sheriff's substation where emergency rescue was called.

Cody was in critical condition Thursday at Tampa General Hospital.

GAINESVILLE

KKK member is fired as Alachua jail officer

Alachua County Sheriff's Office Detention Officer Wayne Kerschner, who admitted to being an active member of the Ku Klux Klan, has been fired.

According to an administrative investigation report, Kerschner told authorities that he blogged on a KKK Web site, attended a rally in Tennessee and was an officer of the United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. He said his wife was also a dues-paying member.

Kerschner reportedly told investigators that the KKK was a faith-based group and said he believed in the organization's ideology.

The report states that Kerschner didn't want his role in the group to negatively affect the Sheriff's Office, saying that he thought he was a "pretty dang fair officer."

MIAMI

Two cars used to smash, plunder athletic store

Robbers used two cars to smash into a Miami-Dade athletic store and take about $5,000 worth of shoes and other merchandise.

Police say the cars crashed into the front of the store early Wednesday morning. That allowed at least five men to enter the store.

The men grabbed several pairs of "Nike Jordan CP3" shoes, which aren't scheduled for release until Jan. 2. They also grabbed "Nike Air Jordan" and "Air Force" high tops.

PORT ST. LUCIE

Woman jailed in attempt to rob man at ATM

Authorities arrested Carletta Carroll, a mother of two, on Tuesday after she allegedly tried committing an armed robbery, telling the victim she had nothing to give her children for Christmas.

Deputies say the incident happened Christmas Eve at a Riverside Bank in Port St. Lucie.

The victim told investigators a woman approached him from behind an ATM, pointed a handgun and demanded $1,000. But the man only had $5 in his bank account.

Carletta Carroll was charged with attempted armed robbery and two counts of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.

DELRAY BEACH

Man charged with arson for fire at rental home

A South Florida man having trouble making mortgage payments has been charged with arson of an unoccupied dwelling.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says Mark Allen Baker, 48, sprayed lacquer thinner in the house and set it on fire early Wednesday. Flames were burning through the roof when firefighters arrived.

Authorities said they found materials Baker used to set the fire at his residence. He told detectives he was three months behind on a $3,000 a month mortgage. Baker said he was not planning to defraud insurers.

Associated Press

Teen trying to steal copper wire electrocuted, officials say 12/31/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 31, 2009 8:31pm]
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