Former fire chief guilty of abuse
Chief Jamie Geer is found guilty of sexually abusing a minor and sentenced to life in prison.
61-year-old man is accused of molesting girl
A Clearwater man has been arrested on molestation and child pornography charges stemming from his alleged abuse of a girl, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. Carlos Ayala, 61, is charged with lewd and lascivious molestation, promoting a sexual performance by a child and possession of child pornography. According to documents filed by the Sheriff's Office, Ayala touched and kissed the girl, who was under age 16, and took sexually explicit photos of her using a digital camera. The abuse took place over a two-year period beginning in April 2010, authorities said. The Sheriff's Office asks that anyone with further information call Detective Amy White at (727) 582-6200 or call the office's anonymous tip line at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).
Driver charged with kidnapping
A Safety Harbor man was arrested on charges including kidnapping after he forced an 18-year-old woman into his car Friday morning in Clearwater, authorities said. Police said Tyler Arpi, 19, was stopped and taken into custody at the intersection of Enterprise and McMullen-Booth roads after making the woman get into his car on St. John Drive, which is off NE Coachman Road. Police had received a call shortly after 7:30 a.m. that Arpi was armed and suicidal and was believed to have a handgun. Only an air gun and a knife were found in his vehicle, however. Arpi was charged with kidnapping, domestic battery and tampering with a witness and was taken to the Pinellas County jail.
Cyclists will ride to raise school funds
Two cyclists will begin a 100-mile bike ride early Sunday in hopes of raising $10,000 for Tarpon Springs High School's Leadership and Music Conservatory program. Tina Marie Avila, owner of Casa Tina and Pan y Vino in downtown Dunedin, and Jared Lewis, a 2011 Tarpon High graduate, will depart at 7:30 a.m. on their "Miles for Music" campaign. Avila has children in the program. Lewis and his sister were also members while students. Visit facebook.com/2012milesformusic for more information.