Suspect caught after taking refuge in pond
A Clearwater man wanted by police on theft and burglary charges sought to take refuge from the law in an unlikely place Monday: a pond. Michael E. Jones, 36, was fleeing Clearwater police on a bicycle as an officer yelled at him to stop, according to an arrest affidavit. He then ditched the bike, ran into a wooded lot northwest of the Clearwater Airpark and jumped into a pond, authorities said. Officers waited Jones out, and he eventually emerged from the pond. He was arrested on charges of grand theft, burglary, dealing in stolen property and resisting arrest. Police said he stole more than $13,000 in jewelry from his mother over the course of two months and that he told officers the thefts were to "finance his drug addiction." Jones was being held in lieu of $37,500 bail at the Pinellas County Jail.
Man arrested after fight with cabbie
A Colorado man has been arrested on a charge of simple battery after he hurled potted plants at a taxi driver after a heated political debate, authorities said. Richard Edward Holt, 48, hailed a cab Monday night that took him to a Best Western hotel near downtown Dunedin, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. En route, an arrest affidavit says, Holt and the cabbie began discussing politics. The details of their conversation are not clear in the affidavit but were apparently upsetting to Holt, according to sheriff's deputies. Upon exiting the cab, deputies said, Holt "grabbed a plant from a standing planter, entered the rear door of the cab again and threw the plant at the cab driver and then spit at him." Holt then "went back to yet another planter and grabbed yet another plant, returned to the rear door of the vehicle and threw the plants at the driver a second time." He later told deputies he was acting in self-defense. Holt was released Tuesday on $500 bail.
Singers will deliver greetings today
Barbershop quartets from the Palm Harbor Barbershop Chorus, a nonprofit organization, will deliver old-fashioned love songs such as I Love You Truly and Let Me Call You Sweetheart in four-part harmony at homes, offices, hospitals or wherever that special valentine may be today. The quartets will perform three love songs and deliver a red rose and a parchment scroll for $50. Deliveries can be made anywhere in Pinellas and Pasco counties. To order a singing valentine, call (727) 515-8124. Proceeds are donated to charity.
Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger, who spoke in Clearwater about his upbringing in Germany and his conversion to Judaism, visits his parents' graves in Germany every two years. A story in Wednesday's Clearwater & North Pinellas Times gave an incorrect interval for those visits.