Man accused of beating mother, abusing nephew
Daniel Coby Essary, 24, is accused of beating his mother and, screaming "we're are all going to die," jerking the wheel of her SUV as she drove on Tuesday night. The SUV, with a toddler inside, slammed into a light pole on U.S. 19. No one was injured. Clearwater police said the 2003 Ford Explorer was headed south about 5 p.m. on U.S. 19 with Essary's 23-month-old nephew. Mother and son began arguing, police said, and Essary started hitting his mom from the passenger seat and yanked the steering wheel. The Explorer hit a fence and then crashed into a pole at Celebration Station at 24546 U.S. 19, police said. After the crash, police said, Essary started hitting his mother again, then tried to run away when officers arrived. Essary, of Clearwater, was charged with domestic child abuse, aggravated domestic assault and domestic battery.
Deputies: Jewelry thief crashes car
Deputies arrested a man they say posed as a doctor before robbing a jewelry store Wednesday, then crashing a stolen getaway car into a tree. About 11:45 a.m., Michael Basilotto, 43, of Northport went to the International Diamond Center, 3696 Ulmerton Road, to look at jewelry, deputies said. He had made an appointment and wore medical scrubs. After examining some diamond rings, deputies said, Basilotto asked to examine the clarity in the sunlight. Employee Timothy Hulfish, 57, of St. Petersburg agreed. One by one, Basilotto tried on three rings. Then, deputies said, he punched Hulfish in the shoulder and ran. Hulfish tackled him in the parking lot, deputies said, but he slipped away and started driving off. He didn't get far. Basilotto crashed into a palm tree in front of the nearby Executive Inn, 3580 Ulmerton Road, deputies said. The Cadillac he was driving turned out to be stolen from Sarasota County, deputies said. Basilotto was charged with strong-arm robbery, grand theft, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and resisting a merchant.
Get shipshape on sailing skills
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is presenting a "Weekend Navigator" program starting Monday and running in eight sessions through April 29. Classes will be at the Clearwater Sailing Center on Sand Key, 1001 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater. Call Ann Bennett, (727) 469-8895.
County chief to visit Democrats
Robert LaSala, Pinellas County administrator, will be featured speaker at the April 8 meeting of the Greater Pinellas Democratic Club. For reservations, call Betty Morgenstein, (727) 360-3971.