NEW PORT RICHEY
Girl dragged by hair; woman arrested
A 30-year-old woman is accused of dragging a 10-year-old girl out of a house by her hair "in a fit of anger," authorities said.
Amber Marie Chaplin was arrested Monday night and charged with child abuse. The child "was not a discipline problem and did not warrant the actions to her by the defendant," according to the New Port Richey Police Department.
The incident happened about 8:50 p.m. Monday. The location of the attack and the relationship between Chaplin and the girl were not released to protect the victim's privacy.
The girl told an officer her head hurt, but she was not seriously injured, a report states.
Chaplin, an unemployed housekeeper who lives on Royal Palm Drive in New Port Richey, is being held at the Pasco jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.
Felon accused of robbing bank
A man who robbed a bank Friday and fled on his bicycle had a short time on the lam, according to authorities.
Patrick Keith Vargas, a 31-year-old felon who has been arrested 18 times in Pasco since 2006, gave a teller at First National Bank of Pasco a note demanding money Friday afternoon, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said.
The teller gave $300 to Vargas, who escaped the scene on Gall Boulevard on a mountain bike, authorities said. A witness who lives a block from the bank saw Vargas in a shed on his property, a report states.
Vargas was arrested Monday and charged with robbery and grand theft, as well as unrelated charges of criminal use of personal identification, false verification of ownership and dealing in stolen property.
A Pasco detective requested on the arrest affidavit that Vargas be held in jail in lieu of a high bail.
Vargas, who spent more than two years in prison for selling cocaine, burglary and grand theft, was released on $42,000 bail eight hours after being booked .
Vargas, who lives at 39448 Sixth Ave. in Zephyrhills, listed his occupation on his arrest report as an unemployed laborer.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Woman gets probation for abuse of baby
A woman who authorities said severely bruised a 1-year-old child last year pleaded guilty to child abuse this week.
Jessica Orlando, 24, of Holiday was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to take parenting classes.
When Orlando was arrested last year, she told deputies she was washing her car at her boyfriend's house in Holiday when the baby soiled his diaper, so she used a garden hose to clean him off.
The child had bruising on his buttocks and genitals, the deputy's report said. Workers at his day care noticed the injuries and alerted authorities.
A doctor who examined the boy said the extent of the bruising "was clearly indicative of abuse." Orlando's relationship to the boy was not disclosed.
NEW PORT RICHEY
House arrest for drug possession
Steven Moschella accidentally shot and killed his best friend in 2000 in the Ridgewood High School parking lot and has struggled to stay on the right side of the law since then.
His latest arrest was last year for possession of cocaine and a controlled substance and driving on a suspended license.
Earlier this month he pleaded no contest to the charges for a sentence of two years of house arrest, followed by three years of probation. He also lost his driver's license for two years.
Moschella, now 27, was originally spared prison time for the shooting death of his best friend Teddy Niziol, who died while the boys were handling a stolen handgun after school. But Moschella soon failed a drug test and was sent to prison.
He said then he was grateful to be locked up because he had never fully learned his lesson. He became a model for other young inmates and, after he got out, was let off probation early in 2006.
Then last year he was caught driving in downtown New Port Richey with a piece of crack cocaine inside a cigarette pack and 21 pills of a muscle relaxant.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Ax and hammer attack gets man five years
A man who attacked his wife last year with an ax and hammer was sent to prison this week for five years.
Claude Parker, 49, of Holiday had already been ordered not to have contact with his wife because of a previous assault and battery against her in 2009, authorities said. Then one night last April, authorities said he ordered her to get out of bed, threatened to kill her and threw a large hammer at a television.
He grabbed the hammer and an ax and began chasing her through the bedroom, slashing her on the hand and behind her ear, the Sheriff's Office said.
Parker pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated battery and aggravated assault. After prison he must serve five years of probation. Often in domestic cases like this, authorities order defendants not to have contact with victims. But Parker was allowed to have contact with his wife after she requested it.