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Machete-carrying man arrested in Tampa event zone

Notebook

One big knife, two charges Now pending

Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies arrested a man they say was carrying a machete Sunday afternoon in the Republican National Convention Event Zone.

Jason T. Wilson, 31, of Tallahassee was walking in the 700 block of E Washington Street, which is on the city's official parade route for RNC protests, about 2:15 p.m. when deputies noticed a machete strapped to his leg, sheriff's spokesman Larry McKinnon said.

When deputies approached and ordered Wilson to stop, he continued walking. Wilson told deputies he did not have to stop and that he was allowed to carry whatever he wanted, McKinnon said.

Wilson resisted arrest and had to be physically restrained, McKinnon said.

Wilson, whom authorities described as a protester, was charged with having a prohibited item in the event zone and resisting arrest without violence.

Democratic mayor to address RNC

Mayor Bob Buckhorn will get to speak to the Republican National Convention after all.

Buckhorn had been scheduled to welcome the RNC on Monday, but his appearance was thrown in doubt when the convention canceled its first-day proceedings because of Tropical Storm Isaac.

During a Sunday morning news conference, Buckhorn said he didn't worry about the weather because he couldn't control it, but he did joke that "my only concern is that they don't drop me from the speaker's rostrum, since I am the only Democrat speaking at the Republican National Convention."

Late Sunday afternoon, Buckhorn got his wish. The convention's revised schedule has him speaking early Tuesday afternoon. He is scheduled to be followed by Tampa Bay Host Committee chairman Al Austin, the man most responsible for bringing in the convention.

'Right decision for the right reasons'

Buckhorn said Sunday he wasn't disappointed at the cancellation of Monday's proceedings.

"The RNC made the right decision for the right reasons," he said. "They are just as concerned about the safety of their delegates as I am about my citizens and the visitors who are here."

The Florida Highway Patrol could close bridges, probably starting with the Sunshine Skyway, if Isaac produces sustained winds of 40 mph or more, he said.

"With the nature of these storms, you may not get sustained 40 mph winds, but you may get bands of 40 mph winds," he said. "Obviously, we'll play it by ear, depending on what conditions are."

Buckhorn anticipates Isaac will pass by quickly and there shouldn't be any significant tidal surge.

"Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday ought to be fine," he said.

His advice for delegates Sunday: "Spend money."

Machete-carrying man arrested in Tampa event zone 08/26/12 [Last modified: Sunday, August 26, 2012 10:57pm]
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