NEW PORT RICHEY
Man arrested in drug deal that turned violent
A man who watched a drug deal turn violent — with the buyer robbed, sliced in the forehead and kicked out of a car — has been arrested, authorities said. Roderick Benjamin, who goes by Big Ben as he's 6 foot 4 and weighs 408 pounds, was arrested Wednesday. Benjamin, 47, is charged with aggravated battery and robbery with a deadly weapon. The incident happened on the afternoon of Nov. 8 in New Port Richey. Authorities say the victim wanted to buy marijuana and got into a car with Benjamin and two other people. One of the other suspects "produced a knife and cut the victim on the forehead, removed $400 in cash from the victim and then kicked the victim out of the vehicle," a Pasco Sheriff's Office report says. The car was not moving and the victim was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries, said Pasco Sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll. The two other suspects remain at large, Doll said. Benjamin, of 4413 Plaza Drive in Holiday, is being held at the Pasco jail in lieu of $60,000 bail.
Little League registration set
Registration for the West Pasco Little League season is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 7 and 14 at Plummer Field at 6220 Pine Hill Road. Tryouts and final registration will be from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 21. Those who register on that later date will be put on a waiting list. Cost is $95 for the first child and $70 for each additional child. Players who qualify in school for free or reduced lunch get a $5 break. A parent or guardian must accompany the child at registration and must produce proof of residency and the child's birth certificate. For more information, visit www.wpll.info or call Dianne DeVault at (727) 868-3091.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Where to recycle Christmas trees
Pasco County is offering a Christmas tree recycling program until Jan. 8. Trees will be chipped and turned into mulch. Last year, the county recycled 1,200 trees. Trees can be dropped off at nine locations:
• Veterans Memorial Park, 14333 Hicks Road, Hudson.
• Anclote Gulf Park, 2305 Baillie's Bluff Road, Holiday.
• Starkey Wilderness Park, 10500 Wilderness Park Road, New Port Richey.
• Elsie Logan Memorial Park, 15840 Green Glen Lane, Shady Hills.
• West Pasco Class III landfill, 14230 Hays Road, Shady Hills.
• Land O'Lakes Community Center, 5401 U.S. 41, Land O'Lakes.
• Wesley Chapel Regional Park, 7727 Boyette Road, Wesley Chapel.
• Burks Memorial Park, 1322 Gene Nelson Blvd., Dade City.
• Sam Pasco Recreational Complex, 9835 Chancey Road, Zephyrhills.