Motorcyclist runs into light pole, is killed
A 28-year-old motorcyclist died early Thursday after crashing into a light pole, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Troopers said Eric Cardona of Spring Hill was traveling north on U.S. 19 at a high rate of speed near Meridian Boulevard. He lost control of the 2007 Honda motorcycle, causing it to veer off onto the east grass shoulder. The motorcycle struck a light pole, flipped multiple times and threw Cardona. The Florida Highway Patrol got the call about 2:25 a.m. and were on scene by 2:41 a.m. Cardona was pronounced dead at the scene.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Man accused of repair fraud
A 48-year-old man was arrested on charges that he took hundreds of dollars from an elderly woman without performing the repairs he promised. Dale Allen Hall told the 81-year-old woman that her water softener needed to be repaired, and he took two payments of $200 but never returned to do the work, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report. Hall claimed to work for A1 Water Conditioning Service, which does not appear to be an active business, the report said. The deputy investigating the Holiday woman's complaint found four previous cases — dating back to 1997 — in which Hall allegedly took money for work on water softening systems but never performed the repairs. The victims ranged in age from 73 to 86. Hall, who had been locked out of his room at the Green Key Beach Motel at 6434 U.S. 19 for failing to pay his rent, was arrested Wednesday on a charges of scheme to defraud and violating his probation. He remained Thursday at the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $6,000 bail.
Rape suspect pleads to battery
Jose Oscar Martinez, who was accused in May of raping a woman while two children were in the room, pleaded guilty Thursday to a lesser charge of felony battery. The victim, who is not being identified because of the nature of the case, previously filed an affidavit saying she didn't want Martinez prosecuted and she didn't want to testify against him. Authorities said he raped her while a 5-year-old watched and a 3-year-old slept in a crib nearby. In court Thursday, she said through a Spanish interpreter she just wanted to be left alone. "I don't want to see him anymore," she said. Martinez, 37, of 9831 Pangola Loop in Land O'Lakes, was sentenced to six months in jail and ordered not to have contact with the woman. Jail records indicate he is from Mexico. Immigration authorities have placed a hold on him, indicating he could face deportation.