NEW PORT RICHEY
Man waves guns, is held under Baker Act
Authorities got a report of a man standing in front of his home, waving a gun in each hand and saying God didn't want him to kill anyone today.
When officers arrived at noon Thursday at the house at 5702 Wyoming Ave., Charles Earle Duffy didn't have his guns anymore — but the 69-year-old asked them to kill him, according to New Port Richey police.
As Duffy was taken into custody for psychiatric care under the Baker Act, officers saw the man's stash of weapons: six machine guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition, according to a police report.
Duffy was arrested on a charge of possession of a machine gun. He was being held at the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.
School manager won't appeal termination
A Land O'Lakes High School plant manager accused of sexually harassing a co-worker has decided not to challenge his termination.
David Simpson had been reprimanded for similar conduct on a couple of occasions, according to his personnel file. He was written up in 2009 for making sexual comments and unwelcome advances to several female co-workers at Land O'Lakes High School. And the year before that, he was suspended for 10 days after he was caught on video having sex with a subordinate employee in the Wiregrass Ranch High School cafeteria.
Superintendent Heather Fiorentino recommended firing Simpson last fall after the latest allegations of sexual harassment. Simpson hired prominent First Amendment lawyer Luke Lirot to fight the recommendation and asked for a public hearing before the Pasco County School Board.
That hearing was slated for Tuesday, but Simpson changed his mind and has decided not to pursue the appeal.
School Board attorney Dennis Alfonso said Simpson will remain on unpaid leave until his contract expires in the summer. He will not get a new contract, Alfonso said.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Police charge man, 33, suspected in robberies
Police have arrested the man they believe is responsible for three armed robberies within the past two weeks.
Michael M. Cross, 33, was arrested Wednesday outside the Quick-Stop Food Mart at 7529 U.S. 19.
New Port Richey police say he was wearing the same clothing — a black hooded sweatshirt with "LOVE" on the front — as the man who robbed two businesses on Jan. 21: the Dunkin' Donuts at 5524 U.S. 19 and the Quality Inn at 5316 U.S. 19. Employees at both businesses identified Cross from a photo lineup as the man who came inside, implied he had a gun and demanded money.
Cross was taken into custody without incident. No firearm was located.
He was charged with two counts of armed robbery, one count of attempted armed robbery and a charge of failure to appear in court on a previous trespassing arrest. He remained at the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $350,513 bail.