NEW PORT RICHEY
No contest plea in shooting of his friend
James Flareau, who shot his friend in a Fourth of July dispute last summer, pleaded no contest this week to a charge of attempted manslaughter. Police said Flareau, 50, got into a fight with Kenneth Zydor, his friend from West Islip, N.Y., where both men grew up. They were outside Zydor's house on Miller Bayou Drive about 5 a.m. when Flareau pulled out a silver pistol and shot Zydor once in the chest, according to a police report. "I just shot him," Flareau told a witness. "He put me down." Zydor later recovered from his injuries. Flareau had been set for trial this week, but both sides agreed to a sentence of two years of house arrest followed by five years of probation. Flareau also must pay a hefty restitution bill to cover Zydor's hospital bills.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Man arrested in library disruption
A homeless man became violent Thursday morning and had to be restrained at the New Port Richey public library on Main Street, authorities said. Library supervisor Sue Kiley said 24-year-old Esi Cocker was working on one of the library's computers a few minutes before noon when "he just blew up." She said he kicked and stomped the machine. "He completely damaged the computer and startled and frightened the patrons," she said. New Port Richey police officers had to physically restrain Cocker, said police Chief Jeffrey Harrington. Cocker was charged with criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. He is being held at the Pasco jail in lieu of $2,150 bail. Kiley said no staffers or patrons were injured in the ruckus, though she said Cocker struggled with the officers. "It was tough to see violence like that," she said. "It took a few officers to contain him and get him out."
Raise a glass for a good cause
Strong Tower Vineyard will host a wine tasting fundraiser from 7 to 10 p.m. July 23 to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The event will include music, merchandise booths, appetizers and a silent auction at the vineyard at 17810 Forge Drive. Katie Tickner, competing Oct. 1 in the half-marathon at the Disney Wine and Dine Race in Orlando, organized this event as part of her effort to raise $1,500 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The organization's Team in Training fundraisers help support research to treat Hodgkin's and other common kinds of cancer, including stomach, breast, and lung cancer.