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Public ask to help find man missing from group home for a week

PORT RICHEY

Public asked to help find missing man

Authorities are asking for help to find a missing 61-year-old man who walked away from his assisted living facility Tuesday and hasn't been seen since.

Joseph Thomas Beck, whose birthday was last Wednesday, left his home at the Gallo House on Star Trail in Port Richey at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office said Beck told staffers he was hallucinating and depressed and he tried to admit himself into Community and Morton Plant North Bay hospitals but was declined.

The Sheriff's Office said Beck suffers from schizophrenia and takes multiple medications. He has no previous history of leaving the facility.

He left on foot, but he might have taken public transportation, the Sheriff's Office said. Beck has no relatives or friends in the area.

Beck is described as a white male, 5 foot 9 inches and weighing about 270 pounds. He has gray eyes, salt and pepper hair and was last seen wearing a beige, short sleeve shirt with fish on the back, light brown cargo shorts, gray, high-top sneakers and no socks.

Anyone who might have seen Beck or has any information as to his whereabouts is asked to contact the Pasco County Sheriff's Office at (727) 844-7711 or any local law enforcement agency immediately.

WESLEY CHAPEL

Trooper's car rammed; multiple offender held

A man rammed his car into a Florida Highway Patrol cruiser in Hillsborough County and led authorities on a chase into Pasco County on Wednesday afternoon, said FHP spokesman Sgt. Larry Kraus.

Kraus said Reginald W. Howard, 36, address unknown, was caught on Curley Road in Wesley Chapel. He said the trooper whose car was hit was not injured.

"He's fine," Kraus said. "It was a minor incident."

He said the incident began about 12:30 p.m. on the Suncoast Parkway when a trooper clocked Howard speeding and tried to pull him over. Kraus said Howard fled, pulled off on the exit to Dale Mabry Highway and drove his car into the side of a trooper's cruiser.

Kraus said Howard, who has been arrested 24 times and spent nearly a year in prison for grand theft of a motor vehicle, is in custody and faces charges of aggravated battery, aggravated fleeing to elude and driving with a suspended license.

Public ask to help find man missing from group home for a week 10/14/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 11:17pm]

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