Officials reopen swimming area at Sunset Beach
The Sunset Beach swimming area reopened Thursday after water samples tested by health officials showed that bacteria levels there have fallen. The water had been considered a potential health threat, so the swimming area had been closed since Aug. 11. The Pinellas County Health Department conducts saltwater beach testing through a monitoring program. Water samples are analyzed for enteric bacteria, which is an indication of fecal pollution, which may come from stormwater runoff, pets, wildlife and sewage.
Third arrest made in robbery, beating
Clearwater police have arrested a third person they were looking for in connection with a violent July robbery in which a man was pummeled and his pants were stolen. Chase Matthew Brown, 19, of Dunedin was arrested Wednesday on charges of strong arm robbery, aggravated battery, resisting an officer without violence and probation violations. Two others have already been charged in the robbery of 21-year-old Steven A. Carrigan of Tarpon Springs on July 26. Melody M. Sanders, 20, of Safety Harbor was arrested July 26, and Timothy H. Miller, 18, of Clearwater was arrested Aug. 17. Police said Carrigan had met Sanders while in jail and had planned to meet up with her once he was released. On the night of July 26, after Carrigan arrived at the place they were to meet on Seville Boulevard, Brown and Miller beat him and stole about $600 he was carrying, police said. Carrigan suffered two jaw fractures during the assault.
Another arrest for woman in DUI case
A 45-year-old woman awaiting trial on a DUI charge in April is accused of driving drunk with a child in the car Wednesday afternoon. Sharon A. Joy of 3110 Oyster Bayou Way, Clearwater, was charged with child abuse, driving under the influence and driving with a suspended or revoked license. According to arrest reports, a Clearwater police officer stopped Joy in a 2006 Chrysler convertible about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday after she was seen hitting several curbs and driving so erratically that other vehicles were forced to change lanes to avoid her. There was a boy in the back seat of Joy's car when she was stopped, police said. Arrest reports do not give the child's age. The arresting officer said Joy was "swaying" and smelled of alcohol and that she refused to take a breath test or perform field sobriety tests.