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Tampa Bay briefs: Deputy's cruiser hit by woman believed to be drunk

LUTZ

Deputy's cruiser hit by woman believed drunk

A Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy received minor injuries early Saturday morning after a woman rear-ended his patrol car and pushed it into another deputy's vehicle, investigators said.

Deputies arrested Clara Rivera, 55, of Lutz and charged her with two counts of driving under the influence with property damage. She was released from a Hillsborough County jail a few hours later on $1,000 bail.

Deputy Don Shook, 42, was responding to a fight at L.A. Hangout at Florida Avenue and Wooten Road at 1:04 a.m. when Rivera, who was driving a 1998 Toyota north, rear-ended him. The force of the crash pushed Shook's patrol car into an unoccupied patrol car, deputies said.

Shook, an eight-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital with minor injuries. He was released a short time later.

Rivera's blood-alcohol content was 0.148, according to jail records.

BRANDON

Volunteers help nab Indiana fugitive

Volunteers with the citizen patrol unit helped capture an Indiana jail escapee Friday in Brandon, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

While on routine patrol in the area of Brandon Boulevard Friday afternoon, a manager from a nearby Pep Boys approached citizen patrol officers Dwayne R. Denny and William T. Cardona to report a man trying to make a fraudulent transaction, the Sheriff's Office said. The citizen patrol officers started surveillance and called deputies, who arrested Dalton G. Rowe, 19. Rowe had a warrant for escape from the Hancock County Jail in Greenfield, Ind.

Citizen patrol officers are volunteers who spend at least 12 hours a month patrolling their communities, watching for suspicious activity, checking on homes whose owners are on vacation, directing traffic at accident scenes and handling other nonhazardous tasks.

The arrest of Rowe would not have been possible without the citizen patrol officers, the Sheriff's Office said.

WEST PALM BEACH

Okeechobee level falls to 4-year low

The water level in Lake Okeechobee has fallen below 10 feet above sea level for the first time since 2007.

The lake fell to 9.96 feet Saturday morning.

South Florida is experiencing a drought. The rainy season began May 26 but it's off to a slow start.

National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist Robert Molleda said West Palm Beach recorded only 10.45 inches of rain from October through May 31. That's less than a third of a normal rainfall in that time.

LAKELAND

770-pound woman to get a new home

A 770-pound woman who had to be extracted from her apartment for medical care will be getting a new home, thanks to an anonymous donor.

Because of Yvonne Gallimore's size, medical crews tore through a wall of her Section 8 apartment May 19 to transport her to an area hospital to be treated for lymphedema, a condition that prevents bodily fluid from draining. Gallimore's apartment wasn't livable afterward.

An anonymous donor has agreed to work with Habitat for Humanity to come up with a plan for building Gallimore a home.

A spokeswoman for Lakeland Habitat for Humanity said the mysterious donor is supposedly a relation of a wealthy Florida business family.

JACKSONVILLE

Boy charged in death of half brother, 2

A 12-year-old boy has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 2-year-old half brother.

State Attorney Angela Corey said the case poses questions about public safety that would be best decided in the adult court system, so the boy will be transferred from a juvenile holding facility where he has been held for months to the Duval County Jail, where he will be held with other juveniles. It also means the boy could get a life sentence if convicted.

The boy is charged with beating the toddler to death in March at the family's apartment. Assistant Public Defender Rob Mason said the boy is a victim of sexual battery and other family turmoil. Mason said the defense team believes the boy can be rehabilitated.

Times staff, wires

Tampa Bay briefs: Deputy's cruiser hit by woman believed to be drunk 06/04/11 [Last modified: Saturday, June 4, 2011 8:01pm]
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