Two Wendy's robbed within two hours
Two Wendy's restaurants within 10 miles of one another were robbed at gunpoint early Thursday. Around midnight, two men dressed in black crawled through the drive-through window at the Wendy's on State Road 54 in Land O'Lakes. They brandished a handgun and brass knuckles and attacked two employees. Neither was seriously injured, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. One shot was fired inside, but no one was hit. The men fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. Less than two hours later, a man robbed another Wendy's on Dale Mabry Highway at Fletcher Avenue. A man wearing a black mask, long-sleeved white thermal shirt, black pants and gloves shattered one of the glass doors, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. He confronted one employee with a gun and forced him toward the back of the restaurant with two other employees. The robber fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Pawlenty heads Reagan Day lineup
Pasco Republicans will have a high-powered lineup at their annual Reagan Day dinner this month, including presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty. Besides the former Minnesota governor, three Republican U.S. Senate hopefuls will attend: Adam Hasner, Mike Haridopolos and George LeMieux. But those candidates won't be the keynote speaker — that honor goes to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a former Hillsborough prosecutor. GOP state committeeman Bill Bunting said the fourth GOP Senate candidate, Mike McCalister, is welcome to attend if he asks. The fundraiser will be at 7 p.m. July 29 at the Saddlebrook Resort. Tickets are $90. For more information, contact Bunting at (727) 862-1063.
Alert deputy finds shooting suspect
A sheriff's deputy made a traffic stop Wednesday morning and wound up arresting a man wanted in an attempted murder. Simon Rafael Iglesia, 29, is suspected of shooting Mohammad Faraj, 20, after an argument at a basketball court on June 21. Deputies say Iglesia also fired two other shots near La Jolla Way and Northwood Palms Road. Faraj had just left the court about 8:45 p.m. when a bullet came through the door of his car. Around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, a deputy noticed Iglesia driving a black car around the intersection of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and State Road 54 and realized he was wanted in the crime. The Sheriff's Office earlier in the day posted an alert, asking for the public's help in locating Iglesia, but didn't report arresting him until Thursday. Iglesia was held in Land O'Lakes jail Thursday in lieu of a $350,000 bail.