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Undercover Clearwater police detectives cleared in April shooting


City detectives cleared in shooting case

Two undercover detectives involved in the shooting of a 19-year-old Clearwater man in a McDonald's parking lot were justified in their use of deadly force and in compliance with all department policies, a Clearwater police review board determined Thursday. Jeffrey Lee was shot about 9 p.m. April 27 in what authorities called a drug sting. Police say Lee sold them 2 ounces of cocaine and then tried to escape when officers swooped in. He "aggressively accelerated" after two police cars jammed into his vehicle to keep him from leaving. The two detectives, fearing for their lives, shot Lee, police said. Lee was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg and initially was listed in critical condition. He has since been taken to the Pinellas County Jail, where he is being held on $205,000 bail. Lee faces several charges, including one count of trafficking in cocaine, two counts of selling cocaine and three counts of possession of cocaine. The detectives involved in the shooting, whose names are not being released due to the nature of their assignment, have been cleared to return to full duty today. The case still is being investigated and no further details will be released until it is closed, Clearwater public safety spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts said.

Elderly man saved from fall into gulf

An elderly man was rescued Thursday after falling off a pier at Clearwater Beach and was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. Clearwater Fire & Rescue and Clearwater police responded to a call for a person in the water near Pier 60 at 12:47 p.m., authorities said. The man, in his 80s, was pulled to shore by lifeguards. Firefighters administered CPR and continued their resuscitative efforts on the way to the hospital. It is not known how he ended up in the water. Authorities say there are no signs of foul play. Detectives are investigating whether the man's fall was accidental.


'Victim' arrested in phony abduction

A 21-year-old man faked his own kidnapping, then tried to collect ransom from his father, authorities say. Dane Vincent Carleton of Clearwater was arrested Wednesday on an extortion charge. He was being held Thursday at Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. Carleton sent text messages to his father saying he had been abducted and was being held for $2,000 ransom, an arrest report said. Carleton said if his father paid he would not be harmed. If his father didn't pay, or if he called police, Carleton "would be dead," the report said. He was found at a Tarpon Springs residence and "admitted to making the whole scenario up due to a drug problem," the report said.

In Sports

There are big shoes to fill in the fall on the gridiron, 9C.


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Most everyone is having to cope with the recession. We want to know how it's affecting you, how you're getting along — or not getting along. If you have an interesting story to tell, or know of someone else who does, contact Will Van Sant at (727) 445-4166 or

Undercover Clearwater police detectives cleared in April shooting 05/21/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 21, 2009 8:25pm]
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