Woman accused of abusing 6-year-old girl

CLEARWATER

Woman accused of abusing 6-year-old girl

Clearwater police arrested a 21-year-old woman Thursday who, they say, beat a 6-year-old child because she was angry that the child spilled her milk. Natasha Riviera, of 404 S Mercury Ave., No. 4, was charged with child abuse. According to police, employees at the child's school alerted authorities Thursday after they noticed that the child was injured. During an investigation, Riviera admitted she hit the child repeatedly with an extension cord on Wednesday because she spilled milk in the minivan, said police spokeswoman Beth Watts. The girl suffered more than 20 "welts, red marks and bruising to her face, arms, shoulder and back," including marks "that had the outline of a cord," according to police. Police did not disclose the girl's relationship to Riviera. Child protection investigators and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office are investigating, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Tom Nestor. As of Friday morning, Riviera was being held in Pinellas County Jail. Bail had not yet been set.

PALM HARBOR

Deputy's cruiser hit from behind

A Pinellas County sheriff's deputy was hospitalized with minor injuries Friday afternoon after a crash on East Lake Road. Deputy Eugene Lebrecht was southbound on East Lake in the median lane approaching Ridgemoor Boulevard about 2:15 p.m. when he was rear-ended by a 50-year-old woman driving a 2004 Ford Expedition, authorities said. Lebrecht, 47, was on duty and driving a marked cruiser at the time of the crash. Lebrecht was struck from behind by Terri Jo Toner-Wise of Palm Harbor when he was forced to stop suddenly because traffic in front of him came to an abrupt halt, the Sheriff's Office said. Toner-Wise had several teenage passengers in her vehicle. No other injuries were reported. Both vehicles were moderately damaged. No one has been charged and the crash remains under investigation.

Center selling off its old computers

The Palm Harbor Community Activity Center, 1500 16th St., is upgrading its computer lab and has used computers for sale. The Dell desktop systems are being sold for $50 each, as-is and while they last, and include CPU, keyboard, mouse and monitor. Call (727) 771-6000.

TARPON SPRINGS

'Taste of Islands' dinner is Sunday

The Sister City Committee of Tarpon Springs will host "A Taste of the Islands" fundraising dinner at 6 p.m. Sunday. The foods of Kalymnos, Cyprus, Halki and Symi will be showcased and there will be Greek dancing. The dinner will be at Kalymnian House, 42 W Morgan St. A $10 donation is requested. Proceeds will be used for student scholarships to St. Petersburg College. For more information, please call City Commissioner Chris Alahouzos at (727) 432-3468.

Pinellas deaths

A detailed list of obituaries is published in Section B.

Woman accused of abusing 6-year-old girl 10/01/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 1, 2010 8:24pm]

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