Sunday, February 18, 2018
News Roundup

Ex-deputy who confronted motorist in parking lot incident gets probation

BROOKSVILLE — A former Wisconsin sheriff's deputy accused of flashing a badge in a Taco Bell parking lot earlier this year will avoid jail time.

Ryan Romano, 31, pleaded no contest Tuesday to a charge of impersonating a law enforcement officer. Circuit Judge Daniel B. Merritt Jr. withheld adjudication and gave Romano a year of probation. Merritt also ordered Romano to undergo a mental health evaluation.

"I think it's appropriate for someone with no criminal record," defense attorney Peyton Hyslop said Wednesday.

Prosecutors had asked Merritt to find Romano guilty and sentence him to six months in jail, followed by two years of probation. The third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison.

According to the Hernando Sheriff's Office, Romano was driving a Chevrolet Silverado on Feb. 9 when he got angry at another motorist who was trying to turn around in the parking lot of the restaurant at 11140 Spring Hill Drive. Romano, who had a male passenger with him, maneuvered his truck to block the other driver's path, got out and identified himself as a law enforcement officer. He showed a badge and ordered the occupants out of the vehicle.

Suspicious of Romano, they refused. When Romano threatened to arrest them, a man in the other vehicle said he was going to call 911. Romano got back in his truck and drove away.

Romano's passenger told deputies later that Romano had gotten into an argument with another motorist at Taco Bell and flashed a deputy's badge. Romano admitted that he asked for the driver's identification, but denied that he identified himself as an officer. He told authorities he had retired from his job as a deputy with the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department in Wisconsin on Dec. 31.

Investigators found a badge in the truck at the time of his arrest, Hyslop said.

A spokesman for the Kenosha Sheriff's Department told the Times after Romano's arrest that he started with the department in 2007, was moved from road patrol to administrative duty last August, and then resigned effective Dec. 15. The spokesman declined to comment on the circumstances of the reassignment and resignation.

Merritt noted before the sentencing that reports of Romano threatening law enforcement officers about the time of his departure from Kenosha turned out to be unfounded.

Romano paid $723 in fines and court costs. He was visiting Spring Hill at the time of his arrest and plans to return to Wisconsin, Hyslop said.

Comments
Do Trump’s alleged affairs even matter?

Do Trump’s alleged affairs even matter?

One of the quotes from the 2016 presidential campaign that has stuck with me came from an unidentified Donald Trump supporter who shared his appraisal of the "Access Hollywood" tape on an episode of Showtime’s "The Circus."Having heard Trump boast on...
Updated: 1 hour ago
ROTC leader shocked that accused school shooter 1 of his own

ROTC leader shocked that accused school shooter 1 of his own

PARKLAND, Fla. — The sound of gunfire still ringing in his ears after his mad half-mile sprint, Jack Ciaramello was standing with friends in a grocery store parking lot when a sheriff’s deputy approached. He asked the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High se...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Survivors of deadly school shooting lash out at Trump

Survivors of deadly school shooting lash out at Trump

PARKLAND, Fla. — Students who escaped the deadly school shooting in Florida focused their anger Sunday at President Donald Trump, contending that his response to the attack has been needlessly divisive. "You're the president. You're supposed t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
From meek to militant: The Florida teachers strike that unsettled a nation and fueled a movement

From meek to militant: The Florida teachers strike that unsettled a nation and fueled a movement

Some teachers left goodbye messages to their students on classroom blackboards. Others cleared their desks.It was Feb. 16, 1968, a Friday, and a sign of what was coming that Monday in Florida: the nation’s first statewide teachers strike.When schools...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Pinellas Park man tries to stop people breaking into his car, is shot in arm

PINELLAS PARK — A man saw people trying to break into his vehicle and chased them away, before one of the attempted burglars shot him in the arm, police said.Alexander Weaver, 28, was at his home on the 6200 block of 106th Avenue N early Sunday morni...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Daytona 500: Dale Earnhardt Jr. enjoying different perspective

Daytona 500: Dale Earnhardt Jr. enjoying different perspective

DAYTONA BEACH – Dale Earnhardt Jr. seems to be enjoying his retirement from racing.NASCAR's most popular driver is back at Daytona International Speedway for today's Daytona 500, but without the pressure of trying to win his sport's biggest rac...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Principal of a pained Stoneman Douglas High just sent a message to his students

Principal of a pained Stoneman Douglas High just sent a message to his students

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High principal Ty Thompson exuded deep emotion and a positive view forward in his first public comments since Wednesday’s mass shooting that killed 17 people.In the two-minute video posted on the school’s website and YouTube,...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Forecast: Record-tying high of 84 today in Tampa Bay

Forecast: Record-tying high of 84 today in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — What winter? 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa Bay areaIt may still be mid February, but this week will already see plenty of sun...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Deputies: Woman charged with DUI manslaughter hit St. Pete Beach pedestrian

ST. PETE BEACH — Deputies say a driver killed a man walking on a sidewalk and fled the scene before causing a second crash Saturday night.Carolyn Yovan, 51 of St. Pete Beach, now faces felony charges of driving under the influence manslaughter and le...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Here’s how to separate the fund raisers from frauds among gofundme pages

Here’s how to separate the fund raisers from frauds among gofundme pages

Gofundme.com pages proliferated almost as soon as cops took Nikolas Cruz into custody after Wednesday’s 17-death massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Donors must parse the funding pages from the fraudulent.Read More: 17 dead,...
Updated: 7 hours ago