Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man says robbery suspect held gun on him during police chase



LARGO — Frank William Roberto took the witness stand on Wednesday and said he sped away from St. Petersburg Police officers last year because his passenger, Kenneth Davis, was pointing a gun at him.

Roberto is on trial on charges of vehicular homicide and fleeing law enforcement. At first, police were not looking for Roberto in January 2012 — they were seeking Davis, a purse-snatching suspect who also had reportedly claimed he would shoot officers before going back to prison.

Roberto was driving his mother's red Kia when police tried to stop the car. Roberto instead sped north on 49th Street, swerving into the southbound lanes. He crashed just north of Fifth Avenue North and Davis was killed.

Assistant State Attorney Holly Grissinger asked Roberto why he never mentioned to police that Davis was pointing a gun at him. Roberto said he was sedated shortly after the accident and doesn't remember a lot. He said he told one officer Davis had a gun.

Roberto said he pulled to the side of the road when a police SUV with sirens flashing approached. But he said Davis forced him back into traffic. He said that as he sped forward, the gun "was up and down, but it was always pointed toward me."

Asked why he didn't stop, he said driving "was the safer thing to be doing versus stopping and being in the middle of a shootout."

Roberto's mother Nancy Gill also testified that her son told her after the crash that Davis had been pointing a gun at him.

Officers have testified that no gun was found.

Closing arguments are scheduled for today.

Man says robbery suspect held gun on him during police chase 06/12/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 11:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Shakeup on Adam Putnam campaign


    In a sign of unsteadiness for what  had  looked like a strong-out-of-the-gate Adam Putnam campaign, the Republican frontrunner suddenly fired his campaign manager and political director. Hard-charging Campaign manager Kristin Davis and political director Jared Small were two of the three outsiders to join …

    Putnam campaigning in Destin the other day as part of his 22-city bus tour
  2. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  3. Tampa man arrested for killing man in his USF-area home


    TAMPA — A Tampa man was arrested Monday in the death of man found killed at a home in the University of South Florida area last week, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Kadeem Dareem Archibald, 26, was arrested Monday on a  second degree murder charge in the University Area killing of Khando Kerr. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Report: Trump asked intel chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence


    President Donald Trump asked two of the nation's top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, the Washington Post reports, citing current and former officials.

    From  left, CIA Director Mike Pompeo; Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats; and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers take their seats on Capitol Hill on May 11 before  testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on major threats facing the U.S. [Associated Press]
  5. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”