Thursday, February 22, 2018
News Roundup

In court, man claims he's never met his accuser

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pascual Pietri wore handcuffs, but he didn't remember why.

He was in Circuit Judge Daniel Diskey's courtroom, for a hearing on a protective injunction a man named Jason Dowd had filed against him, for an incident involving a pink bat and a tree on the eighth of July.

The judge asked Pietri whether he objected to the injunction, and Pietri held out his cuffed hands and pointed.

"I have no conflict with him. I don't even know who he is," he said.

"Well apparently he knows who you are," the judge said.

"Can you tell me who he is?"

"Mr. Dowd has requested a court order, an injunction, prohibiting you from ever making any contact with him," Diskey said. "Telephone, letter, come by the house, carrier pigeon, anything."

"From where?" Pietri said. "I don't even know him."

"Listen," the judge said.

"I never seen him in my life," Pietri interrupted. "I don't know who he is. Where does he live?"

"Do you want to listen to me?" the judge asked.

Listen to the judge, a bailiff said.

Pietri told the judge he "most definitely" wanted a hearing to "resolve this situation."

Dowd told the judge his side. Pietri thought Dowd's wife told someone he was a thief. He wanted to talk to her, and Dowd refused. A few days later, there was a "big scat" outside the house, and Pietri started banging on his door, with a bat in hand. Then, someone ran over Pietri's stuff in the street, so he ran out and hit a tree with the bat.

"Let me stop you there," the judge said. "You say he pulled a bat out?"

Pietri shot up with a furrowed face.

"I don't believe that," he said. "Objection! Objection!"

"Sit down," the judge said. "Shut up."

"Sit down," the bailiffs said.

Pietri explained that he was taking a lot of psychiatric medication at the time of the incident. He had been having trouble getting his pills, and when he finally got them he "might have overdone it."

"I don't remember pulling a bat out," he said. "I don't remember the cops. Alls I remember (is) waking up in the jail with a black eye all bruised up, everything scraped up. I don't remember nothing."

"One of your charges, sir" the judge said, "one of your charges is battery on a law enforcement officer and threat against a public servant. I don't want you to make statements about that, but I'll tell you that's probably how you got your black eye."

"I don't believe I did."

Pietri then addressed his petitioner directly.

"I don't even know who you are," he said. "If you're the neighbor across the street that I met that one time, I do remember meeting a neighbor across the street when I was playing basketball ... that his house did get robbed."

"Yeah, I know it did," Dowd said.

Pietri stood and raised his voice again, insisting incoherently he wasn't the robber.

"Sir, sit down," the judge said.

Pietri yelled, "I didn't rob no house in my life!"

A bailiff put his hands on Pietri's back to sit him down. Pietri continued to talk, but Diskey tried to ignore him and addressed Dowd.

He explained that a repeat violence injunction requires two acts, and this only alleged one. Injunction denied.

Pietri kept talking.

Mr. Pietri," the judge said, "in spite of yourself you've won the case. (Bailiff), you can take him out."

If you have a court story you think might be good for this series, contact Jon Silman at [email protected] or (727) 869-6229. @Jonsilman1 on Twitter.

Comments

Celebration at Enoch Davis Center is Friday

ST. PETERSBURG — The Enoch Davis Center will host a free Black History Month celebration Friday. The program, which will run from from 6 to 8 p.m., will include activities for the entire family and food, entertainment, music and prizes. There will a...
Updated: 3 minutes ago
Man rescued after boat swept away, capsizes in Little Manatee River

Man rescued after boat swept away, capsizes in Little Manatee River

RUSKIN — A man was rescued early Thursday morning after Hillsborough County deputies say his boat was swept away by a strong tide and capsized in the Little Manatee River.According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, a 911 call was received ...
Updated: 4 minutes ago

Crescent Heights neighborhood working to save historic church

ST. PETERSBURG — The Crescent Heights Neighborhood Association says it wants to save one of the area’s historic buildings from demolition.The association says the American Baptist Church of the Beatitudes, at 2812 Eighth St. N, is being sold to a loc...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Goalie Maddie Rooney delivers gold medal performance for U.S.

Goalie Maddie Rooney delivers gold medal performance for U.S.

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Maddie Rooney couldn’t stop smiling. She was on top of her game, and it didn’t seem to matter that it was a shootout against the powerhouse Canadians. The first shootout in an Olympic women’s final. ...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
It turns out flamingos may have once called Florida home

It turns out flamingos may have once called Florida home

In 2015, Conchy the flamingo showed up at Florida’s Naval Air Station Key West, and he wouldn’t leave. Normally managers on the grounds lethally remove feathered troublemakers — it can be very dangerous with birds flying around million-dollar fighter...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays are adding players?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays are adding players?

The Rays signed veteran outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year contract one day after trading Steven Souza Jr. to Arizona. In his latest podcast, Rick Stroud discusses reaction to the moves from players, as well as super fan Dick Vitale.Plus, the Bucs...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Rec’ team in Twitter tussle with NRA and its ‘pro-slaughter agenda’

Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Rec’ team in Twitter tussle with NRA and its ‘pro-slaughter agenda’

The NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation" was a show about the power of community and civic engagement that was created and run by outspoken gun lobby critic Michael Schur.It’s arguably not the best show for the National Rifle Association to reference on...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands beats Wall Street forecasts

Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands beats Wall Street forecasts

TAMPA — Bloomin’ Brands this morning beat Wall Street expectations in reporting fourth-quarter net income of $16.4 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier.The Tampa-based restaurant chain group — which includes Outback Steak...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Guest column: The time I asked Billy Graham if he ever gets sick of the Bible

Guest column: The time I asked Billy Graham if he ever gets sick of the Bible

The interview was not going well.There I was, in a coveted one-on-one meeting with Billy Graham in his home in Montreat, N.C., in August 1998. It took months to get this interview for the Tampa Tribune and WFLA-TV. The newspaper and the TV station ha...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Procession planned for ‘America’s Pastor,’ Rev. Billy Graham

Procession planned for ‘America’s Pastor,’ Rev. Billy Graham

MONTREAT, N.C. — The Rev. Billy Graham, the magnetic, movie-star-handsome preacher who became a singular force in postwar American religious life, a confidant of presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, has died. He was 9...
Updated: 1 hour ago