Sunday, May 20, 2018
Public safety

Michael Graziano, younger brother of John Graziano, dies of injuries from crash

LARGO — Five years ago, Debra Graziano's son was injured in a car crash that grabbed worldwide headlines because the driver of the car was the son of wrestler Hulk Hogan.

Since then, she has cared for John Graziano daily as he recovers from severe brain damage. She holds his hand. She talks to him.

Eleven days ago, Debra Graziano's younger son, Michael, was critically hurt in an eerily similar crash. From the hospital, she asked the community to pray for his life.

But on Friday afternoon, she learned she will not get to soothe and hold her second son as she has her first.

Michael Graziano, 23, was pronounced dead at 1:45 p.m. at Bayfront Medical Center.

"It's a devastating tragedy for a family that has already suffered more than their share of tragedy," said George Tragos, an attorney for the Graziano family.

Michael Graziano was critically injured April 3 when he was the passenger in a Volvo that crashed into the back of a dump truck at 3 a.m. at Ulmerton Road and 66th Street, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. He and the Volvo's driver, Cameron Richard Bosley, 24, were rushed to the hospital after the high-speed wreck. Bosley's condition later improved.

Neither man was wearing a seat belt, troopers said.

Bosley has a criminal record that includes arrests on charges of reckless driving and fleeing and eluding police, records show.

No charges have been filed, but FHP traffic homicide troopers are investigating and are awaiting toxicology results.

"Everything at this point is pending," said an FHP spokesman, Sgt. Steve Gaskins.

Five years earlier, Michael Graziano had taken a semester off from his studies at St. Petersburg College to help his mother care for John.

An Iraq War veteran, John Graziano was riding in a car with Nick Bollea, son of wrestling star Hulk Hogan, when it jumped a curb and plowed into a palm tree. John Graziano was not wearing a seat belt.

Bollea was seen racing against a Dodge Viper moments before the crash. He later spent five months in jail for reckless driving.

John was left in a minimally conscious state. He spent two years receiving treatment at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa before he was released to his family in 2009.

"It didn't really sink in yet," Michael Graziano said upon his brother's homecoming. "It may take a while to realize every day when I wake up he's there."

Michael watched the slow recovery process as his brother received outpatient therapy several times a week.

He spoke of his hope for his brother's continued recovery, but said he missed "doing everything that brothers do."

The Graziano brothers have an older sister, Christin Carson of Texas, who spent months in Florida to support the family after John's injury.

The Graziano family settled a lawsuit against the Bolleas for an undisclosed sum, though experts have estimated the potential value of the settlement as between $25 million and $50 million.

The family received another jolt in 2009 when the brothers' father, Ed Graziano, was charged with trying to hire a hit man to kill Debra.

Ed Graziano was sentenced to 10 years in prison last year.

Largo lawyer John Trevena, who represented Ed Graziano, said his client called him from prison Friday distraught about his son's death.

Trevena said Ed Graziano wants to attend his son's funeral, though it was unclear if that will happen.

Times staff writers Mike Brassfield, Curtis Krueger, Kameel Stanley and Lorri Helfand contributed to this report. Dan Sullivan can be reached at (727) 893-8321 or [email protected]

Comments
Traffic lights out at Pinellas Park intersection; drivers should avoid area

Traffic lights out at Pinellas Park intersection; drivers should avoid area

PINELLAS PARK — Traffic lights have lost power at the intersection of 66th Street N and Park Boulevard, police said.About 5:45 p.m., Pinellas Park Police announced the outage. Duke Energy is working to restore power, according to the agency. Drivers ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

SANTA FE, Texas — A 17-year-old student looking forward to celebrating his family's new swimming pool and a substitute teacher whose home frequently hosted family gatherings were among the 10 people killed in a mass shooting at a Texas high sch...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Burglary suspect jumps into Hillsborough canal to escape deputies, officials say

Burglary suspect jumps into Hillsborough canal to escape deputies, officials say

TAMPA — After a botched burglary, a fleeing suspect jumped into a canal to escape deputies Saturday afternoon, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The person has not yet been identified. The suspect tried to break into a business on...
Published: 05/19/18
Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors ‘critical’

Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors ‘critical’

HAVANA — The only three survivors of Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in three decades were clinging to life Saturday, a day after their passenger jet crashed in a fireball in Havana’s rural outskirts with 113 people on board. In the first official dea...
Published: 05/19/18
He lured young men looking for weed. Their bodies turned up in a pig roaster.

He lured young men looking for weed. Their bodies turned up in a pig roaster.

Cosmo DiNardo declared "I am a savage no explanation needed" on social media seven months before police say he lured four young men to his family’s farm, shot them to death, ran one of them over with a backhoe and dumped three of their bodies in a pi...
Published: 05/19/18
Off-duty Largo firefighter arrested on DUI charge

Off-duty Largo firefighter arrested on DUI charge

DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies arrested an off-duty Largo firefighter found asleep at the wheel shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday.Patrol deputies saw a 2013 Dodge Dart, facing west and stopped in the intersection of Main Street and Bass Bou...
Published: 05/19/18
After Texas school shooting, Tampa Bay officials will step up security

After Texas school shooting, Tampa Bay officials will step up security

Hours after Friday’s deadly school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, bay area law enforcement officials pledged to beef up school security for the last remaining days of the school year.Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister held a news conference late Frid...
Published: 05/18/18
Largo police seek person of interest linked to missing man

Largo police seek person of interest linked to missing man

LARGO — Police are searching for a person of interest in the January disappearance of a 24-year-old man.The missing man is Timothy Patrick Cullen, 24, who Largo police said was last seen Jan. 22 at his home in the 500 block of Seventh Ave NE. His veh...
Published: 05/18/18
Pasco man accused of abusing 3-month-old infant

Pasco man accused of abusing 3-month-old infant

BAYONET POINT — A 26-year-old man was arrested Thursday on a charge of aggravated child abuse and accused of fracturing an infant’s skull, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Brandon Scott Madrishin told deputies that a 3-month-old infant ...
Published: 05/18/18
20 years later, Hank Earl Carr’s victims are still loved and remembered

20 years later, Hank Earl Carr’s victims are still loved and remembered

When her school bus pulled up to her house that day, Ashley Bell spotted her mom’s car in the driveway and wondered why it was there. A 14-year-old latchkey kid, Bell usually got home before her mother Carolyn arrived from her job as a nurse at St. J...
Published: 05/18/18