Monday, May 21, 2018
Public safety

Toddler's legs severed in lawn mower accident

PALM HARBOR — The little girl with light brown hair looked up at the deputy and asked him where her legs had gone.

Moments before on Wednesday evening, her father was pulling his red Wizard riding lawn mower into the garage when he looked up and saw his wife, screaming and motioning for him to stop.

He backed up, unaware that his daughter, who is 2, had fallen behind him. The mower ran over her. The blades severed her hand and both of her legs beneath the knees.

The father leapt off the mower.

Minutes later, the girl was taken to Tampa General Hospital in a helicopter. Her condition was not available late Wednesday night. Officials did not release her name.

In his kitchen across the street, Oleksandr Ryasnianskiy had heard the father's shrieks. They hardly sounded human.

"That's not something you want to hear," he said later.

Another neighbor, Dru Overwijk, arrived home from yoga and saw a pair of deputies in white uniforms standing in the driveway near the mower.

Two women were kneeling on the ground next to the girl, pressing towels against her wounds.

Outside a garage crowded with toys and children's bicycles, she watched the father pace the driveway. His face and eyes were deep red, and his T-shirt was covered in blood.

He keeled forward and braced his hands on his knees. He let out deep, guttural howls.

"I can't," she heard him say. "I can't."

A deputy heard the girl's mother repeat what she had seen over and over.

Firefighters said they later treated the parents for hysteria.

The family had moved into the small, ranch home on Hollow Ridge Road in the Westlake Village subdivision about a year ago. Neighbors had grown used to the sound of young, happy voices chirping from the home each morning. The family often hosted birthday parties.

They have at least three children, maybe more. Neighbors believed the girl was their youngest.

Before emergency workers loaded the girl onto the helicopter and before firefighters sprayed down the driveway in bleach and before Overwijk knew what had actually happened, she stood outside her house and watched.

Then, just feet from the girl, she spotted something on the driveway: a teddy bear.

Comments
A man punched a pregnant, deaf mother and her service dog on a plane ride to Florida, police say

A man punched a pregnant, deaf mother and her service dog on a plane ride to Florida, police say

A man is accused of attacking a deaf couple and their service dog while they were travelling on a plane headed toward Orlando.The incident happened as Matthew Silvay, 30, and Hazel Ramirez, 21, were on Frontier Flight 1752 as it left Colorado Springs...
Updated: 1 hour ago
New Port Richey man charged with sexual battery of 10-year-old

New Port Richey man charged with sexual battery of 10-year-old

PORT RICHEY — A New Port Richey man accused of sexually battering a 10-year-old girl last year was arrested Friday, according the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. Elias Barreiro, 23, was charged with sexual battery on a child under 12, deputies said. D...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lava from Kilauea volcano enters ocean, creates toxic cloud

Lava from Kilauea volcano enters ocean, creates toxic cloud

PAHOA, Hawaii — White plumes of acid and extremely fine shards of glass billowed into the sky over Hawaii as molten rock from Kilauea volcano poured into the ocean, creating yet another hazard from an eruption that began more than two weeks ago. Auth...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Traffic lights restored at Pinellas Park intersection

Traffic lights restored at Pinellas Park intersection

PINELLAS PARK — Traffic lights have been restored at the intersection of 66th Street N and Park Boulevard, police said. About 5:45 p.m., Pinellas Park Police announced the outage. 
Updated: 8 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...
Published: 05/20/18
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