Sunday, April 22, 2018
Public safety

Clearwater police employee suspended for informing shooting suspect

CLEARWATER

Police employee Suspended for informing suspect

A records employee was suspended for informing her boyfriend's cousin he was a suspect in a shooting and later lying to internal affairs investigators, according to Clearwater police records. On April 5, police arrested Robert Burke in a drive-by shooting. Burke told detectives Jeremy Williams was a passenger in the car. A few days later, Burke's mother called police and said Williams knew he was a suspect because LaDrea Young, a 15-year employee at the department, told him, records show. Young later told investigators she never viewed Burke's arrest affidavit, which mentioned Williams' name six times. But a search of Young's activity on the database showed she had opened it, records show. Young received a 7-day suspension in June.

Man accused of trying to kidnap woman from hotel

A 42-year-old man is jailed in the attempted kidnapping of a woman at a hotel. About 10:30 p.m. Monday, Krista L. Kennedy, 50, was sitting outside her room at the Clarion Hotel, 20967 U.S. 19 N, just north of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard, when a man struck up a conversation with her. About two hours later he returned, put a hand over her mouth and tried to drag her away, Clearwater police said. Her screams alerted her son, who was in their room and ran outside, and the man fled. Detectives circulated images of the suspect from hotel surveillance video. A resident identified him as Joshua Hockaday, who lives nearby on Elizabeth Avenue, police said. The victim later identified him in a photo lineup. Hockaday was arrested Tuesday night at his home. He faces charges of attempted kidnapping and violating his probation. He was being held without bail Wednesday at the Pinellas County Jail.

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