Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Public safety

‘I’m pleading to my brothers. You know this guy,’ council member Frank Reddick says of Seminole Heights killer

TAMPA — With the Seminole Heights neighborhood reeling from four unsolved fatal shootings, City Council member Frank Reddick made an emotional plea Thursday for members of the black community there to give police information about the killer.

Reddick said someone in the community knows the identity of the suspect, who police this week described as a black male, about 6 feet to 6-feet-2 with a thin build and light complexion.

He said it is sad no one has come forward with information. Several times during a speech at a Tampa City Council meeting, he called on "his brothers" to help law enforcement solve the crimes.

"I’m pleading to my brothers. You know this guy," he said. "You know this guy that is walking at 4 o’clock in the morning. Brothers don’t let this happen again. It could be your family next."

Reddick, the lone black member of the council, also offered to serve as a go-between for people who have information but are wary of talking to police. His East Tampa district includes part of the Seminole Heights neighborhood.

He also highlighted the reward money being offered for information about the suspect, whom he described as a thug. That incentive today stands at $100,000 after a $9,000 pledge from local restaurateur Richard Gonzmart, owner of the Columbia and Ulele restaurants.

"Someone needs that money," Reddick said. "You need it because the holiday is coming; you need it because you’re behind in bills."

The killings began Oct. 9 with the shooting of Benjamin Mitchell, 22. Two days later, Monica Hoffa was shot dead. Her body was found two days later. On Oct. 19, Anthony Naiboa, 20 was gunned down. And early Tuesday, Ronald Felton, 60, was killed.

Reddick said it is appalling that the Thanksgiving holiday will be a time of grieving for their families.

His speech was commended and echoed by other council members.

"I want to thank Councilman Reddick for what he just said on behalf of the entire community," said Council member Harry Cohen. "I know everyone is praying for a quick resolution to this terrible, terrible situation we find ourselves in."

Contact Christopher O’Donnell at [email protected] or (813) 226-3446. Follow @codonnell_Times.

Comments
St. Pete police investigating social media threat against Pride event

St. Pete police investigating social media threat against Pride event

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are investigating a threat against St. Pete Pride weekend based on a social media comment left on a Tampa Bay Times story.A Facebook commenter used an alias to post the threat on a story about a pop-up gay club planned for the...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Couple leased someone else’s home to 12 families at same time, Largo police say

Couple leased someone else’s home to 12 families at same time, Largo police say

LARGO — At least 12 families leased the same Largo home at the same time and lost as much as $4,300 each in a fraud scheme run by a couple who portrayed themselves as owners of the property, Largo police said.Police learned of the scheme Tuesday afte...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Driver in fatal Tampa hit-and-run turns himself in

Driver in fatal Tampa hit-and-run turns himself in

TAMPA — The driver who was sought in a fatal hit-and-run on Sunday night has turned himself in.Police say Roger Herelle, 33, told detectives Wednesday he was involved in the crash that killed Sally Ann McClellan Webb, 58.Police had had been seeking t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Five guns taken in 30 reported break-ins of unlocked cars in Clearwater

Five guns taken in 30 reported break-ins of unlocked cars in Clearwater

CLEARWATER — Thieves have made off with at least five guns after breaking into unlocked vehicles in recent days, police said Wednesday morning.Over the past three days, a group of people have been breaking into unlocked vehicles across the city. Clea...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police investigating body found floating near Davis Islands

Police investigating body found floating near Davis Islands

TAMPA — Police are working to recover a body that was found floating in the water near the Davis Island Sea Basin on Wednesday morning.It is uncertain how the body ended up there, according to police.This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pasco Sheriff: Hudson man faces sexual battery charges

Pasco Sheriff: Hudson man faces sexual battery charges

HUDSON — A 33-year-old man is facing charges of sexual battery and rape after Pasco County Sheriff’s deputies said he assaulted a 14-year-old girl.Christopher Hall, who was 31 at the time of the incident, forced the victim into a bathroom, took off h...
Updated: 4 hours ago
SB traffic on I-275 slowed in St. Petersburg after car jumps median

SB traffic on I-275 slowed in St. Petersburg after car jumps median

ST. PETERSBURG — A car that is straddling the center concrete barrier is causing a visual slowdown Wednesday morning on Interstate 275.The incident occurred sometime around 7:30 a.m.The passenger side of the car can be seen hanging along the median o...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Hillsborough sheriff to announce results of construction fraud investigation

Hillsborough sheriff to announce results of construction fraud investigation

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office will provide details today of an investigation that led to the arrest of 15 unlicensed contractors.Sheriff Chad Chronister will brief reporters at 2 p.m. on what his office described as a "major constr...
Updated: 4 hours ago
New Port Richey man faces sexual battery charge

New Port Richey man faces sexual battery charge

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 33-year-old man was arrested Monday on a charge of sexual battery, accused of assaulting a 10-year-old girl.Jonathan Wells was booked into the Pasco County jail, where he was being held Tuesday without bail.The assault took place ...
Published: 06/19/18
St. Petersburg power outage affects thousands

St. Petersburg power outage affects thousands

More than 2,000 Duke Energy customers are without power after a cluster of storms rolled through earlier this afternoon, according to Duke Energy.The area without power stretches along 62nd Avenue N from 12th Street N to 30th Way N, according to the ...
Published: 06/19/18