Saturday, June 23, 2018
Public safety

Mural artist Matt Callahan, 40, dies after clash outside South Tampa bar

TAMPA — A respected mural artist died at Tampa General Hospital on Friday after sustaining a severe blow to the head in a fight outside a South Tampa bar earlier this week.

Matt Callahan, 40, owner of Man Made Murals in St. Petersburg, was rushed to Tampa General Hospital on Wednesday.

He was listed on patient rolls early Friday evening but detectives were already calling their inquiry a death investigation, said police spokesperson Steve Hegarty. At 8:30 p.m., the hospital confirmed that Callahan had died.

Police found him on his back with head trauma just after 3 a.m. Wednesday in a median on Gandy Boulevard in Tampa.

He was unresponsive and his breathing was shallow, Hegarty said. Tampa Fire Rescue rushed him to TGH, where he was initially listed in critical condition with bleeding to his brain, Hegarty said.

The injuries occurred in a fight, Hegarty said. Detectives have not yet determined who started the fight, but they are talking to people who were involved, he said.

Minutes before the encounter, Callahan was inside the Warehouse Liquor Store and Bar on the corner of Gandy Boulevard and Clark Avenue, according to a police report.

An employee of the bar told police that Callahan and other patrons argued. The worker did not see what happened after they went outside, the report said.

Callahan, who lived on Pearl Avenue in Tampa, had owned Man Made Murals since 2002.

His work can be seen on brick walls and tin siding in Tampa and St. Petersburg. One mural he painted with Angela Delaplane in 2015 called "St. Tampasburg’’ covers the back alley wall of The Lure restaurant, 661 Central Ave., and depicts scenes from the two cities’ histories.

In March, he posted on Facebook about doing a 20-foot by 25-foot mural officially announcing the NCAA 2019 Women’s Final Four Tampa Bay.

On April 6, he posted about Perennial Bloom, a festival of music and art that night in St. Petersburg. "80 plus artists tonight in St Pete, come see the show!" he wrote.

He attended Florida State University and the Atlanta College of Art.

His 2,364-person friends list captured a cross section of the bay area, leaning toward creative spirits and the people who appreciated them.

Contact Jonathan Capriel at 813-225-3141 or [email protected] Follow @jonathancapriel

Comments
Authorities find

Authorities find "inmate" who walked away from Bilirakis event

The 23-year-old man who authorities said walked away from a New Port Richey political event while under supervision of a treatment center on Saturday has been located.The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office described Nicholas Moore, 23, as both an "inmate"...
Updated: 2 hours ago
FHP: Wrong-way driver hit 100 miles per hour before sideswiping car

FHP: Wrong-way driver hit 100 miles per hour before sideswiping car

A Clearwater man who authorities said sideswiped a car while driving more than 100 miles per hour the wrong way on U.S. 41 was arrested Friday. Wendel Jamel James, 35, is charged with DUI with property damage, reckless driving and leaving the scene ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

TAMPA — Police want to know who shot 14-year-old De’Nico Thomas after a night of playing video games.Thomas was at a friend’s home Wednesday night and walking home when Tampa police said he was shot, resulting in life-threatening injuries.As he faces...
Published: 06/22/18
Clearwater police search for ‘Bic Bandit’ accused of stealing lighters

Clearwater police search for ‘Bic Bandit’ accused of stealing lighters

CLEARWATER — Police detectives are searching for a man coined the "Bic Bandit" based on reports that he’s stolen dozens of lighters from the same 7-Eleven.According to Clearwater police, the man has swiped the lighters four times in the last month, t...
Published: 06/22/18
FHP: One dead, three seriously injured in head-on Pasco crash

FHP: One dead, three seriously injured in head-on Pasco crash

DADE CITY — A Dade City man was killed and three others were seriously injured after a pickup truck and motorcycle crashed head-on Friday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.Floyd Williamson, 72, of Lakeland, was driving northbound on U....
Published: 06/22/18
Body of missing Hernando park ranger found in Georgia; boyfriend being questioned

Body of missing Hernando park ranger found in Georgia; boyfriend being questioned

Georgia detectives on Friday recovered the body of Mitzi Marie Babb, a 43-year-old Hernando park ranger who had been missing since Tuesday.Her boyfriend, arrested Thursday on unrelated charges, has been called a person of interest in her disappearanc...
Published: 06/22/18
A Pasco driver was annoyed another driver was texting. So he pointed a firearm at her.

A Pasco driver was annoyed another driver was texting. So he pointed a firearm at her.

PORT RICHEY — A 41-year-old Uber driver was arrested Friday after police said he pointed a firearm at another driver because he was annoyed that she was texting and driving.Philip Macchio was driving near State Road 52 and U.S. 19 around 12:30 a.m. F...
Published: 06/22/18
Deputies: Cheerleading coach sent explicit images to 16-year-old

Deputies: Cheerleading coach sent explicit images to 16-year-old

A 28-year-old cheerleading coach faces charges for engaging in "inappropriate behavior" with a 16-year-old girl, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Victor Martin Valenty faces 10 counts of traveling to meet a minor, distributing ob...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

FORT LAUDERDALE — Authorities in Florida have arrested a suspect in the killing of rising rap star XXXTentacion, who was fatally shot in his luxury BMW electric car as he left an upscale motorcycle dealership. Dedrick Devonshay Williams, 22, o...
Published: 06/21/18
St. Pete police: Three lieutenants lied about their work hours

St. Pete police: Three lieutenants lied about their work hours

ST. PETERSBURG — Three lieutenants responsible for supervising the police officers who patrol the city were found to have been faking their work hours instead of showing up for duty on time.In some cases, the watch commanders submitted time sheets st...
Published: 06/21/18