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Church camp leader accused of choking teen


Church camp leader accused in choking

A church camp leader faces misdemeanor battery charges in the choking a 15-year-old boy he thought was disrupting his prayer group, authorities say.

Gerald Clarkin Jr., 38, was holding devotions with children in his group at the Church of God of Prophecy camp about 10:40 p.m. Saturday, according to the arrest report. Several children then began playing a prank on the group, sliding stink bombs under the door of Clarkin's room.

Clarkin pushed the door open and grabbed the boy in a headlock, the report said. The boy fell to the floor after becoming light-headed. Clarkin immediately let go of the teen and called for the camp director, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

The boy was taken to Brooksville Regional Hospital, where emergency staff told deputies that he was stable and would be released. The teen's mother later told deputies that she wanted to press battery charges against Clarkin.

Clarkin was arrested early Sunday morning and taken to the Hernando County Jail. He was released after posting bail of $500 later that morning.


Hernando Heat players cited at house party

Two members of the Hernando Heat U-18/19 competitive soccer team received misdemeanor citations resulting from involvement at a weekend house party that drew complaints from neighbors, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said.

Cody Grey, 18, was cited for possession of alcohol by a person under 21, and William Anderson, 18, received a citation for an open house party. Neither teen was arrested. They each face a court date on Oct. 29.

According to the incident report, deputies responded to a complaint about a large party "with numerous juveniles on the lawn" at 3391 Jewfish Drive about 11:30 p.m. Saturday. When they arrived at the home, deputies said, there were as many as 75 people at the party — "none of whom appeared to be 21," the report said.

Inside, deputies noticed Grey was drinking a can of Busch Light beer and that there were a number of other beer cans lying around the porch, lanai and yard.

Anderson told deputies his parents were not at the house and that he intended to have a small party but it "got out of hand." He also said he and his friends had been playing a drinking game known as "beer pong," officials said.

Deputies issued citations to Grey and Anderson, and also handed out a number of parking citations to people whose cars were parked in the street. About an hour later, deputies returned to the home because the party still seemed to be going. Anderson asked for the deputies' assistance in getting everyone to leave.

In the report, deputies noted that the Sheriff's Office has been to the home a number of times because of large parties and noise disturbances.

Anderson and Grey were part of a soccer team that won the Division 1 championship game for the Florida Region Cup and finished third in the state.


Motorcyclist, 62, critically hurt by car

A 62-year-old man suffered critical injuries Monday afternoon when his motorcycle was struck by a car, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The man, who wasn't immediately identified pending notification of relatives, was heading south on U.S. 19 about 1:40 p.m. when a 2006 Chrysler van approached the intersection at St. Andrews Boulevard. The van, driven by Barbara Adams, 67, of Weeki Wachee, missed a stop sign and hit the 1991 Harley-Davidson, the FHP said.

The man was critically injured and airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision.

Adams was charged with a violation of right of way, the FHP said.

Times Staff Writer

Church camp leader accused of choking teen 09/29/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 1, 2008 5:03pm]
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