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Clearwater man who attacked high school student in 1988 arrested again

LARGO — A Clearwater man who was convicted as a teenager in 1989 of a brutal attack on a 15-year-girl was arrested again Tuesday, accused of stealing money from a woman at a bus stop near Pinellas County's criminal justice complex.

Dominick A. Christiano, 38, of 15590 59th St., was charged with petit theft, tampering with a witness and multiple probation violations.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Christiano was at a bus stop in front of Bayside High School around 2 p.m. when he went into a woman's purse and stole about $46.

The woman followed Christiano across the street. Near another bus stop, in front of the criminal courthouse at 14400 49th St. N in Largo, the woman tried to call 911, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Christiano grabbed the woman's cell phone and threw it to the ground, arrest reports show. When Christiano walked away, the woman picked up her cell phone and called 911.

Christiano made headlines in the late 1980s when he was sentenced to 25 years in prison after he was convicted of attempted murder.

In that case, authorities said, Christiano — 15 years old at the time — and another teenager broke into an Indian Rocks Beach home after committing a string of residential burglaries that night.

A 15-year-old Largo High School student was sleeping in the home. Her mother was at work.

Before the pair left, Christiano picked up a fire extinguisher and used it to beat the sleeping girl in the face. The girl suffered facial fractures and had to have extensive reconstructive surgery.

Christiano was tried as an adult. In 1989, a jury convicted him of attempted murder. A circuit judge sentenced him to 25 years in prison, followed by 10 years of probation.

Records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement show Christiano was in prison from December 1989 to April 2007.

In 2009, he was arrested on a probation violation in Pinellas County. While he was still being held in the Pinellas County Jail on that charge in April 2010, Christiano made headlines again when he was involved in a jailhouse brawl with Edward Graziano.

Graziano was sentenced to 10 years in prison last month after he pleaded no contest to solicitation to commit murder. Prosecutors said Graziano offered $2,100 and a pizza shop gift card to an undercover deputy if he would kill his estranged wife, Debra.

He is the father of John Graziano, who was severely injured in a 2007 streetracing crash in Clearwater involving Nick Bollea, the son of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.

On Wednesday, Christiano was being held without bail in the county jail.

Clearwater man who attacked high school student in 1988 arrested again 06/15/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 3:11pm]
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