Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Police: Clearwater man made up story of being stabbed by burglar

CLEARWATER — A man who called police and said he had been stabbed by a burglar inside his apartment earlier this week fabricated the story, police said Friday.

Ricardo Vargas, 34, admitted to detectives late Thursday that he made up the burglary and stabbed himself in the stomach area, Clearwater police said.

About 4 p.m. Wednesday, Vargas arrived at his residence at the Turnbury apartments, 25450 U.S. 19 N. He later told police that when he opened his door, he saw a man digging through his closet. The burglar turned around and stabbed him in the stomach, Vargas told police on Wednesday.

Vargas was taken by helicopter to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg and later released.

Inconsistencies in Vargas' story raised red flags about what had happened, police said. During a follow-up interview, detectives questioned him more, and Vargas confessed that the burglary hadn't happened, police said. Police said they were still investigating Friday why Vargas lied.

Dozens of Clearwater police officers responded to the scene on Wednesday.

"He wasted the time and resources of the Clearwater Police Department, Clearwater Fire and Rescue and the Bayflite staff," said police Chief Tony Holloway. "He created a climate of fear in the neighborhood there that was unwarranted."

The case has been referred to the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office. Charges of filing a false police report may be filed, police said.

Police: Clearwater man made up story of being stabbed by burglar 03/07/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 7, 2014 10:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst


    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  2. A boat lays on its side off the shore of Sainte-Anne on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, early Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, after the passing of Hurricane Maria. [Dominique Chomereau-Lamotte | Associated Press]
  3. 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 149, collapses buildings in Mexico


    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 149 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

    A woman is lifted on a stretcher from of a building that collapsed during an earthquake in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. [Rebecca Blackwell | Associated Press]
  4. FHP seeks semitrailer truck driver that left fiery wreck on I-75


    TAMPA — The Florida Highway Patrol is looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an Interstate 75 crash that left another car burning on Tuesday afternoon.

    Troopers were looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an accident scene on Interstate 75 in Tampa on Tuesday afternoon that caused a car to catch fire. [Courtesy of Florida Highway Patrol]
  5. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.