Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man back in Pinellas after reported escape from St. Petersburg work release center

A Ruskin man who escaped from a St. Petersburg work release facility is back in Pinellas County after more than nine months.

Simon Thomas Ortiz, 22, was reported missing from the work release center at 4237 Eighth Ave. S in St. Petersburg after he didn't appear in a head count in early February.

St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz said another worker received a call from Ortiz at the facility in late March. Ortiz told the worker he left because he missed his children, Puetz said.

Ortiz was living in the work release center, which monitored inmates but allowed them to come and go for employment, as part of a five-year sentence for 2008 burglary and grand theft convictions out of Hillsborough County.

The Pinellas Pasco Circuit Court put out a warrant for his arrest in April. In June, he was arrested in Hillsborough County on several probable cause warrants. Until Thursday, he was being held in the Hillsborough County Jail.

On Thursday, he was transported back to the Pinellas jail, where he remained Friday to face charges of escape.

Man back in Pinellas after reported escape from St. Petersburg work release center 11/22/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 22, 2013 10:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Mother's testimony about toddler's death brings judge to tears


    TAMPA — Nayashia Williams woke up early on May 7, 2014, to the sound of her daughter calling for her. It was the last time the young mother's mornings would begin with a summons from Myla Presley, who couldn't yet climb over the mesh fencing around the playpen she used as a bed.

    Deandre Gilmore looks towards the gallery Tuesday in a Tampa courtroom. Gilmore is accused of killing the 19 month-old daughter of his girlfriend in 2014. He said the child fell while he was giving her a bath. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  2. Speakers: Getting tough can't be only response to teen car thefts


    ST. PETERSBURG — Bob Dillinger remembers coming to Pinellas County as a legal intern in 1975. There were five major poverty zones in St. Petersburg.

  3. Internal White House documents allege manufacturing decline increases abortions, infertility and spousal abuse


    White House officials working on trade policy were alarmed last month when a top adviser to President Donald Trump circulated a two-page document that alleged a weakened manufacturing sector leads to an increase in abortion, spousal abuse, divorce and infertility, two people familiar with the matter told the …

  4. Black entrepreneur says city stiffing him on project after he endorsed Rick Baker


    ST. PETERSBURG — A prominent African-American resident says his endorsement of mayoral candidate Rick Baker has led city officials to freeze him out of a major construction project along the historic "Deuces" stretch of 22nd Street S.