Saturday, June 23, 2018
Public safety

Man who flagged down Tampa officer arrested on murder, theft charges

TAMPA — While Officer Roger Brown was stopped at a traffic light Saturday night, an odd thing happened.

A man rapped on the window of his patrol car while the Tampa officer was waiting about 9:45 p.m. for the light to change at Fowler Avenue and 15th Street.

He had killed someone, the man told Brown, according to authorities. And the body remained in his apartment a few blocks away.

Brown called it in. Other officers went to check Unit C104 at the University Oakwood Apartments, 1254 E 113th Ave.

They found the body of a man.

And Carlos Ruben Rivas, 49, who had made the on-the-spot confession, was arrested on a first-degree murder charge and a felony grand theft charge.

Rivas remained Sunday in the Hillsborough County jail, held without bail.

Rivas told police he had just met the homeless man, whose name was not released, and invited him to stay at his apartment, according to an arrest affidavit.

He said he took $150 from the man to buy alcohol and other items for both of them. But he bought drugs instead.

Rivas had been contemplating killing the man for a few hours, police said, and concluded that he had to do it to avoid a fight over the money.

Rivas returned to the apartment and beat the sleeping man repeatedly with a metal bar, the report showed.

It was not clear based on information released by investigators Sunday just when the killing had happened.

After he killed the man, Rivas took the man's bank card and left the apartment before turning himself in.

Records show that Rivas has a violent past, has served two sentences in state prison and is a registered sex offender.

In 1992, he was charged with sexually attacking a 12-year-old Town 'N Country girl.

Detectives said at the time that had met the girl on New Year's Eve when mutual friends were taking her home. On Jan. 1, 1992, Rivas returned to the girl's house, broke in, held a gun to her neck and assaulted her, detectives said.

He pleaded guilty and was convicted by a judge of sexual battery, burglary and a lewd and lascivious act on a child, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records.

The records show he was sentenced to 15 years in prison and another 15 years of probation.

He was released after serving nearly six years of the sentence, according to Florida Department of Corrections records. Records were not available Sunday to explain why he had served less than half of the sentence.

But he later violated his probation, records show.

In 2000-01, he also served about a six-month term in state prison on a lewd and lascivious behavior count. It was not clear from the records available whether the charge was related to the 1992 incident.

News researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report.

Comments
Authorities looking for

Authorities looking for "inmate" who left Bilirakis event

Authorities are searching for a man who they say took off from a New Port Richey political event while under supervision of a treatment center.The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office described Nicholas Moore, 23, as both an "inmate" and a "member" of the A...
Updated: 1 hour 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: 6 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