Sunday, May 20, 2018
Public safety

Pasco jail deputy punches inmate, gets arrested

LAND O'LAKES — A county jail detention deputy was himself booked into jail after he grabbed and punched an inmate in the medical ward on Christmas night, according to reports.

About 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Philip Bruce Walters grabbed Trent Godizzaro by the neck and punched him in the head, according to a Pasco Sheriff's Office report. It was unclear what led up to the incident.

During the scuffle, the inmate grabbed the two-way radio Walters was carrying and called for help, said sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll.

When other deputies arrived, they found Godizzaro with a bruise on his forehead and scrapes to his neck.

Witnesses told them the beating happened "with no aggressive manner from the inmate," the report states.

During questioning, Walters, 45, first denied the beating, then told other deputies "the inmate sat up in an aggressive manner and (Walters) had to push him back into his bunk," the report says.

Walters, an Army combat veteran, was arrested on a charge of battery at 4 a.m. Wednesday and released 45 minutes later when he posted $500 bail. The Sheriff's Office said he was being fired Wednesday afternoon.

Godizzaro, 29, has been in jail since Nov. 15. He was arrested on a warrant connected to a domestic battery case from July. Reports from that day say Godizzaro became angry when his brother wouldn't let him use his house in Hudson as a mailing address.

Walters had worked at the jail since March, according to his personnel file.

efore that, he worked in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, where he was rated in evaluations as satisfactory in dealing with conflict and frustration.

He was a sergeant in the Army from 1986 to 1990 and left with an honorable discharge. He later served in the Army Reserve from 1998 to 2001 and 2002 through 2009. Records show Walters served one tour of duty in Iraq in 2008.

Charles Walter, 43, who works as a corrections officer in Pennsylvania, said he can't imagine his brother hitting an inmate.

"That would be totally beyond his character to swing at someone unless he was defending himself," he said.

The two worked together in Pennsylvania before Philip moved to Florida. He said Philip wasn't new to being provoked by inmates.

"They would throw feces, urine," he said. "Talk about your family, your mother, your brother, your sister. Anything to get you going."

Alex Orlando can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6247.

Comments
Traffic lights out at Pinellas Park intersection; drivers should avoid area

Traffic lights out at Pinellas Park intersection; drivers should avoid area

PINELLAS PARK — Traffic lights have lost power at the intersection of 66th Street N and Park Boulevard, police said.About 5:45 p.m., Pinellas Park Police announced the outage. Duke Energy is working to restore power, according to the agency. Drivers ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

SANTA FE, Texas — A 17-year-old student looking forward to celebrating his family's new swimming pool and a substitute teacher whose home frequently hosted family gatherings were among the 10 people killed in a mass shooting at a Texas high sch...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Burglary suspect jumps into Hillsborough canal to escape deputies, officials say

Burglary suspect jumps into Hillsborough canal to escape deputies, officials say

TAMPA — After a botched burglary, a fleeing suspect jumped into a canal to escape deputies Saturday afternoon, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The person has not yet been identified. The suspect tried to break into a business on...
Published: 05/19/18
Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors ‘critical’

Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors ‘critical’

HAVANA — The only three survivors of Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in three decades were clinging to life Saturday, a day after their passenger jet crashed in a fireball in Havana’s rural outskirts with 113 people on board. In the first official dea...
Published: 05/19/18
He lured young men looking for weed. Their bodies turned up in a pig roaster.

He lured young men looking for weed. Their bodies turned up in a pig roaster.

Cosmo DiNardo declared "I am a savage no explanation needed" on social media seven months before police say he lured four young men to his family’s farm, shot them to death, ran one of them over with a backhoe and dumped three of their bodies in a pi...
Published: 05/19/18
Off-duty Largo firefighter arrested on DUI charge

Off-duty Largo firefighter arrested on DUI charge

DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies arrested an off-duty Largo firefighter found asleep at the wheel shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday.Patrol deputies saw a 2013 Dodge Dart, facing west and stopped in the intersection of Main Street and Bass Bou...
Published: 05/19/18
After Texas school shooting, Tampa Bay officials will step up security

After Texas school shooting, Tampa Bay officials will step up security

Hours after Friday’s deadly school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, bay area law enforcement officials pledged to beef up school security for the last remaining days of the school year.Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister held a news conference late Frid...
Published: 05/18/18
Largo police seek person of interest linked to missing man

Largo police seek person of interest linked to missing man

LARGO — Police are searching for a person of interest in the January disappearance of a 24-year-old man.The missing man is Timothy Patrick Cullen, 24, who Largo police said was last seen Jan. 22 at his home in the 500 block of Seventh Ave NE. His veh...
Published: 05/18/18
Pasco man accused of abusing 3-month-old infant

Pasco man accused of abusing 3-month-old infant

BAYONET POINT — A 26-year-old man was arrested Thursday on a charge of aggravated child abuse and accused of fracturing an infant’s skull, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Brandon Scott Madrishin told deputies that a 3-month-old infant ...
Published: 05/18/18
20 years later, Hank Earl Carr’s victims are still loved and remembered

20 years later, Hank Earl Carr’s victims are still loved and remembered

When her school bus pulled up to her house that day, Ashley Bell spotted her mom’s car in the driveway and wondered why it was there. A 14-year-old latchkey kid, Bell usually got home before her mother Carolyn arrived from her job as a nurse at St. J...
Published: 05/18/18