Saturday, May 26, 2018
Public safety

For second time, Palmetto man accused of impersonating cop

TAMPA — A man was jailed Sunday after he used flashing emergency lights to stop a Tampa police officer and claim he was a Homeland Security official, according to an arrest report.

Jonathan Charles Stevens, 24, faces charges of impersonating a police officer, carrying a concealed firearm and unlawful use of a blue light.

The Palmetto man faced similar charges about three months ago after authorities say they saw him pull over a motorist at an Ellenton shopping complex.

On Sunday night in Ybor City, he was driving a Chevrolet Tahoe when he saw an officer in the area of 19th Street N and E Seventh Avenue, Tampa police said.

Before stopping, Stevens phoned a police dispatch line to report a reckless driver in the area, police said.

He then turned on the emergency lights, which were affixed to the Tahoe, and stopped the officer, police said.

Stevens, who wore a badge around his neck and was carrying a Glock .45-caliber handgun, told the officer he was with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to the arrest report.

The officer later checked the Tahoe's tag number and found it was not registered to a government agency.

After being questioned, Stevens admitted he was not a police officer, officials said.

Stevens was booked in the Orient Road Jail early Monday and later released on $17,500 bail.

State records show Stevens had been arrested in September by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office on charges of impersonating a law enforcement officer and unlawful use of blue lights.

At the time, the Bradenton Herald reported, undercover detectives working at Ellenton Premium Outlets saw him — while driving a Tahoe with flashing blue lights — pull over a female motorist in the parking lot.

Investigators said he told her he was an off-duty officer.

He posted $2,000 bail and was released.

The case is pending.

News researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Comments
Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

WEEKI WACHEE — A woman who runs an animal sanctuary will face dozens of animal cruelty charges after Hernando County animal enforcement officers said they found dogs, equine, pigs, cats and chickens housed in poor conditions on her property.Animal of...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

The 18-year-old who was arrested this week after police said he was racing when he fatally struck a young mother pushing her stroller across Bayshore Boulevard was back in jail on Friday night.Cameron Herrin, 18, was arrested on a second count of veh...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Last year three members of the 69ers Motorcycle Club gang were implicated in the execution of a rival gang leader in the middle of rush hour traffic in Pasco County.Now those three and two other 69ers members have been indicted on federal charges tha...
Published: 05/25/18

Raccoon bites bicyclist, now the Health Department is looking for the victim

TAMPA — A bicyclist in the Palm River area was bitten by a raccoon Friday morning, the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County said.Now the department is concerned the animal had rabies and is searching for the bicyclist."While it is impo...
Published: 05/25/18

Police: Baby not abandoned; mother surrendered infant

TAMPA — A newborn baby initially thought to be found on the ground near a trash can in north Tampa was not abandoned, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.The child’s mother gave birth to the boy Thursday, and she and someone else too...
Published: 05/25/18
Student says science teacher tackled Indiana school shooter

Student says science teacher tackled Indiana school shooter

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — A male student opened fire at a suburban Indianapolis middle school Friday morning, wounding another student and a teacher before being taken into custody, authorities said. Seventh-grader Ethan Stonebraker said the science teache...
Published: 05/25/18

Woman, dog die trying to cross U.S. 19 in Hudson

PORT RICHEY— An unidentified 45-year-old Colorado woman and her dog died early Friday morning when they walked into the path of two vehicles on U.S. 19, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The woman was walking her dog around 5:40 a.m. across U.S...
Published: 05/25/18
A ‘coupon conundrum’ at a Largo Burger King landed him in jail

A ‘coupon conundrum’ at a Largo Burger King landed him in jail

LARGO— A flap over coupons led a Clearwater man to grab a Burger King employee and yank her over the counter, leading to his arrest, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.Miguel Latorre, 23, was trying to use several coupons to buy a Whop...
Published: 05/25/18
New signs indicate reduced Bayshore Boulevard speed limit after racing deaths

New signs indicate reduced Bayshore Boulevard speed limit after racing deaths

TAMPA — Two days after a mother and daughter were struck by a speeding car Bayshore Boulevard, killing both, city officials on Friday began implementing changes aimed at ensuring safety along the busy roadway.On Friday morning, workers began installi...
Published: 05/25/18
He is accused in 13 Gulfport vehicle burglaries. An ankle bracelet tipped police off.

He is accused in 13 Gulfport vehicle burglaries. An ankle bracelet tipped police off.

GULFPORT — An 18-year-old man, wearing an ankle bracelet, was arrested Thursday after he was accused of breaking into 13 cars in a one-block radius over the last week.Benjamin Langkamp Jr. faces 13 charges of vehicle burglary — each of which occurred...
Published: 05/25/18