Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg officer in fateful 1996 shooting faces DUI

ST. PETERSBURG — A police officer who shot and killed a teenager during a 1996 traffic stop, triggering two days of racial disturbances, was arrested late Saturday on a misdemeanor drunken driving charge.

James K. Knight, 51, a St. Petersburg officer, was arrested by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office just after 11 p.m. near First Avenue and 58th Street S. He was stopped for poor driving and failing to maintain a lane, said sheriff's Sgt. David DiSano.

Knight did not satisfactorily complete a roadside sobriety test and had bloodshot eyes, DiSano said. Two breath tests showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.143 and 0.140 percent. The state considers a driver impaired at 0.08 percent.

He was booked early Sunday at the Pinellas County Jail, then released on his own recognizance, records show.

St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz said Knight has been with the department since July 1988.

"The matter will be investigated by our internal affairs unit and he'll be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome," Puetz said Sunday.

During an October 1996 traffic stop at 16th Street S and 18th Avenue, Officer Knight fired shots that killed TyRon Lewis, 18.

The shooting of the black motorist by the white officer sparked two days of disturbances that included gunfire and burned buildings. About a month after the shooting, a grand jury cleared Knight, saying he had acted in the line of duty.

Knight and his partner had stopped the car because it was speeding. The panel found that Lewis refused orders to get out of the car and instead moved it toward Officer Knight, running into him several times before the officer fired.

St. Petersburg officer in fateful 1996 shooting faces DUI 04/28/13 [Last modified: Sunday, April 28, 2013 11:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Letter from 'many' St. Petersburg High faculty, staff to Pinellas School Board pushes for assistant principal to be next principal

    Blogs

    A St. Petersburg High teacher sent a letter on the behalf of "many" school faculty and staff to the Pinellas County School Board and school district superintendent Mike Grego in support of appointing their assistant principal, Darlene Lebo, as principal.

    Darlene Lebo, an assistant principal at St. Petersburg High, is supported by "many" school faculty and staff to be the school's next principal, according to a letter sent to the Pinellas County School Board.
  2. 2017 Florida Theme Park Guide: A look at this summer's top attractions

    Attractions

    Florida's theme parks are getting ready for their busiest season with new rides, shows and perks, and we have rounded up a guide to the best new things to see.

    The newest fireworks presentation at Magic Kingdom uses lasers, lights, projections and pyrotechnics showing characters and scenes from more than 25 Disney films. [Walt Disney World]
  3. Meet 'rave pops,' the EDM-loving, hard-dancing 72-year-old who went viral via the Sunset Music Festival (w/video)

    Music & Concerts

    Alan Grofé is a 72-year-old, semi-retired entrepreneur and former tech executive with frost-white hair, two grown children and five grandchildren.

    Alan Grofe dances at the Electric Daisy Carnival festival in Orlando in 2016. [aLIVE Coverage for Insomniac]
  4. Humana adding 200 telemarketing jobs in Tampa Bay

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Health insurance company Humana Inc. is hiring more than 200 workers in Tampa Bay. The Louisville, Ky.-based company said Wednesday that the new positions will focus on phone sales for Humana's direct marketing services department.

    Humana is adding 200 positions to its Tampa office. Theo Sai, chief medical officer for seniro products at Humana, is pictured in the company's Tampa executive office in 2015. | Rachel Crosby, Times
  5. Congressman wants Trump to pay for Mar-a-Lago travel

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON -- This bill won’t go anywhere, but give Rep. Alcee Hastings creative points with the TRUMPED Act, aka Taxpayers Require Urgent Mandatory Protection from Egregious Debt Act of 2017: