Driver in shooting accused of hate crime
A New Tampa man was arrested on a hate crime charge after police said he directed ethnic slurs at a convenience store clerk and fired a gun as he drove off late Wednesday.
Tampa police said the man, later identified as Clay Sidney Allred, 29, came into the Mobil station at 30th Street and E Fowler Avenue just before midnight and got into an argument with a clerk. Allred said some ethnic slurs toward the clerk, who is of Arabic descent, police said, before pulling a Jeep Wrangler out of a parking space, firing three shots and driving off.
Officers stopped Allred at E Fletcher Avenue and Magnolia Drive, where he was arrested. The officers said they could see two pistols and an AR-15 rifle inside the Jeep, along with "a lot of military equipment."
Not knowing what might be inside, police summoned the bomb squad, which worked through the early morning to empty the Jeep, police said. It was unclear what they found.
Allred was booked in the Hillsborough County Jail on charges of aggravated assault, shooting from a vehicle and criminal mischief. Police sought to classify the assault as a hate crime to increase the penalty.