Saturday, April 21, 2018
Public safety

Tampa man charged with manslaughter after dispute about chicken foot turns deadly

TAMPA — A Tampa man has been charged with manslaughter after an investigation revealed that he beat his roommate to death after a disagreement about a chicken foot, Tampa police said.

James Jugo, 52, admitted in an interview with detectives on Saturday that he beat his roommate, 56-year-old Benjamin Calderon, with his fist after an argument about some stolen food, police said.

The fight started earlier, when Jugo took a chicken foot from a skillet as Calderon cooked in the apartment they shared at 8722 N 48th Street, police said.

Officers were called to the apartment on Friday to investigate an "unexplained death." It is unclear when the fight took place and if Calderon died immediately. Police declined to share details, saying the attack is still under investigation.

An autopsy revealed that Calderon suffered internal bleeding after being hit numerous times on the face, neck and elsewhere, police said. A witness told police that she saw Jugo hit Calderon with a board.

Jugo was booked in jail Saturday. He is being held on $15,000 bail.

Jugo has been arrested 19 times in Florida on charges including burglary, cocaine possession, petty theft, probation violation, open container and possession of a dangerous dog, state records show.

Calderon had been arrested twice in Florida on charges of DUI and failure to appear. He had recently become homeless after losing his security job, his brother Bolivar Calderon said Monday.

Benjamin Calderon lived out of his car for a while and tried staying at a shelter. He ended up living with Jugo and female roommate, the brother said.

Calderon was saving money to apply for a license that would allow him to work as an armed security officer.

"He had plans. He was setting goals for himself," Bolivar Calderon said.

Benjamin Calderon leaves a mother, two brothers, a sister and children. The family is devastated, and they have lingering questions that they hope police will eventually answer, Bolivar Calderon said.

"No one deserves to die over a chicken foot," he said.

Times news researcher John Martin and staff writer Dan Sullivan contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3433.

Comments
Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

Deputies: Woman in road rage incident targeted ... a school bus?

TAMPA — Deputies are searching for a woman accused of blocking a special needs school bus with her car, getting out and banging and kicking on the bus door until she broke the glass.And there were four children inside, deputies said, as she shouted a...
Updated: 8 hours ago
St. Pete police search for missing 20-year-old woman

St. Pete police search for missing 20-year-old woman

ST. PETERSBURG — Officers are searching for a 20-year-old woman who they believe to be missing and who could be in danger.Kayla Brandi Boone was last seen at about 11 p.m. Thursday in the 2700 block of Fourth Street S, according to St. Petersburg pol...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Deputies: 19-month-old child found in New Port Richey pond has died

NEW PORT RICHEY — The 19-month-old child that was found in a pond on Thursday afternoon has died, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.The incident took place at about 12:31 p.m. Deputies and firefighters were called out to a home in the 47...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Cops used dead man’s finger in attempt to access his phone. It’s legal, but is it okay?

Cops used dead man’s finger in attempt to access his phone. It’s legal, but is it okay?

LARGO — Most people agree what the Largo detectives did at the funeral home was legal.What they diverge on is whether it was appropriate."I just felt so disrespected and violated," said Victoria Armstrong, whose fiance, Linus F. Phillip., was shot an...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties

Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties

The man identified as the suspect who fatally shot two Gilchrist County deputies in a restaurant Thursday afternoon before taking his own life has ties to the Tampa Bay area.Deputies say John Hubert Highnote, 59, of Bell — who was found dead outside ...
Published: 04/20/18
Authorities say motive in deputy killings may never be known

Authorities say motive in deputy killings may never be known

TRENTON — Investigators in Florida say they may never know why a man - a recluse from a rural farm community who rarely ventured into town - killed two sheriff’s deputies while they sat in a Chinese restaurant. John Hubert Highnote, 58, of Bell casua...
Published: 04/20/18
One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

OCALA — One student shot another in the ankle at a Florida high school and the suspected shooter is in custody, authorities said Friday.The Marion County Sheriff’s Office reported that the shooting happened Friday morning at Forest High School, which...
Published: 04/20/18
Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Mario Nunez called it a "huge shaking my head moment" when the photo inside the cabin of Southwest Airlines flight 1380 appeared on his TV.The story was about a terrifying emergency landing after an engine exploded 20 minutes into a trip from New Yor...
Published: 04/20/18
A state trooper kept pulling women over to ask for dates

A state trooper kept pulling women over to ask for dates

TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey State Police trooper accused of repeatedly pulling over women to ask them out on dates has been indicted. The state attorney general’s office announced Thursday that 32-year-old Eric Richardson faces charges including off...
Published: 04/20/18
Pinellas detention deputy fired for using racial slur

Pinellas detention deputy fired for using racial slur

LARGO — Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri fired a detention deputy Friday after an internal investigation found he used a racial slur to describe black inmates.A fellow Pinellas County Jail deputy reported Jorge Lopez, 30, after he repeatedly used the s...
Published: 04/20/18