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Three Clearwater men arrested as bystanders jeer police

CLEARWATER — Police arrested two men on weapons charges and a third man on a warrant Wednesday night after receiving a report about men carrying guns on a residential street, authorities said.

Tori L. Rouse and Gerard G. Graves, both 19, were each charged with carrying a concealed firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Cedric S. Woods, 26, was arrested on a warrant for failure to appear in court on a drug possession charge.

Clearwater police were called to the neighborhood in North Greenwood around 4:20 p.m. by a person who said three men were standing near a porch with handguns tucked in their waistbands.

As police arrived, the men went into unit No. 2203 at the Palmetto Park Apartments on Palm Bluff Street.

Police contacted the person renting the apartment and brought her to the scene. She told officers that no one should be in her apartment and gave them permission to go inside, police said.

More than a dozen units responded, and more than a hundred onlookers gathered along the street to watch as the drama unfolded. Around 5:20 p.m., a canine team arrived and joined officers lining the doorway of the home. Some officers carried assault rifles.

The incident ended around 5:30 p.m., when several men came out of the home, were ordered to the ground and were handcuffed as some bystanders jeered police.

"Shoot them Crackers," one woman yelled.

Police found two semiautomatic handguns and a revolver inside the apartment. One of the guns was stolen, police said.

A witness identified Rouse and Graves as two of the people seen with guns.

Pinellas Court records show Rouse was charged with grand theft auto and cocaine possession in 2010, but both were reduced to misdemeanor charges. An arrest affidavit says Rouse has three prior felony convictions as a juvenile.

Graves was convicted of cocaine and marijuana possession in January, according to court records.

Woods was charged with possession of a controlled substance in September. A warrant for his arrest was issued March 1 when he failed to show up at a pretrial hearing, court records show.

On Thursday afternoon, Rouse, of 1129 Tangerine St., and Graves, of 910 Berkley Drive, were both being held in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $30,000 bail. Woods, of 1918 Chenango Ave., was released on his own recognizance late Thursday morning.

Three Clearwater men arrested as bystanders jeer police 03/24/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 24, 2011 8:16pm]
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