Thursday, February 22, 2018
Public safety

Van Dyke Church of Lutz worship director charged with DUI in Pasco

HUDSON — The worship director of one of Lutz's largest churches faces a drunken driving charge after Pasco sheriff's deputies said he was weaving across lanes and nearly hit a patrol car early Saturday.

Jeffrey Brian Calhoun, a 49-year-old executive staffer at Van Dyke Church, was charged with first-offense DUI after breath tests showed blood-alcohol levels of 0.116 and 0.119. The limit at which Florida law presumes impairment is 0.08.

A Pasco sheriff's deputy stopped Calhoun's 2004 Toyota Camry shortly after 3 a.m. at State Road 52 and Hays Road. A report said the car, which was traveling west, crossed the inside fog line twice and swerved over the line separating the middle and left lanes, nearly striking the left front fender of the marked patrol car. When the deputy turned on his lights, the car continued to roll about 20 mph for more than 1 mile, the report said.

When the driver got of the car, the deputy noticed the strong smell of alcohol on his breath and "bloodshot, glassy" eyes. According to the report, Calhoun admitted to drinking two Ybor Gold beers and a glass of wine in Ybor City before driving home. He performed poorly on roadside sobriety tests. Calhoun, of 11825 Faithful Way No. 110 in New Port Richey, was taken to the county jail in Land O'Lakes and released several hours later.

Calhoun said he wanted to consult an attorney before deciding whether to comment.

The Rev. Matthew Hartsfield, senior pastor of the United Methodist congregation, said Calhoun had been executive worship leader since 2008. A guitarist, he has been temporarily removed from leading worship services pending a review of the case.

"We are working through this with church leadership," Hartsfield said.

Comments
Two male students arrested for threatening their schools; no weapons found

Two male students arrested for threatening their schools; no weapons found

Two male students were arrested Wednesday on charges that they made threats against their respective schools, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The threats were not credible and neither took steps to carry out those threats, deput...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Former Florida Rep. Robert Wallace jumps from Tampa overpass

Former Florida Rep. Robert Wallace jumps from Tampa overpass

TAMPA — Former Florida state Rep. Robert Wallace ended his life Monday night by jumping from a Dale Mabry Highway overpass, records show. He was 65.At least one witness saw Wallace plunge 40 to 50 feet onto Gunn Highway, according to a Hillsborough C...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Two male students arrested for threatening their schools; no weapons found

Two male students were arrested Wednesday on charges that they made threats against their respective schools, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The threats were not credible and neither took steps to carry out those threats, deput...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Man arrested after 3-year-old girl in his care found wandering streets

Man arrested after 3-year-old girl in his care found wandering streets

PORT RICHEY — A 59-year-old man was arrested Tuesday evening after a 3-year-old girl in his care was found wandering outside alone, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said they were sent to Larry Dixon’s residence at 8710 Bench D...
Published: 02/21/18
Largo police investigating fatal hit-and-run crash on East Bay Drive

Largo police investigating fatal hit-and-run crash on East Bay Drive

LARGO — Police have identified the pedestrian in a fatal hit-and-run Wednesday morning.According to Largo police, 75-year-old John William English Jr. was struck and killed by a car about 6 a.m. at Wertz Drive. The crash shut down the eastbound lanes...
Published: 02/21/18
Parents of Seminole Heights killings suspect processed at jail for house arrest

Parents of Seminole Heights killings suspect processed at jail for house arrest

TAMPA — The parents of a man accused in last year’s Seminole Heights killings reported to a Hillsborough County jail Wednesday morning to be outfitted with the GPS monitors they’ll wear during their six months of house arrest.Rosita Donaldson was boo...
Published: 02/21/18
Police: Teen, 17, shoots Pinellas Park man who confronted him after car break-in

Police: Teen, 17, shoots Pinellas Park man who confronted him after car break-in

PINELLAS PARK — A Pinellas Park teen faces a charge of attempted murder after police say he stole a gun from an unlocked vehicle and shot the owner as he tried to give chase.Police say Brandon Paul Roman, 17, faces charges including attempted murder,...
Published: 02/21/18
Pedestrian killed by hit-and-run driver in Tampa

Pedestrian killed by hit-and-run driver in Tampa

TAMPA — A pedestrian was fatally struck by a hit-and-run vehicle early Wednesday morning.Police say the pedestrian died at the scene after being struck in the 6900 block of E Adamo Drive.Eastbound lanes are closed at S Maydell Drive, according to the...
Published: 02/21/18
Her brother was a Hillsborough firefighter. Then he overdosed. What she hopes you learn from her hero.

Her brother was a Hillsborough firefighter. Then he overdosed. What she hopes you learn from her hero.

Editor’s note: This essay was written for the Tampa Bay Times by Dina Perez, the sister of Nick Perez, a Hillsborough County Fire Rescue employee who died in 2016 at age 27.You see firefighters and first responders on TV and they look like superheroe...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/21/18
Fingerprint on Gatorade bottle leads to arrest of man, 23, in sexual assault of 71-year-old woman

Fingerprint on Gatorade bottle leads to arrest of man, 23, in sexual assault of 71-year-old woman

NEW PORT RICHEY — The 23-year-old man wanted in connection with sexually assaulting a 71-year-old woman on Monday left behind the clue that deputies said led them right to him: A fingerprint on a Gatorade bottle.Deputies said that and other evidence ...
Published: 02/20/18