Thursday, June 21, 2018
Public safety

New Port Richey man beat girlfriend for hours, police say

NEW PORT RICHEY — From the other end of the open phone line, emergency dispatchers heard a woman's voice pleading desperately.

"Please don't kill me!" the voice repeated. It was all they could make out.

They tracked the cellphone's location, and just after midnight Thursday, a trio of New Port Richey police officers went to a cluster of apartments on Main Street. The officers crept down hallways, pausing at every door, listening for the voice.

At apartment 201, they heard a woman's cries and burst into the apartment.

In a back bedroom, a report says, a bald man with a crooked smile and a goatee loomed over a woman who was crumpled and bleeding on the floor.

She would tell officers that Kraig Constantino had beaten, pistol-whipped and tried to strangle her for nearly six hours for standing too close to a black man.

This was the woman's account:

She had been seeing Constantino, 43, for a few months. She told officers she went to work that day across from his apartment at 5346 Main St. About 2 p.m. a shipment came in delivered by a black man whom she knew. She was showing him a cellphone picture of her dogs when Constantino walked in.

Using a racial slur, he screamed at her for "standing too close to that'' man and left. Then her phone erupted with texts and calls from Constantino threatening to burn her house down.

She got home to find her house pillaged and some things burned on the stove. Her .38-caliber revolver was missing.

Fearing Constantino would hurt himself, she went to his apartment, and he snatched her inside.

Fists hammered her face and head. He choked her unconscious. "I'm going to kill you," he told her, pressing the gun's muzzle against her stomach.

When she cried, he pistol whipped her hard enough to break her fingers, the bones sticking through skin.

She managed to dial 911 three times. Her screams summoned officers.

Constantino was booked on a host of charges, including kidnapping and attempted murder. He is being held without bail.

He has been involved in the court system for more than 20 years. He often chooses to represent himself, filling volumes of files with handwritten motions accusing judges, court reporters and attorneys of committing fraud and falsifying records.

For his most recent jail sentence, for aggravated battery, he was accused of beating and stabbing a man he suspected of trying to hit on his girlfriend.

Contact Alex Orlando at [email protected] or (727) 869-6247.

Comments
Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

LARGO — Vanessa Rodriguez thought she found the right house for her three kids, in the right neighborhood, for the right rent. She signed the lease for April 30, sent a $2,300 money order and planned to move in June 1.Then the delays started. She sai...
Updated: 7 hours ago
15 arrested in Hillsborough construction fraud sting, one for the eighth time

15 arrested in Hillsborough construction fraud sting, one for the eighth time

TAMPA — The contractors arriving at the Brandon home thought they were meeting with a potential customer. They were wrong.In fact, the would-be clients were undercover detectives and the contractors, lacking a license to ply their trade, left the hom...
Updated: 12 hours ago
St. Pete police investigating social media threat against Pride event

St. Pete police investigating social media threat against Pride event

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are investigating a threat against St. Pete Pride weekend based on a social media comment left on a Tampa Bay Times story.A Facebook commenter used an alias to post the threat on a story about a pop-up gay club planned for the...
Published: 06/20/18
Driver in fatal Tampa hit-and-run turns himself in

Driver in fatal Tampa hit-and-run turns himself in

TAMPA — The driver who was sought in a fatal hit-and-run on Sunday night has turned himself in.Police say Roger Herelle, 33, told detectives Wednesday he was involved in the crash that killed Sally Ann McClellan Webb, 58.Police had had been seeking t...
Published: 06/20/18
Five guns taken in 30 reported break-ins of unlocked cars in Clearwater

Five guns taken in 30 reported break-ins of unlocked cars in Clearwater

CLEARWATER — Thieves have made off with at least five guns after breaking into unlocked vehicles in recent days, police said Wednesday morning.Over the past three days, a group of people have been breaking into unlocked vehicles across the city. Clea...
Published: 06/20/18
Police investigating body found floating near Davis Islands

Police investigating body found floating near Davis Islands

TAMPA — Police are working to recover a body that was found floating in the water near the Davis Island Sea Basin on Wednesday morning.It is uncertain how the body ended up there, according to police.This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com...
Published: 06/20/18
Pasco Sheriff: Hudson man faces sexual battery charges

Pasco Sheriff: Hudson man faces sexual battery charges

HUDSON — A 33-year-old man is facing charges of sexual battery and rape after Pasco County Sheriff’s deputies said he assaulted a 14-year-old girl.Christopher Hall, who was 31 at the time of the incident, forced the victim into a bathroom, took off h...
Published: 06/20/18
SB traffic on I-275 slowed in St. Petersburg after car jumps median

SB traffic on I-275 slowed in St. Petersburg after car jumps median

ST. PETERSBURG — A car that is straddling the center concrete barrier is causing a visual slowdown Wednesday morning on Interstate 275.The incident occurred sometime around 7:30 a.m.The passenger side of the car can be seen hanging along the median o...
Published: 06/20/18
New Port Richey man faces sexual battery charge

New Port Richey man faces sexual battery charge

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 33-year-old man was arrested Monday on a charge of sexual battery, accused of assaulting a 10-year-old girl.Jonathan Wells was booked into the Pasco County jail, where he was being held Tuesday without bail.The assault took place ...
Published: 06/19/18
St. Petersburg power outage affects thousands

St. Petersburg power outage affects thousands

More than 2,000 Duke Energy customers are without power after a cluster of storms rolled through earlier this afternoon, according to Duke Energy.The area without power stretches along 62nd Avenue N from 12th Street N to 30th Way N, according to the ...
Published: 06/19/18