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Man killed after stepping in front of Tampa police officer's patrol car

TAMPA — A man killed after stepping in front of a Tampa police officer's patrol car early Saturday had wandered away from a nearby assisted living facility, authorities said.

Randolph McClendon, 62, jumped or stepped in front of the patrol car, police said, as the officer drove east on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at 34th Street just after 5 a.m.

McClendon died at the scene. Police said he had dementia. His family said he also recently lost nearly all his vision.

Police identified his body after he was reported missing later that morning. He had wandered away from Immanuel at Ybor Assisted Living Facility on E 11th Avenue, police said. The facility is more than a mile from the scene of the accident.

A man who answered the door at the facility Saturday afternoon declined to comment.

McClendon had wandered away from the facility at least two other times this month, according to his brother, who said the Immanuel management had asked him to find another home for Randolph by next week because he was walking off so often.

"It wasn't a lockdown facility, but they were supposed to keep a close eye on him," said Luther McClendon, 60.

The 19-resident assisted living facility is owned by Yetey Enterprises Inc. It has a speciality license to service patients with limited mental health, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

In May, an AHCA complaint investigation found that the facility had failed to conduct the required background check on its two caregivers, exposing the residents to staff with "significant disqualifying criminal history," according to an inspection report.

One employee had multiple arrests between 2005 and 2009 for offenses including grand theft and obtaining property through a worthless check, the report said. The other employee had arrests between 1998 and 2001 that included felony battery and possessing cocaine that resulted in prison and probation.

The facility administrator, identified as Abiodun Adegbola in state documents, stated he would have the two caregivers removed from contact with residents, the report said.

Documents show the problem was corrected during a follow up inspection in August.

Yetey Enterprises owns two other assisted living facilities in Tampa. One of them, Springs Water Assisted Living Facility at 1411 E Waters Ave., was fined $1,000 earlier this year for a 2012 incident of failing to obtain the proper background screening of an employee.

Luther McClendon and his wife, Brenda, helped spread the word to family Saturday that Randolph had died.

Randolph "always tried to help," Brenda said, and even tried to open the door for her Thursday as they left the doctor's office, after they found out Randolph was almost blind.

Randolph McClendon left behind one adult son, Chris, who lives in Tennessee. Luther McClendon called him early Saturday afternoon.

"He didn't take it well," Luther McClendon said. "Just like everybody else."

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Shelley Rossetter can be reached at srossetter@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3401.

Man killed after stepping in front of Tampa police officer's patrol car 09/28/13 [Last modified: Saturday, September 28, 2013 8:56pm]
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