NEW PORT RICHEY
Commission will mediate disputes
Pasco County commissioners have been ordered to resolve future impasses between the sheriff and union members in contract disputes, the Public Employees Relations Commission has ruled.
Both commissioners and Sheriff Bob White had wanted White to handle those impasses. The Florida State Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police, said no way and filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the Pasco County Sheriff's Office — as well as the Clay County sheriff — for the practice.
"An analogy in simple terms would be that the same deputy that writes a speeding ticket would declare himself the magistrate to decide the merits of that speeding ticket when you went to court, thereby taking away the independent authority of the court system," the lodge said in a news release.
The commission sided with the union, saying that the Sheriff's Office does not meet the definition of a "legislative body" to handle the disputes because it lacks the authority to appropriate funds and lacks "the unbridled authority" to establish policies governing employees.
The ruling means it will be up to the County Commission to sort out the contract disputes, which include deputies' options for appealing disciplinary decisions and health benefits for retirees who do not yet qualify for Medicare.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Cop lights on his car bring man an arrest
A 27-year-old air-conditioning repair technician equipped his purple Monte Carlo with police lights, then flashed them at a slower-moving car Thursday night to try to get that driver out of his way, according to a Pasco Sheriff's Office report.
Unfortunately for the owner of the Monte Carlo, the other driver on DeCubellis Road was an off-duty Tampa International Airport police officer who thought it was odd and called authorities.
A Pasco sheriff's deputy found the purple car at a Liberty gas station in Hudson. The owner, Eli Leroy Erickson, told the deputy he did activate his lights to try to get the other driver out of his way. "He was driving too slow," Erickson said, according to his arrest report.
Erickson, of 10206 Jungle St. in New Port Richey, is charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer and was being held in the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.
Teen brothers charged with robbery, abuse
Two teenagers are accused of beating up and stealing from a mentally challenged 18-year-old Wednesday night.
The victim has the mind of a child and difficulty communicating, so he used stuffed animals to show detectives what was done to him, according to the Pasco Sheriff's Office.
According to the sheriff's report, the 18-year-old was walking on Stone Road when two other teens pushed him, punched him and left. They stole his MP3 player and his $20 in cash.
By early Thursday morning, two brothers were arrested in the crime: Michael L. Saia, 18, and Christopher C. Seaman, 14, who is a seventh-grade student at Bayonet Point Middle School. Both live at 6418 Pawling Ave. in Port Richey. Saia's arrest report lists him as unemployed.
Seaman told the Sheriff's Office he used the stolen money at Wal-Mart. The MP3 player was found in Saia's closet, the report says.
Both are charged with robbery, abuse of a disabled person and possession of marijuana. Seaman is in juvenile custody. Saia was being held in the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $15,150 bail.
Woman charged in abuse of boy, 15
An argument over grades ended with a 15-year-old boy covered in scratch marks and a 50-year-old woman charged with child abuse.
Evangelista Ceballos argued with the boy about 11 p.m. Wednesday, according to a report from the Pasco Sheriff's Office. Due to the nature of the charges, authorities withheld the boy's identity and relationship to the woman.
The boy had "large scratch marks on his chest, arm, back and legs that broke the skin," the report said. When the boy tried to restrain the woman by holding her wrists, she bit his arm, the report said.
He was treated the next day by the school nurse at Wesley Chapel High School, and authorities were called.
Ceballos, of 31754 Spoonflower Circle, was charged with child abuse and has been released on $5,000 bail.