Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Past arrest on molestation trips up 'Wheelie King' in Safety Harbor

SAFETY HARBOR — Thomas Edward Lynch, a registered sex offender and former star wheelchair athlete who didn't disclose his past with supporters of an upcoming world record-setting feat in Safety Harbor, swore on Wednesday that he was innocent.

He said his accuser was a marijuana dealer and extortionist who preyed on him. He said he couldn't afford an attorney and was left with no other choice but to take a plea deal that sent him to a New York state prison in 1997 for seven years.

On Thursday, Lynch's past was exposed. There wasn't just one victim, the Suffolk County, N.Y., police told Newsday and The Buffalo News in 1997. There were four and possibly more, police said.

Lynch, who has spina bifida and hopes to shatter the Guinness World Record for longest wheelchair wheelie on Saturday, sexually molested two boys, 5 and 13 years old, in 1992.

He was sentenced to five years' probation, but in March 1997, Suffolk County police arrested him for allegedly sodomizing at least one other boy and exposing another to pornography and giving him wine.

In that case, police said, Lynch performed oral sex on one of the boys. He gave wine and possibly marijuana to another and allowed him to watch pornographic movies at his apartment. Both were younger than 16 years old.

Reached Thursday, Lynch said: "I'm not responding to anything. I have no comment."

• • •

The latest revelations prompted everyone but Safety Harbor to yank support from Lynch's event, which will be held at the city's Community Center.

The mother of the event's teenage beneficiary disassociated herself. So did WKID-FM 96.7, a Clearwater radio station owned and operated by children, and Bet Me I'm Lying, a Largo band with members as young as 12.

WKID was scheduled to broadcast live from the Community Center. Bet Me I'm Lying was slated to perform.

"Circumstances have changed," said Donna Cardullo, the mother of Brock Cardullo.

Fliers for Lynch's event asked for donations for Brock, who has cystic fibrosis.

"We're not involved in that in any shape or form," Donna Cardullo said.

"She wants absolutely nothing to do with this and we feel exactly the same," said Rodger Baker, who started WKID to keep children off the street and safe. "We were going there to do this benefit for Brock and now that we found out that Brock will not be benefitting, we have backed out ourselves. We will not be supporting any sexual offenders."

Lynch was scheduled to come to the station Thursday night to explain his side of the story to staffers, who range from 8 to 15 years old.

"I can tell you right now he will not be coming over," Baker said. "I will not allow that. I am extremely upset. I am so mad."

Officials in Safety Harbor, who gave Lynch a discount to rent the Community Center, shared contact numbers with him and helped him organize the event, said they have no legal reason to cancel the event.

"To our knowledge, Mr. Lynch has complied with every requirement of his release," City Manager Matt Spoor said in an e-mail. "Further, I have been told that Mr. Lynch has no plans to cancel his rental."

Lynch, who lives in New Port Richey and calls himself the "Wheelie King," said he rescinded the invitation to Donna Cardullo.

"I asked her to stay away," he said. "This is a Guinness World Record event and that's all."

He then hung up on a St. Petersburg Times reporter.

• • •

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services lists Lynch as a "risk level 3," the worst possible designation for sexual offenders.

Bob Clifford, the spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney, said it means "a threat to public safety exists" and the person has a "high risk of repeat offense."

In Florida, state law requires that certain offenders stay 1,000 feet away from playgrounds, parks and schools. But it only applies to those who were convicted after Oct. 1, 2004.

"This guy was convicted in '97 so he does not fall in that group," said Sgt. Thomas Nestor, a spokesman with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. "So technically, yes, he can be within 1,000 feet of kids."

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report.

Past arrest on molestation trips up 'Wheelie King' in Safety Harbor 08/12/10 [Last modified: Thursday, August 12, 2010 11:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.
  2. Report: Kusher wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin

    World

    Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Donald Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, U.S. …

    The name of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's White House senior adviser, has come up as part of the Russia investigation. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    Minnesota Twins pitching coach Neil Allen jogs back to the dugout after paying starting pitcher Tyler Duffey a visit on the mound in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  4. Swan sculpture deputies say was stolen by naked man found near Lakeland pond

    Crime

    A $25,000 swan sculpture that Polk County sheriff's deputies say was stolen by a naked man last weekend was found near a pond in Lakeland on Thursday.

    A swan sculpture that was stolen in Lakeland on May 19 was recovered by the Polk Sheriff’s Office on Friday.
  5. Mayor Rick Kriseman says election is about moving forward

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman christened his campaign office  Friday evening by telling his supporters that the mayoral election was about moving forward, not backward..

    Mayor Rick Kriseman says mayoral election is about inclusiveness Friday at campaign office rally