Friday, April 20, 2018
Public safety

Seminole man launches effort to find missing disabled brother

SEMINOLE — It was been a week since Robert Dulin journeyed to Congressman C.W. Bill Young's office in Seminole. And it has been a week since the 58-year-old disabled man mysteriously vanished after leaving the office to head home.

On Tuesday, his brother, Tom Dulin, who was out of state on business when his brother disappeared, returned home and began an anxious search.

He spoke with Pinellas sheriff's deputies to learn more about what they knew.

He spoke with reporters to get his brother's story out. He made plans to walk the route he thinks his brother took the day he went missing in hopes of spotting something others might have missed.

"His family wants him home for Christmas," said Tom Dulin, 61.

An avid walker, Robert Dulin on Dec. 4 trekked more than 2 miles from his home at the Pine Tree Manor assisted living facility to the Seminole Community Library, which houses Young's office.

He went there to ask about receiving veteran's benefits, Young's staff said. He spent about an hour at the office as they explained he was ineligible for benefits because he had not served in the military.

A surveillance video from the library showed Robert apparently in good spirits when he left just before 11 a.m., Tom Dulin said. After that, no one knows what happened to him.

"He was trying to solve a problem," Tom Dulin said in a written statement. "The problem is money. Robert's only income is his Social Security Disability payments and these all go to pay for his costs at the assisted living facility. Although we give him some occasional spending money, Robert has no surplus income that would enable him to feel that he has some control of his life."

Robert Dulin has been disabled since 1978, when a crash during an auto race left him with brain damage, a disfigured face and a prosthetic right eye. He takes medications to control a host of problems, including seizures, mood disturbances and panic attacks.

His brother wonders if he had a panic attack or seizure walking home.

"That means he might be in (the hospital) as a John Doe," he said. "That's why it's so important to get his picture out there."

But deputies tell him they have found no emergency dispatch or hospital records that indicate that's what happened.

Tom Dulin said not only is his family worried, so are the residents at Pine Tree Manor.

The folks at the Manor probably knew him better than anybody. There, he is the quirky guy who goes out to pick up the newspaper each morning, but never reads it, Tom Dulin said. He knows that others want to read it but cannot easily walk to pick it up, so he brings it inside for them.

"He's a good kid," Tom Dulin said. "He's had more bad cards dealt to him in life than anybody deserves."

Anyone with information about Robert Dulin's whereabouts can call the Sheriff's Office at (727) 582-6200.

Comments
One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

OCALA — One student shot another in the ankle at a Florida high school and the suspected shooter is in custody, authorities said Friday.The Marion County Sheriff’s Office reported that the shooting happened Friday morning at Forest High School, which...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Mario Nunez called it a "huge shaking my head moment" when the photo inside the cabin of Southwest Airlines flight 1380 appeared on his TV.The story was about a terrifying emergency landing after an engine exploded 20 minutes into a trip from New Yor...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties

Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties

The man identified as the suspect who fatally shot two Gilchrist County deputies in a restaurant Thursday afternoon before taking his own life has ties to the Tampa Bay area.Deputies say John Hubert Highnote, 59, of Bell — who was found dead outside ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
A state trooper kept pulling women over to ask for dates

A state trooper kept pulling women over to ask for dates

TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey State Police trooper accused of repeatedly pulling over women to ask them out on dates has been indicted. The state attorney general’s office announced Thursday that 32-year-old Eric Richardson faces charges including off...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Pinellas detention deputy fired for using racial slur

Pinellas detention deputy fired for using racial slur

LARGO — Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri fired a detention deputy Friday after an internal investigation found he used a racial slur to describe black inmates.A fellow Pinellas County Jail deputy reported Jorge Lopez, 30, after he repeatedly used the s...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Portion of I-75 reopens in Sarasota after smoke settles over road

Portion of I-75 reopens in Sarasota after smoke settles over road

SARASOTA — A 10-mile stretch of southbound Interstate 75 has reopened in Sarasota County, after it was shut down earlier Friday morning due to smoke in the road.According to broadcast reports, the smoke was caused by a a prescribed burn in the area ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Fugitive suspected in Bradenton woman’s death arrested in Texas

Fugitive suspected in Bradenton woman’s death arrested in Texas

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas — A woman suspected of killing her husband in Minnesota, then fleeing to Florida and killing a woman who resembled her in order to assume a new identity, was captured Thursday night at a South Texas resort.Two federal deputy...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Firefighters battle apartment complex fire in Tampa

Firefighters battle apartment complex fire in Tampa

TAMPA — Firefighters were battling a blaze at Captiva Club Apartments on Thursday night, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.According to video taken at the scene, the roof of one of the apartment buildings at 4401 Club Captiva Dr. ...
Published: 04/19/18
Two Florida deputies shot, killed at restaurant in Gilchrist County

Two Florida deputies shot, killed at restaurant in Gilchrist County

Two Gilchrist County sheriff’s deputies were shot and killed at a restaurant about 3 p.m. Thursday.The deputies were at Ace China restaurant in downtown Trenton when a man shot them through the restaurant’s window, a Sheriff’s Office statement said.A...
Published: 04/19/18
FHP: Distracted driver plunges more than 50 feet off I-275

FHP: Distracted driver plunges more than 50 feet off I-275

ST. PETERSBURG — A distracted driver walked away unscathed after his car plunged 50 feet off Interstate 275, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.Thomas Highhouse, 61, of Pinellas Park, was driving his 2016 Chevrolet Camaro south on Interstate 275...
Published: 04/19/18