Monday, May 28, 2018
Public safety

Two officers with St. Petersburg police named state officers of the year

ST. PETERSBURG — Sgt. Karl Lounge and Officer Douglas Weaver are Florida's top cops.

That's according to Attorney General Pam Bondi, who on Wednesday named the two St. Petersburg police officers the state's "Officers of the Year" in recognition of their actions during a shootout in which two other officers were killed.

"Their courage in the face of danger and dedication to saving the lives of their fellow officers is truly admirable," Bondi said in a news release.

Lounge and Weaver were among the first to respond Jan. 24, 2011, after a report of an officer down inside a St. Petersburg home. K-9 Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz was shot and killed in the home's attic as he pursued a fugitive gunman who was holed up inside. A deputy U.S. Marshal was also shot, but survived.

As they entered the house, Lounge and Weaver exchanged gunfire with the fugitive. Weaver was shot as he tried to pull Yaslowitz down from the attic. Another officer, Thomas Baitinger, was also shot in the rescue effort.

Weaver carried the wounded marshal from the house and went back inside for Baitinger. Lounge continued to exchange fire with the gunman through the ceiling.

Baitinger later died.

Lounge and Weaver both previously received Medals of Valor for their actions from the St. Petersburg Police Department.

A committee, appointed by Bondi, selected the two officers to receive the annual award. All candidates were law enforcement officers who were previously recognized as "officers of the year" by various police organizations before being nominated.

Comments
Troopers looking for driver in New Port Richey fatal hit-and-run

Troopers looking for driver in New Port Richey fatal hit-and-run

NEW PORT RICHEYDriver surrenders after crash that kills bicyclistThe driver Florida Highway Patrol troopers say struck and killed a bicyclist then drove from the scene turned herself in Sunday afternoon.Shanna Marie Rampino surrendered a 2000 Toyota ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
None injured in Trinity rehab center fire

None injured in Trinity rehab center fire

TRINITY ó No one was hurt Sunday morning after a fire broke out at a rehabilitation center.According to Pasco County Fire Rescue, Trinity Regional Rehab Center at 2144 Welbilt Blvd. is running on generator power after the blaze broke out about 10:30 ...
Published: 05/27/18
FHP: 30-year-old motorcyclist killed in Hudson crash

FHP: 30-year-old motorcyclist killed in Hudson crash

HUDSON ó A 30-year-old man died after he was struck by a car and thrown off the motorcycle he was riding.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Derek Fingerle, of Hudson, was traveling south on U.S. 19 in the center lane about 8:20 p.m. Saturday. M...
Published: 05/27/18
Her husband wouldn't apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

Her husband wouldn't apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

RIVERVIEW — A Riverview woman shot and killed her husband Saturday because he punched her father and wouldn’t say sorry, the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office said. Sabrina Michelle Hendley, 40, faces a first-degree murder charge in th...
Published: 05/26/18
Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

WEEKI WACHEE ó A woman who runs an animal sanctuary will face dozens of animal cruelty charges after Hernando County animal enforcement officers said they found dogs, equine, pigs, cats and chickens housed in poor conditions on her property.Animal of...
Published: 05/26/18

Police investigating shooting outside nightclub

ST. PETERSBURG ó Police are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred outside a south St. Petersburg nightclub early Saturday morning.Brennan-Aire D. Williams, 28, was pronounced dead shortly after arriving by cab at Bayfront Health. Police invest...
Published: 05/26/18

Woman dies in Plant City after SUV flips off road

PLANT CITY ó A Seffner woman died Saturday from injuries sustained when her sports utility vehicle flipped off the road and crashed into a fence near the intersection of Tanner Road and State Road 574.Amanda K. Cepeda-Duque, 21, was traveling west on...
Published: 05/26/18
Getting popped for trespassing at Starbucks: Itís not always like Philadelphia

Getting popped for trespassing at Starbucks: Itís not always like Philadelphia

ST. PETERSBURG ó She didnít mean to, but inside Starbucks with her headphones on, Amanda Adams got comfortable and fell asleep. Two police officers woke her and escorted her outside."It was humiliating," the 34-year-old said. "I didnít realize I fell...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Quick action to slow traffic on Bayshore prompts call to do more citywide

Quick action to slow traffic on Bayshore prompts call to do more citywide

TAMPA — As city workers set up signs Friday establishing a lower speed limit on Bayshore Boulevard, neighborhood residents and transportation activists urged more steps to improve safety for pedestrians all across the city. The move is a good ...
Published: 05/26/18
Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in childís death

Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in childís death

The 18-year-old who was arrested this week after police said he was racing when he fatally struck a young mother pushing her stroller across Bayshore Boulevard was back in jail on Friday night.Cameron Herrin, 18, was arrested on a second count of veh...
Published: 05/25/18