Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Young man's bid for fresh start in sunny Florida cut short by arrest

ST. PETERSBURG — Daniel Marinko arrived at a St. Petersburg bus station with love by his side and hope for a fresh start.

His plans were cut short Wednesday when he was arrested for violating his probation in Wisconsin, where he left behind a charge of simple assault.

The St. Petersburg Times profiled 20-year-old Marinko and his 18-year-old girlfriend, Jenna Solterman, who left their Wendy's jobs in Wisconsin and took a bus to sunny Florida in late April. A reporter and photographer, who happened to be on their bus, documented the couple as they arrived in the Sunshine State for the first time and marveled at the palm trees, the heat and the sandy beaches.

The story also disclosed Marinko's past in Wisconsin: He was kicked out of high school for carrying a pocketknife and stole a convertible whose owner left keys in the ignition. While in jail serving time for fleeing an arrest, he got in a fight. For that, Marinko was serving probation and wasn't supposed to leave the state.

But on May 10, weeks before the May 31 story was published, a warrant for his arrest was issued by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. It's unclear what exactly triggered the warrant. His probation officer, K.J. Dickman, did not express concern for Marinko's Florida trip when the Times spoke to him before May 10. Dickman was not available to comment Thursday.

St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz said a "local probation specialist," Mario Ditroia, saw the May 31 story about Marinko and Solterman and alerted police of Marinko's whereabouts. Ditroia was unavailable to comment Thursday.

St. Petersburg police were able to figure out where Marinko was by finding his aunt, identified as "Aunt Helen" in the story.

Marinko was arrested at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday in Seminole and was being held in the Pinellas County Jail without bond. Puetz said he believed Marinko would be sent to Wisconsin.

When reached by phone, Solterman declined to comment and threatened to contact a lawyer if the Times published any more stories about her or her boyfriend.

Emily Nipps can be reached at or (727) 893-8452.

Young man's bid for fresh start in sunny Florida cut short by arrest 06/02/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 2:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. What to watch this weekend: 'Star Trek: Discovery,' 'DuckTales' returns


    Boldly go: Star Trek: Discovery

    It's been more than 50 years since the original Star Trek premiered, but the new CBS series is set 10 years before Kirk and Spock. Star Trek: Discovery explores the war between the Federation and the Klingons while following the USS Discovery, an exploratory …

    Sonequa Martin-Green in Star Trek: Discovery on CBS.
  2. First lady Melania Trump heads to White House garden for planting, harvesting


    WASHINGTON — Melania Trump is heading out to the White House garden to do some planting and harvesting.

    First lady Melania Trump picks peppers with a girl with the Boys and Girls Club of Washington in the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Washington. [Andrew Harnik | Associated Press]
  3. New aerial photos show Puerto Rico devastation; at least 6 dead in Hurricane Maria aftermath


    SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO — Early aerial images of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria here show waterlogged neighborhoods, roofs peeled off homes and shopping centers, and once-lush landscape …

    Aerial photo of flooding in the costal town of Loiza, on the north shore of Puerto Rico. [Photo by Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo for the Washington Post]
  4. State rolls out food assistance program for residents affected by Hurricane Irma


    Help is on the way for Florida residents struggling to put food on the table after Hurricane Irma.

    The Salvation Army Mobile Food Pantry hlped out with free food in Largo after Hurricane Irma. Now, the federal government is expanding access to food for people affected by the storm. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  5. Kriseman proclaims Buy Local week in St. Pete to quicken storm recovery


    Mayor Rick Kriseman has proclaimed next week to be "'Burg Buy Local Week" in an appeal to residents to help small businesses struggling to recover from Hurricane Irma.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman wants St. Pete residents to help small businesses recover from Hurricane Irma