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TAMPAFIGHT ESCALATES INTO CRIME RAMPAGE

DUNEDIN

Pickup crashes across Jays ballfield

A Dunedin man suffered serious injuries Friday afternoon after his truck rammed through a training facility for the Toronto Blue Jays, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

It happened at 4:08 p.m. at the Cecil Englebert Recreational Complex, 1700 Solon Ave., deputies said.

Robert E. Gibson, 50, was eastbound on Solon Avenue in a 2002 Ford F-150 when, for unknown reasons, he went off the road and shot through two fences and across a ballfield before crashing into a fence, deputies said. Gibson, was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg as a trauma alert patient, officials said.

His injuries were serious but not life-threatening, deputies said. No one else was injured, and deputies are investigating.

HUDSON

Teen riding bicycle is critically injured

A 14-year-old boy was critically injured Friday after he was struck by a van while riding his bicycle on State Road 52, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Justin LeFort of Hudson was airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg with life-threatening injuries, troopers said.

The accident happened at 4 p.m. on the eastbound portion of State Road 52 west of Little Road, troopers said.

According to the Highway Patrol, LeFort pedaled into the right side of a 1997 Honda van that was driven by Thomas Ferguson, 73. The crash is under investigation.

A fight between teens turned into a crime rampage Friday that included burglary and racial slurs and genitals spray-painted on vehicles, deputies said. Two boys, ages 14 and 16, have been charged with five counts of auto burglary, one residential burglary and 17 counts of criminal mischief with a hate crime enhancement. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said sometime between 9 p.m. Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday, the boys stole spray paint and rode around northwest Hillsborough and Tampa targeting vehicles. They drew pictures of genitals, wrote expletives and scrawled a slur, causing $17,000 in damage, the Sheriff's Office said. One of the victims, who is black, had been in a fight with the teens in the past two weeks, according to reports. His family's passenger van had a racial epithet painted on it twice. Deputies recovered and returned $2,000 worth of stolen property.

TAMPAFIGHT ESCALATES INTO CRIME RAMPAGE 11/12/10 [Last modified: Friday, November 12, 2010 11:26pm]
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