Tuesday, November 21, 2017
News Roundup

Two detained after hog hunting near RNC delegates' hotel

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Hog hunting near delegates' hotel leads to arrest

Scott Joseph Demers might just be an unlucky hog poacher who picked the worst weekend for hunting. But his choice of hunting grounds caught the attention of authorities.

Demers, 40, of Clearwater was found at 11 p.m. Saturday with a buddy running through orange groves on a private ranch that borders Saddlebrook Resort, where delegates from Texas and Louisiana are staying for the Republican National Convention.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office had been patrolling the perimeter and happened upon the duo. Demers and his friend, Bruce Parker, 42, also of Clearwater, fled into the groves until their two dogs ran toward a deputy's truck, then the two came forward, a report states. Both said they were hog hunting — which is legal year-round in Florida — and had permission from the ranch owner. They didn't, authorities said.

Parker was cited for trespassing. Demers, who is on felony probation out of Pinellas County for battery, was arrested and charged with trespassing on cultivated land and violating his probation. He was being held without bail at the Pasco jail.

Erin Sullivan

Workers of Bain-led companies protest

About 175 people protested Monday afternoon outside the Bloomin' Brands corporate headquarters on N West Shore Boulevard. Among the demands: a significant pay boost for workers whose companies are overseen by Bain Capital.

Bloomin' Brands runs Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill and other restaurant chains. It is controlled by Bain Capital, the private equity firm once run by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Among the protesters were people who identified themselves as employees of Bain-controlled companies. They included Mike Stuart, 29, of Philadelphia, who said he is an assistant manager at Guitar Center, a musical equipment retailer. Stuart said he has been working for the chain for five years and is still making the $7.25-an-hour minimum wage.

"I'm not looking to be a millionaire, but a couple of extra dollars would help out," he said.

Bill Varian

ResistRNC appeals to police in open letter

ResistRNC, a group that is part of the Occupy the RNC movement, published an open letter on its website to police monitoring the event, trying to correct what it calls misconceptions.

"Those who come to demonstrate at the RNC do not come to confront you," the letter states. "We, police officers and protesters alike, should be standing together to remind our government that they work for us, the people. That it is WE THE PEOPLE who elect them, and we who give them their orders. You have been told that we are coming to commit acts of violence and destruction. We are not."

The letter goes on to say that protesters will use peaceful means, and it includes a YouTube link where a retired Philadelphia police captain — who has been involved in Occupy Wall Street protests — testifies as such.

"It is our sincere hope that you allow the demonstrators to do what they come to do, peacefully protest an unjust system," the letter says. "We stand for justice."

Justin George

Thwarted protesters use cemetery as route

After miles of marching, protesters decided about 2 p.m. Monday to head back to the Romneyville encampment. Police on bikes thwarted several routes, so they followed Pierce Street north — all the way to Oaklawn Cemetery.

The roughly 70 protesters hushed their voices as they passed under the archway to the historic Tampa cemetery. Some made peace signs. When they reached the other side, the protesters faced a tall wall and a locked gate.

They jumped the wall, and police climbed over with their bikes, helping the remaining people over.

Jessica Vander Velde

2 arrested outside RNC party at Trop

Police arrested two people Sunday in connection with the RNC welcome party at Tropicana Field, but the incidents had nothing to do with politics or protests.

According to police affidavits, Clive Valexford Huie, 64, was arrested about 8:40 p.m. after driving his Dodge truck around barricades at Interstate 175 and Fourth Street. When police stopped him, they discovered he did not have a valid driver's license. He also was arrested on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm after police said they found a .22-caliber revolver. He was being held on $10,250 bail.

The second arrest came shortly before 10 p.m. when police found Antonio Eduardo Sepulveda, 40, lying on the sidewalk "inside the restricted area during the RNC event." When officers stepped in to help, he started yelling profanities, according to an arrest affidavit. He was arrested on a misdemeanor disorderly intoxication charge and held on $100 bail.

Curtis Krueger

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