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Harassment of horses and other minor crimes fill up the Tampa police slate during Super Bowl weekend

TAMPA — Super Bowl festivities kept authorities busy over the weekend.

Four men were arrested Saturday, charged with touching or harassing police horses as they patrolled packed Ybor City streets.

One man got a running start and tried to leap onto a horse's back, Tampa police Lt. William Ferguson said. Others may have slapped the animal, pulled its tail or tried to spook it.

The mounted patrol unit typically makes misdemeanor arrests such as these about four times a year, Ferguson said, noting that the increase may have stemmed from large crowds. Four horses were on patrol Saturday night.

Those arrested include: Michael Bolanis, 36, a Lincoln Financial salesman from Washington D.C.; Thomas Schuster, 50, a mortgage broker from Michigan; Trey Palmer, 20, a guitar salesman from Tampa; and Detrick Epps, 33, a self-employed Virginia resident. All were arrested between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. around Seventh Avenue and 15th Street.

Charles Nunn, 22, of Texas and Beth Ann Volk, 27, of Ohio were arrested Saturday night for trying to sell counterfeit Super Bowl tickets to undercover law enforcement agents in the Channelside District.

Volk offered to sell tickets for $900 each, while Nunn peddled two tickets with a face value of $800, according to the reports. Both told the agents Saturday night that they had five tickets to sell.

At Banana Joe's nightclub, also in Channelside, police charged a Spring Hill man with disorderly conduct when he kept fighting bouncers as they led him out of the club. Police fired a Taser at Randy Manescalchi, 40, to subdue him.

And in a neighborhood just east of Raymond James Stadium, Tampa police arrested Aaron Gardner, 29, of New York for trying to sell three counterfeit jerseys to an undercover officer.

Two boxes containing another 47 illegal items were recovered from Gardner's rental car, along with $9,900 and another $500 from Gardner's pocket.

Authorities said official tallies of game-related incidents won't be available until today.

Harassment of horses and other minor crimes fill up the Tampa police slate during Super Bowl weekend 02/01/09 [Last modified: Sunday, February 1, 2009 8:12pm]
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