Monday, April 23, 2018


Tony Marrero

Tony Marrero

Tony Marrero covers breaking news and general assignment stories in Hillsborough County. A Baltimore native, he joined the Times in 2009.


Driver accused in fatal U.S. 301 crash has DUI convictions, records show

RIVERVIEW — Kerry "Jason" Webb drove his blue Suzuki motorcycle north on U.S. 301, the woman he loved sitting behind him.
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18
Tampa woman slain in Georgia had sought protection from ex-husband

Tampa woman slain in Georgia had sought protection from ex-husband

TAMPA — John Wise always said "hello" to neighbor Kelly Garrison, but it wasn’t until they shared some strawberry daiquiris that he ever got to know her.Barely two minutes after she left his Carrollwood apartment that night, Dec. 30, he heard a...
Updated one month ago
Under a pilot program, about 60 officers with the Tampa Police Department wear body cameras like the one displayed here at police headquarters by master police officer Cliff Griffin. Because of costs, the city has decided against equipping all its officers with the devices. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times]

Body cameras now standard gear for Florida cops. But not in Tampa Bay

Miami-Dade police wear body cameras. So do officers in Jacksonville and Orlando. Broward, Orange and Duval sheriff’s deputies, too. And Palm Beach is trying to find money for them.But in the other major Florida population center, Tampa Bay,...
Updated one month ago
A woman and young girl were fatally shot, and a young boy was critically wounded in an apparent domestic dispute in Riverview on Sunday. The incidents occurred at 13246 Pike Lake Drive and a neighboring house at 13248 Pike Lake Drive. [TONY MARRERO | Times]

Riverview man yelled ‘Allah Akbar’ in attacks on his children, deputies say

RIVERVIEW — When Walter Ballard ran into his buddy Ronnie Oneal four days ago, nothing about him foreshadowed the horror that was to come."He was good," Ballard recalled. "We were just catching up."Then, on Sunday night, Ballard got a...
Updated one month ago
A second man died on March 12, 2018, following a series of shootings that took place inside Bliss Enterprises, 3940 Knights Griffin Road in Plant City. [Google]

Second man dies following shooting at Plant City business

PLANT CITY — A second man wounded by gunfire at a Plant City business on Monday has died.William Duncan, 44, died Monday night after being transported to the Lakeland Regional Hospital, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office reported...
Updated one month ago
Check for the latest breaking news and developments.

Orange County man bit by rabid bat he picked up in Tampa’s Westshore area

TAMPA — A man is being treated for rabies after picking up a rabid bat in the Westshore area earlier this week, officials said. The man, whose name was not released, found the bat on grass in the 1300 block of N Westshore Boulevard about 5:30...
Updated one month ago
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking feedback on its idea to use inspections from private, third-party organizations to determine if zoos, research labs and animal breeding faclities are complying with the federal Animal Welfare Act. Opponents spoke out against the idea at a

Critics blast outsourcing federal animal inspections

TAMPA — Federal officials came here to get public feedback on an idea to outsource some inspections of zoos, animal breeders and research laboratories.
Updated: 2 months ago
Aniya L. Smalls, 23, was arrested Tuesday, a day after police say she threatened to

Woman charged in school threat

TAMPA — A custodial employee working for a contractor at the Academy of the Holy Names was arrested Tuesday, one day after she threatened to "shoot up" the school, authorities said.Aniya L. Smalls, 23, made the threat while she was being...
Updated: 2 months ago
Lorie Fridell conducts implicit bias training for command staff personnel at the New York Police Department. Fridell, an associate professor of criminology at the University of South Florida, landed a two-year, $4.5 million contract to train the NYPD's 36,000 sworn employees. [Courtesy of Lorie Fridell]

Besieged NYPD turns to USF prof for training in how to behave

It’s not easy telling cops they’re biased, but Lorie Fridell has made it her speciality.A nationally recognized expert in a field known as implicit bias, Fridell and her team of trainers have visited hundreds of law enforcement agencies across...
Updated: 2 months ago
Three men face animal cruelty charges stemming from a viral video that shows a shark being dragged behind a boat on a rope as they laugh each time its body slams the water. Left to right are Spencer Heintz, 23, of Palmetto, Michael Wenzel, 21, of Palmetto and Robert Lee Benac, 28, of Bradenton. [Times files]

Case moves ahead against three men accused in shark-dragging incident

TAMPA — The case of three men accused of dragging a shark behind a boat, an incident captured on a video that went viral, continues to move through court.Hillsborough Circuit Judge Mark Wolfe on Tuesday set a May 1 status hearing for Michael...
Updated: 2 months ago