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Dan Sullivan, Times Staff Writer

Dan Sullivan

Dan Sullivan writes about crime, law enforcement and public safety for the Tampa Bay Times. Since joining the Times in 2010, he has covered unsolved crimes, most-wanted fugitives, gun control, and Florida's death row, among other topics. A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, he is a 2006 graduate of the University of Tampa, where he earned a degree in writing with a focus in journalism.

Phone: (813) 226-3386


Twitter: @TimesDan

  1. Arrest warrant issued in Apollo Beach shooting


    APOLLO BEACH — Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Tuesday's fatal shooting in Apollo Beach.

    The warrant is for Peter Scott Drossos, 29, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of George Ronald McCord.

    Sheriff's deputies were called about 9 p.m. Tuesday to a report of a shooting at Pelican Apartments at 1007 Apollo Beach Boulevard. When they arrived, they found McCord, 49, wounded. He died at a local hospital....

    Peter Scott Drossos, 29, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of George Ronald McCord. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Tampa man charged with attempted murder in girlfriend's stabbing


    TAMPA — A man is facing an attempted murder charge after he stabbed his girlfriend eight times during an argument Thursday night in their east Tampa home, according to police.

    A neighbor in the duplex at 2926 N 17th St. heard sounds of a struggle coming from next door at about 10 p.m., police said. The neighbor forced his way inside and found Jim Hunt, 44, attacking Zakie Rogers, 41, with a knife, police said....

  3. Tampa police arrest man in Carmine's restaurant shooting


    TAMPA — Police have arrested a man in a shooting that left four people wounded Saturday outside Carmine's restaurant in Ybor City.

    Jihad Hakim Amos, 20, faces a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He was arrested at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at his home at 9411 Chalet Drive, near Busch Gardens.

    Detectives made the arrest based on information from witnesses who identified Amos, police said. He was booked in a Hillsborough County jail and held without bail....

    Jihad Amos is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
  4. Four children accused of arson at Tampa home


    TAMPA — Fire officials have arrested four children ranging in age from 12 to 14 on charges they set fire to a north Tampa house that was being renovated.

    The kids, two boys and two girls, broke into the house Tuesday evening at 4620 E Serena Drive, according to Tampa police. Inside, they used white spray paint to write graffiti on the walls. Officers also later found several areas on the floors and ceilings that had been burned, according to a police report....

  5. Man dead in Apollo Beach shooting embraced life, family says


    APOLLO BEACH — Those who knew George Ronald McCord say he was a man who embraced life. They speak of him as hardworking, a competitive athlete, an outdoorsman who loved to fish the beaches of Tampa Bay.

    He savored his freedom, they said, because an unusual brush with the law deprived him of it for so long.

    McCord, known as "Ronbo" to his family and friends, was killed Tuesday night when someone shot him during an argument at an Apollo Beach apartment complex. Hillsborough sheriff's investigators were looking for his killer but had made no arrests late Wednesday....

  6. 'Stop the violence' rally held in response to surge in Tampa shootings


    TAMPA — A small crowd gathered Tuesday outside Tampa police headquarters to deliver a simple message: "Stop the violence."

    It was a day after police called attention to an alarming surge in gun violence; twice as many people have been shot to death in Tampa in 2015 than in the first three months of last year. The violence has included 15 homicides, compared with just seven in the same period last year....

  7. Chief pleads for help as gun violence in Tampa surges


    TAMPA — Twice as many people have been shot to death in Tampa in 2015 than in the first three months of last year. Some of the victims have been students in local schools. In a number of cases, witnesses have refused to cooperate with police.

    Chief Jane Castor highlighted the alarming surge in gun violence at a Monday news conference, calling particular attention to the youth of some of the victims, and pleading for the public's help....

    Norma Cruz, center, mourns Richard Newton at a candlelight vigil Sunday in Sulphur Springs. Newton, 14, was killed Saturday night when someone fired a gun at a birthday party.
  8. Hillsborough drug raid nets two arrests, $300,000 in cocaine


    PALM RIVER — A raid at a Palm River home Friday capped a nearly yearlong drug trafficking investigation that yielded two arrests and the seizure of $300,000 in cocaine, according to Hillsborough sheriff's officials.

    Detectives obtained a search warrant, authorizing a SWAT team to raid the home at 8303 Ash Ave. in the Progress Village area. Inside, deputies found a large amount of cocaine that was packaged for sale, officials said. During the raid, they arrested Derrick Willis, 36, the homeowner. They also seized a Dodge Ram 1500 and more than $2,600 in cash....

  9. Teen's shooting death in Sulphur Springs may be accidental


    TAMPA — A shooting that left a 16-year-old boy dead Saturday in the Sulphur Springs area might have been an accident.

    State officials will examine the death of Ikeim Bobby Boswell to determine if a crime took place, police said Monday.

    On Saturday afternoon Boswell and three friends were gathered behind a house at 8114 N 17th St. One of the boys showed a small-caliber gun, police said. At some point the gun went off, hitting Boswell. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead....

  10. Answers sought in shooting death of Gaither High student


    TAMPA — Jamilynn Turner stood with his cousin and their friends Saturday night when someone coasted past the Taylor Park basketball courts and began firing a gun.

    As the group scattered, one shot hit Turner, 16, who jogged up the street, turning left down W Virginia Avenue. He ran to the base of a towering oak tree, where he collapsed.

    An ambulance arrived soon after the 9:45 p.m. incident and carried Turner to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead....

  11. Buckhorn likely to name Tampa's next police chief in April


    TAMPA — Mayor Bob Buckhorn says he plans to name the city's next police chief after his April 1 inauguration to a second term.

    The choice, however, is still uncertain.

    "I haven't made a decision yet," Buckhorn said Tuesday.

    With Chief Jane Castor scheduled to retire in early May, the mayor has eyed a number of people in the police department's top brass to take her place. Last month, he named three specifically: Assistant Chief Eric Ward and Deputy Chiefs Brian Dugan and Mary O'Connor. All have been promoted to higher ranks in the last year to test their performance in anticipation of Castor's departure....

  12. Tampa police unveil 60 body cameras for patrol officers (w/video)

    Public Safety


    As Officer Cliff Griffin pulled over a white PT Cruiser on Friday afternoon on Nebraska Avenue, his hand moved to the pocket on the front of his Tampa police uniform. A tone sounded as he hit a button on a battery pack underneath. From that moment, everything Griffin did was recorded through a tiny lens perched on his shoulder.

    Minutes later, he played back the recording on a laptop computer inside his car. Through a frame that bounced up and down with each of his steps, it showed Griffin walking to the car and played back his short conversation with the driver before he sent him on his way....

    Officer Cliff Griffin enters a driver’s license number into a computer during a traffic stop while wearing a body camera on his right shoulder. The cameras’ battery packs are capable of about 12 hours of power — about as long as an officer’s work shift.
  13. Tampa woman accused of breaking baby's leg


    TAMPA — A Tampa woman was jailed Friday after authorities accused her of breaking the leg of a 1-year-old girl who was in her care in November.

    Maristania Chavez, 31, is charged with aggravated child abuse after medical tests showed the baby's injuries were not the result of an accident, according to Hillsborough sheriff's officials.

    On Nov. 14, Chavez, who lives in the Carrollwood area, brought the girl to St. Joseph's Hospital. She told doctors that the baby woke from a nap and was crying excessively, authorities said....

  14. Man faces manslaughter charge in Tampa Quality Inn killing


    TAMPA — A 19-year-old man is facing a manslaughter charge in the death of his co-worker last month outside a Tampa hotel.

    Carlos Ismael Navarro was charged in the killing that happened early Feb. 17 in the parking lot of the Quality Inn at 4139 E Busch Blvd. At 2 a.m. that day, a hotel customer called 911 after finding a man lying in a pool of blood in a parking lot. The man had injuries to his upper body, police said. ...

  15. Robbery, shooting in Palm River net attempted murder charge


    PALM RIVER — A man who lives in the Palm River neighborhood where another man was shot last week was arrested Tuesday on an attempted murder charge.

    Erik Rashad Levy, 32, is accused of trying to kill Donald Hoke, 42, after Hoke and a group of his friends stopped in front of his home, according to sheriff's officials.

    At 4 p.m. that day, Hillsborough sheriff's deputies found Hoke lying in front of a house at 3208 Deerfield Drive. He had been shot in the thighs and belly, sheriff's officials said. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital for treatment....