Dan Sullivan, Times Staff Writer

Dan Sullivan

Dan Sullivan covers breaking news and general assignment stories for the Tampa Bay Times. His reporting often focuses on law enforcement and criminal justice issues. Since joining the Times in 2010, he has covered everything from fugitive monkeys and stolen swine to burning buildings and Florida's death row. 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

Email: dsullivan@tampabay.com

Twitter: @TimesDan

  1. Second man arrested in robbery that forced lockdown at Tampa schools



    2nd suspect arrested in dollar store robbery

    A second man accused of robbing a Family Dollar store in Seminole Heights this week, forcing nearby schools into lockdown, was arrested Thursday, Tampa police said.

    Joshua Antwon Jackson, 23, faces multiple robbery, theft and kidnapping charges related to the Tuesday morning robbery at the store at 5100 N Florida Ave. ...

  2. Robbery suspect shot by Tampa officer dies in hospital


    TAMPA — A robbery suspect shot by a Tampa police officer last week died Wednesday at Tampa General Hospital after he was taken off life support.

    John C. Carr, 20, had been hospitalized for more than a week following the Oct. 12 shooting.

    Police say Carr, who was on probation for a 2011 armed robbery conviction, accosted a man and woman early that morning at the Tampa Park Apartments, 1015 Lily White Court. He demanded money at gunpoint. The woman fled and called 911....

  3. Plant City boy, 16, accused of making child pornography


    PLANT CITY — A 16-year-old from Plant City is facing more than 100 adult criminal charges after authorities accused him of making child pornography.

    Jared Kyle Henry, a student at Plant City High School, was arrested Sunday on a warrant following an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Local authorities received a tip in September from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police about a computer user from Plant City who was sharing images of child pornography via the Internet, officials said. They began investigating Henry....

  4. Affair revealed as police conclude Davis Islands shooting investigation


    TAMPA — Late one night in August, Mishay Simpson shot Andrew Noll after he walked into her Davis Islands home unannounced. Simpson, the wife of semiprofessional golfer Rhett Simpson, later told investigators that Noll was a former friend who had been stalking her and threatening to hurt her family.

    When the home's alarm went off and she heard someone coming up the stairs, she grabbed a 9mm Ruger. When the door opened, she fired....

    Mishay Simpson told police the intruder in her Davis Islands home was a former friend.
  5. Hillsborough detectives check potential link between killer, 1989 cold case


    TAMPA — Last July, inside a makeshift courtroom at Union Correctional Institution, a place where death row inmates wage their final legal clashes, two detectives from Hillsborough County sat across from a killer.

    Samuel Smithers, a former Plant City church deacon, sat in a red shirt, wrists shackled. He said his lawyer told him not to talk about the 1996 killings of two Tampa prostitutes, the crimes that put him on death row....

    The body of Marcelle Delano was discovered in an overgrown swamp in 1989.
  6. Florida House of Representatives: District 59


    Florida House | District 59

    Ross Spano was elected in 2012 to represent this east Hillsborough County district. After two years in the Legislature, he is vying for a second term. He faces Democrat Donna Lee Fore, a business owner and a past president of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce. By Dan Sullivan, Times staff writer

    Donna Lee Fore, 61Ross Spano, 48
    Experience Donna Lee Fore is a Tampa native and business owner. She and her husband, Pat, have operated P.F. Auto Glass in Riverview since 1994. She is also a sales representative for Mary Kay cosmetic products. She has been a member of several community boards and organizations, including serving as president of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce. Fore began her run for office in pursuit of the District 4 County Commission seat, but switched earlier this year to run for state representative instead. Ross Spano has served a single term in the Florida House. He touts his sponsorship of bills on human trafficking, teacher accountability and protection of businesses from theft among his legislative successes. He is owner of Christmas Spano & Owen, a Riverview law firm. As a lawyer, he focuses his practice on estate planning, wills and trusts. He has also served in numerous civic organizations, including as a board member of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce.
    EducationGraduate of Hillsborough High School. Has taken courses in accounting and bookkeeping.Bachelor's in history from the University of South Florida; law degree from Florida State University.
    What will be your priorities in the Legislature?Fore lists job growth, education, the environment and transportation as her top priorities. She wants to offer incentives to Florida businesses that help bring jobs to the state. She also favors less student testing, saying government needs to "stop micromanaging our schools." Spano plans to continue addressing human trafficking, which has come to be his signature issue. Among his priorities is increasing the criminal penalties for people who solicit victims of human trafficking for prostitution. He says he would also like to sponsor a bill that would end taxes on commercial leases. On education, he wants to do more to offer vocational school options to high school students who don't plan to attend college.
    If voters approve medical marijuana, what role should the Legislature play then?"It should be treated as a medical prescription, the same as any other drug."If the measure becomes part of the state Constitution, Spano says legislators would have no choice but to give it a legal structure and framework. He anticipates the intricacies of the new law will take a few years to hammer out. "It's going to be a big job," he said. "But I'm hopeful we don't have to do that."
    How would you change the state's tax system?She says she wants to provide incentives for out-of-state businesses to move to Florida. She also says she wants to "streamline" the corporate tax process for local business owners, including reducing the overall corporate tax rates. She favors imposing sales taxes on Internet sales for out-of-state merchants. Legislators should look for ways to give extra revenue back to citizens, rather than ways to spend it, Spano says. "I'd love to see us continue to roll back some of the administrative taxes and fees we imposed on citizens and businesses in the last few years," he said.
    Financial disclosureAssets: Home, funeral plot, retirement account. Liabilities: Mortgage, vehicle loans, credit cards. Income: $48,700Assets: Life insurance policy, IRA, business ownership interest. Liabilities: Student loans, medical bills. Income: $173,689.62
    PersonalMarried to Timothy Pat Fore; five grown childrenMarried to Amie Spano; four children
    Contactdonnaleefore.com; foreforstatehouse@gmail.comrossspano.com; ross@rossspano.com

  7. Dispatcher resigns amid investigation of failure to send help for trapped baby

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — A Tampa police dispatcher who refused to send help to a woman who called 911 after her baby was locked inside a hot car has resigned.

    Darrell Brown, 25, was under investigation for violating a police department policy on attentiveness to duty when he quit Oct. 2.

    "I think he saw the writing on the wall that he was going to get terminated, so he quit," said Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy....

  8. Tampa officer involved in shooting has twice been disciplined for policy violations


    TAMPA — The police officer who shot and wounded a robbery suspect Sunday has twice faced discipline for violations of Tampa police internal policies. In both cases, Officer Ronald Neipert was reprimanded for turning off his police dashboard camera and audio equipment, omitting portions of the incidents as they unfolded.

    Neipert, who has worked for the Tampa Police Department as an officer for six years, is on paid administrative leave while the department and the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office review the shooting....

  9. Tests show driver was drunk in third of five deadly wrong-way crashes


    TAMPA — The driver responsible for the third in a series of five fatal wrong-way crashes this year on Tampa Bay area interstates was drunk and had cocaine in his system when his car collided with an ambulance in August.

    Results of toxicology testing released Wednesday show that Edward Jose Duran had a blood-alcohol level of 0.21 — more than 2 1/2 times the level at which the state presumes intoxication — at the time of the Aug. 15 crash. He also showed a positive result for cocaine and chemical compounds that result when the drug is mixed with alcohol....

  10. Two rescued after plane crashes in Hillsborough Bay

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Robert Kerrigan stood at the Davis Islands boat ramp Monday afternoon draped in a pink blanket, a bandage on his shin. Miles behind him, his wrecked single-engine plane lay submerged in Hillsborough Bay.

    "There's really no story. It was pilot error," Kerrigan said. "I'm the responsible one."

    Kerrigan, 60, a licensed pilot from Orlando, had launched the amphibious Sea Rey hours earlier from Peter O. Knight Airport. He was showing the plane to Eric Olinger, 50, of Tampa, who was interested in buying it....

    Tampa Fire Rescue paramedics treat a victim of a plane crash Monday morning. [Tampa Police Department]
  11. Teen victim identified in Ybor City shooting


    TAMPA — A 16-year-old boy who was shot in the head Saturday night in Ybor City remained hospitalized Monday as detectives continued to investigate.

    Police identified the teen as Shannon Montgomery, who lives in the Grant Park area of Tampa. He was not cooperating with investigators, police said.

    The shooting happened about 11 p.m. Saturday as officers were responding to a call regarding a fight at the Centro Ybor entertainment complex. At the same time, a call came in reporting the shooting down the street at N 15th Street and E Eighth Avenue....

  12. Rotary Club equipping Tampa police with portable defibrillators

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — When a heart stops beating, a 911 call often puts police at the scene before emergency crews. That means cops are sometimes the ones to initiate lifesaving measures well before paramedics can arrive.

    For that reason, the Rotary Club of Tampa wants to equip officers with automated external defibrillators, electronic devices designed to jump-start a person's heart after cardiac arrest....

    Altra Medical’s Leslie Roberts trains Cpl. Mike Rivera, left, and Sgt. Kert Rojka, center, to use the portable defibrillators.
  13. Details emerge in case of man buried alive in Ruskin


    GIBSONTON — Late on Aug. 30, Adam Regino sat behind the wheel of a truck that bounded south through Hillsborough County. In the rear seat was Javier Bermudez. A third man sat in the passenger seat.

    In the back of the pickup, lying under a bed cover, was the truck's owner, Octavio Reyes. His legs and arms were bound. From inside the cab, the three could hear him trying to kick his way out. As he banged against the bed cover, they turned up the volume on the radio....

    Seventeen-year-old Adam Regino, who is one of two people charged in the murder of Octavio Reyes, lived with his mother and brother in this mobile home on Ray Street in Gibsonton.
  14. Man electrocuted after power lines knocked down in South Tampa


    TAMPA — The rain had been coming down all morning Wednesday when Chris Diehl heard the boom.

    Sitting with his grandmother in the family room of his parents' South Tampa house, he glanced out the window and saw smoke. He walked outside, where flames were beginning to dance between a fence and the detached garage.

    When he stepped off a brick path, a jolt of electricity knocked him over. Less than an hour later, Diehl, 22, was declared dead....

    Chris Diehl was killed when he stepped on charged soil.
  15. Riverview man was beaten and buried alive, arrest report says


    RUSKIN — The Riverview man whose body was found Saturday after he disappeared late last month was ambushed, robbed, beaten and later buried alive, according to an arrest report.

    The affidavit detailing the murder case against Javier Bermudez Jr. also suggests that several other people participated in the killing of Octavio Reyes, but an investigation to identify those responsible remains ongoing....

    Octavio Reyes was reported missing by his family Aug. 31.