07/29/16 Public Safety
TAMPA — Isaih Quiñones is a veteran Pokémon Go player, and Ballast Point Park is his favorite hunting ground.
At Ballast Point, the 27-year-old Tampa furniture maker has captured hard-to-find Pokémon characters like the Acranine, a creature that looks like a tiger crossed with a lion and a chipmunk....
TAMPA — A fugitive and a missing teen recently seen with him were found Tuesday night at a Tampa hotel, police reported Wednesday.
Bryana Lemaire, 17, of north Tampa, and Antwoine Noland, 43, were found at the Tampa Stadium Hotel, 4750 N Dale Mabry Highway, after investigators received a tip, Tampa police said.
Police forced their way into the hotel room after Noland refused to answer the door. He then locked himself in the bathroom but eventually surrendered....
GIBSONTON — After the impact, after the airbag blew up in his face, Isaac Velez felt panic and dread.
Did I just hit someone?
Velez had been driving west on Gibsonton Drive about 6 a.m. Wednesday to drop off his 4-year-old daughter at day care before heading to his job as a mechanic. He crossed East Bay Drive and then into a patch of darkness, he said, so he didn't see anything before he heard and felt the boom....
Shooting at Fort Myers club kills two teens, wounds at least 18 others; terrorism ruled out (w/video)07/25/16Crime
FORT MYERS — Jessy Dormus and his cousin were already in the parking lot when the shooting started.
Dormus and Sean Archilles, 14, had spent several hours at Club Blu Restaurant and Lounge Monday night for a teen event advertised as a "swimsuit glow party." People were filtering out of the club about 12:30 a.m. when gunfire erupted in the parking lot....
TAMPA — The regulars at Ballast Point Park wish Pokémon Go would just go away.
The waterfront park has become a digital hub attracting those obsessed with the smartphone game. The park is overrun day and night. Regulars battle newcomers for parking spots. The park closes at dusk, but dozens refuse to leave. They play the augmented reality game late into the night.
One Pokémon Go player took it too far Thursday, according to Tampa police, and ended up being shocked by a Taser and handcuffed....
TAMPA — Caleb McDonald heard a boy's screams as flames engulfed his neighbor's mobile home.
McDonald stepped into the burning trailer just after 11 p.m. Wednesday and pulled out his 43-year-old friend and neighbor. The man resisted, McDonald said, because his 58-year-old mother and his 2-year-old nephew were still inside the home.
McDonald, 27, went back inside at least two more times, staying low to avoid the thick smoke and flames....
07/20/16 Public Safety
TAMPA — It's not clear why Maynell Scott left his north Tampa senior care center Friday evening or where he was headed.
But on Wednesday, it became clear where the 81-year-old's trip ended.
The Hillsborough Medical Examiner confirmed Wednesday that a body found Tuesday in a lake near Fletcher and N Armenia avenues was Scott's. He was found less than a mile west of Belvedere Commons, the "memory care" center where he lived....
A live power line lay on the ground for hours, unnoticed until it killed someone. How does that happen?07/19/16Energy
TAMPA — When a thin, gray wire fell from a pole along the Courtney Campbell Causeway last week, a life-or-death countdown began.
Carrying 7,620 volts, the energized power line posed a potentially lethal hazard for unsuspecting pedestrians and bicyclists on the paved recreational trail that runs along the causeway.
But Tampa Electric Co. didn't find out about the downed line until Greg Patterson, a 47-year-old Florida Fish and Wildlife officer, was electrocuted Tuesday during his early morning bike ride....
TAMPA — Jessica Wright thought she emptied the gun.
After one of her teenage children brought a weapon home Thursday night, Wright took control and unloaded it, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
But, in the chamber, one round remained.
Wright, 33, accidentally fired the gun, hitting her 52-year-old mother, Carolyn Wright, in the upper body just after midnight Friday, killing her, deputies said. ...
A downed power line that electrocuted a bicyclist Wednesday along the Courtney Campbell Causeway may have dangled for as many as 10 hours over a public path before dawn delivered a victim.
Gregory Patterson, a 47-year-old father and wildlife officer recently heralded for saving lives, died when he came into contact with the wire about 6:40 a.m., Tampa police said.
Some seven hours earlier, at 10:50 p.m. Tuesday, a manager at nearby Whiskey Joe's Bar & Grill called Tampa Electric Co. to report a partial outage, restaurant manager Marty Duffany said....
THONOTOSASSA — Standing near the charred, smoking remains of his warehouse Tuesday, Brad Green couldn't help but chuckle at the unfortunate coincidence.
About 8:30 Monday night, as a fierce thunderstorm raged outside, an employee in the office at Lightning RV Supply on Harney Road heard three consecutive, earth-shaking booms.
The employee stepped outside to find the adjacent warehouse — 25,000 square feet of RV parts and camping supplies — in flames....
TAMPA — City officials are reviewing their contract with a company that employs a security guard who's accused of shooting at two men in an Ybor City parking garage early Sunday.
The guard, 31-year-old Everoy R. Farqharson, works for Tampa-based Iron Eagle Security Inc., which provides armed security services at seven city parking garages and surface lots. The company also provides security services for 16 Hillsborough County sites, including library branches, community centers and transfer stations....
TAMPA — Under the soaring arched ceiling of Hangar 3, a KC-135 tanker plane looming behind her, Col. April D. Vogel took hold of the blue and gold-starred pennant and smiled.
In that ceremonial moment, Vogel, 44, took over as base commander at MacDill Air Force Base. She also made history.
The senior pilot is the first commander in MacDill's history to come from the Air National Guard, a reserve military force, and the second woman to hold the post. As leader of MacDill's 6th Air Mobility Wing, Vogel will oversee operations on a base that is home to U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, the 927th Air Refueling Wing and dozens of other mission partners....
TAMPA — Local police departments are taking on rape culture.
The Tampa Bay Area Chiefs of Police Association announced a new public awareness and training campaign Thursday called Consent Florida that aims to put a dent in some troubling statistics on sexual assault.
Among them: one in six women in Florida have been raped at some point in their lives, just 18 percent of rapes in America are reported, and only six of every 1,000 rapists see the inside of a jail cell....
RIVERVIEW — Authorities are searching for a Ruskin woman accused of causing a fatal wrong-way crash last January.
Jean Ann Petraits was driving a Chevy Express south in the northbound lanes of U.S. 41 near Bayshore Road on Jan. 12 when she crashed nearly head-on into a southbound Honda minivan, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The Honda driver, 32-year-old Rodney Keith Bell of Riverview, died at the scene....