TAMPA — Two men, including a high school math teacher, were killed Monday in a head-on crash on Morris Bridge Road, deputies said.
Howard William Hawkins Jr., 50, of Zephyrhills was driving south on Morris Bridge Road near the Pasco County line about 6:45 a.m. when his Kia Forte crossed the center line and struck a northbound Ford Fusion, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office....
It was supposed to be a routine green card renewal for a Thai woman who has called Central Florida home for years.
Instead, federal immigration authorities took her into custody for a decade-old blemish on her criminal record, putting her on a potential path to deportation. The mother of two has been waiting in a detention center since April for a hearing to make her case to stay, said her attorney, John Gihon....
TAMPA — When asked Friday if Tampa police believe a serial killer is stalking the residents of Seminole Heights, interim Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan paused for a moment.
"We can call it what we want," said a clearly frustrated Dugan, who called a news conference to talk about the discovery Thursday of yet another body, the third person to be shot and killed in the neighborhood in 11 days. "If that brings attention to it, that's fine."...
TAMPA — The third victim in a string of killings in Seminole Heights was a 20-year-old man shot dead after he got off the No. 9 bus, interim Police Chief Brian Dugan said Friday.
Anthony Naiboa, a graduate of Middleton High School, got off at the wrong bus stop after work and was walking north on 15th Street to another bus stop when he was shot, Dugan said. Officers on patrol in the area heard the shots and rushed to the area, but by then the shooter was gone. Naiboa died at North 15th and Conover streets, about 100 yards from one of the other shootings....
TAMPA — George "Terry" Long escaped with his life last spring when his wife's ex-husband tried to gun him down at Plant City's Rocking V Ranch.
Now, Long is suing the estate that owns the cattle ranch, claiming the family operation failed to protect him from Milton Varn, the "dangerous and violent" man who shot him.
"In the absence of a specific warning from Rocking V Ranch LLC, (Long) would not have been aware of the extreme personal danger he was in by entering the property while Milton Varn was present," the complaint filed Oct. 9 in Hillsborough County court says....
TAMPA — One was a 22-year-old African American man. The other was a 32-year-old white woman.
Both died mysteriously of gunshot wounds in southeast Seminole Heights last week. Now police are asking nervous residents to be alert, avoid walking alone at night and to come forward with any information that might help solve the crimes....
10/16/17 Public Safety
The Pasco County Sheriff's Office is taking steps to turn jail deputies into federal immigration agents.
Sheriff Chris Nocco has signed an agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to join a controversial program that give deputies the power to check the immigration status of people booked into the county jail and to serve warrants on suspected undocumented inmates — a process that could lead to deportation....
TAMPA — A 32-year-old Miami man has been charged with murder in connection with the April shooting death of Darius Jaquan Harris, court records show.
Zachary Alexander Williams was arrested Thursday in Sarasota County and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on charges of first degree murder and illegally possessing a firearm as a felon, jail records show.
According to a Hillsborough County grand jury indictment filed Sept. 28, Williams shot Harris, 24, "with a premeditated design" on April 23....
TAMPA — Police are investigating after a 22-year-old Tampa man was fatally shot in East Tampa.
Officers found Benjamin Edward Mitchell lying near the bus stop at 15th Street and East Frierson Avenue about 9 a.m. with at least one gunshot wound, according to Tampa police. Mitchell was taken to a local hospital, where he later died from his injuries.
Detectives were working Tuesday to identify a suspect and motive in the shooting....
Hela Garcia and her mother, Gloria Ferrales, sat on folding chairs Monday under a small white tent, taking a brief respite from the midday sun beating down on the Plant City Stadium grounds.
A few minutes earlier, mother and daughter had walked out of another tent with a debit card that Ferrales will use to buy nearly $400 worth of food over the next two months. The money, courtesy of the federal government, is meant to help the 87-year-old disabled Tampa resident make up for the frozen steaks and other provisions she had to throw out when Hurricane Irma knocked out power at her home for three days....
10/02/17 Public Safety
PLANT CITY — A man fatally shot by Plant City police officers in July came at one in a "shooting stance" with a glass pipe and a rolled-up shirt in his hands, but officers feared he was holding a gun.
These details are included in a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigative report that the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office used in part to decide that officers Gerald Baker and Derek Hartmann were justified in shooting 35-year-old Jesus Cervantes on July 6. ...
09/29/17 Public Safety
TAMPA — It wasn't too long ago, in career terms, that Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee called Col. Chad Chronister into an office and asked if he'd try to succeed him.
Chronister said yes. On Friday, he took over sooner than anyone expected.
As Gee and a roomful of friends, family, dignitaries and Sheriff's Office staff watched, Chronister took the oath of office.
"It is truly an honor, and I know what a privilege it is to be the sheriff of Hillsborough County," Chronister, 49, told an audience of about 150 people after taking the oath in the cavernous Courtroom 1 of the Edgecomb Courthouse....
Oxalis Garcia finally heard her father's voice on Sunday, when he managed to get through to the mainland four days after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island of Puerto Rico.
Augusto Garcia did not sound like the strong man his daughter knew.
Things are really bad over here. Please get me a plane ticket.
"He is very reserved, but for the first time in my life, I could hear the concern and the desperation in his voice," said Garcia, a 37-year-old St. Petersburg attorney. "To see him so vulnerable, it was very emotional for me."...
TAMPA — A charter school teacher was arrested Sunday after, police say, she fired a gun into the ground during a dispute with her boyfriend.
Melody Patrice Bing, a teacher at Vision of Excellence Academy, fired at least two rounds from a silver handgun during an argument with her boyfriend about 1 p.m. in a vacant lot behind 402 W Columbus Drive, according to a Tampa police arrest report....
TAMPA — Jessica Steinbrenner, a top executive with the New York Yankees and a daughter of the team's late owner George Steinbrenner, is seeking a restraining order against her ex-husband.
In a petition filed in Hillsborough County last week, Steinbrenner alleges that Felix M. Lopez Jr. has been stalking her since their marriage formally ended in February. According to the complaint, Lopez has made unwelcome attempts to contact Steinbrenner by calling, sending text messages and making at least two unannounced visits to her Tampa home earlier this month....