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Man arrested carrying gun in courthouse in Tampa

A 26-year-old man was arrested Wednesday after he entered the Hillsborough County Courthouse with a gun in his briefcase. Steven Jan Satori of Gulfport entered the courthouse about 3:45 p.m. and put his briefcase on the conveyor belt that carries items through an X-ray machine, said Tampa police Capt. D.N. Morrill. When security officers found the gun, police were called. Satori was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed firearm without a permit, a third-degree felony, Morrill said. He was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on $1,000 bail Wednesday night. A notice posted near the door to the courthouse advises visitors that weapons are not allowed in the building, Morrill said. Police officers must leave their weapons with security before entering the building, she said.

Driver killed when truck hits

guardrail, flips at I-275 ramp

A man was killed when his truck hit a guard rail and flipped Wednesday night, closing an entrance ramp to Interstate 275 for hours. The man apparently missed his turn from Gandy Boulevard and tried driving on the grass to reach southbound 275, said St. Petersburg police Sgt. Chuck Harmon. The Ford truck hit the guardrail and landed upside down about 8:35 p.m., pinning the driver inside, Harmon said. A passenger was able to escape the truck injured, Harmon said. But a Rottweiler dog riding in back of the truck was missing, he said. The truck appeared ready to slide down a deep embankment, but Harmon said a metal tool box held the the truck atop the guard rail. Investigators found several cans of opened and unopened beer in the truck, but a cause of the accident had not been determined late Wednesday.


GROUNDBREAKING FOR YANKEE SITE. A groundbreaking ceremony for the New York Yankees spring training complex in Tampa will be today at 9 a.m. There will be a series of speeches, the unveiling of a model of the new stadium and appearances by former Yankees greats Reggie Jackson and Phil Rizzuto. The ceremonies will be at the southwest corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Dale Mabry Highway.

BOARD REINSTATES PINELLAS DEPUTY. A Pinellas County deputy fired last month for hitting a handcuffed jail inmate won his job back Tuesday after a 12-hour hearing. The five-member Civil Service Board agreed with investigators' conclusion that Brian Bender was guilty of using unnecessary force, but determined that firing was too severe a penalty. Instead, the board gave Bender a 30-day suspension, six months' probation and a written reprimand. The board's binding decision, partly based on Bender's previously good record, angered Sheriff Everett Rice. "They feel sorry and don't want to take somebody's job away," he said. "If another deputy does this same thing, I'll fire him. I don't have a place in my agency for people like that." Bender, 30, had just become a patrol deputy recruit when he was fired. He was a detention deputy for five years. He could not be reached Wednesday for comment. Rice fired Bender Sept. 7 for an incident in the jail's booking area that was videotaped. Largo police investigating a call July 21 about an unruly man who had been drinking arrested Derrick Peterson, 23, of St. Pete Beach. Charged with disorderly conduct, Peterson was taken to the Pinellas jail. In the booking area, Peterson was verbally abusive and uncooperative. His hands were cuffed behind his back, and two detention deputies restrained him. When Peterson made a move toward Bender, the deputy slugged him with his fist on the side of the head. Peterson needed stitches for the cut caused by the blow.

HILLSBOROUGH TO KEEP LESS RESTRICTIVE WATER RULES. Hillsborough commissioners voted Wednesday not to go back to the summer's more restrictive lawn-watering rules. The present rules, which returned Oct. 1, will stay in effect: Watering will be permitted two days a week, but not from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Commissioners directed county staff to talk to environmentalists, commercial growers including nursery owners, regulatory agencies and others about setting up a system of restrictions that vary by season. They cast the vote after staff told them there was no evidence that tighter summer water limits saved much water. Consumption in the county was down 14 percent from the summer of 1993.


LOSS OF EYE LEADS TO LAWSUIT. The parents of a 14-year-old Jacksonville boy are suing a Spring Hill toy assembler, saying the child lost an eye when a slingshot broke and snapped his face. Chad Knickerbocker was playing with a friend's Blaster Water Balloon Slingshot two months ago in Jacksonville when the rubber strap broke, the lawsuit said. His eye was removed in emergency surgery, said the boy's attorney, Donald Maciejewski. Named in the suit were C.X. Blaster Inc. and its owners, Eric and Sally Magnuson of 13218 Jessica Drive in Spring Hill. According to Maciejewski, the slingshot was assembled by the Magnusons, then sold through the mail by Fun Services, a St. Petersburg business. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday. It is for an unspecified amount of money for medical bills and loss of future earning power, plus physical and emotional distress. Maciejewski said the family is distraught over the accident, which he blamed on a design flaw. The lawyer said the toy was nearly new when it broke. It "was defective and unreasonably dangerous," the lawsuit said.