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Laundry worker, 70, fights off attacker

A 70-year-old man was taken to Columbia Dade City Hospital after he tried to fight off a man with a knife outside the laundry where he works, Pasco County Sheriff's Office reports say.

Albert Graham had closed R.T.'s Laundry on County Road 41 about 10 p.m. Wednesday when a man wearing a mask grabbed him in a headlock and threatened to "cut him to death," reports say.

Graham spun around, kicked the man in the groin and thrust his finger into one of the man's eyes, reports say. The man put Graham in a headlock again until he passed out, then stole his wallet, reports say. Graham was treated at the hospital and released.

Former gas station owner

accused of ripping off state

HOLIDAY _ The former owner of a Shell gas station is accused of bilking the state out of more than $50,000 in gas taxes paid by customers, the state Department of Revenue says.

Loren J. Matthews, 37, was arrested Thursday in Ithaca, N.Y., by Tompkins County sheriff's deputies and was held so he could be returned to Pasco County.

Matthews operated Bud Matthews Shell at 3433 U.S. 19 in Holiday. The station is under new ownership.

State investigators say Matthews kept $50,404 in local fuel taxes from 1994 to 1996. During the state investigation, Matthews sold the station and repaid $75,000 in taxes, interest and penalties. He is charged with second-degree felony theft, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Man says he was stabbed

while walking on street

DADE CITY _ A 30-year-old man was in stable condition at a Tampa hospital after being stabbed in the left arm and lower back early Friday, authorities said.

Marvin Miller, of 20716 Wormack Road, told sheriff's deputies he was walking near Lock and 17th streets at 6:38 a.m. when two men jumped him, said sheriff's spokesman Jon Powers.

The men stabbed him several times, Powers said. Miller was not robbed, and Powers said authorities are not certain what prompted the attack. Miller, who was able to walk about a mile to a friend's house on Davis Loop, was taken by helicopter to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where he remained late Friday.

Three men ask for time,

then attack, reports say

DADE CITY _ A pizza delivery man was beaten and robbed Thursday as he walked to his home in Dade Oaks, Sheriff's Office reports say.

David Zayas, 30, was walking on Acorn Circle about 5 p.m. when three men walked up and asked what time it was, reports say. Before he could respond, one man punched him in the head, and the other two grabbed his legs and pulled him to the ground, reports say.

While Zayas was on the ground, one man reached into his pocket and stole his wallet, reports say. The men ran away when several of Zayas' friends drove up.

Teen is third arrested

in vandalism of houses

NEW PORT RICHEY _ A 16-year-old boy is accused of breaking into two houses on Huntington Road in Holiday and vandalizing them, Sheriff's Office reports say.

The boy, whose name was withheld because of his age, emptied a fire extinguisher in the garage of one house and burned cigarette holes in the carpet, reports say.

He covered the walls of the second house with black spray paint, reports say.

Charged with two counts of burglary, the boy was taken to the county's juvenile detention center. Two other teens, a 14-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy, were arrested last week in connection with the crimes.