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Tarpon resisting police charge is dropped

(ran SS edition of METRO & STATE)

The man's attorney says police targeted him because of his acquittal in a shovel-beating case.

The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office has decided not to prosecute Theofilos Mamouzelos on charges that he resisted a police officer during Greek Easter celebrations.

Prosecutors decided to drop the charges against Mamouzelos, 20, because he ultimately cooperated with police, said Shawn Crane, the County Court division director for the State Attorney's Office.

Mamouzelos' attorney said police targeted him because of his acquittal in a previous case. In March, a jury found Mamouzelos not guilty of attempted second-degree murder in connection with the shovel beating of two men.

"He was singled out because of his prior not-guilty verdict," attorney George Tragos said. "The charge is ridiculous to begin with."

Mamouzelos was arrested by Tarpon Springs police April 30 during festivities related to the Greek Orthodox celebration of Easter.

Officers were watching a crowd of young adults celebrating on Athens Street when one officer suspected that someone had stolen something from a police cruiser.

Police saw that Mamouzelos had been videotaping the area and asked if they could watch the tape.

Instead, he gave the camera to someone else who disappeared in the crowd, a police report said.

Police arrested Mamouzelos and charged him with resisting a police officer without violence. Later, though, Mamouzelos turned over the tape to police.

Representatives of the Tarpon Springs Police Department were not available for comment Friday.

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