1. Archive

Two rob bank on State Road 52; No one hurt in the holdup

(ran PW, PS editions)

Two men brandishing handguns and wearing stocking masks robbed the AmSouth Bank at 7512 State Road 52 in Hudson at lunchtime on Wednesday.

According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, the two robbers forced the four bank employees and two customers on the floor, then took an undetermined amount of cash.

The robbers fled in a green sport utility vehicle, possibly a Ford Explorer, officials said. They were last seen driving south on Zimmerman Road.

No shots were fired and no one was hurt during the 11:58 a.m. robbery.

Witnesses described both robbers as white, 25 to 30 years old and weighing about 180 to 200 pounds. They both wore dark baseball caps.

One robber wore a dark T-shirt and jeans, the other wore a dark shirt and tan pants.

Pasco Sheriff's deputies are investigating.

Man is accused of faking prescriptions for painkillers

HUDSON _ Using a fake name and forged prescriptions, a 42-year-old computer technician persuaded a local pharmacy to sell him nearly 1,000 painkillers, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Peter Salvatore Guzzo of 7991 E Emerald Lane in Floral City, told deputies that he called the Eckerd pharmacy at 14158 U.S. 19 on 16 occasions, claiming to be an employee of a Spring Hill doctor named Brinda Sanjay.

Guzzo would then ask the pharmacist to fill a prescription for a Jerry Ward, deputies said, and later go to the pharmacy and claim he was Ward. Each time, Guzzo would pick up a prescription for Propoxyphene, a narcotic painkiller.

Sanjay told deputies that he did not have a patient named Jerry Ward.

On Tuesday at noon, deputies arrested Guzzo after he picked up his 16th prescription, authorities said.

According to a report, a deputy saw Guzzo walk into the drug store and heard him identify himself as Ward. Guzzo paid for the prescription, and deputies caught up with him on U.S. 19 near Hudson Avenue.

When Guzzo saw the lights flashing on the cruisers, he tried to throw the prescription out of his car. Deputies recovered some of the pills.

He was charged with 16 counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of destruction of physical evidence. He was booked into the county jail in Land O'Lakes and is being held on $95,000 bail.

Visitors bureau plans to move its westside welcome center

PORT RICHEY _ The Pasco County Visitor & Convention Bureau's westside welcome center in Gulf View Square will close Friday and reopen in about six weeks, the bureau announced Wednesday.

Bureau executive director Richard Kyle said negotiations are under way to move the welcome center to the south end of the mall. If all works out, Kyle said, the move could allow the center to open seven days a week.

The move is part of a planned reorganization, bureau officials said. As part of the reorganization, marketing director Judy Parker has resigned, at least temporarily. Parker said Wednesday that she voluntarily resigned because the bureau needed to trim its budget, but added she hopes to go back to work once the bureau's westside center reopens.

The bureau's Wesley Chapel welcome center will remain open through September and October, Kyle said.