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Authorities seek man who brandished knife

(ran PC edition)

Pasco County sheriff's deputies on Thursday sought a suspect who allegedly followed a Tampa man into a local convenience store parking lot Wednesday afternoon and charged at him with a knife.

Matthew Hinton, 20, told deputies he was driving his red 1993 Lincoln Mark VII east on State Road 54 when a man in a late model Ford pickup truck began tailgating him. Hinton said he was having problems with his engine and that his car could go only about 50 mph.

Hinton told deputies he pulled into a Cumberland Farms store at SR 54 and Morris Bridge Road to let the man pass and avoid a confrontation.

The man followed him into the parking lot, pulled beside him and started yelling obscenities, a report stated.

Hinton said the man then got out of his truck, brandished a large knife with a 6-inch blade and began charging at his car.

Hinton was able to shift into reverse, turn around and flee, the report stated. He got a partial view of the truck's plates but not enough to make an identification.

21-year-old arrested

on retail theft charge

DADE CITY _ A 21-year-old man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly stealing $300 worth of merchandise from Sears in Dade City and pawning it locally, police said.

Edward Eugene Simmons, of 38947 Sparkman Road, was arrested about 4:40 p.m.

Dade City Police Capt. David Duff said one pawnshop owner became suspicious because the tools Simmons was trading were new.

While arresting Simmons, officers also found on him a homemade crack pipe with cocaine residue, a report stated.

He was charged with possession of cocaine and possession of paraphernalia, along with the retail theft charge.

Simmons was taken to Land O'Lakes jail, where he remained Thursday in lieu of $2,000 bail.

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