(ran PC edition)
Former downtown restaurateur Adrian B. Lewis settled tax charges against him in court Wednesday by agreeing to pay the state back and serve five years of probation.
Lewis, 58, of Zephyrhills pleaded no contest in Circuit Court to failing to remit sales tax. The state alleged he kept taxes he collected at his Meridian Avenue restaurant, Adrian's Grill, from April 1999 to December 2000.
A no contest plea means the defendant does not offer a defense but stops short of admitting guilt.
According to state Department of Revenue Investigator Philip Wilk, Lewis admited to an investigator when he was warned about the problem that he had used the money to pay bills, but he promised to pay the state.
Lewis' no contest plea notified the state he would not contest the charge.
Circuit Judge Wayne Cobb sentenced Lewis to five years of probation. A condition of the probation is that he pay the state $36,180 in back sales tax. Cobb withheld a ruling of guilt.
Two sent to hospital
after hitting fuel truck
WESLEY CHAPEL _ A man in his 70s was flown to a hospital Wednesday after his minivan broadsided a fuel tanker, causing a diesel spill on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.
The man in the Honda Odyssey was driving west on County Line Road when he crashed into the tanker about 3 p.m., said Trooper J.T. Gilcher of the Florida Highway Patrol. Gilcher could not release the name of the man but said he was born in 1929.
The tanker had a green left turn arrow to turn from Bruce B. Downs onto County Line Road, Gilcher said.
The collision tipped over the tanker, spilling some of its 500-gallon diesel fuel load, Gilcher said. The tanker driver, Gerald Brda, 52, of Spring Hill, was not seriously injured, he said.
A hazardous materials team from Tampa cleaned up the spill.
The Honda driver and a female passenger, born in 1926, were taken to a hospital. The driver has a heart problem, but his condition was not available Wednesday evening. The passenger, whose name was not available, was in stable condition at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Gilcher said.
One of the vehicles struck a Toyota Camry, but no one in that car was seriously injured, he said.
Rollover of pickup
blocks traffic on SR 52
ST. LEO _ An overturned pickup truck on State Road 52 caused traffic delays Wednesday but no serious injuries.
John Richard Reardon was driving a truck full of concrete blocks and stucco supplies east at Saint Leo University. He veered off the road about 10:45 a.m., then overcorrected when he swerved back onto it, Pasco County sheriff's patrol Deputy Frank Pizzuto said.
Reardon's top-heavy load caused his 1977 Ford pickup to flip over, Pizzuto said.
Reardon, 48, of Spring Hill was cited for failure to use due care.
The accident caused a second delay, when an 18-wheeler carrying pine logs went off the road to drive around the flipped pickup. The tree-hauling truck got stuck on the roadside incline, and a tow truck came out about 1 p.m. to pull it back onto SR 52.
LAND O'LAKES _ A 2-year-old boy was recovering at a St. Petersburg hospital Wednesday after being attacked Tuesday afternoon by his grandfather's dog.
The attack occurred about 4 p.m. Tuesday, according to Pasco County Sheriff's Office reports.
Crumitt Hall, 50, told deputies that he tied up his male dog outside his home at 7424 Tom Drive in Land O'Lakes because his female dog inside the house is in heat.
Hall warned the children to stay away from the male dog, the report said. But 2-year-old Dylan Harvey Hall and another boy apparently approached the dog while the adults were in the house, the report said.
The dog left Dylan with cuts on his face and scalp, the report said.
Dylan, who lives on Williams Loop Road in Land O'Lakes, is in good condition at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. Pasco County Animal Control is investigating the incident.
on Dade City street
DADE CITY _ Authorities are looking for a man who robbed a Dade City man at gunpoint early Tuesday morning.
Steve C. Solis was walking on Tait Avenue toward 14th Street about 6 a.m. when a man came up and put a revolver to his head, according to Pasco County Sheriff's Office reports.
Solis gave the man his wallet and the $15 inside, the report said. The man got into white, full-size Ford pickup and drove away.
The robber was black, 20 to 25 years old, about 5 feet 8 and 170 pounds. He wore dark clothing and had a chrome revolver, possibly .38 or .44 caliber.
Anyone with information was asked to call the Pasco County Sheriff's Office toll-free at 1-800-854-2862.
Man accused of kicking
in rival's truck door
DADE CITY _ A rivalry over an old girlfriend landed a 19-year-old Lutz man in jail Tuesday.
Aaron Ray Doyne of 20228 County Line Road was charged with felony criminal mischief after witnesses say he damaged another man's car in the early morning hours of March 2.
The driver's door of the 1993 Dodge Dakota pickup was severely dented, Sheriff's Office reports said.
Two witnesses told deputies they saw Doyne kick the man's truck three times. The truck owner's name was not released by the Sheriff's Office.
According to reports, Doyne's ex-girlfriend is dating the truck owner's son.
Doyne was released from county jail Tuesday on $10,000 bail.
Zephyrhills house fire
ZEPHYRHILLS _ Zephyrhills Fire/Rescue is investigating a Tuesday night fire that damaged a vacant house at 5939 12th St.
The fire started about 10 p.m., although it is unknown at this point what sparked the blaze, Capt. Rex Guynn said.
Firefighters contained the fire to one room, he said.