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Man armed with gun, manners robs Walgreens

An armed man robbed a Walgreens store Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday, the man entered the Walgreens at 4319 N Armenia Ave. and wandered for about 15 minutes. He then engaged the clerk in conversation and asked for cigarettes. When she returned with them, he pulled up his shirt to show a wooden-handled pistol, police said.

"Sorry to have to do this, but give me your money," he said. The clerk opened the register; the man removed the money and fled, police said.

Woman sues theme park over peacock attack

TAMPA _ A South Florida woman is claiming that a peacock attack at Busch Gardens 3{ years ago has left her with "permanent bodily injuries and neurological damage," according to documents filed Wednesday in Hillsborough County Circuit Court.

The complaint alleges that a male peacock attacked Elinita Thacker, a Broward County resident, during a visit to the Tampa amusement park sometime in June 2000. The attack occurred with such force that Thacker was "violently knocked to the pavement," according to court documents.

Thacker's Fort Lauderdale attorney, Clement R. Dean Jr., said in the complaint that Busch Gardens failed to properly train its employees to manage aggressive peacocks, and that the bird had a "propensity" to attack humans because it was mating season.

"We're not aware of this suit," said Gerard Hoeppner, director of public relations for Busch Gardens. "If and when such a suit is served, we'll review and respond accordingly."

Students stranded in Tampa Bay call for help

TAMPA _ A cell phone came in handy for a Massachusetts college rowing team that got swamped by a passing freighter in the chilly waters of Tampa Bay Friday.

The students, from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, were 2 miles into the bay when their 60-foot scull filled with water..

The students fell into the water and climbed into their coach's 8-foot chase boat, which wasn't built to hold so many people. The coach called 911.

"The chase boat's overloaded, it's starting to get dark, the water is about 57 degrees," Tampa police spokesman Joe Durkin said. "If he didn't have that cell phone, this easily could have been a tragic outcome."

The Coast Guard and Tampa Police each sent a boat around 7:30 p.m.

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