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Gunshot victim is not cooperating, deputies say

(ran East edition)

Pasco County sheriff's deputies Friday continued to investigate how a 21-year-old Dade City man took a gunshot to the head, but without his help they remained stumped, authorities reported.

Investigators were called to Pinellas Avenue about 4:45 a.m. Thursday after a caller advised them Miguel Mejia of Hillsborough Avenue had been shot in the back of the head.

Mejia appeared to have been shot once with a small-caliber weapon. The bullet entrance and exit wounds were about 2 inches apart.

Deputy Tait Sanborn reported that Mejia did not speak English and questioned Mejia at Pasco Regional Medical Center through a translator. Mejia would not answer questions, even in Spanish, Sanborn said.

"When I asked if he knew who did it, he just grinned," Sanborn wrote in his report. "Miguel's behavior indicated to me that he knew exactly who did it and why, but he was unwilling to cooperate."

Sanborn said the bullet apparently punctured Mejia's scalp, then slid around the outside of the skull without penetrating it before exiting.

Domestic dispute suspect charged with escape

ZEPHYRHILLS _ A 24-year-old Zephyrhills man escaped briefly from police custody during an investigation into a domestic dispute Friday, but was captured captured within a few minutes, police said.

Police Capt. Randy Belasic said officers were called to 38058 Lawanda Loop shortly before 1 p.m. and found Patrick Michael Jauss and Jestine Marie Damico, 18. Damico, who is pregnant, said Jauss pushed her to the ground, and Jauss said she gave him a welt by belting him on the head with a telephone, Belasic said.

Jauss was handcuffed and placed in a patrol car, but police left the window partly open so they could communicate with him. Belasic said that as officers retrieved the phone from Damico, Jauss was able to get his hands in front of him, reach through the open window and open the door to the cruiser. He ran off.

Police summoned a tracking dog from Dade City, but before the dog arrived, Officer Josh O'Nolan ran Jauss down on foot a few blocks from the scene and arrested him.

Jauss was charged with aggravated domestic battery, escape and resisting arrest without violence. Damico was charged with domestic battery, Belasic said.

Pedestrian struck, seriously injured by van

NEW PORT RICHEY _ A 60-year-old man was in serious condition on Friday after being struck by a van on U.S. 19 late Wednesday. Harold Ayling of Great Britain was crossing the highway east to west near Green Key Road at 11:54 p.m. when he was hit by a Dodge van headed south, New Port Richey police reported. Ayling was flown in critical condition to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. The driver of the van, Joseph Jones, 63, of Spring Hill was not charged. A witness said Jones could not have avoided the crash, police said. Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call Officer Keith Campbell at (727) 841-4550.