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Man arrested on animal cruelty, assault charges

A man was arrested Saturday on charges of animal cruelty and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Frank J. Florio, 58 , apparently became irate Saturday afternoon while visiting a mobile FEMA station at Rock Crusher Canyon RV park. The FEMA station is there temporarily to assist hurricane damage victims in getting federal assistance.

According to arrest reports, Florio, of 1808 Silverwood St., Inverness, struck a puppy and then threatened a man with a hammer at about 3:30 p.m. Florio told deputies that the puppy was aggressive, though that was disputed by witnesses who said the dog was not barking or attacking anyone.

Florio was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and cruelty to animals. His bail is set at $7,000.

Driver held on DUI charges after spate of hit and runs

CRYSTAL RIVER _ A drunken driver who led police on a chase that was marked by several car crashes was arrested Saturday night.

Brian Raymond Dew, 29, of 5628 Lace Point, Dunnellon, was arrested after being boxed in by a Crystal River police cruiser at a traffic light on U.S. 19 at about 8 p.m. Saturday.

Earlier, Dew had been asked to leave Port Paradise Resort in Crystal River for fighting. He told police, who suspected he was too intoxicated to drive, that he was going to take a taxi home.

Shortly after, reports of hit and run crashes began to arrive at the 911 center. Among them were a truck hitting a fence, a truck hitting a concrete pole at the Race Trak gas station on U.S. 19 and a truck hitting a car at Dillon's Inn.

Police caught up with Dew's damaged truck on U.S. 19 and managed to box him in while he was stopped at the light.

He was charged with nine different traffic counts including DUI and leaving the scene of an accident and one count of fleeing from police. He was still being held in jail Sunday. His bail was set at $14,000.

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