1. Archive

Man shot by officer goes from hospital to jail

A man who was shot by an undercover Tampa police officer Wednesday has been released from a hospital and booked into jail.

Tremayne Yushfa Miller, 26, was in the Falkenburg Road Jail Thursday, charged with aggravated assault against a police officer and delivery of cocaine. His bail was set at $2,500.

Police say Miller, driving a Ford F-150 truck, tried to run down Officer Michael Johnson during a drug sting at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Miller is a driver for M&M Trucking, according to jail records.

Lance Drew, 23, who police said was one of two passengers in the truck, was charged with delivery and possession of cocaine and opposing an officer. Drew, a Taco Bell janitor and construction worker, was jailed with bail set at $27,500.

The third suspect, Steve Scott, 24, was booked on a drug delivery charge. He was released Thursday after posting $3,700 bail. He told police he is unemployed.

Police spokesman Joe Durkin said Johnson, a three-year member of the force, fired at Miller because he feared for his life.

Johnson was one of six undercover officers patrolling the area around Howard Johnson Express Inn & Suites, 2520 N 50th St., when a woman approached an unmarked police vehicle with an offer to sell an ounce of cocaine. Miller was driving the vehicle that arrived to deliver the drug, according to police.

Reward offered for lead

to USF campus killer

TAMPA - Two weeks after the on-campus murder of former graduate student Ronald Stem, University of South Florida police are offering up to $10,000 for information leading to his killer.

"This is still an unsolved homicide, and we need the community's help," said Sgt. Mike Klingebiel, a USF police spokesman.

Stem, a 57-year-old Army veteran who pursued a graduate degree in secondary education from USF until 2004, was visiting a friend in the Magnolia Apartments residence hall Feb. 9. As Stem left the apartments, where he had lived as a USF student, he was shot dead in the parking lot.

A surveillance camera recorded three men running across the parking lot afterward. Witnesses saw three men speed off in a vehicle, the make uncertain.

In the two weeks since, USF detectives and Tampa police have worked to track down leads.

On Wednesday, the Tampa police dive team searched a pond near where Stem was shot. Klingebiel said detectives are keeping the result of that search confidential for now.

University police also are circulating fliers with the surveillance camera images in campus residence halls, in hopes of sparking leads.

The reward money will come from the USF Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Anyone with information is asked to call USF police at 974-2628 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-873-8477.

Holdup shooting suspect

just 14, but experienced

TAMPA - Collis Denson is only 14, but already he has been arrested at least 14 times on charges including arson, aggravated battery and drug possession.

Thursday, Denson was held without bail in the county jail on charges of attempted first-degree murder and armed robbery.

Police say he was one of two persons who robbed a man walking along Armenia Avenue in central Tampa Jan. 28, then shot him in the arm when he fought back.

Denson, 1148 W Spruce St., was arrested Wednesday afternoon on a warrant that charges him as an adult, jail records show.

Tampa police spokesman Joe Durkin said Denson and another robber were on bicycles when they confronted Ramirez Reynaldo Pantogas, 21, at Armenia Avenue and Chestnut Street.

They demanded money, but Pantogas refused, according to Durkin. One robber reached into Pantogas' pocket, but he tried to fight back.

Denson pulled a gun and fired twice at Pantogas, hitting him once in the arm, Durkin said. Denson and the other robber fled, according to investigators.

Rescue workers took Pantogas to St. Joseph's Hospital. His injurywas not life-threatening.

Durkin said Denson, during questioning by detectives, said he and Pantogas were in the middle of a drug transaction that night when they started arguing and his gun went off.

State criminal records show Denson was charged with arson at age 8. The outcome of that case is not clear because of protections given to juvenile records. Last year he was sentenced to juvenile probation in a Tampa battery case.

Seven months later, Tampa police arrested him again on one count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.