A vehicle crashed through a Church's Chicken window Monday night, shattering the glass pane and injuring a customer before driving off, police and witnesses said. Jessica McIntyre, manager of the store at 3201 E Hillsborough Ave., said she heard a boom about 7:15 p.m., looked up from her register and saw a white, older model Toyota truck backed through the floor-to-ceiling pane. McIntyre quickly jotted down the license plate number and gave it to police. Customer Ron A. Harris, 37, was seated near the window at the time of the crash. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he was in good condition, Tampa police Officer Rich Morea said. Police were still searching for the driver of the truck late Monday.
Officers say man tried to run over 5
A Clearwater man was arrested early Sunday on charges that he tried to run over five people with a car, according to a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office arrest report. Joel Lara-Hernandez, 28, was charged about 2 a.m. Sunday with three counts of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle and driving under the influence. The incident started when Lara-Hernandez was told that he couldn't buy beer at the Dodge Store, 466 Patricia Ave., Dunedin, because he didn't have identification, according to the arrest report. He got in his 1988 Volkswagen Jetta and drove across the parking lot, attempting to run over five people, two of whom were employees, deputies said. No one was injured.
Pinellas man jailed in sexual assault
A 54-year-old South Pasadena man has been arrested on charges he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old relative, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said. John W. Gardner faces one count of sexual battery and two counts of lewd and lascivious battery. Gardner, who was arrested Friday, is accused of forcing the girl to perform sexual acts and assaulting her, the Sheriff's Office said. He is being held in the Pinellas County jail on $140,000 bond.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Dad gets 10 years for infant's death
A Pasco County man agreed Monday to spend 10 years in prison for aggravated manslaughter of his child. By taking the plea deal and avoiding a trial this week, Robert Lenz, 45, of New Port Richey also avoided the 30-year prison sentence he faced if convicted. Francis Lentz was a month old when he died of heatstroke on Sept. 16, 2004, authorities say, after his father left him in the back seat of his car for six hours, the windows up.
Pedestrian hit on U.S. 19 later dies
A 26-year-old man was killed early Monday after crossing U.S. 19 into the path of a pickup truck, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Kent T. Pierce, 26, of Port Richey was hit about 5:30 a.m. by Keith A. Ackles, 24, of Spring Hill, the report said. Ackles was northbound when Pierce tried to cross the highway near Scenic Drive, the report said. Pierce was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, where he died.