A 33-year-old Brandon man was arrested Wednesday and accused of impersonating a law enforcement officer at a bar. Hillsborough County sheriff's officials said Michael E. Browning, 33, pretended to be a state beverage agent, a sheriff's deputy and a Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent at the Greenery Pub at 3906 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. early Wednesday. Browning checked IDs and kicked people out of the bar for underage drinking, authorities said. He approached one patron, identified himself as a law enforcement officer and "unlawfully touched" the person while flashing a holster that was on his waistband, sheriff's officials said. Two patrons confronted Browning and called the Sheriff's Office. Browning, meanwhile, called 911 and told dispatchers there was underage drinking in the bar. He was charged with impersonating an officer and battery. He was released from jail after posting $2,500 bail.
Tampa man dies in stolen car crash
A Tampa man died Wednesday afternoon after crashing a stolen vehicle into a pole. Curtis Antonio Knight, 22, of Tampa, was driving a 2004 Mercedes-Benz east on Durant Road just before 4:40 p.m. when the car left the roadway near St. Cloud Avenue S, crashed through a fence, slammed into a pole and overturned. Knight was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Passenger Amber Hand, 21, of Brandon fled the scene with minor injuries, sheriff's spokesman J.D. Callaway said. Deputies found her soon after, and charged her with grand theft of a firearm in connection with a pawnshop burglary earlier, he said. The Mercedes had been stolen from St. Petersburg, Callaway said. Deputies are still investigating the motor vehicle grand theft.
Boyfriend attacked with pepper spray
A Port Richey woman has been accused of pepper-spraying her longtime boyfriend in the face as he drove their car Tuesday night. Janine Marie Kelly, 25, was in the Land O'Lakes jail Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery. Kelly and 26-year-old Brian Ditalma argued as they drove home from a friend's house. Ditalma's account makes it sound as if the attack was unprovoked. Kelly told a Pasco County deputy that Ditalma pushed her while he was driving and she pulled a pepper-spray canister from her purse, reports say. Their two children were in the car with them.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Man gets 10 years for two attacks
By coming forward after she was attacked in 2006, authorities say one woman was able to solve the rape of another woman that took place in 2004. The DNA from both attacks, authorities say, came from one man: Anthony Richard Palazzolo. The 26-year-old Port Richey man agreed on Monday to be declared a sex offender and to spend 10 years in prison.