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Published Jul. 31, 2007


A woman got home from an evening at the Chuck E. Cheese in Brandon only to discover she'd left something behind: her 22-month-old child. The woman, Hope Christina Payne, was arrested Saturday on a charge of child neglect, jail records show. Her address was listed was 114 W Euclid Ave. in Seffner. She was released from jail Sunday. A report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said Payne, 30, left the child alone for two hours Friday and realized her mistake only after she arrived home. A manager at the Chuck E. Cheese, 1540 W Brandon Blvd., refused to comment.


Deputy finds dogs, puppies in filth

Hillsborough County Animal Services officers arrested a 65-year-old man Monday after discovering 17 golden retrievers living in filth inside his North Tampa home. A sheriff's deputy went to Tim E. Sexton's house at 1307 Eckles Drive last week to serve an unrelated warrant to another person living there, said Animal Services spokeswoman Marti Ryan. Sexton offered to sell the deputy a puppy for $1,000. Instead, the deputy notified Animal Services after noticing excrement piled on the floor and smeared on the dogs. Investigators found 11 8-week-old puppies, four adult dogs and two 6-month-olds and charged Sexton with 17 counts of improper animal confinement. The dogs and puppies were cute, Ryan said, but they didn't smell that way. "It makes everyone a mess in a shelter because everyone has to handle them," she said. Sexton was held at the Orient Road Jail Monday, his bail set at $8,500.

Motorcycle riders die in collision

Two motorcyclists died just before 7 p.m. Monday after crashing head-on with a Dodge Caravan, a Hillsborough sheriff's spokesman reported. The two deceased victims were riding together on one Harley-Davidson motorcycle. They were northbound on Morris Bridge Road near the Pasco-Hillsborough county line when they veered into the southbound lane and struck the Dodge Caravan carrying a family of four, sheriff's spokesman J.D. Callaway said. The riders were dead at the scene when emergency crews arrived. The female driver of the Caravan was taken by helicopter to St. Joseph's Hospital. Her children and husband were taken to the same hospital by ambulance, Callaway said. Neither the victims' names nor their conditions were immediately available.


Shooter sought in wounding of man

Police are still searching for the gunman in a shooting that left one man seriously injured late Sunday. Willie Knighton, 46, of Plant City was shot several times just after 9:30 p.m. at 1402 Neil St., police Sgt. James Smith said. Knighton was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. The gunman is described as a black male, 28 to 31 years old, who is 5 feet 7 and weighs 150 pounds.