The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, along with several other Tampa Bay agencies, will conduct a sobriety checkpoint tonight. The checkpoint, at 31975 U.S. 19 N between Tampa and Curlew roads, is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Friday and end at 4 a.m. Saturday. Deputies will be diverting northbound traffic from U.S. 19 and looking for impaired drivers, as well as drivers with license, registration or insurance violations, the Sheriff's Office said. Several other agencies will participate in the checkpoint, including the Florida Highway Patrol and Pinellas Park and Largo police departments. The operation is dedicated to Yvonne Myers, 18, who died in June 1992 in a DUI-related traffic crash.
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Man charged with DUI manslaughter
A man was arrested on a charge of DUI manslaughter Wednesday after police say he caused the death of a 64-year-old woman. Police said Timothy Wysocki, 25, of Clearwater, drove his Mercedes-Benz through a red light at N Meridian Avenue and E Twiggs Street about 11:40 p.m. Wednesday and crashed into a 2007 Corolla driven by Daniel Galloway, 58, of Riverview. Galloway's passenger, Bernadine Davis Smith, 64, of Riverview, died at the scene. An officer investigating the crash said Wysocki showed signs of alcohol impairment and was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where officers used a search warrant to force a blood test. Wysocki was then taken to the Orient Road Jail, where he remained without bail Thursday.
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Officer challenges his dismissal
Tampa police Sgt. Ray Fernandez, who was fired late last month following a DUI arrest authorities described as a set-up, is challenging his dismissal and has formally requested to be reinstated and paid back salary. A Police Benevolent Association grievance on his behalf dated Oct. 9 asserts that the city did not have just cause to fire him, and that the discipline was "arbitrary, capricious, excessive and not progressive in nature." The grievance says Fernandez denies he violated city policies. He was fired Sept. 27 following an internal investigation of a Jan. 23 drunken driving arrest outside Malio's steak house in downtown Tampa. The arrest came during the second week of a contentious civil defamation trial pitting Bubba the Love Sponge Clem against radio rival Todd "MJ" Schnitt.
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Marshal accused of improper photos
A federal air marshal was arrested Thursday and accused of taking cellphone photos underneath women's skirts as they boarded a plane bound for Tampa from Nashville. Nashville police said Adam J. Bartsch was on duty aboard Southwest Airlines Flight 3132 when a witness noticed he was taking the photos and grabbed his cellphone. The witness notified a flight attendant and Bartsch was taken off the flight and charged with disorderly conduct, police said. KRN-TV, an ABC affiliate, reported the Transportation Security Administration said that Bartsch was removed from duty and that the TSA is assisting with the investigation. The agency said it will suspend or terminate his employment. The station said Bartsch, 28, lives in Maryland. The airline's website shows the plane completed its flight to Tampa Thursday morning.