Advertisement
Tony Marrero - Hillsborough Law Enforcement Reporter

Hillsborough Law Enforcement Reporter

A Baltimore native, I've lived in the Tampa Bay area since 1998 and have been a reporter here for nearly that long. I joined the Times in 2009 and have covered beats ranging from from education to criminal courts. I now cover breaking news and general assignment stories in the Tampa bureau, which means I never know exactly what will come my way on any given day. I like that variety and enjoy digging to tell readers more about the big stories of the day.

  1. In a screenshot from a video posted to the Tampa Police Department's Facebook page in September 2019, then-Cpl. John Fitzgerald responds to his ceremonial final radio call before retiring. Fitzgerald this week dropped a discrimination lawsuit against the city alleging he was demoted and transferred after he objected to breaking department training protocol to help a Black probationary officer.
  2. Crime scene tape blocks access to the Carousel Mobile Home Park on N Falkenburg Road in Tampa in October 2019. Mauntellis Williams, who was charged with three counts of murder in what authorities said was a botched home invasion robbery, was acquitted by a jury last week.
  3. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has released the name of the driver who was killed on Sunday when an Amtrak train struck his car in Dover.
  4. Five men have been arrested in the Aug. 22 shooting death of 4-year-old Suni Bell in Tampa. They are, clockwise from top left, Zvante Sampson, 30; Quandarious Hammond, 28; Jaylin Bedward, 22; Andrew Thompson, 22; and James Denson, 24.
  5. Tara Jones shows a blanket she keeps in memory of her son Te’Sean Blue, who was shot and killed while riding his bike in North Tampa on Labor Day 2018. The man prosecutors say confessed to shooting Blue was acquitted by a jury earlier this year.
  6. This screengrab from body camera video shows the moment John Reuben Turbe Jr. raised a gun and pointed it at Officer Bryan Velazquez on July 4, according to Tampa police. Velazquez then opened fire, fatally wounding Turbe. The Hillsborough State Attorney's office announced Friday that Velazquez was justified in opening fire on Turbe.
  7. Joseph Obregon, 34, is officially a fugitive after failing to show up for a court hearing in Tampa last Friday. Obregon is charged with two counts of vehicular homicide in the deaths of Bill and Jane Swartz.
  8. The city of Tampa recently reached an $8,000 settlement agreement with a man who threatened to sue after he was taken down by a Tampa police officer during an incident at Tampa General Hospital in June 2020.
  9. Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan poses for a photo with Councilman Charlie Miranda and members of his command staff after Miranda presented Dugan with a commendation for his 31 years of service to the department on Sept. 2. Dugan led the department through some of the most eventful and tumultuous years of the department's history and said the last year and a half had become "a grind."
  10. A hearse carrying the body of St. Petersburg police Officer Michael Weiskopf rolls past police headquarters on 1st Avenue North in St. Petersburg on Friday as city employees and fellow officers pay their respects. Weiskopf died Friday from complications associated with COVID-19, police officials said. The procession took his body from Bayfront Health St. Petersburg to Gross Funeral Home.
  11. Dr. Daniel P. Greenwald, a well-known Tampa plastic surgeon, died Oct. 5, 2019, when his twin-engine plane crashed soon after taking off from Kokomo Municipal Airport in Indiana. A final investigation report by the National Transportation Safety board confirms the crash happened after both engines failed because an airport employee filled up the aircraft with the wrong type of fuel.
  12. Delvin White, center, stands with students and staff at Middleton High School on March after he was fired from his job as a school resource officer for using the n-word on two separate occasions. When the city of Tampa's Civil Service Board reinstated White to his job at the Tampa Police Department on Monday, White said he hoped to return to Middleton, but a Tampa police spokeswoman said Tuesday that White was being assigned to patrol.
  13. Tampa police Officer Delvin White, seen here in an undated photo provided by the Tampa Police Benevolent Association, was fired on March 2 by police Chief Brian Dugan for using the n-word on two separate occasions. The city’s Civil Service Board decided Monday that police Chief Brian Dugan had just cause to fire White in March for using the racial slur on two separate occasions in November 2020, but that firing the beloved school resource officer at Middleton High School was too harsh a punishment.
  14. Marc Dorizar, 34, left, and his wife Charline Coriolan, 32, both of Seffner, were arrested on Aug. 17, 2021 in connection to a crash on Alligator Alley in September 2020 that killed their one-year-old son Marvens Dorizar.
  15. Samario Lee Austin, 22, was arrested on Monday after he started shooting a handgun and assault-style rifle inside the Metro 510 Apartments in Tampa, according to Tampa police.
  16. Eleni Peca, the mother of 27-year-old Joana Peca, speaks at a news conference at St. Petersburg police headquarters on Thursday to plead for help finding the man accused of fatally shooting her daughter. Police say Benjamin "Bambi" Williams, 38, shot Joana Peca in the face multiple times near Woodlawn Cemetery on Saturday while she held their four-month-old baby in her arms. Authorities are offering a $20,000 reward in the case. "We need justice," Peca said.
  17. In this screenshot from a video by Wrap Technologies, a Kevlar tether fired from a BolaWrap "remote restraint" begins to wrap around a demonstration subject. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced on Tuesday that his office will issue the device to 165 deputies.
  18. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor speaks at news conference Monday called by Police Chief Brian Dugan, right, to announce his retirement. Castor said she will conduct a national search for Dugan's successor. Some believe Castor should select an outsider from the department rather than promote from within, which history shows would be unusual for City Hall.
  19. Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan attends a news conference on Monday to announce his retirement effective Sept. 10. “I have been proud of what we have accomplished here together,” Dugan said.
  20. Traffic streams south Wednesday over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, where the new suicide prevention barrier has been completed.
  21. In this screenshot from a video posted on Instagram in January 2018, Anthony Tyrone Link, owner of the ATL Barber Shop in St. Petersburg, talks about a "Unity for the Community" event Link hosted at the shop that month. Link, 37, was found fatally shot in a car on the 1500 block of 26th Street S in St. Petersburg on Tuesday night, police said.
  22. Protesters chant "they are killing us" in Spanish while blocking Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa on Tuesday in support of ongoing protests in Cuba.
  23. Protesters block Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa in solidarity with ongoing protests in Cuba Tuesday in Tampa.