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Deputies: Drunken man shot taxi driver's windshield

TIERRA VERDE — A taxi driver was heading east through the Pinellas Bayway toll booth on Aug. 6 when his passenger, Robert Melby, 31, asked if he could shoot his handgun out of a window while on the bridge, an arrest report states.

When the driver said no, Melby of Tierra Verde shot the front windshield. Deputies noted in a report that Melby was intoxicated.

He was jailed on a charge of shooting into an occupied vehicle.


Man accused of renting out house he didn't own to three separate families

A Palm Harbor man was arrested last Friday on charges that he rented a house that wasn't his to three separate tenants, collecting $3,850, police said.

William Jay Waytowich, 37, had a key to the house at 7801 Powder Horn Circle in Largo and showed the home to several people. He gave them lease agreements and collected deposits and first month's rent. When each family showed up to move in July 1 and 2, "they realized the house had already been legitimately rented by the real owner," according to an arrest report.

Waytowich was jailed on charges of scheme to defraud and grand theft.


Police say shopper who tried to use phony cash at clothing store landed in jail

Officers arrested a 39-year-old man last week on charges that he tried to pay for clothing with $30 worth of counterfeit bills, according to arrest reports.

Timothy Barthell of Clearwater walked into a Citi Trends at 1279 S Missouri Ave. on Aug. 5, grabbed several pieces of clothing and headed toward the cash register, where he handed a clerk $30. But the employee noticed that the cash was fake and asked Barthell for another form of payment. He paid with a debit card.

Officers later found Barthell and arrested him. He told them he traded a man $30 for $80 in counterfeit cash, arrest reports state. He had an additional $50 of phony bills in his pocket.

He was jailed on charges of possession of counterfeit money and uttering forged bills.

Compiled by Laura C. Morel, Times staff writer.