Advertisement
  1. News

Shooter and victim jailed after bullets fly in Pasco chase. It started over a leaf-blower.

William Nazario-Ocasio, 42, said he gave chase because he didn't want the thief to get away, according to an affidavit.
William Nazario-Ocasio, 42, left, faces charges of attempted murder for firing into a pickup driven by Michael Joe Moore, 26, right, deputies said. Moore was hit in the leg and later arrested in the theft of Nazario-Ocasio’s leaf blower.
Published Feb. 26

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 42-year-old New Port Richey man has been arrested on two charges of attempted murder for firing a handgun from his pickup truck toward another pickup as he chased the other truck through the city Monday morning, police said.

William Nazario-Ocasio, 42, of 4006 Citrus Drive pursued the truck because he believed the driver — Michael Joe Moore, 26, of New Port Richey — had stolen a leaf blower from his home, according to a complaint affidavit.

Moore was hit by a bullet in the left leg during the chase and taken to a hospital for treatment. Later, he was arrested in the leaf blower theft on a felony charge of grand theft. He also faces a charge of possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.

Investigators gave this account of the incident:

Nazario-Ocasio spotted a white Chevrolet truck that he heard the leaf-blower thief was driving and followed it in his red Ford F-150. He said he didn't want the thief to "get away," according to the complaint affidavit.

He said a passenger in the Chevrolet pointed a gun at him, according to the affidavit. Later, he said, he fired twice at the Chevrolet along Sea Forest Drive near Marine Parkway, according to the affidavit.

The Chevrolet continued driving onto Marine Parkway and pulled into a parking lot, with Nazario-Ocasio following behind. He pointed his gun at the truck again, frightening another driver between the trucks, and fired just as the other driver pulled away, the affidavit says.

Two passengers in Moore's truck told investigators that no one in their truck had a gun.

They said they tried to flag down law enforcement officers as they fled from the red truck but could not stop for fear they'd be shot, the affidavit says.

Nazario-Ocasio's wife told investigators she thought the thief had stolen the leaf blower from the bed of her truck and hid it in some bushes across the street. She said she confronted the thief when he came back and he drove off in a white Chevrolet truck.

She called her husband.

Moore told investigators he found the leaf blower, a professional grade Stihl backpack device valued at $400, thinking someone had thrown it away.

The leaf blower flew out of the bed of the Chevrolet pickup during the chase and the driver stopped to retrieve it before continuing on, witnesses said.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the East Room of the White House, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) PATRICK SEMANSKY  |  AP
    Hunter Biden worked for a Ukrainian gas company.
  2. Reclaimed water rates are increasing 6 percent in St. Petersburg.
    Potable, waste and reclaimed water fees will all increase. So will garbage fees, though the stormwater fee will drop for some.
  3. Joshua Russell, 26, faces a charge of aggravated manslaughter, according to deputies. Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
    A dose of kratom caused the caretaker to fall asleep for hours inside the hot car with the disabled man in the back seat, investigators said.
  4. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor announces federal grants Friday that will equip at least 600 officers with body cameras. CHARLIE FRAGO  |  Charlie Frago
    Mayor Jane Castor announces a nearly $600,000 Department of Justice grant Friday.
  5. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri spoke Friday about a child protection investigator who was arrested on charges of falsifying reports. JOSH SOLOMON  |  Josh Solomon
    It’s the second time in two years a Pinellas child protection investigator has faced falsification charges.
  6. Stay with tampabay.com for the latest news and updates. Times
    The Challenger K-8 student didn’t have access to a gun, deputies said.
  7. Life changed for Chad Cagley with the birth of daughter Aaliyah, now 3. Cagley was killed Monday when a drunk driver slammed into the back of his motorcycle on Interstate 75, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. FAMILY PHOTO  |  Courtesy Stephanie Coomes
    The drunk driver who ran into Chad Cagley was caught after a witness followed him, troopers said.
  8. Former Tarpon Springs police Officer Steven Bergren, seen in this 2012 picture with his K-9 partner Dobies Jr. Bergren resigned before he could be fired by the Tarpon Springs Police Department for threatening a mass shooting. Bergren said he was joking. Tampa Bay Times
    The detective said he was joking. The Tarpon Springs Police Department said it would have fired him had he not resigned.
  9. A student holds a sign while participating in a "Global Climate Strike" at the Experiential School of Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Across the globe, hundreds of thousands of young people took the streets Friday to demand that leaders tackle climate change in the run-up to a U.N. summit. KHADEJEH NIKOUYEH/NEWS & RECORD  |  AP
    With a coastline stretching 1,350 miles, Florida faces some of the gravest risks from rising ocean levels.
  10. Snack-focused delivery app GoPuff launched in Tampa in February. It serves the area surrounding the University of South Florida. GoPuff
    Flamin’ Hot Cheetos or Funyuns? GoPuff says it has the data for which snack Floridians love the most.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement