© St. Petersburg Times, published January 25, 2002
Open bottles banned on Tampa's streets
TAMPA -- Going to Gasparilla this year? Leave your bottles at home.
Alarmed by all the broken glass on the ground after the parade, the City Council voted unanimously Thursday to ban possession of open glass bottles on city streets.
The measure was supported by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, which sponsors the parade, as well as EventMakers, the parade's marketing arm. A glass industry representative told the council such an ordinance was used to hassle minorities in New Orleans, but council member Bob Buckhorn said that was a problem with their police, not the ordinance.
TAMPA -- Hillsborough Circuit Judge Gregory Holder wants the state agency that has charged him with ethics violations to disqualify itself from judging the case.
Holder filed a motion Thursday seeking to disqualify the Judicial Qualifications Commission from hearing his case because the JQC's chairman and general counsel will be witnesses against Holder.
In January, the JQC charged Holder with giving a false or misleading answer on an application to become a federal judge.
TAMPA -- A man wanted on murder charges in Puerto Rico was captured in Tampa Thursday.
Brigham Ocasio-Ramos, 24, was arrested at the Sunshine Motel at 3666 W Gandy Ave., Tampa police spokesman Joe Durkin said.
After he was handcuffed, police discovered Ocasio-Ramos had two fake ID cards, and had been stopped five times on traffic violations. Each time, Durkin said, he used the fake ID cards.
In 1997, Ocasio-Ramos served a three-year prison sentence in Florida for a home-invasion robbery in Pinellas County. After serving his sentence, he went to Puerto Rico, where he is charged with killing two people, Durkin said.
Authorities in Puerto Rico recently called Tampa police, telling them Ocasio-Ramos was in the area. A task force of Tampa officers, Hillsborough deputies, U.S. marshals and Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents tracked Ocasio-Ramos to the motel. Arrest records said he was working as a car detailer in Clearwater.
Police also found 30 grams of crack cocaine in Ocasio-Ramos' car, Durkin said. The drug was wrapped in his girlfriend's sweater. His girlfriend, Fredeswinda Chiclana, 27, was charged with trafficking in cocaine.
Ocasio-Ramos was booked into the Orient Road Jail and charged with trafficking in cocaine and on the two outstanding homicide warrants from Puerto Rico.