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Police reports

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 24, 2002

Jail inmate accused of breaking fire sprinkler

LAND O'LAKES -- A county jail inmate with a history of abusing deputies and damaging his jail cell was charged again Friday, this time accused of breaking a fire sprinkler.

Brian Challis, 27, who is serving a 40-year sentence for shooting into an occupied dwelling, was charged with obstructing an instrument used in the extinguishment of fire.

About 6:30 Friday morning, Challis broke the sprinkler head on the ceiling of his cell. This is the third time that Challis has been charged with destroying a sprinkler. He was also charged twice with assaulting bailiffs last year.

Zephyrhills man faces animal cruelty charge

ZEPHYRHILLS -- A Zephyrhills man was arrested on charges of animal cruelty Friday. He left his dog in a storage unit without any food or water for three days, according to sheriff's deputies reports.

A Pasco County sheriff's deputy responded to an animal complaint at U-Stor storage in Zephyrhills on Friday afternoon. Sheriff's deputies smelled feces and contacted Thomas C. Cramer, 53, who was renting the storage unit.

Inside the unit they found a dog, Bandit, locked in a 2 by 3 cage with no food or water. Bandit walked with a limp, he could not drink water and he was so skinny that his ribs were visible. An official from Animal Control was called to the scene and said the dog was at least 70 pounds underweight and might be suffering from kidney failure. The dog was transported to the Hase Animal Clinic and it is unknown whether he will recover.

Cramer was arrested and is being held at the Central Pasco Detention Center on $10,000 bail.

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