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Week in Review

By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 28, 2002

BOYS RUN AWAY, THEN RETURN: Hillsborough County Sheriff's officers found two missing Northlakes brothers Friday morning, more than 12 hours after the pair ran away from home.

Chris Lewis, 13, and Markus Williams, 8, appeared to be on their way back to 3203 Laurel Dale Drive when a resident in a nearby neighborhood spotted them at less than a mile from their house.

Lewis said he had a reason for running away but he wouldn't tell police officers. He wouldn't tell a reporter or even his own parents.

"They were fine and no one had gotten in trouble (last night), so I have no idea why they went," said mother Marcia Williams, 27.

Shortly after 8 p.m. Lewis said he told Williams he was leaving and Williams decided to join him. They put T-shirts, pants and a pair of K-Swiss tennis shoes in their book bags. They rolled up a rainbow-colored blanket. They did not take any food.

Marcia said that she knew they had snuck out when she saw the book bags were missing.

The two boys set out on red and blue bikes without a plan of action.

They built a fire at a nearby park, which another resident spotted. They slept on grass at the end of a dead-end street. Tree branches protected them. The boys weren't sure where they were but they knew they hadn't traveled far from home.

"It was like camping," said Markus, who was frightened by the night sky.

Marcia and guardian Lamont Norton drove around looking for the boys. Police helicopters searched the area with spotlights and infared cameras.

Police called roughly 1,800 area houses to alert residents about the missing boys, said Lt. Rod Reder, spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. About three dozen complained about being woken late at night, he said.

Worrying kept Marcia from sleeping.

Norton and Marcia appreciated the support but they were happier to see the boys return safely.

"I'm just glad they're back," said Marcia.

In the family's kitchen Lewis cooked Ramen noodles. Markus ate them happily.

TEACHER BATTERED: Pasco County sheriff's deputies on Monday arrested a 28-year-old man who they say battered his newly pregnant wife.

Deputies said Dan Everett Taylor of 30546 Double Drive was arguing with his wife, 25-year-old Carolyn Sue Taylor, about 6:30 p.m. after he thought she had turned off his video game.

She is a teacher at Gaither High School. He is a substitute teacher there.

Reports state that Taylor grabbed his wife by the neck and pushed her against a set of doors. He then grabbed her by her shoulders and pushed her to the floor, causing her to scrape her right knee, deputies said.

Carolyn Taylor said Robert knew that she was six weeks pregnant. He now faces charges of aggravated battery on a pregnant woman.

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