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Domestic violence call leads to man's death

By wire services
Published June 16, 2004

MANATEE - A Manatee County sheriff's sergeant fatally shot a man who investigators say was threatening his mother with a knife Monday night.

Sgt. Jason Powell and Deputy Joe Skala responded after Gloria Hoskins, 78, called to say she was being threatened by her son Steven Hoskins, 48. The officers found the son holding a knife and asked him to drop it, but he refused, moved toward Powell and backed him into some furniture.

Powell fired his gun twice. Hoskins died at the scene.

The family has a long history of domestic violence and deputies have been called to the home 14 times since 2001, the Sheriff's Office said.

"This was a very dangerous call from the very beginning," Sheriff Charlie Wells said. "It appears to me this deputy did everything that could be done."

Powell was placed on temporary leave while investigation of the case continues.

Onlookers rush to help in fatal ultralight crash

MIAMI - The pilot of an ultralight plane was killed and his passenger was injured when the rented aircraft clipped some trees and crashed on the shore of Biscayne Bay southeast of downtown Miami Tuesday afternoon.

Restaurant employees, beachgoers and water skiers saw the crash, and some rushed to help the victims.

"Everybody was trying to disentangle the pilot in the mangled wreck," said Eddie Lacasa, manager of the Bayside Hut restaurant, who said the man's head was underwater after the crash. Three restaurant workers jumped in a boat and sped to the scene, along with people on a water-skiing boat.

The men, whose identities were not immediately released, were removed from the plane and taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where the pilot died, Miami police spokesman Delrish Moss said.

The plane was one of a pair of two-passenger ultralights rented by a man and his teenage son, visitors from Oklahoma, for sightseeing flights around the bay and islands. The aircraft carrying the son landed safely.

DEP police fatally shoot man near state park

BOCA GRANDE - A man was fatally shot by state officers Tuesday in the waters off Cayo Costa State Park in southwest Florida, officials said.

Erik Edward Knopp, 32, of Matlacha was shot about 5:20 p.m., said Larry Long, spokesman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which is investigating.

Long said a park ranger contacted Department of Environmental Protection police to tell them a man was seen leaving the park by boat with some sort of weapon.

Two DEP officers found the suspect's boat in the water off Cayo Costa, and as they approached him "an incident occurred which resulted in the shooting," Long said. The officers were not injured.

Long said investigating agents found a handgun in Knopp's boat, and several bullet holes in the officers' boat.

4-year-old alone in car for hours after dad killed

EUSTIS - A 4-year-old was left alone in his father's car for nearly three hours Tuesday after the man was hit by a car driven by the child's mother and left to die, Lake County sheriff's officers said.

The boy was found strapped in a car seat after someone saw the body of George Joseph Namlik Jr., 42, beside the road and called authorities, said Lt. Todd Luce, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office.

Luce said Andrea Sobrowski, 23, the boy's mother and Namlik's wife, was questioned but no charges were filed.

Luce said Sobrowski told officers Namlik left his car, leaving their child inside, and jumped on top of her car, which led to his death around 3:30 a.m.

Luce said the couple had reported incidences of abuse in other counties. Namlik had a criminal history involving drugs.

The child was uninjured and is in his paternal grandparents' custody, Luce said.

[Last modified June 16, 2004, 01:00:39]

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