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Tampa uncuffed

Petition: Lafave's a boyfriend thief, too

By Shannon Colavecchio-Van Sickler, Times Staff Writer
Published November 18, 2005

She may be pretty, but in at least one corner of the world, Debra Lafave isn't too popular.

According to a recent court filing, Lafave - the former Greco Middle School teacher accused of having sex with a 14-year-old student - has provoked the ire of a woman who says Lafave stole her boyfriend.

On Nov. 3, Riveriew resident Lisa C. York petitioned for a restraining order against Lafave, 25. York alleges Lafave harassed her at work. She claimed Lafave could endanger her two children. York, 33, said Lafave dated York's ex-boyfriend, Andrew Beck, when they were in high school and recently reunited with him.

"When I found out who his girlfriend was, I told him I didn't want her to be around the children," York wrote. "Bottom line is I don't think she would be good for my kids right now. She isn't even good for herself until she gets help."

Lafave is scheduled to go on trial Dec. 5 on two counts of lewd and lascivious battery.

York said Lafave visited the Red Lobster where she works several times and taunted York about her ex-boyfriend.

"She told me, "I'm Andrew's first love and he would do anything for me."'

A Hillsborough court denied the petition, saying York did not show Lafave was violent with York's children. Messages left for York on Thursday were not returned.

"This is just another example of the nightmare that Debbie has been going through for the past year and a half," said Lafave's attorney, John Fitzgibbons. "Situations like this unfounded claim are rarely ever reported by the media because in domestic situations this happens every day. This just demonstrates the notoriety Debbie's case has generated."

ANOTHER WORLD: Some jurors were so disturbed by the evidence presented during Steven Lorenzo's recent federal trial, they had trouble sleeping. They convicted Lorenzo, 46, of administering the date-rape drug GHB to nine men to harm them. Two of the men, Michael Wachholtz and Jason Galehouse, ended up dead.

Jurors viewed pictures of bound, passed-out, naked men with bruises and injuries. They read online chats in which Schweickert and Lorenzo talk about finding "submissives" and controlling them sexually.

Even Lorenzo's attorney, Donald Harrison, a self-described "white conservative guy," says his introduction to the underground world of "sadomasochism" was "an eye-opening thing."

"We have bars, hotels that cater to that scene," he said. "It's a whole world of kink."

ANOTHER WAY TO PACK HEAT: Tampa police seized more than three dozen guns during Operation Commitment, the recently concluded drug investigation that targeted Sulphur Springs and surrounding neighborhoods.

So what happens to all those deadly weapons? The department doesn't want to use them. Selling them to legitimate gun shops leaves open the possibility that the guns get into bad hands.

So police cart the guns up to Baldwin, a tiny north Florida town, and burn them in a facility with a special incinerator, said Capt. Marion Lewis, head of narcotics for the Tampa Police Department.

"It's basically a big recycling bin, with heat underneath," Lewis said.

BITING CRIME: Does that badge come with a bone?

This morning, Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee welcomes Ellie Mae, an 11-month-old bloodhound, into the department. Ellie Mae gets a badge, making her the newest K-9 sniffing out criminals in unincorporated Hillsborough.

Times staff writer Candace Rondeaux contributed to this report. Contact Shannon Colavecchio-Van Sickler at 813 226-3373 or

[Last modified November 18, 2005, 01:27:15]

Hillsborough County headlines

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  • Iraq
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  • Tampa uncuffed
  • Petition: Lafave's a boyfriend thief, too
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