2 teens accused of robbing, shooting man

Published November 16, 2006

Police arrested two teens early Wednesday morning, accusing the boys of robbing and shooting a man at a convenience store on Busch Boulevard. Investigators say Clayton A. White, 16, and James Jackson, 17, robbed Don Fred VanHook , 41, at a Citgo store at 3003 E Busch Blvd. The teens stole $10 from VanHook, police say. Jackson then pointed a gun at VanHook's head and pulled the trigger, but the gun jammed, police say. Jackson pulled the trigger again, firing a bullet into VanHook's right leg, police say. Police arrested White at the Garden Villa Apartments, just behind the convenience store. They found Jackson hiding in an attic above White's apartment. They also found a 25-caliber semi-automatic handgun. Jackson faces charges of attempted murder, armed robbery, aggravated battery and possession of a firearm by a felon, said police spokeswoman Laura McElroy. White faces charges of armed robbery and aggravated battery, police say. VanHook was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he was listed in fair condition Wednesday evening.

51 cats are found in filthy home

A Gibsonton woman was behind bars Wednesday after deputies discovered 51 cats at her home. Lorrie Irene Flesher, 47, of 8518 Gibsonton Drive No. 125, is charged with four counts of animal cruelty for denying the cats veterinary care and four counts of confining animals without food and water. According to her arrest report, cat litter boxes in her home were overflowing with fecal matter, water bowls had roaches in them and there was a heavy parasite infestation in the home. About 36 of the cats had runny noses, emaciated bodies and eye discharge. Five had severe eye infections, deputies said. Flesher, who told deputies it had been two years since the cats had visited a veterinarian, is being held on $1,000 bail.

Segway trainees help with arrest

A small group of police officers learning how to ride the department's new Segway scooters helped arrest a man suspected of dealing drugs, police said. Sirmartae McCloud, 28, faces numerous charges related to possessing and distributing cocaine. He was arrested Tuesday afternoon in the 800 block of Third Avenue S after undercover vice and narcotics detectives sought help from the uniformed officers getting Segway training. When a uniformed officer approached McCloud and told him to get out of his two-door 1987 Oldsmobile, police said, he instead crashed the car through the glass window front of a nearby business. He was being held in the Pinellas County Jail on Wednesday in lieu of $231,500 bail.

Eight indicted in drug conspiracy

A 26-year-old St. Petersburg man was among eight people indicted in a conspiracy to distribute the drug ecstasy in Central Florida, federal prosecutor Paul Perez said Wednesday. Viet Trung Ho, 26, could face a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and get a $1-million fine if convicted of the charges. Ho was arrested Tuesday in the Tampa area.