Student charged with shooting Pinellas teen

Published November 17, 2006

Pasco County deputies arrested a Ridgewood High School student Tuesday in connection with the shooting of a St. Petersburg teenager. Justin Michael Hopper, 17, of New Port Richey was charged with attempted murder. Brian Alexander, 17, was shot in the abdomen and was treated at Bayfront Medical Center. The confrontation took place about 9 p.m. Saturday. It centered on threats by a third teenager, 17-year-old Charles Newell, to shoot Alexander's younger brother, a sheriff's report said.

Candle starts fire in apartment

A candle left burning overnight ignited a fire at the Bay Cove apartment complex Thursday morning. No people were hurt, said Clearwater Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Elizabeth Daly, but a cat died. The damage totaled $75,000. Rescuers responded to 1935 U.S. 19 N about 6 a.m. The 911 call came from Robert Garrett, who passed by the apartments after checking his mail. He smelled smoke and peeked through the window of the burning apartment. He banged on the door until the residents woke up. "I happened to check the mail at the right time," he said.

Jail escapee back where he started

Rory McGrory, the first inmate in five years to escape from the Land O'Lakes jail, was captured in an abandoned Winnebago in New Port Richey on Thursday morning. His most recent charges include burglary, grand theft and fleeing to elude. Unwilling to serve a long prison sentence, he decided he had two choices: death or escape. He chose escape. He began planning almost immediately after his Oct. 20 arrest. "I ran," he said, "like the devil himself was chasing me." He was held without bail at the jail he fled. The escape charge could add 15 years to his sentence.

Men steal booze, boat, police say

It's nice to have guests, but the Plantation Inn and the Port Hotel could have done without Justin F. Gladeck and Justin E. Denig. Crystal River police say the men stole liquor and a boat from the Plantation and then made their way to the Port, where staffers say they huddled in Room 222 without registering or paying. Both men were arrested early Thursday on charges of burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief, police said. Gladeck, 23, was being held without bail at the Citrus County jail; the bail for Denig, 22, was set at $10,000.

Kitchen sink, and disposal too, stolen

Of all the things in the house to steal, Luis Garcia chose the kitchen sink, at least according to the Hernando Sheriff's Office. The 27-year-old concrete subcontractor stopped by a house at 31111 Satinleaf Run in eastern Hernando County and carted out a kitchen sink with the garbage disposal still attached, deputies say. He then hid it in the bed of his pickup with the help of his employee, John Keene, 20. Garcia allegedly told Keene that he would pay him a half-day's wage for his help. Garcia was charged with burglary, and Keene was charged with principal to burglary.