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Jail deputy faces sexual charge

Published December 17, 2006



A Hillsborough County Sheriff's detention deputy was arrested on a charge of sexual battery early Saturday morning.

Ronny Coppola, 38, is accused of pushing a woman to the ground at his home, then ripping her clothes off and sexually battering her, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.

Coppola has worked for the sheriff's office for four years, assigned to detention. He was placed on administrative leave with pay, pending an internal review of the charges.


Released man turns himself in

A Brandon man who was mistakenly released from Orient Road Jail turned himself in on Saturday.

Manuel Pereles, 24, was facing 18 months in state prison for an October burglary, but a jail error allowed him to walk free Thursday night. When jail officials realized the mistake on Friday, a warrant was issued for Pereles' arrest and the sheriff's office asked for the public's help in finding him.

Pereles returned to the jail about 11:30 a.m. Saturday and was re-booked.


Lynn Andrews got most of her 100-plus birds back Saturday, a little more than three months after sheriff's deputies and animal control officers said they were neglected and confiscated them. Also restored to Andrews home in the unincorporated Lealman area were two dogs, two turtles and a rabbit.

Andrews, who breeds cockatiels and parrotlets, was allowed to retrieve her animals after Pinellas County Judge Dorothy L. Vaccaro ruled that she proved that she "is able and fit to have custody of and provide adequately for these animals."

The animals were taken away Sept. 10 after a neighbor lodged repeated complaints of dogs barking and suggested there might be someone ill inside Andrews' home. Pinellas sheriff's deputies went into the home and said they found 101 birds in unclean conditions.

Andrews said most of the debris in her home was the result of deputies breaking into the house, turning over furniture and upsetting the birds. She also said that the birds and dogs lost weight while in the care of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Andrews said three of her birds have not been returned and one died while in the SPCA's care.


[Last modified December 17, 2006, 00:55:39]

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