Twins' decision to hitch a ride goes awry
By ROBIN STEIN
Published December 19, 2006
TARPON SPRINGS - At exactly 9:41 Monday morning, the phone lines at the police station were suddenly deluged with calls from people saying they had seen two women hanging out of a garnet and gold Chevrolet Suburban, screaming for help.
Witnesses said the women appeared to be trying to climb out, but the truck was moving too fast and running through stop signs.
The wild ride lasted about five minutes before a traffic backup on Gulf Road allowed them to jump out.
The vehicle turned around a few blocks away and headed back toward the women.
But by 9:47 a.m., Jeremy P. Butts had been stopped by a police officer, and by lunchtime the 29-year-old pilot from Palm Harbor was booked in the Pinellas County Jail, charged with two counts of false imprisonment, Sgt. J. Allen MacKenzie said. Holly and Heather Akers were rattled, but unharmed, police said.
The short but traumatic episode began when the 19-year-old twins approached Butts outside a house in the 1800 block of Anclote Boulevard asking to use a phone. Police said they needed to find a ride back to their grandmother's house in Pasco County. When Butts offered to drive them instead, the sisters accepted.
On Monday evening, Butts remained in jail, pending $20,000 bail.
[Last modified December 19, 2006, 07:08:05]
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