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Driver faces charges after child's death

By TIMES WIRES
Published February 9, 2007


The driver of a truck that struck and killed a 3-year-old boy Wednesday at the Alafia Riverwoods Mobile Home Park faces four criminal charges, according to the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office. Deputies say Pete Dreydoppel, 52, did not have a valid driver's license when he struck next door neighbor Edward Francis Gould III, a toddler who was pushing a toy truck through the mobile home park. Edward died at the scene; his mother was present. Dreydoppel, 6521 Riverview Drive, Lot 5, also had a warrant for charges of operating an unregistered vehicle, jail records show. When deputies searched his home after the accident, they found drug paraphernalia and marijuana, said sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter. The case is still under investigation by the Sheriff's Office, she said. Dreydoppel was held Thursday at Orient Road Jail on $3,500 bail.

Police find gun in homeless murders

Police on Thursday recovered a .45-caliber handgun that they believe may have been used in the shootings of two homeless men last month. Police found the gun after interviews with the men now accused of the murders. Authorities are sending the gun to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for tests to confirm that it was used in the killings. Police say Dorion Dillard, 20, used the .45-caliber handgun to kill Jeff Shultz, 43, and David Heath, 53. Police are still searching for the .25-caliber handgun that they believe Cordaro Hardin, 18, used in the murders. Each man faces two charges of first-degree murder.

One person shot, flown to hospital

Pinellas County deputies were investigating a shooting Thursday evening in the Town Homes of Countryside, 2898 Thaxton Drive in Palm Harbor. One person suffered a gunshot wound and was transported by helicopter to a hospital, according to a Sheriff's Office news release. No other information was available late Thursday.

Fight shakes up students, teacher

A fight between two Riviera Middle School students on Thursday afternoon ended with another student injuring his face and a teacher passing out. The fight began at about 4 p.m. on school grounds, police said. A third student tried to break up the fight but tripped and fell on his face, injuring his nose. A teacher at the school, whose name was not released, also tried to disrupt the fight but passed out from what police said was a spike in blood pressure. Two students and the overwhelmed teacher were taken to the hospital for precautionary checks, police said. No charges have been filed.

Fire damages two apartments

Largo fire officials are investigating the cause of a Thursday evening fire that damaged two Largo apartments. Authorities believe the fire began just after 7 p.m. when someone burned a small pile of copper wire casing behind the duplex at 3729 135th Ave. N. One man was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he was treated for minor burn injuries. Occupants in the other apartment were not home at the time of the fire.