tampabay.com

He tried ceiling, he tried a wall; Bars still hold

By TIMES WIRES
Published June 14, 2007


TAMPA

Sometimes persistence opens doors in life. Not in Walter Lapointe's case. Tuesday, he got tired of waiting in a holding cell at the Hillsborough County courthouse, so he broke out piece of the wall behind the toilet in an attempt to escape, authorities said. It didn't work. He was there awaiting arraignment on a June 4 charge of trying to escape from the Orient Road Jail. That time, the 30-year-old felon crawled through the drop ceiling in the jail's transport wing while serving a sentence for grand theft, organized fraud and dealing in stolen property, jail officials said. Each escape attempt adds at least five years to his sentence, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.

ST. PETERSBURG

Suspect sought in cab robberies

Police have released photographs of a man they believe robbed two cabdrivers and a 7-Eleven store. The man robbed a Yellow cab and an Independent cab on June 6, police said. The Yellow cab driver was robbed around 1:30 a.m. at Sixth Avenue S and 26th Street and the Independent cabdriver was robbed about three hours at Fifth Avenue S and 26th Street. The drivers were not harmed. Police say the man displayed a silver-colored handgun during one of the cab robberies and a small black revolver while robbing the 7-Eleven on April 10. He is described as 5 feet 7, 150 to 175 pounds with close-cut hair and pointed teeth, police said. Anyone with information can call police at (727) 893-7780.

TAMPA

Lakeland man dies in wreck on I-4

A Lakeland man died Wednesday after a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 4 just before rush hour. Passenger Myron Burris Jr., 31, was partially ejected from a 1999 Isuzu at 4:45 p.m., after the vehicle veered onto the median and overturned. Burris was taken by helicopter to Tampa General Hospital, where Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Larry Coggins reported he died. Roman Molineaux, 27, of Tampa was driving the Isuzu east on I-4 near the McIntosh Road exit when, investigators say, he failed to slow down behind other slowing eastbound traffic. Molineaux was treated and released at South Florida Baptist Hospital in Plant City. Coggins said charges are pending.

ST. PETERSBURG

Police search for mentally ill woman

Police were searching for a mentally ill woman who wandered away from a mental health center Tuesday. Patricia McKellar, 51, walked out of the Boley Center at 815 7th Ave. S. Police say she has been diagnosed with various mental illnesses and does not have any medication. McKellar is 5 feet 5 and weighs about 150 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to call St. Petersburg police at (727) 893-7780.