Crime journal

By Times Staff Writer
Published September 6, 2007

St. Petersburg

Two arrested after chase across bridge

After a chase that led them across the Howard Frankland Bridge, Tampa police arrested two St. Petersburg men Tuesday night in Pinellas County. About 7:50 p.m., police began following an SUV after responding to an armed robbery outside a gyro restaurant at 4014 N 22nd Street in Tampa. Police said Calvin J. Bryant was robbed at gunpoint by two men later identified as Rico Solomon and William Murray. The gray 1998 Toyota 4Runner involved in the chase had been stolen from Gulfport in an earlier carjacking, police said. Before the two 31-year-old men fled across Tampa Bay, they made a fuel stop at a gas station at Hillsborough Avenue and Nebraska Avenue. They were met there by a host of Tampa police officers. Bryant, the robbery victim, had followed them and called 911, police said. Murray and Solomon sped away, and the chase took police officers through the city of Tampa and across the Howard Frankland Bridge. The pursuit eventually ended at 28th Street and Third Avenue S in St. Petersburg with the use of a tire-deflation device known as a "stop stick." Solomon was arrested on charges of armed robbery, aggravated fleeing to elude, carjacking, driving with a suspended license and resisting arrest. He was being held in Pinellas County Jail Wednesday with bail set at $11,263. Murray was arrested on armed robbery and resisting arrest charges. His bail was set at $500.


One shot, 1 jailed in fight at party

A 21-year-old man was shot after a fight between party guests at an apartment in western Hillsborough County early Wednesday. Sheriff's spokesman Debbie Carter said in a statement that deputies responded to a residence within the Foxcroft Apartments, located in the 8700 block of N Dale Mabry Highway, about 3:30 a.m. after a fight broke out between guests at a party. Carter said the victim, identified as Jay Martinez, 21, of 5902 Memorial Highway, No. 1104, Tampa, was shot in the upper torso. He was taken to a local hospital. His condition was not available. Detectives later arrested Gregory Brian Cooper, 19, of 4012 Cedar Limb Court, Tampa, on attempted murder charges. He was being held without bail Wednesday in the Hillsborough County jail.

New port richey

Ex-boyfriend guilty in beating

A jury took 37 minutes Wednesday to convict Robert Anthony Roakes, 26, of first-degree attempted murder in the beating of his former girlfriend. Roakes and his new girlfriend, Nadine Scherer, are accused of luring his old girlfriend, Misty Chapman, to a Beacon Woods pond, jumping her, beating her, then dragging her into a van. Authorities say a bloodied, half-naked Chapman - who had given birth to Roakes' son just four weeks earlier - escaped at a State Road 52 stoplight. Roakes' sentencing was set for Oct. 12. He faces up to 30 years in prison.