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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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By Times Staff Writer
Published December 29, 2007
Bad taillight leads to two drug arrests
An officer staking out a house for a previous drug complaint watched as a green BMW left the home, then pulled the car over for a busted taillight, according to a police report. The traffic stop yielded the discovery of 67 Ecstasy pills and led authorities back to the home at 1703 W Atkinson Drive, where police found 32.9 grams of cocaine, 12 additional grams of Ecstasy, a loaded 12-gauge shotgun and $1,891 in cash. Telap Tan, 32, the driver of the BMW, and Kristina Vrastil, 31, were arrested on drug trafficking charges, according to a police report. Jail records show Vrastil was charged with felony trafficking in Ecstasy, felony armed trafficking in cocaine, felony possession of Xanax, and misdemeanor possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia. Tan was charged with felony trafficking in Ecstasy and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
18-year-old wants out of murder plea
Walter Jamal Vickers was just 16, a former student of the month at Pasco Middle School, when deputies say he shot Felipe DeJesus-Reyes in the face in 2006, killing the 48-year-old. Last week, Vickers agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Then he changed his mind. According to a handwritten motion, Vickers wants to withdraw his plea. Vickers, now 18, wrote that he felt "forced" by his public defender to accept the deal because he was told there was "way too much evidence" against him.
Thief makes off with fireworks
Someone dug up a fence and got inside a fireworks tent at the northeast corner of Land O'Lakes Boulevard and Bell Lake Road. Once inside, the thief stole 20 packages of fireworks valued at $1,630, according to a report by Pasco deputies. A dealer for Galaxy Fireworks who was staying in a tent near the site said he discovered parts of the fence dug up shortly after 7 a.m. Thursday.
Motorcyclist hurt as bike overturns
A 41-year-old motorcyclist was seriously injured after losing control of his Harley-Davidson while turning onto 46th Avenue N, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report. David Taylor, 5200 64th Circle, turned west onto 46th Avenue N Thursday from a parking lot when his 2002 Harley-Davidson Softail overturned. Taylor, who highway patrol officials say was not wearing a helmet, was taken to Bayfront Medical Center.
Deputies seek 3 in school vandalism
Pinellas deputies are searching for three teenagers who did an estimated $10,000 in damage to 31 portable classrooms at Palm Harbor University High School. Between 2 and 3 a.m. Dec. 20, surveillance cameras at the school captured images of the trio as they sprayed paint on the buildings and adhesive on doors and hinges.