Tampa Bay briefs
By Times staff reports
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 22, 2001
Man accused of perjury in injury lawsuit
ST. PETERSBURG -- A 38-year-old St. Petersburg man has been arrested after state investigators accused him of perjury, a third-degree felony.
Eric Daniel Reedy made a false allegation and filed a lawsuit against the owner of Sir Albert Court Apartments, according to John Womer, a Florida Department of Insurance investigator.
Reedy said his neck and back were injured when a ceiling in his apartment collapsed in 1996, Womer said. Reedy filed a $1-million lawsuit against the apartment owner in 1998 and said in sworn depositions that he was in the bedroom when the ceiling collapsed.
But Reedy's girlfriend, Lisa Melita, and her 7-year-old daughter ended up cooperating with authorities, investigators said. Melita said Reedy was not in the room when the ceiling fell.
Reedy, who is unemployed and lives at 5155 67th Way N, was released from the Pinellas County Jail on his own recognizance.
Police dog bites St. Petersburg woman
ST. PETERSBURG -- A 49-year-old St. Petersburg woman was bitten by a police dog Tuesday. She was treated at Bayfront Medical Center and released.
Evelyn Brinkley was bitten on the thigh and hand at 9 p.m. after the dog confused her for a suspect, who ran from authorities, said police spokesman George Kajtsa.
Police captured the suspect inside a fence at 658 16th Ave. S, but the dog was running loose outside the fence, police said. Brinkley happened upon the scene of the arrest and was bitten by Grip.
Salesman denies bilking mobile home buyers
TAMPA -- Detectives say people gave Guadalupe Wally Bustos thousands of dollars, sometimes all they had, for mobile homes he was supposed to provide.
Bustos never bought them and kept the cash for himself, according to officials.
Tuesday, deputies arrested Bustos and charged him with grand theft and fraud. The arrest came after a citizen's complaint about Sunbelt Housing, the company Bustos managed in Apollo Beach. Officials said that between July 2000 and March 1 of this year, Bustos accepted payments ranging between $1,800 and $19,000.
In return, his customers got nothing, they said.
Bustos said Wednesday night that he's getting the blame for cash flow problems at Sunbelt Housing that are largely the fault of a partner. Bustos said he has hundreds of satisfied customers and that the complaints are coming from a few whose deals for mobile homes in certain parks fell through, usually because of their own bad credit.
"I've been in sales 11 years, and I've never defaulted on anyone," Bustos said. "I told (the detective) Tuesday that there are two sides to every story. When the smoke clears and I walk out of that courtroom, I'm going to say, "I told you so."'
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