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By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 26, 2000


Car chased by deputy crashes

Two women were flown to a Tampa hospital late Thursday after their car crashed in a chase with a Hernando County sheriff's deputy on Interstate 75, just south of the Pasco County line.

Hernando sheriff's Lt. Marc Rivenbark said the wreck happened about 8:45 p.m. after two shoplifting suspects were making off with a large amount of clothes from a department store west of Brooksville.

A deputy reported them driving recklessly on Wiscon Road and chased them onto State Road 50. Another deputy who was on SR 50 trying to clear traffic wrecked his patrol cruiser and suffered minor injuries.

The chase continued to the interstate, where the women's car crashed into the median.

According to Pasco County Fire-Rescue, the women were flown to St. Joseph's Hospital about 9:30 p.m. and were being treated for trauma injuries.

Their identities were not available Thursday.

Man accused of sexual predation on Internet

PINELLAS PARK -- A 38-year-old Pinellas Park man has been arrested by a Tampa-area task force that targets Internet sex crimes involving minors.

John B. Sills of 9100 46th St., Lot 50, Pinellas Park, faces a federal charge of using a computer to entice a person under 18 to engage in sexual activity, the FBI said Thursday.

Sills was arrested Wednesday in Tampa and released on bail. He is unemployed and has no criminal record, the FBI said.

Federal authorities wouldn't discuss what exactly Sills is accused of doing.

The task force includes federal and local investigators.

Pedestrian killed as he steps into Tampa street

TAMPA -- A 67-year-old pedestrian died early Thursday after walking into the path of a van on Waters Avenue, police said.

Richard Eugene Marquand, of 8220 N Florida Ave., was walking along Waters just west of Florida Avenue when he stepped in front of a GTE van at 11:25 p.m. Wednesday.

Police said driver Paul L. Streicher, 46, was unable to avoid him.

Marquand's blood alcohol level was 0.30, police said, nearly four times the level at which Florida presumes impairment.

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