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Two armed men rob Checkers, fondle worker

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 24, 2000

ST. PETERSBURG -- A Checkers restaurant was robbed and a female employee fondled Thursday by two armed men who fired a round into the ceiling before leaving the store.

No one was hurt by the gunfire. The suspects left with an undisclosed amount of cash, said St. Petersburg police Officer Chip Wells.

At 11:05 p.m., a man entered the restaurant at 6730 Central Ave. through the drive-through window; another man walked through the door as an employee ran out to escape, police said.. A female employee was ordered to undress, then one of the suspects fondled her, police said.

The suspects are described as black men, 18 and 25 years old and 5-feet-2. One weighed about 110 pounds and was wearing a tan shirt and tan pants.

The other suspect weighed 130 pounds and was wearing a blue shirt and dark pants. Anyone with information was asked to call police at 893-7179.

Owner fears goat a casualty of feud

NEW PORT RICHEY -- A 2-month-old pet goat that seemed to like it better inside was found hanging from a tree Wednesday. When he started bleating plaintively at the back door on Wednesday afternoon, owner Dawn Rogers didn't make much of it.

"You could hear the goat's little "baaa'. . .," she said. "I thought, "He probably just wants in.' "

A few hours later, Rogers' 9-year-old son found the goat, named Devil Dog, hanging from a tree. Rogers and her fiance buried the goat in the woods next to her house at 9943 Markham St. in the Moon Lake subdivision and did not report anything to the police.

The next day, a deputy knocked on Rogers' door looking for Devil Dog. They said a caller told them a juvenile was clubbing the goat with a golf club.

"I said, "Excuse me, but my goat died yesterday,' " Rogers said.

A Sheriff's Office report said Rogers told deputies she did not have any suspects.

But on Friday she told the Times -- and also deputies, she said -- that she believes the incident might have been the result of a neighborhood dispute.

Man trying to cross boulevard struck, killed

TAMPA -- A 53-year-old man was stuck and killed when he tried to cross the 800 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on Thursday about 11:30 p.m.

Police said Robert M. Weaver Jr. was crossing the middle of the block from the south.

Weaver, of 805 E Ida St., had successfully crossed the eastbound lanes and was trying to walk across the westbound lanes when he was struck by a 1996 Saturn.

No charges were filed against the driver of the Saturn, Monica H. Sykes, 24, whose address was unavailable.

Tire recycling company has to clean up its mess

TAMPA -- Despite its name, Metro Recycling Inc. wasn't recycling any tires, officials said Friday.

The corporation at 2707 E Second Ave. was piling the tires nearby on CSX Railroad property to cut costs, according to the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office.

On Friday, officials announced that a two-year investigation had produced an illegal dumping charge, a third-degree felony, against Metro Recycling six months ago.

As part of an agreement with the state, Metro Recycling hauled the massive, vermin-ridden heap of about 17,000 tires to an east county landfill, where they were hacked up and buried.

The company also may face fines of several thousand dollars, said Craig Clendinen, chief of special prosecutions at the State Attorney's Office.

Metro Recyling agreed to foot the $25,000 bill to remove all the tires, sparing taxpayers the expense. "That's the beauty of the settlement, that they're going to clean up the entire pile," Clendinen said.

No one at Metro Recycling could be reached for comment. Clendinen said the company has another location in Tampa where they were supposed to transport the tires for recycling. They recycle plastics, as well, he said.

The investigation required deputies to track the tires from the heap to its source, sheriff's officials said.

They said they also combed through company records and found people who had witnessed the dumping.

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