Tampa Bay briefs
By Times staff writers
© St. Petersburg Times,
U.S. House leader decries Ybor's 'Big Brother' eye
TAMPA -- Local politicians haven't had much to say about the controversial face-recognition cameras installed in Ybor City, but a powerful conservative lawmaker in Washington is paying attention.
House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, issued a statement Monday rebuking Tampa's use of the software, which scans faces in public crowds and tries to match them with criminal mugshots in its database. Tampa is the first Florida city to use the software, which civil libertarians have decried as an invasion of privacy.
"This is a full-scale surveillance system," Armey said in the statement. "Do we really want a society where one cannot walk down the street without Big Brother tracking our every move?" Armey said. Last week Tampa police began using the $30,000 software every day in Ybor City to identify sexual offenders and wanted criminals. The program is free for one year while the department tries it out.
Missouri visitor found shot to death on beach
TREASURE ISLAND -- A 44-year-old man who was visiting from Missouri shot himself in the head Sunday, police said. Richard A. Repsi of St. Louis was found dead at 4:33 a.m. on the beach at 11600 Gulf Blvd.
Repsi, who was staying alone at a local motel, was found by officers on routine patrol. He had a single gunshot wound to the head. Police said they found a gun next to his body.
After chase, girl charged with attempted murder
BRANDON -- Deputies chased a stolen Kia Sportage through quiet suburban streets Friday night, with the pursuit intensifying after the suspect rammed three patrol cars and tried to run over a deputy.
When the battered Kia finally got stuck in the mud, deputies had to break the car's windows to get to the suspect, who continued to struggle and cursed the deputies violently. When it was over, deputies had in custody a 17-year-old Amanda Camelio of 2009 Bell Ranch St.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Rod Reder said Camelio has been charged with several felonies, including: grand theft auto, attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, three counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, aggravated fleeing and eluding and resisting arrest.
Reder said he wasn't sure when or where Camelio stole the Kia, but deputies were tipped off when Camelio got gas at a nearby station and then drove off without paying. A deputy found the car parked in the driveway of a house at Providence Road and Windingwood Avenue shortly after 7 p.m. Friday.
Camelio was inside visiting a friend. The deputy saw Camelio get in the car and drive away. Reder said Camelio wouldn't stop when officers tried to pull her over, and the pursuit ensued. Deputies said Camelio steered toward their cars during the pursuit and at one point swerved toward a deputy who was on foot. The deputy jumped back into his car as Camelio rammed it.
Reder said Camelio caused "several thousand dollars worth of damage to our units." After deputies dragged her out of the stolen car, she was treated for injuries by paramedics and taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center. Her parents could not be reached for comment Monday night.
Skeleton identified as missing Gibsonton man
SEFFNER -- Skeletal remains found weeks ago along a canal in a wooded lot have been identified as Richard Allen Stover, a 24-year-old Gibsonton man who disappeared 10 months ago.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Carter said that a forensic odontologist used dental records to identify the body, which was badly decomposed.
Stover was first reported missing in September 2000. He was last seen Sept. 8, when he spent the evening at a friend's house on U.S. 41 in Gibsonton. Stover left around midnight and was never seen again, authorities said. A week later, his Dodge Dakota pickup with New York tags was found on U.S. 301 near Temple Terrace, just a few miles from where his body was found June 12 by a work crew.
The area where the body was found was dense woods and hidden from view. Because of the advanced decomposition, Carter said the Hillsborough County medical examiner could not determine Stover's cause of death. Homicide detectives are investigating, Carter said.
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