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Police reports

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 22, 2000

Man charged with battery on officer

HUDSON -- A man who hit and swore at a deputy after a traffic stop early Friday morning was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, deputies said.

After being arrested, Michael Allen Lemons, 45, of 6814 Gull Lane, apologized profusely to the deputy, according to reports. He told deputies he was drunk and wanted to show off in front of his kids. He also told the deputy he wasn't trying to hit him, he only wanted to take the deputy's pencil from his front pocket.

The car in which Lemons was riding with his family was pulled over on its way home about 1:45 a.m., deputies said. When deputies asked to search the car, Lemons began shouting profanities.

Marijuana was seized from the Cadillac, but no one admitted ownership, deputies said.

Lemons ignored several warnings to quiet down before he hit the deputy in the chest while looking at his badge, according to reports.

He was released Friday after posting $5,000 bond.

Woman arrested in case of fake gift certificates

PORT RICHEY -- A J.C. Penney employee was arrested Friday and charged with writing fake store gift certificates that allowed her to take more than $4,000 in merchandise, Pasco County sheriff's deputies said.

Misty Ann Branzell, 28, of 18632 Rosemary Drive in Aripeka, was charged with scheming to defraud, deputies said.

From July until this month at the Gulfview Square Mall store, Branzell issued 17 fraudulent gift cards to herself, deputies said.

Deputies said she would take items from the store, make a fraudulent receipt, and then credit her J.C. Penney credit card or issue herself a gift card, allowing her to make the purchase for free.

A standard store audit showed the money missing, deputies said.

Branzell was released Friday after posting $5,000 bond.

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