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Tampa Bay briefs

By Times staff writers

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 2, 2000


Mother visiting park with 4 children is raped

TAMPA -- A 40-year-old woman playing with her young children at a city park was beaten and raped Wednesday in nearby woods, police said.

The woman, whose name is being withheld because of the nature of the crime, was at Copeland Park at N 15th Street and 109th Avenue at 11:30 a.m. with her four daughters: twin 4-year-olds, a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old.

The children were playing on equipment near the basketball courts when a man approached the woman as she gave her children a snack, police said.

The man pulled a handgun and demanded money before taking the woman to nearby woods, leaving her children.

The man then struck the woman in the head with his gun before sexually assaulting her.

After the assault, the man fled on a small-framed bicycle and the woman ran toward a park roadway to ask a young couple for help.

Police are looking for a man described as black, age 17 or 18, with dark skin, short hair, clean-shaven face and wearing a short-sleeved, multicolored plaid shirt and baggy blue jean shorts.

Second teen arrested in rape of 17-year-old

ST. PETERSBURG -- A second teen has been charged with raping a mentally challenged 17-year-old girl on Monday, authorities said.

Marques Bell, 17, of St. Petersburg was charged with sexual battery Wednesday, police said. He is one of five persons who raped the girl, according to an arrest affidavit.

Lavon W. Fuller, 19, was charged Tuesday with kidnapping and two counts of sexual battery.

Three other attackers have not been arrested or identified by authorities.

"It's still an ongoing investigation," police spokesman Dan Bates said Wednesday.

Fuller, who lives at 2560 54th Ave. S, No. 8, threatened the girl, forced her into his car, and took her to his apartment, police said.

At another location, 1124 64th Ave. S, the girl was held down by the others while Fuller and Bell raped her, police said. The other three also raped the girl, according to an arrest affidavit.

TECO electrician dies after touching live line

TAMPA -- An electrician working for Tampa Electric Co. was killed Thursday afternoon while working on an electric line, TECO officials said.

David B. Evans, 43, had worked at Tampa Electric for more than 20 years. On Wednesday around 3 p.m., he and his crew were doing maintenance at the 11th Avenue substation just north of Ybor City when he came in contact with a live electric line. He was taken by ambulance to Tampa General Hospital, where he died.

TECO officials said Evans' death marked the first Tampa Electric fatality in 31 years.

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