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Tampa Bay briefs

By Times staff writers

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 21, 2000


Postal worker gets 2 years in abduction and assault

LARGO -- A St. Petersburg postal worker accused of raping a pregnant prostitute but convicted of lesser crimes was sentenced to two years in state prison on Wednesday.

Bobby Scott Davis, 26, had faced life in prison when prosecutors first charged him with kidnapping, sexual battery and aggravated assault. He was arrested in May 1999 for allegedly raping a prostitute in his car, locking her in a car trunk and trying to run her over once he let her out.

But on Nov. 9, a jury rejected the most serious charges against him, kidnapping and sexual battery. Instead, jurors convicted him of two lesser crimes, misdemeanor battery and felony false imprisonment. He was convicted as charged of felony aggravated assault.

On Wednesday, Judge Douglas Baird sentenced Davis to two years in prison to be followed by three years' probation for the felonies.

Davis, held without bail since his arrest, was sentenced to time served on the misdemeanor.

St. Petersburg police said they considered Davis a suspect in four additional prostitute rapes in the city, though he has not been charged in any other case.

Teen may face felony charge in fatal accident

TAMPA -- Authorities have recommended felony charges against a teenage driver who struck and killed a young mother pushing a stroller.

Michele Calta was hit Nov. 28 while walking her newborn daughter on her street, Branch Mooring Drive, in suburban Countryway.

Deputies said Richard David Delrio, 17, a neighbor and senior at Sickles High School, steered a blue Mitsubishi Eclipse around a corner and struck Calta and the stroller. Calta hit the windshield. Kaitlyn Renee, the baby girl, strapped in a car seat propped up in a stroller, was sent flying to the pavement but suffered only minor bruising to the forehead.

Rod Reder, a spokesman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, said the chief investigator recently completed the case and submitted his work to the State Attorney's Office with a recommendation to charge Delrio. Reder would not comment on the exact charges Delrio might face, but said they would be felony criminal charges for the incident itself, and that those charges would be explained in the investigation.

Officials: 'Crowbar' bandit linked to 13 bank holdups

A prolific bank robber who often wields a crowbar or hammer and threatens to kill the tellers he sticks up has been terrorizing Tampa Bay area banks for two years, springing at least 13 holdups in four counties, authorities said Wednesday.

The man, whom investigators are calling the "Crowbar Robber," began his crime rampage on Jan. 20, 1999, in Manatee County. His string has hopscotched as far west as Sun City Center and as far north as Port Richey. The last robbery in the man's two-year blitz on banks was Dec. 13 in Dunedin.

"It's a long run," Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Greg Tita said of the robber's streak. "And it would tell me that this is a very cautious robber."

Woman killed in collision with truck on Walsingham

LARGO -- An 80-year-old woman was killed Wednesday afternoon when her car collided with a pickup truck on Walsingham Road just east of the Indian Rocks Bridge.

Eileen Bock Paonessa, 80, of Seminole died at the scene of the 3:40 p.m. crash.

Paonessa was driving her Honda Accord south on 143rd Street N when she tried to cross Walsingham. A small pickup truck headed west on Walsingham struck her car broadside, Largo police said.

The pickup's driver, David Henry Crum, 21, of Seminole was taken to Bayfront Medical Center. His injuries were not life-threatening.

Largo police were investigating which driver was at fault in the crash. Both vehicles ended up in the middle of the intersection, tying up traffic in the area for hours.

Boy, 13, punished for vandalism at school

DADE CITY -- The youngest of 10 juveniles arrested in the Labor Day vandalism at Sand Pine Elementary School got a stern lecture from a judge Wednesday, along with some serious homework assignments.

Circuit Judge Lynn Tepper, who found the 13-year-old boy guilty of grand theft and burglary at trial last month, sentenced the teen to 600 hours of community service and ordered him to write apology letters to everyone touched by the crime and to write a 1,000-word research paper on the effects of juvenile crime.

He was also placed on probation until he is 19 , and his DNA will be entered into a statewide registry of criminal evidence. Tepper said she will decide later how much he and his family will have to pay to replace stolen items.

None of the children arrested in the case have been identified by the Times because of their ages.

The boy, who was in gifted classes before he was expelled by the school district, made a bad choice when he took part in the rampage, Tepper said.

Authorities say youths trashed the school over two nights in September, smashing computers, televisions and windows as well as stealing a variety of equipment.

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