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Published: Tuesday, April 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 31, 2003 at 11:23 p.m.

Two arrested in beating of 91-year-old woman

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A POW/MIA flag is raised in honor of David S. Williams, pictured right, at the Orlando City Hall Plaza Monday. Williams is a helicopter pilot who is being held by the Iraqi's after his craft went down.

AP Photo/Peter Cosgrove
  • Authorities charged two men with armed burglary and attempted murder Monday in the severe beating of a 91-year-old Interlachen woman in her home over the weekend.
    The woman told Putnam County Sheriff's officials that when she went to investigate a noise in her house late Saturday, she found a man standing in her hallway. The man attacked her, beating her in the face and head. She was treated for severe bruises, cuts and swelling to her face at the Putnam Community Medical Center and was released later that day, Capt. Rick Ryan said.
    Authorities identified the two suspects as Hector Jon Mejias, 18, and Tyler Randolph Williams, 18, both of Interlachen. They caught the men Monday night after a two-mile chase through the woods near Interlachen. Authorities wouldn't say how they identified the suspects or whether the victim knew the suspects, citing the ongoing investigation.
    - Kathy Ciotola

    USDA Safety Mobile heading for Gainesville

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture's new Food Safety Mobile will roll through Gainesville Wednesday with free advice for consumers.
    The converted RV will stop outside Albertsons at 2323 NW 13th St. between 3 and 7 p.m. Food safety demonstrations will be offered hourly beginning at 4 p.m.
    USDA and University of Florida food safety experts will explain how to avoid foodborne illness, which strikes millions of people each year.
    - Diane Chun

    Jury selection begins in Escambia bribery case

  • CRESTVIEW - Most of 88 prospective jurors were excused, at least temporarily, Monday because they knew about bribery and money laundering charges against suspended Escambia County Commissioner W.D. Childers, also a former Florida Senate president.
    That left 36 citizens in the jury pool who said they were unaware of the case that was moved about 50 miles northeast from Pensacola because of extensive media coverage there. Circuit Judge Jere Tolton, citing the law of averages, was optimistic lawyers will be able to select six jurors and an alternate from among those 36 today. If not, the other 52 prospective jurors would be called back.
    - The Associated Press

    Ex-officer charged with sexually assaulting teens

  • LAKELAND - A former Fort Meade police officer fired last year for drunken driving has been charged with sexually assaulting two teens, authorities said.
    Timothy Simmons was charged with three counts of sexual battery and sexual battery on a child younger than 16, the Polk County Sheriff's Office reported. Simmons was being held without bail at the Polk County Jail.
    Sheriff's officials said Simmons sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl Saturday in a bathroom at the girl's home. Detectives said Simmons sexually assaulted a 19-year-old Fort Meade woman three times earlier this year.
    - The Associated Press

    Last of missing primates found in Hillsborough

  • TAMPA - The last of five missing primates was found this weekend when Chewy, a 4-year-old greater bush baby, was reunited with her owner.
    Someone broke into several cages on Chris Newton's south Hillsborough sanctuary March 22 and stole Chewy and four other primates worth approximately $17,000.
    - The Associated Press
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