Around the Region

Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 13, 2004 at 12:25 a.m.

POLICE BEAT: Police: Man tried to lure boy into bathroom

  • A homeless Gainesville man who is a registered sexual offender from Georgia was arrested Sunday after he tried to lure a boy into the bathroom at the downtown Alachua County Library, Gainesville Police reported.
    Arrested was Steve Randall Ray, 44, on charges of failing to register as a sexual offender in Florida and failure to obtain a Florida identification card, Sgt. Keith Kameg said.
    The incident happened Sunday afternoon when Ray reportedly tried to lure a 15-year-old Archer boy into the library bathroom, Kameg said.
    The boy told his parents, who called police. A records check showed that Ray was a registered sexual offender in Georgia who was listed as an absconder - an offender who failed to register with an appropriate sheriff's office within 10 days after release from prison, placement on parole or supervised release.
    "It was a good job by the parents to not let this go and to call police," Kameg said.
    - Cindy Swirko

    POLICE BEAT: 13 arrested during drug sting at Suwannee bar

  • Thirteen people, including a teenager, were arrested Friday during an undercover drug operation at a Suwannee County bar.
    Members of the Suwannee County and Columbia County Narcotics Task Force posed as drug dealers during the sting operation at Clyde's Place Bar on Railroad Avenue, the Live Oak Police Department reported.
    Most of the 13 people arrested, including a 15-year-old female, face charges of purchasing and possessing cocaine.
    - Lise Fisher

    FIRE RESCUE: Fire from light fixture put out at Shands at UF

  • Firefighters were called to Shands at the University of Florida on Monday morning after flames were spotted coming from a light fixture.
    Hospital security reported the fire was coming from a fixture on the fourth-floor ceiling of the Human Development section of the hospital, said Michael Heeder with Gainesville Fire Rescue. The report came shortly after 9 a.m.
    Only the light was damaged, Heeder said. Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to make sure the fire had not spread into the ceiling or another part of the room.
    - Lise Fisher

    COMMUNITY: Take Back the Night informs about assaults

  • Students, sorority members and Gainesville residents took to the streets Monday night for a 3K Take Back the Night Safety Walk/Run, part of a monthlong effort to educate the public about sexual assault - without perpetuating unfounded fears about rape.
    This year, attendees were encouraged to run or jog and carried flashlights and blinking reflectors, a marked shift from the somber candlelight vigils of past years.
    January was renamed Sexual Assault Awareness Month, from the more provocative Stop Rape Month.
    The event was retooled, in part, to take into account the fact that more than 80 percent of sexual assaults are committed by acquaintances, not random strangers, said Dr. Beth-Anne Blue, director of the Center for Sexual Assault/Abuse Recovery and Education at the University of Florida's Student Health Care Center, which co-sponsored the event with Acting Against Rape Every Student's Task Force. She said it is generally safe for women to be out after dark.
    - Jon Custer
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