Around the Region


Published: Saturday, January 5, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 5, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

Officer fired after allegedly battering wife

A corrections officer at Lowell Correctional Institution was fired from his job Friday and faces charges after he allegedly sat on his pregnant wife's stomach, slammed her head on the floor of their Ocala home and threatened to kill her.

Arnold Brown, 40, was charged with aggravated domestic battery.

Marion County sheriff's deputies arrested Brown after arriving at the couple's home Thursday. The woman, who is seven months pregnant, told deputies Brown had confronted her when she tried to leave the home, according to sheriff's office reports.

The woman told deputies Brown grabbed her by her jacket collar, causing her to fall to the ground. He then sat on her stomach and slammed her head into the floor, reports indicated. Brown then reportedly dragged the woman into a bedroom, saying he was going to kill her.

The woman was able to lock herself in a bathroom, where she sent a text message to a friend, who called law enforcement. The woman was taken to Munroe Regional Medical Center for evaluation. She was listed in good condition Friday.

Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said Brown was fired Friday. He had worked at Lowell Correctional Institute since May 2006.

- Ocala Star-Banner

Police investigate reported abduction

Police are investigating an incident that was reported Thursday night in which a Shands at the University of Florida employee stated he was abducted from a campus parking lot, according to the UF Police Department.

David Washington, 20, told police he was in a parking garage near Shands about 8 p.m. Thursday when two males grabbed him. Another man helped the two force Washington into the trunk of a car driven by a fourth man, Washington told police.

Washington told police the four men took his cell phone and sent unknown text messages with it, and Washington said he was also taken to a room in an unknown location before being dropped off at the Wal-Mart on NW 13th Street about 10 p.m.

Washington did not have any signs of injuries, according to police, and does not wish to pursue a criminal case. However, police are asking for anyone with information on the incident to call 352-392-4705.

- Alice Wallace

Man injured in hunting accident with 2 sons

A Cross City man was injured during a hunting trip New Year's Day when his son fell and accidentally shot the man in the leg, according to Karen Parker with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Larry Edwin Ward, 39, was on a hunting trip in the Jena Unit of the Big Bend Wildlife Management Area in Dixie County on Tuesday when the accident occurred, Parker reported.

Ward was hunting with his two sons, ages 15 and 8, when the 8-year-old tripped and fell. The .410-gauge shotgun the 8-year-old was carrying discharged, sending buckshot into Ward's lower left leg and breaking his tibia, according to the commission.

Ward was airlifted to Shands at the University of Florida for treatment, Parker said.

- Alice Wallace

Police ID homeless man who was found dead

Police have released the identity of a homeless man who was found dead Wednesday morning.

Lt. Keith Kameg with the Gainesville Police Department said the man was Donald Paul Tucker, 61. Tucker's body was discovered lying on the ground in the area of 1 NW 10th Ave., about 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Police are awaiting toxicology and autopsy results in the death, but they do not suspect foul play. Police could not say whether the cold weather was a factor in the man's death, but temperatures near freezing were recorded Tuesday night in Gainesville by the National Weather Service.

- Alice Wallace

Fired transsexual city official tries for top job

ISLAMORADA - The former Largo city manager fired after his sex change plans were made public wants to be Islamorada's next village manager.

Susan Stanton was known as Steve Stanton throughout her 14-year tenure as Largo's manager.

She is competing against 20 others to replace outgoing Village Manager Gary Word.

Finalists will be selected at the end of the month, with a hiring decision expected by the end of February.

The Largo City Commission voted twice last year to fire Stanton. Commissioners said it was Stanton's judgment, not the sex change revelation, that prompted the votes.

- The Associated Press

45-year-old man dies in skydiving accident

ZEPHYRHILLS - Police and rescue officials were at the scene of a fatal skydiving accident in Zephyrhills on Friday.

Police spokesman Rob Perrault says a 45-year-old man at Skydive City died after a jump Friday morning near the municipal airport. He has not been identified.

The other 20 jumpers told police the initial jump appeared normal. Perrault says investigators believe the victim was hit by the parachute, knocking him unconscious. An autopsy has been scheduled.

- The Associated Press

Officials identify man who died diving in Keys

KEY LARGO - The Monroe County Sheriff's Office has released the name of a 51-year-old Wisconsin man who died Dec. 31 while diving near Key Largo. Authorities Friday identified him as Peter Wilsand of Minette, Wis.

Wilsand's dive buddy told authorities when he got above water he noticed Wilsand floating face down. Efforts to resuscitate him were not successful.

The county's medical examiner has not yet determined the cause of death.

- The Associated Press

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