Around the Region - Jan. 2

Published: Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 1, 2010 at 11:10 p.m.


Boy mysteriously shot at Miami cafe

MIAMI — Police are investigating the shooting of a 6-year-old boy during a New Year's celebration in Miami.

Authorities say the boy and his family were celebrating early Friday on the front patio of a posh restaurant in the Design District.

The boy's parents drove him to a hospital after he began complaining about stomach pains. During the drive, authorities say, it became clear that the child had been shot in the stomach.

The boy's condition has not been released.

Miami police say the boy may have been struck by a stray bullet.

Police: Sex tape leads to slaying

LAKELAND — Police say a sex tape led to a slaying in central Florida.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says 38-year-old Joey Delbert Midgett went to 36-year-old Jonas Ward's house in Lakeland early Tuesday to retrieve a videotape of Ward and Midgett's 19-year-old girlfriend having sex.

Investigators say Midgett shot Ward in the head during a scuffle at the door when Ward refused to hand over the tape.

Last month, Denise Bradshaw told deputies that Ward had raped her.

Investigators said Ward showed them the tape and told them Bradshaw had consented.

Authorities determined there had been no rape.

Midgett is charged with first-degree murder and armed burglary. His public defender did not immediately return a phone message or e-mail Friday.

Murder charges in toddler's death

BELLE GLADE — A South Florida man is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse in the death of a toddler.

Antion Denard Lawrence of Pahokee is accused of beating his girlfriend's 2-year-old son to death.

Investigators say the child became unresponsive Sunday after two days of vomiting. The boy couldn't be revived at a hospital.

An autopsy showed he suffered from many injuries to his forehead, abdomen and internal organs.

The child's mother told Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies that Lawrence beat her son for not eating, not going to sleep or not moving fast enough.

According to an arrest report, Lawrence told investigators he sometimes “tapped” the boy with a belt, but not with his fists.

Jail records Friday didn't show whether Lawrence had an attorney.

Coast Guard seeks overboard cruiser

MIAMI — The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a cruise ship passenger who reportedly jumped overboard in the Bahamas.

The Coast Guard says crew members aboard Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas reported Neha Chhikara missing Thursday afternoon as the ship was headed from Nassau to CocoCay.

Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez says the guest was reported missing by her husband.

Security camera footage showed the 23-year-old woman going overboard from the 11th deck early that morning.

Martinez said Friday that Bahamian government officials reviewed the footage and determined that the woman jumped overboard.

The ship left Port Canaveral on Monday for a five-day cruise through the Bahamas. It's due to return Saturday.

Officer uses canoe in suspect's pursuit

TAMPA — A Tampa police officer hopped into a bystander's canoe to chase a burglary suspect across a chilly river.

The chase started Thursday afternoon after someone called 911 to report a break-in. Police say 41-year-old Sam Bailey was leaving as officers arrived.

To get away, Bailey reportedly jumped in the nearby Hillsborough River and began to swim to the other side.

One officer jumped in after Bailey and the other followed in a neighbor's canoe.

The officers continued to chase Bailey and the other side of the river and eventually caught him. Police say one officer dislocated his shoulder during the arrest. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Bailey was charged with residential burglary and resisting arrest.

He was being held on $8,000 bail.

Worker falls after power-line shock

HOLLYWOOD — A man working near a power line in Hollywood fell 30 feet, apparently after touching the line.

Hollywood Fire-Rescue says the injured man had been working on a mechanical platform Thursday, possibly painting the side of an apartment building, when he touched the line and received a shock. Off-duty firefighter and paramedic Daryel Richards was at home nearby and said he heard a loud sound, followed by his landlord yelling for someone to call 911.

Richards reportedly found the man on a sidewalk, shirt still smoldering.

He began providing basic first-aid until paramedics arrived to take the man to the hospital.

Officials say the man, who has not been identified, was listed in critical condition.

Radio host begins jail term in shooting

ORLANDO — A central Florida radio host accused of shooting his wife while aiming at her dog has reported to the Seminole County jail.

After kissing his wife goodbye Thursday afternoon, 44-year-old Shannon Burke surrendered to jail guards.

Burke was sentenced in November to a six month prison term after pleading guilty to animal cruelty and firing a gun in a building.

Authorities say Burke was at his Altamonte Springs home in April when he fired a shot that went through the dog's leg and then grazed his wife.

Burke told deputies that he was angry with the animal and began waiving around the gun, which he thought was unloaded.

Burke had hosted a call-in show for Real Radio 104.1 FM but was fired immediately after the shooting.

— Compiled from The Associated Press

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