Around the Region - Jan.30


Published: Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 29, 2010 at 10:36 p.m.

POLICE BEAT

Papa John's delivery driver robbed at gunpoint

A pizza delivery driver was robbed of cash and his cell phone at gunpoint Thursday evening.

According to Gainesville police, the hold-up occurred in the parking lot of the Villa Ravine apartments at 1500 N.W. 16th Ave. at 8:20 p.m.

A delivery driver for Papa John's told police that he had delivered a pizza and was heading back to his car when a man with a handgun approached him. The driver told police that he turned over a small amount of cash and his cell phone and then the gunman fled from the area.

A detailed description of the suspect was not immediately available.

Karen Voyles

COMMUNITY

Applicants sought to fill two county judge posts

The process has begun to replace two Alachua County judges who were recently named circuit court judges.

Mary Day Coker and Victor Hulslander were appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist to the Circuit Court of the Eighth Judicial Circuit a few weeks ago to replace two retiring judges.

The appointments left vacant Coker's and Hulslander's county court positions. The 8th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission is seeking applicants for the two county court posts.

To be appointed, an applicant must be a member in good standing of The Florida Bar for the preceding five years, a resident of Alachua County and a registered voter in Florida.

The application package - which was recently revised - can be found on The Bar's Web site, www.floridabar.org. Applications must be submitted by Feb. 22.

Karen Voyles

STATE

Report: Driver in stolen car hits Miami officer

MIAMI - A Miami police officer was treated at a hospital with minor injuries after a driver in a stolen car allegedly hit him.

Patricia Danielle Woodard, of Miami, faces charges of attempted first-degree murder on a law enforcement officer after she allegedly tried to hit Officer George A. Guillen with a stolen car early Friday. Woodard also faces charges of fleeing and eluding police, resisting arrest without violence, possession of cocaine, and possession of drug paraphernalia. A passenger, 39-year-old Alfred Leroy Robinson, of Miami Beach, faces charges of trespass in a conveyance and resisting arrest without violence.

The Associated Press

Drugs worth $5 billion were seized last year

CLEARWATER - The U.S. Coast Guard seized illegal drugs worth more than $5 billion last year.

Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen said crews helped the FBI and other federal agencies seize or disrupt delivery of 175 tons of cocaine and 35 tons of marijuana on the sea in 2009. Fifty-eight vessels were seized, and 322 people were arrested.

The Associated Press

Police: Neighbors' conflict a possible hate crime

FORT LAUDERDALE - Police are investigating a conflict between neighbors as a hate crime after two people allegedly attacked a man and shouted slurs at him.

Police said Ricardo Rivera is accused of beating up his neighbor in September when the man complained about the loud music and yelling in Rivera's home. Police said Rivera knocked the victim down and shouted slurs about his sexual orientation. Police said the man was injured.

The next day, the neighbor saw Rivera's car and went to take down the tag number. Police said Bedsaida Rivera, Rivera's wife, allegedly attacked the victim with pepper spray. Police said she also yelled derogatory slurs at him.

Bedsaida Rivera was arrested on a simple battery charge and Ricardo Rivera was arrested on an aggravated battery charge.

The Associated Press

Fishermen catch shark along S. Florida beach

RIVIERA BEACH - Two fishermen caught a 9-foot-9-inch hammerhead shark along a South Florida public beach.

The fishermen, who were not identified, were fishing from shore, and they released the shark before it was weighed. Sharks have been gathering along the beach in the annual chase of baitfish. Officials said lemon, bull and hammerheads often come close to shore. The beach was closed Friday after the hammerhead was caught.

The Associated Press

Man pleads guilty to killing two stepbrothers

BARTOW - A Lakeland man has pleaded guilty to killing two stepbrothers.

According to the State Attorney's Office in Bartow, John Odom pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of first degree murder and one count of armed robbery. He was sentenced to life without parole. As part of a plea agreement, Odom agreed to testify against co-defendant Susan Wallen. Her murder trial is scheduled to begin next month.

Odom and Wallen were arrested in 2008 while hiding out in Tuskegee National Forest in Alabama. Prosecutors said the couple worked together to rob the stepbrothers.

The couple is accused of killing 30-year-old Henry Bruder and 42-year-old Dion White.

The Associated Press

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