Around the region for Jan. 2

Published: Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 9:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 9:42 p.m.


Brush fire chars 10 acres off CR 235

A brush fire burned about 10 acres Saturday in northwest Alachua County before being extinguished.

No structures were damaged in the fire, which happened off County Road 235 near Northwest 94th Avenue, Alachua County Fire Rescue District Chief Ed Kennedy said.

Firefighters responded around 1 p.m. and contained the blaze by 2:30 p.m., he said. The Florida Division of Forestry is investigating the cause of the fire.

Because of dry conditions, Alachua County is under a burn ban that prohibits unauthorized outdoor burning and the unpermitted use of fireworks.

— Nathan Crabbe

3 charged after being found in stolen truck

Three Gainesville men were charged Saturday with resisting arrest after they fled a truck that earlier that day had been reported stolen.

The green 1993 Ford pickup had been reported stolen from Chili's restaurant in Gainesville.

A University of Florida police officer spotted the truck and attempted to pull it over at Southwest 23rd Street and Old Archer Road, UF Police Lt. Alton McDilda said.

The truck drove into University Club Apartments, and four people inside fled, he said, allowing the vehicle to roll into a sign. Three of the men were caught after a short foot chase, but the driver was still at large as of Saturday evening, McDilda said.

Kyle L. King, 19; Richard J. King, 18; and Andrew R. Moore, 18; were charged with resisting arrest without violence.

McDilda said they were not charged in the theft of the vehicle because it was not clear whether they knew it was stolen.

— Nathan Crabbe


Universal Orlando ride evacuated after fire

ORLANDO — An island ride at Universal Orlando amusement park had to be evacuated after a fire broke out.

Park spokesman Tom Schroder says an employee noticed smoke around 5 p.m. Saturday at Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls, a log float ride at Universal's Islands of Adventure.

Schroder said staff shut down the ride and evacuated visitors from the surrounding area.

The fire has been extinguished. The ride remains shut down while the blaze is under investigation.

— The Associated Press

Father charged in 6-year-old's stabbing

TAMPA — A Tampa father is being held without bond on an attempted murder charge after allegedly stabbing his 6-year-old son more than 20 times.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says 23-year-old Xavier Thomas had been watching New Year's Eve fireworks with relatives late Friday. When the fireworks were over, Thomas took his son, also named Xavier, to a play area in the apartment complex.

About a half hour later, Thomas returned without the boy but fled on foot when his relatives asked about his son.

— The Associated Press

Falling bullet injures man on New Year's Eve

BRADENTON — Authorities say a Manatee County man was apparently injured by some celebratory New Year's Eve gunfire.

The sheriff's office says 36-year-old Robert Benafield of Bradenton was in his backyard just before midnight Friday when he felt a pain on his right side near his hip.

When he got inside, he realized he had been shot.

Deputies say a bullet entered about two inches above Benafield's hip and traveled down about five inches.

— The Associated Press

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