Around the Region for Aug. 2, 2012


Published: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.

POLICE BEAT

Man accused of sex battery on young boy

The Lake City Police Department on Tuesday arrested a man on a sexual battery charge related to an alleged attack on a 12-year-old boy, Officer Steve Shaw reported Wednesday.

Leroy Fulton, 35, of 390 NE Voss Road, was charged with sexual battery and resisting an officer without violence, Shaw stated in a news release.

The boy reported being sexually battered on Sunday as he walked in the area of Escambia Street to a friend’s house, Shaw said. The boy told police he was battered by a man known as “Wee Wee” — later identified as Fulton.

Shaw said Fulton told the boy he would kill him if he told his mother what had happened. Police learned of the case after the boy was taken to the emergency room at Shands at Lake Shore for treatment, according to the release.

Officers on Tuesday learned of Fulton’s whereabouts and spotted him jumping out the back window of a house. He was found and arrested within minutes, Shaw said.

— Cindy Swirko

Local wanted man found, arrested in Jacksonville

A man wanted on drug charges by authorities in Alachua and Bradford counties was arrested Wednesday morning in Jacksonville, where he was found in a home with marijuana, cocaine, a gun and about $69,000 in cash, Deputy U.S. Marshal Bryon Carroll reported.

Albert Covington, 31, was arrested on various warrants from the sheriff’s offices and the Florida Department of Corrections, Carroll said in a press release.

Carroll said Covington was wanted for possession of controlled substances, violation of probation, fleeing and eluding, and other charges.

The Florida Department of Corrections website shows Covington has previous drug convictions and was released from prison in 2007.

Covington had been living in the Waldo area, but investigators learned that he has recently been staying in Jacksonville with friends and relatives, Carroll said.

Members of the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force notified Jacksonville authorities about Covington, and surveillance was set up at a home in northeast Jacksonville.

Carroll said officers surrounded the house at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and found Covington and two others inside. Also found inside was a 9mm handgun, about one pound of powder cocaine, a large amount of crack cocaine, about 4 pounds of marijuana, and about $69,000 in cash, Carroll said.

Covington was booked into the Jacksonville Pretrial Detention Facility on a new charge of armed trafficking in cocaine, as well as his outstanding arrest warrants.

— Cindy Swirko

$1,000 reward offered for info on missing man

A $1,000 reward is being offered for information on the whereabouts of Omar Jabree Gibson, 26, who has been missing since July 25, according to the Gainesville Police Department.

Gibson was last seen at Palms of Brook Valley Apartments, at 1101 NW 39th Ave., at 9:30 p.m. on July 25. Gibson is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds. He was wearing a tank top, long shorts and Jordan slippers when he disappeared, according to the police report.

Police have recovered his vehicle, a 2003 Honda Accord.

Anyone with information about Gibson may contact the GPD anonymous tip line at 393-7700; the Criminal Investigation Division at 393-7670; Detective Farrah Lormil at 393-7616; or CrimeStoppers at 372-7867.

— Staff report

STATE

1 dead after small plane crash in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — A small plane crashed at a city-owned airport in St. Petersburg, killing one and injuring another.

Police say a 65-year-old single-engine Luscombe Model 8A was taking off from the runway at Albert Whitted Airport on Wednesday afternoon when it crashed. Witnesses say the plane ascended about 100 feet, then the engine sputtered and the plane took a nose dive into the ground.

Investigators believe the plane’s owner, 79-year-old James Finnegan, was piloting the aircraft. Finnegan had previous flight experience but had not piloted a plane for a number of years and was taking refresher training from 37-year-old James Murphy.

Finnegan was pronounced dead at the scene. Murphy’s injuries were not considered life-threatening, and he was speaking with investigators.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the cause of the crash.

— The Associated Press

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