Around the region for Feb. 4, 2013

Published: Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 10:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 8:38 p.m.


Man attacked fire truck, paramedics, police say

A Gainesville man was arrested Sunday morning after police say he pounded on the hood of a fire truck and punched an off-duty paramedic in the head.

According to a Gainesville Police Department report, Preston Porter Calkins, 24, ran into the road at 300 S. Main St. in front of a fire truck that was responding to a call for service around 1 a.m. Calkins pounded on the hood of the truck, mounted the side running boards and cussed at the paramedics inside.

Police said Calkins, who lives in the 3200 block of Northwest 83rd Street, was “extremely intoxicated.”

An off-duty paramedic who was driving by in his truck stopped at the scene and rolled down his window to check on the paramedics.

Calkins charged at the open truck window, cussed at the man and punched him multiple times in the back of the head until the on-duty paramedics subdued him.

Calkins was arrested on charges of assault and battery during burglary.

— Hannah O. Brown

Police accuse two men

of stealing 20 truck tires

Two men were arrested Saturday morning after allegedly being discovered with 20 stolen tires in the parking lot of Trinity United Methodist Church at 4000 NW 53rd Ave.

Jason Vargas, 27, and Joseph Johnson, 21, are accused of breaking in to the fenced-in compound of Hollander’s Hydraulics at 5516 NW 13th St. and stealing numerous semi-truck tires, police said. The two men would roll the tires over the fence, where a tree had naturally fallen, and passed them to a 16-year-old accomplice who loaded the tires into a pickup truck.

Vargas, of 2056 NW 55 Blvd., would then drive the tires to the church where the men would cut the rubber from the metal, which could then be sold for scrap. The three men had already dropped off four loads, approximately $2,000 worth of tires, when they were discovered by police.

Johnson, who lives at 6726 NW 26th Terrace, is currently on state felony probation for burglary of a structure and criminal mischief.

Vargas and Johnson were arrested on charges of burglary, grand theft, possession of burglary tools and contributing to the delinquency of a child.

— Hannah O. Brown

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