Around the Region for Feb. 8, 2013

Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 7:55 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 7:55 p.m.


Third man arrested in Monday robbery

Gainesville police have arrested a third suspect in a Monday robbery in which the stolen money was used to buy pizza.

Charged with armed robbery Wednesday afternoon was Antoine J. Hill, 18, of 1727 NE Eighth Ave., Apt. A12, according to a Gainesville Police Department arrest report.

Diamante Austin, 20, of 3300 SE 22nd Ave., and a juvenile girl were arrested Tuesday.

Police allege Austin and the girl conspired to lure the victim to an apartment to buy marijuana. Once the victim was in the apartment with the girl, Hill and Austin came in.

An argument started, and the victim tried to leave but was blocked by Hill, who put him in a choke hold, the report states.

Austin is accused of hitting the victim on his head with a bottle, cutting his scalp. About $50 was taken from his pockets, and he was allowed to leave. The money was used to buy pizza, police reported.

The victim knew Austin and the girl, and police arrested them on Tuesday.

Detectives said they identified Hill as the remaining suspect and arrested him Wednesday.

— Cindy Swirko

Lake City teen in hospital after vehicle overturns

A Lake City teenager was seriously injured Wednesday afternoon when the utility vehicle in which he was a passenger overturned, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Jakob L. Ehrler, 14, was taken to Shands at the University of Florida following the accident. The driver of the 2010 Polaris Ranger XP, David Huntzberry, 14, of White Springs, had minor injuries, FHP reported in a news release.

The accident occurred about 5:45 p.m. on a private driveway off Southwest Duckett Court. The two teens were on the UTV when Ehrler told Huntzberry he saw a dog on their left, the release states.

Huntzberry pulled the wheel to the right, driving onto a small dirt rise and overturning.

— Cindy Swirko


Three people named as girl’s parents in S. Florida

MIAMI — Three people — a gay man and two lesbians — are all named as parents on a 23-month-old girl’s birth certificate in South Florida.

The Miami Herald reports that Maria Italiano and Cher Filippazzo, who married in Connecticut, approached Massimiliano Gerina as a sperm donor several years ago following unsuccessful attempts to become pregnant through a professional clinic. Gerina gave the women his sperm, and Italiano conceived.

The couple had planned for Filippazzo to adopt the baby. Sperm donors have no legal rights under Florida law, but Gerina argued that the women claimed they wanted a father for the baby, not just a sperm donor.

Nearly two years of legal battling ended last month when Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Antonio Marin approved a settlement and private adoption that listed all three parents on the child’s birth certificate.

— The Associated Press

Consumer advocate will appeal FPL rate increase

TALLAHASSEE — The state’s consumer advocate is appealing a base rate increase for Florida Power & Light Co. that could add nearly $10 to average monthly bills over the next four years.

Public Counsel J.R. Kelly filed a notice on Thursday that he will appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.

Kelly is challenging the Public Service Commission’s approval of a settlement between the utility and groups representing commercial and federal government customers.

A key issue is whether Kelly’s office, which represents all consumers, must be a party to any such agreement. It was the first time the commission has approved a settlement without the public counsel’s participation.

Kelly contends it’s a bad deal for most of FPL’s 4.6 million customers in South Florida and along the east coast.

— The Associated Press

Boater goes missing near Intracoastal Waterway

NEW SMYRNA BEACH — Authorities are searching for a Central Florida man who went missing after going fishing near the Intracoastal Waterway in New Smyrna Beach.

Police say the search for 48-year-old Bernardo Enrique Rubio Hernandez began Wednesday night after family members became worried. Hernandez had left his Apopka home early that morning and launched his boat in New Smyrna Beach. He was supposed to return that afternoon.

Hernandez’s vehicle and boat trailer were found near the public ramp.

— The Associated Press

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