Around the region for June 22, 2013


Published: Friday, June 21, 2013 at 10:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 21, 2013 at 9:06 p.m.

POLICE BEAT

Man arrested in home invasion case

A Gainesville man was arrested Thursday on a robbery charge related to a May 31 home invasion of a southwest Gainesville apartment, according to an arrest report.

Charged with home invasion robbery with a firearm was Shawn Jones, 21, of 104 SE 44th St., the Gainesville Police Department reported.

The incident occurred about 12:15 a.m. at the Cabana Beach apartment complex at 1601 SW 51st Terrace. Two victims reported that three people came into the apartment and robbed them of marijuana, a wallet and a cellphone.

One of the victims recognized one of the culprits as Jahmere Webb, 20, of Gainesville. He was arrested earlier on a robbery charge in the case. Police developed Jones as a suspect after one of the victims, who got a new cellphone, began getting text messages from someone trying to contact “Shawn.”

Jones was arrested Thursday morning and remained jailed Friday in lieu of $300,000 bond.

— Cindy Swirko

STATE

FAU reinstates instructor in Jesus-stomp incident

BOCA RATON — Florida Atlantic University reinstated an instructor who had students stomp on pieces of paper with “Jesus” written on them as part of a lesson.

The school announced Friday that 32-year-old Deandre Poole would return to teach summer classes, as well as the next academic year. The Palm Beach Post reported that he will only teach online through the rest of 2013 because of safety concerns. Officials said in March that he would be placed on paid administrative leave for safety reasons and to prevent disruption of the university’s activities.

News of the lesson provoked a strong reaction. Poole previously said that the point of the lesson was to show the power of words, not denigrate Christianity.

— The Associated Press

Man charged with having gun in his carry-on bag

WEST PALM BEACH — A South Florida man is facing charges after officials reported finding a gun inside his carry-on bag at Palm Beach International Airport.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office reported that 26-year-old Mario Rene Girard Romero was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed firearm Thursday after screeners found an unloaded Sig Sauer P 226, plus a magazine with 10 rounds of 9 mm ammunition. He was released Friday on $4,500 bail.

The gun was reportedly found inside Romero’s computer bag, which was stored inside his carry-on luggage. The Palm Beach Post reported that Romero told officials he forgot to remove the firearm because he was rushing to get to the airport.

Guns are allowed to be transported in checked luggage as long as they’re declared and properly stored. But federal regulations prohibit guns in carry-on bags.

— The Associated Press

DCF recruits 1,200 new foster parents

TALLAHASEE — Hundreds of new homes are now open to Florida foster children.

Florida child welfare officials have met their goal of recruiting 1,200 new foster parents in the past fiscal year.

Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins plans to make the announcement today at the state’s foster adoptive parent conference.

Wilkins said he never dreamed that so many people would respond so quickly.

The recruitment was part of a statewide effort to not only find more foster parents, but to also find more qualified ones.

The agency also launched a directory app that lists nearly 200 organizations that have signed up to be foster family friendly. The businesses are offering things like discounts for services, donations including food, supplies and even meeting space. The app is available at fosteringflorida.com/app.

— The Associated Press

Pilot, 75, OK after his small plane crashes

POMPANO BEACH — A 75-year-old pilot is safe after his small plane crashed in an alleyway near Dixie Highway in Pompano Beach.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office reported that the 2013 Beachcraft plane went down about 6:23 a.m. Friday, clipping some power lines on the way down.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Sandra King said the pilot has 35 years of experience flying planes. He was walking around when firefighters arrived at the scene. Rescue workers took him to Broward Health North as a precaution.

Pompano Beach Fire Rescue was working on a fuel leak from the plane.

No injuries were reported on the ground.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

— The Associated Press

Tampa man accused of fleeing with baby

TAMPA — Police said a Tampa man armed with a knife pushed his way into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment, stabbed her new boyfriend and took off with his 4-month-old son.

The incident unfolded Thursday night in Tampa. Police said Jainese Cruz heard a knock at the door. When she began to open it, her former boyfriend, Jorge Torres, forced his way into the apartment and demanded the baby.

That’s when new boyfriend Alexander Santiago stood up. Police said Torres stabbed Santiago in the upper portion of his back, grabbed the baby and fled.

Cruz and her family gave police every address they had for Torres.

Officers finally located him. About the same time, members of the Cruz family arrived and began punching Torres.

The baby was returned unharmed to his mother.

Torres faces multiple charges, including interference with child custody, battery and burglary.

Santiago was treated for his wounds.

— The Associated Press

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