Crime

Tampa hotel fire causes $1M in damage

TAMPA — Officials estimate that a fire at a Tampa-area hotel has caused more than $1 million in damage.

That’s according to Tampa Fire Rescue, which stated in a news release that Sunday’s fire at the Chase Suite Hotel was under control in about 35 minutes. No one was injured in the blaze, but four units were damaged by fire and smoke, and two units had water damage.

About 50 people had to be evacuated because of the incident. Authorities were working to determine the cause of fire.

Man arrested, suspected of kidnapping grandmother

TAMPA — Authorities have arrested a 21-year-old man who is accused of kidnapping his grandmother and threatening her with a knife.

According to a news release, the St. Petersburg Police Department arrested Tashard Shacario Reshea Dickens on Saturday. He faces a kidnapping and aggravated-battery charge and was being held on $200,000 bond.

Police say Dickens was supposed to pick up 64-year-old Irene Campbell from her work Friday. When he arrived, however, Dickens took out a knife and told Campbell they were not returning home.

Campbell drove with Dickens for hours before he exited the car and the ordeal ended.

Remains found inside Fort Myers home

FORT MYERS — Lee County authorities say skeletal remains were discovered in a Fort Myers home.

According to a news release, a deputy was called to the house June 4 to check on a resident. The deputy found that the 61-year-old female resident was living in poor conditions and an investigator from the Florida Department of Children and Families was assigned to the case.

The sheriff’s office was also trying to locate the woman’s mother. Detectives searched the home and discovered the remains, which have been released to a medical examiner. Authorities will now try to identify the remains and determine a cause of death.

Authorities don’t suspect foul play.

Pedestrian killed in hit-and-run crash

WEST PALM BEACH — Authorities are searching for the driver of an SUV that was involved in a fatal hit-and-run collision with a pedestrian in Palm Beach County.

According to the sheriff’s office, 24-year-old Samuel A. Castro, of Greenacres, was cross- ing a road Saturday morning when he was struck by the SUV.

The vehicle initially stopped after the crash, but then fled the scene when other witnesses also stopped.

Man found hiding in ceiling of Tampa pharmacy

TAMPA — Hillsborough County authorities believe a man found hiding in the ceiling of a Tampa pharmacy was trying to steal painkillers from the business.

According to the sheriff’s office, the man was taken to a Tampa hospital after he was located in the ceiling. It appeared that he had cut his wrist while trying to leave the pharmacy through a window.

Investigators say the man first climbed into a vent and mistakenly entered an insurance company next to the pharmacy. He then climbed back into the ceiling and took some drugs from the pharmacy.

Deputies arrived on the scene after an alarm was triggered.

Collier County suspect leaves phone at crime scene

NAPLES — The Collier County Sheriff’s Office says an 18-year-old suspected of burglarizing unlocked cars left her cell phone behind at one of the crime scenes.

Amanda Minerva Gallegos and 22-year-old Jessie Cervantez both face several charges, including petty theft, criminal mischief and multiple counts of burglary of an unoccupied conveyance. Gallegos was being held on $127,500 bond, while Cervantez was being held on $220,000 bond.

According to an arrest report, Gallegos left her cell phone in a car that that was broken into. Authorities believe the pair targeted several unlocked vehicles late last month.

Children hurt when van crashes in Hardee County

ZOLFO SPRINGS — The Florida Highway Patrol says an 8-year-old was critically injured and two more children were treated for serious injuries following a single-vehicle crash in Hardee County.

According to FHP, 30-year-old Yazman Martinez lost control of a van Sunday morning. The van left the roadway then collided with a guardrail twice. Two passengers in the van — an 8-year-old and a 6-year-old — were thrown from the vehicle. The van eventually came to a stop on a grassy shoulder of the roadway.

The 8-year-old, 6-year-old and 1-year-old child were airlifted to a Tampa hospital.

Search continues for suspect in Broward shooting

POMPANO BEACH — The Broward Sheriff’s Office says a suspect who they thought had barricaded himself inside a Pompano Beach home wasn’t in the residence.

According to a sheriff’s office news release, authorities entered the house Sunday morning but didn’t find the suspect.

The man who was believed to be inside the home is the suspect in a shooting that left two men injured.

Both victims were taken to a local hospital, where one was treated and released. The second victim was hospitalized in serious condition.

— Herald wire services

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