OMG PD: Polite Robber Knocks First, 93-Year-Old Hits Deputy, Fire Captain Arrested – Again

We compile the odd, weird and ‘oh my gosh’ police news from throughout the Tampa Bay region. In Florida, there's no shortage.

Police news can often impact, or at least interest, surrounding communities. OMG PD is an occasional feature that examines the "oh my gosh!" stories from beyond New Tampa.

Robber Knocks First Before Forcing His Way Into Home

A homeowner made the mistake of answering her door last week without knowing first who had just knocked.

According to the Bradenton Patch, Teresa K. Lindsey, of the 4300 block of Fairfax Drive, heard the knock at her door shortly after 9 p.m.

She looked out and when she didn't see anyone so she opened the door.

A suspect stepped into her view and forced his way into the residence. The man, described as between 5-feet-six-inches to 5-feet-8-inches tall and 150 to 165 pounds, demanded money and other items. Lindsey gave him what she had and the man forced her into her bedroom closet before running away.

93-Year-Old SUV Driver Charged After Hitting Deputy

Maybe the sun was in her eyes, but 93-year-old Fern Botdorf said she did not see a Pasco County deputy flagging traffic in the road, when she struck the officer with her 2011 Dodge.

Botdorf of Mansfield, Ohio, was charged with failure to use due care and driving around a detour with police cars following a separate crash on State Road 54 at Wiggins Drive, according to the New Port Richey Patch.

Botdorf, a highway patrol report said, failed to see Deputy Raymond Meddaugh, 44, and struck his leg with her vehicle. Meddaugh was taken to the Medical Center of Trinity with minor injuries.

Pasco Fire Captain 'Relieved of Duty' After His Second Arrest

Pasco County leaders say they're doing their best to make sure "personnel are fit for duty," after a fire rescue captain was arrested a second time, according to the New Port Richey Patch.

Capt. David Garofalo has “been relieved of duty until such time as he’s been cleared (of charges),” said Assistant Chief Cynthia Holland.

Garofalo, 36, was arrested Dec. 15. He is accused of beating his girlfriend in the parking lot of a bar in Punta Gorda, according to the Herald Tribune.

“Witnesses inside the bar Saturday night heard the woman scream, ‘Help me! Get him off me! Help,’” the Herald Tribune reported.

Garofalo was also arrested in Indianapolis, Ind., in May on a DUI charge. Pasco County Fire Rescue had placed him on restricted duty following that arrest, Holland said.

Three car dealerships were hit by thieves who aren't taking the vehicle but stealing something that's under the hood, according to the St. Pete Patch.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Detectives are seeking the public's assistance in identifying a subject caught on video surveillance stealing catalytic converters.

According to deputies, the most recent incident occurred at Import Auto's, 4550 34th St. N. Similar incidents occurred at various other dealerships between Sept. 25 and Oct. 5, deputies said.

Three auto dealerships have been the victim of thieves stealing catalytic converters from vehicles in the dealer's lots.

Hammer-Wielding Assailant Strikes Neighbor

A hammer-wielding suspect faces a murder charge, after he allegedly pounded his neighbor on the head multiple times, according to the Brandon Patch.

Jarrett Kyle Brooks, 27, of Thonotosassa, reportedly struck his neighbor, Jonathan Acree, 48, while the victim was standing in his front yard talking to a friend.

According to the sheriff's report, "Brooks approached Acree from behind and struck Acree in the head and neck multiple times with a hammer." Brooks then fled to his residence, "where he barricaded himself and refused to surrender to deputies."

The two lived in the same trailer park. Deputies shot "chemical agents ...into the residence and within several minutes Brooks walked out of his residence and surrendered."


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