More motorcyclists die in traffic crashes in Florida than any other state in the nation, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Pinellas County ranks fifth in the number of fatality crashes among the state’s 67 counties.
NHTSA statistics show a 30 percent increase in deaths in 2015, making it a record year. Motorcyclists accounted for 20 percent of the state’s motor vehicle fatalities that year; however, they accounted for only 3 percent of registered vehicles.
MADEIRA BEACH - Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives arrested a registered sex offender about 1 p.m. March 27 after he reportedly exposed himself and performed a sexual act in front of a 12-year-old child in Madeira Beach.
Detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit began investigating the incident after receiving a report about the incident that occurred about 7:30 a.m. March 23 near a school bus stop.
Detectives say the boy was waiting for his bus to pick him up for school, when he observed a male subject sitting on a park bench across the street. The subject had his pants down around his ankles and he was performing an inappropriate sexual act while exposing himself.
SEMINOLE - Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives are seeking the public's assistance identifying a grand theft suspect who stole approximately $2,000 worth of merchandise about 7:30 p.m. March 15 from Stein Mart, 7967 113th St. N. in Seminole.
The merchandise included Michael Kors purses, various perfumes, and clothing items.
According to detectives assigned to the Burglary/Pawn Unit, the suspect walked in the store and placed various items in his shopping cart, before making his way towards the front of the store. The suspect was then observed on surveillance video walking past the cashier counter, carrying the store merchandise and setting off the security sensors as he exited the store.
PALM HARBOR - Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives arrested a Palm Harbor man March 9 for four counts of lewd and lascivious battery and one count of lewd or lascivious molestation of a 12-year-old female.
According to detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit, their investigation began Feb. 12, after the parent of the 12-year-old victim found sexually explicit messages on the child's computer device. The parent notified the authorities.
When interviewed, the victim told detectives that she had inappropriate sexual activity with Terrence Rosenow, 47, on multiple occasions between Jan. 19 and Jan. 25. Detectives say that the victim was known to Rosenow.
ST. PETERSBURG - An employee of an assisted living facility in unincorporated St. Petersburg was charged with one count of video voyeurism and video voyeurism dissemination March 22.
According to a press release from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Alexis Gloria Rebecca Williams, 20, of St. Petersburg video recorded two adult residents having sexual relations without their knowledge, and posted the video on social media.
The victims are an 81-year-old female and a 59-year-old male. The crimes occurred Aug. 1, 2016, at Bristol Court Assisted Living Facility, located at 3479 54th Avenue North, in unincorporated St. Petersburg. Williams was employed as a medical assistant at the facility.
ST. PETE BEACH - A boater found the body of an adult male about 6:25 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, floating in Bunces Pass, just south of Shell Key Preserve. Pinellas County Sheriff's Marine Unit deputies have identified as that of 21-year-old Jie Luo.
Lou and Andrew Dillman were reported missing March 14 after they jumped off a vessel near the north end of Shelly Key.
EGMONT KEY - The body of a man who jumped off a vessel to try to save a Colorado State University student was discovered about 3 miles west of Egmont Key Monday afternoon.
Pinellas County Sheriff’s office announced that the body found about 2 p.m. had been identified as that of Andrew Charles Dillman, 27, from New York. Dillman was the first mate on at 71-foot Sea Ray vessel named “Jaguar.”
Dillman jumped into the water March 14 to try to rescue Jie Luo, 21, from China, who had been with a group of 15 Chinese students who chartered a cruise on the boat as part of a spring break trip.
LARGO - A 53-year-old Pinellas Park man died at the scene of a crash about 2:33 a.m. March 17 that occurred on northbound U.S. 19 near Ulmerton Road in Largo.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Eric Babcock, 29, of Clearwater was driving a 2016 Toyota Corolla northbound in the center lane of U.S. 19 approaching Ulmerton Road. James Anthony Speaks, 53, of Pinellas Park was walking westbound across the northbound lanes of U.S. 19.
ST. PETERSBURG - A Pinellas County jail inmate serving a life sentence for a 1997 murder died at a local hospital about 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 15.
Detectives are investigating the death that they say does not appear to be suspicious. Larry B. Rowe, 38, was being held in the medical housing unit at the jail in Clearwater. He was found unresponsive in his cell about 9:50 a.m. March 12. Detention deputies and medical staff rendered aid before paramedics transported the man to Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg.
PINELLAS PARK - A gun deal that went awry seems to be the crux of a March 14 shooting that injured a 17-year-old in Pinellas Park.
Pinellas Park police reported that the shooting of the unidentified 17-year-old male occurred about 10:30 p.m. in a parking lot at 5170 Park Blvd. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment of serious injuries, police said in a press release.
An overnight investigation revealed a number of details in connection with the shooting and a 20-year-old Pinellas Park man came forward and admitted to his part in the incident. Ryan Marcus Cardwell was charged with attempted homicide and shooting a deadly missile into an occupied vehicle. He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail. Bail was set at $60,000.
ST. PETE BEACH -The Coast Guard and partner agencies, including the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, continue their search for two males missing near the Pass-a-Grille channel entrance.
Missing are Andrew Dillman, 27, from New York, and Jie Lou, 21, from China, according to a press release from the Coast Guard.
Coast Guard crews and partner agencies have conducted 22 searches over 419 square miles.
"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Andrew and Jie during this difficult time," said Lt. Jason Holstead, the command duty officer at Sector St. Petersburg. "We continue work closely with our partners to search for Andrew and Jie, all of us have them and their family in our thoughts and prayers."
OLDSMAR - Florida Highway Patrol arrested an 18-year-old from Pinellas Park March 15 in connection with a fatality crash with multiple injuries that occurred about 12:58 a.m. March 11 on North McMullen Booth Road in Oldsmar.
Troopers arrested Donavan L. Patterson after he was released from Tampa General. He was charged with DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and several counts of DUI involving serious injury.
Patterson was driving a 2008 Dodge Caliber traveling southbound on North McMullen Booth Road (County Road-611) approaching the intersection of Curlew Road just before the crash occurred. Dalton A. Cox, 22, of Clearwater was driving a 2003 Ford F-250 traveling eastbound in the left turn lane of Curlew Road approaching North McMullen Booth Road.