CLEARWATER – Detention deputies discovered an inmate hanging in a single-person cell in the maximum security section of the Pinellas County Jail about 3:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 14.
Detention deputies called medical staff and fire rescue, but efforts to revive the inmate were unsuccessful, according to a sheriff’s report. Larry Kobielnik, 37, was pronounced dead at the jail.
Sheriff’s Homicide Detectives and the Administrative Investigation Division are investigating the death, per agency policy and procedure.
Kobielnik was convicted Aug. 13 on charges of sexual battery and falsely personating an officer. His sentencing hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 14. Kobielnik was accused of kidnapping and sexual battery after picking up a woman in Clearwater about 2:30 a.m. July 26 and taking her to a private residence in Dunedin.
According to Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives, the unidentified victim was walking in the area of Gulf to Bay Boulevard and Highlands Avenue in Clearwater when the suspect approached her in his vehicle. The suspect asked the victim if she needed a ride and she got in his vehicle.
After traveling a few blocks, the victim asked the suspect to stop the vehicle. Kobielnik reportedly refused to stop. He then showed the victim a handgun and a police badge, stating the victim was under arrest. The suspect continued driving to a house in Dunedin where he then sexually battered the victim.
The victim was held in the house for several hours until the suspect fell asleep and she was able to escape. Upon her leaving the house, the victim was able to get the vehicle’s tag number, which she provided to detectives.
Kobielnik denied the allegations when he was interviewed by detectives.