The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 25, 1998 · Page 18
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March 25, 1998

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 18

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Wednesday, March 25, 1998
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Page 18
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.,,iyit "' 'w 1 r'f f ''" I 2B THE PALM BEACH POST WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 1998 Shooting by nightclub bouncer is ruled justified PALM BEACH INTERACTIVE ( to 20 stories from 56 area communities at www.CoPBI.comYourToum Tony Masilotti said he was not surprised by the grand jury's decision. "I don't think you can argue that it wasn't justifiable," he said. In a phone call to Royal Palm police after the shooting, Masilotti requested police leave a parked car outside the bar's doors until patrons stopped coming to the nightclub. That action was never taken, but bar owners had to submit a security plan to village officials that would help prevent shootings in the future. he was awakened and threw punches at people around him, Palm Beach Sheriffs Office spokesman Paul Miller said after the incident Bouncers took Austen out to the parking lot, and the gun battle started when he pulled a gun from his car. He shot first, wounding a bar patron and one of the owners, then was shot in the leg and side four times by Ray-field with a .40 caliber Glock semiautomatic handgun, Miller said. Royal Palm Beach Mayor By Matt Mossman Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH A Palm Beach County grand jury decided Tuesday that nightclub bouncer David Rayfield used justifiable force in the shooting death of Sean Austen Jan. 3 outside the New Rhinestones country music bar. The gunfight started about 3 a.m. Austen was leaning against a wall napping at New Rhinestones, 500 Plaza Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach. Austen became angry when Paglia to be new face on council v. ,i .. - . . - ; .. . v . . , swimming pool to rent each summer, Paglia wants the village to buy the Wellington Club East the location of the only 50-meter pool in the western communities. It would provide a place for senior and teen activities, Paglia said, and could be shared with Royal Palm Beach. Both villages are now negotiating with the club owner to rent the pool for the summer. "I'm just going to try to be a good councilman to the youth, to the average families, to seniors and those of us who are key business people who are the economic thrust of the village," he said. By Africa Ragland Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WELLINGTON Al Paglia beat Bill Tyson with 54. 16 percent of the votes Tuesday to become the village's newest councilman. Paglia and Tyson competed for Seat 2 after both defeated incumbent Michael McDonough in the March 10 regular election. Just over 11 percent of the voters turned out. "I'm going to stick to my mission statement and keep an open-door policy to all those who have supported me," Paglia said. "I hope to live up to all the Paglia, who ran unsuccessfully against McDonough in the 1996 election, emphasized several major concerns: Drafting the village's land-use plans to promote controlled growth, public safety, purchase of the Wellington Club East and a quick transfer of power from First Wellington to the village. A contract administrator for the school district, Paglia wants the village to have its own police department within the next five years, although he said "Right now, the (sheriffs department) is very sufficient." Rather than struggle to find a .'- ' 4 Baby killed after mom crashes van fleeing police BILL INGRAMStaff Photographer A 23-foot Nova motorboat was run ashore about 6:30 p.m. Monday night behind the Briny Breezes clubhouse on SR A1A, Florida Marine Patrol officials said. FMP said they don't know how many people were on the boat or who they were. The boat, registered in the Bahamas, had been anchored to land. Officials learned Tuesday afternoon that it had been reported stolen in the Bahamas Tuesday, said Briny Breezes Manager Don Faron. At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Briny Breezes had SeaTow pull it away. The pursuit ended tecause the officer doesn't want to endanger the driver's life or anyone else's just for a traffic stop.' LT. PEMBROOK BURROWS Florida Highway Patrol doesn't want to endanger the driver's life or anyone else's just for a traffic stop," Burrows said. Troopers had not yet completed calculations to determine how fast the car was traveling. Pena lost control of the Chevrolet van on a curve and crashed north of Inlet Cay Drive, north of the public beach. Burrows said the van went off the west side of the road, hit two trees and spun, throwing Pena from the driver's seat, landing on top of her. Andrews came around the corner, saw what had happened and called for help, a neighbor said. Within minutes, the front of the car was in flames. No charges were filed Tuesday. Burrows said FHP would refer the case to the state attorney's office. By Monika Gonzalez Palm Beach Post Staff Writer OCEAN RIDGE A 1-year-old girl was killed and her mother injured in a fiery wreck Tuesday shortly after a police officer stopped pursuing their speeding van for running a red light, officials said. Wendy Susan Pena, 25, of Delray Beach, was in critical condition at Delray Medical Center after firefighters had to lift the van off of her crushed body after the 2:50 a.m. crash. Pena's daughter, Imar Rivera, 'who appeared to have been thrown from her car seat into the front seat of the car, died at the scene. Authorities said it was unclear whether the toddler died from the impact, the smoke or the flames that engulfed the front of the van. Florida Highway Patrol troopers said Pena was heading faces three grand theft charges and one charge of exploitation of the elderly. Police said Perez borrowed $23,000 from his landlady, Vivian Newton; $28,500 from Marann Zimmerman, and about $7,000 from Carol Santoiemma. He kept all but $5,000, police said. Perez is being held in the St. Lucie County jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. Police ask anyone else who may have been a victim of Perez to call Detective Todd Schrader at 871-5230. WEST PALM BEACH Two separate drive-by shootings Tuesday afternoon left five men wounded, police said. In the first incident, men in a red car opened fire about 4 p.m. on three men at Ninth Street and Douglass Avenue. The victims, who drove themselves to Good Samaritan Medical Center, were in good condition. About 45 minutes later, two men in a white car were shot at from an automatic weapon in another vehicle at 25th Street and Tamarind Avenue. They were in serious condition at Good Samaritan. Names "were not released. north on State Road A1A when Ocean Ridge police Sgt. Michael Andrews saw her run the red light at Cordova Avenue, at the south end of town. Andrews tried to pull her over, but Pena's van was speeding so fast, he decided it was safer to turn off his lights and stop pursuing her, FHP Lt. Pembrook Burrows said. "That's because the officer WEST PALM BEACH The city commission Monday approved the appointment of two new members to the West Palm Beach Housing Authority's board. Kenneth Hawthorne, owner of an employment agency, and Scott Bade-sch, executive director of United Way West Palm Beach, were approved after two finalists, Otelia DuBose and Alan Levine, withdrew. The volunteer positions were left open late last year after Vice Chairman Steven Newburgh and Chairman Malachi Knowles quit. WEST PALM BEACH Despite protests by residents, city commissioners refused Monday to close 39th Street at Australian Avenue near the Middle School of the Arts. The request was made in 1995 by property owners Donald Werb and Thomas Raymond, shortly before the commission put a two-year end to street closures. When the two-year period ended, Werb asked the city again to close the street because, he said, an enormous amount of traffic uses the street as a shortcut. But parents wanted the street open so they could drive their children to school. The vote was 3-2; Commissioners Joel Daves and Howard Warshauer voted to close the street. Barry University will begin the first of a series of courses on WXEL-TV in July that will enable viewers to obtain a bachelor's degree in liberal studies. The first course, consisting of 10 televised programs of 60 minutes each, will be on American poetry. Students will consult with the instructor through e-mail or telephone and take tests at Barry's site in Boynton Beach or the main campus in Miami Shor.es. The cost for the three-credit course is $215 per credit, the same as for regular classes. Barry, which took over WXEL last fall, said four additional television classes will be added in the fall. For information, call (800) 945-2279. Ex-wife heard vow to fix DUI charge Butler will not be allowed to present facts not already in evidence, but can argue his case during closing arguments without subjecting himself c to cross-examination. Despite weeks of consultations with the White House, the Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies canceled an expected news conference and had no announcements Tuesday on how they plan to ease abnormally high water levels in the Everglades. Options include steering water into the habitat of the endangered Cape Sable seaside sparrow possibly driving it to extinction or putting the water onto private land in the northeast corner of Everglades National Park. BUTLER From IB tions for Butler's failed 1996 campaign for state attorney after Butler promised that he would take care of Baber's 1995 DUI manslaughter case if elected. Snow, divorced from Baber last week, testified that she frequently heard her ex-husband discussing the campaign with Butler and also heard Butler explain that he "would be able to get (Baber) off." his criminal case. During cross-examination Snow also said her husband did talk about fleeing to Costa Rica but changed his mind after visiting the country in 1996. Snow also said she was angry with Butler because he had discouraged Baber from going to a residential alcohol treatment J center in the summer of 1996, saying it would do him no good in Lawyer says money taken by mistake The Supreme Court has rejected a Florida woman's appeal by West Palm Beach attorney Elliot Shaw and let stand the state laws against prostitution. The justices, without comment on Monday, turned away arguments that the laws violate what a former call girl's appeal called her constitutionally protected right to have sex for pay. The appeal was filed on behalf of a woman identified as Jane Roe II. "Jane Roe" was the pseudonym used by the woman whose lawsuit resulted in the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade ruling that in 1973 banned states from outlawing most abortions. WELLINGTON Eastbound traffic will be switched to the new roadway at 11 a.m. Thursday on South Shore Boulevard from Green-view Shores Boulevard to Big Blue Trace, Palm Beach County's Traffic Division announced. South Shore is being widened to four lanes from two. Westbound traffic will remain in its current configuration and no lane closures are scheduled. end of the day, the port got its money. It might not be sweet and tied in a neat package, but the port got its money." Port Commissioner Brown said Tuesday he intends to report Cook's actions to the Florida Bar. J.R. Phelps, a director with the Florida Bar in Tallahassee, said it is against Bar rules for lawyers to commingle their office accounts with trust funds, which contain clients' money. The penalty for such action ranges from disbarment to an order to attend a one-day class on legal ethics, depending on whether the action was intentional or simply a mistake, he said. obtained Tuesday. "Why did you do that? It was our money!" said Mastics. "I've never done that in my life as a lawyer for 43 years." "It was done in error. It was not stolen money," said Cook, who has a private law practice in North Palm Beach. The two other port commissioners, Blair Ciklin and Steven Schwack, came to Cook's defense, but they were not able to change the minds of the other three commissioners. "I think (Cook's) reputation in this community far, far outweighs these little problems that we've had here," said Schwack. "At the PORT From IB "There are requirements that lawyers must follow to (safeguard) the property of their clients, to maintain trust accounts, and to follow the law," said Mastics, a Palm Beach lawyer. "I don t fathom how Bob would do this." Mastics and the two other commissioners confronted Cook about the money Thursday at a meeting and forced him to admit that he broke the Florida Bar's rules concerning trust funds when he closed the account on Jan. 30. The meeting tapes were RIVIERA BEACH A John F. Kennedy Middle School band teacher was charged Tuesday with four more counts of lewd assault after LAKE WORTH Teachers at Lake Worth Middle School have helped open a benefit fund for a student still hospitalized more than a month after being hit by a car. Sixth-grader Elizabeth Echevarria, 12, is in a coma at SL Mary's Medical Center. Echevarria was hit at Forest Hill Boulevard and Florida Mango Road at about 9:30 p.m. Feb. 14. Donations may be sent to First Bank of Florida. Benefit Fund for Elizabeth chevarria, 2950 10th Ave. N., Lake Worth. Fla., 33461. four more girls, ages 13-15, told police he fondled them, police Detective Pat Galliian said. Maurice E. LeTlore. 22. of 1258 W. 26th Court, was charged Monday with four counts of lewd assault on four other teen girls, Galligan said. The girls said the incidents happened in Le Flore's office or in the band room, police said. Le Official: Past performance, city's economic growth made difference Leflore John F. Burke Jr., 38, of West Palm Beach was in critical condition Tuesday after he blacked out during a bad coughing spell and crashed into a tree along Florida's Turnpike, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Burke, of 1302 Meadowbrook Drive, was driving south 4 miles south of Jupiter when he lost control of his 1997 Ford at 6:05 p in. Monday. He was hospitalized at St. Mary's Medical Center. Burke w as not wearing his seat belt, troopers said. Flore has been suspended with pay by the Palm Beach County school district He is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail on $40,000 bond. PORT ST. LUCIE PoKce nave added two grand theft charges against a Port St. Lucie man they say has bilked city women out of about $i0.0i0. The new charges stem from the discovery of additional victims, police say. Lominic Perez. 22. a!io known as Mike Rocco, was arrested Tuesday morning. He town," he said. Egly said he wasn't sure whether he would enter politics again. "Right now, it doesn't feel real comfortable," Egly said. "I'm going to have to step back and take a look at it, but I will stay involved in the community." McKinnon. a former Lake Worth coach and athletic director. LAKE WORTH From IB McKinnon. meanwhile, took 58 percent of the vote to Coonerty's 42 percent Clager said Lake Worth's economic growth made the difference. "I think the voters looked at the past pt rformance over the last five years. I helped rescue the celebrated with Clager at a party with friends. "This is probably the biggest moment of my life," he said. "It's humbling to think that I'm going to represent 30,000 people." Coonerty couldn't be reached. Commissioners serve two-year terms and are paid $4,200. plus $5,000 in expenses. 4

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