Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida on April 30, 1996 · 14
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Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida · 14

St. Petersburg, Florida
Issue Date:
Tuesday, April 30, 1996
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4B TIMES TUESDAY, APRIL 30, 1996 LOCAL NEWS TV show leads to sraaBi's aeresft Delaware police say they have a suspect in custody who escaped from a Pasco sheriffs van on Jan. 11, 1995. He is wanted in connection with a slaying. By JEFFREY BRAINARD Timet Staff Writar The man led a quiet life in a peaceful Delaware mobile home park, living with a woman who didn't know his secret past. A neighbor began to wonder about he man after she watched a Feb. 9 ' de of NBC's Unsolved Mysteries. bought he looked a lot like Albert ion Fletcher, who the show said was wanted in a Florida slaying. It wasn't until Monday, though, that the neighbor was sure enough to phone in an anonymous tip to the Delaware State Police. And after two detectives wrestled the man to the floor in the mobile home park office, he admitted he was the same Albert Leon Fletcher who es caped from a sheriffs van outside the Pasco County Courthouse in Dade City on Jan. 11, 1995, police said. Fletcher, now 26, was facing the death penalty in the April 1993 killing of a Lakeland man during a botched robbery. He eluded a search since then, in part with the help of family and friends who gave him money and helped him buy a car, police said. On Monday, he told Delaware police he drifted north in early 1995, stopping in their state when he met a female friend. He moved in with her in the Holly Hill Mobile Home Park outside Smyrna, Del., population 5,000. There Fletcher lived under an alias, worked maintenance jobs and didn't cause any problems, said Defective Ronald Durham of the Delaware State Police. "He didn't want to draw attention to himself," Durham said. Fletcher was identified through his fingerprints. During an interrogation, he did not say whether he would fight extradition to Florida, Durham said. His friend will not be charged because she was unaware of Fletcher's past, Durham said. Fletcher escaped in Dade City in January 1995 after picking the locks on his handcuffs and leg shackles while a Sheriffs Office van traveled from the county jail in Land O'Lakes to court. He was about to stand trial on armed burglary charges in Pasco. He had already been convicted and sentenced to 17 years in another burglary. The burglary, police said, was part of a series of crimes that ended with a killing in Lakeland. In April 1993, Fletcher and his cousin, Doug Porter of Lakeland, were charged in the slaying of Nelson Medina Oliveras. Porter was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without chance of parole for 25 years. Porter identified Fletcher as the trigger man. Fletcher's murder trial was to have begun in July. Before Fletcher's escape, the Pasco Sheriff's Office received a tip he would make a break for it. Afterward, three sheriff's deputies were suspended for moving him without enough manpower and not properly securing him with restraints. !i v.., '' y Albert Leon Fletcher was facing a murder trial after a botched robbery when he escaped. Largo dentist accused of selling prescriptions By MIKE JACKSON Timet SlaffVWter LARGO A dentist was arrested Monday on five felony charges alleging that he sold narcotics to an undercover officer this month. Rlaine Au gust Alleman, 55, sold five prescriptions for $100 each from his home at 225 Country Club Drive, No. Pinellas County Jail records say. Largo police got a tip from the coun-tywide Narcotics Task Force that Alleman would sell pre- 3 - Dentist Blaine August Alleman faces five drug counts. rrinfinns for the oainkillers, Largo police said in a news release. The officer went to Alleman's home on April 18, then again April 23, jail records said. The officer bought three pre- scriptions for 30 tablets of Vicodiri a prescription for 12 tablets of Dh laudid and a prescription for 12 tab lets of Percodan, jail records said. All three are narcotics pre? :l .At- scrioea ior pain. During the visits to Alleman's, home, the undercover officer never complained to the dentist about an ailment and wasn't examined, re cords say. Alleman was charged with four counts of trafficking a controlled substance and one count of sale of a controlled substance, records say. He was held in lieu of $410,000 bail Monday night. St. Officers, worried that Alleman would flee, requested the highest bails possible on the charges, records say. ' 1 He was arrested at his office aj 800 East Bay Drive on Monday at, 5:15 p.m., police said. 2 Interfaith effort cleanses Jewish center of graffiti "I'm on a spiritual high," Rabbi David Levin says as hateful symbols are washed away. By JAMALTHAUI Timet Staff Wttter PORT RICHEY Armed with brushes, soap and a pressure sprayer, friends and strangers renewed a Jewish congregation's faith in its community Monday. About 50 people of various denominations gathered in front of the West Pasco Jewish Community Center on Scenic Road to clean up after vandals desecrated the center Friday night. Feces were left in front of the main doorway, and swastikas, Aryan symbols and white power slogans were sprayed in blue and red paint inside the doorway, on windows and on columns near the entrance. "This is unbelievable," said Adelle Spigelman, 67, president of the congregation. "There's just been an outpouring of love and care that has been shown to us by our neighbors, by other churches, by everybody. "I feel that what was done in hate ended up backfiring and bringing this community together." No one has been arrested, center officials said. The Pasco Sheriff's Office is investigating. Students from River Ridge Middle, Hudson Middle, Hudson High and Ridge-wood High pitched in to clean up, as did congregation members, neighbors from nearby West Port, strangers and parishioners of local churches. Pasco County Commissioner Ed Collins was there. Rocky Jordan, 64, rode his Harley-Davidson all the way from Treasure Island to be there. "To have the congregations of other denominations here, to have all these students from different schools here I never expected this," said Rabbi David Levin, 52, who oversees the synagogue inside the center. "We've turned a negative into a very big positive. "I'm on a spiritual high." The SS symbol representing the Schutzstaffel, the elite police and military units of Nazi Germany was the first of the graffito to go. The crowd cheered Levin and the Rev. William Van O'Linda of King of Glory Lutheran Church in New Port Richey as the pair scrubbed the SS symbol off the synagogue's beige wall, leaving behind a blue smudge. Grabbing buckets, brushes and towels, the crowd joined in. Van O'Linda said the need to right a wrong brought him out to the center, along with the concern of his two sons, 14-year-old Matthew and 15-year-old Billy, for the safety of their Jewish friends at River Ridge Middle. "We saw what happened, and we wanted to try and correct it," Van O'Linda said. "And my sons go to school with children from this temple. They wanted their friends to know they care about them." The Rev. Roger Ganzel, 56, pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in Hudson, said his congregation stood against whoever desecrated the synagogue. "We just wanted to support the Jewish community," he said, "and also to demonstrate against this atrocity." The 700' Heritage Tower Urban Entertainment Center Is Going To Change The Way You Look At Downtown Tampa's Skyline Forever , Details About The Project's Specific location, Equity Partners, Hides, Attractions, Restaurants, And Other Information To Be Announced In The Next Few Short Weeks! Heritage Tower Properties, Inc. Pinellas: 813.526.3666 "7 '- Hillsborough: 813.307.9511 ? ' ' """" ' - MrHf fiw ProfrtlM, Inc. to nt.UI.ry ef mull. Imn.thi. feceiwleglet, fee. J ' f I Naturlite Sun Tubes utilize a unioue Mirrored Tube Design to capture ' I " natural outdoor lighting and gently disperse it throughout your home. .?, t Limited Time Offer 1 gTX ! i mi. ,,. j A I I I (hftHA v for 16" length "vj Times photo JACK ROWLAND Rita Economos, top, Sean Abrams, left, Jennifer Leever, center, and Alysia Abrams scrub away graffiti on Monday. Hearing-impaired pupil hopes to send message By NANCY WEIL Timet Staff Writer McCarthy One word always seems to come up when people describe Jimmy McCarthy, the hearing-impaired spelling bee champion who is attracting national attention. "He s really, to use a term from my generation, a neat kid," said Max Ramos, principal of Pine View Middle School in Land O'Lakes. Jimmy. 11, lives in Spring Hill in Hernando County but goes to Pine View in Pasco because it offers a special program for hearing-impaired youngsters. The sixth-grader and his family will travel at the end of May to Washington, D.C., where Jimmy will compete in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. Other hearing-impaired youngsters have competed in the bee, but Jimmy is the first profoundly deaf competitor. With both hearing aids in, he can detect some sound, but not much so he also will be the first competitor to use an interpreter. These firsts have given him a measure of fame. He and his parents were in Hollywood, Calif., last week to tape a segment of the Fox network's Mike & Maty. That show is supposed to air May 24. Jimmy also was interviewed by Channel 8. Everyone has wanted to know how in the world she conveys the words Jimmy must spell without giving them away. "Obviously, I can't spell the word for him, so if there's any sign that can be however loosely related, I use that," says Sea Sanderson, the district interpreter who will work with him at the national bee. "Most of the time, there are no signs for those words, so I have to show the word on my mouth and tell him what it means." Sanderson mouths the words to Jimmy, employing techniques used by sign language interpreters. For instance, he cannot lip-read the letter "L" because making that sound places the tongue behind the teeth and so Jimmy cannot see the letter. To help him know she is sowing him a word with that letter, she deliberately places her tongue in front of her teeth. He won the regional Suncoast Spelling Bee, sponsored by the Times, by correctly spelling "quadrilateral." Sanderson showed him the word on her mouth and made the sign for "four-sided," and Jimmy spelled it correctly. For "malaria," she gave him the signed "mosquito-sickness disease." Sanderson said she wishes that Jimmy would ask the bee judges for definitions more often before launching into the spelling. Though interpreting for him during bees has been a challenge, it hasn't been out of the ordinary. "You have to tell the kids things all of the time in school without giving it away," Mrs. McCarthy said, prompting a nod from Sanderson. Jimmy says he hopes that his participation in the national bee will send a message to other deaf people. "They can do just as much as hearing people can. They are just not trying if they try, they can." NEWS BRIEFS Molester given 10 years' probation TAMPA A former teacher's aide charged with molesting mentally retarded students pleaded guilty to two counts and was sentenced to 10 years of probation Monday. Michael "Big Mike" Bush Hammond Hammond, formerly a teacher's aide at LaVoy Exceptional School, was convicted in 1994 of five charges ranging from sexual battery to a lewd and lascivious act on a child. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but an appeals court ordered a new trial last year, saying the trial judge had made multiple errors. Monday, Hammond agreed to plead guilty to one count of a lewd and lascivious act on a child and one count of sexual battery on a mentally defective person. An earlier attempt to resolve the case prior to trial had fallen through over whether Hammond would be allowed to plead no contest instead of guilty. Lavoy teacher John Michael Conklin, Hammond's former roommate who admitted to bringing young men home for sex, pleaded guilty to charges in 1994 and was sentenced to six years of house arrest. Zoo gets another sick manatee TAMPA Another manatee with Red Tide poisoning has arrived at the Lowry Park Zoo. A. Bokeelia was discovered near the Jug CreekBokeelia area of Lee County late Sunday. Zoo officials have placed a life preserver around his neck because he is so weak he cannot keep his head above water. Officials believe the 790-pound animal is between 4 and 7 years old. Suffering from paralysis, respiratory difficulty and muscle spasms, he remained in critical condition at the zoo Monday and will be monitored around the clock. Of the four other manatees found in Lee County, one has died. Three others are recovering. April Point and A. Gabby are in stable condition at the zoo, eating and swimming on their own. A. Engle-wood is in guarded condition. Man charged in labor camp death WIMAUMA Martin Gonzalez-Diaz was playing cards inside his house early Sunday when he saw a scuffle outside. He abandoned his game and ran to the street to break up the fight, but it cost him his life. Gonzalez-Diaz, 24, died after he was beaten and run over by one of the men, Hillsborough sheriff's officials said. Ramon Alfredo Diaz, 25, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in Gonzalez-Diaz's death. Initially, authorities believed a man had been accidentally hit by a car at his labor camp on U.S. 301 S about 2 a.m., said sheriff's spokesman Jack Espinosa. But after talking with witnesses, they discovered that Gonzalez-Diaz tried to break up the fight between the men when he was killed. After beating him, Diaz, who is no relation to the victim, jumped into his 1978 Ford truck and ran over Gonzalez-Diaz as he lay on the ground. Then, authorities said, he backed over the man. Diaz was held Monday night in the Hillsborough County Jail without bail. PHYSICIANS COMMUNITY HOSPITAL 3030 Sixth Street South, St. Petersburg, FL ENTIRE CONTENTS FORMERLY USED IN THE OPERATION OF THIS 160 BED FACILITY OPENS TUES. 9-6 CONTINUES DAILY 9-6, SUN. 12-5 UNTIL SOLD OUT! FEATURING COMPLETE DEPARTMENTS: GE CT 9600 (6) RADIOLOGY SUITES (2) X-RAY PORTABLES (2) ULTRASOUNDS NUC. MED. SURGICAL MICROSCOPES OPERATING ROOMS PT RT ICU ENDOLAPROARTHRO C.C.U. CARDIO EMERGENCY RM. LABORATORY 160 PATIENT RMS. MORGUE PHARMACY OFFICES DIETARY COMPUTERS 1000's INSTRUMENTS: TRAYS, SETS & POWER TERMS: ALL ITEMS ARE PRICED, TAGGED & SOLD ON A "FIRST COME", "AS IS, WHERE IS" BASIS. PAYMENT BV CASH, VISA, M.C.WIRE TRANSFERS AND GUARANTEED CHECKS ONLY!" CALL: 813-821-4707 FAX: 813-821-4814 NCLNATIONAL CONTENT LIQUIDATORS, INC. 2090 HEWITT AVE., DAYTON, OHIO 45440 "THE PREMIER LIQUIDATION SERVICE TO THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY" WE'VE GOT EXPERTS ON CALL. Get free consumer tius on a variety of tonics by making a quick call today. Phone TimesLine and enter the code for the topic you'd like to hear. EDUCATION 8162 Get Smart: Educational Services EMPLOYMENT 5130 Information on Times Carrier ositions 6015 Bay Area Career Opportunities: Donbar Service Corporation ENTERTAINMENT 8068 Casino Getaway Hotline FAITHLINE 7248 FailliLine: General information from Pinellas County area places of worship. INDOOR POLLUTION CONTROL 4451 Pollutants - Sources, Symptoms, Solutions: Pursley's Indoor Air Care LEGAL 8 1 40 Automobile Accident, Personal Injury & Divorce Hotline: . Carolee K. Hlackmon, PA. (St. Petersburg area) 1818 Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death: John T. lilakely (Clearwater, N. Pinellas, S. Pasco, Tampa area) MEDICAL US3 8200 6018 8468 8221 8224 8245 8890 8081 8891 8351 REAL ESTATE 8989 Today's Best Mortgage Rates: Rahall Mortgage Company 2827 Money To Lend: Buccaneer Mortgage Attention Delicit Disorder-7112; Conctission-7113; Migraine Headaches-7114; Hreast Implants-71 15; Balance I)isorders-71 lb; Stroke-7117. William Hammesfahr, M.D. Vision and Eye Care Info: St. Luke's Cataract & Laser Institute Chiropractic Tips From The Bay Area's Best LaTorre Chiropractic & Trauma Rehabilitation Group Cancer Facts: American Cancer Society Impotence Hotline: George W. Carroll. M.D. Fighting the Effects of Aging: James Plemmons, M.D. Total Head & Neck Care: West Coast Institute of Otolaryngology & Facial Plastic Surgery - A. Counduuriotis MD & F. Massari MD Balance Dizziness Vertigo: American Institute of Balance Jointline: Florida Knee & Orthopedic Centers Hearing Help-Line: OTOLOGIC Hearing Systems Free Medication & Medical Care: Florida Pharmaceutical Research Corp. TIMESlundMS) I'lNELLVS St. IVteClwtr: 8!X)19 O Tarpon Springs: 462-0019 TT Oldsman 221-0019 Dicr n ur...... u.:-M,!n U..IM,., Dj.JK9.miQ r..nlral 791JT01Q HILLSBOROUGH: 221-0019 W HERNANDO 71)90019 W CITRUS: 72&O019 5 Calk, in Timesljnr are frn from most ama C h k your phora- bin for local calling amis and onhaws. 1,." II

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