Florida News Roundup Mar 25: Panama City Spring Break Death

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Wisconsin man dies in fall from Panama City hotel balcony

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Police say a Wisconsin man on spring break in the Florida Panhandle has died after falling from a condominium balcony.
Panama City Beach Police say 21-year-old Jacob M. Winker of Menomonee Falls, Wis., fell early Saturday from a balcony on the seventh floor.
Police say the death is under investigation but no foul play is suspected.
An autopsy is pending.

Missing NE Fla teen presumed drowned in rip tide

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Authorities say a northeast Florida teenager is missing and presumed drowned after getting caught in an apparent rip tide.
The Fernandina Beach Police Department says the Nassau County boy was swimming with a 10-year-old boy in rough surf Friday afternoon.
Police Chief James T. Hurley tells The Florida Times-Union (http://bit.ly/GJtGH1 ) that an adult was able to get the 10-year-old to safety when the boys got caught in heavy surf. The 16-year-old went under the water and hasn't been seen since.
The Nassau County Sheriff's Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and U.S. Coast Guard joined the Fernandina Beach police and fire departments in the search for the missing teen.
Hurley says drowning deaths off Fernandina Beach are rare.

Police: Miami officers attacked by crash victim

MIAMI (AP) -- Miami police say three officers had to be treated at a hospital after a hit-and-run crash victim attacked them.
Police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes says the officers responded early Saturday to a 911 call about a man who had been hit by a taxi that fled the scene.
Police say the bloodied, partially naked man was beating good Samaritans who were trying to help him before he became belligerent and combative with officers on the scene.
Reyes says three officers were treated at a hospital for their injuries. One officer had a fractured arm and head injuries. Ten officers also were treated on the scene for exposure to blood.
Reyes says the man was hospitalized in extremely critical condition due to injuries from the crash. The taxi has not been found.

Small plane crashes behind South Florida home

WELLINGTON, Fla. (AP) -- Authorities say a small plane crashed into a South Florida backyard, just missing a house and a swimming pool.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says the single-engine turbo-prop plane crashed Friday afternoon behind a home in a private airpark community in Wellington.
Authorities say the plane landed hard on a grass runway in the Wellington Aero Club development. The plane flipped over, losing both wings and coming to rest next to a pool.
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue says the pilot was conscious before being airlifted to a hospital. No one else was on board, and authorities say two people inside the house were not harmed.
The home was evacuated as firefighters covered spill fuel on the wreckage and pool deck with flame-retardant foam.

FL man accused of threatening Sanford police chief

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) -- Authorities say a Florida man has been arrested for threatening the police chief who had been overseeing the investigation into the shooting death of an unarmed black teen by a neighborhood watch captain.
The Seminole County Sheriff's Office says John Carnduff Stewart of Melbourne Beach emailed Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee on Friday, saying Lee and his family should be killed.
The sheriff's office says Stewart has sent threatening emails in the past, including threats to Penn State University assistant football coach Mike McQueary.
The sheriff's office says Stewart would be placed on electronic monitoring as a condition of his $10,000 bond.
Lee temporarily stepped down as chief amid national outrage over the investigation. The neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, has not been charged in Trayvon Martin's death.

Florida post office evacuated after chemical spill

ALOMA, Fla. (AP) -- Officials say a central Florida post office had to be evacuated after a chemical spill sickened more than 20 people.
Orange County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Genevieve Latham tells the Orlando Sentinel that about 20 people reported feeling ill Saturday morning after the spill inside the Aloma post office.
Latham says the building was evacuated. She says some people were coughing but declined to be treated at a hospital, and no one was seriously injured.
Officials have not determined what chemicals were spilled.

FAMU emails detail hazing warnings

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Hundreds of pages of records show years of repeated warnings about brutal hazing passed without any serious response from the Florida A&M University's leadership until last November's beating death of drum major Robert Champion.
The father of a freshman in Florida A&M University's famed marching band emailed the school's president in 2007 after getting a series of panic-stricken phone calls.
Donovan Crosby's email to James Ammons is part of the public records obtained jointly by The Associated Press and the Tallahassee Democrat.
Crosby and numerous other parents over the last several years wrote or called university administrators, band officials or police begging someone at FAMU to keep their son or daughter safe.
Emails show that the hazing was clearly known as a problem to various school officials.

Florida Keys man charged with sex trafficking

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) -- Authorities in the Florida Keys say they've charged a man with sex trafficking -- the first such arrest in Monroe County.
Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin says Derrick Wilson of Key West was arrested Saturday for allegedly coercing a North Carolina woman into having a sex for money.
Herrin says the woman told detectives she came to the Keys in February with her boyfriend.
Herrin says Wilson offered the woman a place to stay and drugs in exchange for money she earned from sexual encounters he arranged for her. The woman also told detectives that Wilson arranged for her to work at a strip club.
Herrin says Wilson threatened to beat the woman if she didn't make money for him.

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