- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 16, 2007

FLORIDA

Deputy fatally shot; suspect killed

BRANDON — A sheriff’s deputy who had just left a drunken-driving checkpoint was fatally shot in his patrol car yesterday, and a suspect was killed by a SWAT team after barricading himself at home.

Sgt. Ron Harrison, 55, a nearly 21-year veteran of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, apparently tried to drive himself to a hospital after he was wounded about 1 a.m., Sheriff David Gee said. A woman driving next to Sgt. Harrison said he clipped her car as he sped down the road, his lights flashing, then he veered into a tree.

About the same time, authorities received a call from another woman who said her boyfriend told her he had been in a shooting with a police officer, Sheriff Gee said. Deputies found the man barricaded in his house, and he repeatedly fired at deputies before he was fatally shot, Sheriff Gee said. The man was identified as Michael Allen Phillips, 24.

GEORGIA

Lawn mower catches fire; home destroyed

JOHNS CREEK — Danny Fendley started more than just his lawn mower when he tugged at its pull cord; he started a fire that destroyed his home.

The mower exploded Tuesday in hot, parched conditions.

Mr. Fendley was trying to start the mower in the garage of his two-story brick home in this Atlanta suburb when the machine burst into flames. Before he could extinguish the fire, it had spread through the garage.

Then his wife tried to toss a can of gasoline out a window as the blaze spread, but she missed, spreading the fuel “everywhere,” Mr. Fendley said.

The flames engulfed the house in less than a minute. The couple escaped without serious injury.

INDIANA

$12,000 tax bill paid in coins, $1 bills

MUNCIE — A landlord said he wanted people to see the pain of his property tax bill when he hauled $12,656.07 in coins and $1 bills to the county treasurer’s office.

Cary Malchow said the heavy load left him “out of breath” but it was worth watching three cashiers working overtime and guarded by sheriff’s deputies on Monday to count every last cent of the semiannual payment for his home, business and rental properties.

“I did it so people can physically see what $12,000 is,” said Mr. Malchow, who has staged other protests to draw attention to Indiana’s property tax increases.

It took 75 minutes to count the cash, said Delaware County Treasurer Warren Beebe.

KENTUCKY

Duct tape hides face of bandit

ASHLAND — A man accused of being the “Duct Tape Bandit” has gotten into a sticky situation.

The man, who had his head wrapped in duct tape to conceal his identity, walked into a liquor store on Friday, Ashland police said.

Shamrock Liquors store manager Bill Steele had some duct tape of his own, but his was wrapped around a wooden club that sent the robber fleeing, according to a report by WSAZ-TV in Huntington, W.Va.

Store employee Craig Miller said he chased the man to the parking lot, tackled him and kept him in a choke hold until police arrived. A customer also helped, police said.

Kasey G. Kazee, 24, of Ashland, was charged with first-degree robbery, Ashland police Sgt. Mark McDowell said. He pleaded not guilty Monday and bond was set at $250,000.

MISSISSIPPI

Monkey makes second zoo break

TUPELO — Oliver apparently has learned to pick locks, making his second breakout from behind bars in less than a month.

Yesterday, however, the white-faced capuchin monkey was back at the Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo, and this time his cage was secured with triple chains and locks.

Oliver’s cage was standing open Monday morning and the lock was lying on the ground. Oliver and another capuchin named Baby were still in the area, and workers easily recaptured Baby, but Oliver took off, park manager Kirk Nemecheck said.

The 9-year-old primate was found Tuesday in a yard about four miles from the park.

“The police showed up and helped us,” Mr. Nemecheck said. “We surrounded him, a guy jumped on him and got his hand bit, but we got him.”

The capuchin, a species of monkey native to South and Central America, also freed himself July 31 and wasn’t apprehended until Aug. 6.

NEW YORK

45 parrots stolen from pet shop

ROCKVILLE CENTRE — Polly want a rescue: Forty-five parrots worth more than $1,000 each were abducted from a pet store.

The thief broke a back window of the Parrots of the World shop between 4 and 6 a.m. Tuesday, before the owner arrived, police said.

The 45 stolen parrots were worth about $58,000, said Nassau County police, who didn’t know how the crook escaped.

The store’s owner, Marc Morrone, said the thief knew where the surveillance cameras were, unhooked the cages and carried the birds through a hole in the window. He said one of his favorite birds was among the missing.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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