Ryan French

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PALM HARBOR – A man is in custody after a long manhunt in Pinellas County on Sunday.

Pinellas deputies attempted to make contact with 38-year-old Michael Lease near East Lake Road and Tarpon Lake Boulevard around 3:30pm. Lease, a suspect in a homicide case, fled from deputies and a foot pursuit ensued.

Deputies quickly established a perimeter in the neighborhood and summoned assistance from additional units. Units from the aviation, canine, marine, and SWAT sections were utilized in the search for Lease.

Lease was apprehended by a canine unit behind a home Mainsail Drive just before 10pm. He was transported to the Sheriff’s Administration Building and evaluated by paramedics.

Deputies say Lease is wanted in connection with the death of 23-year-old Dwight Tisdale. Tisdale was found with stab wounds Friday on Market Place Drive. Witnesses say they saw both men arguing inside a vehicle just before the stabbing occurred.

Media attempting the enter the area were Lease was captured were denied access. However, other citizens were permitted to film the scene as this cell phone video shows.

ST. PETERSBURG – A crash involving a tanker truck caused a large explosion and at two injuries Tuesday morning.

A tanker and a utility truck collided at the intersection of Gandy Boulevard and 4th Street around 12:30am. The tanker was carrying 10,000 gallons of fuel at the time of the crash and ignited. Adam Wilson shot below video of the blaze from a nearby apartment complex.

Multiple units from all over Pinellas County responded to contain the fire. Aircraft fire trucks from nearby St. Petetersburg-Clearwater International Airport also assisted. The leaking fuel caused the fire to spread 200 to 300 yards down the street.

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue Lt. Steven Lawrence said the tanker driver suffered second and third degree burns over 60 percent of his body. He was flown to Tampa General Hospital’s burn unit. Hr has not been identified.

The driver of the utility truck was identified as Jerry Freeman. He was transported to Bayfront Health in St. Petersburg with some fractures and lacerations. St. Petersburg Police are investigating the crash and have not released the cause.

Drivers should expect closures in the area for the remainder of Tuesday while crews clean up and make any necessary repairs to the roadway.

This video was shot on a direct assignment for a local affiliate and is not available for licensing.

TAMPA – Two Hillsborough County deputies and a civilian were injured in a traffic crash in Tampa Sunday night. It happened just before 11pm at Hanley Road and Waters Avenue.

Deputy Christopher Barfield-Craig and Deputy Dana Graham were traveling southbound on Hanley Rd when a Honda Civic failed to yield on a left hand turn onto Waters Avenue.

The marked cruiser struck the Honda and spun into the northbound lanes of Hanley. A northbound BMW driven by 50-year-old James Rivera then struck the passengers side of the cruiser.

Deputies Barfield-Craig and Graham were extricated from the cruiser and were transported to St. Joesph’s Hospital with minor injuries. Rivera was also transported with minor injuries.

The driver of the Honda was identified as 18-year-old Alina Quintana. Charges are pending according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

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TAMPA – The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a multiple vehicle crash on Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa.

It happened just after 7:00pm in the southbound lanes between Fletcher Avenue and Hudson Lane. Several vehicles appeared to have been involved.

At least one person was transported to a Tampa area hospital as a trauma alert. Other patients were treated on scene or transported as well.

Lanes both in directions of Dale Mabry Highway were closed as troopers and deputies investigated. FHP has not released any official details of this incident at this time.

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LUTZ – Fallen Tarpon Springs Police officer Charles Kondek was laid to rest on Saturday.

Kondek was killed on December 21st while investigating a suspicious person call. Residents from a Tarpon Springs apartment complex reported a man knocking loudly on doors at 2am.

Just after Kondek arrived at the scene, he was shot and ran over by the suspect. The suspect was soon apprehended after crashing his vehicle nearby.

The suspect was identified as 23-year-old Marco Parilla Jr. Parilla was banging on doors, allegedly searching for the person who had turned him into to police for an earlier charge. Parilla has nearly 30 arrests on his record.

The community response was supportive of the Tarpon Springs Police Department and Kondek’s family. Members of the community left flowers, cards, and donations at the memorial in front of the TSPD headquarters.

Kondek’s memorial service has held at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz. Following, law enforcement officers from all over the state escorted his body to Grace Memorial Cemetery in Hudson.

Kondek served with the Tarpon Springs Police Department for 17 years. He first served with the New York City Police Department five years prior.

His colleagues spoke of him as a dedicated law enforcement officer but more importantly, a dedicated family man. Kondek leaves behind a wife and six children.

This video is the procession as observed from Lutz Lake Fern Rd. The procession was nearly 20 minutes long and law enforcement officers from all over the state escorted Kondek’s body to his final resting place.

Donations can be sent to the Tarpon Springs Police Department, the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association, or any local Wells Fargo bank. Make sure to include “Officer Kondek” in the memo field for any checks.

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