Friday, May 17, 2013

Mitch Perry Report 5.17.13: TPD being questioned (again) in Al Fox DUI case

Plus: Turn down your car stereo!

Posted By on Fri, May 17, 2013 at 7:51 AM

Two newspapers are reporting this morning that Al Fox, best known for his passionate advocacy for liberalizing relations with Cuba, was pulled over after driving past the speed limit on Dale Mabry Highway back in February, and then tested for a D.U.I. Reportedly Fox failed a field sobriety examination, though when when he was given a Breathalyzer, his blood-alcohol level tested at 0.000.

Nevertheless he was busted and held overnight in jail, before being released the next day. Last week the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office said they wouldn't press charges, because of "insufficient evidence."

No kidding.

Does the TPD have a history of busting people for being drunk when they test at 0.000? Do other police departments? Look, we don't want to speculate here, since we'd rather do our own independent reporting before making any observations. Patrick Mantegia with La Gaceta writes today that he saw the tapes of Fox trying to do the field sobriety examination, and makes his own judgements (no link available to that story).

Fox and his attorney are alleging a conspiracy. It must be noted that the police officer involved in the arrest of Fox is the same one who arrested Tampa attorney Phillip Campbell in January. Campbell was the lawyer representing M.J. Kelli in his lawsuit against Bubba the Love Sponge back in January. You might remember the circumstances around Campbell's arrest seemed extremely questionable at the time.

So is the message from TPD don't get pulled over if you're not coordinated? Since even if you haven't been drinking but fail the one-leg test, you're going in the slammer? Chilling.

Meanwhile, attention Tampa motorists who blast music from your car stereos, your time may be over soon without incurring serious penalties. The City Council approved on first reading yesterday a new ordinance that will mean financial penalties and possibly jail time for those who repeatedly get cited for this activity.

Residents in Tampa's Seminole Heights (referred to in our local dailies this week on consecutive days as being the "Brooklyn of Tampa") may be getting a new dog park, though not everyone is down with the idea.

And we've been talking to some Florida Democrats over the past couple of weeks, eager to hear their hopes and fears about the fact that for all the excitement about taking on Rick Scott next year, other than Nan Rich, no one's came forward yet to take up the challenge.

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