News Update for 7/10/24

A Polk County man accused of video voyeurism may have more victims. The sheriff’s office announced yesterday it has identified three more victims of Winter Haven’s Domingo Rivera Velez. The 43-year-old was arrested two weeks ago for video voyeurism against a 15-year-old girl, and he was re-arrested Monday for video voyeurism and possession and production of illegal videos. The three newly identified victims are all adults now, but one of them was about 11 at the time he was recorded. Rivera Velez worked at a Home Depot in Lakeland where he allegedly recorded upskirt videos.

A K9 is credited with taking down an armed Pinellas County man in Polk County. A man wanted for the armed carjacking of a pickup truck in St. Petersburg yesterday morning was seen in Lake Wales, and deputies tried pulling him over. The man kept going and wound-up crashing. A woman in the truck surrendered, but the driver remained in the truck, armed. Deputies say a K9 named Odin was released and took the man into custody. He was identified as 35-year-old Cory Stowers. Charges are pending.

A cyber security expert in Orange County commends Florida’s approach to a recent data breach. Hackers last month got into the Florida Department of Health’s vital statistics system. Ever since, people have been unable to access birth and death certificates online. There’s no word on how much the hackers want, where they’re from or when the system will be restored. Rob Allen is chief product officer for ThreatLocker in Maitland, and he says Florida officials should stick to their policy of not paying ransom.

Parkland mass shooter Nikolas Cruz is donating his brain to science in a civil settlement with one of his victims. Cruz murdered 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. An attorney for 21-year-old Anthony Borges, who was shot five times, proposed the "unique" stipulation. He told Fox News Digital "I figured if scientists studied his brain they might be able to figure out what created this monster."

A Hillsborough County woman is accused of threatening the governor. The sheriff’s office announced yesterday that Riverview’s Danyele Callaway was arrested for death threats made online on Governor Ron DeSantis’ website. Deputies say she admitted to making the threats. The 20-year-old is charged with written or electronic threat to kill or inflict bodily injury. Sheriff Chad Chronister says his office won’t tolerate any threats, especially from individuals who think they can hide behind their keyboards to spread fear and harm.

Six men accused of being in a gang are facing charges. The US Justice Department announced yesterday four Tampa men, a Pasco County man and an Orlando man were indicted. They face charges that include racketeering conspiracy and murder in aid of racketeering. Federal prosecutors say each could get life in prison. The men range in age from 26 to 33. According to the indictment, the men are in a gang called Alexander Park, or AP. It’s based in Hillsborough County, but investigators say they also committed acts in California, Michigan and Oregon.

A gigantic tree cactus has been wiped out in the Florida Keys due to salt water intrusion and rising tides. The Key Largo Tree Cactus isn’t really a tree and looks like a pipe organ, according to Jennifer Possley [[ pose-lee ]] with Miami’s Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. She says the tree cactus was discovered in 1992 and they saved pieces of it before it disappeared. While there’s no great place to replant it in the Keys, the Key Largo tree cactus still grows on some Caribbean islands, including northern Cuba and parts of the Bahamas.

The Florida Panthers have a new member to help them defend their Stanley Cup. The team yesterday signed free agent defenseman Adam Boqvist to a one-year contract. The 23-year-old from Sweden played for the Columbus Blue Jackets last season. He’ll have a familiar face on his new team. Just last week, the Panthers signed his older brother, Jesper, to a one-year contract.