Pasco Crime Report: Battery with pizza, selfie stick

David Szczypiorski, 43, of Hudson, attempted to flee and hide from Pasco County Sheriff’s deputies last week before being arrested for armed robbery.

Robbery, hide and seek

HUDSON – A Hudson man wanted on a Pasco warrant for armed robbery was arrested after being located at his home and then attempting to hide from deputies.

Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies were conducting surveillance at the 12138 Hicks Road residence of David Szczypiorski, 43, on Feb. 19 and spotted the suspect sitting in a chair on the porch. Once Szczypiorski was identified positively, deputies “quickly approached” and the suspect re-entered the mobile home.

Szczypiorski refused to exit voluntarily and deputies entered the residence while K9 deputy Shep searched the underside of the mobile home. Shep alerted to the floor joists where the suspect was found hiding above the plastic sheathing but below the residential floor.

Deputies reported they believe Szczypiorski crawled down through the air conditioning hose via the air return vent.

Pasco Fire Rescue responded for a minor dog bite to Szczypiorski’s right thigh and he was transported to the Pasco County Jail.

Battery by selfie stick

LAND O’ LAKES – Larita Branch, 43, was arrested by Pasco Sheriff’s deputies Feb. 19 after allegedly battering her boyfriend with a selfie stick and two speakers.

According to arresting deputies, Branch and the victim have been living together at 19523 Dogpatch Lane for approximately three months. Last Tuesday, Branch allegedly threw two speakers at the victim, hitting him on both arms. Branch is then said to have struck her boyfriend with a selfie stick multiple times on the neck and head.

Deputies reported seeing small scrapes on each of the victim’s arms with a small amount of blood, a large red mark on the victim’s right arm, as well as red marks and scrapes on his head and neck.

According to the police report, Branch told deputies that several items were thrown but nothing physical occurred.

Branch has a previous conviction for battery in 2010. She was arrested and transported to the Pasco County Jail without incident.

Battery by pizza

PORT RICHEY – Pasco Sheriff’s deputies arrested Michael Vincent Stempel, 37, on Feb. 18 after an argument with his mother resulted in him hitting her with a slice of pizza.

According to police reports, a verbal argument between the mother and son resulted in the mother asking Stempel to leave the 7211 San Salvadore, Port Richey, home. The defendant refused to leave and reportedly told his mother she would have to call “the cops” to remove him. The victim dialed 911 with her cell phone and began speaking with the dispatcher, but Stempel grabbed the phone and hung up. At this point, Stempel took a slice of pizza and threw it at his mother’s body. The pizza toss didn’t result in any injuries and was witnessed by Stempel’s grandmother, the police report states.

Stempel then left the residence and went to Lake Lisa Park, where he was found by Pasco Sheriff’s deputies. Stempel proceeded to run away upon seeing the deputy before finally stopping. Reports state that Stempel continued to “resist and pull away” as the deputy attempted to place handcuffs on him.

Stempel did not admit to any of the allegations and claimed his mother is a liar. He told the deputy he ran because the deputy “scared him.”

Stempel was arrested for domestic battery, tampering with a victim and resisting arrest without violence.

Attempted bribery on police

HUDSON – Joseph Florian, 47, was arrested on multiple charges Feb. 18 after he stole merchandise from a store, fled from deputies on an ATV and then offered deputies money for his release.

Police reports state that Florian, a Hudson resident, stole $496.97 worth of merchandise from a Family Dollar store in Hudson. After exiting the store without paying, Florian was spotted by deputies riding his ATV with some of the merchandise in his hand.

Deputies stated Florian continued to evade them while riding his ATV and seeing the law enforcement vehicle’s emergency lights activated. Florian entered a wooded area before getting back to a roadway and getting off his ATV and fleeing on foot.

Other deputies and marked vehicles joined the chase as Florian fled through a neighborhood and residential front and back yards. When the suspect was finally apprehended, he offered a deputy a bribe, saying “if you let me go, I’ll get you some money.”

He told deputies he stole from the Family Dollar because his parents are sick and he needs to help them.

Deputies searched Florian and found he was in possession of a prescription bottle with residue. A field test of the residue provided a positive result for the presence of methamphetamine.