Pinellas News

Tarpon residents turn out for second annual Pie-A-Cop event

TARPON SPRINGS - The Tarpon Springs Police Department came under heavy fire Friday afternoon and found itself woefully underequipped to take on eager assailants.
This attack was all friendly fire of a different sort, though, and T-shirts and clothing were the only real casualties.
For the second year, the Police Department teamed with Publix for the Pie-A-Cop event in front of the supermarket, on 40932 U.S. 19, for a joint fundraiser that benefits the March of Dimes.
Members of the public, Publix employees and friends and family gathered from 4-6 p.m. Friday to buy paper plates full of whipped cream, identify a target and smash it in his or her face — all in the sake of charitable giving, of course.
Pie throwers were able to buy one “pie” for $3, two for $5 or an up-close-and-personal guaranteed hit for $10.
A wooden target board stood at the south corner of Publix with a hole cut in the middle for Police Department officers and employees to stick their heads through and await their fate. But as the day went on, many paying attackers apparently felt comfortable bending the rules and delivering premature surprise shots from any position or angle.
Among the targets taking part Friday were Sgt. Michael Trill, Sgt. Ed Miller, Cpl. John Spatz, Officer John Ulrich and dispatcher Brittany Rose.
The total dollar amount collected from Friday's event was not available by press time.
The Pie-A-Cop gathering kicked off a weekend full of Tarpon Springs public safety activities. It was followed by Saturday's Public Safety Day Event, which went from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Also held at Publix, the Tarpon Springs police and fire departments brought out a number of their vehicles for display. The Mobil Command Unit, an armored personnel carrier, a number of police squad cars and others were parked for visitors to inspect, and at 1 p.m. the Police Department and SWAT team demonstrated a vehicle assault.
The Publix was the scene in 2010 of a fatal shooting of a store employee by a former colleague. In June 2012 former Publix cashier, Arunya Rouch, was convicted of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting of Gregory Janowski and sentenced to life in prison. Rouch blamed Janowski for her firing.
Trill, along with other officers, entered the store and Trill exchanged fire with Rouch after she ignored orders to surrender and fired at the detective and another officer, Cpl. Stephen Van Schoick, striking Van Schoick in his service belt.
Trill, Van Schoick and a third officer, Clyde Thornton, were decorated for their roles in the incident.
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