Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about in Florida today.
Officer accused of tossing food at handcuffed man resigns
A southwest Florida police officer accused of tossing food to a handcuffed man at a jail and then allowing the man to eat the food off the floor has resigned. The Sarasota Police Department announced in a statement that Officer Andrew Halpin submitted a resignation letter Tuesday, shortly before a scheduled meeting with internal affairs investigators. He was placed on paid administrative leave last week after a video surfaced. Chief Bernadette DiPino had said she was disappointed in what she saw.
State agrees to pay $600,000 for Sansom’s corruption defense
Florida will pay $600,000 to cover legal fees owed by former House Speaker Ray Sansom. Taxpayers were initially on the hook for a more than $800,000, but Sansom’s lawyers and the Florida House reached a settlement that lowered the final amount. Leon County Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey ruled in February that taxpayers were liable for the fees because corruption charges against Sansom were dismissed during a 2011 trial. Florida public officials found innocent of corruption in official duties are entitled to legal fees.
2 airmen die during parachute training
Air Force officials say a second service member has died following a parachute training accident in the Florida Panhandle. The Air Force Special Operations Command reports the second airman died Tuesday from injuries sustained Monday during military freefall training at the Eglin Air Force Base range. Another airman was killed in the same accident. The airmen were part of a Special Tactics unit assigned to Hurlburt Field. Air Force spokeswoman Erica Vega says the unit was practicing high-altitude free-fall jumps.
Freshman GOP Rep. Curbelo diagnosed with whooping cough
Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo has been diagnosed with whooping cough, a rare and contagious disease that’s officially known as pertussis. The freshman Republican has been ill for several weeks with the disease, which has largely been quelled in the U.S. through vaccination. He was diagnosed on Monday. Curbelo was vaccinated as a child, his office says, but did not received recommended booster shots as an adult. He was probably contagious in early- to mid-July but no longer is so.
Deputy, business owner find boy in dog’s mouth
A toddler suffered serious injuries after his family’s 50-pound Boxer was carrying him in his mouth in Plant City. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s officials say Detective Jeffrey Harris was talking to the business owner about a car theft Tuesday morning when they saw the dog carrying something. As they approached the dog, they saw the child. Harris yelled and the dog dropped the child and ran. In a news release, sheriff’s officials identified the child as Michael Diaz who turns 2 next month. Officials say the business owner ran to the child’s home and found his mother. The boy was flown to Tampa General Hospital. Officials say he suffered serious injuries.