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Tips Lead to Teen's Arrest In St. Petersburg Cop Killing

Tips Lead to Teen's Arrest In St. Petersburg Cop Killing

The suspect was identified as 16-year-old Nicholas Lindsey.

Macon Telegraph via YellowBrix

February 23, 2011

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A daylong manhunt that covered a swath of the city ended when tips led to the arrest of a 16-year-old who faces a murder charge in the shooting of a St. Petersburg police officer, the third killed in the line of duty in the past month.

Officer David Crawford was shot multiple times Monday night while investigating a report of a prowler in a neighborhood just south of Tropicana Field where the Tampa Bay Rays play baseball. About 24 hours later, officials gathered near police headquarters to announce that the teen was in custody facing a juvenile charge of first-degree murder.

“When he did make the admission on tape for us at the end of the day, it was quite apparent that he was remorseful in his actions,” Police Chief Chuck Harmon said during a late night news conference. “He cried.”

Helicopters, SWAT teams, dozens of law enforcement and dogs searched for the gunman and a chunk of the city of about 245,000 was closed to traffic for parts of Monday and into Tuesday. The FBI, the St. Petersburg Police and other groups also were offering a reward of $100,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the suspect.

Harmon said three tips led officers to the teen and that police were still looking for the gun. The teen had a prior juvenile criminal record but Harmon did not give details. Prosecutors will decide whether the teen will be charged as an adult. The chief said because of the seriousness of the charge and the teen’s prior record that he would expect him to face adult charges.

Two officers were checking out the prowler call and Crawford, 46, spotted the suspect and got out of his car. At 10:37 p.m., another officer, Donald J. Ziglar, reported an exchange of gunfire and told dispatchers an officer was down, police said.

Ziglar found Crawford lying on the pavement near his cruiser, shot at close range, police said. Crawford was not wearing a bullet proof vest.

The suspect was taken to a juvenile lockup and his parents were cooperating, the chief said. Police did not have a motive except that there was some exchange between the teen and officer, Harmon said.

“It breaks my heart,” he said. “When you have something like this happen, you don’t expect this type of confrontation between a 16-year-old and a police officer to end like this.”

The suspect is a student in the Pinellas County Schools, but Harmon wouldn’t say which school. It wasn’t clear how the boy obtained the gun, Harmon said.

Crawford, who was married, eligible for retirement and the father of an adult daughter, was pronounced dead at a hospital. Officers saluted the van that carried his body to the medical examiner’s office Tuesday morning. Crawford, who loved horses, lived in a rural community north of St. Petersburg.

On Jan. 24, two St. Petersburg officers – Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz and Thomas Baitinger – were killed as they helped serve a warrant on a man with a long criminal history. Their killer died in the siege. Prior to that, the St. Petersburg Police department hadn’t had an officer killed in the line of duty in more than 30 years.

“We’re not even done healing from the first tragedy, then boom, we have a second one,” said St. Petersburg Detective Mark Marland, who is also the police union president.

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster said the city will now be able to bury officer Crawford and have some closure – but residents, officers and parents must also learn why a teenager was carrying a handgun.

“We as a community need to stand up and do a better job,” Foster said.


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    gcoleman

    over 3 years ago

    2382 Comments

    A lot tears on both sides wish he thought about that first. He will have a long time to think about it now. A vision of the future in Christ is needed, not a reaction in the moment with our own agenda. God help us all>

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    msjayelbee

    over 3 years ago

    612 Comments

    Glad you caught him, whether he "cried" or not. My condolences to the officer's family and department.

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    skanea1

    over 3 years ago

    958 Comments

    I have no sympathy for the killer. the only thing that keeps him from the death penalty is his age. If he had the same conscience before this killing as he did afterward, he would never have done it.

  • Certified_soldier_max50

    Bizzo

    over 3 years ago

    6 Comments

    ptlmdbutler I totally agree bro, primaraily because I "was" that young man who grew up on the south side streets of St.Petersburg.And like your friend,I went to the military and left St.Petersburg. The only thing that saved me was a praying grandmother and a God who wanted to use me as a voice for my people. After reading the accounts of Hydra Lacy and the other two officers, it really has made me sick to my stomach. It almost seems like there is a war between our young black males and the SPPD.However, the only good way to fight this type of "war" is to use tactics. We must show the world what is going on in the city of St.Petersburg and find some sort of common ground between the Authorities and the citizens. Deep down I know that "all authority has been given by God" So I respect every Man and Woman that puts on that uniform. But we can no longer address the "symptoms".Killing Nicholas Lindsey might address the "symptom" but it won't cure the "Dis-ease".#theresgottabacure

    Here is what I have come up with

    http://www.amazon.com/Certified-Soldier-ebook/dp/B0046H9CTS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1298665577&sr=8-1

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    davidfra

    over 3 years ago

    32 Comments

    He was remorseful and “He cried". Not because he was sorry for what he did but sorry that he got caught and his rear was in a sling. Hope he has fun in a prison cell with a hard core criminal.

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    ptlmdbutler

    over 3 years ago

    136 Comments

    I am sorry about the loss of the officer and hope his family can survive this.
    On the other hand, BIZZO..I am tired of hearing that crime is caused by where a child lives or his parents or some other good for nothing reason. I know of several kids that had it bad. One grew up on the wrong side of Chicago and both he and his brother and sister are all doctors. He only had his mother supporting them and they were always harassed by the gangs. Another kid had to live with parents and brothers that were in jail more then out. His "friends" in the nighborhood were jail birds and he is now Military Police OFFICER who came up through the ranks to Capt. There are many others I know of and I am sure anyone on this site can give more stories of others that made it. Yes, I believe this boy cried cause he got caught. It is probably good that he did not make the mistake of trying to shoot his way out, as I am sure the people of the area you speak of would only say the cops were wrong to take his life.
    This kid inherited something ALL people inherit. Life and the ability to know what is right and what is wrong and he had the inherited ability to choose. He had the inherited ability to look at the options. The inheritated ability to look at the choices. He had the inherited ability to make that choice and now he must face the consequences. And part of those consequences will be living in confinement with a male not of his choosing.

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    bikecop45

    over 3 years ago

    206 Comments

    That can't be the first time the little perp held and fired a gun at anyone! Sounds like the perp wanted to be big man on campus. Now he will be. Chief Harmon said the little perp was remorseful and “He cried.” Well what about the families of these fine St. Pete officers?

    Let the little perp cry for the rest of his life in prison or on the way to the gas chamber.

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    sbudno

    over 3 years ago

    202 Comments

    There is no reason not to wear your gear! You wouldnt start your tour without for weapon!

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    RLW

    over 3 years ago

    292 Comments

    All active LEO please wear your vest, and be safe !

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    edgardolopez

    over 3 years ago

    4 Comments

    HERE WE GO AGAIN I AM WITH YOU GRADYG JUST LIKE THE OTHER TWO UNFORTUNATE ST. PETERSBURG OFFICERS IT NEEDS TO FIT THE CRIME WE KNOW THERE IS A U.S CONSTITUTION AND A BILL OF RIGHTS BUT THIS HAS TURNED INTO A ROLLER COASTER THE COURTS NEED TO ENFORCE AT A HIGHER LEVEL IF CONVICTED. 12 AND OVER IF YOU CAN HANDLE A WEAPON YOU CAN HANDLE THE CONSEQUENCES. I PERSONALLY HAVE A BROTHER WHO HAS BEEN WITH THE NJ STATE POLICE FOR 12 YEARS AND NOW HE IS THE EXSECUTIVE ESCORT FOR THE NJ GOVERNOR AND I AM WORKING MY WAY IN ALSO WE ALL CAN FEEL THE PAIN. GOD BLESS ALL OUR PROTECTORS.

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    bosn57

    over 3 years ago

    62 Comments

    RIP brother.................Glad to hear that the suspect was caught!

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    patchboy

    over 3 years ago

    190 Comments

    Rest in peace Officer Crawford. This was such a tragedy but why on earth was he not wearing a vest? This should be mandatory.

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    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    The only thing this barf bag is sorry about is that he got caught.Charge his adult ,give him the needle,end of story.

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    buck

    over 3 years ago

    1290 Comments

    The scum will say anything to act remorseful to avoid the needle. Charge his ass as a adult.

  • Certified_soldier_max50

    Bizzo

    over 3 years ago

    6 Comments

    Agree with you Covert. at the end of the day "Thou Shall not Kill". If only the apostle Paul knew this before his Damascus experience.I simply posted that link to say that the killing of officer Crawford is simply a "symptom" of a "dis-ease" that has been spreading before I even grew up in St.petersburg. We can "wipe our noses" all day, and that won't get rid of the cold. likewise,we can point the finger at the young man who ...definitely was wrong for what he did. But lets not be completely ignorant to the real "sickness'" that "continues" to lead to these senseless deaths.

    Here is the complete timeline for the firsts two deaths and Hydra Lacy.
    http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2011/PDFs/Police_SP%20Police%20timeline.pdf

    Much Respect to you brothers.Help me find the Solution please.

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