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Crime

Man in drag arrested in mistaken identity stabbing case

Sarasota, Florida -- A man dressed in drag and his boyfriend were arrested Wednesday after attacking a man in a case of mistaken identity.

Police say just before 1 a.m. Wednesday, a passerby told officers a man had been stabbed in the chest near 16th Street and North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found Scott Wilson holding his chest.  Wilson told officers he had just been stabbed by a man dressed as a woman.

Man charged in string of hotel armed robberies

Sarasota, Florida -- A Sarasota man has been charged in connection to at least two armed robberies at hotels in Sarasota in September.

On Sept. 18 at 10:17 p.m., Sarasota Police officers say 22-year-old Joseph Serrano walked into the lobby of the Golden Host Hotel in the 4600 block of North Tamiami Trail armed with a handgun. Serrano pointed the handgun at the victim's face, demanded money, emptied the victim's pockets and punched him in the stomach before fleeing.

Trial set in abuse death of autistic girl

SARASOTA, Florida (AP) -- A judge in Sarasota has set a trial date for a couple accused in the abuse death of an autistic child.

Circuit Judge Frederick Mercurio said Tuesday the trial will begin Feb. 3.

Melissa Stoddard was 11 when authorities say she died of a lack of oxygen to the brain. Prosecutors say the girl had been tied and forced to sleep on a plywood board, her mouth duct-taped shut before her death last year.

2 sought after in violent confrontation on Bee Ridge Road

Sarasota, Florida -- Sarasota Sheriff's deputies are searching for two people involved in a violent confrontation between two others while driving on Bee Ridge Road Sunday night.

After interviewing witnesses and a couple of the people involved in the incident, deputies say the confrontation was apparently sparked because the passenger in a Jeep, 18-year-old Jonathan Cetin, made comments to the female driver of a Nissan. The man, riding in the passenger seat of the Nissan, threw items at the Jeep in response.

Man robs a Sarasota 7-Eleven gas station

Sarasota, Florida -- Sarasota Police Department detectives are searching for the man who robbed a Sarasota 7-Eleven gas station early Wednesday morning.

Detectives say the man walked into the gas station in the 1700 block of North Washington Boulevard around 5:30 a.m., walked behind the counter, threatened the clerk and requested all the money in the cash register. 

PHOTOS: Man robs Sarasota 7-Eleven

Fugitive, girlfriend arrested for stealing laptops

Venice, Florida -- A fugitive out of North Carolina and his girlfriend were arrested for stealing laptop computers on two separate occasions from a local Walmart.

After surveillance photos of the pair were dispersed to deputies, a Sarasota Sheriff's deputy recognized them from his routine patrols of South Venice. He found the woman, identified as 29-year-old Sara King, Tuesday on U.S. 41 near Sunset Beach Drive. 

4 Sarasota businesses shot out by BB gun

Sarasota, Florida -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is asking the public to help stop whoever is shooting at a number of Sarasota area businesses in the overnight hours.

Since Aug. 19, deputies say four different businesses have suffered damage from what appears to be a pellet or BB gun. Windows have been shot out at: