New Police Chief Nabs Stabbing Suspect on New Year's Eve

Chief DiPino, serving her first day as the new Police Chief for the City of Sarasota, was downtown working the New Year's Eve celebration.

If first impressions are correct, Sarasota's new Police Chief Bernadette DiPino is going to be a hands-on boss.

DiPino collared the suspect in a stabbing Monday night.

On New Year's Eve DiPino was not sitting behind a desk or at home, but helping oversee patrols downtown. Heck, her first day on the job wasn't even scheduled to start officially until Jan. 1, 2013.

But just before midnight, Sarasota Police received information of a possible fight in the 1500 block of State Street. 

First responders to the call included Sarasota Police Chief DiPino, Captain Karr, Lieutenant Bieschline, Officer Paris, and Officer Vanik. 

Officers were directed by members of the New Year's Eve crowd to a stabbing victim. The officers provided aid to the victim, apprehended the suspect, and recovered the knife, police say. 

The victim, 28-year-old Joshua Paul Wren, was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital.  Wren lives in the 4400 block of Meadow Creek Circle in Sarasota.

Five witnesses identified the suspect as James Tilford Cooper. Cooper, 46, was arrested for Aggravated Battery with a deadly weapon.  Ten packages of incense, not intended for human consumption, were located on the suspect.


Dan Wren January 01, 2013 at 06:05 PM
My nephew was the victim. Truth is, Josh got off the guy when the police showed up. Bystanders were cheering the "perp" on! No one offered to help.
Dana Wren Speer January 01, 2013 at 06:33 PM
And it wasn't a random "fight". Josh was working as a tow truck driver and was taking a car to police impound when he was attacked and stabbed in the back multiple times. Great reporting.
Brian Schwaab January 01, 2013 at 09:41 PM
Never expect people to help. Rarely do they get involved!
Dan Liddy January 01, 2013 at 10:41 PM
Don't ever expect much from local news reporters. They work largely from their imagination .
Brian Schwaab January 02, 2013 at 12:17 AM
I would agree that all reporters do!
Donald Cogswell January 02, 2013 at 04:25 PM
Please contact me at dcogswell@philsgang.com or call 877-600-4264. I would like to have you get the record straight on our radio show. We have been reporting on the mess downtown for years and the papers refuse to properly report the stories.
David C. Couper January 02, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Good work! For more about police and how they can be improved, follow my blog at http://improvingpolice.wordpress.com.
quazi January 03, 2013 at 07:50 PM
Anyone on the patch following up on the above? Adds a lot to the story.


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