Man shot, officer hurt at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

12:29 PM, Apr 22, 2011   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- A man was shot by a Seminole Tribe police officer at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa Thursday night.

Around 7 p.m., investigators say Jonathan Robert Bestoso, 24, took a maintenance worker's gold chain necklace, then jumped on a maintenance golf cart and started driving recklessly in the north parking lot.

Ofr. Daniel McGillicuddy, 49, spotted the commotion and came over to intervene.  That's when investigators say Bestoso drove straight for the officer.

"[The golf cart was] driven wildly, [the man was] not responding to security people," said Tracy Tait, who's visiting from England.

Shots were fired, hitting Bestoso in the chest.

He's currently at Tampa General Hospital where he was last listed in critical but stable condition.

After he's released from the hospital, he'll be taken to the Hillsborough County Jail and charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and strong arm robbery.

According to the Hillsborough County Jail's website, Bestoso's criminal record includes three arrests on charges ranging from soliciting on the right-of-way to battery on a law enforcement officer.  The latest arrest was just last month.

Ofr. McGillicuddy was run over by the golf cart and also taken to the hospital.

He spent the night at Tampa General and was released Friday morning. He is sore and wearing a neck brace but is expected to be okay.

"The officer is banged up pretty good," said Seminole Tribe spokesperson Gary Bitner, who added that Ofr. McGillicuddy is a 20-year veteran.

Bitner said investigators reviewed surveillance video overnight and saw that Bestoso had spent time both inside and outside the casino.  He wasn't playing games and appeared to be alone, Bitner said.

Because an officer was involved in this shooting, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been called in to investigate.

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