Granted parole, could O.J. be headed for Tampa Bay?

The paroled Simpson's kids live in St. Petersburg, and his possible neighbors mostly are OK with the idea.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- When O.J. Simpson is released from prison, he'll have the option to live just about anywhere, and it's possible the Tampa Bay Area could top his list.

Simpson has family ties that could lead him to St. Petersburg,

“I’d just like to get back to my family and friends,” Simpson told the parole board, “You know, nine years away from your family is not worth it.”

Simpson has to live someplace when he's paroled, and there’s speculation that if he’s serious about getting back to his family, that could be St. Petersburg.

“It depends if his kids want him to come here,” said Sean Crosby, who lives three houses away from Simpson’s daughter Sydney in the Coquina Key neighborhood of South St. Pete.

In fact, Simpson's son and daughter both live in St. Petersburg.

Sydney is a real estate investor who has guarded her privacy.

“Oh yeah, real quiet,” said neighbor Katrina Speights.

Justin Simpson is a local real estate agent.

It just makes sense, say neighbors, that at age 70, Simpson might want to move closer to his kids. 

“You got to go somewhere,” said Speights. “Like with family.”

Others who live on the same street as Sydney Simpson had mixed feelings about the idea. Most said they'd welcome him.

“Me, if I'd seen him, I'd say ‘Hey, how are you doing, good morning!’” said Speights.

But there was also worry the quiet neighborhood could be flooded with news crews. 

“I'm sure he would tone it down. But it still wouldn't be good for the neighborhood,” said L.B. Frazier.

“I’m pretty sure I would not like the big circus,” said India Watson, who has three children on the same street.

It was the same reaction from people living in Justin Simpson's neighborhood about two miles away.

“I didn't ever ask him how his dad was. Nothing. That's his business,” said Butch Ellion, who lives right across the street. 

“I have no problem with his dad moving here. But I don't want all the media hype. I'd really not be happy about that if that were to happen,” said Ellion.

Simpson once lived with his children in Miami, but the kids, now grown, seem settled in St. Pete.

He also has close family friends in the Naples area, so there's been talk he might move there. 

If it turns out Simpson does settle in the Bay Area, becoming the notorious neighbor next door, “I'd try to get his autograph,” said Crosby.

“He's too old now to do anything,” said Frazier.

“But I hope he's learned his lesson,” said Speights. “That's all I've got to say.”

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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