Graphic surveillance video shows crimes in Tampa neighborhood

Neighbor hopes deputies will step up patrols

TAMPA, Fla. - Graphic home surveillance video shows crime after crime occurring in one Tampa neighborhood.

Rick Caldwell, who lives near the corner of Nebraska Avenue and 123 rd St., says people who he suspects are gang members have taken over his neighborhood.

That's why he constantly rolls tape, in hopes that authorities may be able to get the people responsible for violent acts off his street.

One tape shows a man being flung to the pavement and repeatedly hit in the head. "As the tape shows, he got beat unconscious 10 feet in back of my car," said Caldwell.

 For the past six years, Caldwell has saved and cataloged the comings and goings in the neighborhood.

 "This goes on every day. I've got more than two thousand hours of video," he said

 The recorded incidents include a Christmas Eve assault on a woman.

Men armed with baseball bats and a machete also appear in the videos.

There are also countless suspected drug and prostitution deals.

"In an eight hour period, I've caught 62 different people on tape visiting us. This isn't counting the 20 regulars that come and go all the time," said Caldwell.

 Sometimes, the encounters get personal.

Caldwell taped one incident in which people across the street cursed at him and chased his truck as he left.

"It's just gotten more violent, more people, and the sheriff's department won't do anything about it," said Caldwell.

"When he calls, we come," said Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Maj. J.R. Burton, who says his men are constantly in the neighborhood.

Patrol cars and deputies can be seen in some of Caldwell's tapes.

"At least three times a year, we have operations along Nebraska for prostitution activities and constantly have deputies out there monitoring the area," said Burton.

The Sheriff's Office has placed its own camera a block away. But that's too little too late for Caldwell, who plans to move in February.

"It's just too much. My life's worth more than this," Caldwell said.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has assigned a specialty unit to this case.

Caldwell says that one of his videos has already helped detectives solve a crime. That case involved a stabbing that happened in the neighborhood several months ago.

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