Former TSA agent Larry Kobielnik found dead in Pinellas Co. jail cell in apparent suicide

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla - Former TSA agent Larry Kobielnik, who was accused of kidnapping and raping a woman in July 2013, was found dead in his Pinellas County jail cell Thursday morning of an apparent suicide.

Kobielnik stood trial this week and was to be sentenced in the case later Thursday morning, according to his attorney.

Sgt. Brady with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office told ABC Action News Kobielnik was in protective custody and guards would check his cell every 30 minutes.  She would not elaborate on the specifics regarding his death but added he was issued shoes, clothing and had a mattress and sheets in his cell.

According to Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies, Kobielnik was driving near Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and Highland Avenue in Clearwater when he spotted a woman walking around 2 a.m. and offered her a ride.

After getting in the car and driving a short distance, the then 30-year-old would reportedly tol him to stop but he refused. Kobielnik, of 397 Sterling Terrace in Dunedin, then pulled out a handgun and a police badge, placed the woman in handcuffs and told her she was under arrest, according to deputies.

Deputies say Kobielnik took the woman to his mother's Dunedin home and raped her.

When Kobielnik fell asleep, the women left the home, took down his license plate number and called police, deputies say.

Judge Michael Andrews declined to comment on Kobielnik's death.  ABC Action News also reached out to Kobielnik's attorney, Brian Pingor, but did not immediately hear back.

Kobielnik was accused of eerily similar charges of rape and battery back in 2002.  The State Attorney's office dropped the charges in the case saying the facts did not substantiate case. 

Kobielnik also worked as a Tarpon Spring Police Officer.

He is survived by his estranged wife and two children.

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