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Seminole Heights community feeling relief following suspect arrest

Posted at 6:51 PM, Nov 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 18:51:29-05

TAMPA, Fla. — For the past 51 days, many people have been scared to walk down the streets of Seminole Heights at night.

It's had a tough effect on neighborhood businesses and left some feeling like prisoners in their own homes.

After the arrest of Howell Donaldson, people are now feeling less scared and far more hopeful regarding their own safety in Seminole Heights.

They are also saying thank you to the person who flagged down a police officer in an Ybor City McDonald's restaurant that eventually led to an arrest.

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"Very brave lady," said Letisha Degraca, a Seminole Heights resident. "Thank god she did it because if not, he'd still be roaming these streets."

Another woman, Amanda Doyle, said she had planned to move to the area prior to the killings, but then had misgivings. But now that Donaldson is behind bars, she says any lingering fears she had are now gone.

"I was going to move to this area very soon," she said. "I was actually second guessing it because of this whole situation. I am totally throwing that second guess out the window now." 

Businesses like The Blind Tiger Cafe in Seminole Heights are now more hopeful than ever that the small business community will continue to recover, now that people will feel safer coming into the neighborhood.