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Orlando's Islands of Adventure shut down Tuesday evening

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Published: August 1, 2006 at 9:49 PM

A hit and run driver forced the closure of Univeral's Islands Of Adventure in Orlando, Florida, this evening.

The hit and run happened on a slip road, leading onto the I4, WestBound, that virtually runs parallel to the Universal Resort.

The driver of the car that hit and injured an Orange County deputy evaded police and an all out search is currently underway at IOA, forcing a complete block off of the Universal Resort. Police bloudhounds were led through CityWalk and the trail led the Deputies into IOA.

Currently all visitors to the parks are having to provide valid ID to exit the park and no one is allowed in.

Readers' Opinions

From Greg Mills on August 2, 2006 at 12:07 AM
You know...that there are people that do s--- like this...is beyond me. What the f--- is with people doing this? This isn't the first time something like this has happened. People are trying to have fun and enjoy the day at an amusement park, and some morons come up and start shooting officers at the park?

By the way, if anyone is afraid to go to an amusement park now because of this, then you shouldn't bother anyway: the roller coasters are much more terrifying at some of these places.

From Mark Hollamon on August 2, 2006 at 4:57 AM
This was in the surrounding Dr Phillips and Metro West area. We were going to a concert at Hard Rock Live and were stuck in traffic for nearly two hours. It was very surreal. Police with machine guns were walking around and I think there must have been every K9 unit in the county there. We counted three helicopters in a very tight area.

The police were canvasing the employee parking lot located on Turkey Lake and Vineland for the suspect.

From Tom C on August 2, 2006 at 5:57 AM
I work on John Young and Sand Lake, and live on Kirkman, 10 miles away. It took me an hour and a half to get home. Those roads normally have high traffic, but to add road blocks, and the search, was awful. They did originally get 3 of the 4 in the car, and this morning on the news they said they found the final guy, who they say was the driver. The deputy, only 26, just had his leg amputated, and is still in critical condition. I ask that everyone take a moment, to either pray, or meditate, or whatever, for the deputy and his family.
From Pete Brecht on August 2, 2006 at 7:11 AM
Greg, I think you misread the report. Nobody was shooting officers at an amusement park! Somebody ran into an officer in his car outside the park, and the perp went into IOA to hide.
From Erik Yates on August 2, 2006 at 7:54 AM
Let's update this, shall we?

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/...-home-headlines

Orange County authorities early today arrested a man suspected of driving the passenger car that ignored a deputy sheriff's order to pull over and instead struck the motorcycle officer near Universal Orlando.

A manhunt for Allan Barahona, 19, was launched after Deputy Michael A. Callin, 26, was run down by a speeder near at an Interstate 4 ramp near Universal Studios on Tuesday. The search sent bloodhounds into the tourist-packed theme park and snarled traffic on I-4 well into the evening.

Callin remained in critical condition at Orlando Regional Medical Center after surgeries that included the amputation of a portion of his right leg.

Barahona was captured about 12:20 this morning near Cortez Drive and Balboa Drive in the Pine Hills area west of Orlando.

Witnesses said Barahona was the driver of the white Honda that crashed into Callin. Barahona was set to go to trial Aug. 10 on a charge of driving with a suspended or revoked license, according to Orange County Circuit Court records. Further information on the charge was not available.

Barahona has six prior arrests but no convictions.

Through the night, about 100 people -- mostly officers from Callin's agency, friends and family members -- kept vigil at the hospital, authorities said.

Officials said Callin, a deputy since 2002, was looking for speeders on the long on-ramp leading to I-4 from Kirkman Road near Universal about 3 p.m. when he spotted the speeding white Honda Civic and stepped toward the road to try to get the car to stop. The driver struck Callin and kept going.

Roads surrounding Universal were shut down while officers searched for the driver, who left the car and leapt over a chain-link fence.

Parts of Universal Boulevard and Turkey Lake Road were closed. Deputies dispatched a bloodhound, which followed a scent trail through Universal CityWalk.

Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary called the incident part of the senseless violence the Orlando area has seen recently. There have been two slayings in Orange County since Sunday.

"It isn't getting any prettier out there," Beary said. "We are absolutely a growing, metropolitan area with growing pains. And there are people out there with a violent attitude."

The white 1996 Honda traveled about a quarter-mile after striking Callin and crashed into a chain-link fence along the west side of the interstate. Callin's femoral artery was damaged, and he lost a large amount of blood, officials said.

There were three passengers in the Honda, and a passing Chicago police narcotics officer detained one of the them as he was getting out of the car to take a look at the scene.

The two remaining passengers were caught soon afterward, and all were questioned at Orlando police headquarters late Tuesday and determined not to be suspects in the case, said police Sgt. James McDonald.

Deputies were concerned that the suspect who ran may have entered Universal CityWalk, and law-enforcement officials beefed up their presence at Universal Orlando, paying special attention to the pickup and drop-off areas near the parking garages.

I-4 exits at Universal Boulevard and Kirkman Road were blocked, as were portions of Turkey Lake Road in the Dr. Phillips neighborhood.

Orlando homicide detectives -- rather than traffic-crash investigators -- were investigating the case, although officials would not say whether the deputy was struck intentionally or how fast the car was traveling.

Callin is one of a 32-member "elite" motorcycle unit that conducts traffic operations and patrols in high-crime areas, Beary said.

And with heavy traffic on the roads of Orange County daily, he said, motorcycle officers are particularly at risk.

Callin knows those risks well.

His father David is a veteran sheriff's detective, and his younger sister is in the police academy.

"Mike is following in his dad's footsteps," said Beary, his voice choking with emotion.

This post from Ioacentralboards.com
No one was shot. There was only one who fled and he was a repeat offender. Just another issue of news trying to tie something to theme parks, as if they dont have enough to worry about.

From Anthony Murphy on August 2, 2006 at 9:06 AM
Wait, where did they catch him? In IOA?
From Gareth H on August 2, 2006 at 9:52 AM
The bloodhound picked up a scent in Citywalk which led them into IOA.
The suspect seemed to have slipped out of IOA over a back fence. I live 5 minutes from IOA and it was a nightmare getting home. I resorted to parking my car and walking as no traffic was moving. At every juntion there were police cars on the lookout, 2 helicopters above, TV crews stationed everywhere just a gridlock.

As a funny coincidence, the exact loction where the injured cop tried pulling the car for speeding was where I got stopped for the same offence.

The cops hand out under the flyover with their radars, and when caught speeding they step out into the road, put their hand out and tell you to pull over.

For the record the cop was very nice to me and pretty much let me go..

**Speeding or breaking the law is not good kids**

From Chris Walton on August 2, 2006 at 11:41 AM
Wow, interesting. I'll need to follow up on further developments.
From Robert Niles on August 3, 2006 at 8:34 AM
Deputy Michael A. Callin, 26, was removed from life support and pronounced dead at 7:25 p.m. Wednesday, according to Sheriff's officials.
From Gareth H on August 3, 2006 at 11:52 PM
Very sad news, and also takes Orlandos Murder count to 35 for 2006, one behind the existing record of 36 for a year.

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