TSA officer facing sexual battery and kidnapping charges

7:19 PM, Jul 27, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- A former Tarpon Springs police officer was arrested Saturday morning on sexual battery and kidnapping charges of a 30-year-old woman, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

On Friday morning at 2:30, the victim was walking near Gulf to Bay and Highland Ave. when deputies said 37-year-old Larry Kobielnik offered her a ride and she stepped into his car. 

According to deputies, she then wanted to get out and he showed her a "police badge" and a handgun and told her she was under arrest. He then reportedly put her in handcuffs.

Deputies say Kobielnik drove the woman to a residence in Dunedin. They say she was there for a period of time, during which Kobielnik allegedly forced her to have sex and oral sex with him. When Kobielnik fell asleep, the victim was able to escape and wrote down his car's tag number and gave it to detectives.

Kobielnik was arrested Saturday morning at his reported residence, in a 55-year-old and up community in Dunedin. 

"I was surprised when I saw all the police at his home last night," said a neighbor. 

"I never had a good feeling about him," said another neighbor. "He would give me disturbing looks."

Despite what happened, neighbors agree that it was an isolated incident and they still feel safe in their neighborhood.

The Transportation Security Administration has released this statement:

"TSA holds its employees to the highest standards of conduct. This alleged violent crime is egregious and intolerable. TSA is cooperating fully with investigating authorities," said TSA spokesperson administrator John S. Pistole. "This individual is no longer employed by the agency."

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