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Tampa offers settlement for false arrest

Dec. 18, 2012 at 5:50 PM

TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The Tampa, Fla., City Council will consider whether to offer $65,000 to settle a false arrest charge against a woman accused of selling fake Super Bowl tickets.

Svetlana Savacenco, 28, and James DiZoglio, 48, were arrested at the Super Bowl in 2009 on charges of selling counterfeit tickets to the game -- tickets the National Football League later confirmed were genuine.

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Charges against Savacenco and DiZoglio -- a ticket broker -- were dropped, and city officials have proposed the settlement for Savacenco, who was sitting in the couple's car when the two were arrested, the Tampa Bay, Fla. Times reported Tuesday.

The couple sued the city but a federal judge has thrown out most of their claims, ruling that police had "arguable probable cause" to arrest DiZoglio, the newspaper said.

Although ticket-selling on the secondary market is legal in Florida, a parking-lot ticket negotiation prior to the game, between DiZoglio and several football fans, "looked like a drug deal" to Tampa police Cpl. Edward Croissant, who asked to see the tickets, took them to a portable scanner and deemed them counterfeit, the newspaper said.

At the trial the NFL's director of investigative services testified some tickets had to be tested several times, and Croissant and officer Michael Harrell could not agree on how many times the tickets were scanned.

The City Council is scheduled to consider the settlement Thursday.

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