Local News

Woman charged with theft

SEBRING A woman who told investigators in July 2008 that she bit a baby on the face to discipline him was arrested Feb. 16 on charges of theft and violation of probation. Contessa Lorraine Strange, 33, 13015 U.S. 98, Sebring, who has also gone under the name of Contessa Lorraine Mathes, was arrested Feb. 16 by the Highlands County Sheriff's Office on a warrant from 2010. Strange was charged with giving false information to a pawnshop owner, third-degree grand theft, dealing in stolen property and violation of probation. She was on probation for child abuse and possession of methamphetamine. The violation of probation charge stemmed from when authorities received a report that Strange had bitten a baby.
The deputy arrived at the scene and noticed that the baby's neck, forehead and face had redness, a July 15, 2008, Highlands Today article said. He also saw marijuana and methamphetamine, reports said. Strange told deputies that "Yes, I bit him on the face; he has a problem with head butting people and biting people, so I bit him to teach him a lesson. What else am I supposed to do? He doesn't understand he can't bite people," the article said. In regards to the arrest involving a theft charge, a man reported that someone stole aluminum and more than $700 of fishing rods and reels. After an investigation, authorities accused Strange of stealing and pawning the fishing rods. As of press time, Strange remained in jail, with no bond being set on the violation of probation charges.

Jmeisel@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5834