MOON LAKE — After months of lying to detectives, Elias Jesus Rosado seemed cooperative and accepting of his fate. He just wanted to go inside his house Wednesday morning to put on some shoes before being taken to jail.
The deputy relented and said okay, get your shoes.
Then Rosado, 21, wouldn't come back out.
And then he disappeared.
Rosado slipped inside the house on Burton Street in Moon Lake Estates with his girlfriend's mother, Elizabeth Mae Harlow, 61, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report. From outside the deputy saw Rosado roaming the house, smoking a cigarette. He changed his shirt and talked on the phone with his girlfriend, the report said.
The deputy called out for him three times. Rosado — who was being arrested on charges of filing a false police report about a stolen car — said he was coming.
Then he was gone.
Elizabeth Harlow came outside and said to the deputy, "He's not with you?" She said she didn't know where he was. Harlow gave the deputy and a detective permission to search inside the house. He wasn't there. They climbed a ladder to search the attic. Nothing.
They told Harlow she was being arrested for obstruction.
And then Rosado called her from his cell phone.
The detective got on the line and told Rosado that his girlfriend's mother was going to jail for her alleged part in his escape. If Rosado returned, the detective said, Harlow wouldn't be arrested and he would refer the charges against her to the State Attorney's Office.
I'll be back in five minutes, Rosado said. He refused to tell the detective where he was.
The group waited for an hour and a half.
Throughout that time, they talked with Rosado on the phone. Rosado kept saying he would come back, the report said.
Rosado's girlfriend, Kayla Harlow, 21, arrived on the scene. Her mom was detained in the back of a patrol car. She called her boyfriend and asked him to come back, so her mom wouldn't go to jail. She worried about her mom losing her job as a teller at Wachovia Bank. She worried about her mom kicking them out of the house if he didn't return.
He never did.
Elizabeth Harlow was taken to the Land O'Lakes jail on an obstruction charge and released that same day on $150 bail. Rosado, a dishwasher at Sonny's Barbecue who is on felony probation for aggravated battery, remains at large.
According to the sheriff's report, Rosado will be charged with violating his probation, filing a false police report and fleeing from law enforcement — once he is found.
Sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said the decision to allow suspects to go back into their home before being arrested is made case-by-case. Sometimes they need clothes or medications.
There also are rules on when law enforcement officers are allowed to enter a residence, Doll said, so many times a deputy can't go inside and get the items for the person. But he said if Rosado had been detained for a dangerous crime, "He would have been in handcuffs."
On Thursday, Kayla Harlow told the Pasco Times she's happy that her mom is home from jail.
She hasn't heard from her boyfriend. She is unsure of her romantic future with Rosado.