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Pinellas deputies say man forcefully entered stranger's home in Palm Harbor

PALM HARBOR

Deputies: Man forcefully enters home

A man who said he intended to visit his grandfather was jailed Saturday after authorities say he instead forced his way into a stranger's home and fought two people who tried to send him on his way. Pinellas County deputies say Travis Edward Connelly, 22, was drunk when he broke into the Snowy Egret Court residence about a half-mile from his own Clubside Court apartment around 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Once inside, an arrest affidavit says, Connelly began shoving a 68-year-old neighbor who rushed to the 92-year-old homeowner's aid. A deputy wrote in his report that Connelly then ignored the law officer's commands to stop and had to be wrestled to the ground and handcuffed. Connelly, the report said, threatened to hunt down, kill and "take (the deputy's) freedom away." His legs were tied after he tried to kick out the patrol car's windows, authorities said. Connelly, identified in the report as member of the U.S. Army, was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on a misdemeanor count of disorderly intoxication. Jail records show he was released Sunday.

CLEARWATER

Gunman shot after firing on police

Police officers shot and badly injured a man Sunday night after he fired at them with an assault-style rifle, authorities said. The shooting left the man, who is in his 50s, with "life-threatening injuries," according to Elizabeth Watts, Clearwater public safety spokeswoman, and he was in surgery at Bayfront Medical Center late Sunday. His name was not released. Watts gave the following account of the incident, which happened at 7:13 p.m.: A relative of the man contacted Clearwater police and expressed concern about a conversation he had with the man. The relative asked officers to check at the man's home, in the 2200 block of Glenmoor Road N. When officers Kris Wise and Michael Beaver arrived, they found the man armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. He fired at least one shot at the officers, but they returned fire and hit him. The man's 15-year-old son was at home at the time of the shooting, Watts said. He was not injured. Wise and Beaver will be placed on administrative leave during the investigation, which is standard policy in officer-involved shootings.

SPRING HILL

FHP: Driver ran red light, woman dies

A 75-year-old Spring Hill woman died Sunday afternoon in a crash caused by another driver running a red light, authorities said. Cecilia Diaz was making a left turn from westbound Landover Boulevard onto Mariner Boulevard in a 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer when she was hit by a 2004 Ford Ranger driven by Gregory Gerard Sanchez, 26, of Spring Hill, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Sanchez had been driving north on Mariner, the patrol said, and did not stop for a red light. His truck slammed into the left side of Diaz's car. The crash happened about 1:47 p.m., according to troopers. Diaz died at the scene and Sanchez sustained minor injuries. The incident is still under investigation.

Times staff

Pinellas deputies say man forcefully entered stranger's home in Palm Harbor 12/23/12 [Last modified: Sunday, December 23, 2012 11:21pm]
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