Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Car hits a St. Petersburg home, teen driver faces grand theft charge

A white Mazda crashed into a St. Petersburg home early Tuesday. Authorities were searching for the driver.


A white Mazda crashed into a St. Petersburg home early Tuesday. Authorities were searching for the driver.

ST. PETERSBURG — Elna Bozarth was sound asleep at 5:40 a.m. Tuesday when she was startled awake by a loud noise. She thought the second floor had caved in.

"It sounded like a boom," said Bozarth, 85. "It took me a few minutes to collect my wits."

Once she did, she got out of bed, grabbed her walker, and summoned authorities with an alarm she uses in case she falls.

The boom Bozarth heard was the sound of a white Mazda smashing into her two-story house near her bedroom, ripping off the side paneling.

The driver abandoned the car and ran away.

Police traced the car to Carla Bartlett, 33, of the 2600 block of 18th Avenue N. Bartlett told Pinellas County sheriff's deputies that her 15-year-old son had just awakened her up to say he wrecked her car, deputies said.

Her son ran out the back door as deputies arrived, Bartlett said. She said he took the car without her permission.

A police dog tracked down the teen, who was arrested not far from his house. He was taken to a hospital for injuries from the crash and faces a grand theft charge.

The extent of the damage to the house was unclear. It was not the first time an errant car has collided with Bozarth's house, 4200 26th St. N.

Bozarth, who has lived there for 64 years, said a few years ago a drunken driver ran into the front porch.

This time, the Mazda went through the yard on the other side, where a fence and shrubbery might have slowed it down, said Bozarth's daughter, Lois Pendley, 65, who lives in Seminole, about 20 minutes away. One of the Mazda's tires was knocked off, and car parts were scattered throughout the yard, including the fender. The front two air bags deployed.

Pendley said her mother is fortunate to have emerged unscathed from both accidents.

"I just feel bad for her," she said.

Car hits a St. Petersburg home, teen driver faces grand theft charge 02/02/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 3:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bullpen melts down as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Jacob Faria allowed his first two big-league home runs and was touched for a career-high three runs Saturday by the Orioles. Other than that, the rookie making his fourth major-league start did okay against the Baltimore bats.

    The bullpen, not so much.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Baltimore Orioles scored four runs during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 24, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) SPD118
  2. Lightning shifts search for defense to free agency

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — As much as he tried, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman left the weekend's draft without acquiring another top-four defenseman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101
  3. Half of Florida lawmakers fail or nearly fail review of support for public records

    State Roundup

    WEST PALM BEACH — Half of Florida's legislators failed or nearly failed in a review of their support for public records and meetings given by Florida newspapers and an open-government group after this year's legislative sessions.

    State Senator Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton (left) and Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran ranked on opposite sides of the spectrum in an analysis of support for open records. Galvano scored a B-minus and Corcoran scored a D-plus.
[Times file photo]
  4. Yale dean on leave over offensive Yelp reviews leaves post

    Bizarre News

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Yale University dean who was placed on leave over offensive reviews she posted on Yelp has left her position at the Ivy League institution, school officials said Tuesday.

  5. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]