TREASURE ISLAND — Deputies arrested one man and evacuated several apartments Tuesday in connection with a methamphetamine lab in the Village of Paradise Island complex.
Treasure Island police chased Phillip Blake Pike, 31, to the three-story condo at 511 Sandy Hook Road about 8 a.m. Tuesday, said Pinellas sheriff's spokesman Dave DiSano. Pike ran from police after they connected him to a suspicious-person report, deputies said.
When officers followed him to the condo's garage, they saw chemicals used to produce the drug. At that time, they followed procedure by backing out and calling in sheriff's deputies, DiSano said.
Three to four units in the complex were evacuated and the scene was still being assessed for dangerous chemicals Tuesday afternoon, DiSano said.
"These scenes you've got to be really precautionary with," DiSano said. "You've got to be really slow and meticulous."
Heidi and Todd Booze live two doors down from the raided apartment and noticed police and fire trucks swarming the area when they left to take their son to soccer practice Tuesday morning. By the time they returned, their street had been blocked off and they couldn't return home.
The complex is generally safe and quiet, Heidi Booze said.
They know all their neighbors except the one they say was arrested.
"This is going to shake everybody up for sure," she said.
Pike was arrested on charges of attempting and conspiring to make methamphetamine.
Claire Wiseman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8804. Follow @clairelwiseman on Twitter.