Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Deputies say Hudson High quarterback shot during robbery attempt

Austin Smith, 16, a Hudson High quarterback, was shot in the leg. Smith, right, was charged with robbery.

Austin Smith, 16, a Hudson High quarterback, was shot in the leg. Smith, right, was charged with robbery.

HUDSON — Hudson High football quarterback Austin Smith was shot Thursday night as he joined two others in an attempted robbery at a home in the Beacon Woods subdivision, deputies said.

A woman in the house shot Smith, 16, once in a leg as he attempted to flee, according to a Sheriff's Office report. He was treated at a local hospital and then booked in the juvenile detention center along with Dontaie Collins, 17, who was a wide receiver and captain of the Hudson football team last season. Deputies also arrested Reginald Antoine Cotman, 19, whom they described as a getaway driver.

Smith and Collins were invited into a house at 12210 Pepper Mill Drive at 11:30 p.m. Thursday to play video games with two teens who live there, authorities said. While one teen was in the bathroom, Collins is alleged to have grabbed $3,000 in cash that was on a bedroom dresser.

Collins ran out of the house, but Smith was grabbed by the two teens, who called for help from the adult residents of the home — a 50-year-old man and a 57-year-old woman, said sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin. The woman grabbed her .38-caliber revolver and shot at Smith twice, hitting him once in the lower leg before he ran out the door.

Tobin did not identify the woman, but a deputy's report gave her last name as Belfus. Property records identify Deborah Belfus as the homeowner. The Times was unable to reach her on Friday.

Cotman drove Smith and Collins to the house, waited around the corner for them and acted as a getaway driver after the robbery and shooting, said deputies, who found the trio at Collins' house in Colony Lakes in New Port Richey on Friday morning.

Tobin said the stolen cash — which the residents said was for an upcoming trip — was recovered at the home.

All three teens were charged with robbery. Cotman, of 7833 Tropicana Drive in the Jasmine Lakes area of Port Richey, was being held at the county jail Friday in lieu of $10,000 bail. He told authorities he knew nothing about the robbery.

Collins, who is about to enter his senior year at Hudson High, told deputies he didn't take the money. This is Collins' fourth arrest, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. He was previously charged with burglary, trespassing and larceny.

Smith, a junior, was also arrested in Pasco in May 2009 on a felony charge of larceny, according to the FDLE. The charge was dismissed in December.

Smith and Collins remained in juvenile custody Friday, Tobin said.

Hudson coach Justin Fenton learned of the incident Friday afternoon from a Times reporter.

"That might explain why they weren't at workouts this morning," Fenton said. "They are good friends."

Hudson athletic director Andy Schmitz was on a trip Friday afternoon and had no comment as he continued to gather details.

Smith was quoted in a Times article this month, praising the team's new coach. Smith said Fenton doesn't like slackers and he pushes his players hard, which Smith said he likes.

Fenton "gave me a chance," Smith said, "and I'm going to show him what I can do."

Collins had 505 receiving yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions last year.

The Pasco County student handbook states a student-athlete's arrest for an on- or off-campus incident results in a 20-day suspension from practice or competition once the administration is made aware of the incident.

That would make both players ineligible for preseason practice, which begins Aug. 9.

Smith's mother, Sheila Smith, said late Friday that her son said "he did not do anything and some woman shot him."

She said the boys were not armed or carrying weapons.

"You don't shoot a child," she said. She thinks the woman should be charged.

"There should be consequences," Smith said.

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this story.

Deputies say Hudson High quarterback shot during robbery attempt 07/30/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 30, 2010 10:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Clearwater man shot, seriously injured

    Crime

    CLEARWATER — A shooting Sunday morning in unincorporated Clearwater left one man seriously injured, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

  2. Mother of double amputee Ireland Nugent to lose her own lower right leg

    Human Interest

    Ever since Ireland Nugent lost both her lower legs in a lawn-mowing accident five years ago, the Clearwater girl has inspired her mother, Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, with the courage she has shown in overcoming the tragedy.

    Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, left, looked on as her daughter Ireland threw out the first pitch when the Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on June 22, 2014. Jerry Nugent held his daughter for the pitch. Now Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent is facing surgery to amputate her own lower right leg due to a rare infection. WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times (2014)
  3. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

    Chris Archer has not gotten past four innings in four of his past five starts. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  4. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?

    Bucs

    MINNEAPOLIS — Times columnist Tom Jones gives his report card from the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings on Sunday:

    HERE WE GO AGAIN?

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss

    Bucs

    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]