Monday, December 18, 2017
Public safety

Second arrest made in Tampa home invasion

TAMPA— Authorities made a second arrest in the home invasion robbery this week in which a 9-year-old boy called 911, police said.

Andrew Portugues, the 21-year-old man arrested, left town after the robbery, using a bus ticket for Buffalo, N.Y.

Tampa police and U.S. marshals were able to track down the Greyhound bus Thursday night and arrested Portugues in Fayetteville, N.C., where he was booked into the Cumberland County Detention Center to await extradition to Hillsborough County.

The second arrest was announced Friday morning at Forest Hills Elementary School, where Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor presented the boy, Desmond Pringley, Jr., a heroism award for calling 911 after the two robbers barged into his home at 10113 N Highland Ave.

They forced their way in and began beating his father, Desmond Pringley, and pulled out handguns, an arrest report shows. They placed Pringley in the bathroom, his hands tied with a dish towel.

The gunmen demanded drugs from Pringley and stole an iPod, a Kindle Fire, several cell phones, jewelry, about $2,200, and nearly 60 grams of crack cocaine, according to the report.

During the attack, Pringley's son called 911 and gave dispatchers a description of the suspects.

"It really is incredible that a young fellow like that would be able to first of all remain calm to call 911 and to provide the information that he did," Castor said. "He gave a very good description of both of the individuals."

Luis Morales, 18, of Thonotosassa was arrested outside the Pringleys' home moments after the robbery. He was being held Friday at the Hillsborough County jail without bail.

Times staff photographer Carolina Hidalgo contributed to this report.


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