ST. PETERSBURG — A homeowner held a burglar at gunpoint Wednesday morning, and while the man waited in his house for police to arrive, the intruder made an odd proposition:
In exchange for his freedom, the burglar offered to mow the man's lawn.
The incident began when Joseph Cihak woke to use the bathroom at about 4:30 a.m. He carried his handgun with him because less than a week before, someone had broken into his home on Westwood Terrace N. He and his wife made a plan to carry a gun any time they left their bedroom at night.
On his way to the bathroom, Cihak heard a rustling noise coming from the living room, police said. There, he found a man rifling through his belongings. The burglar rushed Cihak, police said, and the homeowner fired two shots.
Then the gun jammed. The burglar ran toward the kitchen, trying to find a way out, and police said Cihak ran for another gun.
Cihak came back to the kitchen to find Bryan Remley, 25, lying on the floor, police said. He was uninjured.
Cihak's wife, Colleen Traversa, heard her husband confront the man and called police.
As they waited for police to arrive, Remley asked Cihak to let him go and promised to come back to mow the lawn, police said.
"That probably would have done it for me," joked police spokesman Mike Puetz, "but for this particular guy, he wanted to wait for the cops."
Police said Remley had a 4-inch knife in a holster with him. He was charged with armed burglary and violation of probation, and he had an outstanding warrant from Seminole County on a petty theft charge.