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Suspect in Crystal Beach home invasion demanded money and pills, authorities say

CRYSTAL BEACH — Deputies revealed more details Friday about a home invasion robbery Thursday that ended with a three-car accident on the Dunedin Causeway. They also filed more serious criminal charges against the robbery suspect.

The suspect, Forrest King, 22, now faces a litany of charges — armed robbery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, grand theft auto, fleeing or eluding at high speed, driving with a suspended or revoked license, and leaving the scene of a crash involving injury.

The events that unfolded Thursday afternoon sent two people to the hospital: a victim of the home invasion and a woman injured in the crash, authorities say.

Deputies say King tried to steal pain pills and money and ended up shooting Matthew Beck, who was visiting Kristina Teuber at her home at 310 Avery Ave., according to an arrest affidavit.

Around 2 p.m., shortly after Beck arrived, Beck was talking with Teuber when King broke down the door, according to authorities. He entered Teuber's home with a handgun and demanded cash and pills.

Deputy interviews and arrest records also indicate that some sort of drug transaction might have gone bad.

After Beck and King argued, authorities say King shot Beck, 28, of Seminole, and grabbed a bottle of oxycodone pills. But he dropped the pills as he ran from the home.

Beck was seriously injured. He was flown to Bayfront Medical Center and underwent surgery for a gunshot wound, authorities said. Teuber, 33, was not injured.

King, who is from Seminole, took off in Beck's 2003 Nissan Xterra, eventually causing a bizarre accident that injured a 78-year-old woman, according to authorities.

Here's how the crash happened, according to authorities:

King, 22, headed south, speeding on Alt. U.S. 19 before turning west onto Causeway Boulevard. A sheriff's deputy saw the Xterra, turned on his lights and sirens, and began following the car.

King crashed into the back of Catherine Teats' GMC Envoy in the westbound lane of the causeway, causing her Envoy to roll over another car, a Dodge Journey, and back onto its wheels. Teats was flown to St. Joseph's Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Journey was not injured.

"The deputy saw the accident as he came over the crest of the bridge," said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda. "I know he was able to keep a visual on this individual. I don't believe he was close up."

King then fled into the water, where a few people on personal watercraft cornered him until the deputy arrived to arrest him, Barreda said.

King was transported to Mease Dunedin Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. He was released and transported to the Pinellas County Jail.

The hospitals were unable to provide additional information about the conditions of Beck and Teats on Friday.

King may have thrown a gun into the water, Barreda said, so the Sheriff's Office's dive team was on the scene Thursday afternoon looking for a weapon. But they weren't able to locate it.

Beck was arrested on a charge of possessing oxycodone in July. He pleaded not guilty and a pre-trial hearing was scheduled for next month.

King had previously been arrested on charges of criminal mischief and marijuana possession. He also had brushes with the law as a juvenile, with arrests on charges of disturbing the peace and criminal mischief.

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Lorri Helfand can be reached at (727) 445-4155 or lorri@sptimes.com.

Suspect in Crystal Beach home invasion demanded money and pills, authorities say 10/07/11 [Last modified: Friday, October 7, 2011 7:05pm]
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