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Five jailed as tiff turns into chaos

What started as domestic squabble in which a 15-year-old girl was beaten by her teenage boyfriend ended early Tuesday with five people going to jail on various charges, three small children being taken into protective custody and a golden retriever getting hit with a baseball bat.

While Pinellas County sheriff's deputies continued to sort out the details, the injured dog named Toby remained missing late Tuesday after it ran off.

About midnight, 17-year-old Jeff Secuskie and several friends were sitting outside his parents' town house at 5310 31st St. N when Jessica Ebersole walked out some nearby woods.

Ebersole told the teens she had been beaten by her boyfriend, 18-year-old Sean Pinnell. After 10 minutes, Pinnell walked up and persuaded Ebersole to go with him.

As the two walked away, Pinnell began to hit Ebersole until Secuskie and his friends said they ran to help her. Pinnell ran into a house around the corner, at 3075 54th Ave. N.

Pinnell then emerged from the house with about 10 other youths _ at least one of whom was carrying a baseball bat. Secuskie and his friends ran back to his town house.

But Pinnell and his friends caught up with them. "My storm door was getting ready to close and they swung it open," Secuskie said.

Parts of the storm door were broken away and strewn into the yard and garden. Toby, the golden retriever, ran outside, where he was hit in the back and ribs with the baseball bat.

The dog took off, and deputies were called.

Deputies discovered as many as 18 people, mostly teenagers, inside the converted garage apartment on 54th Avenue. The woman who rents the apartment was not there.

Her apartment was being used by the teenagers as a place to hang out and party. Inside the apartment were three children _ ages 1, 3 and 5.

Pinnell's brother, 21-year-old Richard Pinnell, was supposed to be babysitting the children on Belcher Road for relatives. But instead he had taken the children to the apartment on 54th Avenue.

Deputies called the state Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. Richard Pinnell was charged with child neglect.

Sean Pinnell was charged with battery and domestic violence for the squabble with his girlfriend. Ebersole was charged with obstruction because she became combative and refused to cooperate with deputies. Morgan Powell, 16, was charged with armed burglary and animal cruelty for using the baseball bat, deputies said.

The dog has not been seen since the beating, despite a lengthy search.

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