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    Deputy fatally shoots teen after rape of clerk

    By AMY WIMMER, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published December 15, 2002


    photo
    Christopher Green
    PINELLAS PARK -- Sixteen-year-old Christopher Green walked out of the Pinellas County Jail shortly after 10 p.m. Friday. Once home, he read from the Scriptures with his father, then nestled into his own bed for the first time in 26 days.

    When his dad checked on him around midnight, the teenager was watching television from beneath his covers.

    Three hours later, Green lay on the floor of a convenience store, shot three times by a Pinellas County sheriff's deputy who caught him raping a screaming store clerk. Green later died during surgery at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.

    In some ways, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office investigation is simple: Green was caught on surveillance tape robbing the store and raping the clerk. The deputy summoned by the store's alarm system walked in on the crime, and, authorities say, shot the boy after the 16-year-old pointed a revolver at the deputy.

    But investigators are also curious about how Green got to the scene. He left behind no car, bicycle or other form of transportation, and the Sunoco where the crimes occurred is 5 miles from where Green lived with his father.

    "We didn't find a car, didn't see anybody waiting around for him," said Deputy Cal Dennie, a spokesman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

    Green's father, Bob Green, said Saturday that he thinks his son was involved with a gang. He awoke shortly after 2 a.m. to find a note from his son.

    "Dad, I love you," he said, recalling the note, which he said he gave to sheriff's deputies. "I've got to go and give this gang notice again and quit. I'm done with them."

    Dennie said investigators have no evidence that anyone was with the teenager or that Chris Green was in a gang.

    "We don't have any confirmation of that," Dennie said. "Not even a suspicion."

    Neither Dennie nor Sunoco area operations manager Juan Fernandez would discuss the condition of the 31-year-old clerk.

    "Naturally, she's emotionally upset," Dennie said. The woman's name is not being released because of the nature of the crime.

    Dennie said Green entered the 24-hour Sunoco at 7091 Park Blvd., between 3 and 3:30 a.m., armed with a revolver. He robbed the clerk and, after she gave him money, he ordered her to take off her clothes.

    Green then jumped over the counter and pulled the clerk into a nearby hallway, where he raped her, police say.

    When Deputy Gerald Creaser arrived, he followed the clerk's screams to the hallway. Dennie said Green then pointed his gun at Creaser. The deputy fired four shots, and three hit the teenager.

    Creaser has been placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of a routine shooting investigation, Dennie said. The officer has never before been involved in a shooting, Dennie said, though his personnel records were not available Saturday.

    Green was flown by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center early Saturday, where a nurse called his father. "She said, 'Your son, we're sorry to inform you, has been shot,' " Bob Green recalled Saturday. "He had three gunshot wounds, but he was coherent and his blood pressure was okay."

    Within an hour, the teenager was dead from his injuries.

    At his St. Petersburg apartment Saturday afternoon, Bob Green, 67, described his son's life.

    Chris Green helped around his church, First Baptist of Indian Rocks Beach, and often studied the Bible with his father before going to bed.

    The boy lived with his father, a retired hotel and restaurant executive. His mother is a registered nurse who lives in Palm Harbor.

    Bob Green said he began having problems with his son about two years ago, when the father was in the hospital for an extended stay, and the boy was left alone much of the time. He began sneaking out and hanging around the wrong people, his father said.

    Bob Green even moved to a new apartment. He thought the floor plan would make it harder for his son to sneak out undetected.

    Dennie said Chris Green's juvenile record includes arrests for aggravated assault and hit and run. On Friday, Bob Green posted bail for his son, after the teen's 26-day jail stay on an armed burglary charge. He said he wanted the teenager home for Christmas and thought the boy was doing better.

    While in jail, Chris Green, a sophomore at Gibbs High School, wrote a poem titled It's Sad. The last line read: "It's great knowing that one day I'll be out of here and making something out of my life as anything I want to be."

    He signed his poem with his inmate identification number.

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