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Burglar bolts after woman pulls her pistol

By Times staff writers

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 14, 2000


PORT RICHEY -- When a burglar entered a 47-year-old woman's home early Tuesday morning, she grabbed her handgun and confronted him, authorities said.

The woman, who lives on Seabreeze Drive and was not identified by sheriff's officials, was sleeping when her phone rang at 3:50 a.m. Her alarm company was calling to tell her that an intrusion alarm had been set off.

The woman asked the alarm company to call the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, and she took her .38-caliber handgun from her nightstand drawer. She could hear a noise in the direction of the family room, deputies said. Walking out of her bedroom, she crept to the family room, where she saw a man standing over her desk. He was opening and closing the desk drawers, she told officers.

She said: "Who are you? I have a gun," but the burglar ran toward her and pushed her against a wall, a police report says.

The woman told police that she fired once at the burglar's back, but she did not think she hit him, deputies said. The man unlocked the laundry room door and fled, authorities said.

Deputies asked local hospitals to alert them if a gunshot victim asks for treatment.

The case is under investigation, said sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll. A deputy made a composite sketch of the suspect.

Man, 19, charged with sexual battery

ZEPHYRHILLS -- A 19-year-old man was charged with sexual battery Tuesday after he forced a woman to have sex with him even though she asked him to stop, authorities said.

Christopher Daniel Griffis of 5423 Eighth St., Zephyrhills, was booked at the county jail in Land O'Lakes and held in lieu of $10,000 bail.

The victim, whose name was not released by Zephyrhills police, told officers that she started to have consensual intercourse with Griffis on Tuesday, but then said that she didn't want to continue.

The woman said Griffis then pulled her clothes off and had sex with her, police said.

Griffis told police that he had had sex with the woman at least five times over the past several months, police said. He also admitted to having sex with the woman against her will on Tuesday, police said.

Sheriff rear-ends another car in traffic

LAND O'LAKES -- Sheriff Lee Cannon was involved in a minor accident at U.S. 41 and State Road 54 on Wednesday, deputies said.

Cannon, who was driving a Sheriff's Office vehicle to Tampa to attend a trial, was stopped at a red light at the intersection at about 8:20 a.m.

Cannon told deputies that after the light turned green, the vehicle in front of him started to move, then stopped.

"Mr. Cannon stated that he then bumped the front end of his vehicle into the back end of (the other) vehicle," Deputy Adam Tellier wrote.

The other vehicle, a Volkswagen Jetta, was driven by Robin Derna Lopez, 39, of Land O'Lakes, deputies said. She told officials that when the light turned green, the car in front of her accelerated. When the car in front of her stopped, Lopez said, she did, also.

The front bumper of Cannon's 1999 Chevrolet was dented, observed Tellier, and Lopez's car had several black scuff marks on the back bumper.

The Florida Highway Patrol was called to investigate the accident.

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