PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Zephyrhills teen is accused of strangling a woman after he allegedly broke into her home.
The 17-year-old was arrested Tuesday for burglary with simple battery/assault and criminal mischief and taken to a juvenile detention facility.
Deputies said the teen entered the woman’s home and waited for her to return while he hid in a closet. Investigators suspect he broke into the residence through a window or by forcing open the front door, which was broken.
When the woman returned home, deputies say the boy got out of the closet and started choking her with his right hand. He used his left hand to cover her mouth to try to stop her from calling out for help, deputies said.
After about 10 minutes, a neighbor heard their struggle and came to the woman’s aid. The neighbor pulled the teen off the victim and started fighting with him.
During their struggle, the teen damaged a kitchen window and a porch screen, causing an estimated $300 in damage.
After their fight spilled outside, the teen ran away. He was later identified in a photo lineup, then taken into custody.
Deputies said the boy is classified as a delinquent, according to the Juvenile Justice Information System (JSIS) and is therefore unable to qualify for Youth Diversion.
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