Homeowner Uses Axe to Stop Home Invasion, Pinellas Park Police Say
The man used an axe to keep the suspect from leaving until police arrived, officers said.
PINELLAS PARK – A homeowner used an axe to rescue his girlfriend who was being attacked during a home invasion Wednesday (Aug. 30), Pinellas Park police said.
Christina A. Robles, 33, received minor injuries during the attack.
Matthew Anthony Cleveland, 17, of St. Petersburg, was charged with one count each of home invasion robbery and felony battery (strangulation), and two counts of simple battery.
Police said Cleveland, a 12th grader at Richard L. Sanders school for exceptional education, left the school before 9 a.m. and wandered the neighborhood where the incident took place. One woman told officers she had yelled to Cleveland to leave her property when he was seen near her open garage door.
Cleveland then made his way to a home on 80th Avenue N and knocked on the front door. Robles answered the door. Police said Cleveland asked about the location of a park in Largo. When Robles told him she did not know where the park was she tried to close the door at which point Cleveland forced it open.
Cleveland grabbed Robles by the throat and began choking her and slamming her head into the wall, police said. Cleveland then began punching Robles in the head and body as she screamed for her boyfriend Alexander McMaster who was asleep upstairs. Hearing the screaming, McMaster came down the stairs and saw Cleveland battering Robles.
McMaster ran towards Cleveland and struggled with him to get Cleveland away from Robles. McMaster grabbed a nearby axe that was being used to prop open a window and he held the axe to keep Cleveland from getting out of the house until officers arrived.
For information about Pinellas Park police, go to pinellas-park.com.
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