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Homeowner chases off man with machete

January 16, 2013
By MEL TOADVINE ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

A Lehigh Acres man heard and saw a male suspect breaking into his home on Hines Ave. in Lehigh Acres and grabbed a machete to chase the burglar away.

Deputy First Class James Erskin of the Bravo Station at the Lehigh Acres Sheriff's Office on Homestead Rd., said he was dispatched to an occupied burglary in progress in which the suspect was a male driving a white SV/Crossover which was thought originally to be a Buick product.

The resident, who was the person who complained and called law enforcement, was Francisco A. Arredondo-Garcia, 55, who will be 56 next month. He and his wife moved here from Chicago not long ago.

Article Photos

Francisco Garcia shows the machete he used to chase away a man who was breaking into his home.

He told law enforcement that on Jan. 9, he was in his home which was locked when he heard knocking at his front door. He said he did not answer the door, but looked out the widows and saw an unknown male who rang the doorbell incessantly and knocked loudly but Garcia said he did not answer the door.

Instead he saw the male go around the north side of the house and to the back and looked into the rear windows.

According to a police report filed by Erskin, Garcia remained quietly inside his home and the male suspect returned to the front door.

Upon reaching the front door, the suspect kicked it in breaking the door jamb and lock assembly. When Garcia heard the door being broken into, he ran to his garage and grabvbed a machete he kept there.

The suspect had gotten into his living room and saw him through the open garage door and started to run out of the house and Garcia chased him with the machete and suspect screamed at him that "this was for your son breaking up my house."

Investigators said Garcia responded that he had no son and the suspect ran to a white SUV parked in Garcia's driveway and fled north on Hines Ave. to East 3rd Street and turned west out of sight.

But Garcia saw the emblem on the rear of the SUV which he thought at the time was a Buick emblem and he saw the first three numbers of the Florida tag and he told investigators that there was some wear and damage to the passenger seat.

He said the suspect tried to run him over with the vehicle and that the man was of thin build and around five feet to six feet tall, wearing a short sleeve shirt and baggie gray sweatpants and that he was a black male with light skin with sort to medium length hair without dreadlocks.

The vehicle and suspect description was broadcast to all units and the county sheriff's office helicopter was used to find the fleeing suspect, but at first to no avail.

Officer Erskin said he went through vehicle search and attempted to locate a white Buick SUV with ta tag number that the homeowner had told him, but with negative results. Later Garcia, after being shown images of Buick and Pontiac emblems and they were not right. He described the emblem as a sideways hash mark which the deputy said he recognized as a Mercury emblem. Garcia was shown images of the Mercy emblem and he positively identified it as the correct one and he was taken to look at the trunk of a Mercury vehicle parked nearby and agreed that the Mercury vehicle was correct.

Through an investigation Erskin was able to fine the car registered to the suspect, Kevin Dumas, 24, who lives at 3403 5th St. SW.

Deputy Erskin noted the vehicle southbound left turn lane of Richmond Ave. waiting to turn east onto Leeland Heights Blvd.

Erskin said he turned onto Richmond and then turned around to get behind the vehicle which turned east on Leeland heights. The officer followed the vehicle pulling up next to the vehicle to confirm the tag on the SV. He made a traffic stop at Bell Blvd. and Crestview Place for a non-functioning brake light/turn signal on the trailer.

During the stop, another officer with the sheriff's office in Lehigh went to Garcia's home and took him to the scene of a line-up and Garcia said he was the suspect who broke into his home.

Dumas was charged with burglary to an occupied dwelling, criminal mischief and aggravated assault for his attempts to hit Garcia with his vehicle. Following his arrest, Dumas was taken to the Lee County Jail.

Dumas has a long record of arrests dating back to October of 2006, according to the LCSO.



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