MANATEE -- A burglar was found hiding in a freezer by a police dog after he fell through the roof of the restaurant early Thursday morning.
Bryon Newville, 29, was arrested for the alleged burglary of the Thai Spice restaurant at 6233 14th St. W.
The Manatee Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call at 4:05 a.m. Thursday after receiving a tip someone was on the roof of the strip mall. Witnesses reportedly watched a man climb the wall using the conduit from power meters attached to the building.
When deputies arrived and surrounded the building, they were told by witnesses the man had not come down. Deputies called for a fire truck and used the ladder so K-9 deputy Rex could climb onto the roof with them.
The K-9 sniffed out a rooftop air handler, large enough for a person to climb into, that had been forced open.
All businesses in the strip mall were checked by deputies. A ceiling tile was found broken with debris scattered at the Thai Spice restaurant.
Deputies were able to enter using a fire department key. A blood trail leading through the restaurant led deputies to believe Newville was hurt during the fall and attempted to pry open the cash register.
The K-9 deputy and handler reportedly found Newville hiding in the freezer.
Newville refused to come out willingly until the K-9 was sent in and bit him on the upper right thigh. He was taken to a local hospital and treated for his injuries, before being booked at theManatee County jail.
"It appears his intended target was the pharmacy, but he chose the wrongair handler to fall through," according to the Mana-tee Sheriff's Office report.
The restaurant had"been closed for the week for vacation, accordingto a sign posted at thedoor and a voice mes-sage on the phone line.
Soni Patel, manager of the Bayshore Pharmacy next door, said theyhad no knowledge ofthe incident until they received a call fromthe owner of the shopping plaza's drive-up coffee shop.
"We came in at about 6 a.m. this morning and the place was surrounded by police," said Sam Moskowitz, owner of The Greatest Coffee.
Moskowitz said thiswas the first sign ofcriminal activity experienced in the plaza in awhile.
"Two to three years ago the windows were blown out by gunshots and recently I also had bullet holes in my windows," Moskowitz said.
The owners were not available for comment.
"Not only will therebe impairment to the business, but also the damage will far exceed $1,000," according to the MSO report.
Newville was charged with burglary to a structure with more than $1,000 in damages and resisting arrest with bonds totaling $20,500.
Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.