Suspect arrested in Bayshore Gardens home invasion

MANATEE - A 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with an attempted home invasion robbery in Bayshore Gardens early this morning, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Meanwhile, the victims' accounts of what happened began to unravel after detectives realized they were being told conflicting stories. For example, the victims lied about who had used a frying pan to run off the alleged intruder, Jeremy Reiter, the sheriff's office said.

The victims also initially withheld that there was another victim who had left after the break-in because he was wanted on an outstanding warrant from Sarasota County. William Council, 28, was arrested a few houses away, according to the sheriff's office.

Detectives said they determined during their investigation that the home's residents were involved in using and selling prescription drugs. The residents at the house knew Council had recently sold a large number of Oxycodone pills and should have money from the transaction, according to the sheriff's office.

About 12:30 a.m., the suspect entered the residence immediately after one of victims opened the door and confronted Council and another victim. He gave loud orders to both Council and the second victim, but used “please and thank-you” when speaking to the woman who had opened the door. He also directed her to empty the victims’ pockets.

While this was occurring Council attacked the suspect and went after him with the frying pan and the woman who let the suspect into the house pulled him off. During this time the suspect managed to escape, the sheriff's office said.

An earlier report said the woman had used the frying pan to scare off the robber.

Another one of the victims was later seen meeting with someone matching the description of the suspect, who turned out to be Reiter. He is facing charges of attempted home invasion robbery and possession of a controlled substance.

Other charges are pending, and the investigation was continuing.