MANATEE — A Manatee teen’s summer turned terrifying this morning as a man kicked in the front door of the boy’s home, then fled at the sight of someone in the house.
Jeromy Phillips, 17, told Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies that he awoke just before 11 a.m. to someone pounding on the front door of his home, in the 4500 block of Coral Boulevard just off Cortez Road.
“I thought my father was working on the fence out back or something,” he said.
Then, realizing that his father had gone to work, Phillips grabbed a baseball bat in his room and headed to the living room. He saw the shadow of someone walking in a hallway heading to the bedrooms in the home, and he believed an intruder also saw his silhouette because the person bolted out the front door.
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Phillips called 911 and, once he believed the man to be gone, surveyed the damage to his front door. Sheriff’s deputies and K-9 dogs searched the area to no avail. Phillips said he didn’t get a good look at the man other than describing him as being bald.
Sitting on his front porch with a victim’s brochure given to him by sheriff’s deputies, Phillips said his family had just moved into the home, looking for a fresh start.
“We left our neighborhood because it was bad and we wanted to get away from stuff like this,” he said. “And then this happens.”