TAMPA (FOX 13) - A man hiding from deputies found himself in need of rescue, after getting stuck in an air conditioning duct.
The suspect, Larry Puleo of Tampa, learned his lesson the hard way Thursday, when he fell into a shaft of the duct in which he was hiding and couldn’t get out.
Deputies were at Puelo's house to pick him up on warrants for violating his probation, which included an old heroin charge, when he decided to hide in the ducts.
”We cut a hole in that and we found a hand in the hole and immediately the guy started begging us to get him out of the ductwork because he was freezing cold,” Hillsborough County Sheriff’s spokesperson Larry McKinnon.
When deputies got him out, after more than an hour, he was blue and suffering from hypothermia.
”He couldn't move,” his wife, Sonya Puleo, told FOX 13. ”I was freaking out.”
His wife says they had been saving up for an attorney and planned to deal with his warrants then. She says there's more to him than a mug shot.
"I've been married to him 20 years. I couldn't have asked for a better husband,” she said.
She's thankful he's alive, and to the deputies who turned their apprehension into a rescue.
”Had we left, he could've frozen to death,” said McKinnon. ”These weren't charges that would've put him in jail the rest of his life, but where he slid down into could've been the end of his life.”