PALMETTO (FOX 13) - A homeowner held a burglary suspect at gunpoint after he led Manatee County Deputies on a chase from the home he broke into, investigators said.
Michael Nelson, 28, and a 17-year-old man were arrested and charged with three counts of burglary of an inhabited dwelling, criminal mischief and fleeing to elude deputies.
Around 8:00 a.m Friday., deputies say, Nelson and the juvenile suspect broken into a home on 36th Avenue East.
Crystal Carbajal, 16, heard the men banging on her front door.
"I looked through the peep hole, and I didn't know who it was, so I went back to my room," She said. "I thought they were going to leave."
They didn't. Crystal heard the men somehow open her garage, then get in to their kitchen.
"I ran to my mom's room and hid in the closet and called 911," She said.
As Nelson ransacked her home looking for valuables, Crystal was on the phone with dispatch asking for assistance.
"They stayed for about ten minutes looking through the whole house, She said. "As I was hidden in the closet, they searched through the closet, but they didn't find me.
Only a couple of bags of clothes stacked about three-feet high separated the suspects from Crystal.
She said, unbeknownst to one of the men, he touched her.
As deputies arrived at her home, Nelson and the 17 year old took off in a stolen car. Deputies chased them to the Shadow Brooke subdivision where they ditched the car and ran off.
Jonathan Friedman was drinking coffee when he looked out into his backyard and noticed several deputies chasing Nelson.
"I knew this guy was going to come in the house because there was no place else for him to go," Friedman said.
While standing in the kitchen, Jonathan went for his gun, a 357 magnum, that he has in one of the cabinets.
"And that door flung open. That's where he was standing," He said. "I pointed the gun. And I told him to freeze. 'Don't move, get down on the floor.' I yelled at him a second time and I cocked the trigger back real fast. I cocked the hammer back and I said, 'get down on the floor. I will shoot you. I will kill you.'"
Moments later, deputies ran into Jonathan's home and cuffed Nelson.
Across from Jonathan's backyard, the younger suspect was arrested as well.
"You couldn't believe how close [Nelson] was to not having that life anymore. Because if he didn't get down on the ground, I would have had no choice," Jonathan said.
Paramedics brought Nelson to the hospital because he was complaining of chest pain and loss of breath.
Deputies say, while there, Nelson damaged hospital property when he tried to set himself on fire.
He has an extensive criminal history in Hillsborough County.