By Scoop Cooper
LAND O' LAKES, FLORIDA - An accused bike thief, who fled up a tree, is back on the ground and behind bars.
The man is accused of stealing a bicycle by pushing the rider off of it at 2 p.m. Friday. The suspect loaded the bike on his truck. When police responded to the call, the suspect fought off a deputy and climbed up a 30-foot-tall tree. Apparently, he didn't have a next move. He stayed in the tree for 11 hours. Police and news crews stood vigil around the base of the tree. After nightfall, they shined lights up into the foliage. However, the suspect remained unseen, except for the occasional movement of branches. One amused witness described the arboreal fugitive as nimble as a monkey.
The suspect finally decided he'd rather spend the night in jail than in a tree and descended to the ground at 1 a.m. Saturday morning. The bald, 37-year-old Pasco County resident was arrested and charged with robbery, battery on a police officer and resisting arrest. He is being held in the Land O' Lakes Detention Center.
Gee, the Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay held out longer than this guy. (sigh) I still miss Cornelius.