Woman Shoots Violent Subject Attacking Neighbor at Home in Unincorporated Tarpon Springs
According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a residence at 1344 Pine Ridge Circle East, Unit #D3, in Tarpon Springs at approximately 3:56 a.m. Saturday, July 1, 2017.
The initial call for service was for a report of a suspicious person yelling and knocking on doors.
When deputies arrived, they observed a male who was later identified as, 18-year-old Daniel Morley of Clearwater, standing on the second story balcony only wearing boxer shorts.
Deputies say Morley fit the description of the suspicious subject. After seeing deputies, Morley ran to the third floor and entered a residence.
When deputies approached the condo, they heard yelling and banging on the walls inside the residence. Deputies say they knocked on the door announcing their presence. While attempting to make contact with Morley, deputies were notified by dispatchers that someone at the residence was armed with a gun.
Deputies say Morley opened the door to the residence covered in blood. Morley refused to comply with deputies commands and immediately began attacking deputies. Deputies deployed an electronic control device to try and subdue Morley; however, it had little or no effect. After a violent struggle with deputies, Morley was handcuffed and taken into custody.
Deputies checked the residence and found the victims, 31-year-old Brittany Cheek and her 3-year-old child, locked in the bathroom.
Another neighbor, 52 year-old Susan Bass spoke with deputies and informed them that Morley who is not known to her was banging on her door, and appeared to be bleeding from his head.
Bass thought he might be hurt and needed some help, so she opened her door. Morley began to make incoherent statements, about God and the devil, and would not allow Bass to close her door. He then became agitated and physically attacked her.
Cheek informed deputies she initially heard yelling outside of her apartment. When she looked out of her peep-hole she observed Morley physically attacking her neighbor, Susan Bass.
Fearing for Bass’s safety, Cheek armed herself with her handgun and confronted Morley demanding he leave Bass alone.
Morley immediately disengaged Bass and lunged at Cheek who was standing inside the doorway of her apartment. Deputies say Cheek was in fear for her and her 3-year-olds life when she fired her handgun multiple times striking Morley in the leg.
Morley forced his way into Cheek’s apartment and physically attacked her in front of her 3 year-old child.
When Cheek’s neighbors attempted to intervene, Morley fought with them allowing Cheek and her child time to hide in the bathroom until law enforcement arrived on scene.
Paramedics responded to the scene and treated Bass and Cheek for minor injuries. Deputies say Cheek’s 3-year-old child was knocked down during the attack and received minor injuries.
Corporal Noble Katzer and Deputy Matthew Ware sustained minor injuries. Deputy Peter Lamborghini sustained injuries to his hands as a result of the violent struggle with Morley.
Morley was treated at the scene for a gunshot wound to his leg. He was transported to Bayonet Point Hospital and was admitted for serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.
Deputies say none of the victims knew Morley but they believe Morley was impaired at the time of the incident.
Morley was charged with two counts of Simple Battery, two counts of Burglary with Assault or Battery, one count of Battery on Law Enforcement Officer, and three counts of Resisting with Violence.
Morley will be transported to the Pinellas County Jail upon release from Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point Hospital.
The investigation continues.