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17-Year-Old Tackles Would-Be Burglar in Palm Coast’s P Section; Suspect Flees

| December 14, 2015

pheasant drive burglary

The house at 89 Pheasant Drive, target of an alleged burglary Sunday evening. (© FlaglerLive)

The 911 dispatchers got the call just before 6 p.m. Sunday from 89 Pheasant Drive in Palm Coast, just off of Ponce de Leon. Joshua J. Ortiz, 17, reported that his house had been burglarized, and that he’d gotten into a scuffle with the alleged assailant, who had a crow bar and a small knife, but who got away.

The sheriff’s office called in Air One, the emergency helicopter, and K-9 units, setting up a perimeter and crisscrossing the neighborhood with units and deputies on foot. The P-Section was abuzz with the sound of the helicopter circling above for about an hour. By mid-evening, the sheriff’s office ended the search without turning up a suspect.

Ortiz said he was toward the back of the house when he heard a pop in the front of the residence. When he walked toward the front to investigate, the couch had been pushed away from the wall and a man wearing a black ski mask was climbing into the house.

The suspect, Ortiz said, never made any sounds or said anything to him. But he noticed the crow bar, and realized the house was being burglarized, he told police. He said he attacked the man. The two men fell on the floor and scuffled. Ortiz said he started striking the suspect on his head repeatedly until the two men separated. The alleged assailant then reached into his right pocket and pulled out a small black folding pocket knife with a sharp point, which he swung at Ortiz, causing a laceration on the inside of his left arm.

Deputies observed no other signs of injuries.

After the assailant allegedly cut him, Ortiz told police, the assailant left through the front door and ran southeast towards the rear of the property, which abuts an empty lot, and into the woods.

Joshua’s parents, Alba Pedraza and Jermaine Rosado, both 38, had been shopping when they got a call from their son, who alerted them of the incident before calling police.

Deputies determined that the entry point appeared to have been had been a front window whose screen had been bent and ripped to the floor. “No visible signs of forced entry were observed on the window frame and the locks were in the locked position,” the incident report states. “Joshua denied locking the windows and Alba and Jermaine also stated that the window is always locked.” A surveillance camera was on the front of the house, but it hadn’t been on.

Ortiz was unable to provide a description of the suspect, the incident report states, other than that he wore an all black long sleeved shirt, black pants, a black ski mask and gloves. Ortiz initially said it was an older black male taller than six feet and heavy. After deputies requested another description, however, Ortiz was unsure “due to what the suspect was wearing.”

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18 Responses for “17-Year-Old Tackles Would-Be Burglar in Palm Coast’s P Section; Suspect Flees”

  1. Alba Pedraza says:

    never did he mentioned to the deputies it was a black male on my sons statement he wrote he couldnt see the skin color of the person…and yes window was on lock position but window locks are jammed. i do not care if there wasnt no force entry in my house my livingroom was totally destoryed my screen from my window popped out and the window framed from the outside was bent abit and christmas lights runied….the deputies in this town is a joke there has been robberies constantly going on and not one suspect has been caught they are enjoying christmas shopping in victims homes and cars and no justice hasnt been done whats so ever……just like my house was robbed 2 yrs ago while i was away out of state with my family for the christmas holiday and it happened in daylight and so called you deputies found finger prints but still didnt make any kind of arrest or got our belongings back. Flaglerlive need to get your story straight and deputies need to go back to training. Residents in Palm Coast cant count on our deputies in our county

  2. Scoobydoo says:

    Brave young man! what is PC coming too with all these junkies who would rather steal, than work to support his/her addiction..

  3. Derrick R says:

    OK I’m calling BS Now please give him the bill for fuel and resorces wasted. Then send him & the family back to Newark .

  4. Scott says:

    Whenever I hear the criminal wore all black from a ski mask to his shoes in broad daylight I kinda think ah, maybe there is more to this story?

  5. Tee says:

    So Derrick send who and the family back to Newark and Scott it wasn’t in broad daylight this happened when it was pitch black outside already

  6. Tee says:

    Scott what you read about the house being robbed in daylight that happened to those people two years ago when they were out of state for the holidays read her comment correctly

  7. Bc says:

    Something fishy here🐠 It sounds like a board kid to me.

  8. Barry Hartmann says:

    This story is full of holes. Don’t blame the FCSO ! Sounds like just another cop hater.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I call B.S., changed stories and got cut by a knife yet no injuries. At least he was smart enough to walk outside and break the glass in

  10. Anonymous says:

    @ Alba,

    How do you know what he said to the deputies? According to the story you weren’t even home.
    Honestly, I think the deputies were chasing a ghost. K-9 unit, Air One, and however many deputies for a perimeter…..does this family have a history with police? Is that why the anti police rhetoric?

  11. Anonymous says:


    Is it pitch black outside before 6pm?

  12. Turtle says:

    Something seems off with the story… The kid sees the guy coming in through a LOCKED window??? Then they scuffled, the guy pulled a knife, then he ran away…what happened to the crow bar during all of this? Did the burglar drop the crow bar during the scuffle, but have time to pick it up as he was running out the front door – which would have been shut and probably locked, so it would have taken him a second or two to get out – just seems a little implausible : /

  13. Flagler says:

    Well no one can tell what really happen because none of you guys where there. Flagler live is here for you guys to stay updated on what is happening in Flagler not for you guys sit here an accuse people of anything or have negative things to say. News flash for the person who said it is daylight at 6 pm obviously you don’t get out more often because it does get dark at 6 pm.

  14. Scott says:

    Tee , knows the inside scoop, and so far it’s all wrong.

  15. Anonymous says:

    the P section is the most diverse and worst in palm needs way more patrols by cops..

  16. Brandon says:

    I’m sorry, seriously had to call the helicopter in? This county is such a joke.

  17. Karol says:

    I know this boy Personally and never would he make up a story for attention. This is a scary situation and should not be looked upon lightly, Many of you have children, I hope this never happens to your home and child. I can tell you that Josh is not a little 17 yr old he is quite stout, and can handle himself, At the moment he had to decide to fight or or take flight. With that being said there is someone breaking into homes,Cars ect. in the P section protect yourself and your family as this young man tried to do.

  18. Elise says:

    My husband and I live in the R section and experienced an attempted break in this morning about 1:30am. I was awakened by a loud sound that was followed by more very loud sounds. I could see that our motion sensor light was on, which did not deter the burglar(s), so I looked out the blinds and saw someone run across the back yard. I called 911 and deputies were at my door within a couple of minutes. The officers were very kind and secured our yard and home, they will also be increasing their presence in our neighborhood. The burglar(s) had used a crowbar and completely destroyed the frame and lock of our door. Had I not waken and looked out the window they would have been inside our home within seconds. I feel that Palm Coast residents need to be aware that there is most definitely someone attempting break ins with a crow bar and need to be diligent in home safety and defense.

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