Tampa man arrested while hiding in air duct

Hillsborough County deputies arrested a man with outstanding drug warrants after finding him hiding in an air conditioning duct in his Tampa residence Thursday evening.

Around 6:30 p.m., deputies visited the home of Larry Gaetano Puleo, 47, who they say had violated terms of his probation by possessing heroin and introducing contraband into a detention facility. When they arrived, they heard someone scurrying around the in the attic. A K9 deputy made numerous unsuccessful attempts for Puleo to surrender.

After an hour with no response, deputies searched the attic and could not locate Puleo. They determined the only other method of escape was through an air conditioning duct in a bedroom closet leading to the attic. They cut a hole in the duct to find Puleo, who was stuck and pleading to be removed from it because he was freezing.

Deputies then cut a hole large enough to remove Puleo from the duct. Hillsborough Fire Rescue transported him to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he was treated for hypothermia.

Puleo was then transported and booked into Orient Road Jail, where he is being held without bond. In addition to the drug charges, he now faces a count of resisting arrest without violence.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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