A Charlotte County woman said she left her home because she feared for her life after a break-in. When the burglar returned a second time, she was armed with security cameras, ready to call deputies.
The victim’s neighbor, Julia Foots, did not know what to think when she saw that her apartment building was a crime scene.
“Everything was taped off from the lake up,” Foots said. “We couldn’t get in the lake. There was people looking for stuff.”
The suspect, Travis Downey, 40, faces multiple charges, including Aggravated Assault on Officer and Possession of Firearm Ammunition or Weapon by Florida Convicted Felon and Follow Harass Cyberstalk with Fear of Death or Injury.
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office deputies said Downey broke into Foots’ upstairs neighbor’s apartment. A week before, Downey entered the apartment. The victim moved out anticipating he would show up again.
But the victim installed a security camera before she left. The footage shows a suspect using a crow bar and other tools to enter the apartment.
Downey was caught on security camera entering the apartment. The victim later alerted deputies. When they arrived, Downey tried to run, but eventually pointed a gun at a deputy.
“Go out of your way to hurt or kill a deputy,” Foots said. “There has to be something wrong with him. It’s good he’s put away.”
Neighbors, including Rose Krops, did not know he was carrying a weapon and had been around their building for a week.
“I feel scared,” Krops said. “Frighten in a way because I have a family to take care of, too.”
The deputy tased Downey to the ground. The suspect’s gun ended up in a nearby pool, which was recovered by a dive team. The victim was shocked to hear Downey pointed a gun at law enforcement. She said if she were home, it could have been her.
Neighbors said tonight, they are glad their community is safer.
“I can rest easy,” Krops said. “Don’t have to worry about it.”