CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fl (WWSB) - Deputies in Charlotte County were called to North Shore Drive in Port Charlotte just after midnight on Thursday after a citizen called to report two men behaving suspiciously near a vacant home.
Deputies say the citizen reported hearing noise coming from a vacant home. He saw two men walking around another home while watching the pair attempt to pull up the garage door.
Deputies responded to the scene and saw one man, 44-year-old Stephen Torchia, standing in the area of North Shore and Melbourne. He matched the description of one of the suspects and was ordered to stop. That’s when deputies say they heard noise coming from nearby bushes.
Deputies ordered the man in the bushes to exit and say 29-year-old Eric Caterino came out and then fled on foot.
More deputies and a canine unit arrived to the scene and found Caterino located in the backyard of a home on Melbourne Street. He was then taken into custody with no injuries.
Deputies questioned the men about what they were doing at the vacant home, and neither had a response. The caller provided a statement on his observations, including the suspects attempting to gain entrance to the vacant residence.
Both men were arrested for Loitering and Prowling. Caterino was additionally charged with Resisting an Officer without Violence for fleeing from deputies.