PINELLAS PARK, Fla (WFLA) – Gracie Smith, 74, was making her coffee around 4 a.m. on Sunday when she heard a crash.
Thanh Duong, 23, had just driven his 2016 Scion into her St. Petersburg home. Detectives believe he was trying to harm himself and a female passenger.
Investigators with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office say Duong was driving around the neighborhood, searching for drugs before he made the decision to drive into Smith’s house at 3298 70th Ave.
A female passenger in the car, Nhu Phat, asked Duong to take her home, according to the sheriff’s office, but he refused and decided to profess his love for her instead, according to an affidavit.
When Phat explained that the feelings were not mutual, detectives say Duong made statements about harming them both, slammed on the gas, headed down the road and crashed into the home.
Smith says she called 911, and then her son, Christopher James.
“It’s super quiet back here, but at four o’clock in the morning, someone decided to kill themselves by driving into her house,” said James, standing in front of caution tape in front of the porch. “He barreled straight down here, I guess with the intentions of killing the person in the passenger seat and himself and met up with the front porch and stopped the car before going into the house, luckily,” James continued.
James says his mother is now concerned for her own safety. “She’s afraid of retaliation after calling the cops, you know? Cause they were out here screaming at her in the middle of the night, you know? Stay out of this, keep to your own business while he was out here beating the passenger and I guess police arrived and ambulances finally arrived and that was the end of it,” said James.
Phat sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to an area hospital for treatment.
Duong was not injured and was taken into custody. He faces criminal mischief and aggravated assault charges.
On Sunday night, Duong was released from the Pinellas County Jail on a $12,000 bond and transported to a nearby hospital to be evaluated.
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