ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (News Nation/WFLA) — For nearly two weeks, 39-year old Daniel Albert Neja called Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Petersburg home. He’s a homeless man who somehow made his way into the empty stadium and lived in a luxury suite.
Yolanda Fernandez says a cleaning crew discovered Neja’s living situation.
“A cleaning crew went into one of these suites that no one had gone into for some time due to COVID-19 and noticed there were blankets and shaving cream and a razor,” said Fernandez. “Clearly it appeared someone had been living there.”
But Neja wasn’t just living there, police tell us he was shopping and dining too.
“He went into the merchandise store, he went into the food area,” said Fernandez. “So he was wearing the merchandise and just helping himself to the food.”
Police arrested Neja on Sunday night shortly before 10 p.m. He’s facing burglary and resisting arrest without violence charge. Deputies are holding him at the county jail on a $5,150 bond.
Records show he pleaded guilty to breaking into Lutz Elementary School in Hillsborough County in July. According to the arrest report, he told arresting deputies he was just in the school looking for food.
Fernandez says officers are still trying to figure out how he was able to stay at Al Lang all of that time unnoticed. The stadium itself is closed to fans, but there are workers there every day.
“It was kind of surprising though, to see that somebody, maybe one or two nights,” said Fernandez. “But to be able to stay there for that long and have nobody notice it.”