US

Grandfather Assaulted, Carjacked While Shopping for Mother’s Day Gift for Wife

By Zachary Stieber

A grandfather was beaten up and carjacked in Florida while shopping for a Mother’s Day gift for his longtime wife.

Robert Rodriguez, 88, was shopping in New Port Richey on May 9 when a man approached him and pointed a gun at his stomach.

It happened around 3 p.m.

“I was still in the car when this guy appeared from someplace and put a gun in my side and asked for my wallet,” Rodriguez told WFTS. “I pretended I didn’t understand. Finally, he told me to get out of the car give me your keys; give me your keys.”

After Rodriguez gave the stranger the keys, the man hit the grandfather. The victim’s elbow sports a deep purple bruise but he said he was grateful he wasn’t shot.

The carjacker then sped away.

Rodriguez said the carjacker interrupted him from buying his wife of 64 years a new pair of pajamas for Mother’s Day.

The car was found less than a mile away, abandoned, and Rodriguez went to buy the pajamas the next morning.

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office asked members of the public for help finding the man who carjacked the grandfather.

It said that “the suspect held a gun to the victim’s side and demanded his wallet. When the victim did not have anything to give him, the suspect pushed the victim to the ground causing minor injuries and took his car keys. The suspect took the victim’s vehicle and fled from the parking lot.”

The suspect was described by the victim as a light-skinned black or Hispanic male in his 40s or 50s, standing 5’6″ or 5’7″ tall, weighing approximately 160 pounds, and wearing all-black clothing and sunglasses. He was also clean shaven with short hair.

A witness at the intersection of US 19 and Gulf Highlands Drive saw a light-skinned black male exit the vehicle matching the descriptors provided by the victim.

“The witness recognized the driver as a black male whose name is possibly Allen (unknown spelling). This subject may also be known as or referred to as ‘Killa’ or ‘Killer,'” the sheriff’s office stated. “For now, there are pictures attached to show the victim’s vehicle which HAS been recovered and the location where the vehicle was located.”

police car siren
A police car in a file photo. (Mira Oberman/AFP/Getty Images)

Crime Statistics

Crime declined in the first half of 2018 compared to the first half of 2017, the FBI said in February. Preliminary statistics show nearly all offenses in the violent crime category declined. Robbery offenses decreased 12.5 percent, murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses decreased 6.7 percent, and aggravated assault offenses declined 2 percent, the agency said. Rapes, however, increased by 0.6 percent.

When comparing data from the first six months of 2018 with the first six months of 2017, all property crime categories showed a decrease. Burglaries were down 12.7 percent, larceny-thefts decreased 6.3 percent, and motor vehicle thefts declined 3.3 percent. The full 2018 crime report will be released later this year.

The FBI previously said that both violent crime and property crime decreased in 2017, the last year that full statistics are available for, compared to 2016. Overall violent crime decreased 0.2 percent from 2016 to 2017, while property crime decreased 3 percent during that time, the agency said in September 2018, releasing data from the previous year.

“There were more than 1.2 million violent crimes reported to UCR nationwide in 2017. There was a 0.7 percent decrease in murders and a 4 percent decrease in robberies from 2016 to 2017. Aggravated assaults increased by 1 percent in 2017. The FBI began collecting data solely on an updated rape definition last year, and 135,755 rapes were reported to law enforcement in 2017,” the FBI stated.

“The report also showed there were more than 7.7 million property crimes last year. Burglaries decreased 7.6 percent and larceny-thefts decreased by 2.2 percent. Motor vehicle thefts increased by 0.8 percent from 2016 to 2017.”

The figures were compiled from more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies around the United States that submitted their crime data to the FBI.