Tampa, Florida (Hillsboro County) - A dues report posted on Tampa Bay.com states that an employee for Dunkin' Donuts was arrested and charged with manslaughter after the customer he struck passed away. According to the suspect, a 27-year-old man, he punched the 77-year-old man after the customer called him a racial slur. The 77-year-old man later passed away due to a head injury sustained when the elderly man's head struck the floor.
One punch is all that it took to land a 27-year-old man into police custody and then the Hillsboro County Jail. The incident occurred in a marathon gas station located at 410 S. 50th St. in Tampa, Florida. Law enforcement and fire rescue crews were dispatched to the Marathon store at approximately 1:30 in the afternoon and discovered a 77-year-old man lying on the floor unconscious and bleeding from his head. The EMS paramedics then transported the man to Tampa General Hospital, where the 77-year-old man was placed into the intensive care unit.
The elderly man's name was not included in the suspect's arrest report. According to the news report, the Tampa police do not release the names of crime victims according to Florida is Marcy's law. Marcy's law is an amendment to Florida's constitution that was voted on and approved by Florida voters to protect crime victims but not publicly release their names.
The suspect explained to law enforcement officers that the 77-year-old man was a regular customer who is behaving "extremely rude "that day and the elderly man called him a racial slur. According to the arrest report, the suspect stated that he asked to match repeat what he said, and the old man repeated the same racial slur. That is when the suspect admits that he struck the man in the face, and this caused the elderly man to fall onto the floor. The report does not state the slur that the elderly customer allegedly used.
The convenience store's surveillance video cameras captured the punch. The video also shows that the elderly customer did not touch the suspects and that the elderly man seems to have struck the back of his head onto the floor following the suspect's punch to the face. The Tampa police initially charged the defendant with battery on a person older than 65. The defendant then was released the following day when he posted a $2000 bail.
However, the elderly customer passed away at Tampa General, and an autopsy showed that the man sustained a skull fracture and brain contusions due to his head striking the floor. According to the news report, a doctor at the Hillsboro Medical Examiner's Office told the investigators that "the death would be ruled a homicide."
Tampa police then obtain an arrest warrant for the defendant on a charge of aggravated manslaughter of a person older than 65, which is a first-degree felony in the state of Florida and is punishable by up to 30 years in prison. The defendant is currently being held without bail. The News report also states that the defendant was appointed a public defender.
A Dunkin' spokesperson stated in an email statement that the franchise owner is fully cooperating with the homicide investigators. Each Dunkin' is independently owned and operated, And that all questions should be directed towards law enforcement at this time.
The news report stated that representatives for Duncan did not disclose the defendant's employment status at this time.
625 E Twiggs St Suite 1000 Unit 117, Tampa, FL 33602
Open now: Open 24 hours
XG2V+2V Tampa, Florida