TPD catches two, seeks two more in beating of soldier - FOX 13 News

TPD catches two, seeks two more in beating of soldier

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Tampa Police announced the arrests of two suspects on Friday night. Tampa Police announced the arrests of two suspects on Friday night.
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Two Tampa teens charged with beating and robbing a member of the United States Army were caught on camera again Friday night.

Lerome Eugene Howard Jr., 18, and Geroshe Lewis, 18, were arrested by officers with Tampa Police Department on a variety of charges including aggravated battery.

A throng of media flashed their cameras as the pair was lead into awaiting patrol cars. Earlier this weekend surveillance cameras in the neighborhood where Army Sgt. Johnny Aparicio was attacked recorded their actions investigators say.

Steven Kamer lives in their neighborhood where the violent attack took place in the early mornings hours of May 13th.

"I was shocked when they did that," Kamer said after seeing the surveillance video. "Why would they ask for a dollar and then jump him like that?"

Kamer was classmates at Tampa's Robinson High School with one of the men charged – Lewis. He says rumors were swirling on campus that the senior – who according to his Facebook page wants to be a music star – was one of the suspects beating Sgt. Aparicio on the surveillance footage.

"For the past week everyone was talking about it," Kamer explained. "Everyone said [Lewis] did it; but it's rumors."

An official with the Hillsborough County School District says Lewis will not be allowed back at school due to the arrest.

Attempts to reach the Lewis' family were unsuccessful.

Dave Curty lives near the Lewis home and said the allegations seem out of character for the teen.

"He comes over now and then to borrow tools to do the yard," Curty said. "He seems very polite."

Lewis and Howard were both booked into the Hillsborough County Jail following their arrests. Detectives say they are searching for at least two other suspects.

"Their cooperation is what we would call limited," said TPD Lt. Mary O'Connor said. "Everybody had an active role in this attack; all four suspects need to be taken off the streets as quickly possible."

Investigators hope the video continues to generate tips from the public. When media outlets in the Bay area began showing the surveillance footage dozens of calls came into TPD.

Howard is already out of jail. He posted a bond of $15,000 just before 5 AM Saturday and was released. Lewis is being held on a bond of $50,000 according to arrest records.

Gregg Baumbach who lives in the neighborhood where the solider was attacked is glad the suspects were caught.

"Very thankful," he said. "Happy they caught them and hopefully they'll get the other ones."

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