Police arrest third suspect in brutal beating of sergeant - FOX 13 News

Police arrest third suspect in brutal beating of sergeant

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The video sparked outrage: A MacDill Air Force Base Army Sergeant viciously beaten in South Tampa by four men. Police have caught three suspects, and they say they're closing in on the fourth and final one.

Sgt. Johnny Aparicio's car broke down on his way home Sunday, May 13th at around 3:30 in the morning. He started walking the rest of the way, when out of nowhere three men jumped him on Iowa Avenue near Renellie Drive.

Then a fourth joined in. A home security camera recorded the entire attack, which lasted about a minute. They took his money and phone, leaving the wounded soldier on the ground.

Police say Aparicio didn't know his four attackers.

"Still seemingly an unprovoked, vicious, random attack on a victim, who absolutely had no idea what was about to happen to him," said Lt. Mary O'Connor.

The shocking video generated a number of tips to police from an outraged public. Sunday, police arrested 18-year-old Jared Richardson. They arrested 18-year-olds Geroshe Lewis and Lerome Howard Friday. All three men are charged with strong armed robbery and aggravated battery, which are second degree felonies.

"I can't imagine that the motive for that is anything other than violence," said O'Connor. "Watching that video, you'd think that they have a lot of violence in their pasts and they really don't have a lot of violence in their pasts. It's really kind of mind boggling to us why they would go from limited involvement with law enforcement to something to vicious."

Lewis appeared before a judge Monday. Prosecutors are trying to get his $50,000 bond revoked.

A judge will decide that at a hearing later this week. Lewis was a senior at Robinson High School; police arrested him at school Friday.

Howard bonded out of jail. Richardson is in jail and has not appeared before judge yet. Bond could be revoked for all three suspects.

Officers found Richardson at his car parked at La Quinta Inn in Brandon. Police say his gold Chevy Impala is seen in the video turning onto Renellie a few minutes before the beating.

"The vehicle has a really unique right wheel blinker that is very rapid and we've determined it was the same car," O'Connor said.

Police say the three suspects are not cooperating with investigators. Sgt. Aparicio is out of the hospital, recovering with cuts and bruises. He has asked for privacy.

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