Pinellas Park detectives say 16-year-old Antonio Peterson confessed to attacking 83-year-old Charlie Clark.
Deputies led him out past reporters to a transport van, where was checked for weapons, and asked a barrage of questions.
He looked reporters up and down, then offered this:
"I'm sorry to that man...I apologize."
He shook his head when asked if he'd seen the man's injuries.
We spoke with Charlie Clark after Peterson's arrest -- he is covered in large, purple bruises, on his face and down his arms.
Clark said he was relieved to hear of the arrest, but still puzzled.
"I want to know why you had to do these kinds of things," Clark said he would ask the suspects. "I want you to tell me why you did this. I didn't bother you."
Police say this won't be Peterson's first time in the juvie lockup: he has been in for burglary and battery, they say.
And the Spider-Man jacket-wearing teen already had a warrant out for another unrelated crime.
"This is what other youths are emulating. With the violence on TV and everyday news unfortunately, it's sad to see anybody have to stoop to this level, because that's how they feel they can interact with society," said Pinellas Park police spokesman Sgt. Adam Geissenberger.
Police are still looking for Jazmine Burney, 15, and Peterson's kid brother, Xavier, 13. Investigators believe the trio may also be responsible for ripping off Clark's Ford a day after the initial attack.
"We believe we are getting closer. We didn't think we were as close to Antonio as we were when we got him," said Sgt. Geissenberger.
Now, Antonio's future will be decided in the system.
"Here we are, we have a 16-year-old who brutally attacked an 83-year-old man, for what, a motor vehicle?" said Geissenberger.
Clark may have to live with his wounds for a while. He has many doctors' appointments ahead of him, including one Thursday.
But he says he won't be able to fully recover until the last two suspects are captured.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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