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2 arrested in attack on MacDill soldier

News Channel 8
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 02:48 PM
TAMPA -

Two suspects have been arrested in Sunday's violent robbery that began when a group of men asked a soldier for a dollar.

Tampa police arrested Geroshe Lewis, 18, 4712 W. Wallcraft Ave., at Robinson High School, where he was a student. Police said he was asked to go to the administrative office after school and was arrested there.

Steve Hegarty of the Hillsborough County School District says Lewis will not be returning to school, based on the seriousness of the charges.

The other suspect, Lerome Howard, 18, was arrested at his home, 8013 N. 13th St., police said.

They said one of the suspects is being cooperative and may provide information on the two suspects who have not yet been apprehended.

Lewis and Howard have been charged with aggravated battery and robbery in the early Sunday attack on the soldier.

Police said 24-year-old Johnny Aparicio was walking on Iowa Avenue at about 3:30 a.m. when a group of men approached.

One of the men asked for a dollar. As Aparicio began to reply, the men jumped him and began punching and kicking him.

The men took his cell phone and wallet, then ran down Renellie Drive.

Aparicio, an Army sergeant assigned to U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, was able to walk to a nearby house and police were called. Police said he was badly hurt and received severe facial injuries.

Police said a video of the incident received from nearby homeowner made the case easier to solve. They also said one of the suspects had told his friends about the incident, and that information had gotten around and to investigators.

The reward for the arrest of his attackers has grown to more than $16,000.

Police said they have received many tips directly and through the Crime Stoppers telephone line, including tips from out of state and offers to donate more reward money.

The same names were consistent in many of the calls, and lead detective Tim DeGusipe sorted through each lead and interviewed the suspects, police said.

The reward may have to be split among several people, they said.

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