Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Father and son stand trial in Hillsborough robbery and sexual battery

TAMPA — A father and son were described to a jury Tuesday as a pair of robbers who pistol-whipped the co-owner of two Tampa nightclubs and sexually assaulted his friend in September 2011.

The jury was told that Rakeith Brooks, 30, struck the club owner with a gun, then knocked the woman down and assaulted her with his hand, as his father, Vincent Harrison, 46, yelled to kill the woman.

Neither victim had any cash to offer, only the jewelry they wore. The robbery ended when Enrique De Jesus, co-owner of the clubs Drynk and AJA Channelside, offered the men his 2010 BMW.

Both Brooks and Harrison are charged with sexual battery with a deadly weapon, armed robbery and carjacking with a weapon. Each charge carries a potential life sentence.

On Tuesday, De Jesus and his female friend testified that they were accosted at 4:30 a.m. outside the home of a mutual friend on E Broad Street. De Jesus had given the woman and two of her friends rides home after running into them at AJA, where he was working that night.

The woman was getting her backpack out of his car when two men approached, pointed a gun at them and demanded money. When De Jesus said he had none, one of them men struck him in the head with the gun.

De Jesus and the woman each pointed to Brooks across the courtroom Tuesday and said he was the one.

While De Jesus lay on the ground, the woman said, Brooks grabbed her by the throat. "He ripped my jewelry off," she said. "He took me to the ground, on my back. He had one hand on my throat and the other forcing my legs open."

She said the older man repeatedly urged Brooks to shoot her , saying "Kill the b----." The woman said the older man also instructed Brooks to shoot De Jesus.

De Jesus said he then told the robbers to take his BMW. "I pleaded with them," he said. "I have a young son. She has a child, too. I said, 'Take the car; it's worth $30,000.' "

Father and son were arrested that morning after police responded to a 911 call from an E Broad Street apartment. There, a resident reported that a bullet had passed through a wall from an adjoining apartment.

A woman in that apartment said Brooks, whom she described as her friend, had accidentally fired the gun. Police found some of the couple's stolen items, including cellphones and the keys to the BMW.

In the apartment, officers also found a .380-caliber Davis Industries semiautomatic gun and a .45-caliber Cobray one-shot derringer, according to an arrest report. The BMW was later found in the parking lot of the apartment complex, police said.

On Tuesday, defense attorneys said De Jesus and the woman mistakenly identified the father and son.

Brooks was released from prison in June 2010, having served a 10-year sentence for armed robbery, police said. Harrison has also served time in prison.

John Barry can be reached at (813) 226-3383 or jbarry@tampabay.com.

Father and son stand trial in Hillsborough robbery and sexual battery 10/23/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 11:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Evening update: Tropical Storm Harvey forms in Atlantic, second wave follows

    Hurricanes

    UPDATE: At 8 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  2. Trump 'beautiful statues' tweets roil Tampa Bay's own Confederate debate

    National

    It started Thursday at 9:07 a.m., as it does so often these days, with a tweet:

    The Memoria in Aeterna Confederate monument stands in front of the old Hillsborough County Courthouse. Hillsborough County Commissioners voted 4-2 last month to move it to a private cemetery in Brandon before voting again this week to put a deadline on a public sector fundraising campaign to pay part of the cost. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  4. Spanish PM voices solidarity with Barcelona

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says his country is mourning in solidarity with the city of Barcelona and other cities in Europe that have been hit by deadly extremist attacks.

    An injured person is treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. [Associated Press]
  5. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand

    Bucs

    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]