Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bloody shirt leads to arrest in Tampa robbery

TAMPA — A bloody shirt proved key to bringing a robbery suspect to justice, according to police reports.

Almost a year after the robbery, DNA from the droplets on the shirt have been matched to a felon — who police say has now confessed.

On July 5, a police report said, a woman approached a 34-year-old man as he put money into his wallet in an alley near 3209 Hillsborough Ave.

She distracted him as another man jumped out of a car pointing a pistol, the report said.

They threatened to shoot the man and demanded his wallet, but the victim fought back. The pistol was actually a pellet gun.

During the struggle, the victim bit the hand of the male robber, leaving a blood splatter on the victim's shirt.

The wounded robber jumped into the car and sped away — leaving behind Crystal Denise Williams, 19, of St. Petersburg, the report said. She was arrested and charged with two counts of robbery without a weapon.

The male robber got away, but the victim turned the shirt over to police, who passed it on to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for DNA analysis.

It took authorities until this year to find a DNA match from the shirt to felony probation records, the report said. There wasn't a hit until Alexander Jerico Butler submitted his DNA as part of his felony probation in the past month, said Andrea Davis, a spokeswoman for Tampa police.

Butler, 21, of 5606 N 34th St. was serving one year of community supervision following a conviction for grand theft, according to state Department of Corrections records. His probation would have ended Dec. 20.

Instead, Butler was arrested at his home Tuesday and charged with armed robbery. He wrote a confession after police read him his rights, the report said.

Bloody shirt leads to arrest in Tampa robbery 06/11/10 [Last modified: Friday, June 11, 2010 12:16am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays appear close to landing Marlins shortstop Hechavarria


    Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.

    Adeiny Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.
  2. What to watch this week: Catch these titles before they leave Netflix in July


    It's been less than a week since summer officially started, and I don't know about you, but I'm more than ready for cooler weather to get here. It's too hot outside to function (looking at you, 116 degree Arizona), but Netflix has us covered with a boatload of new TV shows and movies coming in July. Unfortunately, that …

    Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight in 1989's Batman.
  3. Do you need to vote in city elections to run for mayor of St. Pete? Jesse Nevel says no


    Jesse Nevel is running for mayor. But, voting records show, he has never cast a ballot in a St. Petersburg city election.

    Jesse Nevel is running for mayor, but has never voted in a city election
  4. St. Petersburg man arrested for breaking into 12 homes being tented for termites


    ST. PETERSBURG — A 36-year-old former pest control worker was arrested for burglarizing 12 homes over the last five weeks, according to St. Petersburg police.

    David Cooper, 26, was arrested for breaking into 12 homes tented for termites over five weeks, according to St. Petersburg Police. [Photo courtesy of Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Video: Gator snaps at photographer who got too close at Paynes Prairie


    Perhaps this guy should have just used a zoom lens.

    A video that was posted June 17 on Facebook by Ben Boukari Jr. shows the gator lurching at the photographer, causing him to stumble behind some shrubbery as it chomped at a tripod and rested near his backpack before staring him down. [Facebook]