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Deputies catch alleged gunman in robbery attempt

NEW PORT RICHEY — A man, his sister and her boyfriend pulled into a gas station the night of Nov. 12 to buy a few items from the convenience store.

As they were getting ready to leave the Gas Express at 7424 State Road 54, a stranger got into the back seat of the car and pulled a gun, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Andrew Paul Attocchi, 28, demanded money and drugs, the report said. The victim emptied his pockets to show he didn't have anything.

Everyone got out of the car, and Attocchi began to walk away, deputies said. Then he pointed his gun at the car and fired a round. The bullet ricocheted off the concrete parking lot and hit the victim in the back of the head, authorities said.

The victim was airlifted to a hospital, and has recovered from his injuries, the Sheriff's Office said.

Attocchi fled the scene, but several witnesses identified him from a photo lineup as the shooter, the sheriff's report said.

Attocchi, of New Port Richey, was arrested Thursday on charges of aggravated battery and attempted armed robbery. He's had a half-dozen arrests in Pasco County over the past three years, for charges ranging from resisting a law enforcement officer with violence to retail theft and violation of probation.

He remained Friday at the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $150,000 bail.

Deputies catch alleged gunman in robbery attempt 11/18/11 [Last modified: Friday, November 18, 2011 8:49pm]
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