NEW PORT RICHEY — As a 66-year-old man loaded a wooden barrel into his trunk, a young guy got out of a nearby car and walked toward him.
"Do you need help with that?" he asked, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
The older man said no, he was fine.
"Well, then, empty your pockets," said the young man, dressed in black.
It was 7:15 p.m. March 1. The senior citizen and his 74-year-old wife stopped at a trash bin behind Michael's Budget Deli at 3602 Grand Blvd. because they spotted the barrel and they thought it would be a nice planter for their yard, the Sheriff's Office said. Now, they were being robbed.
The older man, who has a concealed carry permit, moved toward his car and shouted to his wife: "Get my gun!"
But the gun wasn't in the car, as it usually is. His wife opened the car door and the assailant grabbed her pink-and-purple-flowered purse, which contained $20 in cash as well as her checkbook, credit cards and cell phone.
The young man ran toward a white car with tinted windows and got into the passenger seat. The senior chased him and grabbed the door handle. The windows were too dark for him to see the driver.
The car took off, with the man still holding the handle. He fell, his leg and arm bleeding. His back hurt and he had possible broken bones, the sheriff's report said. Paramedics took him to Community Hospital. His updated medical condition was not available.
On Thursday, the Sheriff's Office released a composite sketch of the suspect. He is a white male in his early 20s, about 6 feet tall and weighing around 190 pounds. He had dark, medium length hair and was clean shaven.
The getaway vehicle is an older 1992-96 small white car with a scrape on the rear quarter panel of the passenger side and tinted windows.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact Det. Jim Gariepy at (727) 277-7161. Anonymous tips can also be left, toll-free, at 1-800-706-2488.
Erin Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6229.