Saturday, June 23, 2018
Public safety

Hillsborough deputies: Man stabbed to death in front of Tampa gas station

TAMPA — A 24-year-old Pensacola man died outside a gas station early Friday after a friend stabbed him in the upper torso following an argument, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Benjamin Ryan Edelbeck was found dead about 2:15 a.m. at a Citgo gas station near U.S. 301 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Minutes earlier, a security camera at the gas station captured Edelbeck and 26-year-old Brian Andrews, also of Pensacola, fighting behind a vehicle. At one point, Edelbeck grabbed his left side as if injured, deputies said.

Edelbeck suffered one stab wound to the left side of his upper torso, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The argument had started earlier in the night at the Dallas Bull, a well-known bar.

About 1:45 a.m., Edelbeck, Andrews and another friend were inside a VIP room at the Dallas Bull, 3322 N U.S. 301. Security guards at the bar suspected them of smoking marijuana and escorted the men into the parking lot.

Outside, a security guard saw a metal folding knife in Andrews' front pocket. The guard asked for the knife until the group left the property. Andrews complied but got the knife back when he began walking with his party to their vehicle.

As they walked, one of the men from the VIP room began arguing with Andrews about getting kicked out of the bar and the $150 he had put down to reserve the VIP lounge, deputies said.

Edelbeck stepped in between the men and attempted to diffuse the situation. They separated but quickly got into another tiff, which security broke up.

The argument continued once they all got into the vehicle and started driving, deputies said.

With Andrews and Edelbeck arguing, the third friend eventually pulled over at the Citgo, telling the men to get out or else he would.

Andrews took off his black polo shirt and got out of the vehicle. Edelbeck also got out. Both men met at the back of the vehicle and started fighting. The fight was caught by Citgo's surveillance system.

Deputies said Edelbeck had blood on the front of his clothing.

As Edelbeck tried to walk through the doors of the gas station, Andrews came from behind and pulled him to the side, preventing him from going in, deputies said.

He then walked Edelbeck to where he was later found dead by responding deputies about 2:15 a.m.

Andrews had blood on his hands and clothing, deputies said. Security at the Dallas Bull also identified him as the man who had the knife at the time the group left the bar, deputies said.

A metal folding knife with blood on it was found near the scene.

Deputies arrested Andrews Friday and charged him with second-degree murder. He was being held in the Hillsborough County jail without bail.

Danny Valentine can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386.

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