Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas deputies: Man, 58, seriously injured in home invasion

ST. PETERSBURG — Deputies were investigating a robbery Friday in which a 58-year-old man was severely beaten in his home.

William Bennett Roberts was found at 5104 67th Way N about 8:30 a.m. Friday, deputies said. A friend stopped by to visit Roberts and found him inside, hurt and calling for help.

Roberts was taken by paramedics to a local hospital, officials said. He had been beaten about his upper body and was still in the hospital on Friday afternoon, officials said.

Deputies believe the person who attacked Roberts forced his way into the home. Roberts was also robbed, but deputies did not say what was stolen.

"I personally cannot conceive of how a person could do that to another person," said Lorie Floener, 52, Roberts' girlfriend of 25 years and the mother of his 20-year-old son.

Floener visited Roberts in the hospital Friday afternoon. His face was black and blue, she said. He had stitches on his face and hands. Doctors told her someone had hit him on the head, and he had a chipped bone in his neck. They gave him morphine, which kept him asleep, she said.

"It's not much, but it meant a lot to me — the corners of his mouth came up when I said, 'I love you,' " Floener said through tears. "I've never seen anybody so badly beaten."

Roberts' son, Colin Roberts, said he had no idea who attacked his father or why.

"He's a really good guy," the younger Roberts said. "He just keeps to himself."

Roberts lives alone on disability money and has an assortment of health problems, Floener said. He has battled pneumonia six times and has problems with his liver and kidneys, his son said.

Roberts has never married but has been with his son's mother for 25 years, Colin Roberts said. He regularly visited them at their St. Petersburg home.

"We're close, but we just talk about father-and-son stuff," Colin Roberts said. "But personal stuff he just keeps to himself."

Colin Roberts said a neighbor called him early Friday to tell him and his mother that ambulances were parked outside his father's house. He knew little of the circumstances of what happened, he said.

No arrests have been made. The investigation is continuing.

Pinellas deputies: Man, 58, seriously injured in home invasion 02/24/12 [Last modified: Friday, February 24, 2012 9:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump awards Medal of Honor to Vietnam-era Army medic (w/video)


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday turned a Medal of Honor ceremony for a Vietnam-era Army medic who risked his life to help wounded comrades into a mini homework tutorial for the boy and girl who came to watch their grandfather be enshrined "into the history of our nation."

    WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 23:  Retired U.S. Army Capt. Gary Rose (L) receives a standing ovation after being awarded the Medal of Honor by U.S. President Donald Trump during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House October 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Rose, 69, is being recognized for risking his life while serving as a medic with the 5th Special Force Group and the Military Assistance Command Studies and Observations Group during ‘Operation Tailwind’ in September 1970. Ignoring his own injuries, Rose helped treat 50 soldiers over four days when his unit joined local fighters to attack North Vietnamese forces in Laos - officially off limits for combat at the time.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) 775062921
  2. Long day of diplomacy: Tillerson visits Afghanistan, Iraq


    BAGHDAD — Far from the Washington murmurs about his future, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to two of America's enduring war zones Monday, prodding leaders in Afghanistan and Iraq to reach out to longtime rivals.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, center, speaks Monday at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, accompanied by Gen. John Nicholson, left, and Special Charge d’Affaires Amb. Hugo Llorens.
  3. Head-on crash kills Wesley Chapel teacher and Zephyrhills man


    TAMPA — Two men, including a high school math teacher, were killed Monday in a head-on crash on Morris Bridge Road, deputies said.

  4. Pinellas sees slight increase in black and first-year teachers


    A year after the Pinellas County school district was chastised in a state report for clustering inexperienced teachers in the state's most struggling schools, the district has reported a first look at its teacher corps.

    The Pinellas County school district has taken a first look at first-year teachers in struggling schools and minority hiring, both of which ticked slightly upward.
  5. Editorial: Trump owes apology to fallen soldier's Miami family


    There is no more sacred, solemn role for a president than to comfort grieving family members of soldiers who have given their lives in service of their country. Those calls cannot be easy, and some presidents are better at it than others. Yet President Donald Trump and his administration continue to engage in a …