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Police arrest two in robbery beating of Clearwater man

Police arrested two men Tuesday who they believe beat and robbed a 67-year-old Clearwater man after he came home from a Tampa casino.

Dayananda Punchihewa of 2913 Eagle Estates Circle S had just returned from the Hard Rock Casino around 9:30 p.m. Sunday when two men attacked him in his garage, police said.

One shot him in the face and shoulder with a stun gun, the police said, and the other started beating him.

Police said one suspect showed a gun and demanded money. They ended up with Punchihewa's wallet containing $1,100 before taking off in a red, four-door Honda Accord.

After an investigation by several law enforcement agencies, authorities arrested Edgardo Rivera, 31, of Winter Park and Christopher R. Neff, 27, of Orlando.

Rivera and Neff are each charged with home invasion robbery with a firearm, aggravated battery, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

They are being held at a Hills­borough County jail.

Police seized a stun gun, a .357-caliber gun and their Accord, as well as some of Punchihewa's property, according to an arrest affidavit.

Punchihewa was taken to Mease Countryside Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Rivera and Neff also face charges in robberies in Tampa and Polk County.

Police arrest two in robbery beating of Clearwater man 01/19/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 7:41pm]
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