Saturday, November 18, 2017
Public safety

Second arrest made in armed robbery, shooting of Tampa taxi driver

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TAMPA — He sat on the worn couch of his dimly lit living room.

Dozens of stitches trailed down his right arm. Bandages were wrapped around his chest.

Taxi driver Annuel Delicieux had heard the news that two men had been arrested and charged with robbing and shooting him last month.

But for Delicieux, a married father of three daughters, the damage was done.

He'll need physical therapy to recover movement in his right hand. He spent Christmas in a hospital bed, his worried wife by his side.

But worst of all, Delicieux said, he can't go back to work.

"I feel like I have a miserable life now," he said Friday.

It was about 3 a.m. on Dec. 18. Delicieux, a driver for Yellow Cab of Tampa, was dropping off a customer on W Chestnut Street. Two men were chatting nearby.

As the customer handed over his $7 fare, one man pointed a shotgun in his face.

"Hey, give me all the money," the gunman said.

When Delicieux gave him the $7, the man asked for the money inside his pocket.

As Delicieux reached inside his pants pocket, he put his foot on the accelerator. The robber fired. At least two shots pierced Delicieux's chest and right arm.

Delicieux drove off, his customer still inside the cab. Drifting out of consciousness, he saw a Tampa police car a few blocks away. As he cried for help, he passed out and crashed into the officer.

The officer, realizing that Delicieux had been shot, called for an ambulance.

"God sent the police to me to save my life," Delicieux, 42, said.

Emergency workers took him to St. Joseph's Hospital. Ten days and three surgeries later, doctors released Delicieux.

Two days after the armed robbery, police arrested Ricky Lamont Offuit, 21, of Tampa. He faces charges of attempted felony murder, robbery, armed kidnapping, battery and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

On Wednesday, detectives arrested a second suspect, Kelin Tyrone Johnson, 33, also of Tampa. He is charged with attempted felony murder, armed kidnapping, armed robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Both men have lengthy criminal records in Florida that include burglary and theft charges, records show. Johnson and Offuit were released from state prison last year.

Police have not disclosed what led them to Johnson and Offuit. Investigators said they suspect that Johnson was the shooter. Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay announced a $1,000 reward for any information days after the robbery, but police spokeswoman Andrea Davis said that did not contribute to their arrests.

While Johnson and Offuit remain at the Hillsborough County jail, Delicieux slowly recovers from his wounds in his tiny apartment on Garrison Street.

Members of Siloe Haitian Baptist Church, where he is the Sunday school teacher, have pitched in by dropping off food for his family, giving him money for prescriptions and cleaning his apartment while his wife, Adeline, stayed with him at the hospital.

At Yellow Cab, co-workers collected nearly $1,000.

On Friday, he glanced over at his wife. Their 3-month-old daughter cooed in her arms.

He has spent the past nine years working as a taxi driver, clocking in between 40 to 60 hours a week.

Before the December incident, he had never been robbed.

Once he's fully recovered, Delicieux said, he won't be going back. He is afraid. He doesn't know what he'll do next, how he'll provide for his family.

"I'm ashamed of myself," he said.

Times staff researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

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