Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Seven months later, man arrested in brutal Pinellas Park attack

Garcia faces robbery and burglary charges in the attack.

Garcia faces robbery and burglary charges in the attack.

PINELLAS PARK — Nearly seven months after a maintenance worker was brutally beaten at an apartment complex, detectives have arrested the man they say is responsible.

Eliezer Garcia, 24, faces robbery and burglary charges in the April attack that left 63-year-old Donald McPherson near death.

McPherson, a retired dairy broker who helps his son with a property management business, was doing handy work about 11:30 a.m. April 15 when someone attacked him outside an empty unit at the Lauren Manor Apartments, 7450 35th St. N.

Police say Garcia was stealing copper pipe from closets in building 800, just south of the apartment where he lived. When McPherson approached him outside, police said, Garcia bludgeoned him with a claw hammer until he stopped moving. He then stole $9 from his wallet, police said.

McPherson's brother, who happened to come by the complex shortly after the attack, found McPherson stumbling around and bleeding from the back of his head.

As paramedics worked to stabilize him, McPherson said he thought he knew who hit him. But then he lost consciousness.

He suffered permanent brain injury that has made speech difficult and left him unable to read.

Pinellas Park police had little to go on until last week, when a drug investigation at Lauren Manor turned up a tip that led them to Garcia.

When investigators first questioned him in his apartment Tuesday, he denied involvement. But when they returned later, Garcia seemed to want to get something off his chest and admitted to the attack, police said.

Garcia told police he saw fliers the department distributed during the summer when they were looking for leads. He even wrote an apology note to McPherson, which detectives delivered and read.

Garcia was booked Tuesday night in the Pinellas County Jail and was being held without bail Wednesday.

His jail record indicates he is wanted on a probation violation charge from a burglary conviction in New Jersey.

Times Researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Claire Wiseman can be reached at cwiseman@tampabay.com.

Seven months later, man arrested in brutal Pinellas Park attack 11/13/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 11:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blogs

    Winner of the week 1: 'Liquor wall’ proponents. Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of a bill to allow Walmart, Target and other big box stores to sell liquor was a victory for an array of groups, from smaller merchants and Publix (which has stand-alone booze shops near its stores) to those who feel the hard stuff …

  2. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  3. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  4. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  5. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.