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Tampa police make arrest in taxi driver robbery, shooting

TAMPA — Police have arrested a 21-year-old man in connection with the armed robbery of a taxi driver who was shot in the chest days before Christmas.

Ricky Lamont Offuit of Tampa was arrested Dec. 20, two days after the armed robbery, and faces charges of attempted felony murder, robbery, armed kidnapping, battery and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

On Dec. 18, taxi driver Annuel Delicieux, 42, was dropping off a passenger just before 3 a.m. on W Chestnut Street when a man, armed with a shotgun, approached the yellow Crown Victoria and demanded that Delicieux hand over money.

Delicieux tossed money out of the window. As he drove away, the man shot him in the chest, Tampa police said last month.

Delicieux continued to drive with his passenger still in tow and crashed into a patrol car. The officer, realizing that Delicieux had been shot, called for an ambulance.

Delicieux underwent surgery and was released from St. Joseph's Hospital days later. He is at home recuperating and has not returned to work, his nephew Steven Delicieux said Wednesday.

"I think it's going to take him a little while," Steven Delicieux said. "For now, he's just trying to recover and get his strength."

The armed robbery remained under investigation Wednesday as detectives continued to search for a second suspect, said Tampa police spokeswoman Andrea Davis. Police declined to say whether Offuit was the robber who shot Delicieux.

The day of Offuit's arrest, Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay announced a $1,000 reward for any information about the armed robbery. Police would not say Wednesday whether the reward offer contributed to Offuit's arrest because they are still investigating.

In Florida, Offuit has been arrested 16 times, including on burglary and car theft charges, state records show. He was released from prison in August after completing nearly two years for burglary, grand theft and car theft.

Offuit was booked into the Hillsborough County jail, where he remained Wednesday without bail.

Times staff researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Laura C. Morel can be reached at lmorel@tampabay.com or (813)226-3386.

Tampa police make arrest in taxi driver robbery, shooting 01/02/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 10:53pm]
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