Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Video from cell phone leads to arrest in Pinellas Trail attack

DUNEDIN — The 45-year-old Dunedin man was beaten so badly on the Pinellas Trail that he suffered broken ribs, a chipped orbital bone in his face and spinal injuries.

He didn't know his attacker.

But ultimately, he gave sheriff's detectives the crucial piece of evidence that enabled them to track down a suspect three months after the brutal beating.

The victim, David Brummitt, captured the first blow on a video on his cell phone, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Detectives recently recovered the video from Brummitt's broken cell phone. On Wednesday, they arrested the man they say attacked Brummitt about 8:20 p.m. June 14 on the trail near Florida Avenue in Dunedin.

Anthony Sansone, 45, of 149 Broadway was charged with aggravated battery. He was released from the Pinellas County Jail on Thursday afternoon after posting $10,000 bail. He does not have a criminal record in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Brummitt said he started filming that night as he rode his bike home when he saw a man being "loud, obnoxious and vulgar." He planned to tape the man's tirade and post it on YouTube.

As Brummitt was filming, he said, Sansone "walks right over to me, right into my face, hocked one up and spit it right into the left side of my face and neck and right-hooked me right into Thursday of next week."

Brummitt fell to the ground and dropped his phone, breaking it. He said Sansone continued to attack him.

It wasn't until mid-September that Brummitt discovered he had video of the incident. His cell phone provider had sent him a new phone in the mail that had to be returned. When he finally received a second replacement, Brummitt was transferring data into the new phone and noticed a large video file in his old phone.

He contacted the Sheriff's Office after watching the clip.

Sheriff's officials say they identified Sansone from the video by looking through property records for men living in the immediate area, then checking driver's license photos of those men.

"I mean, it's something that happens on TV," Brummitt said.

Brummitt then picked Sansone from a photo line-up provided by the Sheriff's Office.

Reached by telephone Thursday evening, Sansone declined to discuss specifics about the incident, but said that he was a victim in the case and that he was acting in "self-defense."

Brummitt, an avid diver, said when the incident happened he was preparing to go to Grand Cayman for an internship as a dive instructor, but those plans had to be put on hold as he continues to recuperate. He said he is in "daily pain, 24/7."

Brummitt encouraged others to use the video functions on their phones if they notice "something that doesn't look right."

"A picture's worth a thousand words."

Video from cell phone leads to arrest in Pinellas Trail attack 09/29/11 [Last modified: Friday, September 30, 2011 9:37am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium


    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.
  2. Memorial for Snooty the manatee, postponed because of Irma, to be held Sunday


    A public memorial to celebrate the life of 69-year-old Snooty the manatee will be held at the South Florida Museum on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

    Snooty , the world's most celebrated manatee, begs for another slice of apple in his pool in the Parker Manatee Aquarium at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton in 2008. Snooty was 60 then. [Times 2008]
  3. Residents wade through a flooded road after the passing of Hurricane Maria, in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Friday, September 22, 2017. Because of the heavy rains brought by Maria, thousands of people were evacuated from Toa Baja after the municipal government opened the gates of the Rio La Plata Dam. [Associated Press]
  4. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem


    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  5. New earthquake, magnitude 6.1, shakes jittery Mexico


    MEXICO CITY — A strong new earthquake shook Mexico on Saturday, causing new alarm in a country reeling from two still-more-powerful quakes this month that have killed nearly 400 people.

    Locals play pool at a venue in Mexico City's La Condesa neighborhood, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, four days after the 7.1 earthquake. The upscale Mexico City neighborhood was one of the hardest hit, with more than a half-dozen collapsed buildings in the immediate vicinity. The few Condesa residents who ventured out Friday night said they were anxious for relief from an anguishing week. [Associated Press]