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Teens charged in beating, robbery

Two young men have been charged with beating and robbing an elderly man as he was leaving a civic association building last month.

Michael Robert Smith, 16, and David Brice Billick, 19, allegedly knocked a 69-year-old man to the ground outside the building at the Gardens of Beacon Square subdivision late Jan. 15. Smith's name was released because he was prosecuted as an adult in a different case last year, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Billick and Smith reportedly punched and kicked the man, took his wallet, and later bragged about the crime to an acquaintance.

Pasco detectives were called Wednesday morning by an informant who said Billick had offered to sell him a Canon camera stolen from a car for $30. During that conversation, detectives say, Billick also mentioned that he and Smith had stolen a black 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.

The Oldsmobile was stolen Feb. 12 from a home in New Port Richey and then left in a hospital parking lot, records show.

"The informant also stated that (Billick) admitted that he and Smith had beaten up an old man and took his wallet, and that they were interrupted during the robbery by witnesses with pool sticks," wrote Detective John Stanley in a report.

According to detectives, the informant was wearing a "body bug" for the meeting with Billick, and the conversation was taped.

Wednesday afternoon, the two suspects were arrested. Billick was charged with dealing in stolen property, grand theft auto, strong arm robbery and battery of an elderly person. He was in the Central Pasco Detention Center on Thursday, and his bail was set at $50,000.

Smith was arrested on the same charges as Billick, with the exception of dealing in stolen property. He, too, was in the Land O'Lakes jail Thursday. His bail was set at $35,000.

According to arrest reports, Billick told detectives that Smith punched the elderly man and kicked him in the face and ribs. But he denied striking the man himself.

"It was Mike's idea," Billick reportedly said to the informant. "I didn't hit or kick him. Mike did. Mike took the wallet. I didn't get any of the money. I don't know what happened to the wallet or the credit cards."

Smith "took the old man's wallet (and) kicked the guy in the stomach," Billick reportedly said. Battery of an elderly person carries sterner sentencing and victim restitution than the lesser charge of battery, said Detective C. J. Stewart.

The man who was beaten in the robbery reportedly is doing well, Stewart said.

Billick also told detectives that he was involved in at least five residential and auto burglaries in the Gardens of Beacon Square and Shamrock Heights subdivisions, records show.

Detectives Stanley and Stewart still are investigating those cases, sheriff's officials said Thursday.