Man drove into same people twice at Pinellas Park banquet hall, police say

Roberto Dothe, 24, touched off a brawl and was arrested on charges of attempted murder, police said.
Roberto Dothe was arrested on two counts of attempted murder.
Roberto Dothe was arrested on two counts of attempted murder. [ Pinellas County Sheriff's Office ]
Published June 6, 2021|Updated June 6, 2021

PINELLAS PARK — A 24-year-old Holiday man faces charges of attempted murder for driving into two people, throwing his car into reverse, and driving into them again, touching off a brawl outside a banquet hall, Pinellas Park police said.

The victims, a 10 year-old-girl and a 35-year-old man, were taken to a hospital with injuries that were serious but not life-threatening, police said.

Roberto Dothe was arrested on two counts off attempted second-degree murder in the early Sunday attack at Banquet Masters, 13355 49th St. Anthony Benitez, 18, a back-seat passenger, faces a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in the case.

Officers responded to a 911 call from Banquet Masters at about 2:50 a.m. and learned that the driver of a vehicle had intentionally run over two victims, police said in a news release. A large fight broke out afterward and three people were taken to a hospital.

The venue was the scene of a party that drew many guests as well as people who were not invited, police said. Three people argued with guests at the event then got into a car and drove indiscriminately into a crowd, striking two victims.

Dothe, who was at the wheel, hit a truck in the parking lot, reversed, and struck the victims a second time, police said. A crowd surrounded the car and began to attack the three occupants.

One party guest, identified as Roque Villalpando, fought with a male passenger in the front seat, seriously injuring him, police said. Benitez, who was in the back seat, then struck Villalpando in the head with a bottle of alcohol, causing serious injury.

Dothe fled on foot and was taken into custody nearby. He was booked at the Pinellas County jail. A bail amount was not listed for him Sunday.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Dothe had been released on $10,000 bail.