1. News

Suspect charged with murder after victim in bank robbery-turned-carjacking found dead in Valrico, deputies say

Hillsborough deputies say James Hanson Jr. robbing the CenterState Bank branch in Valrico on Tuesday morning (seen in the surveillance photo left) and then carjacked a man to escape the bank. Deputies captured Hanson after a high-speed pursuit that ended when they rammed the stolen SUV off the road (right.) But the victim, Mathew Korattiyil, 68, was later found dead. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
Published Aug. 13

Click here to read this story in Spanish.

VALRICO — A 68-year-old man who was carjacked at gunpoint after a bank robbery Tuesday morning was found dead hours later, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Mathew Korattiyil was last seen being pushed into his white Lexus SUV by the man accused of robbing the CenterState Bank, 1815 E Brandon Blvd., at about 10:30 a.m.

A search was launched, and after a high-speed chase and crash, deputies knocked the stolen SUV off the road and captured the alleged bank robber, James Hanson Jr., 39.

But Korattiyil wasn't inside the vehicle, so the search continued.

Then at 4 p.m., deputies announced that he was found dead at Sacred Heart Knanaya Catholic Community Center located at 2620 Washington Road.

Hanson was taken into custody and gave a full confession Tuesday after being interviewed by detectives for several hours, according to the Sheriff's Office. He was booked into the Hillsborough County jail on charges of first degree murder, carjacking, grand theft auto, kidnapping, resisting an officer with violence and robbery.

The Catholic center and crashed SUV were all a little more than a mile from the bank. The Sheriff's Office did not release any other information about the incident, such as what happened to Korattiyil after he was kidnapped or what the cause of death was.

Korattiyil was an active and generous member of the community center where he was found, said president Tomy Kattinacheril.

"He was a great community supporter and loving man and family member," Kattinacheril said.

Korattiyil owned Valrico Food Store, a gas station and store just minutes away, but had recently retired and leased it out. He wanted to enjoy retirement and spend time with his three children and his grandchildren, the president said.

"This was the place for him, where he loved the church and grew," Kattinacheril said. "They dumped him at our place, that's the saddest thing."

The incident started when Hanson entered the bank and approached a teller with a gun, said Hillsborough sheriff's Chief Deputy Donna Lusczynski at a news conference. Hanson assaulted a bank patron before fleeing the bank, she said.

Then, in the parking lot, Hanson encountered Korattiyil, pushed him into his white Lexus SUV and drove off, the chief deputy said.

Deputies found the Lexus at about 12:15 p.m., near the intersection of State Road 60 and St. Cloud Avenue and started a high-speed pursuit. At one point during the chase, the Lexus struck another car but that driver was not injured, Lusczynski said.

Deputies used a tire-shredding device and a technique called the "PIT maneuver" — pursuit intervention technique — to disable the SUV and ram it off the road, causing it to overturn.

Hanson ran from the crash but was eventually captured by deputies and arrested. Korattiyil, however, was still missing at that time.

Records show Hanson was released from Florida state prison on July 2 after serving time for armed robbery and was still on probation when he was arrested Tuesday. His criminal record dates back to 1996 and includes convictions for armed burglary and grand theft.

He also faced charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit armed robbery in North Carolina.

Senior news researcher Caryn Baird, staff writers Tony Marrero and Allie Goulding contributed to this report. Contact Kavitha Surana at or 727-893-8149. Follow @ksurana6. Contact Tony Marrero at or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.


  1. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    No injuries were reported, according to Pinellas deputies. A tornado may also have passed over Interstate 4 in Polk County.
  2. The Florida Department of Transportation is installing lights on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge as part of a $15 million project. During tests this weekend, engineers will illuminate the bridge in a pink hue to commemorate breast cancer awareness month. Courtesy of Florida Department of Transportation
    The Florida Department of Transportation is lighting up the span this weekend to commemorate breast cancer awareness month.
  3. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    The 63-year-old crossing guard was hospitalized, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
  4. Amber Perera looks out at the courtroom audience during her sentencing hearing at the Hillsborough County Courthouse. Perera caused a fatal crash on the Selmon Expressway in Tampa in August, 10, 2017 that killed Rita and Luiz Felipak and their 8-year-old daughter Giorgia Felipak. SCOTT KEELER  |  Times
    Amber Perera is responsible for the 2017 crash that killed a family of three. She hopes to avoid a life sentence. The judge is still deciding.
  5. Tampa Bay Lighting host a watch party on the beach at the Tradewinds resort on St. Pete Beach in February. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times
    TradeWinds is the biggest resort in Pinellas County.
  6. A view of the downtown St. Petersburg skyline and waterfront from over Tampa Bay.
    The news that the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation wants to change its name to include “Tampa Bay” has been met with resistance.
  7. Yesterday• Hillsborough
    Check for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    University police say a woman fell to her death Friday afternoon from near the top of the 8-story parking facility.
  8. Alec J. Roarks, 27, has resigned his position at Connerton Elementary School.
  9. A driver lost control and plowed into the garage of a townhouse in the 21400 block of Clubside Loop in Land O Lakes. The homeowner was in the garage at the time but was not injured. The driver suffered minor injuries. But the home's occupants had to leave because of the damage. Pasco County Fire Rescue
    The car drove through a garage wall. The homeowner was inside the garage at the time but was not injured.
  10. The Whole Coffee Company makes Dunkin’-branded Coffee Thins as well as Tim Hortons Double Double bars and its own Whole Coffee Company-branded nudge coffee bars. (Photo courtesy The Whole Coffee Company) The Whole Coffee Company
    The Whole Coffee Company, which is based in Miami, was previously known as Tierra Nueva Fine Cocoa. ProspEquity Partners of Tampa owns a majority stake in Whole Coffee.