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Reward Upped To $16K-plus in Beating of Army SGT Stationed At Centcom

Posted May 16, 2012 by Howard Altman

Updated May 16, 2012 at 06:17 PM

I was trying to be good the other day and not looking at any messages coming over the Blackberry on my day off.

So I ignored the media alert from Tampa police about a brutal beatdown caught on video, figuring it was at best a blurb and possibly a package for TV.

Then my MacDill google alerts started blowing up.

Johnny Aparicio, the victim, was from the base, according to other local media. At midnight Monday, I fired off emails to various folks at MacDill. Finally, while out with my wife Tuesday afternoon, I found out that Aparicio was an Army sergeant assigned to U.S. Central Command.

There is a reward out for the men who beat up Aparicio. Here’s the latest on the case from my colleagues at TBO:

A reward of $16,250 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the suspects wanted in the beating of a MacDill soldier on early Sunday.

Aparico, 24, was beaten by four people after his car broke down in an Interbay neighborhood.

Aparico has been released from the hospital where he was treated for facial injuries during the attack and robbery, police said.

The Winters and Yonker Law Firm has offered $10,000; Without Walls Church, $5,000; a citizen from Virginia, $1,000; and a citizen from New Jersey, $250; according to the Tampa Police Department.

Aparico was new to the area, said Tampa police Lt. Mary O’Conner, who added it was likely a random crime.

His car had broken down about 3:30 a.m. on South West Shore Boulevard in the Sun Bay South area on the Interbay peninsula.

Aparico was walking east on West Iowa Avenue when he was approached by three men at Renellie Drive. One of them asked Aparico for a dollar, police said, and as he replied, the three started hitting him in the face and upper body.

Video from a security camera shows another man running up Iowa Avenue and joining the attack. All four are shown hitting and kicking Aparico after he fell to the ground.

The men also went through Aparico’s pockets, taking his cellphone and wallet, according to police. They fled south on Renellie Drive.

The video shows Aparico struggling to get to his feet. He eventually was able to get up, knock on a neighbor’s door and call police.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).

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