Florida Man Arrested After Attacking Elderly Man Who Asked For Social Distancing

We recently discussed the attack on an elderly man in an elevator over social distancing in Florida. Now, another Florida man, Rovester Ingram, has been charged with a vicious attack on a 70-year-old man at a convenience store after he was asked to social distance.  The charge caught my attention.

Ingram was without a mask when the elderly man asked him to step away so he could step inside the store at a Citgo gas station according to a police statement. Ingram then followed the victim outside of the store and began punching him.  When the victim went into the store, Ingram allegedly followed and continued to assault him. He then pulled the man by the hair outside of the store and continue to hit him and spit on him.

The elderly man was taken to the hospital with serious injuries and Ingram identified from surveillance footage.

It is little surprise that he faces aggravated battery on a person over 65 years old. However, he also is charged with kidnapping for dragging the man outside of the store.

Here is the relevant statute:

787.01 Kidnapping; kidnapping of child under age 13, aggravating circumstances.

(1)(a) The term “kidnapping” means forcibly, secretly, or by threat confining, abducting, or imprisoning another person against her or his will and without lawful authority, with intent to:

1. Hold for ransom or reward or as a shield or hostage.
2. Commit or facilitate commission of any felony.
3. Inflict bodily harm upon or to terrorize the victim or another person.
4. Interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.
(b) Confinement of a child under the age of 13 is against her or his will within the meaning of this subsection if such confinement is without the consent of her or his parent or legal guardian.
(2) A person who kidnaps a person is guilty of a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
Presumably, the prosecutors are alleging the dragging the victim by the hair outside was “abducting” even if only brief in time. It raises the question of how long or how much movement is needed to quality as abducting.  Fights often involve pulling or pushing or dragging someone for a short distance.  I could not find a clear answer on where that line is drawn under the criminal code.  There is also the question of intent. Was the pulling of the victim outside part of the assault or a mean to continue the assault?
The addition of the kidnapping charge, however, could bring a life sentence so these distinctions could be highly determinative on sentencing.

31 thoughts on “Florida Man Arrested After Attacking Elderly Man Who Asked For Social Distancing”

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