A Tampa man was reportedly arrested on Saturday, October 22, in connection with the brutal killing of a cyclist early on Friday, October 21, near Clearwater, Florida. The cyclist was found dead on Clearwater Beach having suffered repeated blows to his chest.
Jermaine Bennett, 26, has been charged with first-degree murder for the “heinous and violent” attack that killed 49-year-old Jeffrey Chapman while he was riding his bicycle on Mandalay Avenue just after midnight, according to Clearwater Deputy Chief Michael Walek during a press conference on Saturday. Bennett allegedly acknowledged hitting Chapman more than 10 times with a tire iron because “the ills of society had gotten to him,” said Walek.
Bennett, a resident of Tampa, was apprehended by Pasco County sheriff’s deputies and Clearwater police while he was at work in Wesley Chapel, according to Fox news. Walek said that Bennett admitted to randomly killing Chapman, adding that he reportedly “showed no remorse for his actions” and went to work at Insight Family Eye Care right after the ghastly attack. “It was a chance encounter that turned deadly while the victim was simply trying to ride his bike home. During the interview, [Bennett] showed no remorse for the killing. He even said, in fact, that he’d been waiting all day for us to show up,” Walek said, according to the outlet.
Using video evidence and information from the public, detectives were able to connect Bennett and his black four-door 2014 Nissan Altima to the crime. According to Walek, detectives believe there was a second person involved in the attack. The accomplice was described as a slender man between 6ft and 6ft 2in. “It’s only a matter of time until we get you. He knows who he is,” Walek reportedly said.
According to Pasco court records, Bennett, who had resided in Wesley Chapel, was accused of violence and misdemeanor in 2014. The case was later dismissed. He is now being detained in Pasco County Jail and is awaiting extradition to Pinellas County.