Wine glass-wielding assailant attacks 74-year-old while parked in Sarasota, police say

Sarasota County

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Sarasota police have arrested a Bradenton man for reportedly attacking a driver with broken wine glasses on 1st Street Monday afternoon.

According to police, Gavin Pearce, 30, took two wine glasses from a restaurant table, broke them on the ground, and attacked a 74-year-old man who was sitting in a parked car. The department said Pearce then jumped out of the car and rode away on a bicycle.

“The suspect just saw the wine glasses, grabbed them, broke them on the ground and then went to this car,” said police spokesperson Genevieve Judge. “Why he targeted this man and why he chose this instance is still unknown today,” she continued.

Residents in the area were surprised to learn what happened in the typically safe area.

“It is concerning because I walk down here probably every day, but I usually see plenty of police around downtown so I never have been concerned before,” said downtown resident Meg Maurer.

Officers responded to the scene at around 5:30 p.m., where they found the victim being tended to by civilians. The victim told officers he thought Pearce attacked him to steal his car so the victim threw his key fob out of the vehicle to keep Pearce from carjacking him.

Officers later found Pierce a short time afterward near the intersection of 5th Street and North Tamiami Trail. Pearce told officers he would only speak with detectives in a recorded room, but upon arrival, he decided to speak to his attorney before questioning.

Pearce is currently being held at the Sarasota County Jail on charges of aggravated battery on a person over 65 and carjacking with a weapon. Court records show the 30-year-old suspect has a lengthy criminal history out of Manatee County including battery, trespassing and multiple theft charges.

The victim was treated at Sarasota Memorial Hospital after driving himself there. Police say his injuries are non-life threatening.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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