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Florida Man Blamed ‘Ills of Society’ After Beating Random Bicyclist to Death and Going to Straight to Work Without Remorse: Police

Jermaine Adrian Bennett

Jermaine Adrian Bennett

Police say a man beat a random man to death with a tire iron. Officers named the defendant as Jermaine Adrian Bennett, 26, and they say he was not alone. Another man was allegedly involved in some capacity.

“And he knows who he is,” Deputy Police Chief Michael Walek said in a press conference on Saturday (h/t WFLA). The lawman did not name this second suspect, only describing him as being of slender build, standing 6 feet to 6 feet, 2 inches.

Police have said that they got a 911 call Friday at 12:37 a.m. about a person being down in the northern part of Clearwater Beach. Units responded. They found a man on the ground. He was dead. He appeared to have been riding a bicycle.  Officers named him as Jeffrey M. Chapman, 49, of Clearwater Beach.

“This case was very heinous and very violent,” Walek said.

Chapman suffered blunt force trauma to the upper portion of his body, Walek said. Bennett allegedly struck him more than 10 times with the tire iron. It was an uncharacteristic incident for the quiet, mostly residential area, Walek told reporters.

The deputy chief said that officers were able to track down the suspect vehicle. Bennett owned it, he said. Officers arrested the 26-year-old in the community of Wesley Chapel all the way over in Pasco County. Walek said Bennett went right to work after the killing.

“He was charged with first-degree murder, which he confessed to, and described as being a random act and the ills of society [had] gotten to him,” Walek said. “During the interview, he showed no remorse to the killing. During this investigation, we have recovered a lot of forensic evidence and we got some very good investigative leads from our interview with Bennett, and I encourage the outstanding suspect to do the right thing and turn himself in. It’s only a matter of time before we get you.”

Walek declined to discuss the second suspect’s alleged actions, only saying this person played an “active role.” Nor did he describe the potential charges.

Also, without specifying if the two incidents were linked, Walek noted a similar incident that happened in the city of St. Petersburg an hour before the murder.

As for Chapman’s death, Walek describes it as completely senseless. The slain man was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he said.

Police have said that anyone with information should call (727) 562-4242.

[Image via Clearwater Police Department]

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