SEFFNER, Fla. - Some of the signs say 'Prime Time Convenience Store'. Others simply tout the products available. But the sign of the times seen here Sunday -- as a pair of thugs pummeled a clerk who had completely complied with their robbery request -- is the most unsettling of all.
"Just sick and twisted people that just want to take money and come back and beat an old man. That's bad," said Customer Paul Haydock, who describes himself as a regular.
The surveillance tape is very graphic, showing the brutal beating of 71 year-old Hasimbhai Indawala, who folks around here called 'Pops.'
"Yeah, he's a good guy. He lets you slide if you don't have a few extra cents, and he'll let you slide the next time you come in," said customer David Grider. "I don't see why anybody would want to hurt him, it's craziness."
For folks in this part of Seffner, opportunity crimes like this have started hitting too close to home. The fear here is its either kids, or drive-by robbers who jump off nearby I-4, then right back on. When the attacks are this violent, the fear factor is increased.
"The Circle K has been robbed," added Haydock, pointing up the street. "Now this place has been robbed. Where else is it going to happen if they don't patrol this area?"
We're told that deputies have stepped up their patrols in this area around Kingsway and US 92, and that now there may be a better lead in the case -- the particular older car the pair apparently pulled up in.
"And it's a 1993 to 1997 four-door Chrysler Concord," said Sheriff's Spokesman Debbie Carter. "So we're hoping that maybe now ... maybe someone will recognize the individuals and the car that they drive."
Even as customers recognize the area is headed for more trouble.
"I lived in this area most of my life," said Mr. Grider. "I've never seen it what's going on to this stage now."
Following a three-day hospital stay, including jaw surgery today and hopeful discharge tomorrow, Pops has told co-workers that he wants his old shift back.
"He ways he wants to come back to work," I related to Mr. Haydock. "Well," he replied, "he's got to live…"
Despite his job that put him so close to death.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Hernando County Sheriff's detectives are investigating the deaths of two people found in the Chassahowitzka Forest.