TAMPA - It is video that is hard to watch. As a lone figure walks across the intersection of Iowa and Renellie, he's approached by another man who then starts attacking him.
Almost immediately, two more attackers join in and 24 year-old Johnny Aparicio, a soldier assigned to US Centcom, is defenseless on the ground.
"They kicked him about the face," said Lt. Mary O'Connor of the Tampa Police Department's District One detachment. "They punched him numerous times... it was just an absolutely vicious attack on him."
And one of the things that is really unsettling on the video is that you've got someone running from screen left to get his licks in on the guy.
"One of the last guys," added, O'Connor..."You can see actually him as he kicks him in the face a couple of times. It's one of the more vicious attacks I've seen."
And in this -- up until really recently a really quiet part of the South of Gandy South Tampa, residents are seeing their neighborhood change.
I asked Mark LaBor, who was walking in the very footsteps of Mr. Aparacio across the street Monday afternoon if he was upset by what's been happening.
"Oh yeah," he said. "I walk up around here all the time -- and later times at night and everything. I wouldn't want something like this to happen to me when I'm doing this. This is horrible."
Horrible especially for Aparicio, who was simply trying to walk home his apartment complex just a few blocks south on Interbay
"He was just trying to get established," according to complex Manager Pat Chumley, who told me that Aparicio had been in Tampa for less than a month.
"From what I understand, when he arrived here, he had everything that he owned in his car," she said.
A rather rude welcome to Tampa indeed.
But investigators are hoping to overcome that with a little neighborly help now from someone who can recognize one of these attackers from a motion-detector surveillance camera that captured a crime in progress.
"The video is good because it shows that the victim was viciously injured," said Lt. O'Connor. "But, she continued, "at the same time it's not clear enough to make an identification but I believe that somebody out there in the public is going to know who these kids are."
Anyone with any additional information is being urged to contact Tampa Police (District One) or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).
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