Tampa Police arrest man for robbing, beating victim with axe handle

Documents: Threatened victim, took his wallet
Posted at 6:46 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-02 02:12:58-05

Tampa Police arrested a 26-year-old man they say beat and robbed another man using an axe handle.

According to the arrest warrant, Dustin Irwin demanded the victim's wallet, when the victim refused, he told him he was going to "bash his head in." The warrant says Irwin hit the man in the head, arm and knee using the axe handle.

The robbery happened near railroad tracks on North 57th Street in December. The warrant says the victim recently identified Irwin as the robber from a photo line up.

According to Irwin's family, he is a self proclaimed "Juggalo" or follower of the hip hop group Insane Clown Posse. In a 2011, the FBI labeled Juggalos as a loosely organized hybrid gang. Irwin's sister says her brother had a rough childhood, but started lashing out once he started hanging out with other Juggalos and listening to their music.

"It definitely didn't help," Lindsay Irwin said. "The music appealed to him because it talked about stuff that he went through."

She says he started hanging out with other Juggalos while in middle school. At the same time she says he started bringing knives to school.

According to arrest documents, Irwin has "Hatchetman" tattooed on his forearm. The tattoo is a is a reference to Juggalos and the Insane Clown Posse. Irwin's sister believes the group may have influenced his choice of weapon used during the robbery.

Lindsey Irwin says she and her brother were in the foster care system for a long time while their parents were incarcerated and fighting drug addiction. During that time, both of them endured different forms of abuse, she said.

Dustin Irwin has been arrested several times for drugs, theft and weapons charges. His sister says he is not violent and believes he was having a mental episode during the commission of the crime.

"If they're going to give him 5 to 10 years in jail I really thing he needs 5 to 10 years in a mental facility of drug rehabilitation, something that's going to help him," she said.



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