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I was traveling North on I-75 around 2:40 PM EST on November 29th,2007. I stopped in the Ellisville, Florida rest area for a quick restroom break and to use the phone. I was approached at my truck door by a man that wanted me to come look at a man that he described as a J B Hunt driver. He said he was crazy. I told him that I did not care. Moments later I exited my truck and I proceeded to the restroom. As I walked towards the end on my trailer, I noticed several other men standing in a circle throwing playing cards on a piece of newspaper on the pavement behind the truck and trailer parked next to me on my left. I stopped briefly to see what was happening, as I started to walk away, one of the men to my left asked me if my wrist watch was real, I said yes, he then said that if it was real, it would have a green sticker on the back, I began to turn it over and display the back and the person that was throwing the cards on the ground grabbed my hand and arm. He pulled me towards the space between the two trucks rear area. And three more men in the circle grabbed me and held me. I tore away from them,losing my glasses and ripping my shirt and started to chase the one that grabbed my watch. I ran to the end of the rest area and waited to see if I could see what kind of vehicle they were driving. I called 911 and reported this robbery and assault. After about 15 minutes, a Columbia County Deputy and a Florida Highway Patrol Officer pulled into the rest area and informed me that they caught the suspects. I rode to the scene where they had made the apprehension and positively identified all four of the men that robbed me. I wish to thank Officer Tracey Heisler-Pace for her quick response and work in apprehending these men. I also want to thank all the Florida Highway Patrol Officers at this Post in Florida that were involved in the pursuit. They were very understanding, helpful and professional. I will forever in their debt for catching these criminals that preyed upon me. If not for their outstanding work and devotion to making the public safer there would be more victims of Florida visitors like myself. I lost a valuable watch but knowing that these four men were caught and will be punished by the court system outweighs any material lost that I have suffered. Thank you very much and May God extend his many blessings upon each and every one of the Law Enforcement Officers involved in this incident.

 


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