Suspect arrested in beating of elderly Bradenton man in speeding case

jdeleon@bradenton.comJanuary 1, 2014 


MANATEE -- Investigators continue to search for two more suspects in the beating of a 70-year-old man after he tried to get them to slow their car down as they rode through a residential neighborhood last week, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Leon Rogers was arrested Monday and charged with battery on a person over 65. He was released on a $1,500 bond from the Manatee County jail early Tuesday afternoon just before his first hearing in court.

Detective Rebecca Angel was at the hearing as the State Attorney's Office asked a judge to revoke Rogers' bond for previous charges. Manatee County Judge Marc Gilner said the matter would have to be presented to the judge presiding over the case.

The search continues for the other two suspects, Angel said.

James Gorman was pushing his wheelchair-bound wife down the street in the 400 block of 60th Drive West in Pride Park at about 5:30 p.m. Friday, with their granddaughter, 7, on her lap during an afternoon stroll when the suspects reportedly came speeding down the road. His attempt to slow them down resulted in the beating.

"There were children all over," Gorman said a day later. "I stepped out to slow them down."

The car stopped and Rogers, the front passenger, reportedly directed a few nasty words at Gorman and then punched him. Trying to defend himself, the elderly man punched him back as the other backseat passenger got out of the car. The three men went on to beat, kick and punch Gorman until he lost consciousness.

"They knocked me out, but when I came to, they were pulling away," Gorman said. "My wife had fallen out of her wheelchair trying to come and help me."

Rogers, who has a history of arrests on drug, theft and criminal charges, is facing a pending charge from October claiming he stole a television from his stepbrother's father, according to court records. At the time of his most recent arrest, Rogers was out of jail after posting a $1,500 bond in the case.

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