Armed men try to rob bicyclist in Bradenton; victim arrested on warrants

MANATEE -- Three armed men early Friday tried to rob a bicyclist in Bradenton but got away with nothing. Deputies arrested the victim after a check revealed he was wanted on five warrants, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

About 3:28 a.m., Dennis Gergel Jr., 41, was turning from First Street onto 13th Avenue East, when a black 4-door sedan turned the corner almost next to him. Three men got out and one of them pointed a gun at him and demanded money, according to a news release.

Gergel said he didn't have any and refused to empty his pocket. A second suspect, who was wearing a black bandana around his face, told the first suspect, "Don't pop him," the report states. The third suspect did not say anything.

All three then fled the area.

Afraid they might return, Gergel rode to a nearby Racetrack gas station where he located a Bradenton police officer, who notified deputies.

Gergel was arrested after a warrants check revealed he was wanted on five counts of use of personal identification information by use of harassment, with bonds totaling $5,000.