Two men face attempted murder charges after detectives say they drove a pickup truck into another man several times, pinning him to a wall, and then proceeded to beat him with a wooden stick, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.
Robert “Dog” DeCola, 36, and Charles “CJ” Blair, 24, were arrested Tuesday afternoon. Both men were charged with attempted murder and are being held without bond at the Sarasota County jail.
Deputies first responded to a home in the 1000 block of Beneva Road in Sarasota to reports of an injured person, according to an arrest report. The victim, who had visible deep cuts on his head, told deputies that two men in a black pickup truck had run him over while he was sitting on his bicycle and then beat him.
The pickup truck had a sign with the words “Black,” “Dog” and “Tree Service” on it, he reportedly told deputies.
The 39-year-old victim was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital for treatment.
After detectives learned that the attack had taken place in the parking lot of the Palm Grove Mennonite Church, 1087 S. Beneva Road, Sarasota, they were able to find significant tire tracks, according to the report. The victim’s bicycle was also found to have severe damage.
Blair had been driving the pickup when it pulled into the parking lot of Palm Grove, where the victim was sitting on his bicycle while charging his cell phone, he told deputies. DeCola could be heard yelling, “run him over,” and then after he was knocked of his bicycle, the victim said DeCola yelled, “Back up and run him over again.”
The victim received 25 staples to his head and also suffered a broken arm and broken nose and had abrasions over his body.
Deputies with the sheriff’s office tactical unit found the suspected pickup truck at noon Tuesday near Beneva Road and Ingram Avenue in Sarasota. The truck had a decal advertising “Black Dog Tree Service” on it, where both DeCola and Blair work, according to the report.
The hood of the pickup truck had damage consistent with the attack and what appeared to be blood before it was seized as evidence.
Blair admitted to detectives to being with DeCola at the time of the attack, but he invoked his right to remain silent, the report states. DeCola admitted to being with Blair as well. But DeCola also admitted to an altercation with the victim, beating him with a wooden stick three times and bashing his head into the ground three times, authorities said.