Man held in robbery attempt on W University, police say

Published: Monday, November 5, 2012 at 5:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 5, 2012 at 5:49 p.m.

A Gainesville man was arrested early Monday morning after police said he threatened to rob a man on the 200 block of West University Ave.

Jason Hardy, 28, of 2911 NE 15th St. approached a 21-year-old Gainesville man on the sidewalk around 12:45 a.m. and asked him for a dollar, according to a report from Gainesville police.

The man did not respond to Hardy and walked away. Hardy announced that he had a pistol in his pocket and told the man he would rob him of everything he had, the victim told police.

The man ran into Gainesville House of Beer, a nearby bar, and called 911. Hardy followed the victim into the bar and yelled, “If you come outside, I will mess you up,” a witness told police.

The witness ordered Hardy to leave the bar. Hardy left and was found by police soon after at 400 West University Ave.

The victim positively identified Hardy later on, police said. Hardy told police that he had asked the victim for a “light” and when the victim ignored him he became “heated.”

Gainesville Police Department spokesman Officer Ben Tobias said no weapon was seen or discovered by police.

Hardy was arrested on a charge of attempted robbery with a deadly weapon because under Florida law the offender needs to merely mention or threaten to have a gun to be charged with armed robbery, Tobias explained.

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