Deputies seek men who beat Kanapaha student, stole headphones, cellphone


Published: Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 11:24 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 11:24 a.m.

Deputies are still looking for the men who they say beat a Kanapaha Middle School student and stole his headphones and cellphone as he walked to school Wednesday morning.

The 14-year-old boy was walking to school around 9 a.m. through the woods on a path that runs between the Greenleaf neighborhood and Kimball Wiles Elementary School, said Art Forgey, public information officer for the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

The boy told deputies he was listening to music on his iPhone 4S with red Dr. Dre Beats headphones on when he was approached by three men who punched and kicked him, Forgey said.

Deputies said the men took the boy's cellphone and headphones and left him covered in blood. The boy told deputies that after the men left, he continued walking to school and went to the nurse and school resource deputy, Forgey said.

An ambulance was called for the student, but he was not found to have life-threatening injuries. His mother later took him to the emergency room, where he was treated for his injuries and released, Forgey said.

Both Kanapaha and Wiles were put on lockdown for about an hour as deputies searched for the men in the area. Authorities did not find the suspected culprits Wednesday but did arrest two men in connection with a series of car burglaries that happened in the Greenleaf neighborhood Tuesday night.

Deputies say they are trying to see if the two incidents are linked. The boy was to meet with them to try to identify the men in a photo lineup, Forgey said.

"We don't know if both cases are going to be connected, but it is in same area, so we do want to eliminate or confirm that connection first," Forgey said.

Alachua County Public Schools spokeswoman Jackie Johnson said there was increased supervision in the area beginning two hours before school started on Thursday.

Staff writer Erin Jester contributed to this report.

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