HOLIDAY, Fla. (WFLA) – Dozens of Beacon Square residents gathered in front of Robert Walker’s Holiday home Saturday evening to remember him.
The 82-year-old Pasco County resident passed away Friday evening, just a few hours after he was attacked and robbed at his home on Devonshire Dr. Deputies with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office arrested 14-year-old Alexander Perez not long after the attack.
The teen is currently charged with one count of battery on a person over the age of 65 and one count of home invasion. Detectives are working with the medical examiner’s office to determine if the attack caused or accelerated the elderly man’s death.
Walker had lived in the neighborhood since 2000.
His routine was spending hours on his front porch smoking cigarettes. That was ultimately where he was attacked early Friday. Billy Sepulveda knew Walker for more than a decade. He says the neighborhood is tight knit, but recently the area had been terrorized by teenage ‘hoodlums,’ and Sepulveda is tired of it.
“We don’t need to have a tragedy to be together and we can take our streets back; we can do our own thing again….live like human beings.” Sepulveda explained. “[We shouldn’t] be afraid to walk out of our front door, worried about someone stealing or killing you or something like that.”
Russ Holt, the community watch coordinator, says there is rarely a strong turnout community meetings but he’s confident that might change given what happened to Walker. Holt is hopeful that out of tragedy will rise unity in this part of Pasco County.
“This has shown people how bad it can get, so now they’re going to say, well, if this is as bad as it gets when I don’t help, how good can it get if I do?” Holt added. “The next step is actually doing [something].”