CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Be wary if you’re meeting strangers through apps. Recent surveillance video shows a Clearwater man getting beat up while selling his iPhone to a stranger through an app called OfferUp.
It happened in broad daylight at the 7-11 off U.S. 19.
The video shows an all out fight between Jose La Cabada and the man he was trying to sell his cell phone to.
The video starts after the suspect hands La Cabada $400 in counterfeit money and walks away with his phone.
“I helped escalate it. I wasn’t going to be taken advantage of. They saw me as a short little Mexican kid and there are these two hot stuff black kids that were going to do what they do, because they’ve done it plenty of times,” said La Cabada.
After the first struggle on camera, the brawl didn’t end. La Cabada says he took it a step further.
“I had mounted the guy and then his friend comes out of nowhere and then tries to drag me off of him, and in this whole situation, they are like ‘what are we gonna do, what are we gonna do,’ and that’s when I hop into his car,” said La Cabada.
La Cabada was pushed out of the car, but was still fighting back.
“I’m trying to pull this man out of the car and he’s just looking at me like ‘bro, lets go, lets go’ and at the same time, I am yelling for help. There’s this mechanic across the street. I’m like, ‘are you not going to help me out?’ He’s looking at me dead in my face and he’s not going to do anything about it. I’m like, ‘are you serious, you could of come out with a wrench!’”
Lucky for La Cabada, he did get his cell phone back.
This story comes with an important message from police. If you’re going to use these apps and meet strangers, they urge you to do it at the police station.
“Make these type of purchases in our parking lot. There will be a designated parking space called ‘safe zone’ and it’s in view in front of the cameras that are mounted in the front of our police station,” said Lt. Randall Chaney with Largo police.
If you know the man in the video, you are asked to call Largo police.
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