End of the story - South Florida
Dunkin' Donuts shooting suspects are 'cold-blooded thugs,' police say
Video, luck had role in Dunkin' Donuts arrests
By Sofia Santana and Robert Nolin
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
December 4, 2008
For the three masked robbers, it wasn't about money. It was about kicks.
That, police say, is why six people across Broward and Palm Beach counties were randomly shot and wounded during a doughnut shop robbery spree last week.
"There's no clear motive, almost like it was sport," Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti said Wednesday, announcing the arrests of three men for the shockingly casual shootings. "These are just cold-blooded thugs. One suspect said he just wanted to up his body count."
The shotgun-toting suspects were methodical and merciless in the shootings, police said. And though they were under widespread video surveillance, their capture was assisted by luck.
Arrested Tuesday night: Jonathan Jackson, 23, and James Herard, 19, both of Lauderhill, and Calvin Weatherspoon, 20, Lauderdale Lakes. All claimed to be members of the notorious Crips gang, police said.
Police say they were among four robbers, garbed in black, hooded sweaters, masks and gloves, who burst into the Dunkin' Donuts shop in Delray Beach on Nov. 26. Some cleaned out the cash register; others shoved terrorized customers to the floor and rifled through pockets and purses.
Before leaving, the robbers opened fire on the cooperative customers without provocation. One held a shotgun to the face of Henry Borenstein, an 84-year-old World War II veteran from Delray Beach, and pulled the trigger. The blast shattered his teeth and jaw.
The gunmen wounded two others with the shotgun. While crossing a street after leaving the shop, the robbers fired a shotgun into the face of a driver who flashed his high beams at them. A fifth victim later showed up at a Riviera Beach hospital with a shotgun pellet wound in his leg.
"There was no need to shoot them," Delray Beach Police Chief Anthony Strianese said. "It's just horrific to shoot elderly folks. These folks were on the ground."
Lamberti said: "These suspects definitely were trigger happy."
Alan Levenar, 70, was one customer who was spared a bullet. "I heard four or five shots," the Delray Beach man said. "I thought I saw the angels coming at me."
Police theorize the robber chose doughnut shops because they are open late and make easy targets.
The night after the Delray attack, two masked robbers stormed into a Dunkin' Donuts in Tamarac, ordered customers to the floor and almost immediately shot Kiem Huynh, 56, Fort Lauderdale, in the back. His relatives fear he may be paralyzed. He is still in critical condition.One robber tried but couldn't open the shop's cash register, so the pair fled in a light-colored, four-door car.
Surveillance video of that car led to the trio's arrest Tuesday night. Lauderhill police on a burglary detail spotted a white car similar to the suspect vehicle with three men inside. They watched as the suspects stole a pit bull from its owner who was walking the dog on the street, then arrested Jackson, Herard and Weatherspoon.
"There's some luck involved," conceded Lauderhill Police Chief Kenneth Pachnek. Investigators said the three confessed to the Dunkin' Donuts shootings and also have been linked to the robberies of another Dunkin' Donuts in Sunrise on Nov. 24, and a 7-Eleven in Pompano Beach on Nov. 26.
Broward Sheriff's Sgt. Neal Glassman said Herard bragged he could kill investigators on the spot and feel no remorse. "His statement to us was that he has no soul," Glassman said.
Police are preparing formal charges against the three and still looking for one, possibly two, more suspects. Glassman said investigators have a good idea who they're seeking, but declined to release further details.
All three arrested men have had run-ins with the law. Jackson spent 16 months in prison for burglary and grand theft; Herard has been in court for misdemeanor marijuana possession; and Weatherspoon served two brief jail stints on misdemeanor theft charges.
Two deputies were stationed outside Jackson's townhouse Wednesday evening. Inside a fenced patio were three dogs that resembled pit bulls. No one answered the door to Weatherspoon's apartment.
A next-door neighbor, who declined to give her name out of fear of repercussion, wasn't surprised at Herard's arrest. He didn't appear to work, she said, and was always coming and going.
"He is a rude guy, very, very rude," she said. "I'm glad he's in jail."