Former St. Augustine worker beaten by group of teens calls for more security downtown

In a matter of minutes, a now-former St. Augustine worker went from cleanup to a beatdown at the start of the month.

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“I was picking up trash slung everywhere on the side of the road, I stopped and they just started coming at me,” he says.

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Action News Jax got video from the St. Augustine Police Department showing when the worker was thrown to the ground and kicked multiple times in the face in the middle of the night while working on Cordova Street. The police report says 10 teens attacked him after he got out of his work truck to pick up trash.

For his safety, we aren’t sharing the worker’s identity.

“I had to get five stitches on my right eyebrow and on my right leg,” he says, “my right knee is still causing me problems.”

The man thinks the teens attacked him because he’d reported them police earlier that week. He says the teens were shooting BB guns at people and breaking windows at stores in downtown St. Augustine.

He believes the attack was a retaliation by the group of teens he’d reported.

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“[One of them] walked up and was like ‘were you the one calling 911 on us the other night?’ He said that and all of a sudden that one kid jumped me on the back,” he says.

St. Augustine police say it happened right across the street from the Chocolattes coffee shop. It’s run by Sarah Boger, who was shocked to learn what happened right outside her door.

“It’s really kind of scary,” Boger says, “I have some younger girls working here that leave late at night.”

Boger says she doesn’t often see police in the area. The man who was attacked says there weren’t any officers nearby when he was beaten.

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“There was definitely a lack of police presence,” he says, “some nights [at work] I wouldn’t even see any, maybe one driving through or something.”

The man resigned with his job from the city last week, over fear for his safety and the damage done to his body.

“I’m just having to always look over my shoulder now,” he says.

He and Boger are both asking for better security both along Cordova Street and throughout downtown.

“I think there’s definitely a concern,” says Boger, “it would be a good idea to have more security measures around here late at night.”

St. Augustine police say the suspects involved in the case have all been identified.

Action News Jax asked the St. Augustine Police Department for a list of those suspects, how many have been detained and if there are plans to boost security downtown. At this time, we’re still waiting to hear back.

For the man who was attacked, he doesn’t just hope the people responsible are caught, but wishes no one else to go through something like this.

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“I just want them to learn you can’t do that and expect not to get caught,” he says.

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