Palm Coast, FL - Flagler County Sheriff's deputies say 46-year-old Peter Palazzotto beat, hog-tied and robbed a 21-year-old man after accusing him of stealing marijuana.
FCSO deputies responded to a call at a Circle K gas station on North Ocean shore Boulevard just before 3:30 a.m. this morning (July 10), reporting that someone had come into the business after being beaten up. The man had a laceration to his eye, a lump on the back of his head, and red marks and scratches on his neck and wrist.
The victim told deputies he was at a home located at 3 Hernandez Avenue with some other people when Palazzotto accused him of stealing his marijuana. Palazzotto then forcibly removed the victim's clothing in order to search for the missing marijuana, which he did not find.
The victim tried to leave the home which is when Palazzotto grabbed a surfboard leash, wrapped it around the victim's neck and then tying it to his hands and feet, immobilizing him. Palazzotto then punched and kicked the victim in the back of the head.
Palazzotto eventually released the victim but took his iPhone and wallet with $300 cash before telling him to leave. Deputies went to the home on Hernandez Avenue where Palazzotto initially refused to speak with them. Deputies interviewed witnesses and shortly after, he threw the victim's iPhone out the front door near where the deputies were standing. A passerby found the victim's empty wallet and turned it over to deputies.
“This victim was lucky to walk away with his life,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Thankfully he was able to get to a safe place and the store clerk called us immediately. This is a reminder of the dangers when you associate with others in the illegal drug world. Not much good happens at 3:30 in the morning when drugs and alcohol are involved.”
Palazzotto was taken into custody and arrested. He is charged with Kidnapping, Battery by Strangulation, Grand Theft, and Robbery. He's in the Flagler County Jail and is being held without bond pending a hearing by a judge.