Peter Palazzotto was charged with kidnapping, battery by strangulation, grand theft and robbery.
Story courtesy of the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, by Public Affairs Manager Brittany Kershaw.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Circle K gas station at 5484 North Ocean Shore Blvd. around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 10, after reports that someone came to the business after being beaten up.
Deputies made contact with the victim, a 21-year-old man, who had a laceration to his eye, a lump on the back of his head, and red marks and scratches on his neck and wrist. He told deputies that he was hanging out with people at a residence on Hernandez Avenue, one of whom began accusing the victim of stealing his marijuana. The victim then told deputies that the suspect, identified as Peter Palazzotto, 46, forcibly removed all of the victim's clothing in search of the missing marijuana, which was not found.
The victim attempted to leave the residence but Palazzotto grabbed a gray surfboard leash, put the victim in a “hog-tie” position on the kitchen floor, and wrapped the gray surfboard leash around his neck, constricting his airflow. Palazzotto then tied the surfboard leash to the victim's hands and feet.
Palazzotto repeatedly punched and kicked him in the back of the head. The victim told deputies that after being beaten, Palazzotto released him from the restraints. Once the victim was released, Palazzotto grabbed the victim's blue iPhone X and his brown wallet, containing $300 cash, and told the victim to leave.
Deputies attempted to make contact with Palazzotto, but he initially would not speak with deputies. A short time later, after deputies interviewed other witnesses, Palazzotto threw a blue iPhone out of the front door near where deputies were standing. A passerby found the victim's wallet on the street and returned it to deputies. It was empty.
“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."
Palazzotto was charged with kidnapping, battery by strangulation, grand theft and robbery. He will be booked into the Flagler County Jail and held without bond pending a hearing by a judge.