Online date leads to Orange Park businessman being shot and pistol whipped | News
ORANGE PARK, Fla.-- Roger Waldman, 43, is counting his lucky stars. Last Sunday, he was shot and beaten by two armed men outside the doors of his Orange Park business.
"Yes I am very lucky," he said, "I have a newborn baby who is counting on me."
Waldman owns Tree Life Service and said it was not unusual for him to be at his business late.
"I'm a workaholic and I'm usually here at late in the night. I can't do that anymore," he said.
But on Sunday, it wasn't work that took him back to his business. It was a female acquaintance.
"I got a text from a girl Brittany I met a few months ago," said Waldman. "She said she was in the area and if we could meet up."
Waldman said he met her at the Burger King on Wells Road. They hit the drive through and went back to his office. He said he noticed he was being followed by a car, but paid little attention.
Waldman said he and Brittany went into his business, ate their sandwiches and a few minutes later, he came out to check his security lights and that's when he was attacked.
"When I reached to unlock the door, two men approached me," he said.
There was a struggle. It was caught on the security camera. The men were armed with pistols and wearing masks. Walden said they told him to get down. He didn't, so they tried to wrestle him to the ground. The former football player resisted.
"They kept pushing me and couldn't get me down," he said, "Then they started pulling on my shirt, I felt it ripping and I started running."
A few minutes later, after he was shot, Brittany ran out with his cash box, which was also caught on camera.
"It shows her taking that cash drawer and running with it," he said.
Why did he feel he needed to check his security lights?
When Clay County detectives spoke with Waldman, he told them Brittany lured him outside.
"According to him, he and the young lady were having a conversation and she requested him to step out and see how the cameras worked," said Detective Jermaine Boone.
Boone said Walden also told them that he had met Brittany online and this was their second meeting.
"We won't go into a lot of great details because we are still researching the details," said Boone. "It is not Back pages."
Waldman told First Coast News he did not meet Brittany online. It was in the mall. Even so, he said from now on he will be more cautious.
"From now on I'm going to be a lot more careful," he said. "A lot wiser in my decisions."
Detective Boone said this case could have had a different outcome.
"We hear about a lot of scams and assaults and robberies associated with these online dating sites. You have to be careful with what information you share," he said.
Boone added you should never take someone on your first or second meeting to your home or place of business.
"You should find a neutral location that is safe," he said.
The attackers got away with about $300, which was in his wallet, and whatever was in his cash box.
Clay County Detectives could use your help in finding these suspects. If you have information call 904-264-6512.