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45-year-old armed robber beaten down by group of senior citizens (video)

By Mason White 12:49 PM December 30, 2014
Larry Kent Jr. 

By: Wayne Morin
(Scroll down for video) A man was apparently looking for an easy target when he tried to steal a purse from an elderly woman.

However, her two elderly friends jumped into action and took down the armed robber.

45-year-old Larry Kent Jr., of Florida, was arrested after attempting to rob the 68-year-old woman as she walked to her car with her two male friends.

It was about 5:45 p.m., when Valerie Melzer of Winter Haven, returned to her vehicle after she and her friends finished eating at a restaurant on Cypress Gardens Boulevard.

As Melzer approached the passenger side of the vehicle, Kent ran up to her and grabbed her purse. Melzer started screaming, and her friends jumped into action.

66-year-old Marvin Hotakainen and 73-year-old Paul Murray, tackled Kent to the ground despite the fact that Kent was armed with a gun.

Kent tried kicking the two elderly men. That is when a third man grabbed his legs and held him down. The three men held Kent down until police arrived.

Police retrieved the weapon, which turned out to be a BB gun. The victim suffered minor cuts and scrapes. She was treated and released at the scene.

The suspect was taken to the emergency room at Winter Haven Hospital, after complaining of pain due to being restrained. He suffered a fractured rib and other minor injuries.

Kent is no stranger to police. He served 4 years in Florida State Prison for Grand Theft Auto, Forgery and Grand Theft. He has been arrested 17 times in Polk County, on charges of Battery, Criminal Mischief and other charges.

Kent was booked into the Polk County Jail on charges of robbery with a firearm/deadly weapon, battery on a person 65 years of age or older and possession of drugs.

He is being held without bail.