Jose Mojica de la Rosa survived the attack uninjured on Saturday evening, but his 9-month-old Chihuahua, Lola, broke a leg when she was crushed beneath the overturned wheelchair, according to interviews Wednesday afternoon.
“He pushed me,” Mojica de la Rosa said of suspect Sonny Abreu, whom witnesses identified as the attacker, according to the arrest report.
Mojica de la Rosa said he had gone to a Shell gas station on the 4600 block of U.S. Highway 192 about 7 p.m. to withdraw $240 to pay for his rent. Illness and a stroke about 10 years ago forced him to use a motorized wheelchair, he said.
Abreu, 24, was standing nearby talking to another man and his wife and as he watched Mojica de la Rosa withdraw money, the arrest report stated. The other man later told detectives he recognized Abreu from serving time with him in the Osceola County Jail and refused when Abreu asked for help robbing the disabled man, according to the arrest affidavit.
“Jose advised the (suspect) pushed him so hard that he and his motorized wheelchair fell into the eastbound lanes of 192 … Jose stated he was scared for his life, fearing that he might be struck by passing vehicles that were passing within inches of him as he lay helpless in the road,” the report stated. “He was only able to escape injury in the roadway because passing motorists and pedestrians stopped to help him.”
When knocked from his wheelchair, Mojica de la Rosa had been holding Lola in his lap and the dog’s leg was broken in the fall.
Abreu was arrested in Osceola County in 2009 and 2012 on burglary charges but was not convicted in either case. Although he is a documented member of an undisclosed street gang, deputies said the attack and robbery is not believed to be gang related.
In addition to attempted murder and robbery, Abreu is charged with abuse on a disabled adult, petit theft and animal cruelty. He remains held without bail in the Osceola County Jail.