TAMPA, Fla. — Two individuals were accused of fatally stabbing a 61-year-old man in Tampa at the University of South Florida and then stealing his truck on Saturday.
In accordance with a statement from USF Police, David Tyler Bartles, aged 21, and Thomas Allen Phanphilathip, aged 36, were apprehended subsequent to being reported as acting suspiciously at an Ocala gas station.
Law enforcement stated that their initial inquiry suggests that Bartles and Phanphilathip arrived at the residence of Winton C. Cutchins, aged 61, and requested a ride to a bus depot. He drove them to USF and managed to reach the vicinity of the Fine Arts Building before the two men purportedly assaulted him at approximately 6:30 a.m.
“The USF Police Department has determined that none of the individuals involved have any affiliation with USF. Given the targeted nature of this crime, the safety of the USF community was not compromised,” as stated in a release by USF police.
According to USF police, Cutchins was attacked with a knife and forcibly removed from the vehicle.
USF police alerted other law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for a vehicle of interest, namely Cutchins’ older model Chevrolet pickup truck. The truck was sighted around noon in Ocala, which is approximately 100 miles north of Tampa.
Bartles and Phanphilathip were taken into custody and booked into the Marion County Jail on charges of first-degree murder and theft of a motor vehicle through force, as reported by USF police. They are currently awaiting extradition to Hillsborough County.