Monday, April 17, 2006

Hollywood, Florida

From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of April 17, 2006
Wounded Hollywood man fends off robbers with hail of bullets in driveway

A 69-year-old man was grazed by a bullet on his cheek during an attempted robbery in the driveway of his Hollywood home Sunday, but escaped with his life when he pulled out his gun and fired back.

Francesco "Franco" D'Arpino pulled into his garage at about 5:10 a.m. after working the night shift at his North Miami Beach restaurant, Franco's Pizza, when police say a white car rammed into the back of his car and someone opened fire. A bullet grazed D'Arpino's cheek. He grabbed his gun, which he keeps on him, and shot back, driving off the attackers.

Authorities suspect the gunmen targeted D'Arpino and may have followed him from his pizzeria.

"It's safe to assume this was not a random act of violence," said Hollywood Police Capt. Tony Rode. "They were probably thinking, 'Hey, the business owner comes home late ... he probably has the safe deposit box with him.'"

D'Arpino was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital where he was treated and listed in stable condition Sunday at about 11 a.m. His wife, inside the house during the shooting and shaken by the incident, was also taken in for observation, said neighbor Renee Cote, who awoke to the sound of the shootout and said she was the first to call 911.

"I heard the shots and then some shouting and then more shots," she said Sunday afternoon. "I was afraid to go to my window. I heard something hit my house."

Those who live in the middle-class Hollywood Hills neighborhood, where the 5100 block of Jefferson Street is peppered with 50s- and 60s-style ranch homes and SUVs, didn't know which was more surprising, the violent attempted robbery in their normally quiet area, or D'Arpino shooting back.

Records show he has a concealed weapons permit as does another, younger family member listed as living in the home.


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