TAMPA, Fla. - The manhunt continues for four despicable men who beat, kicked, and punched 24-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Johnny Aparico.
Those who have watched the graphic surveillance video describe the unidentified men as "thugs" and "gangsters" who have no regard for human life.
They are cowards, people say, pure and simple.
What they may not realize, as they are currently in hiding, is that their moment of freedom could be drawing to a close as the reward to catch them has now grown to $16,250.
Staff Sgt. Aparico was attacked early Sunday morning while walking home when his car broke down. He was attacked near the prestigious Westshore Yacht Club. The men stole his wallet and cell phone.
The young soldier was in the hospital for several days recovering and is now said to be at MacDill Air Force base, where he is stationed.
One man who was particularly moved by what he saw is Randy White, who is the senior bishop at Without Walls International Church. "When I saw it on your news, I was sad and angry that someone could be so bold, just to hit him. Actually, they could have killed him, but for the grace of God, he lived. When I saw it, I was astonished," he said.
White has been in Tampa Bay for 21 years and has spent his life ministering to others. He told us that the video of Staff Sgt. Aparico broke his heart when he saw it on 10 News.
The longtime pastor told us that he wanted to help, so he donated his own money, $5,000, to the reward.
"Two things hit me: this is a soldier who is serving in our military. What a terrible scenario. This is the way we welcome him? Second, I love this city, and I'm willing to invest in it to get these gangsters off the street," said White.
Another man who has passion for his city is well-known attorney Bill Winters. His law firm, Winters & Yonker, offered a generous donation of $10,000 in reward money after 10 News approached him to help.
After substantial media coverage throughout the Bay area and the country, another good Samaritan has come forward. He is a member of the military in Virginia and is donating $1,000 to help catch these crooks.
In addition, a citizen from New Jersey donated $250.
If you know the identities of the men in the video, please call Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay at 1-800-873-TIPS.