BAYONET POINT, Fla. (FOX 13) - The 74-year-old victim of a deadly carjacking in Bayonet Point is being remembered as a kind man with a giving heart.
The suspect is out of the hospital and in jail, charged with homicide, Pasco deputies said.
It happened at the St. March Church flea market April 27. Jose Morales Jr., 35, is accused of stealing a car with Hermel Levesque inside, then losing control and hitting a palm tree, killing Levesque. Neighbors said Levesque was a kind man.
“He was a very good guy, a hard worker. And he gave many stuff for free, and he worked hard for his job too,” said neighbor Nayer Salib.
Salib lived near him for several years.
“We are sad. He is at peace, but his wife is the one in the pain now,” said Salib.
Pasco deputies said Levesque was unloading items to sell at the flea market when Morales allegedly carjacked him. They say Morales ended up flipping the car and crashing into a palm tree.
Salib said the victim’s son told him his father was inside the car for a reason.
“He was trying to stop the guy. That’s why the carjack guy lost control,” said Salib. “He was proud that his father tried to fight for his car, and that’s why the car had an accident.”
The crash put the suspect in the hospital for more than a week and killed Levesque, a reality tearing at his family.
“The wife needs somebody to hug her. Once my wife hugged her, she cries. Anybody else got to see her, she cries,” said Salib. “She told me ‘I can’t believe this is his end. I can’t believe that’s how he died.’”
Morales is now in jail, charged with his death. Levesque’s friends said he will be missed.
“We pray for him. He’s in paradise,” said Salib, who added that the victim’s wife moved away with the help of her children.
Levesque was known for selling items at the flea market and giving gifts to children and others for free.