Tampa man showed no remorse after violently killing Clearwater man on bike with tire iron, police say

Clearwater police have arrested a Tampa man and are searching for a second suspect after a man was killed while riding his bike in Clearwater early Friday morning.

Jermaine Adrian Bennett is facing first-degree murder charges after detectives say he confessed to attacking 49-year-old Jeffrey Chapman more than 10 times with a tire iron.

Clearwater Deputy Chief Michael Walek said the 'heinous and violent' attack was random. He added that Bennett told detectives he did because the "ills of society had gotten to him."

"I want to make it clear that this was a totally random act," Walek stated. "The victim was not targeted. It was a chance encounter that turned deadly while the victim was simply trying to ride his bike home."

According to Walek, detectives used surveillance video and tips to link Bennett and his vehicle to the homicide. 

Mugshot of Jermaine Bennett courtesy of the Clearwater Police Department.

Mugshot of Jermaine Bennett courtesy of the Clearwater Police Department. 

Walek says Bennett went to work at Insight Family Eye Care in Wesley Chapel shortly after the murder and showed no remorse for his actions. 

Walek added that detectives are still searching for a second suspect who is described as a slender man who is between 6 feet and 6’2". He encourages the second suspect to turn himself in adding, "It’s only a matter of time until we get you."

He said that the pair went to Clearwater for unknown reasons and the victim happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"This is a very random act in that area of Clearwater Beach," Walek stated. "This type of activity does not occur."

While investigating the homicide, Clearwater detectives learned about a similar incident that occurred about an hour earlier in St. Petersburg. In that case, the victim was not killed, but investigators are working together to see if there is a connection between the two crimes.

Bennett is currently in the Pasco County Jail awaiting extradition to Pinellas County.

Anyone with information on the identity of the second suspect or the crime should call Clearwater Police at 727-562-4242.