ORANGE PARK, Fla. – A man who met a woman on an online dating service was robbed and shot Sunday night in Orange Park, and now detectives in Clay County are asking for the community's help in identifying the three people involved in the crime.
Deputies said the woman, known only as Brittany, met the 43-year-old victim, Roger Waldman, at his tree service business on Industrial Loop North about 10 p.m.
Investigators said when Waldman later stepped outside his office to turn the security cameras on, two men approached him and one pulled a gun and demanded his wallet.
"When I went to grab my keys, I noticed two men were approaching me," Waldman said. "It kind of startled me. There's other guys I know around the shop. I thought it may have been a prank, but when they got up to me, I noticed they had guns."
Waldman told deputies he tried to grab the gun from the man and began wrestling with him. Deputies said the two men grabbed Waldman by his shirt and threw him to the ground, ripping his shirt. Waldman got up and ran around the side of the building, and one of the men shot him in the upper right part of his back, deputies said.
Waldman fell to the ground and the men began punching him in the head, deputies said. They said the men took Waldman's wallet and ran to silver four-door car, possibly a Nissan Sentra.
Waldman was able to drive himself to Orange Park Medical Center. He was released Monday.
During the shooting and robbery, the woman left the office with a black money box, detectives said. They believe she was coordinating with the two men involved in the robbery.
Waldman said he had met the woman a few times and taken her on a date or two, but didn't know her that well. He said he hadn't heard from her for months until she texted him Sunday asking to meet up.
Waldman, who owns Tree Life, said he had just installed security lights a week prior, and lucky for him, they lit up the entire area.
"If that weren't there, the video probably wouldn't have come out. But I'm just thankful I'm alive," Waldman said. "I just had a new baby, so I don't know what would have happened. I'm just thankful to be alive to be with my family."
The woman was described as black, about 20 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall, with a medium build and long black/brown hair.
The man with the gun was described as black, about 6 feet tall and between 160 and 180 pounds. He was wearing a dark hat, a blue doctor's mask, a dare long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans.
The second man was described as black and wearing a maroon doctor's mask, dark long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans.
Anyone with information about the crime or identity of the three suspects is asked to call the Clay County Sheriff's Office at 904-264-6512.