JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The arrest in the murder of an employee at the Blind Rabbit restaurant brought a sigh of relief for residents in the Riverside area, who have dealt with a number of violent crimes over the past year.
Daniel Rowe, 20, was shot and killed July 22, 2015, while taking out the garbage in an alley behind the Blind Rabbit, near the intersection of King and College streets, during what police described as a robbery attempt.
Monday afternoon, standing with Rowe's parents, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Director Tom Hackney announced an arrest in the case.
Erron Coleman, 25, is charged with murder, plus armed robbery, burglary and weapons charges.
After Rowe's murder, an armed robbery at a business and an attempted rape in Riverside last summer, Jacksonville City Councilman Jim Love started pushing for more police in the neighborhood.
Love told News4Jax Monday that there have been extra police officers working overtime in Riverside over the past year and he believes Coleman's arrest is a great step forward.
"This is absolutely great news for the Riverside area. Thanks to the hard work of our JSO and a tipster who let police know that this man was the prime suspect. And it's great that he's in jail and we just need to find his accomplice. Hopefully, we will do that very soon," Love said.
Love estimated the area is two or three arrests away from putting tensions to rest and cleaning up Riverside.
Police said they’re still searching for one other person involved in Rowe’s murder. So far, investigators said Coleman has not given them any information on his accomplice.
"This case was brought to us by tips from the community, someone pointing us in the right direction. As I’ve stood up before you many times in cases, I say it’s that one little piece of the puzzle that we need. And I ask for seemingly innocuous information to come forward and in this case that one particular thing pointed us in the right direction," Hackney said. "Now we know Coleman, and someone may see his picture out there know he’s associated with this murder, know some of his associates. This is obviously someone Coleman has ran with before and the same social circle for what that’s worth."
The primary tip that led to this arrest will receive a $13,000 reward from Crime Stoppers, and a $3,000 reward is still available for tips leading to a second arrest. Callers can remain antonymous and still be eligible for the reward by calling 866-845-TIPS.
"For the tip that came together in this case, it was very instrumental in solving this case," said Wyllie Hodges, executive director of First Coast Crime Stoppers.