Man accused of trying to snatch car keys from elderly woman

Darnell Groomes arrested on charge of strong arm robbery

JSO booking photo of Darnell Groomes
JSO booking photo of Darnell Groomes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man was arrested Sunday night after trying to snatch an elderly woman's car keys from her hands on the city's Westside, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Darnell Groomes, 35, of Tallahassee, is charged with strong arm robbery. 

Just after 6 p.m. Sunday, Groomes walked up to the 78-year-old woman on Huron Street, police said. 

When the woman told him to get out of her garage, Groomes turned away as if he were leaving, but then came up to the car door again, police said.

When the woman exited her vehicle and approached her front door, police said, Groomes followed her and tried to take the keys.

That’s when the woman pulled the keys close to her body and screamed, she told investigators.

The woman’s son opened the door, saw the struggle over the keys and yelled at Groomes, who then walked away, according to the Sheriff's Office report. 

Officers said they later caught up with Groomes near Huron Street and Commonwealth Avenue. He was detained, placed in the back of a marked police car and read his rights. He said he understood.

Groomes denied grabbing the victim and said to police, "I just got out of prison for 10 years. Why would I mess with an old lady?"

He said he was only trying to get on the bus and he didn't have any involvement in the incident.

He was booked into the Duval County Jail and ordered held on $25,000 bond.