CLEARWATER — Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives didn’t have to go far to arrest a 22-year-old Clearwater man wanted in connection with aggravated battery and petit theft.
Joshua Pena-Cedillo was already in the county jail on previous charges of animal cruelty by Clearwater police. He remains in jail on a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold.
Detectives say Pena-Cedillo was wearing a large hooded winter coat with a gray face cover when he went to the Circle A Food Store in unincorporated Clearwater on Nov. 2, 2019. He then selected several food items and concealed them in his coat.
Mustafa Hashem, 45, attempted to stop him from leaving the store and the men began to struggle exposing Pena-Cedillo’s face.
Detectives say Pena-Cedillo produced a folding pocket knife and struck the Hashem in the head while the knife was closed. Pena-Cedillo fled the scene and was not located.
Hashem was taken to the hospital where he was treated for a non-life threatening injury to his head.
According to detectives, Hashem later recognized Pena-Cedillo and notified the sheriff’s office. During an investigation, detectives were able to identify Pena-Cedillo as the battery suspect.