UPDATED at 1 p.m. with suspect’s name, more details
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Venice police have arrested a 49-year-old Fort Myers man and charged him with stabbing a tow truck driver on Triple Diamond Boulevard Friday morning.
Police allege Pablo Bautista stabbed the driver as he was attempting to repossess Bautista’s vehicle.
The incident began in the parking lot of PGT Industries at 104 Triple Diamond Boulevard and carried over to the business plaza parking area at 105 Triple Diamond. After being stabbed multiple times, the tow truck driver escaped and eventually called authorities from his truck at the corner of Morse Court. He was airlifted to Sarasota Memorial Hospital about 7:45 a.m., with life-threatening injuries. He was admitted to intensive care after surgery, police said.
Bautista was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
PGT issued a public statement this morning about the incident:
Earlier this morning, a PGT team member was involved in an off-site altercation near our Venice, Florida, secondary campus on Triple Diamond Boulevard. The altercation resulted in an injury to an individual who is not a PGT employee. The suspect is in police custody. The PGT Venice campus went into lockdown until authorities apprehended the suspect.
We believe this was an isolated incident that had nothing to do with PGT’s business or operations.
We are working closely with local law enforcement authorities as their investigation of this situation continues. Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our team members, and we are committed to ensuring they have a safe work environment. Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, we are not in a position to make any other comments or answer any questions at this time.
We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the Venice Police Department and other first responders for their leadership and support and their prompt response to this situation.