The Florida State University student who was robbed outside of Gilchrist Hall Monday morning was stabbed in the back of the head during the incident, according to an arrest affidavit.
The FSU Police Department said Monday evening it arrested Rodney Jermaine Joyner, 36, in connection to the robbery.
According to the affidavit, FSU's surveillance footage showed Joyner parked in his car at the intersection of University Way and Gray Street around 6:18 a.m. Monday. At around 6:36 a.m., Joyner tackled the victim from behind and put the knife to his chest.
The victim told police he gave in because he saw the knife, so he let Joyner take his phone from his pocket and gave him the password. The victim said Joyner freaked out a little bit after he told him he needed help and saw the blood coming from the back of his head, the affidavit said.
Joyner put a shirt over the victim's face, and the victim then put it on the wound on the back of their head.
According to the affidavit, the victim told Joyner his mother died three weeks ago so he could take whatever he wanted, and Joyner said that made him feel bad. Joyner told police he believed a Haitian girl he had been seeing placed a voodoo curse on him, causing him to act strange and possibly hurt the victim.
Joyner was charged with robbery with a weapon, aggravated battery using a deadly weapon and attempted kidnapping. Police say Joyner is not affiliated with FSU.
Police say they arrested Joyner around 6:45 a.m. after responding to the robbery report at the dorm.
According to police, Joyner ran away from the victim, got into a parked car and drove away.
Police say they sent a notification out to surrounding agencies to be on the lookout for the suspect and their car. A short time later, the car was found abandoned a few blocks south of FSU's main campus.
Joyner was found and taken into custody in the 100 block of West Bloxham Street without incident.
He was taken to Leon County Jail.
Police recovered the victim's phone.
The investigation remains active, police say. A PDF file of the arrest affidavit can be found on this page as "FSU Police report on robbery 10-28-19."
FSU President John Thrasher sent the following statement on campus safety to all students, faculty and staff:
Dear FSU Community,
I would like to address a handful of incidents that have occurred on our campus in recent weeks and assure you that the safety and security of everyone at Florida State University remains my top priority.
The professional, fully accredited FSU Police Department employs more than 100 men and women dedicated to preventing and deterring crime on campus, and they are investigating these incidents aggressively and with success. They have my full confidence and support.
Earlier this month, FSU Chief of Police Terri Brown ordered an increased number of patrols and officers in the areas around our residence halls and other campus areas. As a result, police were able to quickly apprehend the suspect in Monday’s early morning robbery in a short period of time. Our investigators are examining the case to determine if this suspect is connected to the other crimes this semester.
We continue to strive for the safest campus possible, adding 15 new officers and several million in security personnel and enhancements over the past few years. We have increased the lighting and cameras campus-wide, added additional patrols and vehicles, upgraded information technology across the police department, increased officer training, added more safety courses throughout campus, purchased new crime prevention software, upgraded facilities and equipment, and added body cameras.
Our police department also continues to collaborate with law enforcement agencies at Tallahassee Community College, Florida A&M University, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and the Tallahassee Police Department in a cooperative effort to fight crime.
The unfortunate reality is that crime can happen anytime, anywhere. It is also true that criminals may view college students and other members of the campus community as easy victims. That’s why FSU has been completely transparent regarding incidents such as those we experienced recently. Whenever a crime occurs on or near one of our campuses, we notify the campus in an effort to raise awareness and prevent future incidents.
It is imperative that the entire campus community assist with our crime prevention efforts by taking steps to ensure the personal safety of themselves and others at all times. The university has multiple free resources such as training programs, safety apps, and campus escorts available to all students, faculty and staff. I urge you to visit police.fsu.edu to learn more.
We will continue to keep the campus informed about all safety and security measures.
John Thrasher, President