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Lutz Man, Teen Arrested for Assault at Wilderness Lake Nature Center

The two ordered six teens to the ground at gunpoint and planned to rob them, but several ran off, according to the Pasco Sheriff's Office.

A recent incident at the Wilderness Lake Nature Center that left six teens in fear for their lives resulted in the arrest of a Lutz man and a teen on Wednesday.

According to a Pasco County complaint affidavit, the victims, who ranged from 17 to 19 years of age, were in the parking lot of the community nature center around 10 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 3, when a vehicle pulled up and two men jumped out.

The men, who were disguised, were armed with a shotgun and a handgun when they exited the car. According to the victims' separate accounts, the men pointed the guns at them and ordered them to the ground, the report stated.

Several of the teens fled on foot, and the men chased them before returning to the vehicle and leaving the scene, according to the report.

The investigation led deputies to the driver of the vehicle, Michael Vega, 18, who identified the two men by photo-pack, according to the sheriff's office.

Vega told deputies the men got out of the car to rob the teens, the report stated.

Jowel Jacob Figuero, 18, of 23601 Hardwood Court in Lutz was arrested on Jan. 9 and charged with aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony.

The other suspect, a 17-year-old Sunlake High student, was also arrested and charged with aggravated assault. His name is being withheld by Patch because of his age.

Vega, the driver of the vehicle, has not been arrested, according to Pasco County Sheriff's spokeswoman Melanie Snow.

Figuero was released from the Land O' Lakes jail on $5,000 bond.

David Banghart January 10, 2013 at 11:20 PM
Where is this located?
Sherri Lonon January 11, 2013 at 01:49 AM
Hi David, the crime took place in Wilderness Lake Preserve in Land O' Lakes. The suspects are from Lutz.
David Banghart January 13, 2013 at 11:57 PM
Lutz Patch - how about doing an article on the Wilderness Lake Nature Center? It looks pretty interesting once I was finally able to find a website for it. http://wildernesslake.org/dave/wlp/lodgefacilities
Lori McCandrew January 14, 2013 at 07:49 PM
It's a great place Dave, we as a community are just trying to make sure things like this don't happen again. Things have gotten very heated between residents on what should be done. Rest assured we as a community are doing everything to make our community safe for the residents.
Teresa Harvison January 14, 2013 at 08:13 PM
David, Wilderness Lake Preserve is a beautiful community with beautiful ammenities. As a resident, it is heartbreaking knowing this kind of activity put our community in the news. Residents are taking it seriously and I hope we can work together to keep this from happening again. I encourage you to come take a tour of the community. You may fall in love with it like many of us have. If you have any questions, please let me know.

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