Homeless man arrested for armed robbery after allegedly taking woman’s purse

Staff report

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Eric Rashawn Washington, 38, was arrested early this morning after allegedly taking a woman’s purse and hitting her in the face with a gun.

A Gainesville Police Department officer responded to the Circle K at 1515 N. Main Street at about 2 a.m. this morning, where the victim said she offered to buy Washington a fountain drink, but when he added more items to the purchase, she walked out of the store because she did not want to buy all the items. She said she sat down on the curb outside the store, and Washington forcefully took her purse and started looking through it. She said she pushed him to get her purse back, then he pulled out a handgun; she backed up but decided to try to get her purse back, and he hit her in the face with the gun. She said Washington went back into the store with her purse, so she followed him inside, where he grabbed her and patted her down before the two were separated.

A search incident to Washington’s arrest reportedly produced a Glock 23 handgun.

Post Miranda, Washington reportedly said he did not understand his rights but spontaneously said he was a “Guardian” who was “supposed to discharge and kill her.” He also reportedly said the victim had taken his wallet and thrown it somewhere and that she had a weapon.

The victim reportedly consented to a search that did not produce a wallet or weapon. A search of the area also did not produce a wallet or weapon.

Officers reviewed video surveillance from the store and saw Washington and the victim at the soda fountain before they approached the cash register. The victim then bought her items and left; Washington left a short time later and walked in the same direction as the victim. The altercation was not captured by cameras, but Washington reentered the store a short time later with the purse and started going through it. The victim was then seen entering the store, and Washington grabbed the victim and patted her down.

Washington has been charged with armed robbery, battery, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Court documents indicate that he is currently homeless and has been in Alachua County for about 18 years. He has two felony convictions (none violent) and three misdemeanor convictions (none violent). Judge Walter Green set bail at $25,000.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • Armed robbery, possession of firearm by convicted felon, making said he was a guardian who was suppose to kill her, what could go wrong with $25,000 bail. Thanks Little Walt for keeping our community safe. He will get a public defender who will have a bond reduction done so he can go back to Grace and suck up more County money.

  • They’re out there and they don’t care about any good deed you may want to do for them.
    If you’re legally able, be your own guardian; protect yourself and your family. May just help in protecting the city that leadership would rather fleece than provide security for.

  • The first mistake this woman made was offering to help this man at all. Once she did that he had already reeled her in. Take care of your family and friends, people. You are in no way responsible for helping homeless people at the Circle K at 2am in the morning. Even Jesus once said do not cast your pearls before swine, lest they devour you and tear you into pieces.

  • Walter Green strikes again. This guy’s probably unlikely to even make that bond…for now. But he could get a bond reduction hearing within 30 days, and who knows…
    Seriously- DeSantis removed that State Attorney in Orlando for neglect of duty & incompetence. Walter Green sure needs to be brought to the Governor’s attention, cause this “Green-lighting” BS has been going on for years!

    • Oh yes, Walter Green is a pox on our judicial system and his racial bias is pretty clear as well. Green needs to go.

  • I personally avoid that CircleK and hope you do, too. Until the courts clean up repeat offenders….😴😴😴

  • After the disGrace marketplace went in the Circle K at Waldo road and 39th ave closed due to heavy bum traffic.

  • >