Teen robbed after meeting someone online to buy an iPhone in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Seventeen-year-old Tyson Fitzgerald has done plenty of online sales using the LetGo app, but one exchange recently became dangerous.

It started when Fitzgerald came across an iPhone for sale on the popular app. Fitzgerald always makes it a point to meet in a public place during the day.

Part of the message exchange between Fitzgerald and the seller discusses establishing a location to meet for the sale.

He says the suspect wrote: “You can come to me, I will be home in about 30 minutes”

But Fitzgerald wasn’t comfortable, so he replied, “I won’t meet at a residence sorry, It’s just for safety.”

They agreed on a McDonald’s on Emerson in the Springpark area.

The two met inside just after 1 p.m. on a Saturday. When the teen handed over the money, he says Tyriq Newman asked for the phone back to take out a SIM card.

Instead, the teen says Newman ran off with the phone and the money.

“He just books it out the front door, so my first instinct was to chase him.” Fitzgerald said.


When Fitzgerald chased after him, there were two other guys with Newman in a car.

“The guy in the backseat hands the guy in the front seat a metal wrench,” Fitzgerald said.

He says one of the guys ended up hitting him with a metal pipe. The three got away and Fitzgerald went back inside the restaurant looking for help.

“He was just like, 'I just got robbed,' and was holding his forehead like his whole face was covered in blood.” Deja James works at the McDonald's and helped, Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald did the right thing by meeting at a public place in the daytime, but says, in the future, he will be meeting at a police substation instead.

The suspect posted the phone for sale not long after the incident happened. The Sheriff's Office was able to arrest the suspect. Fitzgerald says he was glad Newman was caught so this does not happen to someone else.

Action News Jax asked the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office if they are looking for the other two involved. We are waiting for their response.

STAY UPDATED: Download the Action News Jax app for live updates on breaking stories

Download WJAX Apps