Police arrested a University of Tampa student Thursday after he confessed to abusing a pregnant teen just after midnight on New Year’s Day.
The student, Andres Luis Marrero, had been asked by the woman’s boyfriend to beat her until she miscarried.
Marrero, 19, received a phone call from Devin Nickels, a high school friend and Florida State University student, after Nickels’ 17-year-old girlfriend was reported pregnant.
Nickels,18, allegedly desperate to ensure the baby was not born, concocted a plan with Marrero to make his girlfriend miscarry, said the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
Nickels wanted Marrero to pretend to be an armed robber and eventually punch the woman– who was at the beginning of her second trimester– in the stomach to end the pregnancy.
He offered to pay Marrero $200 for his actions, but Marrero did not accept. Instead, he agreed to carry out the assault for free.
At 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, Nickels drove his girlfriend to the woods outside an apartment complex in New Port Richey.
Marrero got into the backseat of Nickels’ car minutes later. Soon after, he stepped out, then came back wearing a mask, forcing Nickels and his girlfriend out of the car at gunpoint.
Nickels’ girlfriend– whose name has not been released by the sherrif’s office– had never met Marrero.
She begged him not to hurt her because she was pregnant. He did not listen, and instead, according to police, “began to kick and punch her several times in the stomach and back while stating, ‘This is how much I care, b—-.'”
After he was done, Marrero ordered Nickels and his girlfriend to not move until he had left. He then took off, officials said.
The girlfriend was hospitalized. According to a report, she is still pregnant and the fetus was ultimately unharmed.
Soon after the attack, investigators showed the girlfriend several photos of possible suspects. Among the photos was one of Marrero.
She recognized from when he first entered the car unmasked.
Marrero, a Land O’ Lakes resident, was arrested Thursday Jan. 27. Authorities charged him with armed kidnapping and aggravated battery on a pregnant female.
He was held at the Pasco jail until being released Saturday on $60,000 bail.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Marrero and Nickels had no criminal record or previous arrests.
“He’s been an outstanding kid all his life,” Marrero’s father told The St. Petersburg Times on Tuesday afternoon. “I have no idea where this is coming from.”
Nickels, a Lutz resident, was arrested on campus at FSU, in his room in Salley Hall, Monday morning.
He has been charged with solicitation to commit aggravated battery. He is currently being held at the Leon County jail, awaiting transfer to Pasco.
Hours after abandoning Nickels and his girlfriend in the woods, Marrero signed on Facebook and posted, “Damn was last nite fun a– hell. 2011” on his wall.
His Facebook account is now inactive.