Man claims gunman responding to boat for sale advert tried to kill him.
A man who advertised his boat for sale online has claimed that a gunman posing as a potential buyer tried to kill him.
Ronald Kroll listed his boat on popular American website Craigslist, and was contacted by Darin Leutbecker who was posing as a buyer. The pair arranged to meet by a boat ramp so they could take the boat out on the water.
Whilst onboard, Leutbecker told Kroll to walk to the front of the boat and turn around so he wasn’t facing him. Feeling uneasy, Kroll refused and said they should return to dry land.
“I knew something wasn’t right,” Kroll told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. “That was one of the scariest things I’ve experienced.”
It’s alleged that Leutbecker pulled a handgun out of his backpack and the pair launched into a fight. They plunged into the water, struggling over the gun. Kroll got hold of a pocketknife he was carrying and slashed his attacker across the neck.
“I think he would have killed me if he had the chance,” Kroll said.
Leutbecker escaped by clambering back onboard and stealing the boat, which was later found abandoned according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Leutbecker was later charged with robbery with a firearm, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, grand theft and battery.
He was held on a $10,000 bond. Authorities say he is no longer in custody.
Kroll says the incident hasn’t ruined his love for boating; days after the attack he was back on the water in a different boat with his family, in the very place where he almost died.
“Thankfully, Ronald is safe and this is an extremely rare example of what can go wrong in e-commerce,” said Tony Neate, managing director of Get Safe Online. “Most of the time the internet is a useful and easy place to sell things you no longer need or to find a bargain.”
If you want to sell anything online, Neate advises that you use a well known and reputable website, meet a potential buyer in a public place and tell someone about your plans. “Remember, your health is more important than a sale and if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” he added.