A second man was arrested Wednesday in connection with a fender-bender-turned-fraud case in Bonita Springs.
Dzelal Arapi, 65, of the 10000 block of Sandy Hollow Lane, Bonita Springs, was arrested by Lee County deputies. He faces a charge of witness tampering a week after his son was accused of stealing nearly $1,500 from 72-year-old Bonita Springs resident Sharon Kovacs.
In March, Kovacs backed her car into a sport utility vehicle driven by the elder Arapi, causing minor damage. His son, Gjergi Arapi, now 30, was a passenger in the SUV.
Kovacs and the Arapis agreed to settle for damages without filing a crash report, the Sheriff's Office said.
Gjergi Arapi later went to Kovacs's home, showing a written damage estimate of $1,475 from a Naples towing company and saying it was "cash only." Kovacs paid. When Dzelal Arapi presented Kovacs with a repair estimate of $110 a few days later, she told him she already paid his son.
The repairs had not been completed, and the elder Arapi was upset with Kovacs for giving his son the money, according to an arrest report. She reported the incident to the authorities.
A Lee County Sheriff's Office investigation led to Gjergi Arapi's arrest Apr. 24 on nine felony counts, including grand theft, scheming to defraud, and exploitation of the elderly.
A call to investigators from Kovacs's family revealed Dzelal Arapi visited Kovacs after his son's arrest and told her if she "dropped charges," he would "make this all go away" and she would owe no money, according to his arrest report.
Dzelal Arapi faces a felony charge of obstruction of justice (tampering in a first degree felony proceeding). He was released on bail Thursday, however his son remains in jail in Lee County.