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The Daily Dish Below Deck Mediterranean

João Franco Was Recently Jumped and Mugged in Florida

The Below Deck Mediterranean bosun opens up about the horrifying incident.

By Laura Rosenfeld
Joao Franco

João Franco found himself in a scary situation at the end of June. 

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The Below Deck Mediterranean bosun shared a photo in his Instagram Story on June 29 that showed him with bruises and scrapes on his cheek, nose, and chest. João also explained a little bit about the source of his injuries. "Cheers to the 3 guys who jumped me and robbed me after I bought them food!" he captioned the photo in his Instagram Story.

João opened up more about the incident during an interview with The Daily Dish in New York City on July 8. He said that after leaving a bar one night in Florida, he stopped by a hot dog stand and offered to buy some food for three other men hanging around there. "So I bought them hot dogs, but I think they had seen me pull money out of my wallet to pay for the hot dogs," he said. "And then I put my wallet back in my pocket and walked off."

João Franco Jumped and Mugged in Florida

Then, the night suddenly took a turn for the worse. "And about two minutes later, one guy had tried to take my wallet, and he had already almost got away. So I caught him and then we scuffled. He bit me, scratched me, because he wasn't getting away. I was like, 'You're not going anywhere.' I'm like, 'I want my s--t back,'" João recalled. "And then two other guys kicked me. I didn't know there was anyone else, so had I known, I probably would have kept my wallet and actually run, but I was more concerned about getting this guy, and then they ended up taking my wallet and my phone. Chased after them, couldn't get to them."

With no phone and only about $30 in cash left in his pocket, João said he had to ask others for help in order to find a way to get home. "Saw a police car and tried to wave the car down, and they carried on going. Yeah, I tried to ask people. I was like, 'I really need a cab,'" he shared. "And no one wanted to help me out. They were like, 'No, sorry.'"

João said he was finally able to get a ride home after walking into the nearest Starbucks and asking the employees to call him a cab.

Just a little over a week since the incident occurred, João seemed to be in good spirits while speaking with The Daily Dish, although you could still see a pink mark from the altercation on his right cheek that was in the process of healing.

Still, João said that he is grateful he was able to walk away from that night with just a few scrapes. "I mean, I could have been stabbed, so I always look at the positive side," he said, adding that adjusting to life in a new country that's different from his native Zimbabwe has taught him, "You get the ups and the downs."

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