An armed robbery suspected was apprehended shortly after noon Tuesday after a high speed chase and a long standoff that originated in The Villages.
Brian Davis, 33, of Oxford, who has worked at several restaurants in The Villages, was taken into custody on a dirt road off Micro Racetrack Road when deputies were forced to use their patrol cars to bring the chase to a halt.
Davis is accused of robbing a manager at gunpoint at Belle Glade Country Club around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning. During the course of a 90-minute struggle that ensued, the manager ripped off the gunman’s mask and recognized him as Davis, said Lt. Robert Siemer of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.
Davis eventually broke free, fled with the night deposit and made his way to the Village of LaBelle North to a home owned by his girlfriend’s parents at 373 Alteza Lane, where he barricaded himself in the house.
Throughout the course of negotiations, Davis continually told sheriff’s officials that he “wasn’t going back to jail,” Siemer said, adding that he was spotted several times on the home’s lanai holding a handgun.
Shortly before noon, as members of the sheriff’s SWAT team were using a Bearcat to break out a window at the home, Davis suddenly backed through the home’s garage door in a white SUV, hitting the Bearcat on the way to the street, Siemer said, adding that deputies fired several rounds at the car in attempt to stop it.
With at least three of the vehicle’s tires flatted by stop-sticks that were placed outside the garage, Davis sped away, crashing through at least one guard gate and eventually driving down Moyer Loop past the country club where the incident started hours earlier.
Siemer said deputies eventually were able to stop Davis’ car after driving down a couple of dirt roads, through barbed wire fences and into an open pasture.
“We were able to get deputies on each side of him and pinch him in,” he said, adding that several patrol vehicles were damaged.
Siemer added that medical treatment was provided for Davis, who appeared to be injured from the earlier fight with the restaurant manager.
Davis was booked into the Sumter County Detention Center at 4:37 p.m. and charged with robbery. His bail for that charge was set at $50,000, but his overall bail is listed at $75,500, which indicates more charges are forthcoming.
For Fred Karimipour, owner of Belle Glade Country Club, the incident Tuesday morning came as a surprise.
“I didn’t expect this in a million years,” he said, adding that Davis has worked for him in the past at another of his country club restaurants.
As for the manager who was injured, Karimpour said he’s very happy that things didn’t turn out worse.
“He’s roughed up but he’s OK,” Karimpour said. “He’s a great guy and he’s been with me 20 years. He wanted to come to work today at noon. He didn’t’ get home until 7 and I’m like, ‘No, you’re not coming in today.”
Karimpour said he’s also very thankful for the way the sheriff’s office handled the situation and the quick response Tuesday morning to help his manager.
“I thought they did an outstanding job in communicating with me and catching this guy,” he said.
As for the residents in the normally quiet Village of Village of LaBelle North, Tuesday’s morning’s incident, which forced deputies to evacuate some nearby homes, came as a complete surprise.
“I certainly wasn’t expecting to see this this morning when I got up,” said Deborah Mabrey, who moved to The Villages from Virginia. “We were at the pool and the guy just came flying by. I saw him go through the gate, and then SWAT and the cops and everybody else came.”