Sterling HeightsJuly 31, 2012
Gas station robbery leads to police chase
By Cortney Casey
C & G Staff Writer
Three Detroit residents are facing a slew of felony charges after allegedly robbing a gas station, attacking the workers and leading Sterling Heights police on a pursuit that culminated in a crash — all in the middle of a Friday afternoon.
According to police, the incident began at 3:30 p.m. July 27, when two men armed with a Taser and a shotgun entered the BP gas station at 18 Mile and Mound.
One of them allegedly ran behind the counter, assaulting both of the store’s clerks with the Taser, then took cash from the register and underneath the counter and placed it atop the counter so the second man could pocket it.
The two suspects forced the clerks to the floor before fleeing to a tan Mercury Marquis driven by a third man. They initially headed east on 18 Mile, but were spotted by an officer near Van Dyke, where they turned to head south “at a high rate of speed in heavy traffic,” according to police.
Officers began pursuing the suspects, who sideswiped a van north of 17 Mile while squeezing between two vehicles, said Lt. Luke Riley of the Sterling Heights Police Department.
The suspects continued, undeterred, on westbound 17 Mile, running the red traffic signal at 17 Mile and northbound Mound before colliding with another vehicle on southbound Mound, rendering the Marquis disabled.
The suspects abandoned their getaway car and fled on foot, but were apprehended shortly thereafter by Sterling Heights police. Officers reportedly confiscated weapons and stolen cash from the individuals and their vehicle, and Riley said it’s believed all of the money taken from the gas station was recovered.
An occupant in the vehicle struck on southbound Mound, whom Riley said was a juvenile, sustained a facial laceration.
No one else on the road was injured, and as the surveillance video showed the gas station clerks up and moving around after the Taser attacks, they did not appear to be severely hurt physically, said Riley.
In fact, the entire incident was captured on surveillance camera, he said.
“The video’s pretty wild, because it has audio, and most of them don’t,” he said. “You hear all this screaming and yelling and threatening.”
Judge Joseph Boedeker set bond for the suspects — later identified by police as Detroit residents Kevin Raynard Wyatt, 25; William Romaro Bates, 30; and Emmanuel Antoine Brown, 26 — at $1 million cash or surety each July 29 while they were in custody at Macomb County Jail. They were arraigned before Magistrate Michael Piatek in 41-A District Court July 30.
Wyatt and Bates are charged with two counts of armed robbery, punishable by up to life in prison, as well as one count each of felony firearm, a two-year felony; possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, a five-year felony; and assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer, a two-year felony.
Brown faces one count each of armed robbery, assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer and fleeing a police officer-third degree, a five-year felony, which Riley attributed to driving a getaway car, failing to stop at a uniformed police officer’s direction and causing a crash.
Wyatt also is charged with possession of a controlled substance, a four-year felony, though Riley said he didn’t have specifics on what type of narcotic the charge involved.
Court officials indicated that all three suspects requested court-appointed attorneys, but none had been assigned by press time. Their preliminary exams were set for Aug. 8.
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