Monday, July 6, 2020
73.1 F
Ocala

Two Levy County men nabbed after targeting elderly victims in robberies

Robert Joseph Hill III

Two Levy County men were jailed Wednesday after being accused of committing strong-armed robberies on elderly victims.

Detective Brad Bartlett of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office’s Major Crimes Unit arrested 19-year-old Robert Joseph Hill III and 30-year-old David Wayne Pritt, both of Williston. Both are facing a litany of charges connected to the crime spree.

Sheriff’s officials say the first robbery took place Wednesday shortly after noon at the Petro gas station in Reddick. The first victim was approached by an unidentified white male who pointed a handgun at her while demanding her purse. The woman initially thought the man was joking and didn’t give him her purse. She then fled back to her vehicle where her husband was pumping gas, a sheriff’s office report states.

The victim’s husband told detectives he heard a commotion and someone demanding a purse. He saw the suspect pointing a gun at his wife, who fled to their vehicle. The suspect then approached him and demanded his wallet, but the man fled instead in an attempt to get his gun, the report says.

David Wayne Pritt

The suspect jumped into a waiting minivan and fled from the gas station. Multiple witnesses corroborated the victims’ stories and provided matching descriptions of the suspects. Witnesses on scene also called 911 to report the robbery.

Approximately eight minutes later, a second attempted robbery occurred at the Circle K gas station in Reddick. The victim, a 70-year-old female, was sitting in a vehicle when she was approached by a masked suspect who pointed a handgun at her and demanded money. She told him she didn’t have any money and when he made a second demand, she started honking her horn until he fled in the waiting minivan, the report says.

Security footage from the scene showed a minivan and suspects who matched the descriptions given of both the vehicle and suspects from the first robbery at the Petro gas station.

About 10 minutes later, a third robbery was reported at the Dollar General store in Reddick. Two victims, an 83-year-old female and a 70-year-old female, were leaving the store when they were approached by a white male who pointed a handgun at them and demanded the 83-year-old victim give him her purse. The second victim attempted to intervene and struck the suspect with the bags she was carrying. But the suspect pushed her to the ground, took the woman’s purse, fled on foot to a waiting vehicle and left the scene – but not before leaving a shoe behind, the report says.

While responding to the multiple reported robberies, a sheriff’s deputy spotted the silver minivan fleeing the area at a high rate of speed. He followed the van but before he was able to catch up, it crashed, the report says.

Both suspects, later identified as Hill and Pritt, ran from the crash scene. As Pritt, who was the passenger in the minivan, ran from deputies, he lost his second shoe – a match to the shoe left at the scene of the third robbery, the report says.

Responding deputies pursued Hill on foot and took him into custody following a short pursuit. Pritt was taken into custody by K-9 Cpl. Colton Sullivan and his partner, K-9 Adelmo. Pritt initially refused to comply with commands given by Sullivan and was bitten by the K-9 dog before being taken into custody, according to the report.

Hill was charged with one count of robbery with a firearm, three counts of attempted robbery with a firearm, one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, one count of battery on a person 65 years of age or older, and one count of resisting an officer.

Pritt was charged with one count of robbery with a firearm, three counts of attempted robbery with a firearm, one count of aggravated battery on a person 65 years of age or older, one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill and one count of resisting an officer.

Hill was transported to the Marion County Jail, where he was being held on $205,000 bond. He’s due in court June 30 at 9 a.m.

Pritt was being treated an area hospital and will then be transported to the jail. He was in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

Sheriff Billy Woods said he was extremely proud of his deputies and detectives for closing the case so quickly and getting Hill and Pritt off the street.

“These are despicable acts, committed by despicable men who are not welcome in my county, unless it’s behind bars in my jail,” Woods said. “This kind of behavior will not be tolerated in Marion County.”

Photos in Ocala, Florida

Crime

FedEx driver helps Marion sheriff’s deputies nab Umatilla man after pursuit

A man was jailed recently after a FedEx driver helped Marion County sheriff’s deputies take him into custody.

New York City transplant nabbed for driving with suspended license

An Ocala motorist was jailed Wednesday morning after a Marion County sheriff’s deputy recognized him and knew he didn’t have a driver’s license.

22-year-old Ocala man nabbed on DUI charge after reports of reckless driver

An Ocala man was jailed recently after Marion County sheriff’s deputies received a call about a reckless driver.

Ocklawaha woman accused of punching man in face during spat

An Ocklawaha woman who told a Marion County sheriff’s deputy to just go ahead and arrest her was charged with simple domestic battery after she allegedly punched a man in the face several times.

Business

Historic 12-room inn near Downtown Ocala on the market for just under $1.2 million

The Shamrock Historic Inn offers 12 guest rooms with ‘cozy and eclectic’ themes and a manager/owner apartment.

Bryant tabbed to serve as vice chair of Florida Association of Counties committee

Marion County Commission Chairwoman Kathy Bryant has been appointed to serve as vice chair of the Florida Association of Counties’ Finance, Tax & Administration Committee.

Chuck E Cheese Ocala off list of nationwide closures amidst company bankruptcy filing

Chuck E Cheese in Ocala was not included in the list of restaurant locations closed by the company as a result of their bankruptcy filing last week.

Local business owner asking for donations to benefit family of late soldier

A local business owner is asking the community for donations to help the family of a late solider. 

Subscribe for email updates

* indicates required

Headlines

FedEx driver helps Marion sheriff’s deputies nab Umatilla man after pursuit

A man was jailed recently after a FedEx driver helped Marion County sheriff’s deputies take him into custody.

New York City transplant nabbed for driving with suspended license

An Ocala motorist was jailed Wednesday morning after a Marion County sheriff’s deputy recognized him and knew he didn’t have a driver’s license.

22-year-old Ocala man nabbed on DUI charge after reports of reckless driver

An Ocala man was jailed recently after Marion County sheriff’s deputies received a call about a reckless driver.

76 percent of Marion County COVID-19 cases in Ocala and Summerfield

As the Coronavirus continues to sweep through tri-county area, 76 percent of the cases in Marion County are being reported in Ocala and Summerfield.

More articles like this