BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – Four teenagers are facing armed robbery charges after police say they attempted to rob a man at gunpoint and then led police officers on a high-speed chase.
The alleged incident happened just before 7 a.m. Tuesday on 7th Street East in Bradenton, off Manatee Avenue East. The victim told officers he was walking to work when two people approached him and pointed a gun at him, demanding his personal belongings, police say.
When the victim resisted, police say the teens left in a vehicle. Detectives were able to identify the vehicle and later found it near the Skyway Bridge Fishing Pier.
Detectives say they followed the suspect’s vehicle into Palmetto, where a Palmetto police officer attempted to pull it over. According to police, the teens refused to pull over and led police on a chase over the Green Bridge into Bradenton, crashing into several cars – including five police cars – in the intersection of 9th Street and 6th Avenue West.
After the chase, police say the 17-year-old driver got out of the car wearing a bulletproof vest and holding a gun. Police say he dropped the gun and attempted to run away from officers but was caught after a short chase.
Three other suspects, one of them 15 years old and the other two 13 years old, were taken into custody without incident.
According to police, the teens were involved in several vehicle burglaries before the robbery. Officers say they recovered multiple stolen items, including a second firearm.
The teens face armed burglary and armed robbery charges. The 17-year-old driver faces additional charges including two counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, multiple criminal traffic charges to include fleeing to elude and possession of bulletproof vest while committing certain offenses.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Detective Jay Gow at (941) 932-9373.