OCALA, Fla. — Police captured a suspect from an Ocala armed robbery late Tuesday evening after he led officials on a multi-county chase in a stolen pickup truck.
Willie Williams IV, 29, of Leesburg, was found in a residential neighborhood in the 900 block of Newman Drive, a couple blocks north of Amscot on U.S. Highway 441 in Leesburg with the help of a K-9 from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Lauren Lettelier, Marion County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, deputies received reports of an armed robbery about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the S&B Cost Cutter Convenience Store on South Magnolia Avenue in Ocala.
Witnesses told deputies a masked man with a gun robbed the store and fired shots.
No one was injured, Lettelier said.
Witnesses gave deputies a description of the armed robber and the vehicle he was driving. Deputies spotted the suspect, later identified as Williams, driving the truck, south on U.S. Highway 475A.
Lettelier added Williams led law enforcement on a pursuit through Sumter County and Fruitland Park before he abandoned the vehicle at the Newman Drive home and fled on foot.
An arrest affidavit adds Williams ran into a home in the 900 block, a home where a latter search failed to find him. However, police later discovered him hiding in the back yard of a home in the same block.
A perimeter was set up by multiple agencies and Williams was captured by the K-9. He refused treatment and was jailed.
The truck, with a damaged left front tire where he reportedly almost crashed during a turn on North Shore Drive, still could be seen at 9 p.m. Tuesday in the front yard of the Leesburg home as dozens of law enforcement vehicles lined the streets.
Williams, a registered sex offender, remained Wednesday morning in the Lake County jail in lieu of $60,000 bail on charges of fleeing law enforcement officers and resisting arrest. However, the affidavit added law enforcement had asked for no bail in the armed robbery case.
According to the jail website, Williams has been arrested several times on charges that include possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, drug possession, lewd and lascivous behavior, resisting arrest, probation violations and battery.