Pinellas Deputies Shoot at Man Suspected in Crime Spree
Pinellas deputies captured him after a car and foot chase.
PINELLAS COUNTY – Detectives are investigating a deputy-involved shooting at a Palm Harbor gas station after a man went on a crime spree , the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.
Christopher Royce Kearney, 32, of Largo was charged with one count each of tampering with an electronic monitoring device, robbery, grand theft, fleeing and eluding police and a warrant for five counts of violation of pre-trial release.
The Clearwater Police Department had additional criminal charges that included one count of robbery with a deadly weapon. The Largo Police Department had additional criminal charges that included one count each of robbery and grand theft auto.
According to court records, Kearney bonded out of jail Oct. 26 while awaiting trial on three counts of robbery, one count of attempted robbery, and one count of grand theft auto.
Pinellas sheriff’s detectives said that, on Thursday (Nov 8), deputies assigned to the alternative sentencing unit were monitoring Kearney’s GPS ankle monitor when they received an alert that his ankle monitor battery was low. Detectives said Kearney was court-ordered to wear a GPS ankle monitor after he posted $105,000 bond and was released from the Pinellas County Jail almost two weeks ago.
Deputies said they tried locating Kearney but were unsuccessful. Deputies contacted Kearney’s girlfriend, 44-year-old Jennie Martindale, and were told that Kearney had
stolen Martindale’s 2014 Chevrolet Impala and left the area.
During the investigation, deputies received a tip that Kearney was in Clearwater. A deputy spotted Kearney; however, he fled in the Impala. Deputies did not pursue him.
A bulletin was issued to local law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for Kearney. Kearney was considered an absconder and he was wanted in connection with tampering with an electronic monitoring device and grand theft auto.
Detectives said that, at about 1:45 p.m. Thursday, deputies received a report of a robbery at the Vixen Nail Salon, 2676 Bayshore Blvd. in Dunedin. A man with tattoos approached a woman, 20-year-old Quynh Nguyen, and implied he had a weapon. The suspect stole the victim’s money and personal belongings before fleeing in a vehicle.
While patrol deputies were investigating the robbery, alternative sentencing unit deputies were trying to find Kearney by tracking the GPS on the stolen Impala.
At about 1:54 p.m., deputies were notified the Impala was stationary near the intersection of U.S. 19 N and Tampa Road.
Deputies went to that location and spotted Kearney with the stolen Impala parked at the Thornton’s gas station, 32490 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor.
Several deputies converged on the Impala and challenged Kearney at gunpoint. Kearney refused to comply with the deputies’ commands, placed the Impala in drive, and accelerated forward.
Sgt. David Webb Jr. and Deputy Chelsea Gross both fired at the Impala discharging multiple rounds from their agency issued firearms. Kearney drove recklessly through the parking lot and sideswiped a citizen’s vehicle near the gas pumps.
Kearney was uninjured and sped away in the Impala westbound on Tampa Road. Deputies pursued Kearney as he made a southbound turn onto Belcher Road. Deputies said they tried disabling the Impala by executing a precision immobilization technique but were unsuccessful.
Kearney continued southbound on Belcher Road, passed Curlew Road, and made a left eastbound turn onto Ranchette Lane. Kearney traveled east on Ranchette Lane towards the cul-de-sac when deputies executed another PIT maneuver, causing Kearney to lose control of the Impala and crash into a tree.
Kearney abandoned the car and fled on foot. Kearney led deputies on a foot chase but was caught not far from the car. Deputies said they used an electronic control device to subdue Kearney after he became combative with them.
Kearney was taken into custody without further incident.
Witnesses from the Vixen Nail Salon robbery positively identified Kearney as the robbery suspect, deputies said.
Pinellas Sheriff | Crime | Deputy-Involved Shooting | Arrests | Tampabay News
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