Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Armed robbery suspect surrenders after seven-hour standoff with SWAT team

NEW PORT RICHEY — Alexander Curry told his mother he wasn't going back to prison.

Police said she told them he would shoot any officer who tried to arrest him.

So when officers tracked the 24-year-old suspect in the armed robbery of Catches Waterfront Grille to a motel Thursday morning, they called for the SWAT team.

For six hours, Curry refused to come out of his room. Then, just before 9 a.m., he surrendered. No one was injured.

"We used an overabundance of caution," said New Port Richey police Chief James Steffens, who is also in charge of the Pasco County Unified SWAT Team. "We had an armed felon who clearly made it known he was not going to return to prison."

The standoff began about 2 a.m. when a deputy saw Curry's pickup truck in the parking lot of the Royal Palm Inn at 6523 U.S. 19. Curry was in room 209 with two other men, a woman and an 18-month-old baby. They were evacuated safely, as well as people in nearby rooms.

Investigators reached Curry by phone.

"He said he is prepared for us, he watches TV and he was going to go get into the bathroom, turn on the water and, if we came to the door, he was going to start shooting," Steffens said.

Curry, who was released from prison in August after serving a year and a half for burglary, grand theft and trafficking stolen goods, refused to speak more with negotiators. He threw his cell phone out of the room. He ripped out the motel's phone and tossed it out, too, Steffens said.

Curry was wanted in connection with a violent robbery that happened just after 2 a.m. April 1 at Catches Waterfront Grille. Authorities say Curry, a former Catches employee, and Shane L. Coursen, 29, waited until the customers left and broke into the restaurant while employees were cleaning up and shutting down for the night. Coursen and Curry wore masks, carried guns and forced all of the employees into the freezer, authorities said. They cleaned out the till and fled. Coursen and Alicia M. Briguglio, 27, whom police say was an accomplice to the robbery, were found shortly afterward hiding in the Pithlachascotee River. Curry escaped, police said, and officers had been searching for him since.

Just before he was arrested Thursday, Curry peeked outside the motel window, saw all of the officers, deputies and the SWAT team's armored vehicle. He gave up moments later, emerging from the motel wearing a Catches T-shirt.

"He realized it was a challenge he wasn't up for," Steffens said.

Curry, whose last known address was in Tampa, is charged with robbery with a deadly weapon and is being held at the Pasco jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at or (727) 869-6229.

Armed robbery suspect surrenders after seven-hour standoff with SWAT team 04/05/12 [Last modified: Thursday, April 5, 2012 8:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa


    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  2. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  3. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title


    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  4. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  5. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)


    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]