Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Chase stretches from Tampa to Pasco as police pursue suspect

HOLIDAY— While a man walked through an empty lot behind Ybor City bars early Friday morning, three men surrounded him. Two had guns, police say, and a third carried a baton. They wanted money.

He handed over money and his phone, and the armed men ran off. A short while later, another man passing through the lot at the corner of N 15th Street and E 15th Avenue noticed a silver Chevrolet Malibu following him.

Two men got out and chased him, Tampa Police say. The man dropped his cellphone while he ran and looked back to see the robbers picking it up.

One of the victims reported the car and tag number to police, reports state. Detectives took note and left.

Then, driving on I-275 on his way home around 4:30 a.m., a detective noticed the same car.

The detective called for patrol officers just as the car drove off, reports state. Other officers found the car on Fowler Avenue, then Dale Mabry. A police helicopter followed as the car blew through county lines.

It raced north and south on U.S. 19, picking up more law enforcement: Tarpon Springs Police, Pinellas Sheriff and Pasco Sheriff.

Reports say the driver abandoned the car, but search dogs tracked him to 3520 Truman Drive in Holiday. As Tampa Police watched from a helicopter, Patrick Pongnon, 21, went into the house. When they approached, a woman who lives there, Charquisha Arline, 23, denied that Pongnon was inside. Three children, two 4-year-olds and a 2-year-old, also lived in the house. Police said they entered the house and arrested Pongnon out of fear for the children's safety.

Neighbors say they've long been suspicious of goings on in the brown stucco home. Shirley Wells, who lives nearby, stood in a driveway just after sunrise Friday and pointed across the road to where cars would show up, and their drivers would leave the doors open for inexplicable five-minute visits to the home. They blared music and sped down her street, she said.

Since February, she had taken tag numbers and called authorities.

"We'll be glad to see them go, if they leave," she said, just before Arline was arrested in her front yard on charges of harboring a suspect.

Pongnon was booked into the Pasco County jail on charges of aggravated fleeing and eluding. He was being questioned Friday by Tampa Police in connection with the overnight robberies. Sheriff's spokeswoman Melanie Snow said they are still searching for two other men they believe were involved, but deputies said they do not think those men are in Pasco County.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report.

Chase stretches from Tampa to Pasco as police pursue suspect 11/01/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 1, 2013 10:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Deputies find unidentified decomposing body in Dunedin canal

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies found an unidentified male body floating in a Dunedin canal Monday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office said.

  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  4. Fennelly: About time Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    It's Andy's time.

    And it's about time.

    Former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk has been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. He had been eligible since 2009, a ridiculously long wait for someone who scored 640 goals, including a record 274 on the power play.

    LEFT: Dave Andreychuk talks at the podium as he is honored with a statue in front of the now-Amalie Arena.
  5. British government says 75 out of 75 buildings failed fire safety tests

    World

    LONDON — Britain on Monday confronted a rapidly growing fire safety crisis after tests of the exterior cladding on dozens of public housing towers revealed a 100 percent failure rate, raising fears that this month's deadly inferno in London could be repeated elsewhere.

    Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali, presents his first Chrono-Hologram in Paris, France, in 1973. A Spanish judge on Monday June 26, 2017, has ordered the remains of artist Salvador Dali to be exhumed following a paternity suit by a woman named by Europa Press agency as Pilar Abel, 61 from the nearby city of Girona. Dali, considered one of the fathers of surrealism in art, died in 1989 and is buried in his museum in the northeastern town of Figueres. [Associated Press]