Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Duo charged with robbing Sun City Center store before I-75 chase

TAMPA — A north Tampa man and a Pasco County woman face charges of robbing a RadioShack in Sun City Center and leading authorities Wednesday on a chase along Interstate 75 that ended with two deputies opening fire on their vehicle.

Jovanny Pena, 30, walked into the store at 3842 Sun City Blvd. wearing a ski mask and carrying a gun, deputies said. Bryna McLaughlin, 30, sat in the front seat of a 2014 Jeep Liberty outside the store, they said.

Inside, Pena forced everyone to give him their valuables and left the store with 90 cellphones worth about $56,000. He rejoined McLaughlin and drove away, according to reports.

Deputies located the Jeep, but Pena refused to stop and a chase ensued on northbound I-75.

Three patrol cars cornered Pena and McLaughlin under the Progress Boulevard overpass near U.S. 301.

Pena drove toward the roadblock, rammed through the vehicles and knocked over Deputy Richard Johnson, injuring his shoulder, according to sheriff's officials. Fearful that Pena was trying to run over Johnson, Deputy Buddy Leisch fired his gun at him, according to authorities.

Pena continued plowing forward, clipping Deputy Domingo Gonzalez's leg as he dove for cover. Gonzalez then fired at Pena, the Sheriff's Office said.

Pena tried to escape, heading south in the northbound lanes of I-75. He hit two other vehicles and wrecked the Jeep. The other drivers were not hurt.

Deputies caught Pena and McLaughlin and took Pena to Tampa General Hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to his upper body. He was described as being stable.

Pena of north Tampa faces charges including attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, armed robbery of a business, armed robbery, armed kidnapping and three charges of false imprisonment.

Pena is already on felony probation until April 2017 for a 2008 grand theft case, records show. He also served time in prison in 2004 for forgery, vehicle theft and dealing in stolen property.

McLaughlin of Land O'Lakes was not hurt. The charges against her include armed robbery of a business, armed kidnapping, and three counts each of armed robbery and false imprisonment.

McLaughlin's arrest history includes marijuana distribution in 2004 and a 2007 drug paraphernalia case, according to records.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Duo charged with robbing Sun City Center store before I-75 chase 05/29/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 29, 2014 9:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks

    Business

    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]

  2. Mariners lose lefty Drew Smyly to Tommy John surgery

    Ml

    SEATTLE — Drew Smyly was the centerpiece to one of Seattle's many offseason moves by general manager Jerry Dipoto. He was a priority acquisition as a proven lefty for the rotation the Mariners believed would thrive pitching at Safeco Field.

    Drew Smyly will undergo Tommy John surgery after being diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Seattle announced the diagnosis on Wednesday, ending Smyly's hopes of returning during the 2017 season. [AP photo]
  3. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  4. Busted: How a Times photographer captured Donald Trump's fake news

    Blogs

    Tampa Bay Times photojournalist Scott Keeler was on assignment last summer for a story about Donald Trump’s presence in Palm Beach, a tale of glamour and conflict. Along the way he inadvertently captured evidence of a …

    Near the main entrance at Mar-a-Lago, the fake Time magazine cover is on display in July 2016.
  5. Jones: Steve Yzerman's plan for getting the Lightning back into the playoffs

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Seems like forever since the Lightning played a hockey game.

    If the Lightning season started right now, would Steve Yzerman be happy with what he has? "We're still a couple of players short,'' Yzerman said.. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]