HUDSON — A woman left the Bank of America on Wednesday morning with $100 — and, unbeknownst to her, someone hot on her tail.
Shortly after 8 a.m., as she parked in the driveway of her Hazel Avenue home, a man in a Jeep pulled up beside her and started a conversation.
Then he got out of his car, punched the woman and wrestled with her as he tried to grab the keys to her Isuzu Rodeo, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said. He managed to snatch her keys, a bank envelope holding the $100 and the woman's driver's license before getting back into his Jeep and speeding away.
The robber flashed a black handgun at a witness, then fled onto Little Road reaching speeds of 100 mph, the Sheriff's Office reported. A deputy began chasing the man as his southbound Jeep crossed into the northbound lanes.
Eventually the robber ditched his Jeep and ran to a barn at Scot Street and Canton Avenue. That's where a police dog tracked down Charles F. Grant, 22, with bloodshot eyes from the cocaine and Xanax he told authorities he had taken earlier that day.
Grant, of 8624 Roseanne Blvd. in New Port Richey, was charged with strong arm robbery, auto burglary, simple battery, fleeing to elude during a high speed pursuit, resisting arrest and reckless driving.
He was also charged with false imprisonment, as authorities say he pushed the woman and prevented her from getting out of her vehicle.
He is being held in lieu of $25,700 bail at the Land O'Lakes jail.
Grant has been in trouble with the law before. Most of his prior arrests involve cocaine possession or burglary, records show.
Two years ago, Grant, slathered in chicken grease from a failed robbery at Ker's WingHouse, was arrested for burglary at a motel off U.S. 19. Authorities said Grant had crawled down a grease pipe and tried to open the cash register at the restaurant, but couldn't.
The robbery of the woman coming home from the Bank of America, located at 7419 State Road 52 in Bayonet Point, is a reminder that residents should be aware of their surroundings, sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said.
"You can become a target if someone thinks you have money," Doll said. "If you think someone is following you, don't stop. Go somewhere safe."
Camille C. Spencer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6229.