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Man barricaded in Pinellas Park hotel arrested without injury, Ulmerton reopened

An overnight standoff between law enforcement and Walter Brois, 49, ended Thursday morning. Officers and deputies fired teargas and beanbag rounds but no bullets.
Authorities closed Ulmerton Road between 49th Street and Feathersound Drive on Thursday while a SWAT team responds to a man barricaded inside a hotel room.
Authorities closed Ulmerton Road between 49th Street and Feathersound Drive on Thursday while a SWAT team responds to a man barricaded inside a hotel room. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and BOYZELL HOSEY | Times ]
Published Apr. 22
Updated Apr. 22

PINELLAS PARK — Nobody was injured Thursday morning as Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man who barricaded himself with a gun inside an Ulmerton Road hotel room overnight, deputies said.

No bullets were fired as SWAT teams from the Sheriff’s Office and the Pinellas Park Police Department tried to apprehend Walter Brois, 49. Officials said Brois refused to come out of his room on the fourth floor of the Comfort Inn, 3910 Ulmerton Road, before cutting off contact with negotiators around 2 a.m.

Walter J. Brois, seen here in a Florida Department of Corrections photo, was arrested on April 22, 2021 after an hours-long standoff with police at a Comfort Inn on Ulmerton Road, authorities said.
Walter J. Brois, seen here in a Florida Department of Corrections photo, was arrested on April 22, 2021 after an hours-long standoff with police at a Comfort Inn on Ulmerton Road, authorities said. [ Florida Department of Corrections ]

During the standoff, authorities evacuated the hotel and closed a portion of Ulmerton Road. The road later was reopened. Brois will likely face at least three charges in Pinellas County, police Chief Michael Haworth said. He was also wanted in Hillsborough County for violating probation by escaping law enforcement custody and could face charges in Pasco County, where he’s accused of holding a gun to a woman’s head April 18, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.

Police said their encounter with Brois began around 8 p.m. Wednesday at a Sam’s Club, where a Pinellas Park officer had stopped him and a woman he was with as part of an investigation into stolen vehicle tags.

Brois and the woman provided the officer identification, Haworth said, but after a few minutes, Brois tried to drive away. The officer tried to stop him, Haworth said, first by ordering commands and then by twice using a Taser.

Brois still managed to drive away, Haworth said, dragging the officer “until the officer could release himself from the car.” Police found Brois a short time later at the hotel, Haworth said, but attempts to draw him out by talking didn’t work.

“He made it painfully clear that he was not going to come out and that we were going to have to come in and kill him,” Haworth said.

At one point during the negotiations, Gualtieri said, Brois racked the slide of his gun, making clear it was loaded.

After Brois cut off contact, SWAT teams used teargas without success — “it didn’t affect him at all,” Gualtieri said.

A team eventually breached the barricaded hotel room door with explosives, Gualtieri said. Deputies fired beanbag rounds at Brois, who was wrapped in sheets on a bed, and arrested him.

Brois has been arrested 41 times and has been convicted of 38 felonies and 10 misdemeanors. He has served three stints in Florida state prisons, records show, on charges including battery, grand theft, trafficking in stolen property, fleeing from law enforcement and escape.

He was released from prison in October and was placed on probation until 2025.

“This is a guy that really shouldn’t have been on the streets,” Gualtieri said. “We’re very fortunate that we were able to resolve this with everyone safe.”