Robbery suspects lead police on chase

By CASEY CORA, Times Staff Writer
Published September 6, 2007

TAMPA - After a chase that led them across the Howard Frankland Bridge, Tampa police arrested two St. Petersburg men Tuesday night in Pinellas County.

About 7:50 p.m., police began following an SUV after responding to an armed robbery outside a gyro restaurant at 4014 N 22nd St. in Tampa. Police said Calvin J. Bryant was robbed at gunpoint by two men later identified as Rico Solomon and William Murray.

The gray 1998 Toyota 4Runner involved in the chase had been stolen from Gulfport in an earlier carjacking, police said.

Before the two 31-year-old men fled across Tampa Bay, they made a fuel stop at a gas station at Hillsborough and Nebraska Avenues. They were met there by a host of Tampa police officers.

Bryant, the robbery victim, had followed them and called 911, police said.

Murray and Solomon sped away, and the chase took police officers through the city of Tampa and across the Howard Frankland Bridge.

The pursuit eventually ended at 28th Street and Third Avenue S in St. Petersburg with the use of a tire-deflation device known as a "stop stick."

A foot chase ended shortly after that with the use of Tasers. No one was injured, police said.

Solomon was arrested on charges of armed robbery, aggravated fleeing to elude, carjacking, driving with a suspended license and resisting arrest. He was being held in Pinellas County Jail Wednesday with bail set at $11,263.

Murray was arrested on armed robbery and resisting arrest charges. His bail was set at $500.