A 30 year-old man is nursing his wounds in the Pinellas County Jail after a wild chain of events that started when he allegedly tried to rob a pharmacy and ended when a deputy K9 caught him hiding in a ditch in his underwear.
Tarpon Springs Police say on Monday afternoon, 30 year-old Roy Robert Blair walked into the Anclote Pharmacy located at 1933 N. Pinellas Ave. and demanded drugs from pharmacy employee, Jordan Bennett. Blair then allegedly jumped over the counter and stabbed Bennett with a knife. The entire chain of events was caught on surveillance video.
Police say a co-owner of the pharmacy, who they identify as Chetan Shah, saw what was happening and grabbed a baseball bat (about 42 seconds into the video). The video appears to show a customer also trying to grab the suspect, who was still tussling with Bennett.
Video shows the violent struggle as the suspect continually tried to free himself from the grip of the two men, and Shah responded by smacking him with the bat.
Police say Blair appeared to give up, but then tried to gouge Bennett’s eyes and managed to break free from the men’s hold and run away.
Bennett was airlifted to St. Petersburg’s Bayfront Medical Center, while Tarpon Springs Police began a search with Pinellas and Pasco County Deputies assisting.
Later that night, citizens up in Pasco County called 911 after seeing a man outside in his underwear, covered with mud. Investigators say a Pasco County K9 found Blair hiding in a ditch in the Holiday Lake Estates area near Dartmouth Drive and Mandarin Drive.
Tarpon Springs Police Capt. Jeffrey Young says Blair was taken to Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital and treated for superficial wounds before he was booked at the Pinellas County Jail.
Anclote Pharmacy co-owner, Chetan Shah, did not want to be interviewed about the ordeal, but he did tell Palm Harbor Patch that 23-year-old Bennett has been released from the hospital and is doing well. “We want to give him a few days off from work so he can recover,” he said.
Shah also says this is the first time anything like this has happened in the one and a half years he’s been a co-owner of the pharmacy.
Blair is being held at the Pinellas County Jail on $220,000 bail. He is charged with 2nd degree attempted murder, attempted robbery with a deadly weapon and four charges of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. He is a resident of Holiday