The Taco Bell on Palm Coast Parkway was the target of an armed robbery overnight, and Craig Rossi, a 10-year veteran of the Flagler County Sheriff’s road patrol division, was injured when his car collided with the fleeing vehicle of the alleged suspects as the pursuit reached Ormond Beach.
The alleged robbers did not get away with any money from the Taco Bell. Rossi was transported to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach and was treated for injuries to the forearm and chest and released. He is recovering at home.
The incident began before 1 a.m. when Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to an armed robbery at the Taco Bell on Palm Coast Parkway.
A trainee had been working the cash register when, at half past midnight, a man at the drive-thru window passed him a note that read: “Be quiet, open the register and hand me the cash drawer or I’ll shoot you. I have a gun. Hurry up… 5 seconds.”
be quiet hand me the money I have a gun.” The man was white, about 130 pounds, with a goatee. As soon as he saw the gun, the trainee ran to the back and told the manager.
The manager had been working the line when he saw the trainee run from the window saying someone had a gun. Another employee went toward the window, saw the gun, and heard the man in the car get impatient: “Give me the fucking money,” the assailant said, according to his arrest report. The employee pulled the holdup alarm while a shift trainer called 911.
Restaurant employees led deputies to look for a blue four-door sedan, the likes of which was soon spotted in the McDonald’s parking lot on Old Kings Road. A sergeant was going to initiate an investigatory stop when the vehicle sped off erratically.
A pursuit started as the vehicle took I-95 south, exiting at 279, the intersection with U.S. 1, and continuing south. Volusia County deputies joined Flagler deputies in the chase. At that point three units are in pursuit, among them Rossi. Video from inside his patrol vehicle shows the suspect vehicle burning through red lights on U.S. 1.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the suspect vehicle and the patrol vehicle driven by Rossi crashed at U.S. 1 and Nova Road.
The video shows the crash sharply: the suspect had just veered right, off U.S. 1, to take Nova Road, but a few hundred feet past the turn he made a u-turn through the median and started to go in the opposite direction. As he did so the patrol unit immediately in front of Rossi’s initiated a PIT maneuver (PIT stands for pursuit intervention technique) by striking the rear left side of the vehicle as Rossi swerved into the opposite lanes as well. The PIT maneuver caused the suspect’s car to lose control but also rotate straight into Rossi’s path, causing a violent enough crash to knock the camera off.
The deputy’s car took the brunt of the impact at its front end, based on images provided by the Sheriff’s Office. Air bags deployed in the deputy’s vehicle while the suspect vehicle kept fleeing.
Stop sticks were deployed shortly before the chase ended in Ormond Beach, where a passenger opened the vehicle door and rolled out onto the pavement, then immediately began fleeing the scene on foot. The chase then ended at the Ormond Beach Walmart, where the suspect vehicle crashed and Jason Kolkow, a 28-year-old resident of 507 Colfax Drive in Daytona Beach, was arrested.
The alleged passenger, Christopher Deleon McMillan, 28, was soon arrested in back of the Walmart store.
Klokow was charged with robbery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and two counts of fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement. McMillian was charged with fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement and accessory after the fact. He also had an active Daytona Beach warrant for failure to pay child support.
“We’re grateful for the assistance of the surrounding agencies in helping us take these two dangerous dirtbags into custody before they seriously hurt someone,” Sheriff Rick Staly was quoted as saying in a release issued this morning. (Staly was in Orlando for the annual Florida SWAT Association’s Round-Up, a training, competition and show event.) “Our deputies did an outstanding job apprehending these two armed robbers. Deputy Rossi is going to be okay and back out fighting crime before we know it.” Two more beds are filled at the Green Roof Inn.”