Ka’Juan Arthur Harris, 18, of 59 White Star Drive in Palm Coast, and Preston Harris, 21, who has no known address, were jailed overnight at the Flagler County jail on charges of armed robbery and resisting arrest after three men reported being robbed at gunpoint and beaten on State Road 100 near Belle Terre Parkway late Saturday night.
The robbery and ensuing chase and car crash required the response of paramedics who had been engaged in a fully involved house fire in Grand Haven at the same time, spreading the county’s first responders thin: at one point, most of the county’s ambulances and fire engines were responding to one incident or another, with a third incident–a vehicle crash on Seminole Woods Boulevard–also pulling personnel.
The fire, at 44 Jasmine Lane, involved an unoccupied residence. No one was injured, and “it looks accidental, not suspicious in any way,” Palm Coast Fire Chief Mike Beadle said, but the house was “a total loss.”
Around 11 p.m. Saturday, three people–a Palm Coast resident and two Bunnell residents–were walking west along Stare Road 100 near Walgreens when a blue SUV van pulled up alongside them. Three men sprang from the vehicle and ran over to them. Two of the men were holding guns.
According to arrest reports, the two men proceeded to attack the victims, hitting two of them with their guns before robbing them of cell phones, wallets and pants. One of the men they attacked had a cut at the bottom of his jaw, the other was hit in the back of the head. The third victim is 17. In all, the robbers took a little over $400 and three cell phones. The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is withholding the victims’ identity for now.
The suspects then got back into the van and fled north on Belle Terre Parkway. The victims, who spoke with deputies at Walgreens, provided a description of the car to deputies, who rapidly located it in the area of Victoria Plaza. A deputy ran the vehicle’s license plate through databases. It turned up stolen. As the van left Victoria Plaza, a deputy followed it and attempted to make a felony stop as the van made a left on Pine Lakes Parkway. At that point, with the deputy’s emergency lights flashing, the SUV started fleeing.
The deputy pursued the vehicle until it crashed in the woods at Pine Lakes Parkway and While Mill, taking down the street sign there with it.
The men, who included a juvenile, fled on foot. Deputies set up a perimeter in the neighborhood and summoned a K-9 unit. Volusia County’s Air One helicopter was called in to help with the search. Soon deputies on the ground located Ka’Juan Harris, the 18 year old, along with the juvenile in the trio, hiding in the woods. Air One located Preston Harris, with a K-9 helping at ground level. Both men were handcuffed and placed in sheriff’s cruisers.
The robbery victims were brought to the scene and were able to identify the alleged robbers, along with the Nissan SUV. The stolen cell phones were on the floorboard of the SUV. A silver firearm was located in the passenger side door of the car. One of the suspects had one of the victims’ wallet.
Deputy George Hristakopoulos, formerly of the Bunnell Police Department, was at the scene, and said, according to the men’s arrest reports, “he has personal knowledge that Ka’Juan Harris AKA Lil Grove, is a member of the local hybrid criminal street gang, ‘Grove Street.'”
The alleged Grove Street gang was in the news in January following the arrest of three men involved in an armed burglary on Pine Brook Lane in Palm Coast. The gang also allegedly cut a video on the streets of Palm Coast. See below.
“Because the incident involved at least one suspect who is reportedly a local gang member, I redacted the names of the victims until I can confirm whether or not the judge found that the release of that information prior to trial would jeopardize the safety of a victim,” Bob Weber, a sheriff’s spokesman, explained.
It is not clear, Weber said, what happened to the juvenile arrested Saturday night.
Ka’Juan Harris faces a charge of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, a charge of armed robbery with a deadly weapon, and a charge of resisting arrest. He is being held at the Flagler County jail on $25,500 bond. Preston Harris was charged with armed robbery and resisting arrest, and is being held on $20,500 bond.
The two adult suspects were first taken to Florida Hospital Flagler, where they were cleared for booking at the jail.
The Grove Street video: