PALM HARBOR, Fla. — Pinellas County deputies arrested a 32-year-old man on a crime-spree Thursday after a series of events that included deputy gunshots fired, a short pursuit and a crashed vehicle.
- Christopher Kearney taken into custody Thursday
- Deputies released details of arrest Friday
- No injuries after robbery, shots fired at suspect and short pursuit
Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri called Christopher Kearney, 32, a "one-man crime spree."
"This guy has committed multiple robberies. He committed the robberies before he was in custody before," Gualtieri explained. "He got bonded out, and now he’s bonded out. He’s on electronic monitoring and he’s going out and committing more robberies."
According to the Sheriff's Office, Kearney was previously released on October 26 on $100,000 while facing robbery and grand theft auto charges.
Authorities released details Friday of the frantic situation that unfolded yesterday outside a Thornton's gas station in Palm Harbor on US 19 and Tampa Road around 2 p.m.
According to officials, deputies received an alert Thursday that Kearney's GPS ankle monitor battery was low.
Deputies contacted Kearney's girlfriend, 44-year-old Jennie Martindale, and learned that Kearney, of Largo, stole her 2014 Chevrolet Impala and left the area.
During the search for Kearney, deputies received a call about a robbery at the the Vixen Nail Salon located at 2676 Bayshore Boulevard in Dunedin.
A short time later, deputies were notified the Impala was spotted at the Thornton's gas station.
Officials said when deputies converged on the vehicle, Kearney refused their commands and sped off.
Deputies fired shots at the vehicle as Kearney drove recklessly through the parking lot and sideswiped another vehicle near the gas pumps.
"The first deputy missed," Gualtieri said. "The second deputy missed and [Kearney] then fled out of the parking lot."
Kearney drove off onto Tampa Road and eventually pulled into a neighborhood off Belcher Road. Deputies followed Kearney onto Ranchette Lane, executed a pit maneuver and cause Kearney to crash the car into a tree.
Officials said deputies shot Kearney with a Taser as he continued to be combative. He was then taken into custody.
There were no injuries.
Witnesses from the Vixen Nail Salon robbery positively identified Kearney as the robbery suspect. He also is a suspect in a robbery at the Thornton's gas station that happened before deputies arrived.
"So he’s been charged with a whole slew of offenses, from the robbery to the cut strap, to the grand theft auto, to the fleeing and eluding and, of course, he’s got the pending robbery charges from previously," Gualtieri said. "He’s also a suspect in some other robberies that occurred in the last 24 hours. So he’s a real bad guy."
Specifically, Kearney has been charged with grand theft, robbery, fleeing and eluding, violation of probation and tampering with an electronic monitoring device.
He also is facing charges of robbery with a deadly weapon in Clearwater and robbery in Largo.