Deputies: Bank robber flees, dye pack bursts, a pileup on U.S. 19
CLEARWATER — A 37-year-old man robbed a bank wearing panty hose and a fake beard on Thursday, then had dye packs explode in his car while leading deputies on a high-speed pursuit that ended in a multi-vehicle pileup on U.S. 19, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Anquan DeWayne Walters of Clearwater walked into a Hancock Bank branch at 28163 U.S. 19 just before 4 p.m., deputies said. They said he was wearing long pants, a long sleeve shirt, gloves, glasses, a fake beard and covered his head with panty hose.
He carried a black handgun, jumped over the bank’s counter, ordered people to the ground and demanded money, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Walters stole an undisclosed amount of cash, deputies said, then left the bank in a 1998 Toyota Camry and drove north on U.S. 19.
That’s when the dye packs placed with the cash exploded, deputies said. Walters started throwing cash out of the car’s window.
Deputies caught up to Walter as he passed Curlew Road and started a high-speed chase. They also laid down a tire deflation device as he approached Countryside Boulevard.
When he hit the spikes, Walters lost control of the Camry, deputies said, and crashed into a 2009 Kia Sportage driven by Caroline Kahael, 52, of Largo and a 2006 GMC Yukon driven by Randy Donaldson, 62, of Palm Harbor. Both of those vehicles were waiting at the intersection of Curlew Road and Countryside Boulevard.
Cpl. Phillip Love, 53, was following Walters in a marked 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe patrol vehicle. The Sheriff’s Office said he was unable to brake in time and ended up crashing into the Camry in the intersection.
Walters ran from the Camry. Deputies said they apprehended him near 34601 Countryside Blvd. His clothes were covered in ink from the bank’s exploded dye packs, they said.
Kahael was taken to Mease Countryside Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Nobody else was reported injured in the pileup.
Walters faces charges of armed robbery, fleeing and eluding law enforcement, leaving the scene of a crash with bodily injury, leaving the scene of a crash with property damage and being a fugitive in violation of parole. He was being held Friday without bail in the Pinellas County jail.
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