Police arrest 3 suspects after armed robbery and police chase

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Three men are in custody after an armed robbery at a pizza place led to a police chase late Sunday night, according to authorities.

The suspects were identified as Demarcus Mathews, 19, of Gonzales; Terrance Venson, 20, of Baton Rouge; and Jeremy Ford, 23, also of Baton Rouge.

The Baton Rouge Police Department said the Papa John's on Lee Drive was robbed at gunpoint around 10:30 p.m. Cpl. Don Coppola Jr. reported the three suspects walked into the restaurant wearing masks and two of them, Mathews and Venson, allegedly pulled out handguns.

Police said the pair ordered the employees on the ground, while Mathews allegedly took money from the register and a worker's cell phone. According to Coppola, the trio then left the restaurant and drove off in a black Honda Accord.

Investigators said officers spotted a car matching the description of the suspects' vehicle a little while later. Police said the initial driver, identified as Mathews, refused to pull over and a chase ensued. They added Mathews eventually stopped the car, jumped out and ran off. He was later caught by police dogs and their handlers.

Detectives said when Mathews fled, Venson, who they reported was in the front passenger seat, took the wheel and drove off. Police used spike strips to flatten the tires on the car, but they said that didn't stop the suspects. It remains unknown where the spike strips were used, but witnesses said the car was seen on Government Street riding on flat tires.

The tires eventually popped, but the car continued rolling on just the rims until it was forced to stop when it crashed into a parked car on Glenmore Avenue, right behind Bernard Terrace Elementary. Police said Venson jumped out and tried to run, but police dogs and their handlers apprehended him as well.

According to investigators, Ford stayed in the car after the crash and was then taken into custody.

Mathews and Venson were booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of armed robbery, aggravated flight and resisting and officer. Ford faces a charge of armed robbery.

People living in the normally quiet neighborhood on Glenmore Avenue were awakened by bright lights and lots of noise.

"I was sound asleep and the dogs started barking," said Daryl Ingle. "There was a weird sounding siren and all of a sudden, flashing lights flooded the street. We got up and came out and apparently, somebody robbed somebody and decided to come down Glenmore."

According to Ingle, there were about 15 police officers combing the area looking for a gun. He decided to help in any way he could.

"They're looking for a gun, so I loaned them my ladder. If more people would help the cops, instead of work against them, we might get more done around here," Ingle explained.

It remains unknown whether or not police found a weapon.

The investigation is ongoing.

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