ARMED ROBBERY-AGG. BATTERY ARRESTS: SE District Detectives have completed an investigation stemming from an Aggravated Battery and Armed Robbery, which occurred in April. The call initially began when a male victim entered Flagler Hospital with serious facial injuries sustained from being battered by several subjects. The victim told Deputy C. Livingston that he was sleeping in a tent at a nearby encampment, when he was awakened by several subjects who were shining flashlights in his face and were pointing a gun at his head. He stated the individual’s began striking him with closed fists and tree branches for no apparent reason. The subjects also forcibly stole a backpack while holding a victim at gunpoint.
Investigators went to the area and met with others who lived in the encampment and stated they also encountered the individuals on various occasions. They stated the men would identify themselves as “St. Johns County,” while demanding names and information about those in the camp. It was learned the suspects had announced themselves as “Sheriff’s Office” during some of their contacts and in one incident “zip tied” a man in his tent causing him to use a blade to cut his way out of the tent, only to discover the subjects were walking away. One resident of the camp stated one of the men attempted to speak in “codes,” but according to the witness, they did not seemingly know law enforcement signal-code. The men also stole a bicycle from another subject in the camp. Investigators were able to obtain surveillance video of a vehicle of interest, which was registered to a local resident and which had a bicycle in the bed of the pickup truck. The lead helped detectives identify 5 subjects, including one juvenile who was later cleared from the investigation. Additionally, investigators found the gun used in the crimes which was discovered to be a BB gun and was recovered.
The suspects have been identified as, Alec James Lecompte, 22, of St. Augustine; Richard William Horton, 20, of St. Augustine; Chadwick Bryan Tatum, 28, of St. Augustine; and Anthony Dale Howell, Jr., 19, of St. Augustine.
Three of the suspects (Horton, Lecompte, Howell) have recently been arrested. The 4th suspect (Tatum), will be served his warrant where he is currently incarcerated, on unrelated charges.