Residents help nab robbery suspect

Published 9:20 pm Monday, December 8, 2008

A Suffolk man is in jail following his arrest Sunday in connection with two violent attempted robberies.

When a Pine Street woman refused to allow him into her house and then called police to tell them he was hiding under a house on Day Street, 35-year-old Quinton Harrell had nowhere to run, and police were able to put an end to the manhunt that had begun early Sunday morning after two violent attempted robberies.

Harrell, a Tynes Street resident, was found hiding under the house after an elderly resident of a Pine Street home refused to let him hide in her house. He was arrested and charged with attempted armed robbery, abduction and malicious wounding, according to Suffolk spokesperson Debbie George.

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The charges stemmed from an incident in the parking lot of the North Main Street McDonalds, where police said he approached the vehicle of a 43-year-old woman leaving the drive-through window and indicated he wanted to know the time.

When the victim rolled down her window, the suspect unlocked her door and jumped into the vehicle. He hit the woman in the face several times and said he had a gun.

The woman fought him, threw her keys outside and attempted to escape, but her attacker forced her back into the car, police said. She finally was able to blow the vehicle’s horn, and the attacker fled.

The victim was treated and released from Sentara Obici Hospital for minor facial injuries.

About 15 minutes later, a subject fitting the attacker’s description kicked in the front door of a home in the 100 block of Church Street and then entered the home and demanded money from the homeowner, implying he had a gun and threatening the79-year-old man, police said.

The victim, however, fought the suspect, falling and cutting his head in the process. The attacker then fled out of a rear door. The victim was treated at Sentara Obici Hospital.

A police officer slipped on a patch of ice and injured his knee while chasing the suspect after the second incident. He was also treated at Obici.

A canine unit then searched the area, but the trail was lost, and police put out a request for help finding the man.

About three hours later, they received a call from the Pine Street resident, who told them she refused to open her door when a man pounded on it and demanded entry.

Police are still working to connect Harrell to the Church Street incident, according to George. Harrell is being held at Western Tidewater Regional Jail.