Off-duty federal officer intervenes to stop Charles Co. robbery, 3 teens arrested

An armed robbery in Charles County, Maryland, on Friday ended with three suspects being arrested following the intervention of an off-duty federal police officer.

In a news release, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office said the three suspects — Barry Tyson and Blake McKinney, both 17, and Alonzo Gholston, 18, all from D.C., walked into a CVS store in the 7000 block of Indian Head Highway in the town of Bryans Road around 5 p.m. Friday.

One of the teenagers was armed with a handgun. The three demanded money and prescription drugs from the store’s staff.

As the robbers confronted staff, an off-duty federal officer walked in — initially unaware there was a robbery in progress.

Staff managed to notify him, but as he attempted to intervene, two of the suspects fled the store for a nearby car revealed later to have been stolen in a carjacking earlier that day.

One of the suspects ran back into the store and was arrested along with the other who remained on scene, while the third man sped away and crashed into a telephone pole near Bensville Road. He attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended by a responding deputy.

According to the law enforcement account, the off-duty officer saw one of the suspects reach for an object during the incident, leading him to fire his gun out of fear for his life. Nobody was hit.

Inside the stolen vehicle, investigators found ski masks, gloves and a loaded semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine.

All three are now facing multiple charges related to assault and armed robbery. Seventeen-year-old Tyson is being charged as an adult.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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