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Robbery suspect chased, caught
Hinesville police chief lunges at suspect, helps officers with apprehension
WEB 0404 Lavonne Addie
Lavonne Addie - photo by Photo provided.

A robbery suspect got more than he bargained for Friday when he allegedly attempted to rob the Days Inn in Flemington.

Lavonne Addie, 24, of Hinesville, is accused of going into the hotel shortly before 3 p.m. and attempting to rob the clerk.

The suspect, wearing a dark shirt and a hat over his head, first asked hotel clerk Gwendelyn Rowell about room rates. Hotel employee Jeffery Roseman, who was in a back office, said he found the customer to be suspicious, so he came out to the front desk to observe the man as Rowell answered his questions.  

The exchange between Rowell and the suspect was captured on the hotel’s security video system. After several minutes of discussing rates, the video shows the suspect jumping over the counter and attacking Rowell while attempting to pull her away from the cash drawer.  Roseman jumped on the unarmed suspect, who was able to open the cash drawer and scoop up several hundred dollars. The fight lasted several minutes before the suspect broke free and ran to a waiting car driven by a woman who had two children in the vehicle.

According to Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Detective Brian Barnes, the woman, later identified as the suspect’s girlfriend, was unaware of what he had planned.

“He told her to park by Phat Katz and wait for him while he took care of something. When (the suspect) got back into the vehicle, he began screaming at her to drive. Nervous, the woman took off while he was screaming at her till she was stopped,” Barnes said.

Another surveillance video shows Roseman jumping into his car and following the vehicle the suspect left in. Roseman followed the suspect and eventually was able to ram the vehicle, forcing the driver to stop.

Meanwhile, Hinesville Police Chief George Stagmeier, who driving west on East Oglethorpe Highway heading to NaCon Auto Collision Center, saw Roseman exit the Days Inn parking lot and hit the vehicle the suspect was in. Stagmeier pulled over in the NaCon parking lot and was told by witnesses, “That’s him, stop him.”

Stagmeier watched as the suspect exited the car and ran toward him. The chief drew his gun and ordered the suspect to stop and get on the ground. The suspect continued to run toward the 700 block of Gen. Stewart Way to a building that houses a Subway and the Bryan Medical Group. Stagmeier followed the suspect in his car, spotted him next to the businesses, exited his vehicle and attempted to stop the suspect by lunging at him. The chief grazed the suspect, who pushed Stagmeier off.

According to a report filed by Hinesville Police Officer Jonathan Penrod, who also responded to the scene, the suspect encountered a woman who screamed at the officer, “He’s in there!”

Penrod and Cpl. Victor Maldonado entered the medical center, ran to the rear and found an open door, where they encountered Stagmeier, who said the suspect still was inside the building. Two medical center employees told Penrod the suspect either was in a storage room or a restroom. Clearing the storage area, the officers entered the restroom and found the suspect standing in a handicap stall. The officers arrested the suspect and found large amounts of cash on him.

Both Rowell and Roseman sustained scrapes and bruises in the scuffle with the suspect. Stagmeier injured his forearms and legs and bumped his head when he tried to tackle the suspect.

Addie, who is on parole, was denied bond and is charged with robbery, obstruction of a police officer and two counts of battery against the hotel employees.

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