By Susan E. Hoffman
Two teenagers — Dakota Allen Reel, 19, of Englewood, and Jonathan Tate Vantilburg, 19, of Venice — were arrested early Monday on charges of armed robbery.
According to records from the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office, a man and a woman met with Reel and Vantilburg at a fastfood restaurant in Sarasota. The victims had allegedly made arrangements over the social-media site Snapchat to buy marijuana from someone. When they got there, Reel showed the pot to the male victim, who said he didn’t want to pay the $85 previously agreed to, so he gave him only $60, took the pot and drove off.
When he left the restaurant, the pickup driven by Vantilburg, along with Reel and two others, followed the victims on State Road 72 into DeSoto County. Reel reportedly shot in the air as they followed the victims’ car. One witness said the gun belonged to Vantilburg. The female victim called the Sheriff’s Office to report being shot at. The male victim lost control of his vehicle and crashed, whereupon the pickup with Reel and the others parked nearby.
Vantilburg reportedly confronted the male victim to give him the money, then shot into the air. The victim allegedly tossed the pot out of his window, which one of the pickup occupants grabbed, and the truck drove off. Reel and Vantilburg were later stopped by DeSoto County deputies, questioned and then booked into the DeSoto County jail. Both are being held on $50,000 bond on a charge of armed robbery.