A suspect in a Port Charlotte armed robbery is in custody nearly five years after the crime.
Terry Lonoris Smith, 44, allegedly pulled a gun on a delivery truck driver at Sunoco Gas Station at 2483 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, on Nov. 29, 2014.
The victim told law enforcement he was completing his delivery for Blue Rhino Gas Company when he noticed the suspect walking toward him as he was getting back into his truck.
The suspect demanded cash and pointed a black handgun at the victim, who turned over his wallet.
As the suspect went through his wallet, the victim jumped out of his truck and grabbed the firearm with both hands. As they fought, the suspect reportedly told him he was going to kill him and and bit the victim’s left hand, as well as trying to punch him in the crotch area.
The victim later told law enforcement he was in pain but knew if he let go of the firearm, he would be killed.
During the struggle, the gun was fired once by the suspect, according to the victim. He ended up with the suspect’s black sweater in his hand and eventually gained full possession of the firearm.
The suspect ran toward a parked car on the street behind the gas station and got into the car. The victim then fired two rounds at the suspect’s vehicle, later telling cops he was in fear of being injured by another weapon or the suspect’s vehicle.
The suspect fled south on Ellicott Circle.
Law enforcement spoke to the victim at the hospital, where he was treated for the bite marks on his hands. Crime Scene technicians collected the firearm and ammunition, the victim’s sweater and knit hat, fingerprints and the victim’s wallet from the scene.
The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office received multiple tips through Crime Stoppers indicating Smith was the suspect, who was driving his girlfriend’s vehicle at the time of the crime. DNA from the scene matched Smith’s known sample.
A warrant for his arrest was signed in 2015, but he fled the county and could not be located, according to CCSO Spokesperson Katie Heck. He was recently arrested in Marion County and was transferred to Charlotte County after bonding out on the Marion County warrant. His bond at the Charlotte County Jail was set at $450,000.