Saying it was simply ‘the right thing to do,’ police say the girlfriend, mother and father of a West Melbourne man told detectives he was the hammer-wielding robber captured on surveillance photographs choking a 20-year-old woman at an ATM machine Monday evening.
“The girlfriend called and the parents confirmed it was their son. It was very quick,” said Lt. Richard Cordeau.
“The suspect was asleep in the bedroom at the time. When they saw the photos, they decided to call. They just felt like it was the right thing to do. The girlfriend did express some remorse to the victim,” Cordeau said. Deason was uncooperative.
The robbery happened about 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Bank of America at 3003 W. New Haven Ave, prompting a countrywide search and even unfounded reports of man being seen as far away as Cocoa.
Police said Deason demanded the woman withdraw a large amount of cash and “threatened harm if she did not comply.” The woman, who has declined to be interviewed, started the panic alarm on her nearby car and the suspect fled. “He did not get any money,” said Cordeau of the West Melbourne Police Department. “The victim is physically okay but understandably upset. As he fled on foot she saw what looked like a hammer in his hands,” Cordeau said.
Police later released surveillance photos hoping the public might help identify him. It was those clear photos showing the robbers uncovered face that moved his mother, father and girlfriend to call 9-1-1 to report Deason as a possible suspect in the case. So far police do not have a motive for the failed robbery.
Deason was arrested at his home and taken to the West Melbourne Police Department for questioning. Police also added that residents should continue to be on the alert about their surroundings.
“As always, you should be vigilant about where you are. Fortunately in this case, the victim was able to activate the panic alarm on her vehicle…we believe that’s why he fled,” said Cordeau.