The armed robbery attempt that led to the hostage-taking in Eustis on Friday afternoon ended with the suspect in custody.
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Police say Jacob Parrish, 36, entered the Wells Fargo Financial Advisors building on Bay Street just after 3 p.m. armed with a knife and told employees he was there to commit a robbery. .
The employee quickly ran to alert two other employees in the building, and all three barricaded the office.
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After barricading up, police say Parrish refused to let the three employees leave, but they called for help and were able to provide his photo to law enforcement.
Eustis Police, along with agents from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, responded quickly.
According to Eustis Police Department patrol captain John Ferning, upon learning where the employee was, the employee was killed even though he did not know exactly where Parrish was or whether he was still armed. decided to get them out as soon as possible.
The officer was able to find the key to the office and freed the hostage while searching for Parrish.
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“Our plan was to extract the hostages as quickly as possible,” explained Farning. “But when I went in and I encountered the person, I was able to do both things at the same time … free the hostage and arrest the suspect.”
Fanning said Parrish may have had the impression that the facility was storing money, but that’s actually not the case. The business even has signs on the exterior stating the fact that they don’t store cash there.
Police said Parrish was known to local law enforcement for his previous criminal record, but that’s not what they saw on Friday.
“Given that my contact with him was minimal, it’s obviously very surprising to do something at this level,” said Capt. Fanning. “There is nothing in his criminal record to indicate that he was the sort of person who would attempt to break into and rob what he believed was a bank.”
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Parrish was charged with armed robbery with a knife, first degree felony, and three counts of wrongful imprisonment, third degree felony. He is being held at the Lake County Jail on his $35,000 bail.
No employees were injured. Investigation is ongoing.
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