Wounded robbery suspect runs across road, dropping cash

Police arrest man at Jessup hotel nearby

March 14, 2000|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,SUN STAFF

An armed and masked man was shot in the leg but managed to limp across six lanes of traffic yesterday as he was chased by a Jessup shop owner, who was robbed of thousands of dollars that scattered across U.S. 1 at Route 175, Howard County police said.

The suspect, whom police found barricaded in a men's room at a Holiday Inn across from the shopping center, was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma and treated for a gunshot wound. As of late yesterday, police had not charged him and his identity was not available.

According to Sgt. John Superson, police spokesman, the holdup began at 9: 40 a.m. He said James Gilles II, 50, owner of Jimmy G's Check Cashing and restaurant, got out of his car behind his business and was attacked by a gunman wearing a dark ski mask.

At some point, Superson said, the gunman fired a 9 mm handgun at Gilles, who ran, tripped and fell. The gunman pistol-whipped him, Superson said, and took about $120,000 in cash.

Gilles' son, James Gilles III, 26, heard the shots, grabbed a 9 mm handgun and ran outside to help his father. Superson said that as the younger Gilles chased the gunman, he fired and hit the man in the leg. The gunman returned fire as he limped across the road, dropping cash across the busy six-lane intersection before barricading himself in the hotel restroom, Superson said.

He surrendered to police a short time later, Superson said. No one else was reported injured.

Police scrambled to pick up cash that was blowing across the road and into a wooded area near the shopping center. Most of it was recovered.

The father and son declined to talk about the robbery.

Police said the elder Gilles also owns a liquor store in the shopping center. The restaurant is often packed during the lunch hour, and it is a popular place for correctional officers from the Jessup prison to cash their paychecks.

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