By Joe Johnson
An armed robbery suspect was arrested Friday afternoon following a standoff with police at home at Rolling Ridge apartments.
Athens-Clarke County police said the standoff ended after officers used tear gas to flush out the suspect from an apartment.
The incident began at about 4 p.m. when officers responded to an 18-year-old Statham resident’s report that he was robbed at gunpoint by multiple suspects in the 200 block of Rolling Ridge Drive, police said.
The suspects reportedly stole cash and an Apple iPhone 8 with a total value of $1,100.
After officers spoke to witnesses, they located the suspects in an apartment at the complex off Kathwood Drive, police said.
“After the suspects barricaded themselves in the apartment, ACCPD’s Special Response Team arrived to assist. Two suspects then exited the apartment,” police said.
“After repeatedly asking the remaining suspect to exit the apartment, and providing several warnings, SRT deployed chemical agents. The remaining suspect, later identified as Deerickious Malik Davenport came out of the apartment and was taken into custody.
Davenport, 23, of Westchester Drive was arrested and charged with armed robbery and multiple probation violations.
The other two suspects were detained for questioning and later released, according to police.
Police said they believed the victim went to Rolling Ridge to conduct a transaction that was initiated with the use of a smartphone purchasing app.
Police said they asked the Clarke County Sheriff's Office to not release Davenport’s jail booking photo to protect the integrity of an ongoing investigation.
Police noted that they were investigating a second hold-up that occurred Friday afternoon on Cumberland Court in which a 52-year-old Lawrenceville man reported he was robbed at gunpoint of a wallet, cash and an iPhone 6 Plus with a total value of $920.
Cumberland Court is less than a half-mile from Rolling Ridge Apartments.
Athens-Clarke County police urged citizens to exercise caution when using purchasing apps to conduct transactions.
Among other things, police suggested that transactions should occur during the day in a well-lit and frequented location. A law enforcement parking lot is a suggested meeting place, and police said that people should never agree to meet at a private residence.
After establishing a meeting place, beware if the buyer or seller changes the location. Also, consider alternate forms of payment other than cash, police said.